TwinSet Death Match!!!

April 30, 2008

You and me twinset, back alley now!  We’re not coming out until one of us is finished!  And I think its going to be you! 

I’ve been really amazed lately how tenaciously I’ve stuck with working on this stupid twinset, especially in light of all the other lovely projects I’d much rather be working on.  I keep thinking “tonight I’ll do the swatch for the lace cardigan, and then work on the twinset”, but I just work on the twinset.  Its like a grudge match.  The cardigan is seamed, and just needs all its ends sewn in.  The little sweater needs to be seamed, and a collar knit on.  The cardigan has mismatched yarn on the top of one sleeve, and the front, and two sleeves of the little sweater don’t match the back.  So please don’t look at it too closely, and I think I’ll only gaze upon it without my glasses, and in candlelight.  Should look fabulous then.  On a good note, it fits perfectly, and the yarn is super soft. 

Last night, in an exciting new development, I met my first Virtual Friend.  Yes, the lovely Sunnyknitter from California left the heat and humidity for the slightly not as cold north.  It was a lot of fun to meet you Mrs. S., please come back anytime! 

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Cats are Fun!

April 29, 2008

I seez Dead Katz!

Piper is so photogenic!  I do believe I need to get out more. 

The alternative name of today’s blog post was “Lost in Translation”.  My co-worker is from Belarus, and we’ve been having a good time translating idioms and slang back and forth.  The other day he asked me the difference between a recreational vehicle and a mobile home.  This is important to understand because depending on the classification, RV Park or mobile home park, they produce a different amount of sewage.  I don’t know why.  That’s another topic.  Okay, so try and explain.  Go ahead!

“A recreational vehicle is a big trailer that you pull around behind a truck, and sometimes it drives it self.  A mobile home is not mobile, but can move but only with great difficulty, but normally stays up on blocks and doesn’t move except in a tornado, in which case it ends up in Kansas”.  Let’s just say it took awhile to get this straight, with pictures, and my co-worker  is certain English is bonk. 

Another good moment happened with a french colleague in Wyoming.  Among other things, he wanted to know what all the different types of eggs were for breakfast.  In France, they have one option; eggs.  In North America we have scrambled, sunny side up, over easy, poached etc. etc.  You try and explain all that!  I  believe I told him “have them scrambled”. 

Now I’m off for some more exciting adventures…

Once Upon a Time…

April 28, 2008

 Two beautiful (the homeless man in the wheel chair begging for money on the street calls me beautiful every day, so there) young girls went on a quest to find the mythical land of Koigu.  They set off bright and early to an undisclosed, top secret location in search of hand painted yarn.  Upon arrival at the promised land, they slowly drifted to the back of the store, so as to not draw attention to themselves, and what to their wondering eyes should appear? 

04.26.08 Super Secret Source of Koigu

Behold!  The promised huge amounts of Koigu!  Their eyes rounded in wonder, they casually wandered around the store, circling their prey, so as not to alarm it.  They nonchalantly looked at the prepackaged kits of Koigu, which contained a boxy mitred sweater fit for an evil stepmother.  But suddenly, a magical sign was seen!

04.26.2008 Hot Damn

The Koigu in the hideous kits was 30% off.  The two young girls began to ponder, and think, and ponder some more.  They noticed that each kit contained single skeins of the lovely hand painted yarn, but if they bought two kits, then could pair the skeins up and make wondrous items of great beauty!  And so they did, and in so doing paid only $9 per skein of the wondrous Koigu.  But then the two trusty friends faced the greatest challenge of their new friendship: who got which pair?  In a great feat of diplomacy:

04.26.08 The Diplomatic Model

The skeins were laid out in the local restaurant (still top secret location) and each beauteous girl took turns picking her favorite.  Negotiations were tense at times, but an amicable dividing of the spoils was achieved.  Suddenly, they realized that one girl had an extra pair?  On no, which pair should they split up so that everything was even steven?  A beautiful purple pair was split up, and war was once again averted peacefully.  If only Dubya would have called us first!

After such a happy day, I went home and made myself a meal of Koigu, because I did get the best of the deal, my skeins are the most beautiful in the land!

 

One will be a hat, some will be socks, maybe a scarf, maybe some baby jackets, maybe some mittens, oh the delightful possibilities, which I’m sure will end happily every after…

Themes

April 25, 2008

I can’t believe the weekend is finally here, normally they rush by, but this one went reallllyy slowly.  The snow should melt this weekend with the temperatures above freezing!  However there is more snow in the forecast for next week.  Did I mention I bought a cute little summer dress that I want to wear?  Huh?  Mother Nature? 

As I’ve gotten into my thirties, I’ve noticed that I enjoy having themes in my life.  Let’s face it, my twenties were about studying, graduating, then working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I didn’t have much time for anything else.  Then a few years ago I had my “Year of doing things that made me happy”, which is now in its third year.  And it still makes me happy, I highly recommend it.  My choice of knitting patterns, and how I’m linking those projects is starting to take on themes as well.  I believe it is this blog that has brought about this change, but it was probably in me all along.  Currently I have two themes that I’m working on:

1) Make a pattern from each teacher at the fall knitting retreat.  This one isn’t so hard as I’ve made some Nancy Bush socks, and a Montego Bay scarf from Amy Singer.  That leaves some Cookie A socks (not monkeys, I’m still the only person in the known universe who hasn’t made them, and doesn’t intend to.  I’m stubborn that way)  And a Stephanie Pearl-McPhee pattern, of which the current first choice is “An Unoriginal Hat”, but I’m still pondering that one.  Now this idea has been called “geeky” by certain parties, but I still think it just makes sense.  And I have until November to finish this up!

2) This theme has five parts, which will be revealed slowly (as I finish the projects).  It involves me making 5 scarves, doing 5 photo shoots here in Calgary, and doing some research on an interesting subject.  I’ve already read one book on the first subject, and intend to do some more.  Not only is it a great way to add extra life to my knitting, but it also gives me themes for the books I read.  Plus I learn a lot (and you do as well when you read the 5 posts!)  I know, all very mysterious now, but I’m excited about it. 

And my theme for this weekend: finish the &*(*(&^^^ twinset without setting fire to it, and making any extra yarn into sacrificial cat toys and encouraging the little rotters to “rip it to shreds”.  Good times!  Wine may be applied…

How was your evening?  That’s right, my evening contained all the elements mentioned in the title and more.  Everyone died, and it took forever.  Yup you guessed it, I went to the opera!  Did you know I love opera, and Puccini is way up there for me.  Last night was a wonderful production of Tosca, which is a rip-roaring, over the top, singing extravaganza!  The main singers were pretty good, and they carried it off well indeed.  The best part, and worth staying to the end of the third act, was of course when Tosca throws herself over the castle wall after her lover is killed instead of fake killed like she planned after she killed the evil guy. 

After all that excitement I’m staying home tonight to bond with the couch, and probably drool a bit.  My little sweetheart Jackie I’m sure will be keeping me company.  I don’t have many good photos of him, as he is so dark, and the crack apartment without light, but this weekend all the snow outside made for some decent photo taking.  Here he is lounging on his bench, which I covered completely in carpet for hours of cat fun:

He still looks so serious in his photos!  But you can see his extra long whiskers, and his oh so soft tummy.  And of course, two seconds later he had his face right up to the camera!  I’ve been trying out corporal cuddling punishment lately on him, but he seems to like it, even though he is a macho little boy who loves to jump over everything.  Everything!  I can’t wait to have a yard for him again. 

Blue Wednesday

April 23, 2008

The Flames lost, and the mood is very sombre around the office today.  Let’s just say its not a good time to ask my Boss for a raise.  On a happy note: no rioting! 

I have one new project to share with you today that I started on the weekend.  I’m really anxious to start a lot of projects recently, so I may throw caution to the wind and start something new each weekend.  Then I’ll go crazy with the pressure of having so many WIP’s, and get all stressed out, which should be fun to watch.  But its sooo much fun to start something new and find out if its going to work!  Here is my almost 9 inch long now Lace Ribbon scarf from Knitty:

The yarn is Arancania Ranco Multy!  I saw another scarf online using the same yarn, but that skein had much more of the aqua colour in it.  I think mine is a lovely balance between all the different colours; teal, purple, pink, brown, and so on  and so on.  I was originally worried that all the blue would be pooled on one side, but it is turning out to be nicely distributed throughout.  I’m not finding that all the colours are taking away from the lace pattern, since there isn’t any striping going on.  A very enjoyable knit. 

Twin Set:

I was looking around the internet at other people that have used the four strand yarn, and a few of them are reporting “mysterious” colour changes in their work with the same dye lot etc. of yarn.  It ruined a few projects!  I’ve finished the main pieces for the cardigan, this weekend I’ll start sewing them up.  I’m currently making the front of the small sweater using the darker yarn.  I’ll then make the little sleeves and see how far I get up the back before I run out of yarn.  I’ve already made a back in the lighter yarn, which I will take out and use for the neck edging on the cardigan.  Or else the cardigan will get a dark neck, as I’m out of light yarn.  I would like this one done and finished, as I’m a bit sick of it.  If I wear this, and you see some weird light/dark sections, please don’t point them out, as I’m so over it now.

Scottish Kilt Hose:

I’ve turned the heel on the first sock, and finished the decreases.  Toe, here I come!  I’d like to get the first sock finished this week, and get the second one going immediately! 

Hmmm, what project should I start this weekend?  Maybe that brown lace one I’ve got in mind….

Go Flames Go!

April 22, 2008

Its Game 7 tonight of the showdown between the Flames and the San Hoser Sharks (booo!).  Winner takes the series!  Needless to say the excitement is high around the office:

Flag courtesy of my boss!  Also I stole this photo from the paper as a great example of the snow we’ve got, and the creative use thereof:

[photo]

Another person had made a snow Stanley Cup, that was pretty cute as well.  The game starts at 8 pm, so I may get home tonight in time to see the end.  Tuesday is “Knit Night in Canada” after all. 

Canada is a land of many people and religions, living together.  The one religion that is above them all however is hockey.  Please don’t think I’m making this up, its true.  For a long time I had left the one true religion due to being sick of it.  I had to go to all my brothers hockey games growing up, and there was at least one a weekend in another small Ontario town somewhere.  Boring!  Now I am a fairweather religious person, basically just attending during the playoffs.  If you give me free tickets, that is something else!  I am also true to my roots, and hold the Toronto Maple Leafs to be the team of my first affiliation, but take the Calgary Flames as my second pick.  So I do hope they win tonight, and I hope no one riots and loots any stores.  Cause that is just irreligious!

The Knitting Marathon

April 21, 2008

When its still snowing out, you can’t bike, run, or really drive anywhere since they aren’t plowing, what are you to do?  We decided to have a knitting marathon, cause you know, what else were we going to do, and it sure was fun.  It all began at 1300 at the Spice Cafe, I was armed with a new scarf and the Scottish Kilt Hose.  Miss J came armed with the latest Socks that Rock club offering, which is gorgeous by the way:

 

And go!  I had cleverly cast on for the scarf the evening before, it is the Lace Ribbon scarf from Knitty.  I’ll have more details later (when I’m better organized).  It is a multi-coloured yarn, in short colourways.  I was a bit worried it would pool, or stripe too much, but it is turning out just perfectly (in my opinion) and I love it.  At 1500 we left Coffee House #1, made a pit stop for cupcakes and adjustment of parking, and continued onto Coffee House #2.  At this one we got very lucky and cozied up to the fireplace, which is a great vantage point from which to watch the snow falling outside:

After four hours of solid knitting, we re-caffeinated, made friends with the ladies next to us, one of whom was unpacking her new tiny laptop, and J did you notice the great use of a fuzzy shawl by the waitress?  The scarf and sock continued to grow!  For the final leg of the marathon, we wandered over to the local pub, where we met some other knitters, and watched the hockey game.

But after a few sips of that yummy beer, the project was changed over to the pinch hitter, the Scottish hose, which was much simpler to concentrate on:

 

With the finish line in sight, and a few giggly knitters getting strange looks from other patrons, we finished up our marathon happy, and having learned new things about each other.  Snow, what snow!

 

And old man winter is that annoying boyfriend you can’t get to stop calling you.  He just won’t go away and leave me alone!  Its snowing again, and even the offices are closing early due to the heavy snowfall.  I didn’t ride my bike today as I knew it was coming, so I just have to make it on the bus.  Here is the blurry view out the window:

Big fluffy snowflakes are falling, and interestingly, mostly going up with an updraft past my window.  Its pretty, but as you know, I’m so over snow! 

The other excitement in the office today was this:

That blue thing is an inclined plate settler!  Wow, how cool!  They are taking the excess water from the construction site, and removing the dirt from it before dropping it down the sewer (blue flexible pipe).  The little white tanks in the lower left hand corner are the chemical addition systems, probably a simple coagulant.  They add the chemical to the water which makes the little chunks turn into big chunks, so that they settle to the bottom.  Then the clear water comes off the top, goes into the sewer, and the mud gets trucked away most likely.  The inclined plates help the particles settle faster!  Pretty sweet huh?

Since its supposed to snow a lot this weekend, I don’t see much bike riding in the near future.  I think we’re planning a marathon knitting session tomorrow with a “Chix with Stix” meeting, then a knitting pub night.  We’re casting on for extra projects, you don’t want to run out you know!  Plan ahead, that’s our motto!  I hope we make it to the finish line!  Have a great weekend ya’ll!!

Knitted Toys

April 17, 2008

It was around eight years ago when my friends started having their babies, and I began to make little presents for them.  There is nothing so heart warming to me as to hear that my little outfit was what they took their baby home from the hospital in, its a memory I treasure.  A dear friend of mine, when she first announced to me that she was pregnant, did it in the following manner: Start Knitting!  And I did!  Over the years I’ve made her kids many items, but their favorite remains the pig family.  I don’t have digital photos of the pig family, but I have one of some other pigs I made.  I used the Debbie Bliss “Toy Knits” for most of the items, a book which I highly recommend.  The tiny mice and rabbits are wonderful at using up little tiny balls of leftover yarn.  The pig family consisted of a bright pink Momma, a green, blue, and purple baby pigs.  I used high quality chenille (not the stuff from Michaels, it falls apart too easily) as it is so soft and cuddly.  Five years later I got to visit the pig family, which were still played with by the kids.  My friend said the small size of the baby pigs meant they could be easily carried around, which helped in their popularity.  She did have to rescue a pig ear from being cut off at one point.  Another reason I love the pig pattern especially is that it is two main pieces, a nose, and the ears.  I tend to embroider the eyes and nose so that nothing can fall off to be swallowed.  Later I made a little pig family for an old bosses family:

Three old balls of yarn used up!  My other favorite is the Mum and joey kangaroo, the little baby fits into the mothers pouch!  I made a Mum in purple and pink, and a baby in pink and purple for my niece.  Finally I made something for myself, a new teddy bear!  Her name is Jemina, which is a bit unfortunate as she is named after an old evil boyfriend whose name is similar.  Now I like to think of her more as a “Jemina Puddleduck” type, as I can’t seem to find a new name for her no matter how hard I try.  She is brown, and wears a lovely Burgundy coat to bed with me every night where she gets tucked under my chin:

Jemina is long suffering, as she is also my baby clothes model.  She did look smashing in this little sheep outfit, again from a Debbie Bliss kids book:

Finally one of my friends had a baby in February! I have a donkey that I made a few years ago, and just need to sew up, stuff, and put a mane on.  I’m thinking since the donkey is plain white (leftover sheep outfit wool) that the mane should be pink.  Or maybe green.  I hate making things colours they should be, crazy colours are much better don’t you think?  I wish I still have a photo of the blue caribou I made for a friend….