If you need me…

May 29, 2008

I’ll be in my jacuzzi with a glass of wine.

Hold all calls.  I’m only coming out when I’m all pruny.  And yes, I did buy this house for the bathtub.  Is that so strange?  It has controls too! 

One more night ladies and gentlemen!  Movers are coming tomorrow. I hope they are hot, and they decide its too warm outside to wear their shirts. 

I did really well this weekend and finished up two projects.  I did this as I really want to refocus on a few key objectives which are:

1) Get the Vintage lace cardigan finished so that I can wear it!  It is knitting up beautifully, so I’m eager to get to wear it now that the weather is finally starting to cooperate.  I’m about halfway up the back, so I would like to get the back finished asap.  The fronts look small, and its only 3/4 sleeves after all.  Piece of cake?  Hmmm.

2) Hazy Paves scarf is coming along, and is still one soft pile of lovliness.  I can’t wait to wear it, so I’ve been working on it when my brain hurts too much for the lace cardigan. 

3) I had run out of projects that easily fit in my purse, and I need a plane friendly project, so I cast on for some new socks.  I’m using some gorgeous Fleece Artist Merino I got in Toronto at Romni last summer, and am making the Pomatomusfrom Cookie A.  This also ticks her off my list as she is one of the designers coming to the Fall Retreat.  Remember I was making something from each designer?  Yup.  Now I just have Stephanie Japel and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. 

There is a bit of a pact going on in Calgary-land these days.  The deal is to not buy yarn until October 1, with an exception for the local fiber fair in June.  If one of us caves, there is a yarn “pool” we’ve put together, and the other person gets the yarn.  I put up the Wooly Wonka “The Silk Road” yellow/brown skein, as Miss J coveted that most highly.  She put in a skein of Handmaiden Suri alpaca loveliness.  We are now taking great delight in e-mailing each other sale notices, and sweet new yarn.  But I think in general it is a great idea for me, as there are so many projects already in-house that I can’t wait to get into the production cue!  Besides, 2nd quarter results are due the end of next month!

I have also gotten really excited about the MS project taking place in Salt Lake, and I know I have three balls of wool that will make a lovely simple scarf.  I may throw myself into that for awhile!  A very, very, lovely lady I know has MS in Salt Lake, and while she wouldn’t be caught dead knitting, and hates that fact that she needs help, it makes me happy to be able to do something for her.

Two more nights before I sleep in my own bed…

I am a Tree!

May 27, 2008

Or perhaps I just play one on a chair.  Introducing the Scottish Kilt Hose, from Folk Knitting by Nancy Bush:

These socks are going to keep me very, very warm next winter.  The Kroy sock yarn (which is York spelled backwards by the by) is lovely and fuzzy with a high nylon content.

This sturdy yarn is built for warmth, durability, and I think it has a serviciable charm about it.  I was picturing flipping the lace fold at the top over my knee when the temperature really dips next winter.  I do need to thread in some elastic at the cuff to keep the sock up, but otherwise it fits really well.  I’d like to thank Nancy Bush for designing most of my socks for my size 9 feet by the way.  That was very nice of her. 

Three more nights before I sleep in my own bed!  So. Very. Excited!

It turns out my new company has a new tradition (or new to me).  It stems from an old military tradition used when there is a change of command, or another important milestone to celebrate.  They have a “Pour”, which is just that.  Which means I just had two glasses of champagne “Hick”, and some lovely, lovely, smoked salmon.  Always work for a company who own a fishing lodge in the Queen Charlotte islands I say, hick.  The best salmon I’ve ever had in my entire life was at the Christmas party, and various other company functions.  (Aside: at the Christmas party I went up to get some more baked salmon, but a couple of men were standing in the way.  I politely asked to get by, and one gentlemen asked if I was coming up to talk to him.  I replied, no I would like some fish, went by, got my fish, and left.  The fish was that good!.  Hick!)

So the weekend looks a bit dreary with rain forecast for the entire time.  So why not let’s check in with Mumsie down in the Caribbean, hick.  She just finished a sweater that my sister in law originally started.  For some reason SIL never finished it, something about two kids, full time work, etc.  So lazy, hick!  The sweater looks lovely, but a bit warm for the Caribbean.  I think it will be sent back to the Great White North soon.  And in other exciting news, my sweater has been started.  But Mumsie did not (gasp) make a gauge swatch, and wash it, and then measure it, so she had to rip a bunch out and fix it.  I guess we all have to learn the hard way….hick!

A lovely sweater Mumsie!  Have a good weekend everyone.

Hick!

Is very strong I think.  The best part of getting off my couch and knitting in public, in groups, is the women and men that I have met.  People that I would not otherwise have a reason to sit down and talk to, that I would not have thought I had anything in common with.  I think my life is very similar to others, I went to school, then I started to work, and I work a lot.  Therefore most of my friends are engineers, which, while very lovely people, are still a narrow segment of the population.  Let me tell you however, there is nothing like a chemical engineering party, after a few beers, when the topic of conversation turns to “Explosions I have witnessed”.  Good times. 

Through knitting groups I have had the opportunity to get to know some very interesting, dynamic, thoughtful, and caring people.  This past weekend Joce and I had breakfast with Margene, Val, and Smith at the lovely Silver Fork lodge.  I felt like a movie star in my hat, sunglasses, and scrumptious omelet.  I pretended that everyone inside the lodge, gazing out at the view of the mountains, was actually trying to decide which movie they saw me in.  The conversation was interesting ranging from local politics, fibre issues, to compost (gulp).  Later in the day we attended a Sunday afternoon knitting session with da gang.  This can be an intimating experience for a new knitter to meet these women.  Lace shawls, stoles, and scarves were everywhere.  Items you have seen in magazines and said “Hum” were turned into incredible works of art when realized with smokey grey laceweigt.  And Katherine, if you don’t put a photo of that finished stole up once blocked, I’m sending you a camera.  It was so, so beautiful.  I might send you a camera anyways to see your other shawls.  Ha!

As always ladies, and gentlemen, you have enriched my life immensely.  I don’t know if you realize this, but engineers have a reputation of being a bit dry, and not very artistic.  Not only can I pretend that I am artistic, but I now have artistic friends as well!  So nice!  On the trip I didn’t quite get the kilt hose finished, but I”m almost there.  Does anyone else wear the finished sock to inspire them to finish the second one?  In their jammies?  Just me.  Oh.

Or something like that!  Its always fun when crossing the border, they ask you if you are bringing anything back, and you answer “yarn and books”.  Somehow I usually get waved on very quickly.  I went a bit crazy at the bookstores for some reason, and I can’t wait to get into all these books.  The knitting magazine was purchased for the crochet critters inside, I can’t wait to make a panda.  I also picked up the Rowan book with the butterfly camisole that I started last summer, and mean to pick up again.  It has so many beautiful little cardigans in it that I can totally see myself wearing to work.  It is not pictured however as it got left in the car, and I didn’t feel like running out to the parking lot in my jammies.

I love books!

I was really exited to go to the Snake River Fiber Fair in order to see the Wooly Wonka colourways in person.  Cause on the internet you just can’t poke your finger into a skein now can you?  Anne brought some beautiful things, but I restrained myself to just a few things:

I chose the bluey/purply merino silk for the flutter scarf, since the colours were too beautiful to leave behind.  I’m not sure it will work 100%, but its worth a try.  In the middle is 900 yards of laceweight merino for a Zephyr shawl, and then a beautiful yellowy/goldy/toffee colour lace weight.  This is going to be a beautiful scarf/hat/mittens or all of the above, and since it is a colour I don’t usually buy, I went for it to show my adventurous side.  Hands off Miss J!  If it goes missing I’ll know where to look!  And of course some HandKnit soap for some Christmas presents.  Seven months ahead of time, I’m so organized!  From the lovely Laurie of Blessed Juno

I also picked up some Cascade 220 in order to make a Stephanie Japel sweater, since she has been added to the line-up of teachers for the fall retreat.  Again, a colour I don’t usually buy, in a nice deep purple.  I plan on making this towards the beginning of fall, it will be too hot to work on it now.  Besides, I have lotsa lace to work on!

But more on that later.  Right now I’m tired since we got back so late last night.  I think someone added extra highway when we weren’t looking.  First and foremost, I had a great time.  I’m so glad we stopped at the Fiber Fair in Idaho Falls, or was that the Fabric Fair?  Miss J got on tv!  Yes I pushed her, but she had been saying just before how photogenic she is!  And she proved herself to be Queen of the Soundbites, it was perfect! 

We had some um, trouble finding the fair, since um, I had written the coordinates down wrong.  But we also had a map, which turned out to be correct.  But you know, getting lost is the best way to see things you wouldn’t normally see.  Instead of saying I’m lost, I prefer to call it “looking around a bit”.  Near the highway, somebody had built this *lovely* fountain:

I think I can see the thought process, but at some point it went horribly wrong.  They started with “Let’s have two eagles to show our patriotic spirit!.  And add a mountain lion cause they are cool.  And what about having a giant water fall, like you know, Idaho Falls!”  But then it just got big, and horribly wrong.  And in a part of the country with water problems that are only getting worse.  And yes, people who paid for this fountain, people are stopping to take photos of it, but not for the reasons you think.  But we were awestruck!

More later on, right now I’m going to concentrate on riding my bike home without falling asleep!

 

Happy Queen Victoria’s Birthday everyone!  Of course it really isn’t her birthday, just the weekend we celebrate it on.  Another name for this weekend is May 2-4 weekend, as in you go out and buy a case of 24 beers to drink.  There is a very good reason why all provincial parks are liquor free until after this weekend…  But it is also the official kick-off to the summer season, and it is going to be a beauty eh!  The temperatures will be high, as will our spirits. 

This weekend Miss J and I are driving down to Salt Lake for a road trip extraordinaire!  I can’t believe how perfectly all the plans have come together.  We’re going to try and finish up projects that have been hanging around awhile with all that good driving time.  On the way down we’re stopping at the Snake River Fiber Festival, and meeting Miriam in Ogden to go to some shops there.  On Sunday we’re having breakfast with the dymanic Margene and blog-free Val, and then contuing the day at the Highland Perk knitting circle.  Throw in a visit with some other friends, a trip to Red Butte gardens, maybe some other shopping (a special Canadian request has been made for Target, cause we don’t got them up here ya know!).  I hope I packed enough:

Oh yeah, I’ve got a bunch of sun dresses and skirts as well.  And sunscreen, Hi Mum!

Have a great weekend everyone, and raise a glass to good ol’ Queen Vic!

Napping! Kitty Style!

May 15, 2008

My little Jack has the cutest feet, all good and hairy. He is already a great Canadian cat, even though he is American by birth.  Those feet won’t need socks!  It is amusing that since I said I can’t get good photos of him I’ve been catching him lying in the sun a few times.  He also woke me up on Saturday morning by licking my eyelids.  I’m torn between thinking its sweet, and wondering if he is practicing for when I die and he eats my eyeballs. 

Continuing the casting on craze going on lately I add the vintage lace cardigan, inspired by this one!  As always, ones friends make nicer sweaters than those in the books.  Mine is growing from the Debbie Bliss Primo a blend of 70% bamboo, 30% wool.  It is making a lovely springy material so far, and the colour is so fresh.

Now that the lace pattern is established its growing pretty well.  When I’m not working on all my other projects.  What fun!  Its a beautiful day in Calgary, going up to over 20 oC today.  Wish I wasn’t in the cold air conditioned office looking out!

And now introducing a new series chez ma blog, called just riding along, or pics I’ve taken from my bike.  Entirely random, just what I see, and whether I have my camera out and handy.  This weekend I rode down to the baby shower, and had a lovely time on a lovely day.  On my daily commute downtown I go through the zoo, and often see the boofalo:

Shhh, they’re sleeping.  Too many fences in the way to go over and pick up buffalo fibre.  Next along the path are the deer, then the moose.  So far I have not run into any escaped gorillas, for which I am grateful.  Continuing down the bike path, the way to the Make 1 yarn store is over Memorial Dr:

Here is how you do it.  Mum, if you are reading this, keep going.  Everyone else skip over to the next paragraph.  In order to go up this round about, and go over the road, carefully dismount, and walk your bike up the ramp slowly. When you reach the ground on the other side, carefully get back on your bike and continue on.  Got that?

Okay, no Mums allowed.  Here is how you really do it.  Its best to have your mountain bike with some good grippy tires, especially good sidewall traction.  Make sure no one is in your way, then take off up the ramp as fast as you can go.  Lean the bike over as far as you can and pedal fast!  Wheeeee!!!!  Coming down is a lot of fun as well to take the curves as fast and as far over as you can.  Can I do it again?