Watching Calgary Wake-up

October 31, 2008

With these days of slowly disappearing sun, I get on the bus at 6:30 am, and am in the office by 7:15 am.  The city is dark, without even a bit of sunrise on the horizon.  Slowly, but slowly I watch it wake up, the sunrise, and everything becomes illuminated from my perch on the 14th floor.

Just across the street three cranes are busy making a new building, the trains chug by, and people hurry to work.  I make coffee for myself and my co-workers, eat my breakfast, and slowly ease into the day as the sun rises.  Every day the sun comes up in a new way, pink, orange, pinky-orange, orangy-pink.  The cranes go from black, to pink, to white, as they sway back and forth, busy building up the city.  Slowly the mountains come into view, turn pink as well, then white.  The clocks fall back this weekend, but I’ll still be getting to work before Calgary wakes up, and get to watch it every day.

Have a good weekend everyone, don’t fall back too far.  I won tickets at work this week to see the Calgary Stampders play the BC Lions this weekend, my first ever football/CFL game.  I’m told we’re going to be five rows up from the BC Lions area, so perhaps I’ll answer that age old question:  just how tight are those tight buns in those tights?  Stay tuned….


Not Obsessing but Pondering

October 30, 2008

What to start on January 1.  Do you remember Margene’s project to cast on something new on January 1, and last year we all made EPS sweaters?  I thought that was a lot of fun, and what I enjoyed most was making a few of my own motifs and designs.  I even bought myself coloured pencils again and coloured in squares on graph paper.  Therefore I’ve been thinking for awhile now what to do this next year, which is coming up quick, and I have a few ideas turning around in my head.  The best way I can describe the idea is “Haida Tattoos”.  I have no idea where I’m going with this, or what it is going to turn out like, but my inspiration is the thinner gauge Cowichan sweaters I’m seeing everywhere, the large amount of Haida artwork I see around, and the large number of people with various things tattooed onto themselves.  Of course the Haida motifs I like the most are the whales:

And the salmon:

This picture is hanging up in my kitchen above the pantry, hence the weird angle.  I’m thinking the sweater will be cream, black, grey, with colour but only green and red and like the pictures above.  The motifs are going to look and be placed more like tattoos on the arms, and back.  I’m hoping to avoid people saying “Gee, did you get that pattern from Mary Maxim” at the end of this.  I think the most appropriate yarn is still going to be the Custom Woolen Mill stuff as I can get the colours I need, and the rustic feel I want.  They also have single ply stuff a la original Cowichan sweaters.  I took a book out of the library awhile ago with traditional patterns in it (I believe the book is out of print, it was published in the early 80’s, got to love the library), which are also interesting to look at for inspiration. 

I think I need to start sketching this up soon!

Wednesday is Work!

October 29, 2008

But it is in progress, so that should make me feel better!  My workload is back to being manageable from “unmanageable”, so we’ll see how long that lasts!  I’ve got a few gifts on the go at home, but you aren’t allowed to see those until they are all done!  In the meantime I will offer you my new socks:

1) Noro Kureyon Sock yarn in a lovely colourway:

I’m really loving the colour changes on these socks, they are a bit addicting.  These are also the first toe-up socks that I’m attempting!  Yeah for new things!  I’m using the tutorial from the Interweave Summer 2007 magazine.  I wanted to make these toe up, and at the same time as I’d like to see if I can make these knee high socks.  There may or may not be enough yardage in them, but I’m knitting from both sides of the ball of yarn and will simply stop when I run out!  They definitely do not match, which makes me happy.  Happy colours, happy socks, happy feet!  Knowing me I will wear these under my slacks at work, and around the house on the weekend with a skirt. 

2) Forecast needs buttons, the search begins tomorrow!

Hi, my name is KnittingWater, and I’m obsessed with Battlestar Galatica, the new one.  Yessir, I was recently given Season 1 and have watched many episodes, and last night stayed up way too late watching the initial Mini-series which I have to say is freaking me out.  And that noise!  When I was a kid it was scary, but even now when the  cylons are hunting people who are hiding, and they make that humming noise thing, it still sends shivers down my spine.  Between that and watching Heroes Season 2, I haven’t watched any regular tv in awhile now.  I sure hope I’m not actually a cylon plant, cause that would be uncool.

Kingdom Trails Vermont, Circa 2004, just before I moved to Salt Lake.

Around Burke Vermont, where the US Ski team trains at times, this little town had a bike shop and decided to make a nice summer business by creating hundreds of miles of trails and charging people $12 a day to ride. For how much fun these trails are, that is cheap!  They got the farmers together to give them access to their woodlots, and created an awesome place to ride, especially in the fall.  Plus the farmers get extra income, which is great in my mind as its so hard to make it as a farmer in these harsh times.  As we drove down to Fernie, through a great number of ranches with wooded hills, I was wondering if this model could work in Southern Alberta.  Wouldn’t that be great?  This place also created my nostalgia for little Vermont general stores, awesome sandwiches, and Death by Chocolate Cakes.  And after you’ve been riding for four hours, you get to eat it all!

Sweater Obsession…

October 27, 2008

Has begun as I’ve almost finished Forecast.  (Currently drying from a good wash, needing two seams sewn up and purple buttons put on).  But actually it started a bit earlier as I began to think about what to make next, because you know, I don’t have anything to make at home!!  Not sweaters anyhow.  Originally I had really wanted to make a cardigan suitable to wear in the office, with a wide variety of outfits, therefore in a neutral colour.  This sweater is an old one (Vogue Fall 1998), but still a lovely design in a classic and flattering shape:

I have made this sweater in the past as a gift for a friend, in a red.  After a bit of investigating I’ve discovered that Ultra Alpaca from Berrocco could fit the bill and give me the nice warm sweater I’m looking for without the bulk.  They also have a lovely fireside red colour that could work.  But then I saw this sweater in the Holiday Vogue Knits, and all bets were off!

I’m really, really, in love with this sweater, and am busy visualizing myself skating around the pond in it this winter.  It is also knit from Ultra Alpaca, and you can see that gorgeous red I was talking about.  I do think I will make it in a light grey however, as myself and white don’t get along very well.  It becomes splotchy white very quickly!  I’ve had to work very hard not to run out and buy this wool and start knitting for you see, I know exactly where to get it, and The Knitting Room is oh so close to my house!  Even the pom-poms are growing on me I’m so in love with this sweater!  I’d love to wait until the Christmas Holidays to buy and begin to make this sweater, but every day I don’t buy it is a victory in my mind. 

Another old classic that is going to fit the bill is this old one, again from the Fall 1998 Vogue Knitting:

I’ve always loved this sweater, which is made from Patons Classic Wool, which was on sale this week for $5.00 a ball.  I couldn’t resist and bought enough in similar colours to the photo, just a little bit lighter blue for the main colour.  This is going to be a great weekend/camping, wandering around the house with this thrown over my pj’s type sweater.  I may change out the stars across the front, as I’m seeing a different motif there, which should be interesting.  I probably won’t get to this until next year, but the savings were worth it I guess!  I am tempted to cast on right away however, can’t wait to wear that one!

In the meantime I’ve begun making some gifts, which are fun.  They just aren’t fair isle and lace sweaters with pom-poms.  Woe is me!


Brought to you by my past life as a commissioning engineer.  Yup, I used to travel around the world making things go from not working to working, and train all the locals up on how to run this.  My sign language is extremely, extremely good.  I can tell a lovely operator to stop touching the damn button in an extremely clear fashion let me tell you.  I’ve worked in a number of food factories, which I almost always found fascinating.  I love efficiency, and something like a canning line brings efficiency to new heights.  They use cameras that take separate photos every millisecond or so to capture places where the operation can be speeded up a fraction of a millisecond, which means they can can like 100 more cans a day.  Cool.  But I was stuck over in the water and wastewater division, but I always got a tour, believe me you.

This means that I shop for food differently than most people.  I make decisions based on which factories I’ve actually been in, how nice the people were, and which ones were clean and sanitary.  A basic example is that I only buy canned fruit that says it is from Dole Philippines.  They also have facilities in Thailand, but I’ve not been to their factory, but I would trust it.  I’ve also been to Del Monte Philippines, and I do not buy their produce.  This is based on numerous factors, the first of which is that this plant was  built just after the second world war, which can be considered a long time ago now.  They are trying to rebuild and upgrade parts of it, but this construction was going on beside actual food production lines, icky.  In the tropics you are always fighting bugs and vermin no matter what you do, coupled with food production means that you need to be extra special vigilant to keep nasty things out of food factories.  Del Monte, not so much.  When you work in juice filtration you usually end up working a lot of 24 hour shifts initially until you get the operators trained up on production and cleaning, which meant I had a few odd moments at 3 am.  My favorite moment involved seeing a giant rat run by my foot, and screaming rather loudly.  The Del Monte guys thought this was hilarious to see the funny lady scream at a rat, cause they say them every day don’t ya know?  All over the place apparently!  I also spent a large amount of time at 2 am trying to get a really good photo of the huge cockroach next to a pen for scale to show the secretary back home (see even back then I had good blogging instincts).  It kept scurrying around, in and out of the rather large floor drains filled with, yuck.  Never did get a good photo but it passed the time until the juice run was done and I could start cleaning. 

The Dole plant was filled with extremely nice people, and had very high standards of cleanliness.  Some other time I’ll tell you about how to make fruit salad, over 10 ladies, and 2 men are involved in filling just one can!  Seriously, one lady counts out exactly 5 cherries for each one!  That’s her whole job.  5 cherries, done.  5 cherries.  Done.  etc.  All. Day. Long.  Seriously.  So I buy Dole, and remember the nice people there.  (Not that the Del Monte people weren’t nice, but c’mon, they laughed at me for screaming at the rat running by my foot).  And the word of the day is “Seriously”. 

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!  Knit long and prosper dudes and dudettes.  Seriously.

Some things start off with such promise, and then they just don’t fulfill?  Like that yummy looking cookie that oh so quickly becomes a tummy ache.  They started off as a pretty skein, and a lovely ball of yarn:

These were my mostly “green” skeins of Koigu, dutifully divvied up in the great Koigu Swap of ’08.  But as knitted socks, the colourway could only be described as slightly nauseating:

All the greens were next to mustardy yellows, making the greens into mustard as well.  And the purple and mustard combination makes me feel kind of icky.  With my extremely average sized feet I only had a tiny little bit of yarn left at the end of each sock.  Can you say “Cat Toys”. 

So when I’m feeling rather evil, wicked, and something that rhymes with “witch” (like on Monday when an older gentleman questioned my right to go on vacation, and why hadn’t I worked all last week, how dare I, or another younger gentleman getting extremely upset due to the fact that I had turned my phone off during my exam because if I didn’t I WOULD HAVE GOTTEN KICKED OUT!!)  I’ll wear my receipe socks, and induce nausea in others. 

Cute shoes huh?  They are from Clarks, and fit nicely over my weird big toes, which are distorted from growing up in skates.  I haven’t found another pair in this style that fit as nicely, others are too low cut.

Wednesday WIP – Only One!

October 22, 2008

Okay, two if you count the Blue Hoodie that I’m once again ignoring.  Poor Blue Hoodie.  But for its first appearance on da blog, Forecast is quite far along, I’m currently finished the sleeves, and am working on the last bit of the body.  It will be interesting to see if I have enough yarn, as I’d like to make sure the sweater is long enough to not hit at the tops of pants, but sit an inch or so below.  I’m aiming for the top of my hip bones.  I’m still enjoying making this, and the fact that when I’m done knitting, I need to sew in a few ends, block it, and sew up the arms means finishing is minimal.  Pretty cool I think.  There was a note in the pattern that you could make the sleeves in the round, but I wanted the extra strength of a seam to keep the sleeves from stretching out too far.  I have shorter arms and too long sleeves are annoying to me.

Hey, who’s stealing my last ball of wool?

Piper says “It must be the boy”.  Ha!

I’m predicting this sweater will be done this weekend, unless I run out of wool that is.  Next up is some overdue gift knitting.

Sometimes, not often, but sometimes, going to the mailbox is a very rewarding experience, rather than one full of bills.  Sometimes, a friend from down south, who shares a pretty awesome name, sends you a lovely present that she made herself.  One that is beautiful and functional like these beautiful Tudor cowl and fingerless gloves:

They fit right into your routine, and get used almost daily.  Except for this morning when you were skating around, and your neck was really cold as you weren’t smart enough to even wear a turtleneck and you thought to your self “Should have brought the cowl to wear!”.  But then you landed an axle and so you were happy enough with your cold neck. 

And when your overheated boss turns on the air conditioning in D##M October, and you slip the gloves on to type a bit, and to make him feel guilty for turning on the air conditioning and freezing his employees, these items have become wardrobe essentials.  And they are so pretty!  Thanks Anne with an “e”!  (Or its not me!)

I must apologize for the bad hair here, but it was vacation, and I just didn’t feel like washing my hair that morning.  So there.  I also spent waay to much time wearing my lovely pajamas on the vacation, which also was unattractive, but extremely satisfying to me.  What was even more unattractive was that I was sitting in my pj’s reading “Practical Law for Engineers”, which thankfully I don’t have to read any more since I wrote my exam on Monday, and hopefully I passed.  Fingers crossed.  ‘Cause if I did, by next year I should be able to put some more letters after my name.  Does anyone want to know about Tort Law?  Come on, ask me!

But its only been open since May 2008.  I didn’t think there was a yarn store in Fernie, so imagine my surprise to come upon Heaven.   My personal definition of a cool town is normally more than 2 bike shops and a yarn store, then throw in some good coffee shops, sushi, and a good burrito ( hello Moab!!).

Fernie seems to have everything needed for a great destination place with a ski hill, what seems to be many cross country ski paths, mountain biking, and a nice vibe.  The jury is still out on restaurants, I think I need to try some more!  Unfortunately buying my dream shack in Fernie is a bit out of the budget at the moment, but I do think a winter visit is in order to try out another season.  And since I regret passing up that pretty ball of variegated hand dyed yarn that would have made the most adorable ski toque ever (due to stash guilt) I may just have to go back. 

And just to prove my Mum has a knack with the hook as well as needles, she also sent along the lovely Mermaid Scarf, modeled here by myself as I drove the train out of the mine, loaded with coal.  At the Visitor Center.  Choo choo!

I’m really enjoying this scarf, its pretty, goes with all my coats due to the cream colour, and is warm due to the Classic Wool.  Thanks again Mum!

Let’s just say the bump back from vacation has been rather abrupt, and rather unpleasant.  Can I go back?