thorpe-toque

Which is good for -40 oC as I’ve felted the hat slightly.  I am being a bit sarcastic about the “spring” hat part, but when today is the first day it hasn’t snowed in 5 days, one gets a bit on edge.  And not just a few snowflakes either, Sunday’s storm was sideways white-out snow!  Its hard to believe tomorrow is May Day (and Ride your Bike to work Day!!!).   With most of my winter stuff here I’ve been doing slight felts on it to keep the wind out.  The wind is like knives as times, and cuts through all the knitted toques and mitts to freeze your skin unless the material is very dense. 

This is a Thorpe hat, and made of Manos wool.  It may or may not get a crocheted flower attached to it somewhere, I’m considering the location.  (one on the top, the side, on each tie?).  It is very, very warm.  Very warm.  It is being donated to the Western Canada Oddball Blanket Society charity fundraiser, so it you want a really warm noggin next winter, you’ll know what to do!!

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Summer Goals

April 28, 2009

As you have figured out by now, I love goals.  For the first 24 years of my life I had such clear goals; finish grade school, graduate high school with a high enough average to get into engineering, make it through first year (which became the goal of just pass!), and graduate university.  Get a job.  Then our goals become a bit looser; do a good job, enjoy life, buy a house, find a life partner.  Its not so clear cut anymore.  Especially the life partner thing as we are told to just not look, then he will come.  Or look harder, have a date a night!  Maybe you are looking too hard?  Geez.  Therefore goals, I love goals.  Ones I can achieve with hard work, ones that focus my efforts, ones I can write on a list and cross off with a big shiny red line. 

Goals 1) I’m not halfway done with my yarn diet yet, and I’d really like to be done by July, for the Stampede yarn sales.  (Yes I’m aiming for you Pudding Yarn, and that gorgeous  cotton to make Flower Child with).  Two more sweaters, 2.5 more shawls/scarves, 2.25 more pairs of socks.  That’s a lotta knitting! 

Goals 2) I have two biking goals this summer, the first of which is the MSBike Ride in June.  Its a two day ride with some good distance each day.  I haven’t signed up yet, but plan to soon, I hope there is still room.  As I don’t like to ask for money the plan is to have a yard sale and raise some cash that way.  Each weekend in May is going to be devoted to knitting little items I can sell, and given my baby happy neighbourhood, I plan to make baby hat and mitts sets.  Me Mum is busy making cotton shopping bags to sell as well!  As a good friend has MS, I feel strongly about doing this ride this summer.

Goals 3) I’m signed up for the 24 hour race again in July, and I”d like to shave 1/2 hour off my time.  Which is still slow, but will mean considerable work on my part to achieve.  The diet, the training, all the biking to achieve a decent time.  The pay off of course is being able to keep up better on social rides, instead of everyone having to wait for me to walk up the hills.  It also means a stronger, leaner, fitter me that looks better in a short skirt, which won’t be bad either eh? 

Ready set go!!!

Of which I have no photos as of yet!  It is a very lovely Thorpe toque however, that will be even warmer once I felt it slightly.  It is destined to be donated for a charitable cause once the finishing touches are put on.

When I could drag myself away from the fireplace to face the cold snowy outside world, Mr. J and I did actually attend the Calgary Comic Expo.  There were comics, and figurines, and people dressed up funny.  I felt very inadequate with my non 48″ bust, and non 25″ waist.  We had thought this was much later in the year, and I had planned to knit Mr. J. a Yoda hat (to make a 6’7″ Yoda, which is funny!) but alas there as no time.  HOWEVER, we did manage to find where they were taping the “Ed the Sock” show and interviewing celebrities.  Very important celebrities that is from Battlestar Galatica, and Lord of the Rings.  And some guy that does voices, we left during that one.  (Sidenote: we did think about trying to get Ed the Sock to hold my sock for a photo, but he was very busy interviewing people!).  Long story short we heard Edward James Olmos, Sean Astin, and Dualla from BSG.  Margo Kidder was there, Ando from Heroes was supposed to be there, but we didn’t see him.  Caylee from Firefly.  Mr. J and I didn’t feel like dropping the autograph or photograph fees ($50) therefore we just walked around and stared.  We had a discussion about what we would say if we actually talked to them, came up blank, and decided gawking was good enough for us. 

april-27-001

In summary: snow, fireplaces, famous people sightings, getting ready for work week!

After enjoying a lovely tour of two of Calgary’s greatest yarn stores buying extra balls of the cashmerino aran in colour 202 (powder blue), and waiting for a lovely spring cold snap, the cabled tank made its debut yesterday:

debbie-bliss-cabled-tank-done

The little sleeves are extremely clever, they are simply cast on to the main body, but when sewn up and a bit of ribbing applied they seem like cap sleeves.  I knit the medium size, with waist shaping in the middle (you know, at the waist).  I knit all 8 3/4″ of the recommended turtleneck size, as I do love a warm chin.  I think its a schooch big on me, but I don’t mind really as its not that noticable.  It does make me look really wide however, which I wasn’t expecting with all those vertical cable lines.  But then again, when you have hips, there isn’t much you can do about that! 

This pattern is from the first Debbie Bliss magazine, which I quite liked.  Lately I’ve been really liking the DB magazines, loving Vogue Knitting, enjoying Knit 1. and being not too inspired by Interweave sweaters.  I’m sure next year that will change however! 

Its playoff season here in Calgary (NHL hockey you know, like there are any other sports?).  My co-workers are growing their beards until the Flames finish up.  The next big game is on Saturday night, and I don’t even have to look up whether they won or not, just see my co-workers on Monday morning.  Shaved = not good!

Enjoy your weekend everyone!  My weekend is all about taking my first steps towards my new goals, and getting ready to launch!  I’m getting really excited about my new food scale, and how I’m going to use it to split one ball of sock yarn into two equal balls.  Or to weigh my sock and determine if I have enough yarn to finish it.  OR to weigh sock yarn and find out if I have enough to make baby socks.  And also to weigh food, that too.

As this is my first foray into shawl knitting, I’m rather excited.  This project is coming along well, and the benefit of having two balls of yarn is that I can see the first one shrinking when compared to the second one.  I’m currently estimating that I’m 1/2 way through ball #1, and therefore 1/ 4 of the way there.  Miriam has cleverly designed Cleite so that you can bind off whenever you run out of yarn, and get a lovely finished shawl. 

cleite-shawl-14-done

The colour change from dark blue to lighter in the Impulse of Delight yarn is starting to become apparant.  That is also exciting!  It will become very noticable as I reach the end of the first ball.  For more details check out the Ravelry page. 

Today I attended my first professional personal development seminar on leadership.  The one thing I have taken away (I think we all knew this before, so this was more like reinforcement) is that you can really only work on one goal at a time.  If you consciously work on something for 21 days, it will become a habit.  The Yarn Harlot teaches this in her class.  My one thing is time management, or time blocking.  Sitting down on Sunday night and planning my week.  When do I work on nutrition, what am I going to eat, when do I exercise and what type of work out do I do.  Each morning time block out my day, when do I do what, and for how long.  This will be hard to stick to, but after 21 days, I hope its a habit!  But most importantly?  I looked around the room and spied a woman knitting.  She is now my new knitting friend, P.Eng!  Honestly guys, the odds of two knitters, at the same professional engineering conference are astronomical!  And we are only one friend removed on Ravelry, its a small knitting world after all.

But first a quick note:

Its snowing.

End of rant.

Recently at the farmers market I couldn’t help noticing something amazing (to me anyways).  The Real Girl Guide Cookies.  Just like we used to get when I was growing up.  You know, the chocolate and vanilla cream ones:

girl-guide-cookies

Now some of you from south of the border may be looking at these in puzzlement, because they don’t look like the cookies that you are regularly asked to buy once a year by the Girl Guides.  It also explains my confusion about why in 8 years in the States I couldn’t find “real” Girl Guide cookies, just those mint ones, or whatever else they sold.  I was always looking for the chocolate cream ones.  Did they stop making them?  My disappointment was always huge, and I couldn’t bring myself to buy those “other” boxes.  Nope, I do believe these are Canadian, and the weird mint ones are made only for the States.  I’m sure they are nice cookies and all, but those chocolate ones up there, the cream is really creamy and full of chocolatey goodness.  Being home is good.

And in another note, I finally sent in all my paperwork to the nutritionist.  Which means that that is the last box of cookies in a very long time.  Chocolate cream cookies were definitely not on the “approved” food list, beside the egg whites, or the other food that is going to make up my 1920 calories a day.  The worst part is going to be the food logs, as I do hate paper work.  However, I AM GOING TO DO THIS.  Yeah for me!

FO: Easter Baby Jacket

April 21, 2009

As always modeled rather reluctantly by Jemima:

jemima-in-feb-baby-jacket

It needs a good blocking, and I need to sew on the multi-coloured butterfly buttons I bought, but I think the jacket is so gosh-darn cute.  I can’t think of anything more perfect than this over the top bright Koigu colourway.  Can you believe it came out of the horrid mitred jacket kit?  It was obviously always meant to be a February Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman, from her Knitting Almanac.  I have another two skeins of Koigu that are a rather interesting mix of orange and blue and a few dozen other colours that will probably end up this way as well. 

We are having a strange day here in Calgary, warm today, snow tomorrow.  This morning a very distinct Chinook arch could be seen out my office window:

calgary-chinook-up-close

For once I’m happy about the impending snow, as I’ve finished my Debbie Bliss cabled tank, its at home drying out as we speak.  Its extremely warm, especially as I put the full 8 3/4″ turtleneck on it.  I love a nice warm chin.  Maybe I’ll get to wear it tomorrow or Thursday?  In other news I did ride through a meadow filled with beautiful pink wildflowers yesterday.  No photos as I was battling a really strong headwind, it took over 2 hours to get home!

Ode to Crazy People

April 17, 2009

Or rather those people that are courageous, creative, and have a lot of spare time on their hands.  Those wonderful people that take old cars, and mount them  in interesting poses by the roadside on hay bales, or make a sculpture park in South Dakota.  Those people that wake up one morning and partake in an inner monologue:

What should I do today?  I’m a bit bored.  And I have a couple of tons of spare metal, paint, and these welding machines lying around.  Should I watch Oprah today?  No.  What about going for a lovely walk?  No.  Hmmm.  Perhaps I should build a giant bulls head with huge horns, put it out in a field by the side of the road, and later on in the afternoon follow that up with a huge hammer on its head.  Sure, why not?

sd-sculpture-park

That is the extent of my sightseeing in South Dakota, aside from a rather exciting trip to Jo-Ann’s for buttons, and Target where I left with another lovely summer dress its still too cold to wear.  When I think about chronicling my trip to South Dakota my inner monologue sounds like this:

Got up, drove to the job site.  Worked all day.  My feet hurt, I’m covered in dirt, which is actually more glycerine mixed with oxidized iron and manganese.  Drove back to the hotel, got take-out from Chili’s, did e-mails, knit a few rows, went to sleep.  Repeat.  Took three flights home again yesterday, listened to a little girl scream during turbulence without her father comforting her, but he got his karma as the man next to him told him (and the rest of us in the back 20 rows) his life story, the story of each of his family members, and their medical history.  In conclusion, my week looked mostly like this:

anne-in-salem-water-plant

Taking time out of work for self-portaits in the nanofiltration membrane water plant.  Hope ya’ll have a nice weekend! (And no, I don’t know who put a flowmeter in front of a pump, I mean come on!!!)

FO: Yellowberry Scarf

April 14, 2009

yellowberry-scarf

I’m still amazed that this took less than 1 skein of Peter Rabbit by Fleece Artist, their yummiliscious angora yarn dyed with different graduations of yellow.  The blueberry stitch from the book Estonian Knitting by Nancy Bush created an open fabric, but the generous halo of the angora keeps it warm.  I topped the points on either end of the scarf with, what else, pom-pom’s. 

pom-poms-on-yellowberry-scarf

Its like wearing a bunny rabbit around your neck, but one that doesn’t scratch, or make more bunnies to eat you out of house and home. Now that its finished its been a bit warm at home to wear it, but I hear it snowed again today in Calgary, so perhaps I’ll be sporting my angora scarf and hat this weekend when I get back.  One more winter knit to go, then only spring stuff! 

I got my bag back this morning, so thankfully I was able to brush my teeth before heading out to the job site.  South Dakota looks like, ummm, Saskatchewan almost.  A lot of corn and beans around here according to the operator.  Fishing and baseball are also very popular apparently.  Alright, off I go to knit a bit on Cleite now that we’ve been reunited!!!

South Dakota Dreaming

April 13, 2009

Here I am in Sioux Falls South Dakota after passing through Seattle and Denver on my way from Calgary.  Why is it that three flights are cheaper by $500 than two flights?  It doesn’t make sense except in the weird land of airlineconomics.  South Dakota is a new State for me, and puts my list of States visited up to 36 or so.  My impression so far?  Looks like Wisconsin or Winnipeg to tell you the truth, but of course all I’ve done so far is drive from the airport to the hotel.  Tomorrow I’m heading 40 minutes out into the countryside, no not to go sightseeing, but to visit a water plant of course. 

Unfortunately (but not surprisingly) my bag didn’t make it with me, I’m expecting it around 10 pm tonight.  It had better come, as Cleite is in it with Chart 1 done and 1.5 repeats of Chart 2.  I don’t want to lose my pretty shawl! 

And three airports and three flights of course leads to “Anne’s Pre-Flight Safety Speech”:

“Welcome to the flight(s) today, if you are on the wrong flight, stand up and get off and we’re all going to laugh at you.  If you don’t know how to click a seatbelt together, that is unbelievable, watch your neighbour do it.  If we crash, there really isn’t much hope, so just hang on, it should be over quick.  If we do by some miracle survive, you get to slide down the yellow slide which should be fun.  Now this is mostly directed at the men out there.  Imagine that the armrest represents an invisible barrier, which you can’t cross.  Please keep all your body parts, legs together, arms, elbows on your side.  Do not raise the armrest, the lady next to you will slam it back down to keep you on your side.  I realize you need to keep your legs far apart as possible, but just this once keep ’em together.  If your elbow is a millimeter over the lady next to you is allowed to poke you with a pointy stick until you get back to your side.  Also, if you tend to snoring or flatulence when you sleep, don’t sleep.  That’s pretty simple isn’t it?  And when you do sleep for two hours, arm and leg over on the wrong side of the invisible armrest line, with multiple flatulence, don’t talk to your neighbour.  She hates you.  She does not want to tell you where she is from.  She was trapped in the seat next to you and couldn’t move, trying not to smell, unable to reach her sandwich cause the guy in front fully reclined his seat.  She could hardly move.  She’s not from anywhere except a large pit of rage that smells like flatulence. 

Enjoy your flight.”