Official Baby Present

June 24, 2010

Of the Calgary Knit Club.

The Norweigan baby hat, knit from some killer sock yarn from Fleece Artist.  I love this colourway for baby things, I only wish I had bought all they had at the Knitting Room at the time.  We finally got to try our hats (a few of us have knit more than 3 now!) on a real baby last night.  This hat, made from the middle stitch count on the pattern, may even fit the baby next winter.  Its so wonderful to have a real cute little cuddly baby to try our knitted items on.  I plan on asking the mother to measure his feet next for optimum baby sock design. 

At home I’ m reading “How to Knit a Love Song“, and really enjoying it.  Its a perfect summer romance novel, to put your feet up and escape into a lovely world of fantasy.  Its a love story, and has all the elements of the romance novel, but its more, with one scene that all knitters will find beyond exciting.  Beyond.  I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but think of a big knitting fantasy, its in the book!  I find the prose to be delightful, sparkly, and fast moving.  Unfortunately I had to buy it from Amazon, as I couldn’t find it here in Canada.  If I ran a knitting store, I’d be sure to stock a few copies of this book!  Hint. Hint.

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FO: Druid Mittens

June 21, 2010

I do forget what Vogue Knitting ended up calling these mittens, the cover ones from Fall 2008, but the original name was Druid mittens.  They are highly amusing to make with cables, bobbles, and other fun things to keep one interested.  The Jamison Spindrift washes up soft, and makes a fairly thin mitten.  They were good last week in the morning when there was still a chill in the air.  So far so good this week, its been warm, but the rain is supposed to be coming back soon.  That is bad news as many people in Southern Alberta are still under water, and parts of our major Trans Canada highway washed away. 

This time of year is lovely however, when the summer solstice brings daylight past 11 pm, and a slight glow even after that.  I was up last night at 1 am to “freshen up” and could see the glow in the sky.  Its so much more enjoyable when we think about the short dark days ahead!  Its summer, and I’m enjoying all of it I can!

The new job is working out well, and one boss is certainly making a run for best boss.  Essentially since there are 3 owners of the company, there are 3 bosses.  Last week I was wearing my teal Rick’s socks in ballet flats, which showed them off to perfection.  My boss saw them, remarked to another co-worker that I made them myself, leaned over to get a better view, and commented further that they were way more intricate and detailed than anything his Grandmother had ever made.   That man has some good taste!

I think I’m just not used to this prolonged period of cold rain we’ve been having all week.  Normally it rains a day, maybe two, and then the weather changes again.  However this time we’ve been socked in all week.  With the odd bit of hail to break up the monotony.  The upside, if there is one, is that its not – 40 oC, and I’ve got a good excuse for why the yard work isn’t getting done. 

Instead of pretty summer skirts and dresses I’ve been wearing my winter sweaters and scarves to work, like pictured at the left.  I hope I get to wear my dresses at some point in time, and a pretty sandal or two.  Its been so chilly that instead of starting a pretty lace shawl I started a super thick winter cardigan, the Tall Flower Cardi.

Every four rows, I’ve knit another inch!  What progress!  I may run out of yarn, but since this is local from Custom Woolen Mills I hope I can find something that matches fairly closely.  I may just have to get a different colour brown for the sleeves if I can’t find a close match.  That shouldn’t be that bad!

Today when I got home I put the fireplace on immediately, to take the cold chill out of the air.  It was a popular move I guess for my poor cold fur covered friends.

Drawing Boxes

June 13, 2010

The tools of my trade, my pencil, ruler, and stencil.  Back in my very first year of engineering school we had to buy this drawing kit, and learn to make boxes, lines, arrows, which were process flow diagrams.  I still love to sit down and draw my little box membrane systems, round pumps, rectangular tanks.  I’m not very good at Autocad, so this is so much easier for me.  One day I’ll get better, but since at the new job we’ve got a super fast Auto cad guru that can draw everything up for me in 1/20th the time it would take me, there isn’t much point right now.  Then I can get out my favorite red pen and mark up the drawings.  Chemicals engineers tend to think about processes often, and we love breaking those things down into boxes, squares, lines, arrows.  We just have to remember that not everyone gets so excited about them as we do. 

This past week in Calgary was the Global Petroleum show, which rotates every few years between here and Houston.  I didn’t get to go last time it was here, as I was out of town for another conference.  The weather was horrendous, rainy and cold, I was feeling pretty sorry for all those Texans having to suffer through it.  I bet they all flew up here with their company polo shirts, and had to run out and buy jackets.  I felt really sorry for all my old co-workers as well who had to stand outside for 3 days under a tent in the freezing rain all day long.  If I hadn’t of changed jobs I would have joined them!  Shudder.  As it was I just got to visit, with two of my new co-workers and my brother.  We had a good time climbing up on oil rigs, looking at the cut away engines, and other equipment.  There were so many huge toys there, it was incredible!  I’m glad we were there early, after 11 am all the beer came out, but the rain also came out as well.  We went inside and wandered around looking at more things, like flowmeters, pressure transmitters, temperature transmitters, filters, the competition.  You know, lots of fun stuff! 

Believe it or not however, I did find some sheep!  Poor little sheep that were about to be chased around the rodeo ring.  Perhaps by some of the miniature horses that showed up later?

This is a very nice pattern, and I think my finished object is about one step above an ugh.  Its funny, in the ball the yarn colours didn’t look that far off, they seemed to blend nicely, but knitted up the yarn is too busy to show any of the pattern.  At least the Fleece Artist Casbah is very soft, and will be a very nice shawl around a neck.  One comment about the pattern; I did the bind off as written, and ended up with a too tight edge.  So tight in fact that I couldn’t make the points in the blocking.  I had to take out the bind-off, and redo it with the Estonian lace bind off from Nancy Bush’s book, you know, like I should have done in the first place.  I have a large mental note now, “Always use this cast-off”.  Life is going to be easier, let me tell you. 

Over the weekend I gave this scarf to Mr. J’s grandmother, for her 81st birthday.  The colours are her colour range, and I showed her how to tie it with the point in the front.  I believe I also explained the beauty of a small triangulate scarf perfectly taking up the V in the front of your suit coat, but I’m not sure if that sunk in.  Oh well, its the thought that counts.

On Sunday we took her, and Mr. J’s mother to a brunch out in the foothills.  (They spent almost the whole time commenting that I wasn’t “getting my money’s worth” but what can I say, I have a messed up digestive system, and it didn’t want to eat anything other than waffles, French toast, and fruit.) 

I might not be a kid anymore, but the thought of spending the night in a teepee, a fairly authentic one at that, is very exciting.  I think we may have to head back out to the lodge one weekend to hang out here.  Telling stories, singing, watching the fire, so much fun.  These teepees were set up right next to the Nakota Lodge, which doesn’t give one a very “wild” experience, but it could be good if you have small kids with you.  If anything happens you can run back into the hotel.  You know, in case of grizzly bears, ghosts, or wild elk stampedes.

I’m trying to get a few projects done so that I can start on some new fun things!

1) Druid Mittens

I had been meaning to make these mittens for a year or two, actually since Fall 2008 when they were on the cover of Vogue.  It was that year that I bought the yarn recommended at Make 1 here in Calgary at their winter sale.  They are a lot of fun to knit, and I’m currently above the thumb gusset on mitt #2, about half way up the chart.  I hope to have these done this weekend so that I can move onto exciting lace!

2) Sock Project – Child’s socks

I have the first one done, and am on the leg of the second.  The first one turned out really well, I can see myself pulling these out to wear all the time, even if they are a bit boring to make.  The Trekking XXL in navy with a bit of flecks of colour is such a good workhorse these will get a lot of use.  And when I’m done with these, I get to start new and exciting socks!

3) Flower Child

This sweater is coming along slowly, as it is made up of ten pieces.  I’m done the third piece now, and working on the fourth.  It will get more exciting when I’m done the fifth piece, and start on the front of the sweater with the pretty flower design.  Until then, any photos would just be so boring!!!

All for now!

Goings On

June 1, 2010

So many things have been goings on, and its such a pleasure to sit at my new laptop at home, and write about them to you.  After my two weeks off, when life seems to slow down a tad, it has now sped up to regular speed again, and days are whizzing by.  I was so excited however this weekend to visit the local hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with the ladies from the local chapter of Western Canada Oddball Blanket Society.  I can’t remember if I’ve worked on 2 or 3 of the blankets for the group now, I rather think it is 3.  It was so fun to finally meet some of the ladies, and put faces to names. 

Even better, there were another 9 blankets ready to be delivered!  I thought that this little get-together was a wonderful idea on the part of the NICU.  They are trying to reach out to people who are making charitable donations, in order to let them know it is appreciated.  When the charity liaison started talking about seeing the little girl who received the Flutterby blanket (one I had worked on) sit and trace all the butterflies with her little finger, well my heart just about melted on the floor in a pile of bodily fluids.  We were then given cookies (cookies!) and taken on a tour of the NICU.  A lot of the cute little babies were fast asleep in their plastic pods, but one wee little bit of a 24 week old baby was awake and waving around his/her little arms and legs.  There went another bodily organ in to a pile of mush.  I have never seen a human being that teeny tiny before, and yet with such perfect little hands and feet.  At another station a father was holding his baby for the first time, and getting his proud photo taken.  And I have to tell you, and two people specifically, Butternut looked awesome in person!  A little tiny baby is going to be so lucky to get that blanket.

In other goings on I’m now in my third week of work, which apparently means its okay to photocopy knitting patterns at work.  I picked a good day for it, I was the only one there until 9 am!  I’m sticking with my leaving the house routine at 7 am, which puts me into the office just after 7:30 am.  We got our big bid in on time on Monday, and I think now we’re taking a bit of  a breather before the next two are worked on.

But I have to tell you something a bit gross.  We have two bathrooms, one clearly marked “Mens” and the other just a black bar, so Unisex I guess.  And friends, we most definitely have a floor peer at work.  Toilet seat is up, floor is covered in “fluid”.  It means that us ladies need to hoist our pant legs off the floor, and tread carefully in that place, and we all most likely have urine on our shoes.  There are two women there now (including me) I figure if they hire one more I’m starting a “Women’s” bathroom campaign.  Other than that, things are good.