Fernie hat in progressSince my last WIP report, I have managed to make good progress on that pile of projects.  I have also managed to cast on 2 new things!  For good reasons of course.  My blue sweater is done except for the sewing (this weekend promise) and one sock is complete, the next one on the needles already.  The hat at left is my Alberta project for the Canada KAL, and I need to get it done this month, hence the casting on!  This is a double Alberta dip, yarn from Spring Harvest Farm, from mohair goats.  This is an all time favorite yarn of mine, so soft and warm.  I had thought this blue was flat, but once I wound it into a ball and knit with it, it has turned out to be the most beautiful sapphire blue.  The pattern is the Fernie Hat from Cowtown Knits, a Calgary designer.  She has some nice mitts using this pattern that I can’t wait until they are released.  My other project that I cast on was a Carly sweater, as I needed something that was just plain stocking stitch to keep me busy when my brain is numb with tiredness.

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WIP for Nov 2014I have a large number of WIP, four of which are pictured in this photo.  There is another one in the basement, but we will pretend that one isn’t there for now.  One sweater, one shawl, one pair of socks, and slippers.  I really, really, want to cast on something new, but instead I am working through these WIP’s.  I may cast on something new soon as I will need a simple project to work on, but I am promising myself that I will keep working on these as my main projects.  I am so extremely good.

Finished nutbrown hareThe Nutbrown Hare pattern is originally done in a brown yarn, which is very cute, as brown and babies is a good combination.  I didn’t have any brown yarn, but I did have green, and green is also a good colour for new little babies.

Now Mr. J and I do not like the Nutbrown Hare book, even though we read it very regularly.  It is essentially a big rabbit, whose relationship to the younger rabbit is undefined, one-upping the young rabbit.  No matter what the young rabbit says, the big rabbit always has to say something better and have the last word.  What a bully, and generally unpleasant authority figure.  The poor little rabbit is sure to grow up lacking confidence, and frustrated.  Of course for those of you who have also read Watership Down, the fact that rabbits are unpleasant should come as no surprise.  Here in Calgary we are overrun with large hares, which are currently half brown half white. Mr. J and I are terrified of those bloodthirsty cute little things.

Musings on Work Conditions

November 7, 2014

Last night I read the “Red Sky” document created by the workers at the famous Canadian radio show that is embroiled in a scandal involving their host at the moment.  Reading over their complaints, I was shocked to realize that it sounded like almost every place I have ever worked at.  It is a new generations cry of disaffection at working in an old style work place.

Today I am remembering fondly my job in Salt Lake City, where my boss delayed my raise by months, and punished me extensively for reporting all the problems we experienced in the field.  He said I was “making” work by pointing out problems, as now someone had to go and fix them.  A co-worker sent me a kind e-mail telling me not to argue with the boss, as you know, the boss is always right.  This is of course the product that they do not make anymore due to too many problems which went unfixed over and over and over and over.  Sigh, if only someone had told them about the problems the first time they happened!

As for work/life balance, that is an extremely common problem when working for old style establishments.  The atmosphere when you work for workaholics is that you should never miss a day, never be sick, come in early and stay late.  Do whatever it takes to get the job done, work outside your job description regularly complete the task, and travel whenever and wherever they need you instantly.  If you do not do this, or refuse, you are always judged and found wanting.

Here is the silver lining: I just called this an old style establishment.  And yeah, I still work for one of these, but they are changing, as they HAVE to change.  They have to change because no one is standing for this type of work place anymore.  Once people have a choice of where to work, they leave and find some place they do feel comfortable.  Plus the people most used to working in and are imposing this type of atmosphere are retiring.

I am the generation in between the two.  I have had to deal with the old style, and I am embracing the new style.  I am pushing out the old style as fast as I can.  Wish me luck that I can do it soon.

Ontario in the Summertime

November 2, 2014

Opas barnOur “vacation” to Ontario was a few months ago now, and I still haven’t shown any photos from it.  This was our every two years, visit all the relatives trip which is filled with stress, travel, rain, cold, and a few small blips of fun.  I really enjoyed seeing my friends, and Aunties.  Our weekend in the countryside was unfortunately rainy and cold.  A small girl did not get the promised tractor ride, but she did get to meet a doggy

and bird.  We had to go into a store to buy me warmer clothes, and she got a now favorite pink unicorn, so it wasn’t all bad.  The rain made Opa’s barn look very pretty indeed.  While Mr. J and Fia were visiting Oma in Toronto I got down to the Beach to visit my Auntie, which was great except for the traffic.  The second day was very special, I had a lot planned.  I started out by visiting the Ontario Art Gallery, which I have not been to since it was renovated.  Very worth the visit with sinuous wood architecture, and excellent examples of my favorite Group of Seven and Emily Carr paintings.  I relaxed sitting alone in the gallery staring at the landscapes.  Then onto lunch with a friend I have not seen since Grade Seven. We last saw each other before our lives had really started, and there we were, within squinting distance of middle age.  Too much life for one little lunch, but it was a start.  And what a lunch, the best bento box I’ve ever had.  I LOVED it.  I think my favorite lunches are now many small things to taste, but not so much of anything that your tummy hurts.

OceanaThen I saw off to the best yarn store I know of: Romni Wools.  I have been going here since I was a teenager and it never disappoints.  I delightfully looked through the warren of bargain basements, and the floor to ceiling shelves up top.  It is now run by the son of the original owner, who is very, very charming.  I spent a long, long time trying to decide between colours of Mad Tosh.  Button jar blue or robins egg?  Suddenly Oceana won, and jumped into my hands to my surprise.

Sherbert STRThen it was off to Lettuce Knits for more fun.  I settled on a nice bright skein of STR in Sherbert.  Not sure what this will be, but anything baby would be perfect.

This filled up my suitcase, and used up my budget, and it was time to head back to my friend’s house.  This, my one free day, was well spent, relaxing, and memorable.  Toronto is a great city to eat in, we had some memorable meals, and coffee breaks.  That part, that part of the vacation was very good!