Monday, August 13, 2012

Present from the Wild West

Princess Knitsalot headed out west to Fort MacMurray at the end of her third year at UNB in April for eight months.  She landed herself an eight month co-op placement in the Alberta oilsands.  Nice! 
Earlier this summer, she had the opportunity to visit Calgary for a conference.  While she was there, she got to attend the Stampede, but probably even more interesting, she got to visit The Loop.  (Sorry, I can't seem to find a link for them.)
And she sent me a present!  Isn't it pretty???

Rocky Mountain Dyeworks, Jasper Sport, 100% Superwash Merino, 50 grams, 146 meters and the colour is called "Fire Rose".  Now - what to make...  I'm thinking fingerless gloves, but would love some suggestions.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

How I Spent My Day

I've been travelling more for work recently than I have in a while.  It is good in some ways, but bad in others.  On the bad side - paperwork tends to pile up on my desk...  And that is especially bad these days since I have been doing some additional "acting" work during the summer season.  While it is great experience, and I really do enjoy it, sometimes it can be a bit much.
This morning I had the best of intentions to go into the office and spend an hour or so tidying up a few things.  I needed to drop off  a vehicle anyways and was then going knitting. 
I got up.  I hung out laundry.  I put on a loaf of bread.  I got ready to go.  I drove into the city.  I filled the car with gas.  I parked the car.  I went to go upstairs to drop off the keys, only to remember that I had left my cell phone in the car.  Back down to the garage.  Back upstairs...
And this is where I completely and totally panicked:  I did not have my security passes (yes - I need two on the weekend) and my office keys!  I dumped out my purse.  I dumped out my tote bag.  I started to type an e-mail explaining what had happened to the person who was expecting to find the keys in the drop box on Monday - since I'm not going to be in the office Monday morning...
And suddenly, it occurred to me that I might have left said passes and keys in my jacket pocket from Thursday morning when I hit the road.  Cue a call home.  Younger Son answered the phone, and realizing that Mom was wound a little tightly, went and checked the jacket pockets for me.
Since Mr. Me had to come and get me later anyways, I arranged for him to bring the passes and keys with him...  So laptop over my shoulder and a stack of files in my arms, I headed to the yarn store.  I needed to go somewhere "safe".
Trish stashed my work stuff for me and I sat and knit until she closed.  It was a great way to spend a day - especially because there were lots of knitters, including some ladies from Boston who were on a cruise!  LYS...  Homing beacon...  Safe haven...  Love Yarns On York!
Not a great photo - but my "name tag" from today.  Funniest part: I forgot to take it off!  I wore it to the coffee shop afterwards...

Monday, July 23, 2012


Last year was the summer of the "Occupy" movement.  I'm still not sure how I feel about the whole movement, but I do find their slogan to be quite interesting - "We are the 99%."  It is probably most interesting in the North American context, since as a whole, we are, as North Americans, very fortunate, in my opinion.  Does that diminish the inequality?  Definitely not.  So - last summer I was thinking about the 1% of the world's population that owns 99% of the world's wealth.

Earlier this year, I was in the local gas station paying for some gas when the t-shirt of one of the other patrons caught my eye.  His t-shirt had a reference to a different 1%...  It was a reference to the Bacchus Motorcycle Club - a 1% club.  Not surprisingly, I can't find a link to the club...  This made me think about them again last week.

Now - here is my question:  do we think that these two apparently different 1 per cents are the same 1%?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Because Knitting Is Offensive...?

So did anyone miss the kerfuffle about the woman knitting at Wimbledon?  Who would how thought that something so simple, not to mention quiet, could cause such a fuss?!
Well - to be honest, I had a slight inkling as to the offensiveness of knitting.  The fact that I sometimes knitting during meetings was brought up at my annual performance review...  Now don't think that I knit through every meeting.  I may knit through internal team meetings, but rarely larger internal meetings, and definitely not during external meetings.  However, it now turns out that my knitting is SO OFFENSIVE that even knitting during meeting breaks where external people are present is no longer acceptable.  Pardon???  What surprises me is that it remains completely acceptable to have side conversations, to Blackberry, etc. during the meetings, and there is no way that anyone would EVER tell someone not to smoke during a meeting break.  Under the new world order, all of these things are more acceptable than my offensive knitting practices.  Who knew the power of knitting to disturb others?  Oh - the power...!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Does This Still Count?

On Sautrday I went and bought a flat of strawberries...
I washed and hulled them and put them into the blender...
After the addition of some sugar, some lemon juice and pectin, they magically turned into jam...
The small bottles on the right we used for "jam bombing" around the office, but the big ones, will help to sustain Younger Son through the long, cold, winter months.  Spoiled and fussy child (not really) only really like homemade jam...  10 quarts of strawberries turned into jam.  Here is hoping it meets his needs for the next year!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Me and the Prime Minister

Me and the Prime Minister of Canada at 24 Sussex Drive
What more can I say?  The official evidence that he did very graciously agree to have his photo taken with me, holding my knitting.  And that would be the toe of my Biscotte & Cie sheep sock.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Belated Happy WWKIP!

So I wasn't in Fredericton this year for my usual WWKIP activities.  I was in Ottawa this year.  Mr. Me is heavily politically involved and while I don't always agree with his politics, I do like some of the perks.  A weekend in Ottawa being one of those perks!I had hoped to be able to find a "knit in" in Ottawa, so that I could celebrate the day with other knitters, but even though I put a reasonable amount of effort into the task on Ravelry and searching the WWKIP database, I didn't have any luck.  However, I did still knit in public.  Although technically, I would have to say that the public portion of my Ottawa knitting adventure started the day before on Parliament Hill...
Just me and my yarn "on The Hill".
And then on WWKIP, my little friend Purl and I went knitting together at a Starbucks on Sparks Street in the morning.  You'll have to trust me about the location - I forgot to put the coffee cup in the picture.
Knitting with Purl at Starbucks
And then to end the public knitting in Ottawa on WWKIP, my knitting and I went to 24 Sussex Drive.  Yes - that really is me knitting in the sun room of the Prime Minister of Canada's official residence
Knitting in the sunroom at 24 Sussex Drive
What's that?  Did I get a picture of Mr. Harper holding my knitting?  Why - yes!  I did.  Here's the hitch - the official photographer took it, so I am still waiting to get a copy of it...  But I WILL be posting it as soon as I get it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Les Moutons

Anyone who knows me knows that I love sock yarn and I love a contest...  Hello - sheep!  Enter Biscotte & Cie...  My LYS has recently started to carry their yarn.  And waiting in the wings were the sheep.  Now I was going to knit the sheep anyways, but when I realized that there was a contest, they jumped to the top of my queue. 
My original intention was to make "Les Moutons dans les Champs en Rose" (The Sheep in the Pink Fields), but that didn't really work.  If you look at the swatch, there are actually 4 repeats of the sheep.  The first is with the sheep in Hallucination, with the field in the rosy colour.  The second is the reverse.  My reaction to both of them?  Meh...  Not enough contrast.  In the meantime, before the discovery of the loverly sheep pattern, I had picked up a skein of Lagon...  I thought that I would have some subtlely variegated blue socks.  But then the Lagon and the Hallucination started snuggling in my tote bag.  They seemed to like each other...  I thought that I would try the pattern with the blue rather than the rose.  It is official - "Les Moutons dans le Mer" (The Sheep in the Sea) have been born!  Ilike the blue sheep on the hallucinagenic fields, but I prefer the hallucinating sheep floating in the sea...
Comments?  And yes - I will be encouraging everyone to vote when the time comes.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mittens: Fun and Functional (aka Finished Objects That I Know I Haven't Posted)

Okay, so I'm being a little tech-stupid today, so I'm going to put all of the text at the end. 
The topic of the day is "Mittens:  Fun and Functional"...  From the top:  Older Son's "Talking Hands" mittens.  The pattern is "Recess for Grownups".  The middle:  Jocelyn's "Hearts Afire" mittens.  The pattern is "Freja".  And at the bottom, we have Emily's "Soaring High" mittens.  The pattern is "A Bird in the Hand Mittens #1".  They are all knit out of Briggs and Little Sport weight yarn - a very serviceable "local" yarn.

Up next:  "Socks:  Because No One Wants Cold Feet".

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Victoria Day!

Last minute preparations...

Today here in Canada is Victoria Day.  Today also marks the first day of the official visit of Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duschess of Cornwall, to Canada as part of the celebration of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee year.  Given Mr. Me's active involvement with politics, we managed to get an invitation to the event.  So in honor of the event, I will let the photos from the event tell their own story.  I might not always agree with his politics - but I must admit that I DO like some of the perks!

Where the Royals were going to sit...

The Royal arrival.
Inspecting the troops.
The Lieutenant Governor
The Duchess of Cornwall
The drum major.  Gotta love a man in a kilt!

The man who will someday be King.

And see?  I was really there, too - wearing a handknit beaded sweater...!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

It Isn't Knit and It Isn't Quite an "FO", But...

My new "second bathroom"!  The photo was taken at our carpenter's place, but since then it has been delivered and "installed".  It still needs to be stained on the outside and painted on the inside, and I need to make it some curtains, but isn't it CUTE???
Yes, I am strangely excited to be the proud owner of a new outhouse.  But we live in the country and we have lots of land...  And more importantly, we are on a well and septic.  That means that if the power goes out for an extended period of time, we don't have water, which means that you can't use the flush toilet.    During the aftermath of Hurrican Irene, when Mr. Me was without power for more than 48 hours, he determined that an outhouse would be a DEFINITE plus.  No - we didn't get much rain or anything here, but the winds and such did knock out the power for quite some time and basically created havoc.
Where were the boys and I during this adventure?  Well, we were returning from my parents 50th anniversary celebration in Ontario with Princess Knitsalot and had not so brilliantly, and quite unwittingly, driven straight into the disaster area that was Rutland County, Vermont...  But that is another story.
And big thanks and a shout out to Ariel, who has also shown me very kindly, that she is still out there and reading when I post.  Thanks ladies, you're GREAT!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fitting In

With everything going on around me these days, I've been thinking a lot about both how and where I "fit in".  Looking back, I first started blogging, in part, to find a "community" where I belonged - people with common interests.  And I must say, that is exactly what I found for the most part.  I was in the midst of doing language training, and I really felt like the "odd duck" in the class I was in.  I've never been sure why, but it wasn't an unfamiliar feeling either...  I'm sure that says something about me, but I'm not sure I want to think to much about what it says! 
When my blogging became more sporadic, it was in part because I was busy with new things - work, home, etc. - but it was also in part to some unkind comments that had been left.  They were, of course, anonymous.  I shouldn't have let it put me off, but I did.
Yesterday evening was my monthly "knit night".  It is just as diverse a group of people as the knitters I've met "electronically", but after attending most months for 8 years, I still love it just as much.  I think at heart, most knitters are kind and caring individuals.  I've also noted that more than a few have a somewhat bawdy sense of humour...  It doesn't matter how low I feel when I walk in the door, when I leave 2 hours later, I always feel lighter and happier somehow.  In that room, no matter how odd the outside world may find me (and it does), I feel accepted.  When I think about things, I've missed that sort of more frequent electronic "boost" that I got from blogging about knitting and reading about other people's knitting.
I'm not sure that I'm going to be able to get back to blogging the way I would like - those boys of mine keep me pretty busy these days - but I am going to try, and a BIG SHOUT to Kristyn for letting me know that there is someone out there still reading my occasional posts. 
Hmmm...  Now let's see if I can post some FOs some time soon(ish)!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Hello? Is This Thing Still On???

Has it really been 5 months since I blogged?!  My - how time flies!  Remember this post?  Well - the fun just continues...  While I am happy to report that I have survived a second round of cuts, many people I know in the civil service across the country have not been so lucky.  It makes me sad.  It scares me.  Have the cuts ended?  Somehow, I don't think so.
Given all the stress, I have been knitting LOTS.  Unfortunately, all of the photos of knitted goods are on my laptop.  I'll have to post some later.  I've been involved in a "Pay It Forward" chain this year and have sent out 3 of my "Pay It Forward" projects.  We were supposed to have 5 people downstream each, but I was only able to "recruit" 4...  One more to go - and when that last gift goes out, I will see if I can "recruit" a final recipient.  Unless someone out there wants to play, of course...  It has been lots of fun, and has given me a chance to focus on something a bit more positive than my current work environment.
So - if anyone is still out there - give me a sign of life...?