Sunday, May 31, 2009


Yesterday the Boy needed to deliver some equipment to a customer in Lake Louise so the Dog and I went along for the ride. I don't get out to the mountains often enough! It's been years since I was in Lake Louise and I don't think I've ever been there in the Spring or Summer.


It was alternately sunny and cloudy with a pretty steady strong wind. There was a lot of ice on the lake still, and the shoreline had big chunks of crystal looking ice. The tourists were all so charmed by the sound the ice made on the rocks, which we found kind of funny. I tried to get in a group picture but it was taking them SO LONG to set up that we just kept going.


I never cease to be amazed by the color of the lake.


Or the view.


The Dog was dying to go in the water. He's a black Lab and water is his Favorite. Thing. Ever!!! (if you don't count STICKS!! or ROCKS!! or WHAT'S THAT OVER THERE???!!!)


Eventually the Boy gave in and let the Dog go swim. He swam like he was training for the Olympics, chugging away until he ran into ice. I can't imagine how cold that water must have been. Passersby were amused or shocked or probably slightly horrified.


The Dog would finally get out, shake off, run ahead a bit and dive right back in.


Seriously, the color of the water is astounding. If it weren't for the ice in the top of this picture, wouldn't you think it was in the Caribbean or something?


We went as far as the beach at the end, where the Dog entertained one and all with his swimming and his stick slaughtering.



I really need to be a tourist in my own area more often. It really is amazing.


When we were back at the truck and were getting ready to leave a rental car burned into the lot and parked. A young guy in sunglasses, cap on crooked, saggy butt jeans and a hoodie got out and made a big show of stretching and sighing as though to indicate what an ordeal he'd been through. He was a ways away from us but we were the only people in the parking lot so I told the Boy that I was just waiting for him to decide he needed to tell us something. He had that look.

Sure enough, he started towards us. We tried not to laugh as he came over and asked if we were from around there. We said yeah, sort of. So he asked, "Is there a lake somewhere around here?" I bit back my "Um, yes, LAKE Louise? Did you see the signs on your way to the LAKE louise parking area?" The Boy said "Yes" and pointed through the trees. "It's about 200 yards that way."

Our visitor said "Oh thanks. I thought it must be but the last people I asked said it was a long ways away." He started to turn away and then turned back to tell us his tale. Again I bit back my sarcasm as he told us "I'm from Toronto. I was supposed to come out here next month with my girlfriend but we had a pretty serious fight so I hopped in my car (indicating the rental) and drove out here. That was a really long drive."

I couldn't help myself. "You drove across the country just to see Lake Louise?" It didn't seem to faze him and he continued "Well, this was really the only thing I really wanted to see."

He gave us a couple more minutes of his sob story and then wandered off to see the Lake.

After he left we started laughing. The Boy indicated his car and said "Well, ya know, those Chev Cobalts have excellent gas mileage." We kept laughing. I said "But when did Budget Rent-A-Car in Toronto start handing out Alberta license plates?" More laughter.

The whole way back to Calgary we kept randomly saying "I had a really big fight with my girlfriend so I hopped in my car and drove out here." and then dissolving into laughter. I think the next time I'm a tourist (in my own backyard or elsewhere) I'll find random people and over-share some really personal sob-story with them. Should be fun!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Round Yoke Cardigan

I completed this a while ago but just didn't get it posted.. That seems to be a theeme lately.

Round Yoke Cardigan

Pattern: "Jacket with Raglan Sleeve and Pattern on Yoke" from Drops Design/Garnstudio
Yarn: Lionbrand Cotton-Ease in Charcoal (although, i worked with it for about 3 weeks thinking it was navy before I read the label and realized it was Charcoal... It's navy to me)
Mods: I completed the cardigan but didn’t like how wide the neck was so I ripped back about 15 rows and changed the decreases so that I ended up with about 20 stitches less before doing the neck and binding off. I finished the button holes with a round of blanket stitch as they were stretching out too much to be practical.

I LOVE this cardigan. I wish I could wear it every day. It's cozy and the fit is perfect.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I keep forgetting to post this! I love this top. I think this is my favorite knit item ever. The love is a combination of the yarn and the pattern. It's lightweight, it fits, it's just right. It took me 2 weeks, start to finish. Somehow I managed to remain focussed with this project and didn't work on much else while I was knitting it. I don't think I've ever completed a garment on US 4 needles before, so this was quite a victory for me.


Pattern: Buttercup by Heidi Kirrmaier (Ravelry link only. Sorry for any non-ravelers.)
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy. I bought the yarn before I saw the pattern. I can count on one hand the number of times I've knit something in the yarn called for in a pattern, and this one was a success.
Mods: The neck as written was a lot more open and square. It looked lovely and really suited the shape of the finished garment.

buttercup original neck
(original neckline as written. pre-blocking)
The neckline was lower and wider than I generally find comfortable and would have been awkward with a tank or camisole underneath. In this picture I'm trying to hold still so it doesn't slide down. I think the fault here was with my gauge on the top (back and forth) section of the top. I should have done the join (lace section) sooner and continued from there.

No matter. After I completed and tried it on I decided to undo my bind off and do some short rows to make the neck slightly more U shaped and to raise the neckline a bit. I put the stitches back on the needle and marked the spot where the shoulder was on each side and where the corner of the neckline would be (where the vertical met the lace). I knit on the front stitches only (i.e. not the shoulder or back of the neck) and worked short rows down the front, working across the front neck each time:

Row 1: Knit to marked stitch (shoulder), wrap & turn.
Row 2: *Knit to marked corner stitch, work double decrease (in this case it was slip 2 as if to knit, knit one, pass slipped stitches over)* 2x (both corners), knit to marked shoulder stitch, wrap & turn.
Row 3: Knit to 6 stitches before previous wrapped stitch, wrap & turn.
Row 4: repeat corner decreases as row 2, knit to 6 stitches before previous wrapped stitch, wrap & turn.

I did about 5 or 6 wrapped stitches on each side, then knit one round plain, picking up wrapped stitches as I went. Then bound off all stitches, blocked and wore with pride.

buttercup neck

I'm a little worried about the neck stretching out with wear and drooping. I am thinking about sewing in some grosgrain ribbon or twill tape along the inside of the shoulder and back neck line. I think this would help. Has anyone ever tried this? Is it feasible?

This week I suddenly got the finishing bug and I have another FO to show you! I'll post tomorrow... oooh the suspense.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A riveting post about plants with a surprise ending!

We had really nice warm weather the last 2 days. I picked up some bedding plants for my non-garden garden. I love having lettuce and tomatoes and herbs and a few flowers too.


I spent time today outside with my knitting, enjoying the plants

and my beautiful view:
The View

I have tomatoes and peppers in pots. I planted lettuce and onions in a planter that is attached to the building.
Tomatoes & peppers

The biggest tomato plant already has a tomato starting on it.
Tomatoes & peppers

Ahhh... spring. Warm Sunday afternoon to sit outside. We have a long weekend this weekend, so I have a whole extra day to enjoy my little non-garden. Until... (cue foreboding music)

Frost warning

Wait... Are you KIDDING ME??? (That's 12 celsius btw which isn't that cool, but it's getting colder fast)


Snow. On May 18th. Snow. So call me paranoid if you will, but...
I brought my portable garden inside for the night. It would be just my luck to lose everything the night after I planted it all... My sister-in-law is driving from Okotoks (just south of Calgary) to Houston, TX this weekend (with her 3 toddlers... brave, brave woman) to meet up with my brother. He accepted a new position with his company down there and so they're moving. (I'm really really sad about that but i will studiously ignore it right now for fear of turning maudlin.... hey look! something shiny!!). I'm pretty sure this forecast would make them laugh hysterically right now.

If you made it this far, congratulations! There is no prize, I just think it's nice to be congratulated from time to time. Tomorrow I should have pictures of an actual, real, live finished knit! Imagine that! AND, maybe, some in progress pics as well. It's just so exciting. :D

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rabbit Go to Sleep

My coworker Wen-shu took this video of her daughter putting the bunny, er, pardon me RABBIT (she's particular about the name) to sleep.

(embedded with permission)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Baby Binky Bunny

Baby Binky Bunny

This little cutie is a birthday gift for my coworker's daughter.

Baby Binky Bunny Bum

The pattern is by the talented Larissa from her Etsy shop, mmmcrafts. The pattern is really well designed and easy to follow. It was so much fun making this little bunny and binky.

Baby Binky Bunny - sleepy

All materials were from stash: cottons for the bunny & blankie, acrylic yarn for the tail, polyfill stuffing. I'm really happy with how the bunny turned out. I'm even happy with the embroidery for the face! I've never really done any embroidery before. It took a couple of tries to get it right but I think it turned out well.

Baby Binky Bunny

Shh... baby's sleeping.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Quick Question

My girly-girl niece turns 10 this coming week. I've been trying to think of something I could make her, but handmade gifts aren't always the most well received with 10 year olds so I asked her mom what she would like. Her mom, my sister-in-law, mulled it over and told me that the thing my niece would like the most would be a dress. (or dresses).

I said, all excited-the way I get... you probably do this too when you can sense an opportunity to make something for someone who would actually like something you made, "maybe I could make her a sundress or two?"

My sister-in-law then said the words that brought joy to my heart: "Oh that would be great! And maybe a matching bag!"


So fellow crafters, aunties, moms... I need suggestions for a simple (or not) sundress pattern for a 10 year old girlie girl (that I can make without having a fitting with the recipient...). For a fall-back, if I can't find anything else, I was thinking of a simple sundress with the elastic gathers for the bodice, but I would be very open to any suggestions.

I have some girlie-girl fabrics that I had purchased last spring (or the one before, I can't remember) with the intention of making dresses for my nieces. I went a tad overboard with the purchasing and I have a lot leftover. I have a few of my mom's sewing patterns here for dresses she made me and my sister when we were small. I'll have a look through those too. I wish I had all of them here...

I'm quite excited! I hope this works out... :D

Friday, May 01, 2009

I just flu in and boy are my arms... I can't even finish that

Crochet Hexagon

I'm on day 3 home from work with the flu. Not the dreaded potential pandemic flu, just a regular flu. Except now I think it's turning into a sinus infection. Or ear infection. Or maybe my head is currently upside down in a bucket of water and I am not fully aware of that fact.

Either way, I feel lousy. I'm dizzy, my head is stuffed up and feels like it will explode soon and my ears feel like they are full of water. I'm a joy to be around currently.

I started making these little hexagons last Saturday after I cleaned up my living room and came across a stash of acrylic yarn scraps that I had been hoping would assemble themselves into an afghan. Time and pressure of the weight of the mountain of crap in my living room didn't seem to be doing anything to produce said afghan so I put the bag aside thinking I would hide it somewhere else. As I moved it I started imagining a 2 color "granny"-esque crocheted hexagon. I tried it out and liked it.

Now I can't stop.

Crochet Hexagons in waiting

I have about 55 completed hexagons and a pile of centers waiting to go. I've been really hung up with my knitting projects and can't seem to finish anything, so these are a very satisfying diversion. I can finish one in about 5 minutes so it feels like I'm accomplishing something. And I can put them down whenever I need to sleep.

So for today, I'm holed up in bed with my laptop and my crochet, trying to convince myself to go to the walk-in clinic and wait for 3 hours to see a doctor who will probably tell me that it's nothing and to get some rest. That should be fun.