Stationary Drifting


Welcome to Calgary

view from the Bow Falls in Banff

view from the Bow Falls in Banff

Okay not exactly welcome welcome since we leave tomorrow but this is the first chance I’ve had to blog since my computer was fixed and since I arrived here almost a week ago so it will have to do.

Mom & Me

Mom & Me

M and I arrived late on xmas eve to the town I spent my pre-teen to teenagehood. My mom still lives here in the house I grew up in with my step-dad. Calgary is the first stop of our 2 week, 2 city, 2 sets of parents tour that M and I are doing to cap off a solid year of living together. Its an intensive of where I’m from but its nice to finally get the chance to show off my roots and spend some more relaxed time with the family. It helps that no one is getting married this time.

Mom's tree

Mom’s tree

Christmas was quiet as usual. We mostly stayed inside, fed ourselves a lot of sugar and read books or talked technology and music. We took a night trip out to Banff for M’s birthday which was beautiful. Its always so fun to travel with Mars and this time was no exception. Especially because it was their first time in the Rockies. The Rockies are breathtaking for me and I’ve seen them many times, it was incredible to see them through M’s eyes and definitely a lot of fun. I’ll post a few pictures at the end of this post. We got a really sweet upgrade to a loft suite with a king sized bed and a fireplace. We didn’t ever want to leave!

Starting a fire in our sweet suite

Starting a fire in our sweet suite

I spent some quality time learning some new things while I was here. Stuff that I will share in later posts (I have a million posts planned right now, I can tell its winter and I’m getting back into writing mode). Also, handmade holidays worked out pretty well, everyone seems to love what they got so far. Recipes and photos will be going up very soon.

Hope everyone else had nice holidays and are excited to start a new year. 2013 man, where did the time go?

 

Driving into the Rockies

Driving into the Rockies

Mars from the loft

Mars from the loft

M's 'gangsta deer' really didn't care that we were that close

M’s ‘gangsta deer’ really didn’t care that we were that close

mountain view

M and the Banff Springs Hotel

M and the Banff Springs Hotel

more mountains

M's new buddy

M’s new buddy

winter can't stop me

winter can’t stop me


Knitting: Lace Shawl

Lace attempt #2!

I used the Haruni Shawl Pattern off Ravelry. I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine wool in an off white colour (as you can see below), which I think is a fingering weight. I’m bad and wool weights…

close of the final shawl

The first was for Corrie, a much belated birthday present this fall, I really loved knitting her’s so I decided to give it another go and make one from my mom for xmas. That didn’t really work out because my brother went and got married by surprise. I didn’t have the time to knit it that I was planning over the holidays. So I gave my mom the wool and pattern in a box and promised to knit it for her this winter. Which is what I did. It was ready to send to her for her birthday. Two birds, one stone.

I loved knitting it, it was so complicated and therefore kept my interest. Occasionally I was annoyed that I had to pay such close attention to the pattern and couldn’t just relax into the rhythm of knitting. As it got bigger though and I got used to the pattern that part got easier. As far as I’m aware I only made one mistake (mistakes are super visible in lace I learned), it wasn’t that bad and is hard to find in the pattern anyway (thankfully). I would say this pattern is easy as long as you have experience knitting and know how to knit stitches together, etc. I’m really happy with it, I was almost sad to send it away!

knitting away at it one night

It knit up surprisingly fast for such small needles and wool. I didn’t work at it constantly but I would say it was done in under a month. I highly suggest using a row counter, I would have been totally lost if I hadn’t.

shawl leaf pattern pre blocking

 

 

shawl leaf pattern pre blocking

It was pretty small before I blocked it. I would have been worried if I hadn’t tried this before. Luckily the beauty of lace is that it is supposed to be stretched way out so its possible to see the gaps and therefore look more like lace.

pre blocked whole shawl

Generally I block on my couch. The back is big enough to stretch a shawl out on, its made of a nylon material so it doesn’t absorb a lot of moisture, and my house is small so I’m using a relatively small amount of space. I also haven’t knitted enough lace in my life to justify investing in fancier blocking equipment. I just wet down the wool, squeeze (not wring) it out, and stretch it along the back of the couch using regular knitting pins to hold it. It can be time consuming because I have to put a lot of pins in to hold it but I just put on a podcast and go to work. I like walking by it as it dries and admiring the pattern.

I generally block on my couch. Apologies for the fuzzy photo, its dark in my living room

The shawl blocked out pretty big. It goes from my shoulders to almost my butt at the bottom point. I think it will be perfect for my mom for spring to wear with her spring/summer dresses. It gets cool in Calgary at night, even in the summer, so its always nice to have something to wrap around you.

the shawl from my shoulders to butt. I think it looks awesome with my leather jacket by the way. Also why does the bottom of my hair and neck look so weird in this picture?