Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Partial Radio Silence

Hi y'all how have you been doing? Me, well I'm still a bit stressed but that is a normal state of affairs for me when things are due or things are up in the air. Both are the case right now so I'm not hugely surprised. I've had a paper to write that I feel is a big deal (proposing to my committee what I intend to do for my thesis) but some say it is just a formality... I'm off to a super big conference on Thursday afternoon until the following Friday (from the first to the ninth) and that is the reason for the partial radio silence. I don't know how much commenting/posting I will be doing or how much time I will spend with the wonder that is Ravelry. I know I don't post all that frequently but I do comment so I thought I'd give everyone a heads up. Oh and by big, I mean that the San Diego Conference Center website says that the event is for 32,000 people! I'm a bit nervous about being around so many people and breathing science for so many days without much respite. I'm going to the Society for Neuroscience (SFN) annual conference but I'm not presenting (if I was then I'd really be a nervous wreck right now). I'm also attending a short course on the Friday that relates to my thesis. But I suppose I won't be at the conference every day - I will need time to just unwind. After I get back I meet with a potential PhD supervisor on the Monday (the 12th) and have my proposal seminar on the Thursday (15th). That means that I have to prep my presentation while I am away. I think this may be the root of most of my anxiety... I just don't know how much time I will have for myself.

But in the mean time I present you with a Scheherazade gauge swatch:

And the Scarf for Ally which is the Christmas gift for my step-mother-in-law. A similar scarf will be made for my mother-in-law (in progress) and I will make Branching Out (from knitty) for my maternal-grandmother-in-law (aka: Cory's mother's mother)

In the wash, it looked so cool - like algae...

The scarf:

And a close up:

I reduced the size of these but I think they should be still sufficient resolution for the web.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Vogue Knitting Holiday 2007

I bought the vogue knitting holiday edition for one pattern. I liked the lace shawl but with the lack of contrast with the outfit on the model I don't know how much I like it. I'm going to consider it a mystery project much like the mystery shawl I did this summer. But honestly, knitting from a written pattern shouldn't be a mystery project. I couldn't even get an idea of the pattern because the charts are available online. I also liked the Alice Starmore pattern... I'm not too sure how flattering fair isle is though.

I have a subscription to Interweave Knits and I will likely renew that one when the time comes - it is just such an awesome publication. I've heard good things about Rowan too but because it is so expensive with just 2 issues I have held off subscribing. What magazines do y'all get regularly or subscribe to?

Friday, 19 October 2007

Biting the Bullet

On the off chance that someone from my department reads this blog (unlikely) I had to stay quiet about something until after the 15th of October. Now that it is past, I can tell y'all something that has been weighing on my mind for awhile. I don't often write about my work because it generates a lot of strong feelings in a significant portion of the population. I do animal research and I dislike my work a lot. There, it is out. And now for the bigger news, after my master's thesis I will be transferring inot another lab here at the University of Calgary and will not be doing animal research. I will be transferring into the Cognition area of psychology as this is what I did in my undergraduate thesis and I really loved it. This has been a difficult decision to come to because I feel like I am abandoning or deserting my supervisor/lab mates etc. I'm not actually doing so but I feel like a part of me is giving up and I'm not one to quit things easily. But the fact of the matter is that I am still having serious issues with euthanizing the mice and it is getting worse. I totally see the place for this type of research, and I support it, but I just can't be the one to do it. I've talked to my supervisor and he is totally cool with my switching because I will finish my current work (how I could not I don't know - it would wreck my career and I've put so much effort and time into it that I want to finish). Richard is understanding and says he will promote me as a good student to whomever I apply to work with. That is the new area that I am nervous about, convincing a new supervisor to take me on as a student. Luckily things are in my favor but still it is like a job interview of sorts. I just wrote an email to my current top choice supervisor requesting a meeting. I'll let you know how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed for me though ok?

In other news, I am off of coffee (double espresso in the morning) for the most part and onto strong tea. Somehow it wakes me up more - maybe more caffeine? I don't know.

Knitting-wise I have started a new lace shawl - Schezerade by Melanie Gibbons. I was going to make lace shawls for my mom, Cory's mom, and Cory's step-mom but I've changed my mind. I'm not saying what my mom is going to get (you were going to get a lace shawl silly, of course I wouldn't make you feel like chopped liver!) but his mom and step-mom are getting lace scarfs (like the Scarf for Ally by Julie over at the Samurai Knitter) and dish cloths. The change came about because Cory's maternal grandmother has crocheted a Christmas stocking for me just like the one she made Cory and his brothers when they were little. So I'm going to make her a big lace shawl as a thank you for her thoughtful gift. I am really touched by her thoughtfulness and thus will be making her something that shows my thoughtfullness at its best: the most complicated type of knitting that I can do at the moment. I want to send it to her for Christmas. Thus, if I hadn't changed my Christmas presents plan I would need to knit 2 more large lace stoles/shawls by Christmas and that might not be possible... Especially because work is busy.

Okay, well I got some knitting in there. One day I will post about naturopathic medicine I think.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Strikke on Strike Out

Well, I got a notice from Amazon.com a few days ago that they are going to be delayed in delivering me my Norsk Strikkedesign book until sometime in March! So while I will keep an eye open for a different vendor, I am going to have to change my participation button and change my goal for the Strikke-along. I will find some colour work project to do but will not be able to do a project from the book. Boo.

ETA: and now Blogger is being a whiny child and not letting me upload the new button. Hopefully I will remember to change it sometime in the near future.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Earliest memories

I've been thinking about posting my earliest memory here, especially because it relates to knitting. My earliest memory is of a white sweater, I think it was a cardigan, that had a rainbow of bobbles (or as my mom likes to call them: pimples). My mom (hi mom!) has confirmed the existence of this sweater and says that I was about 3 years old. But as far as I know, there are no photographs of this sweater and I've never seen it so I feel it is safe to say that it is my memory.

As a child my mom made a lot of my clothing (and by the time that I came along she was good at making clothes, I hear my siblings were not so fortunate - ha ha). And from photos I remember some sweaters. There was a light blue sweater with an orange stegosaurus (dinosaur was fabric I think) in grade 1 for when we were studying dinosaurs in class. There was a sweater with a hot air balloon appliqued on, and a knitted basket. In the basket there were two knitted dolls. There were a lot of aran sweaters. If I find photos of the sweaters I will post them when I get home.

Of course, even now there are some sweaters in my closet that she has made.

And on a different topic: what do you use to remove the pills on sweaters (and where can I find it)?

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Local (to Canada) Links

So Julie has mentioned several times the places local to her that hold some significance to her (or are just really cool). I've been meaning to write a post with some of mine, and here is my list of local links that I think people would be interested in if they went to the appropriate towns/cities.

Calgary: where I live now

The most obvious is the University of Calgary . This is where I work and one of the places my life centers around. I've been attending the UofC for just over a year now as a graduate student and will likely be there for at least another 4 years.

Another obvious event in Calgary is the Calgary Stampede . This is a pretty big deal in Calgary, and in Canada period.

And a favorite restaurant, abeit expensive the River Cafe . I love this restaurant although being a student I wouldn't have even thought of trying it for a few years if my brother-in-law Jesse didn't work there for awhile. Now he has moved on to another city, but we are hooked. It is the anniversary dinner location of choice.

Seeing as this is a knitting blog, no list would be complete without my favorite local yarn store, Make 1 Yarn Studio . I have never met with friendlier people. The atmosphere is top notch and the yarns are well displayed.

Kelowna: where I used to live

I spent 5 years at the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus . For 4 of those years the school was Okanagan University College, but in 2005 UBC amalgamated/took over... whatever... the campus that I was attending. I think that it was a good thing that this happened. The school is expanding exponentially, the classes are getting bigger (boo) but there is so much more selection (yea) that it is likely worth it. The research coming out of this university, for those of you interested, is something to watch for. The college had been attracting high quality professors because of the location: Kelowna. There is a lake in the summer, warm weather, fruit and vineyards, and in the winter a ski hill.

During the course of our wedding we came in contact with a few awesome businesses that I want to mention.

First of all is Picture This Photography . It is a husband and wife team that is just starting out. They are very good and don't charge an arm and a leg. We are so pleased with the photos that we would hire them again if the occassion came up.

Second is Summerhill Pyramid Winery . This is where we had our reception, the food was wonderful, the service great and the view spectacular. This is but one of several wonderful, world class winery's in Kelowna and the surrounding area.

Canada: locations I enjoy visiting (and one that the husband adores)

I remember going to the dinosaur museum, The Royal Tyrrell Museum as a kid and being amazed. They are located in the badlands of Alberta. This is an area of Canada in which dinosaur bones have been discovered. We went back this summer for nostalgia (Cory visited the museum as a kid too) and I was really impressed with the interactive displays.

Also high on the interactive kid display quotient is The Canadian Museum of Civilization . I didn't go there as a kid but accompanied my neices and nephews at least once, possibly more times. It is located in Hull Quebec. They have a whole area where kids can explore different cultures through different houses (I think) and there are activities at all of the different "countries". The kids can also get a "passport" which they can have stamped as they visit the different countries.

And the final location on my list is Red Mountain Resort . This is a ski hill in Rossland British Columbia which is where the husband grew up. He spent many days on this hill and feels that it is the best ski hill in Canada. It is a very small town, quaint. I really like the town, I've never been on the mountain.