Thursday, August 19, 2010


First of all, let me say that I did wash and soak my owls sweater, which made a huge difference. It's still prickly and not what I would have chosen for next to the skin wear, but not unwearable.

Willow and Owls
The puppy likes it too.

The fit is, like I said, almost perfect. I would have liked a turtleneck but rejected the idea when I realized how itchy it was.

I think I've decided not to add owl eyes.
The boys would both like to have an owl sweater of their own, so it looks like I'll be knitting more of these which will be great.

This weekend marked our 12th anniversary so we headed out to Waterton National Park, which is in southern Alberta across the US border from Glacier National Park.

Our first stop was the Prince of Wales hotel:
Prince of Wales Hotel

Prince of Wales Hotel

It's a "vintage" place and Ian was delighted with it. He really wanted to ride the antiquated elevator, which requires an operator, but as we were not staying there he didn't get to try it.

Our hotel had a bunch of chalet-style buildings which looked more interesting from the outside than they were on the inside. Each room was named after an animal or bird. Guess what ours was? "Great Horned Owl", of course.

We headed out to explore and ended up on the beach. I spent time honing my rock-skipping skills, and told the boys not to go in the water.


I do wonder why I said that, as they then had a great time getting soaked.

Benny found some flowers to give me. Someone had picked them and thrown them in the water, and Benny "rescued" them.


I suppose someone picked them and then was told it's illegal to pick flowers in a National Park. I made sure Benny understood he couldn't get me any more.

The next morning we went to the Zum Cafe for breakfast.

Zum Cafe

Zum Cafe

Ian was pretty excited about all the license plates and desperately wanted one to take home. Hot chocolate was the only treat in the offing, though.

Zum Cafe

Zum Cafe, Waterton

We wandered down the main street and found some pretty things.

We spent some more time at the beach, and this time only one boy was really interested in getting wet.

Russians will swim in anything.

"It's just the same temperature as the Elbow River," he said. Yes, I know. It couldn't be much colder than a glacier-fed stream, otherwise it'd be frozen.

Ian built a little lake.

We had a good time and I only wish we could have stayed a little longer and done more.


Ian began school this week, but hopefully we'll get out somewhere for another weekend before winter locks in.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Hooting Good Time

For my birthday on the first, I thought I'd set aside any startitis guilt and cast on something simple and chunky to balance out all the lace. I thought I'd just start a sleeve as a gauge swatch, and a couple of hours later my ball of yarn was gone and I had a sleeve. This was such a novelty that I was entirely compelled to knit a second sleeve the next day. In fact it went so fast that this is the only picture of the work in progress that I have.

The dog is our newest family addition, and despite the fact she's only been around for a couple of months she know that chewing yarn or mouthing fiber means instant death. (Ok, it means she can't sit on my lap which for her seems to be just as bad.) So we cuddle in with knitting and she snuggles while I spin, even though silk turns out to be her favorite flavor. (shudder).

I have, however, discovered that the training is not yet complete:

(Why my Chia-Goo needles? Why not the cheap, splintery Wal-Mart ones?)

At any rate, my sweater was getting along so well I was sure there would be serious repercussions as the Universe was clearly out of balance. However, I washed the sleeve and blocked it, and it came out just right. The measurements and gauge came together like something out of a story book, and the chart gave me no grief. I added a few rows before the owls since some people had mentioned that they needed more armpit space, got through the owls, and decided to try it on to see if it was all coming together right.

It fit perfectly and I knew I didn't need to change a thing. Except, well. Except it itches.

This is a totally gorgeous sweater. I love it and it fits me perfectly. And I can hardly stand to have it on.

I'm going to try a Eucalan wash, and a hair conditioner wash, and any other wash anyone might think would help. But really, even if nothing helps, I'll be brave. I'll buy a long-sleeved undershirt and wear this sweater on the coldest, most miserable nights of winter, and hope that the Universe is satisfied by providing me with a lovely warm sweater that I can't wear and won't sabotage my next project...

I'm heading out to find some buttons for the owl eyes, and once those are on and the sweater doesn't make me want to rip off my own skin, I'll have some pictures of it on me. It's really stunning.