Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Plotting a Sewcation and Spazzing out in Camp


No, I'm not excited at all.  I love my job, but there's only so much of it I can do at one time, and 3 weeks straight (that's 252 work-hours, but who's counting) with no days off is definitely it.

To get me though these last few days, I've been plotting a sewcation!  And boy have I bought the patterns to prove it.

First item on the docket is to test sew Steph's latest inspired creation, the Sea Star Tunic.  I have no idea how this funky puzzle of a pattern will go together, but it sounds like a fun experiment!  While I know I should go with something practical, I'm sort of thinking that it'd be fun in some sort of sheer, like a pretty chiffon in some wild print.  Hmm, choices choices.

I've also downloaded the Rosy Ladyshorts, by Cloth Habit.  They're so pretty, and look like a fun and quick pattern.  I just hope I can find decent fabric in town. 

When I was down in Edmonton this summer, my buddy and I went fabric shopping (well, I went fabric shopping and she encouraged me to buy everything), where I finally tracked down some swimsuit fabric.  I have a bunch of it now (but no photo yet, sorry!), but no pattern to go with it.  WELL NO LONGER.  I've jumped on the Bombshell bandwagon, despite some misgivings about that straight line across the hip bit.  I like it on everyone who's made it though, and it's a lovely pattern, so I'm just going to trust in the pattern and go.

 I'm also considering this tankini pattern by Jalie Patterns for some of the fabric. I have some wild hot pink and black arrow fabric which would be a lot of fun as a top.  Or bottoms.  OR BOTH!  Ack I wanna show you the fabric!  Soon, my pretties, soon.

What else...oh!  I also bought the Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline Studio this time.  Mostly because I'm bloody cold in my office and it looks like a great sweater pattern.  I have a great, sturdy purple knit I've been hoarding, and this might be just the project!  Ooo, I also have an argyle-printed grey knit I've had for even longer...can you say colour-blocking?!

For some reason, I feel like I bought another sewing pattern sometime in the last three weeks, but maybe I'm thinking of the 3 or 4 knitting projects that have made their way into my hands...

(Why yes, there has been a lot of impulse shopping this rotation, why do you ask?  I'm just glad to have refrained from the yarn ordering bing I nearly did the other day...)

And none of this includes all of the patterns I already own want to sew up.  Like another version of Grainline's Archer.  And...I don't even remember, but there's a lot.


(I might be going a little camp crazy)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rock Post: Bornite

Bornite Samples
So as you can probably tell from my blog title, I like rocks.  I'd blame on the fact that I'm a geologist, but I've been smashing rocks to find shinies since I was 4 years old (and then going door-to-door to sell them), so really, becoming a geologist was inevitable. 

Just because I work as a geologist, doesn't mean I get immersed in the science of it very often (which is why I want to start sharing more on this blog - use it or you'll lose it, and all that).  My job is pretty routine, and basically boils down to identifying shiny rock (ore) from dull rock (waste), and following their trend to get the most shiny.  And drawing lots of maps, which sometimes involves colouring with pencil crayons.

Seriously, I have the best job ever.

Bornite Samples
Despite the routine, we occasionally find some really pretty specimens.  Like the bornite sample above!

Bornite is a copper sulphide mineral and one of the sources of copper metal in our mine (we mine zinc, silver, copper, lead, and a bit of gold).  For those curious about these things (I AM!  Haha I'm such a geochemistry geek), the chemical formula for bornite is Cu5FeS4, and the mineral generally contains 63% copper.  It's had a lot of different names over the years, most of which can be translated to some variation of "colourful copper ore", but was finally settled on as bornite in 1845 after Ignaz von Born (1742-1791), an Austrian mineralogist and invertebrate zoologist*.

Bornite Samples
Today, it's commonly called "peacock ore" because of the stunning colours that bloom across the surface as it oxidizes (aka tarnishes - like all of your Grandma's silver you were forced to clean as a child).  This mineral can oxidize very quickly - these samples oxidized in the 12 hours between the rock was blasted and my visit underground.  Granted, the was so much water pouring out of the surrounding rock that I'm surprised we didn't need a boat, so that probably helped a lot.  (Water, especially oxygen-rich water, can cause more rapid oxidation than just exposure to air.)

A less exciting (but still shiny!) version can be seen below.  Some of the darker blebs in the rock is quartz, a bit of sphalerite (our zinc-bearing mineral), and I suspect there's a bit of pyrrhotite in there somewhere as well.  I know there's a ton of pyrite (aka fool's gold) mixed in as well, but I have a tough time distinguishing them in this sample here.  Though if I dunked this sample in water for a week, the pyrite would turn rusty and the bornite colourful, which would identify them both - but then I'd be stuck with an ugly rusty rock with a bit of colours peeping out. 

Bornite Samples
We don't actually see much bornite at our mine, or at least, we don't often get a chance to identify it because it can resemble some of the other minerals we find underground, and we don't spend much time studying rocks in production mining.  That's for exploration projects.  Which is why we were so excited when one of our headings was chock full of it.  As you can see, it can be really pretty when oxidized!

 And just for shits and giggles, here's some of my phone doodles that I particularly liked.  One was drawn while drinking some horrendous coffee, and the others were just girly-ness while surrounded in boys.  I'm damn proud of that unicorn, myself!


* http://webmineral.com/data/Bornite.shtml#.VElwe7HIR18

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

She Lives!!!

Project Planning
Most of the yarn I panic-packed for camp knitting this rotation.  Each ball was a surprise as I unpacked them.
And by 'she' I mean me!

So I'm nearly two weeks through a three week rotation in camp.  After only one week off before hand.  Yes ladies and gentlemen, that means I'll have worked 5 full weeks out of the last 6!  BLECH.  And half of that with the camp plague, to boot.  This place is a little petre dish.

Between the workload, crummy internet, and crummier health, there hasn't been much desire to blog lately.  But I have kept steadily onward with knitting.  Yes, more knitting - it's the easiest thing to bring to camp.

See that pile of yarn above?  It's what I panic packed for camp the morning I left, directly because I realized how quickly Christmas is approaching, especially for someone who makes most of her gift.  YIKES!!

I don't really have much to share right now.  I'm lucky I was able to get the one photo into this post with this slow internet, and I'm a bit scared to hit post.  But I am alive!  (Which feels a bit surprising, considering the back-to-back colds/flus I got earlier this month.)  And man, I cannot wait to get home, clean out my disaster of a sewing room, and sew

I'll babble more about my Christmas knitting soon.  And possibly a rock post, because boy did I ever find a pretty one underground the other day!