Saturday, March 28, 2015

Seamin', Seamin', Seamin'

That's right, ladies and gents, we have seaming!

Cardboard Cafe wip
I was rather not looking forward to this bit, so after I found the front pieces of my Cardboard Cafe blocked and dried this morning, I grabbed a cup of joe and hunkered down to it.  It took a few tries to figure out the best seaming method, but I managed to get the once side of it finished.

Starting the second (of anything) can always be a pain, as I'm sure you can commiserate.  So I made myself a cuppa my favourite tea (vanilla Earl Grey), put on my favourite movie (Persuasion), and curled up in my favourite sunny spot near the flowers I bought myself for my b-day this week, and got to it.  By the time the movie was finished, I had the whole thing seamed.  WOOHOO!

Seaming view
It looks like it's going to fit really well too, although it's really loose at the back neck.  I think I'll just pick up less stitches across that section to tighten it up a bit.  I was worried about that, actually, since this sweater has a ridiculous amount of ease, and as with many patterns, the front and back are designed the same size - that doesn't work well when you carry more width across the front, with a larger bust and all.  But I'll figure it out!

Button choice for Cardboard Cafe
I can already tell that this is going to be my best sweater yet!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

wip: Quilts and Sweaters and Garment Sewing Plans (OH MY!)

I've got two projects on the go right now that I'm determined to get finished asap.  Because wow do I ever have a lot of wips!

wip: Couch Quilt
The first is my quilt.  This thing flew through my sewing machine, and all it needs is the edges bound!  I tried making continuous binding for the very first time, and despite a lot of confusion and almost making a bunch of rings instead of one long strip, I managed to get 150" made up!  Now to make up another 150", and I'll be ready to finish this thing off!  It's looking so bright and cheerful, and I'm so glad it's nearly done, yeh gods I'm tired of man-handling this beast.  SO much more unwieldy than a sweater or a dress.

I should've learned this lesson already from the blanket I made my Mom this Christmas, but sometimes it takes a few tries before this aging dog learns something new.

wip: Cardboard Cafe
The other project I'm stubbornly being monogamous with (for knitting, anyways) is my Cardboard Cafe.  I powered through the front right side with the help of a few late nights, and just cast on the front left side this morning.  I had a root canal done today though, so I'm distracted and achy and utterly useless for knitting.  So instead of knitting, I dug around in my pattern and fabric stash, and brainstormed some garments to make to go with my new cardigan!

I'm still in love with my Coral Laurel (even if it's a wee bit too snug on me right now), and I'm thinking another tunic-length dress and a top would be perfect makes, since I mostly have the fit down.  I didn't take a photo, but a quick fitting showed that I need to do a small FBA and maybe add a 1/2" to the centre back to make it fit a bit better this time, so it's nice to know that in advance.  This pattern might become a TNT for me!

Project Planning!
I'm thinking that funky orange for the shirt, and either the woven plaid-like shirting or the purple floral for the tunic-dress.  I'm SUPER keen for the orange, since I've been trying to find the right t-shirt pattern for it for YONKS, so I'll probably start with that.  I think it'll be fun with my Cardboard Cafe, don't you? 

What do you guys think?  Subtle plaid or loud purple for the dress?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Slick Rocks or Slicks in Rocks?

Answer: BOTH!

Slicks in Massive Sulphide
Today's rock also comes from Wolverine Mine in the Yukon.  This rock is a piece of drill core that I collected it in the fall of 2013 when I was part of an underground exploration and production drill program.  Normally you wouldn't be allowed to take *coughstealcouch* drill core, but underground production drilling is different than surface exploration, and you don't need to save and store all of the core drilled.

Drill Core Graveyard
This is the surface exploration drill core from the mines' exploration program.  There's not as much core as there should've been, but lets not get into that...
Drill Core Graveyard
Each of those core boxes contain about 3-4 m of core.
Which is a relief because drill core graveyards like the one above is what you get suck with.

Anywho, when I saw the slickensides and slickenlines on this sample, I happily took my rock hammer to the core and pocketed the sample right away.  I actually had both sides of the fault, but I gave the other half of it to a geologist friend.  What are we looking at and what the heck are slickensides/slickenlines, you ask?  Well let me tell ya!

I'm sure you've heard of faults - they often come up when you hear of earthquakes, and there's the ginormous one in California, the San Andreas Fault.  Faults are fractures or cracks in the rock where displacement (or movement) occurs, allowing two blocks of rock to slide against each other. The energy released when rocks shift can cause earthquakes if the fault or the displacement is big enough.

Slicks in Massive Sulphide
This sliding motion can do a lot of really cool things to the surrounding rocks.  If the fault breaks the rock fairly cleanly (as opposed to smearing it if the rock is more "plastic" or soft and malleable, which can happen at depth), each side of the fault can become polished as the rock moves against each other.  If the rock in question contains a lot of metal, such as in a massive sulphide deposit, this polish can have a mirror like effect!

This polished surface is called a slickenside.  As in, the side of the fault has been polished slick. 

Slicks in Massive Sulphide
Now, it's rare that you'll find slickensides without slickenlines.  Slickenlines are the grooves (or lines) scratched into the slickenside surface as the rocks move together.  But because you often don't find one without the other, we usually just shorten the entire feature as 'slicks'.

Slickenlines showing the direction of displacement. (source)

The really cool part of slicklines is that the lines point in the direction of general movement, and other features can actually tell you which side moved what way.  This is more difficult to identify in drill core unless you put a lot more work during drilling, but it can give you some idea.  Where this is more useful is in outcrops at the surface, where you can get proper azimuth and dip measurements, and is regularly used when discovered to identify fault movement.  I saw slicks underground all the time at Wolverine Mine, and always noted the direction of movement on my maps.

Slicks in Massive Sulphide
And just for some context, here's what the rock looked like where the slicks occurred.  As I mentioned somewhere above, the slicks are the massive sulphide deposit, which mostly contained a lot of fine pyrite ("fools gold", an iron-rich metallic mineral with chemical composition FeS2), a little bit of chalcopyrite (the more yellowy copper- and iron-rich mineral, CuFeS2), and some white calcite (CaCO3).

Pretty slick, eh?


Any questions about faults, slicks, or anything else I blathered on about in this post?  Is there any type of rock or geological feature you'd like to learn more about?  I'm happy to take rock requests!

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Guess Who's Quilting!

wip: Livingroom Birch Blanket
That would be me!  I bought this fabric in the fall in one of my bored-at-work-impulse-shopping-for-crafty-supplies sessions, and while I loved the fabric on arrival, other projects called to me.  But in the last couple of weeks, this project has been weighing on my mind.  Today, I finally dug out my cutting mat and roller blade and started to chop it up!  No sewing yet, I don't have time to start this afternoon, but soon. 

So excited!!  Do any of you quilt, considered quilting, or just fallen in love with all the pretty quilting cotton?

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Dancing Lights and a Bunch of Yukon Critters

Northern lights
Some friends of mine from the mine (heh) have been up visiting this weekend, and there's nothing like company to make you appreciate where you live!  We got out to all the museums I only visit when friends come up to Whitehorse, and got a spectacular show their last night when the northern lights danced across the sky.  Sorry for the crummy photo - I didn't have my tripod set up.

Yukon Wildlife Preserve Critters
One of my favourite places up here that I don't get out to nearly enough is the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, a non-profit centre that provides safe public viewing, research, conservation and rehabilitation for many of the territories native animals.  The animals live in open enclosures that reflect their natural environment, and it's a huge reserve so it's a bit of a long tour but wonderful to experience.  On this trip, we took the bus tour, so we got through a bit quicker with lots of extra stories by the conservation officer.  Such as the time the muskox took issue with the SUV that entered their enclosure and destroyed it.  Ornery buggers (they're my favourite).

This time, I took out my fancy camera with the wicked zoom (50x optical and 100x with digital) and got some decent pictures.  I thought I'd dump them here to share, because our territorial critters are adorable.

Yukon Wildlife Preserve Critters
Wood Bison, chilling out in a pile of hay and crap. 
Yukon Wildlife Preserve Critters
The ridiculous (and at the preserve, chubby) Mule Deer.
Yukon Wildlife Preserve Critters
Muskox - SO FLUFFY!
Yukon Wildlife Preserve Critters
Mountain Goats, oogling us from a cliff high above the bus.
Yukon Wildlife Preserve Critters
Linx kit, enjoying the sun. Or stalking a bird.
Yukon Wildlife Preserve Critters
Grumpy old Linx, given his own space when the kits were too rough. GET OUTTA MA YARD.
Yukon Wildlife Preserve Critters
Adorable Arctic Fox.
Yukon Wildlife Preserve Critters
Caribou that's dropped its' antlers. Fun fact: both male and female caribou grow antlers!
Yukon Wildlife Preserve Critters
Caribou nose!
Yukon Wildlife Preserve Critters
9 mth old Moose, hiding in the trees. Fun Fact: Yukon population: 70 000 moose, 35 000 humans.
Yukon Wildlife Preserve Critters
Arctic Hare. Tough life being a hare - nearly everything eats you, including ground squirrels.
Northern lights
And here's a final blurry shot of the dancing lights, lightened a bit to show off the pinks.
I love my home, and I love sharing it with others.  It was so fun rediscovering some of our treasures with my friends.  If I can't bring you guys all up here, I guess I'll just have to show parts of it off to you here!