• Got Bread?
    Got Bread?
  • The English Robin
    The English Robin
  • Afternoon Snooze
    Afternoon Snooze
  • Waterton Lakes Valley
    Waterton Lakes Valley
  • Magic Mushrooms
    Magic Mushrooms
  • Vino sulla Vite
    Vino sulla Vite
  • Fairy Stream
    Fairy Stream
  • Sunset Smoke
    Sunset Smoke
  • Om Nom Nom
    Om Nom Nom
  • Summer Lake Cabin
    Summer Lake Cabin
  • Stormy Mountain Sunset
    Stormy Mountain Sunset

Temperature Blanket: May Update

May 15, 2018: the first lilac square of the year.

May 15, 2018: the first lilac square of the year.

Last month I talked about how April didn’t go as planned after my vacation to New Zealand. By month-end I still had all of the April squares to do on top of needing to start keeping on top of the May squares. Now it’s the end of May, and thankfully, I made it! It was a lot of work that stressed me out a few times and left my fingers feeling raw more than once, but all the April squares are finished, while May is completed more or less up to where I’d normally be for a month-end update. Whew!

A couple of notable milestones occurred while making all those squares:

  • April 12 marked the date I could seam the first and second rows together!
  • On May 12 I was able to add the third row!
  • On May 15 the high reached 28°C (82.4°F). Hot, at least for this time of year! This triggered me to use yarn from the highest temperature bracket on my chart for the first time. Each color has now been used at least once!

A New Venture: Incyanity Yarn!

Yarn in a dyebath.

Yarn in a dyebath.

I have a lot of interests: gaming, writing, art, reading, photography…lots of stuff. On Incyanity I explore them all, and recently it’s been pretty obvious that crochet has been at the top of my list. Crochet is a hobby I didn’t expect; it came out of nowhere at Christmas in 2015 and I’ve really taken to it since then, particularly with Pod Pals and other cute amigurumi. Something else happened too: I developed a love of pretty yarn. As I started to expand into making clothing, I left acrylic behind and began buying “real” yarn, either 100% merino, or merino blended with other fibers. I’m particularly fond of merino/silk and merino/tencel.

During my trip to New Zealand last month I had the privilege of visiting a farm where a very nice lady dyes yarn. All I really wanted was to treat myself to some locally-dyed yarn while I was in the country, but she happily told me why she got started doing it… As we talked, I started to feel wheels turning in my head.

The truth is, in the last two years I’ve bought a ridiculous amount of yarn. Yarn makes me happy. Another truth? Yarn in blends and colors I really love have not been that easy to find. The dyers I buy from come close…but not always close enough.

I thought to myself, What if I dyed yarn in colors I really love?

Then I thought, How many people out there are like me? Maybe they’re looking for the same yarn I am!

When I got home, I started researching. I read so much and watched so many videos about dyeing that I started to dream about it. The more I learned, the more excited I became. Maybe I really could do this. Maybe it could become a new career path! (I’m definitely ready for a new career path.) I talked to some people, I ordered some supplies…and then, last weekend, I was finally able to test it out for myself.


Temperature Blanket: April Update

April Fool's Day square.

April Fool’s Day square.

I’m back! My trip to New Zealand was amazing. I’ll have a post with photos up soon! For now, let’s talk about the temperature blanket…

I mentioned at the end of the March update that I would have a pile of squares to do after my vacation. Boy, was I right! Not only have I not done any squares (except for April 1, 2018, shown at right) from the time I was away yet, I haven’t finished the last remaining March squares either, nor any squares for the other April days after I arrived back in Canada. Yikes! :( The main culprit has been the chest cold that came back with me and that it has taken me about ten days to get over the jet lag. Originally I expected to do two or three squares each night after work to get caught up but it just hasn’t worked out yet. Instead, I’ll have to try doubling up on squares during the month of May now that I’m starting to feel better and am getting back to my normal sleep schedule.


Temperature Blanket: March Update

Not a speck of green for St. Patty's Day.

Not a speck of green for St. Patty’s Day.

According to the calendar, it’s supposed to be spring. Supposed to be. The snow flying by the window indicates otherwise, but then, I do live in the Great White North…

March, like February, hasn’t been that fun as far as the weather goes. Snow, and snow, and more snow. And just when we started to think we were done, yep, even more snow! As I write this, southern Alberta is under yet another heavy snowfall warning, with up to twenty centimeters expected. By tomorrow morning it should be done, maybe. We’ll see. I’ve heard a lot of people complaining about this apparent never-ending winter, and Old Man Winter and Mother Nature might just want to stick it to us for a bit longer.

You’d think, having been born here and lived here my whole life to date, that I’d be used to this kind of crap weather. Nope. I’m with the complainers: sick of winter, bring on spring and more colors for my blanket!


Tweaking

Incyanity has a lot of posts!

Incyanity has a lot of posts!

I’ve spent some time tweaking and organizing the site recently; sharp-eyed visitors probably noticed a few changes to the menu. Followers on Twitter have seen the “flashback” tweets popping up over the last couple of weeks as well. I found a handy plugin that automatically revives existing posts on a set schedule—a great way to get that older content seen and hopefully enjoyed by newer eyes.

Getting the reviver plugin going made me wonder just how often certain categories of posts would be seen, which led me to make the pie chart above. Turns out, almost 70% of all posts on Incyanity fall under Solitary Pilot, which is content related to my time playing EVE Online. There are just under 200 posts in that category. Wow! This means all the other posts have less than a one in three chance of being pulled up (and most of the HOTE category is protected so won’t be revived at all). Hmm! Guess I better get cracking on putting up more stuff!

Speaking of Heart of the Empire, some more tweaks have been made there too!


Evolving an Idea

The other day my muse woke up a little and hit me with a strong desire to update the Heart of the Empire Music article, so I did. The list has gone from twenty to thirty songs and I created a proper playlist on YouTube too! The ten new additions had been rattling around in my head for a while and it was high time I got them added to my personal playlist as well as here on the website. The choice of these new songs was inspired by (or because they inspired) changes to the story that I’ve been contemplating in the last year. Enjoy!

The plot changes are in-progress (still working on not being a slow writer)…but updating the soundtrack wasn’t all my muse had in store for me!


Temperature Blanket: February Update

February 3, 2018 - the birthday square!

February 3, 2018 – the birthday square!

No getting around it: February has been cold. Miserable, actually. According to the news, Calgary has been having the coldest February in twenty-five years. I believe it! There’ve been epic road closures and multiple days of snowpocalypse. We’ve had over four times the amount of snow than what we normally get in February. March is typically our heaviest month for the white stuff so I shudder to think about what might still be coming before spring arrives.

February 3 was my birthday. Instead of going out to celebrate, I holed up inside and watched a blizzard roar past my windows. The overnight low that day was -28°C (-18.4°F) while the high only got to -19°C (-2.2°F). Yuck! But that wasn’t the worst of it! We had more than a few nights that dipped into the -30s. There was a chinook that gave us relief for a few days… On February 13 the high climbed to 7°C (44.6°F). T-shirt weather!


Beginner Crochet: Ten More Tips to Enhance Your Hobby

In August of 2016 I wrote Beginner Crochet: Ten Tips I Wish Tutorials Had Taught Me after I felt I had more or less progressed beyond the very baseline learning phase of the hobby. Since then I’ve been working on improving my existing skills as well trying new things and have picked up another ten tips I’d like to share!

Note: Although several products are recommended in this post, there are no affiliate links.


Temperature Blanket: January Update

January 12, 2018

January 12, 2018

Whoosh! The first month of 2018 has flown by! (It seems to me that as you get older, time seems to pass by more quickly, which is really a drag.) With almost a full month’s worth of squares done, it’s a good opportunity to show off progress on the blanket.

New Year’s Day was cold(ish): -28°C (-18.4°F) for the low and -7°C (19.4°F) for the high. The high was not bad (setting aside whatever the windchill was that day), but that overnight temp is brr! Perfect for staying in and crocheting! We had a few other really cold days this month, but unless Mother Nature or Old Man Winter decide to take one last swipe at us before February 1, the coldest day for January was the 11th, where the overnight low was -33°C (-27.4°F) and it only warmed up to -23°C (-9.4°F) for the day. Frosty! January 12 was a bit better, with -26°C (-14.8°F) for the low and -13°C (8.6°F) for the high. The warmest day was the 16th: a chinook blew in and we managed to get to 8°C (46.4°F) during the day, which meant all the snow melted and the roads were very sloppy.


Hob

Runic Games

Runic Games

Gaming! Yes, I’m still finding time for it. Actually, I’d like to think I might have found more time to game recently than in the last few years. The pull of single-player games has become fairly strong lately and I expect I’ll continue to look at those kinds of titles going forward rather than continuing to play MMOs and other so-called “social” games. MMOs have their place, and I do like spending time with my gaming buddies out there in cyberspace…but there’s something about immersing one’s self in a game that tells a specific story, and journeying with the characters through that story, that MMOs just can’t replicate. It’s a very specific itch, like wanting to get lost inside a good book, or a favorite movie…except you, as the player, get to be the hero, with no other players to interrupt your adventure. (And often, after a hard day’s work, I just want to be a hero!)

One game I recently spent time in to scratch this itch is Hob. Hob is a single-player action-adventure game developed by Runic Games that was released for PS4 and PC just this past fall. I’d had my eye on this game via Steam for a while and when my friend Mat gifted me a copy for Christmas, I was excited to give it a go. I’m glad I did, and if you’ve been thinking about picking it up, you should!

Note: This article is reasonably spoiler-free.