Monday, November 30, 2015

Seems To Start Early

The weather has changed to very cold, windy and chilly. We have decided to celebrate with biscuits.
The lovely Perfect Retreat Shawl was finished quickly because the lace pattern was easy to remember. The Loft yarn really bloomed and softened.

Following Susan B Anderson into the Sweater Chest Project, I did some radical surgery on the sleeves of one of my cardigans. Turned inside out, I pinned it closer to my arm, ran two rows of machine stitching and cut it. Then I blanket stitched over it. I blame the sewing I'm doing. But it turned out great and I now have a wearable sweater.

In a fit of selfishness, I knit myself a Narwhal hat of some handspun I bought two summers ago. It is oversized and comfortable and I need it on my windy walks.

One sweater that didn't make it. I wore my February Lady sweater to the elementary school to help them teach knitting. It was great fun and I got lots of compliments on the sweater, but I hate wearing it and feel very home made in it. So I successfully felted it. Now it can become slippers or whatever whimsy I choose.
The first Sunday of Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas, was yesterday, November 29. We have a new minister and she has such great ideas. It is a pleasure to help her put them into life. We had two dramas during the service (and 5 more to come!) that ended up being a royal pain to prepare, but my readers did a wonderful job bringing them to life.

The mens' group host a Breakfast with Santa. We started it as a fun event before the parade, but the city moved that to night time. I offered to help decorate the set and this fireplace came together in 2 hours.

Fruits of our labour, we have the real Santa. They served over 100 pancake and sausage breakfasts and the women had their bake sale next door. We are feeling very shiny.

My nephew and godson is turning 25. I have finished this monogram of corks for him and his partner. He worked in a winery in Australia and I have been collecting corks for a long time.

A quick knit with crochet for the mouse that will lead our children's drama in two weeks. It's a bit big, but came together easily with a lovely top down pattern from the Lifestyle selection.

And now I am working on my last gift. My goal was to have all the gifts and knitting done by December, but I will be close. I have a hat, three shawl, colour work mittens and even a sweater for me that have been waiting for all the gift knitting to be done.
Thankfully baking and knitting are good companions because that's also on the radar. I can now make my shortbread and let it ripen without freezing it. I didn't want to start too early!

Friday, November 20, 2015


Took a trip up the Coquihalla Highway to see my sister in Knutsford, just south of Kamloops. It's about a three our drive and I had a great audio book, 12 Drummers Drumming by C C Benison. It's a good thing I had my knitting because, before I even got to Merritt, we were stopped by a semi that jack-knifed and blocked the road. The big problem was that it was carrying an unknown corrosive fluid. Well, two hours later, we drove past the wreckage. Thankfully the driver was OK, but it shows how quickly the road can ice up.
 There was a warm welcome when I got to Rusty Springs. I brought D's chilli and we had a nice dinner.
 Cheri is still snuggling. She is the last of the Papillons that my sister used to breed. She has Border Collies now.
 And a great, friendly cat named Apricot. Her farm in the valley had all calico kitties with names like quilt and thread.

 The chickens are giving eggs even with the cold weather. I don't take pictures of them in the red warming light because they look devilish, but they are friendly.

 Really enjoying this book that Mom gave me for my birthday. It was being sold all over New Orleans, but I had to read a few books first, before I could crack it open. Such a great literary voice.

 Riley is two and a half an bundle of fun. He lives on the ranch with them, so they see him almost every day.

 Riley's mom has a bridal shop, First Comes Love and does events as well. The new location downtown is wonderful. One wall is all bridal gowns.
The other wall is all colourful grad and bridesmaids dresses. Sales are already swift for this June's grads.
Woke up to snow. There was a huge storm back home with trucks flipping and trees toppling. Power was out, even at our house, which is rare, for 5 hours. Some of our friends still don't have power for a fourth day,
We had to chip our car out of the ice and snow. Love the remote ignition that I have never needed to use before.
 I took the Fraser Canyon, Highway 1, home because it doesn't go as high and I was not interested in packed snow and slush with a closed area near Merritt. It took about one extra hour, was very windy, but was safe. Had to go to the car wash after, though.
The sleeves for D's sweater are done and done. I was lucky to be able to do the increases while visiting with the ranchers. Lightly blocked, I will begin the construction of the collar and sewing it up. Hope to be done before the end of November.
Which means I can work on my shawl. Already casting off the Perfect Retreat Shawl by Susan B Anderson in Loft that I bought on our trip to Bainbridge Island this summer. I have one pair of fingerless mitts and then the Christmas knitting is finished and I can join the Knitmore Girls with their December Grinch-a-long, knitting only what I desire.
It's so good to get up to the ranch and spend time with family there for a quick jaunt. But it's nice to be back in the green green grass of home.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Falling Into Place

The leaves are slowly changing, but we still have sunny days. I celebrate by going for walks.

I finished increasing the second sleeve on Leo for D and found out I hadn't increased enough on the first. I almost have it fixed so I can just knit straight one or two increases and then make the sleeve cap.
I knit a wee toddler hat for a test knit of a new lovely friend. Julianna's Fibre. I found her through a recommendation of her charming podcast. What a treat she lives in Ottawa and I can perhaps order some of her yarn without going through customs.
This garter slip stitch hat will soon be available on Ravelry and it is such a quick and fun knit, I'll bet you can even make some Christmas gifts in the few weeks we have left.

I realized I was one hat short on my Christmas list, so I treated myself to a Stephen West pattern that I have wanted to knit for a long time, the Windschief hat. I am only partly done, but I know I will knit more. This big box yarn actually has some cashmere in it, so is crazy soft, but still machine washable which is the requirement for almost all my gifts.
We had our first frost. My wee mushrooms were covered in crystals.
I typed up some dramas for church and am looking forward to doing some workshops for Advent.

My amaryllis (es) are reaching up to the light. One will go to the Hospice and one will be a hostess gift, but I have a white, a pink and a red, and will not be able to choose which to keep.
In preparation for Christmas, the carpet cleaner is here. It wasn't worth doing until we had the poor dog's wound on her face surgically fixed. She is still a puppy at heart, but we have to be thankful for each day we still have her.
I wore my poppy that I knit from Laura Chau's pattern a few years ago. I don't lose this one so I just put money in the tray without taking one from the veterans. I am officially a veteran too because I served in the Reserve Forces Medical Corps when I was young.

 These days I serve by playing the bass drum in the Harrison Highlanders Pipe Band. We had super weather and great support from all the legions we visited yesterday, Nov. 11. It is one of our biggest parade days and D did a great job as Pipe Major.
I have had the joy of playing with the babies of my friends. Of visiting with friends and family and a special treat: this quilt was a gift in a swap with a choir friend. I knit her a lace shawl and she made this quilt which will be the first part of my turning my daughter's room into my own office. I am not in a hurry, as she still needs a landing pad, but I am getting excited about having a door I can close from distractions to dream and write and craft. With time, things will fall into place.

Monday, November 02, 2015


 The weather has finally turned chilly enough to bring out the hand knit mittens and heavier shawls. I wear light shawl just about all year. The clocks turned back to Standard Time and everyone is suitably groggy. This morning I took my car in for snow tires, so I have the excuse that I am stuck at home on a chilly, rainy day. I have some computer work to do, but I find it so frustrating when each click is just one teeny bit different than it used to be. It feels like the laptop is not listening to me.
 Now that Hallowe'en is over, I can earnestly and openly launch into Christmas preparations. I will take inventory of all the knits and gifts I have gathered throughout the year. Not a spreadsheet, but there may be coloured markers.
First: I made Delia Smith's Christmas Chutney as encouraged by the Bakery Bears Podcast. I had almost all the ingredients anyway and my DH loves vinegary things. It has to sit at least a month. Then we'll see if it can grace our turkey sandwiches.
 We had a road trip to 88 Stitches and enjoyed everything about it: the company, the yarn selection, the picnic in a riverside park, and the tea at my place after.
 I am a bit of a parking freak. We were taught in the Medical Corps to always park so you can get out easily. Next to us, this behemoth parked in two spots and knocked over the midwife sign. Sigh.
 I picked up some Sweet Fiber in Winter for a Duchess of Devonshire shawl (also by Bakery Bears).
 After driving a friend of a friend to the airport, I was trying to find my way back to the familiar, and I came across the new old yarn shop in Abbotsford. The manager has bought it and made it her own with luxury yarns and wide open spaces. She continues to be friendly and interested in the knitters.
 My secret knitting is starting to wear on my. I think making a fingering weight men's large sweater may have been folly. The first sleeve is nearing completion. Perhaps I will block the front and back today while I'm home. But I think the worry that D will never wear it has me balking. If there are lurkers here, please keep this project a secret. It has been more than a year in the making.
 Much more quickly, I finished the baby blanket for my great niece for Xmas. When I found out that her big brother did like the one I made him, I jumped into the project that I had planned for her birth present. His blanket stays in the car and can get all messy and washed as intended. This makes me happy.
Even with the heavy rains, there are periods of calm when I like to get outside and enjoy the paths just as they are. I don't long for the summer flowers or heat. This is a lovely time to be doing just what is coming up.