Wednesday, December 30, 2009

From My Window

It is common, here in Chilliwack, for the snow to come after Christmas. I was so excited for my snow-loving, snowman-constructing daughter. But she has another 8 hour drumline practice because they're going to the Olympics. She's the only girl in the snare line. I decided that after yesterday's sleep day, I really needed a snow day. I'm going to stay in and knit because I really haven't finished my mitten(s).
I have got a good start, though. Notice the Japanese Rose Garden nail polish. That's from Emily and will make great Hawaii toes in February. This mitten was too difficult for me to knit at work. I think I'll cast on a sock next shift set and just go with it.

The Fleece Artist Lady of the Lake sweater was also too hard because apparently I was playing fast and loose with picking a size. I cast on a small (huge gauge problems) and then proceded to shape a medium. I couldn't even figure it out yesterday. I did knit on it at work a wee bit but just to the 18 inch mark. I have it set up now. We'll see if I did it on purpose.
I quickly knit up a hat for a new friend and a new nurse from London. He had never had Kraft Dinner before, so I cooked some up in the microwave on nights. We were trying to compensate for a brutal work load.
Then I said, "All you need now is a canoe and a toque".
He said, "What is a toque?" and I said, "Oh, man, you just wait."
I cast it on a 3pm when I had woken up and finished it on my break that night. When I put it on his head, he was so excited and said, "Now I can go to Whistler!" What a sweetheart. He handsome and single and is so going to end up with a Canadian wife!
And now to dream of Hawaii in February. I need to finish the silk Tuscany shawl. But I really don't like the silk. It was hard to wrangle it into behavior at the beginning. I feel right now that if I stick to it like it's my only project, I'll get in the groove and it will make itself. But I get really distracted when I try to knit it and start cleaning out the fridge and stuff.
Now I'm brainstorming to set up my goals and wishes for 2010. I want to thank Neuroknitter at We Heart Yarn for this inspiring post .
The poem will be my talisman for the future.
Hope your holidays filled your heart with warmth and joy.
Finally, I want to thank Kal for introducing me to this best of Christmas songs and share it with you. Have a safe and happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Cheer

Merry Christmas. We had a fantastic family gathering for open house lunch. Missed some of my family, of course, but it was fun. We ate more than half the food- quite a feat, quite a feast.
I took the dog for a walk this morning and the sky was so pretty. I rarely use the long lens, and should practice more often.
Mitten knitting this morning. Trying to fall in love with the knitting as much as I was smitten by the mitten pattern. At least I knit loosely- good for colour work.
I work tomorrow, so we'll try to make it a special day for our patients and the other nurses.
Off to church to sing in the choir and then home to watch Alister Sim.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rallying Comfort

The boy sweaters are done and blocking in the short winter light. I hope the baby cousin has a name now. This Child's Placket Neck Pullover is a wonderful quick knit. With all the baby clothes I have knit in the past and especially recently, I'm happy to have a nice boy knit that churns out quickly and turns out well.
It was soup making day. Winter Italian Minestrone is from Carrie at work. I want to follow her with a notebook to pick up more good recipes, but that would get tangled in the cardiac monitor lines.

The traditional Christmas Eve French Onion soup. Just onions and soup. The secret ingredient is "time". I love slow cooking. The pot was brimming with sweet Wala Wala onions when I started. Hours later, they cooked down and carmelized and drove the kids crazy. "When will it be ready?" We actually had to have a bowl already because it was too full in the pot. You know.
Off to Avatar tonight on the big screen in a theatre in the next town. Nice to have the four of us.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Looking for Comfort

I made chicken noodle soup to take to work and it was so nice to find comfort.
Uncomfortable: too many ducks to count and having them come up on the deck toward me when I go outside. Let loose the dog.

Exciting: two sleeves on one circular. These knit themselves on my breaks during day shift. I figured out the technique for the more challenging and future two socks. This needle was too short and the outside edges are a bit uneven.

The placket neck sweater was so quick in DK that I cast on another in some sock yarn. This is for a cousin whose first baby received a red alpaca kimono. This one had to be at least "nice". I knit on the ferry and from Nanaimo to Victoria on the rainy Malahat Highway, visiting Great Grandma and then fetching Scotty home. Yesterday I joined the sleeves to the body while travelling to a family gathering. Very Christmassy.
I even knit an extra gift, soon to be revealed. Presently cast off and wrapped with the rest.
I am blessed to have the comfort of wool and successful projects. Maybe I'll cast on those mittens again.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Light In the Darkness

This weekend I worked and we had an incredible to team to work together through the craziness. I can't say enough about Captain Dean. Tuesday morning was freezing rain on top of snow and a hairy drive home. Thankfully I wasn't alone and dropped of my team member who lives near my home.
There was not a lot of knitting because we kept calling the resident to deal with our sick peeps.
Last weekend I joined in a mass choir to sing Christmas carols at our very special Catholic church. One friend sent some pictures and I share my favourite with you.
May you have the peace of light and the joy of music.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Catching the Spirit

The weather is on the verge of snow. Here is a picture of snow on the verge. I have crossed off the exhaustive and exhausting list that included baking, cards, shopping, decorating, knitting and wrapping .
I have even finished and wrapped January presents. I hope this sister's incorrigible dial up keeps her from lurking. The two colours are a bit subtle, but suited to her and much warmer. Superwash! This gift should make it through the cleaning unlike last year's.

There was a bit of sun in the front room thismorning to capture the conquering. The Basic Earflap Hat is a bit long on the flaps. I hope it will suffice for feeding the chickens and moving the cattle.
Now there's nothing but hospital shifts and play. I hate slaving in the kitchen and cleaning up exhausting messes when others are having a little holiday of cookies and Christmas videos.
I am a bit overtired, but it's done. I work tomorrow without the fear of not getting the Christmas list done. I can concentrate on my patients. I even have tortiere roll ups to take Saturday night to the nursing unit party.
Then, on Tuesday, I get 10 days of fun.
I don't want to let responsibilities and unreasonable expectations get in the way of catching the Christmas Spirit.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

If I Didn't Know Better

These fingerless gloves are making another appearance because when I went to wrap them, I noticed they didn't match. I already had to cut off a bunch of the bottom on one. Now I noticed that only one had one by one ribbing at the top. If I didn't know better, I wouldn't have noticed. If I didn't know better, I wouldn't recognize my darning of ends to easily to get back to the beginning. If I didn't know better, I couldn't pick out my sewn bind off and knit up the ribbing. I guess I'm such a bad knitter because I'm such a good knitter. Or, "I've made that mistake before." One of the delights of Ravelry is the notes that are included in others' project pages. Thanks for sharing your mods and mistakes so I can learn.
I'm redoing the blue hat with fair isle to make it warmer and use the wool. This is the same grey as the gloves, so I had to finish a pattern to get a piece of it. There is no way I can knit this except in good day light.

The blue has a nice variegation of itself.
I also picked back my Hey Teach button band because I should have listened to Alison who said the buttons should be closer. I did make a note, but I didn't read it. I was able to easily pick back the button band and keep the stitches for new placement of holes. Unfortunately I knicked the wool when I cut off the now misplaced buttons and had to reknit that band too.
But buttertarts, shortbread and jam jams are made and I'm done baking. This morning I wrapped presents to put under the tree.
Oh yah, yesterday I cleaned up the huge ornament hurricane and decorated the tree. I wonder why I'm tired. If I didn't know better, I'd say it's because I'm neglecting my real life.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

First Snow

It snowed on Friday. Just the right amount. The roads were safe and the crisp air was good for dog walking.
Carly loves weather. Rain and storm and wind. I think she imagines herself on a ship off the coast of Labrador.

Paw prints submitted for forensic evidence. If I ever lose her, let me know if you find her. But she doesn't go far from my side.

We were up at the crack of dawn, which is nine in December.

And we walked through the Sto:lo Nation grounds behind us for quiet and space.
We had D's office Christmas dinner which was full of good people and authentic Indian cuisine which is all off my menu.
Saturday was crazy baking of oatmeal cookies for jam jams and taxiing Emily to trumpet Christmas carols at the Santa Lights parade. We then went to a housewarming (and very warm and friendly) dinner party.
Sunday is celebrating Advent at church with extra music. Then a massed choir in town. What a joy. I didn't sing but played flute and drummed (for my dear life). I'll have to contact my flute teacher and thank her eventhough I haven't had lessons for six months. It was pretty reckless and exciting. Our wonderful Lisa is the only choir director who works with jazz.
Tomorrow I'll do my buttertarts and be done.
The chunky scarf is almost done and Emily is knitting for Scott so I can cross that off my list. I had just the wool, too.
Now I will sit and knit for a bit.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Welcome Distractions

I managed to plant a Christmas planter before I went to work. D put the blue lights on the bushes and it was so sweet to come home to. He also edited the Youth Group Christmas skit that I wrote and we taped a few weeeks ago. It was so good to see the finished product and look forward to seeing it on the big screen on Christmas Sunday.
Who knows who is lurking?
I continue to reveal Christmas projects, merrily skipping along. If you see your gift, it's up to you to feign surprise because I have no guilt on that. This is a Pretty Thing in Misty Alpaca hand paint. I could have chosen a yarn to highlight this pattern, but J chose the yarn and I scooped it. It couldn't be softer! I'll make another one in a plain when I get my hands on some.

I chose to use the same Cascade 220 for fingerless gloves for another sister. This simple lace pattern complements the Hermione cables and lace hat that kicked off this giftapalooza of knitting. I now have 3 January birthday presents to knit/finish. And a special gift for my niece's baby, but she won't be seeing that on the blog first.

The horror that is my white knuckle sewing is a not so bad once I get going. I've taken over Scott's room because there is no cleaning up till it's done. This is a Christmas scrub top. I like wearing my jammies to work, but the tops I bought didn't fit so well before I lost weight. I have hopes of simple success. This is a grade eight sewing project after all.
The shortbread is conquered. The oatmeal-date cookies begun and the butter tarts are on deck. Right now the Christmas cards are screaming at me and I can't just work on them tonight because our choir director has once again asked me to play flute on a killer jazzy piece and I need more practice.
Off I go.