Saturday, December 31, 2011

Breaking Out In Song (As Usual)

On the twelve months of 2011, I truly knit for thee
12 Project Mexico hats
11th Baby Surprise Jacket
10 Single socks (5 pair)
9 Lacy shawls
8 Common Threads Knitting Circle new friends
7 single skein gifts
6 baby blankets
5 kilometer Stash Dash
4 Knit Girlll Afghan Swap Squares
3 colourful cowls
2 cabled sweaters
and 1 entrelac graduation blanket.

Thanks for stopping by and for maintaining warm and friendly blogs.
Friend me on Ravelry, I'm LoriAngela

Hope you had a fun and productive year and are looking forward to rewarding projects, exciting new skills and squeal-worthy stash enhancement.

Friday, December 30, 2011

For the Birds

I find myself stopping on my walk to take pictures of the trumpeter swans as they fly over head. We have only had them here for about 5-8 years and they still seem special. I barely remember the book, The Trumpeter Swan, by EB White. Maybe I'll read it on my ipad, or listen to it on audible.
I did finish my book club book. I finished my super secret knitting in time.
The celebrations are over, but the decorations are still up.
The rare Chilliwack snowman. The weather has been warm and wet. Lots of walking in the rain. Met up with some friends and we walked the Vedder River Trail. Haven't been there for years because my dog doesn't do well with other dogs being off leash. My friend's Brittany Spaniel puppy did really well. I especially enjoyed playing with her 10 year old son.
I'm working today. I went in to work and asked about the slow period. Then I get called in. So I won't be shy next time. I work today and New Years Evening until 11:00 pm. I asked D to pick me up and we'll come home for some bubbly.
Spent yesterday making Emily a birthday banner. Looking forward to her party.
But first we go up to Kamloops for my sister's 50th. We have gone up for the past 2 years and enjoy being with them and capping off the holidays. Her knitting has taken off and she loved the Madeline Tosh I gave her for Christmas.
Now that I can knit what I like, I'm reworking the Dahlia cardigan to get rid of some of the rowing out. If I don't try to influence the gauge, I get a better stitch. When we were at Black Sheep wool shop, there were sweaters there with beautiful stocking stitch. I was inspired.
I'm also working on the Kid Silk Haze diagonal loop. Yummy.
I did sneak in to Hanne's wool shop to pick up some 50% off yarn. Some cotton and linen for striped shawls, some colourful yarn for a monster, and some blue cotton to make myself a sweater. Not that I needed more yarn.
I reviewed my knitting goals from last year and did pretty well. There were some things that fell off the list. Some biggies were completed.
In the new year I hope to finish my Black Flaming Flowers stole and my Philosopher's Wool sweater. Two big UFOs. If I make two nephew sweaters I'll be done the nephew project of many years. Not sure I want to put that first. I'm looking forward to being brave and a bit crazy.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Settling Down

The family and friends have come and gone for the Christmas Eve open house lunch. This year I added BBQ Beef on a bun to the French Onion soup and goodies. It was a lively gathering and I appreciate my big nephews coming and bringing their friends.
Settlers of Catan was a hit again.
I made a wicked sticky toffee sauce for the Christmas pudding.
There is a little left to have with a cup of tea while watching Alistar Sim in the Christmas Carol, between services at church.
Christmas came over a longer period this year, with an early concert, in laws celebrating and then heading south. It seems every week we have had Christmas.
One of my favourite things was carolling at the hospice with some altos from my choir. They want to do it again next year.
And now my big kids are home and we are all settling in for a quiet break.
Merry Christmas to all.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The New Technology

I made an abacus.
Because I couldn't count to four.
I'm doing a knitted on edge of eight rows, four of which are "pattern" and I was really failing. I put it down for two days. But the deadline only got closer.
So I devised a plan. I have solutions to all sorts of problems. Just not the ones in my own life.
I am a nurse and a mother, and no spring chicken. I can do this.
See those four clementine oranges? Every time I knit a pattern row, I put one in the second dish. Yup. That easy.
 I am not afraid on my 1,000 stitches knitted on edge.
Boy does it ever work.
Except at Common Threads knit night when one of my counters rolls under the couch.
Or when everyone eats one.
But there were more clementines at home.
And lots more knitting to do before we rest.

"The woods are lovely, dark, and  deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."
Robert Frost "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening".

Monday, December 19, 2011


We had a house full of gracious family guests yesterday. Lots of food. I had all the trays lined up with post it notes before I went to church so I wouldn't forget anything.
The ham was awesome. I had ordered one from the local butcher, but missed the deadline for picking it up. What to do? Went down the road to my usual meat market where we found they were selling the same ones! Score!

The little ones were so charming! I would post all their delightful pictures, but I haven't asked permission. The moustache tattoos for our fingers were a hit!
This was all salve for my heart aching. Friday night was a trip to Emergency for one near and dear to me. We haven't talked about it yet, but I am glad my automatic "nurse mode" was appreciated. I thank the staff who know me for treating us with extra care. What to do? Try to find some supports this week.
I am thankful for family around us who are relaxed enough to help themselves to all the fare.
Christmas Eve is my family and friends, another big buffet at lunch. These are the things that memories are made of.
Surround yourself with those who care about you even though they know you well.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wrapping Up

 Taking time to get all the baking and shopping and wrapping done is seriously eating in to my knitting time. I made a big mess this morning while watching "The Muppet Christmas Carol" my perennial favourite. We now have it on DVD, but I think they missed a solo, "The Love Is Gone". I hope I'm mistaken. I have a dream of doing a Christmas Eve service with this Muppet music.
All the presents are wrapped and most are already given away. We had an early celebration as the in-laws left for down south for 3 months.
 My Raisin d'Etre (trail mix) is especially good this year with organic cranberries, chocolate covered espresso beans and giant raisins. It also has mixed nuts and granola. I finished the baking, but didn't take pictures because it's the same stuff I make every year- only less. Each of us was allowed one pick this year. Scott chose shortbread, D picked butter tarts, Em loves peanut butterscotch squares, and I made my Christmas cake in October.
 Wednesday was the annual Sisters' lunch. It now includes nieces-in-law if they can come and the two daughters are welcome. We didn't have a full cast, but we met in a pub in Merritt and had a rollicking good time even without imbibing. You've gotta love a place where the big meal deal includes a beer. Each of us brought a present, because we love presents, and we got to pick our own from the wrapping. I got a penguin much with hot chocolate from Candace, plus a glass reindeer ornament. Yay.
Debbie drove Mom and I in her new Jetta and I got to knit all the 1 1/2 hours each way. D's hat was cast on and knit to the decreases!
 There has been travel. Last weekend we went into the city for our annual shopping with friends from UBC. Bonus: they had tickets to Sting, so we joined them. Awesome music and entertainment. We stayed in the Hotel Vancouver which is a swanky Fairmont Hotel because there was no room at the (usual time-share) inn. We loved the dignified heritage touches.
 This is the moulding on our mirror. Love it.
 They have a mail slot in the wall. This makes me feel so Canadian. We had one in the hospital where I trained. Remember mail?
 I have already admitted to a Christmas knitting fail. It will not be done. One reason: I made myself a second Moody Kerchief of Malabrigo in browns. Yes I am selfish, but my neck is warm and it matches my new brown purse.
Further adventures of the sleeping dog. When we got home from our mucky, drizzly, walk today, Carly fell asleep on her back. Here she is snoring. Yes those are my guitars and drums. And in the back is proof that gifts are wrapped and out the door.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Start With Me

 The parmesan shortbread was given the green light at book club last night. We think it can be improved by topping it with red pepper jelly. So I made a double batch this morning. As my kids get older they are more interested in savoury treats. This is the kick off to the Christmas baking for me (if you don't count the Christmas Cake). Coming soon: butter tarts and traditional shortbread. I'd really like to make Latvian cookies with some of the beautiful jelly we were given.
 The dining room was scrubbed down yesterday and all the books returned to their shelves. Even the mantle has some Christmas touches with our wedding gift silver candle sticks. This year I look forward to lots of red and silver. Roses and alstroemeria make a simple and long lasting bouquet. I was a little worried because one of our friends owns the best florist shop, but she is too kind to say anything about my Safeway flowers. I put flowers in the bathroom, I love flowers in the bathroom!
 I am increasingly using candy as decoration (can you see the vase of candy canes next to the holly on the coffee table?) . But I want it eaten, too. This is a mixture similar to what my mom used to put in our stockings. Love the ribbon candy, but I can't invest in having my mouth torn apart until after our concert. I'm excited about playing ukelele with the kids and singing a solo: Rudolph in doo wap.
The temperature continues to hover around 5 degrees (Celsius) and dipping into freezing at night. The sun is so pleasant! The touches of red really cheer me up. Thanks Jane Brocket for the inspiration! I want to link you to Completely Cauchy, but perhaps on a day when her post is not PG-13.
I love the promise of family gathering and singing with children that this season brings. We will be flying from concert to concert (2 extra at Emily's university). But we love to be bathed in music.
There has been a little knitting on a selfish brown Malabrigo Moody Kerchief for me. I need to get back to the list.
Let the season begin.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Adventures in Yarn

 On Saturday I went on a yarn crawl, maybe more of a stagger than a crawl. We met at 88 Stitches in Langley and did a bit of damage. I was there a few weeks ago and wanted my friends to enjoy this friendly store.  I bought Malabrigo for another Moody Kerchief, some Kidsilk creation and the new Jane Austen Knits magazine by Interweave Press.  S and I were done long before J could deliberate, but that's our normal. Great lunch at Mozarts.
 Then the unfortunate trip to Port Moody and Black Sheep. I thought we would go back on the Trans Canada Highway and cross the Port Mann bridge to double back. Because of the Fraser River, the roads are not direct, even though the stores aren't far as the crow flies. But S is more local and wanted to take the new Golden Ears bridge. I said fine, but I can't navigate in Maple Ridge/ Pitt Meadows. Well, apparently, with all the heavy rains, the lane and signage changes, she can't either. I have proven that I will follow her anywhere, even down a dead end gravel road.
It was like being in an old X-Files episode. Partly because we're watching the old seasons, and partly because this is where they were actually filmed.
By retracing our steps (and driving in circles almost an hour) we made it to the most charming, bright and friendly Black Sheep shop. Well worth the adventure.
 I added more Kidsilk Haze and the Mohair Bias Loop pattern to the basket, as well as some Rowan fine tweed and two copies of Coastal Knits (one for a gift).
The store samples were exquisite. I think I'll rip out the stocking stitch of my Dahlia because the rowing out is too obvious. I can do better.
 I cast off the long neglected socks and cast on the Kidsilk  Creations scarf. Not sure if I want to wear it or give it away. I feel a bit 'clownish' in it, but a more sophisticated person could carry it off.
I also finished knitting for my great nephews. Squeee. I can't show just yet. Lurkers, you know.
I'm working on the Moody Kerchief and the Mohair Bias loop. Just bought another scarf so my  Xmas knitting list is shrinking! That's one way to complete a list.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful Anyway

 It's American Thanksgiving, but I got to do a little Black Friday shopping in downtown Chilliwack this morning and we had a lovely, sunny day to be thankful for.
I'm thankful the plasterers are gone last night, though they finished at 9 last night. All their plastic barrier and drop cloths are gone with them, but a lot of dust remains. Today I washed and painted the wall below their fix. It happens to be our fireplace wall, our feature wall. I'll have to do a second coat where the plaster meets the ceiling.
 I am done the endless beginning of a non-Christmas gift. I knit a couple of Santa hats and maybe squeed a little. They are charming and the opposite of a raft of garter stitch. I may be making one for me to wear at work. Is it OK to be silly at hospice? I also have a Snoopy scrub top.
 The amazing amaryllis is outdoing its predecessors. Never have I had a bulb before December. To celebrate, it is now in a sweet Christmas pot. Don't worry there will be more pictures as it grows like corn.
And a package arrived from Louisiana as part of our Knit Girllls afghan square swap. A huge package from ScottieGirl1 on Ravelry. She knit me a beautiful, soft, blue square and added so many goodies. We laughed about the American "Smarties", nothing like the ones I grew up with. I'll make the family BBQ shrimp with Dirty Rice as a treat. I'm allergic to sea food, but they love it.
And I am thankful for friends and family. Every day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Outside Inside

Everything is topsy turvy as the workmen fix the leak in the ceiling over our fireplace. Furniture is shoved against the wall, the table is full of mantle items. 
On Thursday J came over for  knitting because I had to answer electrician questions. He must be a very desperate electrician to need answers from me. On Friday I hid in the basement and took back my crafting cupboards, moving them to the old play room and reorganizing them. Please don't touch them (don't open the cupboard and throw the stuff within a 2 meter radius!). I may have more sewing confidence now that I know where my stuff is.
I do have to say they are very tidy, but still very noisy and not easy to anticipate. Will they come this morning? Should I be here? Can I go do errands?

Oh, but outside. It has snowed and the snow stuck! Black ice and wind. Yes, in a turn around of a few hours, the winter arrived. It's as cold as November! Hats, scarves, mitts (with fingers). Last week I was walking the dog while wearing a sweatshirt and rain shell. I was going to do some weeding. Yesterday was full arctic gear.
She doesn't care. She loves weather. I filled the bird feeders and suet holder. I think the wee birds are as shocked as we are.
In knitting, I am working on some epic garter stitch that is the basis for a surprise gift, so very boring to you (and to me also). As soon as I do decrease every one of the 205 stitches I will cast on a Christmas gift or a silly Santa hat. If the hat works out, it will probably go in the gift pile anyway.
Overseas cards are finally ready to post. I always have a challenge collecting addresses. Next will be completing the Amazon orders for nieces and nephews far away. Then I'll get all the contents of the gift drawer exposed and start my plotting.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

And On This Path

 Spent the last few days in Knutsford. The weather is at least a month ahead. The Coquihalla Highway was beautiful on the way up, with snow on the side of the road and mist in the deep canyons. Long Lake was frozen, thawed, and started to freeze while I was there.
 We had to walk around the lake because it was very windy and the old aspen trees are dangerous when they fall.
 Dexter and Jake are the dogs in charge when we're outside.
 My sister kept saying, "It's not cold." But I had my Malabrigo Moody Kerchief and fingerless mitts all the time.
We went to electrictree and had a great visit with our older sister who is one of the shop owners, with her daughter. It was decided we would do a knit a long (KAL) of the Bandana Cowl from We chose Cascade Eco Wool and the suggested 16 inch circular needles. Loved the yarn, didn't like the needles. I was able to help my sister cast on in our old way, do double decreases and even venture into short row shaping. I cast off just as I was ready to go.
But even though it was beautiful in Kamloops, the Coquihalla pass was blocked by snow and spun out vehicles. After a wee bit of drama, I chose to go home by the Fraser Canyon, the Trans Canada Highway. It doesn't have the elevation for snow, but is very twisty and turny. Luckily I spotted a confident semi tractor trailer with a refrigerated box and followed him from Spences Bridge to Hope. It started to rain and got suddenly dark in Litton at 4:30. The next hour was a bit scary with tunnels and curves and steep grades, the wipers on triple and the visibility low. But, thanks to my security truck, I made it to Hope, which is almost home, and it stopped raining.
I was happy to get home to work the next day and then just relax. All roads lead to home.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Project Success

The 12 hats are finished and will go to Mexico for Christmas. Thanks to Needles In the Hay for the spectrum challenge. I was born in Peterborough, but have no memories of it. I would love this to be my own LYS (local yarn shop).
I had to finish these early so I could complete another project: KGASS, the Knit Girllls Afghan Square Swap. The next round starts in January. Maybe you'd like to join us? I have one more square to knit and gather up the goodies I have been picking up to mail. In return, someone from the group is knitting me another blue cabled square. These will become a blanket someday. Yay.
Then I can flagellate myself with Christmas knitting. Some of it will be secret. The last thing I usually do is a hat for D to lose in the barn. Already have that yarn. I am going to the ranch on Wednesday so I can do some secret knitting there. I have invited so many people to Ravelry, who knows who lurks in the dark corners?
Today I will be pleased with the win.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Hail Weather

 I made the best of some rainbow yarn that was donated to our Chilliwack C ommon Threads knitting circle. Kate knit a wonderful Baby Sophisticate cardigan with this yarn, but it just hurt my teeth. I used it for highlights and stash dived for the white. We now have almost 3 layettes for the Hospital Auxiliary.
Just got in from walking the dog (we're managing the big block again, 4 miles) . We left in sunshine and by the time we passed the high school and turned the corner to head home, it was hailing. Really. Well, it is November.
And to keep a dear friend warm and comforted, the red cache coeur (Ysolda's Damson) was cast off Saturday night at work and blocked at midnight when I got home. It was dry enough to sneak to her at church before her husband had to go on a trip. I don't know how the results of her tests went, but I would like her to know she's not alone. I am not just a fair weather friend.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Flowers

 I'm stealing this idea from Cornflower. I love how she used non-petally flowers today. I looked at my garden, grabbed my camera and felt a rush of excitement. I love these lost flowers that mark the change in seasons. I confess I let my parsley go to flower.
 New pots in purple with pansies to cover spring tulips.
 The anemone still holds her graceful head on a delicate stalk.
 Pink poppies are still beautiful when they are generating seeds.
And my beloved columbine. I was given seeds from my sister's heritage garden and was so pleased to be able to take the same seeds to her new farm. We think of BIL's grandma who came over from Ireland and kept her hats in a trunk with the original travel tag.
The preservation of last years flowers give hope to next spring.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


 I was at my daughter's Jazz Band concert in Langley and heard my friends from knitting night saying, "That's pretty close to 88 Stitches." Why yes it is. So I scooted over. The concert was great, but my back is giving me problems and driving is the problem. I snuck into Fort Langley and still did not find shoes that are as interesting as Converse but for this older knitter. I felt my feet were too big. But at 88 Stitches, I was Goldilocks at home. Can you say wall of Malibrigo? Sue was super and I felt like I needed to stop in again to pick up more. The Kidsilk Haze is because I never buy it. Now it is mine.
 This Sweet Fibre is so gorgeous. It is hand dyed by a local dyer,  Sue's daughter, in fact. I was compelled to take it home with me. It's sock, 80% superwash merino and 20% nylon. I will make myself a shawl. Another one.
And yesterday morning I was compelled to make a shawl for a friend who may be facing a terrible diagnosis. I still say maybe not, but she deserves something warm and comforting. A Damson in Shibui baby alpaca. I shall call it a Cache Coeur to keep her heart safe.
I am giving up my knitted Hallowe'en wig that was my compulsion last month to rip this thing out.
How quickly can I knit this up before I get back on the crazy train that is all the Christmas knitting?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


 The presents are presenting themselves. J doesn't read blogs, so I think I can post progress here, but not on This is Grumperina's Volna scarf. I'm doing it in Fame Trend. The colour changes are like Noro, but stay in Jean Green.
Mom asked for a skinny scarf. The Crystal Palace Bunny Hop has 8% Rabbit Angora and is so soft. This is Falling Water, and I like it better than the lacy ripples I did a few months ago. This pattern sings (and screams, as in screamin' fast). Two mufflers, check.
There are other gifts in the planning stage, but I have had confessions of lurking and have very unfortunately introduced Ravelry to many new friends. The blog is not safe. Don't they know they can just look in my knitting bag(s) for the evidence they seek?
Any ideas on how I can get them to comment and come out of the shadows?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Unexpected Finds

 The Wooly Bears are out. Also called Wooly Worms (no longer creeped out by Wooly Wormhead). You could easily miss them if you are travelling too quickly. But when I walk the dog, I like to take my time and enjoy the lovely area we live in.
 The view is not always of the mountains. When it's really rainy and cloudy, the  mountains are hidden in their shrouding. But the sky can still be beautiful. Even though I am not a fan of Canada Geese in my yard, I am touched by their beauty in the sky and how they mark the autumn. Unfortunately while I was engrossed in taking this picture, our rotten neighbour's daughter, the Troll, brought the vicious black labs to the same park and let them run loose. They were in the tennis court, but the doors weren't shut and when Roxy came at me with teeth bared and barking like a devil, I was still greatly frightened. This was on top of a painful back from my first chiropractor visit and the bad behaviour of my own big dog who is afraid of the garbage and recycling trucks that are out on Thursday.
I consoled myself by baking a birthday cake for my best friend, and pumpkin muffins for the family. My friends had a great birthday party!! What great friends!
 Surprisingly I finished the baby sweaters. The green alpaca is from a fail to mix two colours. I love the shell buttons. Hopefully we'll have a baby shower soon.
 The Baby Surprise Jacket is always a treat. This one was completed surprisingly quickly. Thanks Knit Girllls for the yarn prize. This one will join a hat and booties to support the Chilliwack General Hospital Auxiliary.
Last Sunday was the Rotary Club Book Sale. A huge event, you never know what you'll find. Although the prices are no longer one dollar each, they are all 3-5 dollars and worth sifting through hundreds of thousands to find a few gems. The genres are better organized now and I have so many books I am more discerning. Also Jean bought the other ones I want and I can borrow them.
It is time to put reading on the to do list. I need to read more than just at bed time because I have a long queue including book club books and non fiction.
If I wake up before my alarm is set, I get to read in bed. I love unexpected finds.