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.