Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Captured the above photo in the a.m. when I let the dog out the back door to do his thing ... These trees surround our property and provide a lot of much needed shade in the summer, but can be treacherous when we get snow. One of the branches on a tree at the side of the house (the neighbor's side of the fence) got too heavy with the snow and broke off, coming through our tile roof. Not impressed! This is the very same tree we offered to go halfers with our neighbor on, last summer, if they would cut it down. They decided to just top it and have a few branches taken off -- bad decision! Hubby and another neighbor were up on the roof replacing cracked tiles, and then 'jury-rigged' an A-frame to protect the peak, where several more tiles were destroyed. Thankfully, the branch only went through to the attic, and not through the laundry room ceiling, where my brand new washer and dryer reside!!!!

People, this is the south west coast of B.C. ! We don't get this kind of snow on a regular basis! We might get 4" once a year, but it's gone the next day ... We've had over 3 feet in the space of less than a week! This is the pile next to the driveway -- Note: I'm 5'5" tall! The last time we had snow for Christmas, was in '96, the year we got married. Apparently, this is the 1st Christmas in over 40 years, that all of Canada had a white Christmas.

Hubby did the bulk of the shoveling, but I did my share, too. It was endless! The above photo is at the beginning of the week, before the next 12" fell! He declared (yet, again!) that this is the last year that he is going to shovel snow -- he says that a snow blower will soon be residing in the tool shed.

Here are my 'boys' on Christmas Eve, getting ready for the visitors. Brinkley absolutely loves the snow and cavorted around like an idiot in it!

Here's our little man with his grandpa -- so cute in his 'big boy' outfit! Rosy cheeks courtesy of upper molars coming through and a head cold, which he kindly passed on to grandma :(

BTW, his mom had been working with him on the ride over to the house. He came running through the door when he saw me and said, wait for it ..."guh-i-ma"! ... I almost cried. I know, pathetic.

From the youngest, to the oldest 'grand', opening their Christmas gifts ... a talking train set for E*than,

A rocker chair for J*osh to plug in all his electronics and listen to his IPod, or play PSP games with surround sound. We handed him the cords and he had the whole thing hooked up lickety-split and soon we were listening to the theme song from "Twilight" (that reference is just for you, Tara!)

C*icely in the "I'mtoocooltoletyouknowthatIreallylovemynewlaptop" phase. The joys of being 15.5 yrs. :P******

Oh yes, there is a little knitting content. Here is my Woodland Shawl, in the "Fiddlehead" colourway from 'The Woolen Rabbit'. It's a semi solid lace weight merino, with subtle colour changes -- love it! Once blocked, all edges will have a lovely scallop to them -- so pretty! And what I like, is that it doesn't require a Kitchener join in the middle of the shawl. I really am not crazy about that, for 2 reasons: 1) I don't like doing that procedure and 2) it's always so evident, even when you do it well! The pattern is well written, easy to follow and easy to memorize, so I can actually watch TV while knitting.

BTW, we rented "Made of Honour" last night, with Patrick Dempsey (Throb!) It was hilarious! Just go rent it.

Happy New Year to you all!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ascot, et al

Love this pattern! It's basically garter stitch, with a ton of wrapped stitch, short rows to make the ends flare out. Then, you knit on a border with bobbles, to finish it off. The pattern is called 'Ascot' and is from Interweave Knits Holiday Gift Guide 2007. This is Manos del Uruguay yarn which I had purchased on my recent trip to Scotland. There is still enough of the one skein to make at least a baby sized hat. It's wonderful yarn -- silk and merino blend and the colourway reminds me of the ocean.

One Tudora down, with Fetching mitts to accompany (pattern courtesy of Knitty.com) in Malabrigo, natch!

And here are the rest of them -- I'm done with this pattern -- soooooo done. There's nothing wrong with it -- in fact, it was fabulous -- I've just made so many that I'm over it. All in Malabrigo, with buttons purchased at Ram Wools, in Winnipeg, from my recent trip.

There was a lot of this in Winnipeg -- and in addition, -26C! Coming from the Southwest coast, this took some getting used to! Although, it is a very dry cold, so not as hard to bear. I was very grateful for my down coat, lined boots and knitted accessories, I'll tell you!

My dear friend suffered through a trip to the yarn store and very patiently waited and listened while I went into raptures over the wonderful finds! We pulled into the parking lot to discover that there was a store-wide sale on that day only -- can you say 'happy dance'????? I picked up some silk "Tussah" (pictures to follow at a later date, and some lovely Peruvian merino, along with a ton of buttons -- what a selection!

Here's my best friend, Connie, making Christmas Cards. I brought a ton of gear with me so that we would be able to do all of our cards together. I thought for sure I was going to be over the 50lb weight limit at the airport scales, but thankfully, the case was 4 lbs under! Although, they did put a 'Heavy' label on it.

And here's a sampling of some of what we accomplished! These are Connie's cards and I had about the same amount of my own. I also helped her get a start on her daughter's wedding album, so we really got a lot done. Whenever I come to visit, we always find a project to do -- I think her poor hubby lives in fear of my visits, as he knows something's going to change before I leave! One year, Connie decided she was done with the look of her table lamps, so we bought special paint and went to town on them. They turned out beautifully!

And here is a photo of Connie's daughter Kerri and I together. We have so much fun when we're out together and people realize that we have the same name! Although, I spell mine with a 'y' at the end. It's scary ... I remember when she was born, and now she's a young married woman. Please tell me I'm not that old ..... :)

Connie and I met when we were barely 20. We were assigned as roommates at Capernwray Bible School in Austria, for 3 months. We immediately hit it off and were inseparable for the whole 3 months. When school ended, Connie went home and was married within 6 months, and I stayed on and traveled for another 1 1/2 years with a band as their lead female singer. Even though our lives were very different, we still kept in touch all through the years and found time to visit each other, in between the births of her 3 children (all of whom are now 18 and older)! It such a gift to have a friend who's known you through your past and present and 'get's you'. Ok, this is bizarre ... as I was just about to hit the 'publish' button, she phoned!