Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spelt Check

You might have noticed the dearth of updates about my gluten-free experiment. Actually, after I did a search of my own blog, I realized that while I have mentioned eating gluten-free several times, I have never given a proper update. It's much easier to update my gym experience on occasion. That place is like a blogger's bonanza. Eating gluten-free is a real sleeper in comparison. "Yes, I'm still avoiding gluten. The end." Yawn.

Well, there is finally something to report. This past week I decided to give spelt a trial run. Spelt is an ancient grain, related to but not the same as wheat. It does contain gluten, but many people who have trouble with wheat consumption have found they can tolerate spelt (this would not include celiacs). Before going gluten-free I used spelt in a lot of my baking. I liked the flavour and the texture, and found it a good whole grain alternative. After just over a year of avoiding all gluten I decided it was time to give spelt another try.

Monday I made a blueberry crisp and used spelt in the crumb topping. I had blueberry crisp for dessert that night and enjoyed every single bite. I enjoyed it so much I had some for breakfast the following morning. And again for dessert that night. (This is starting to feel like a confessional.) I went to bed Tuesday night thinking the spelt trial was a success, dreaming of all the great things I could bake now that I was able to add spelt back into my diet.

Those positive thoughts lasted until I got up Wednesday morning and looked in the mirror. It was back. The reason I had decided to stop eating gluten in the first place was to see if it would help clear up my ocular rosacea. (If you are interested in that story you can read about it here.) It did, and I haven't had a single flare-up since I cut gluten out of my diet. Three days into a spelt trial and my left eye looks like it belongs to a drug addict. It is rather upsetting on several fronts, but most especially because ocular rosacea can damage your vision if it gets out of control. Needless to say, I am off spelt again.

In other, cheerier news, my friend Ellen proposed that we each do a Self-Imposed Sock Club. This involves going into your stash and picking a skein of sock yarn for each month of the year and putting it in a bag with the name of the month you plan to knit it. I am feeling pretty good about this idea so far. I completed my January socks last night, which means I came in a day ahead of the deadline. They are basic socks knit with Poste Yarn's Bravery colourway.

It was fun digging through my sock yarn stash trying to match up yarns with the months. This looked like the perfect choice for February.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Two Things the Gym Won't Fix

I decided it's time for another gym update. The big news is I have managed to drag myself there for the whole month of January. That might not seem like big news, but when going to the gym includes going out in the freezing cold at 6:15 in the morning, scraping the ice and snow off your windshield, and getting into a vehicle that resembles a block of ice on wheels, I think it qualifies. I credit the seat warmer with my continued dedication. Best automobile invention ever!

In other gym news Curly, Moe and Larry have been replaced by Squirrel Lady. Squirrel Lady is a perfectly sculpted, petite bundle of energy that, and I know this is going to make me sound petty, makes me crazy. Crazy maker number one is she is chatty. It reminds me of when you walk near a tree that has a squirrel in it. Non-stop, annoying and loud. Crazy maker number two is her habit of doing one set of weights or one machine, then hurrying over to her bag to grab a handful of nuts to eat. I'm sure I don't need to spell out the connection here. Not only is it weird, it seems fairly unhygienic to me. First you hang onto a piece of equipment that dozens of other sweaty people have just held, then you go dig in your bag for food? Gross.

After going to the gym for just over half a year I have to tell you there are two areas that have seen no improvement. Realistically it wasn't like I was expecting improvement in these areas, but being an eternal optimist I remained hopeful. I have noted that no matter how toned and firm my muscles become, my skin remains loose. This seems grossly unfair to me. Why is it that as you get older your skin becomes more pliable and you mind less so? If I ran the world I would reverse this.

Which leads me to the second area that has seen no improvement. My memory. I'm sure I read a study somewhere that talked about a connection between exercise and improved memory. At least I thought I did. If I remember where, I will come back and include a link.

I have a theory that as you get older the problem isn't that your capacity to remember things decreases. No, the real problem is mind clutter. An example that perfectly illustrates this happened this past weekend. Every month or so my friend Hilary and I schedule in a phone call. In order to make sure I wouldn't forget the call I put Post-It notes in two different locations to remind me. If my mind wasn't on fifty other things at the same time I don't think the Post-Its would have been necessary. Then, during the course of the conversation, Hilary recommended a movie. I told her I had watched it after she had recommended it in a previous call (one she didn't remember having). I could even remember her description of a particularly funny scene. Why, I ask, was valuable brain space being used up by this insignificant detail? Mind clutter. If there was a delete button for this kind of stuff, collected over the decades, I think there would be a much better chance of me remembering why I just walked across the room.

This last bit doesn't go along with the topic of this post, but I thought you might be interested in an update on the family shoe rack status. After posting this picture last week I asked David if he could please move his leg.

This wasn't what I had in mind.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Thrumming Along

When I was out walking last week I realized I was back to looking like the dog's breakfast. I was wearing my new purple headband and my bright red 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic mittens. (I guess there's nothing wrong with wearing red and purple together if you belong to The Red Hat Society, but I don't.) It was a cold day, and as I walked along thinking about mittens and cold hands and my yarn/fibre stash I suddenly knew what I needed to make - a pair of thrummed mittens.

I realize a lot of people don't know what thrummed mittens are. Here is a brief description from the wonderful book Favorite Mittens by Robin Hansen.

Fleece-stuffed mittens, also called thrummed (or drummed) mittens, come from Labrador and northern Newfoundland, but they belong to the same tradition as Maine Fisherman's Wet Mittens...they appear to be made according to the same set of directions, except that twists of unpsun fleece are knit into the fabric every few stitches every few rounds in a distinct pattern. The ends of the bits of fleece, fluffing to the inside, are thick and woolly and mat into an almost continuous lining with wear...

As soon as I got home I dug in the stash and found a skein of purple wool and some roving. I searched for a free pattern and settled on this one.

The first thing you need to do is divide your roving into skinny strips.

Then pull off pieces about five or six inches long. Make the piece into a little circle. Repeat this process over a gazillion times until you have a pile big enough to keep you going for awhile. I realized the importance of the pile after my first couple of thrums. It is a pain to have to stop and make them every couple of stitches. Trust me, you need a stockpile.

To make a thrum you insert the needle as if to knit. Then pick up one of your circles and give it a little twist, pop it around your needle so the ends are to the inside of your mitten, wrap the yarn around the needle and beside the thrum, and finish the stitch by pulling the yarn and thrum through together. It sounds a lot more complicated than it is. On the round after your thrum round be sure to knit into the back of the thrummed stitches.

I am really happy with how these turned out! (Details here.)

My cold hands are happy too. A peak at the inside of the mittens will show you why.

These make some of the toastiest mittens ever. If you aren't a knitter, but live in a cold climate, you need to ask one of your knitting friends to make these for you. I promise your hands will never be cold again. I'm sorry to have to say this, but I won't be that friend. I don't plan on making any more little circles for a very long time.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Highly Likely, Unlikely, Never In A Million Years

Right after the Christmas holidays I was doing some online banking. I gasped when I saw the balance for one of my Visa cards. I always have a rough idea of how much I have outstanding, and was pretty sure there was no way I could owe that much. I clicked on the account and saw someone in South Africa had helped themselves to an airline ticket, compliments of my Visa card.

I knew Visa would take the charge off my account, so I wasn't really worried about that part. The bigger problem was trying to figure out which things were connected to that card, and which were connected to my other Visa card. You see, I hadn't kept a list. The idea had never crossed my mind. That lapse meant I spent several hours sorting things out instead of the ten minutes it would have taken had I been more diligent. So please learn from my mistake and jot down what charges and accounts are connected to your credit card. Credit card fraud is rampant and it is highly likely you will deal with it at some point.

The next scenario is probably unlikely to happen to you. For the past two days our neighbourhood has been inundated by a huge flock of birds. (I think they are house finches, but I'm not 100% sure.) There are at least a hundred of them, swirling and swooping in a winged mass over the area. The birds are an impressive sight, as are the digested remains of mountain ash berries they have left from one end of Juniper Ridge to the other.

The digested berries are everywhere - the ground, the back deck, and the railing

When I took Fergus out to the backyard yesterday and saw the little orange plops decorating the snow I was puzzled at first, wondering what they could be. Then the motion of the birds moving over a nearby tree caught my eye. The moment I realized what had happened was the same moment Fergus snarfed up one of the digested berries. I'm sure mountain ash berries are not good for dogs, but that's the thing about dogs. They don't seem to understand the subtleties of food verses non-food. If they did they wouldn't eat things like slippers and plastic wrap.

I think it is safe to say this final thing would never happen to you in a million years.

There are, after all, some things that can only happen at the Hammond house.

Friday, January 18, 2013

No Cure For Stupidity

A friend and I went skiing up at Sun Peaks on Wednesday. It was a great day. It wasn't bitterly cold, the sun made an occasional appearance, and the snow was perfect - nice and fast and not a single patch of ice. Of course it could have been missing any or all of those components and I still would have considered it a great day, which I now define as being any day I don't end up coming down the mountain on a rescue toboggan.

This ski season I have had an upgrade. My last ski jacket was purchased thirteen years ago, which made me only slightly more current fashion-wise than this lady.

I love how warm my new jacket is. I suspect my old one had lost some of its filling over the years. (It has now been demoted to a dog walking jacket.)

In case you're wondering, no, I did not do the double black diamond run!

I am so up-to-date my new jacket even has a pocket for my iPhone. I slipped my phone into the special pocket and actually remembered to pull it out and use it quite a few times during the day. Unfortunately, this led to The Incident.

We inadvertently ended up at the Burfield chairlift. This is the old chair up at Sun Peaks. It is a long way from the other lifts, and once you find yourself over there the only way back to the main area is to go up and ski down. It is extremely slow. So slow it takes about twenty minutes to get to the top of the mountain. And when I say the top of the mountain I am not exaggerating.

About halfway up the lift I couldn't resist taking my phone out to take some pictures. I laughed and said to Mary Anne that if one of my kids took their phone out of their pocket going up a lift and consequently dropped it my response would be, "What on earth were you thinking?" Because, let's face it, it's all kinds of stupid to take the risk. If that phone gets dropped there is no way you would ever find it again. At least not until the snow melts.

Being a mature, responsible adult I held onto that iPhone like my life depended on it. I didn't let my attention wander for a second while I had it out. As I slipped it safely back into my pocket I congratulated myself on its safe return, then reached down to grab my mittens to put on my rather cold hands.

I looked. Then I looked harder. (Have you ever done that when you can't believe what you are seeing?) There was only one mitten in my lap. I whipped my head around and looked behind me. There, rapidly disappearing in the distance was my other mitten. Then I looked ahead. We still had another ten minutes to go until we got to the top.

I made it. Well, most of me made it. I'm not sure about my left hand since I could no longer feel it.

Did I mention the fact this chair takes you to the very top of the mountain? Just in case you didn't believe me.

 It gets worse. The run we needed to take to get back to the main ski area is called Five Mile. Oddly enough, it got that name because it is five miles long. I would just like to say a couple of things. The first is, it is a really good thing I am a good sport. The second is, thankfully it wasn't a bitterly cold day. It was just regular "middle of January in Canada at the top of a mountain" kind of cold. The third is I parented five children, and old habits die hard. That meant I had slipped a spare pair of mittens into my backpack. (This would have been a better thing if my backpack wasn't five cold miles away.) And finally, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation you need to know the hand dryers in the bathroom are excellent for thawing out frozen limbs.

My mittens have been replaced and next time I will not be taking them off while I am on a chairlift. Maybe there is, after all, a cure for stupidity.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Two Cowls And An Observation

Back in November I cast on for a Gaptastic Cowl for my friend for Christmas. You know you can probably trust a pattern when over 8000 projects have already been posted on Ravelry! My friend isn't a knitter, so I decided a superwash wool would be my best bet. I chose Cascade 128 Superwash in a dark blue colour. This yarn was so lovely and soft to knit with, and the colour was so deep and rich, as I was knitting away on the cowl I found myself tempted to order some more for a sweater. Then I thought about my stash, which pretty much nipped that in the bud. Here is Alexandra modelling the cowl before it got mailed off to its intended recipient.

Gaptastic #1

Of course, since I had ordered this yarn from Webs I needed to add enough to the order to get me to the $60 discount mark. I decided I would like my own Gaptastic, so added some Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds Chunky in a a neutral brown colour. I loved knitting the first Gaptastic so much, the minute I cast off #1 I cast on for #2. And that's when the love affair went sour.

I love rustic, sheepy yarns. I especially love them for sweaters. They wear well, and I know the sweaters will last me for many years. So I'm not sure what happened when I cast on with this one. I liked the neutral colour. I liked the sheepy smell of the wool. But I hated knitting this pattern with it. It was one of my strangest knitting experiences ever, knitting the same pattern twice in a row and having each time be a completely opposite experience. And that got me to thinking.

If I had knit my first Gaptastic with the Rowan yarn I know I would never have knit another one, nor would I have recommended the pattern to any of my knitting friends. (Which I enthusiastically did, since my first experience was a good one, and they went on to knit their own Gaptastics.) I would have gone through life wondering what was wrong with those 8000+ knitters who had gone before me.

That started me wondering if I had ever done this before - deciding I don't like something for all the wrong reasons. Two things immediately came to mind. Whipped cream and Shirley MacLaine. Since I have already blogged about whipped cream I'll get right to the Shirley MacLaine bit. I have avoided Shirley MacLaine in the same way most people try to avoid infectious disease ever since I saw her in that horrid movie Terms of Endearment. Please note the lack of a link. If you haven't ever been subjected to this movie consider yourself lucky.

So you can imagine how conflicted I was when I heard she was going to be making an appearance in Downton Abbey. I had successfully avoided her for almost three decades, but was now faced with having to watch her once again. Well, it was the Gaptastic experience in reverse. I have to admit I quite liked her the second time around. Enough that if a movie comes out that has her in it I would now consider watching it, which would have been unthinkable before my Downton Abbey experience.

Now I am left wondering how many other potential good things in life I have missed out on. I can say I have given liver a second chance and it remains on my hate list. Ditto with lima beans. But still, I am left with this nagging feeling that I might be missing out on something. Anyway, I did eventually finish Gaptastic #2.

Gaptastic #2

Alexandra liked the one she modelled so much she asked me to order the same yarn so she could knit herself one. The thing about that is she hates knitting the way I always thought I hated whipped cream and Shirley MacLaine. Which makes me think there might be a Gaptastic #3 in my future.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Today was absolutely gorgeous. The sun was shining, the sky was mostly blue, and the snow was sparkling. Small, perfect snowflakes were falling, each one reflecting the sun. It was like a snow globe brought to life.

I have been measuring the snow depth out in the garden box.

I figure I can get the most accurate measurements there since the snow in it is completely undisturbed. This is definitely the most snow we have had since moving to Kamloops six and a half years ago.

14 inches on December 29; 16 inches on January 7; 20 inches on January 11

I have a helpful dog walking tip for anyone who lives in an area that gets a lot of snow. If you get 8 inches of snow overnight you might want to take this into consideration the next morning when walking under a clothesline that you usually just have to duck your head slightly to get under.

All of this snow has made me especially happy about the first project cast on and off my needles in 2013. This is the latest Kate Davies pattern, Snawpaws, knit with Excelana yarn.

I loved how the real snowflakes were falling from the sky onto the snowflake pattern on the mittens.

I now have a matching hat and mittens, which is quite a change from my usual dog's breakfast of handknitted accessories.

I'm quite sure the neighbours won't recognize the stranger in their midst.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Memory Soup

I am planning to make a slow cooker soup recipe today that a friend told me about. It takes just three ingredients, and she says it tastes amazingly good. That is probably because the star ingredient is my favourite pasta sauce, al Dente. This pasta sauce isn't necessarily easy to locate, but if you can find some where you live I highly recommend it. It deserves a post of its own, so I will just say it is a Hammond family staple, and after using my last can over the Christmas holidays I was relieved to have a new case come into my possession last week.

Here is where this story takes a turn. I went to my pantry to find some lentils, which happen to be ingredient number two. It took a bit of searching to locate them. Alexandra is allergic to lentils, so I don't cook with them very often, and couldn't remember exactly where I had put them. I pulled the bag out from the very back corner of the pantry and promptly burst into tears. You see, I had forgotten.

One of the crops my dad grew on our farm was lentils. After he retired he continued to supply me with locally grown lentils. It had become a more difficult task once my parents moved off the farm, but he knew how much I loved having them so he went to great lengths to find them for me. I was holding in my hands the last bag of lentils my dad had bought for me. The last bag he would ever buy for me.

To make matters worse, there were only enough lentils left for this soup. I stood in my kitchen thinking two things. The first was, I can't throw the bag away. I simply can't. The second was, I can't save an empty plastic bag. I simply can't. Even for sentimental me that would be carrying things a bit too far. And that's when it hit me. I could take pictures and blog about it.

I am finding, almost a year and a half after my dad died, that this is how grief, tempered by time, operates. It is still there, but remains hidden for large chunks of time. Like one of those jack-in-the-box toys children play with, when I am least expecting it, it jumps out at me, taking me totally by surprise. I remember walking down a street in Kamloops last year and catching a faint whiff of pipe smoke in the air. And in that moment the memory of my grandpa was so profound, so vivid, I could almost feel his presence. If the smell of pipe smoke could, after more than thirty years, bring tears to my eyes I guess it should come as no surprise to me that after just a year and a half a bag of lentils could do the same.

Not that a recipe is the point of this post, but I won't leave you hanging about ingredient number three. It is chicken stock. The instructions are as simple as the ingredients. Put equal amounts of pasta sauce and chicken stick in the slow cooker. I am going to use about four cups of each. Thoroughly wash whatever amount of lentils you decide to use. It looks to me like I have about a cup and a half left in the bag, so that's what I am going with. Throw those in, stir, and cook on low for about six hours.

I had originally titled this post Sad Soup, but decided that wasn't quite right. I have renamed it Memory Soup, and every time I make it I am going to think about my dad, and how love can be shown in something as simple as the gift of a bag of lentils.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Homemade Sunshine

I know I haven't mentioned my Sky Scarf in a very long time. When I stop talking about a knitting project that usually means it has been stuffed to the back of a closet, but not this time. I am actually still working on this noose scarf. It is now so long that after yesterday's catch-up session (knitting this has grown so tedious that I now record several days of sky information, then knit it all up in one sitting) I got tangled up in it when I stood up. I keep reassuring myself with the thought that although I might need a neck brace to support the weight of the thing should I ever wear it, at least it will be warm.

I started the scarf on my birthday last February, so I only have a month to go. By the time one reaches their fifties you would think they wouldn't be too anxious to see another birthday roll around. Not so in my case. The big day can't come soon enough. The weather we have had lately hasn't helped. Here's a sample.

All this grey garter stitch should explain why I have been on a Fair Isle binge

Saturday morning, in the midst of all this greyness, I was reading some of my favourite blogs. Both Hail Britannia and Dovegreyreader (you will have to scroll down to the January 5 post) had bright, beautiful pictures of the lemon curd they had just made. I love lemon curd, but had never considered making it myself. But it just so happened that I had some Meyer lemons that needed to be used. I decided that if Mother Nature wasn't going to produce any sunshine, I would make my own.

Google produced lots of recipes. I used this one, paying close attention to what the reviewers said about the eggs. The ingredients are minimal - lemons, eggs, butter and sugar. I loved watching the colour change as it thickened.

Saturday night I made a lemon mousse. But that wasn't really what I had in mind when I made this lemon curd. It was destined for the scones I made yesterday.

Just looking at this brightens my day!

To me lemon curd seems about as British as you can get, which made it the perfect accompaniment to the premiere of season 3 of this.

Yes, I am one of those. A diehard fan. In my defence I would just like to say I was hooked on the show long before it became all the rage on this side of the pond. Delicious lemon curd and a whole season of Downton Abbey ahead. Something bright to focus on during the darkest days of winter.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Out With the Old

I am sure you have noticed the new blog header and side bar info. What you can't see is the agony I went through in changing it. It wasn't so much that it was a difficult job - time consuming yes, but hard, not really. The truth is I don't like change. The old blog header was a collage of pictures from that memorable trip my cousin Kath and I took to Scotland back in 2011. But that was the thing. That trip was back in 2011 and we are moving into 2013. I have many new readers who weren't along with us on that journey, and I was painfully aware that for them the blog header didn't even make sense. There I was, an eclectic Canadian blogger with a header from Scotland.

To give you an idea of how reluctant I was to let go of that header, I first started having these thoughts late last summer. Every time they would surface I was able to successfully ignore them. Right up to the final days of 2012. That made for almost six months of procrastination, which is a lot even for me.

I am still fixing a few things, and my plan is to change the header on a more frequent basis. I will also try to keep current pictures of our family is the side bar. All of the ones there, with the exception of Jay's, are from 2012. I didn't have a single decent picture of Jay from 2012 on my computer (which explains why he wasn't in our family collage photo in my last post), so his is from a trip we took in 2011. (As a retired fisheries biologist I thought it was fitting that it was taken on a research boat off San Juan Island.) I am thinking about adding a mini-collage of my trips in the side bar, but wonder if it might end up looking too busy if I do that. If you have any feedback/ideas I would love to hear from you!

Also in the blog housekeeping department, I didn't have time to show you my final two knitted items for the year. I started off 2012 knitting Boreal, a sweater design by Kate Davies, so it seemed fitting somehow that I finished the year with two Kate Davies patterns. Here is Neep Heid.

I might not be making any progress with my Chinese, but thanks to Kate Davies I have managed to pick up a few Scots words.

I used the leftovers from the Neep Heid, along with a deep purple skein I found in my stash, to finish off the year with wwwww#1, possibly the most oddly named knitting project ever.

This is the warmest headband I have ever knit! It is made from Jamieson & Smith Shetland wool, and lined with a soft sock yarn. I figure by the time I get over my Kate Davies knitting binge I should have enough leftover J&S yarn to knit a dozen or so more of these. Any guesses as to what was the first project I cast on in 2013?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Well, Here We Go

It was fun to go back and read last year's New Year's Day post. I don't want to repeat what I have already said about having long ago given up making resolutions. I'll just sum it up by saying resolutions make me feel claustrophobic in some strange way. The minute I make one I feel trapped by it. Resolutions have now been replaced by New Year Directions.

Here's a look at where I thought I was headed in 2012, along with updates.

  1. I would like to get even more words written in 2012 than I did in 2011. It would be a bonus if I could find a way for those words to generate an income. I continued to write in 2012, and established the routine of going to the coffee shop three mornings a week. I'm quite happy with where I ended up in terms of my writing. There will be a blog post with details sometime soon!
  2. I would like to improve my photography skills. I didn't end up doing anything towards improving my picture taking skills, but just this week have discovered PicMonkey for photo editing, so I hope that will add to the quality of the pictures that make it into my blog.
  3. I want to keep moving forward with my Chinese language program. I stalled on my Chinese program partway through the year. I'm not sure why. Well, that's not exactly true. Learning Chinese is difficult. I am contemplating trying a different language. 
  4. I hope to knit at least 6 of the sock patterns in Around the World in Knitted Socks. Where I went with this one surprised me, because I love every pair of socks in this book. When 2012 vanished into the history books last night I had knit exactly zero pairs of these gorgeous socks. I still have two pairs on the needles that I started in 2011 and didn't even manage to finish them! I have come to the conclusion that socks are my comfort knitting and I don't like doing complicated ones. That's not to say I won't make the occasional pair, but I don't think I will ever have a drawer full of fancy socks. Instead, the direction I did head in was to knit five of Kate Davies" patterns. 
  5. I want to learn at least one new knitting technique (Brioche? Double Knitting?). I learned several new techniques when I knit the Kate Davies tea cozy pattern, and I knit a hat using the Brioche stitch. Double knitting got shoved to the back burner, but I have purchased a Lucy Neatby instructional DVD on the technique. 
  6. I really, really really want to travel overseas again this year. At the beginning of 2012 I knew I would be taking another trip overseas, but I had no idea where I would be going. When Rebekah got the teaching job in South Korea my destination was set. It was a wonderful trip, in spite of the infamous accommodation.

There were also some surprise journeys last year. When 2012 rolled in I can tell you I had absolutely no intention of going to the gym on a regular basis. I also didn't know I would be getting a little white bundle of trouble named Fergus! I had no idea that Karsten and Diana would be living in Victoria by the end of 2012, or that Alexandra would be moved out and living on her own. And there were the few rough patches with Alexandra's health. (To be honest those felt more like forced marches than journeys down a path.) 

Here's where I hope to be going in 2013.
  1. I hope to get a book published this year. 
  2. I would like to go to Shetland, and also possibly Wales and Scotland. 
  3. I would love to move to a small cabin on a few acres somewhere, anywhere where there are trees. It is starting to feel like time to leave Kamloops.
  4. 2013 seems like a good year to become a grandparent.
  5.  I hope to knit several of the patterns out of the Colours of Shetland book by Kate Davies. I would like this to be the year I knit my souvenir yarn - the cashmere from my trip to China and the yarn from Scotland. After all, if I make it to Shetland I will need that room in my stash for all the Jamieson & Smith yarn I intend to come home with! I hope to knit at least a few of the fun things out of the Arne and Carlos books. And last but not least, I know several people having babies, so there will definitely be some baby knitting in 2013.
I think I should dub 2013 as The Year of Thinking Big! It will be interesting to see how it unfolds. Here's a look back at 2012. Of course there was some knitting.

My trip to Korea to visit Rebekah and Anton.

And, as always, the most important thing of all - family!

Happy New Year!