Tuesday, December 9, 2014

For the Record

I feel like I need to set the record straight. So many of you left kind comments on my last post, saying how organized I was for Christmas. While that might be true in some areas, especially around food and gifts, it in no way means I am ready for the Big Day.

I also wouldn't want to leave you with a false impression that I'm Martha Stewart. Or the female equivalent of Jamie Oliver. Or anyone else that might appear on TV or in a magazine, standing in front of a beautifully set table, wearing an elegant dress, and pointing to a perfectly cooked turkey sitting on a platter. My sights are set quite a bit lower than that. I'll be happy if I have enough food to keep everyone from going hungry, the washing machine keeps running so we can all wear clean clothes, and the dogs, cat and Lucy don't bring down the Christmas tree.

Any appearance of being organized I might present is rooted in fear. I love Christmas, but let's face it. There are more ways it can go wrong than I have skeins of yarn in my stash. If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you will know we are the poster family for The Twelve Broken Appliances of Christmas. I'm thrilled to have back-up appliances at the cottage we are renting, but I'm also a realist. If the power goes out it simply means we have twice as many things that don't work. And twice as many digital clocks to fix once it comes back on again.

As far as everyone being here at the same time, well, that is only happening if the weather cooperates. That and international flights. Right now Rebekah and Anton are in Japan. They are due to fly back to San Francisco on the 23rd, and then up to Bellingham, Washington on the 24th. Both Alexandra and David are driving down over the infamous Coquihalla Highway, which is often closed in the winter due to snow and/or accidents. And Karsten, Diana and Lucy have a ferry crossing, which also sometimes gets shut down due to stormy weather.

By trying to stay on top of the very few things I do have control over, I feel a little less stressed about the things I don't. I'm breathing a sigh of relief now that my Christmas knitting is finished. Kellen and Anita were out on Sunday to help us put together the new couch and love seat from IKEA. Kellen agreed to model the hat I've knit for Alexandra's boyfriend Josh.


It was knit with Rowan's Pure Wool Worsted. It's my second project using that yarn and I really like it. Ravelry details here.


The pattern is called Rib-A-Roni. It's simple, which is what most guys like, but it has the nifty crown shaping to give it some personality. I'll be knitting it again.

Jay's nephew came for our old couch and love seat on Saturday, which meant we were finally able to assemble our new IKEA furniture. They turned out to be the easiest IKEA things we've ever made. Between the four of us we had them together in under a half hour. This is the best I can do for a picture due to the fact it is a very dark and rainy day here.


I'm really happy with them! It's hard to tell from this picture, but they really brighten up the living room. The real test will be seeing if they will hold up to this sweet and innocent looking creature.


56 comments:

  1. Kristie, Fergus must be very athletic because Gabriel would never be able to get up on that couch by himself with his short little legs.....so who's the guilty party here really??! ;-)

    You have a wonderful way of telling a story. Your anxiety over Christmas--all the potential transportation nightmares--is totally understandable! And if no one makes it, any appliance catastrophe would be mute, so you can cross that one off your list of additional stressors. What I'm trying to say is you needed stress over BOTH at the same time. Does that help?

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    1. Fergus is a really good jumper. He gets up there all on his own, but he is on the larger side for a Westie. He weighs about 23 pounds. How big is Gabriel?

      Good point about if nobody makes it. We needn't worry about the appliances if there isn't anyone here to feed or bathe. Ha!

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    2. I just realized our little miniature dachshund Jenny can get up on the couch too, and her legs are extremely short! Maybe Gabriel is afraid of heights. :-)

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    3. He's 22 lbs. He can jump up onto our hearth, and once I found him on a 14-inch-high chest at the window, but he had an incentive--to get a better look at the birds. That's the highest he's ever jumped. Does he do a running leap, or is it more of a hop up?

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    4. He can just hop up from in front of the couch. He's a very springy dog. :-)

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  2. I had some kind comments saying that I seemed organised after my post yesterday, but I am far from it! Chaos is reigning, I am so far behind with blogging it isn't even funny any more and there are so many things to be done I cannot begin to think about it! I think that we all hope that others are organised and that it will rub off on us! I am sure that it will all come good for you when Christmas is actually here and if things go awry you will still make the best of it! New couches look great - are they comfy? xx

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    1. This is the season for making lists, if ever there was one. At least then we can see all the things we still need to do, which somehow makes the chaos feel more controlled. And I think you're right. We all keep hoping that other, more organized people, will rub off on us. :-)

      The couches are super comfy. Now we just need to see if they stand up to the test of time. And dogs.

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  3. The new furniture looks wonderful! That's a great photo, in spite of your dreary weather. It's dreary here, too, but we are expecting the first major snowstorm of the winter, not rain (alas). The only potential spanner in the works for our quiet Christmas will be if the AGA's thermocouple decides to pack it in over the holidays (like, just as I'm about to put the turkey in to cook!) since we were told its lifespan is 2-5 years and we've just passed its second anniversary. Fingers crossed! -- Ruth

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    1. Would you believe it if I told you it got up to 15 C here this afternoon? We are in the middle of a Pineapple Express. If this rain was snow our cottage would be buried.

      Is that part something you can keep on hand and install yourself should it decide to pack it in? Knowing that there's a part on your Aga that you have to replace every few years makes me just a little bit less jealous. But not much. :-)

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    2. Send some of that warm air our way! The next couple of days are going to be stay-home-out-of-the-snow-and -knit-and-bake days.

      We do have a spare thermocouple (it controls the burner) but as the installation involves shutting off the propane and turning it back on, we would need a qualified gas technician to do the work. It's a small price to pay for having an AGA! My former gas range was forever conking out without warning and it would take weeks to get the parts for it.

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  4. What a gorgeous room, especially with all of those wonderful windows. I think your Christmas will be fine, I can tell that you have a sense of humour when it comes to everything going wrong, which is all you need I think. I really like the hat, I think ribbing is great on hats because it makes them fit so nicely. I taking notes! CJ xx

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    1. Thanks CJ! It is a very open room, and has a high ceiling and a loft overlooking it, which is where I was when I took the picture. But even with all those windows, on a dreary day like today it can be quite dark.

      A sense of humour helps. :-)

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  5. I'm hoping for safe travelling weather this holiday season. It would certainly make life easier for everyone involved. The Rib-A-Roni definitely has the components of a good man-hat!

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    1. Good health, good weather and functioning appliances are the recipe for Happy Holidays. And yes, the Rib-A-Roni is a great man-hat. But it would also work on women, just maybe in a colour other than Guy Grey. :-)

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  6. Glad to see Fergus had already enjoying the comfort of the new sofas! Isn't he allowed any cushions to lie on? Tavi had discovered he can get in under them just hope he doesn't do any damage when we aren't looking! Your hat looks so good and comfortable. Sarah x

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    1. We kept the dogs in their crates while we assembled the couches. Within two minutes of being let out, Fergus was on top of the couch. As for cushions to lie on, there are a couple but the dogs had destroyed the covers to them. So I bought new ones when I was at IKEA, but am waiting to bring them out until right before everyone gets here. It's the only way they will be fit for humans. Is Tavi getting under the couch itself, or just under the cushions? I remember when both Fergus and Jenny were small I would worry about not seeing them and sitting on them when they were under things, especially the rocking chair.

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  7. We're very glad you're not the pretentious sort. Your sights are set on what's important. That is a nice cap, the new fella will be very pleased!

    Seeing Fergus on the couch made me stop and think about our couches. I blame Maggie, but honestly I think my daughter is almost as hard on them. I don't know how she does it! I need to visit Ikea, our family room needs to be brightened up (by something sturdy).

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    1. If you go to IKEA Rick, be sure it isn't on a weekend close to a holiday. :-)

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  8. Nothing going wrong would be perfect, but if it does just take lotsa pix of Lucy and we will all call it good.

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    1. I promise lots of Lucy pictures for you, Lynne! Jay and I put up the tree today and I hung the mini socks you gave me up on it. The perfect ornament for a knitter! :-)

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  9. the best with ektorp is that you can buy new clothes for it, I have 3 different to haveas now for Christmas I've red ones. I'm taking Ferry to Finland for Christmas and am really hoping for at least ok weather. Whishing you all a happy Christman. Jaana

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    1. That's a great idea to have different coloured covers for different seasons, Mizumatte! I especially like the idea of red ones for Christmas. I hope the weather is good for your ferry trip to Finland over the holidays. So many of us around the globe are depending on good weather at this time of the year. I hope you have a very happy Christmas!

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  10. Wow does that ever look familiar! I am sure Fergus appreciates the new couch you bought just for him, throw in a reall live rabbit and that would make it perfect! Archie spends a lot of time on the back of our couch snooping on the neighbours. I love the hat ! The shaping at the top is really interesting. It's a nice style for the menfolk.

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    1. You've hit the nail on the head, Chris. The couch I bought for Fergus is exactly how he views it! Ha!

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  11. I love the new sofa and love seat, they are perfect. I can see knitted pillows of different textures and sizes spread across them.
    Hgus,
    Meredith

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    1. I'm really happy with them too, Meredith. Knitted pillows would be great if it wasn't for the reason we had to get new couches in the first place - the dogs! :-)

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  12. Your room looks so lovely...I love the fireplace.
    I think we have the same loveseats from IKEA!
    They are really comfy and I love that the slipcovers come off for washing...
    Let's hope the weather co-operates so that your family can all be together.

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    1. Thank you! It is certainly an improvement over the beat up old couches that these replaced. It sounds like yours are the same love seats from IKEA. I was sold on them as soon as I read you could wash the covers. Have you had yours for very long? I am hoping they withstand the test of time. Did you see the comment above from Mizumatte? She has these couches and has several different colours of covers for them. I think that's a great idea, especially having the red covers for the Christmas season.

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  13. Oh, look at that innocent little white doggie face on the new white couch! What's not to love?
    That knitted hat is the business, Kristie, very smart. One advantage of colder climes is the chance to wear fun cosy headgear...

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    1. Ha! Innocent he's not!

      Hats are a necessary part of Canadian life, and you end up seeing all sorts on people in the winter. Some are very impressive, and others not so much so. :-)

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  14. Well Fergus certainly likes the new furniture. One thing about things going wrong at Christmas, it's a time when everyone pulls together and we make the best of it, though nothing's going to go wrong of course, I'm sure everyone will arrive punctually and a wonderful time will be had by all.

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    1. He loves the new couches! Maybe a little too much. :-)

      You're right, if things go wrong it's an opportunity for everyone to pull together. We've had lots of practice doing just that over the years!

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  15. Fergus will be on the top of those back cushions any minute now :) Jenny too! They look great Kristie! Christmas will arrive...whatever the weather......as long as everyone is safe, all will be good. Enjoy!

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    1. I don't know if he will be on the top of the back cushions, Anne. They are fluffy enough I think they wouldn't hold him up. But he stands up with his front paws on them to get a good look outside. He doesn't want to miss any opportunity to bark at the squirrels.

      Yes, as long as everyone is safe, that's all that counts.

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  16. The couches look wonderful in a superb room. Fingers crossed everybody arrives safely and that you have a fabulous Christmas despite any appliance failings.

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    1. Thanks Mamasmercantile! Safe arrivals, or the sense to not attempt the trip if the conditions are bad, are what I'm hoping for. Well, that and functioning appliances. :-)

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  17. Your living room looks so cozy! And very smart to get a couch that matches your dog ;)

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    1. Thanks Susan! Yes, at least the dog hair won't show on this couch, although just about everything else will. I have a feeling I'll be washing it quite frequently. :-)

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  18. The sofas do look great and I really like the hat.
    My copy of Ting Ting arrived from Amazon last week, so that'll be wrapped up for my grand daughter when I can face the spare bedroom as it's looking like santas grotto in there and I have no idea where to start!

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    1. Thank you Jacqueline! I was very happy with how the hat turned out. I hope Alexandra's boyfriend likes it. If not I think kellen would deb happy to take it off his hands. :-)

      And thank you for ordering a copy of Ting Ting! I hope your granddaughter enjoys reading it!

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  19. You sound totally ready for Christmas - hopefully everyone arrives safe and on-time. The furniture is beautiful, so bright. And that's a very cute toque. Thanks for the link, I often look for men's hat patterns. I've just finished knitting this one for a Christmas gift: www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/a-hat-fit-for-a-boyfriend

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    1. I'm not quite ready, Ellen. I haven't baked a single thing yet. I better get on top of that this weekend. I looked at the hat you knit and it is very similar to Rib-A-Roni. They are both great hats! Have you finished your quilt?

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  20. I love the hat! It's a perfect guy hat. And such a good-looking model too. Your new furniture looks really good. I know you'll enjoy having it. I still think you're very organized, especially given how many people you have involved in your holidays. I'm sure it helps that they all seem like such easy-going people, and I'm sure that has a lot to do with their cool mom!

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    1. We aren't always an easy going bunch, Jennifer! But for the most part everyone gets along, and we all look forward to spending time together.

      Yes, the colour and style of the hat seem perfectly suited to a guy. :-)

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  21. I think we're probably all in the same boat. We take care of what we can, and pray we get everything else done on time. It somehow all manages to come together by the big day, doesn't it. Hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy this beautiful time of year.

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    1. I think there might be a lot of last minute praying around here, Susan! But you're right. It always does seem to come together. :-)

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  22. Your living room looks great. And that hat is fabulous, I can think of a few men in my life who would like one of those!

    I do hope everyone makes it home for Christmas x

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    1. Thanks, Annie! It was a fun and quick knit. I highly recommend the pattern, and that Rowan yarn was nice to work with. It's superwash, which I don't usually like.

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  23. Kristie, I think you have to make these for Lucy: http://bonitapatterns.com/products/trio-crocodile-stitch-boot-patterns

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    1. Those are adorable Cathy, but unfortunately they are crocheted. I have never mastered crochet other than doing a single chain around the edge of a knitted hat. Thanks for pointing them out to me though! :-)

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  24. I love your new furniture, so pretty and you house! my you have a lovely room to sit in. I see your pup has chosen the spot to sit and is not afraid of a crack. My previous dog refused to sit on a crack....Frodo will though if he has too.

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    1. Thank you, Karen! That is too funny that your previous dog wouldn't sit on the cracks between cushions. Maybe it was the dog version of not stepping on a crack or "you'll break your mother's back." :-)

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  25. Have you made Aebleskiver this Year?

    Ann

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  26. I haven't made any yet, Ann, but I'm hoping to. In fact, I haven't made a single food item yet for Christmas, in spite of all the planning. Yikes! I need to get on top of things this weekend. Have you made your Aebleskivers?

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  27. No, I haven't so far, but they are on my long list of things to do in the coming days. I never make them the day we eat them, I make a big batch and freeze them. They actually freeze really well and my grandkids love to have them for breakfast, when they are here over Christmas.

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  28. Oh, I do like those new couches, Kristie - smart and practical at the same time. Fergus obviously approves. I can strongly identify with your rather apprehensive thoughts about all the things that might go wrong, but am sending good vibes that all will go enjoyably well for you.

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