Dec 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

The year is officially started! We had a great time New Years Eve with a group of Brian's highschool friends. I had a great excuse to buy a fantastic new dress for the occasion. We ate at Reds in Rockford. We enjoyed pork tenderloin, duck, and the creamiest creme brulee. Later we invested too many hours into the late night playing the "Here and Now" Monopoly. This game is much more painful than the original as everything is multiplied by $10,000. "I owe what for landing on Mall of America....$7 million?!"

We did not awake until 11 am on New Years Day, then spent the day watching Star Wars, ep. III - VI. I finished my gloves and got rolling on Clapotis. (Unfortunately I can't post pictures as our digital camera is lost somewhere in Rockford. Hopefully the restaurant has a Lost & Found.) This scarf/shawl has been a lot of fun so far. I have been forgetting to do my increases correctly at the ends, but just flub it by adding them later. I'm pretty sure it won't make a big difference.

Lastly, Brian and I drove down to Kalamazoo Saturday. Oh how we miss it! We had dinner with Linda - always a treat. She surprised me with a hand knitted item for Christmas. I love knitted things from Linda because they're always techniques that I don't know how to do or difficult projects that inspired me. Previously I've received felted slippers from her and a mini stocking ornament. This time I have a custom felted java jacket! Again, I'd love to post a picture if I could. Here's the pattern she used from knitpicks.

I hope you all have a successful and Happy 2007 (year of the magician - designated by
Oh and also - I know a lot of you are having trouble with comments. Just keep trying. I'm not quite sure what's wrong, but blogger has been fussy ever since I updated to the new version.

Dec 30, 2006

In all of the Christmas madness, I completely missed the fact that Knitty put up a new issue. This morning I just about used up our color cartridge printing the patterns for Center Square, Calorimetry, Corazon, Monkey, Emerald and Blended Hues (yes a baby pattern). I think the felted Brown Bag is especially clever....and I have to smile at Sheldon. What a great baby gift that would be.

Brian and I are off to Kalamazoo this afternoon to meet Linda for knitting talk and tapas at Fandango. We never had the chance to go to this restaurant while we lived there and are greatly looking forward to it. Tomorrow we'll celebrate ringing in the new year with old friends in Rockford. There is a new classy restaurant with an enormous wine selection called Reds on the River. Our great friend Tim pulled some strings and waved some dolla-bills to get a reservation. I get to fake being a high-roller for the night. What I'm most looking forward to is a Star Wars Marathon on New Years Day...not because I love Star Wars but because I know I can knit that entire time. My mission is to take on Clapotis.

Dec 27, 2006

Dinner Guests

We had an impromptu dinner party tonight as our friends from Grand Blanc, MI and Valdosta, GA were both in town. We ate chicken, drank wine, snacked on raspberry pie....and then Christmas candy (which we piled up on at the candy bar from a wedding this weekend). Check out the pic below. Tons and tons of candy. The only problem with Christmas candy is it's always a surprise what flavor you'll get. White might taste like peanut butter. Red might taste like lime. Beware of the black licorice.

Amber is a fellow lover of knitting and therefore knew one way to my heart was to bless me with more yarn goodness. She has put me on my path to lace knitting with these three heather colored skeins from Knit Picks.

She also purchased the pattern for the triangle shawl. I plan to take a short class in reading lace patterns later in January. I may have a new fascination with knitting once I've learned the lace technique.

I also received a small button which reads "I'd rather be knitting!" I thought Brian and I were so clever to come up with that slogan on our own. Someone beat us to it. Amber also made ornaments filled with scrapbook paper coils. It will look great intermingled with the yarn ornaments I hope to make next year. Thanks Amber!

So now I'm off to slumber. I feel overstuffed, but so thrilled to spend time with my friends who live too far away and I often miss too much.

Dec 26, 2006

Christmas Hangover

I've had my cookies, cake, ham and pierogies and am now ready to sink into my after Christmas coma. I can't help but share our festive TCBY cake with you. My mom picked up our cake for the family gathering. The staff offered to write "Merry Christmas" on the side of the cake for her. My mom is a saint to not say anything to her about the oh-so-obvious miscorrect spelling. My brother-in-law liked it however, because he got a "piece of ass" in the end.

We had a fantastic Christmas. We had a lot of fun with family and were lucky to receive many nice presents. I can't wait to start knitting some items for myself now. I'm halfway through a pair of gloves made from a red/brown Koigu colorway. Yes Linda, I know I said I'd never make gloves again, but I enjoy my other pair so much! Anyway, now that I'm better at picking up stitches, I don't have gaping holes in between the fingers. I also exchanged a skein of the yarn Brian got me so that I have two matching skeins because I'm planning to take on the notorious Clapotis.

The Hoving's enjoyed their Christmas knitting. Unfortunately, I made one pair of slippers far too small. I suggested to mom that she get them wet and stretch them out. I'll cross my fingers that it works.

Off to eat some Christmas cookies. They're so lovingly displayed in my new Williams & Sonoma cake dome that my mom, aka Pollyanna, gave me. If I flip the base and lid over, it also becomes a punch/salad/trifle bowl. Awesome!

Dec 25, 2006

Christmas Yarnery

My husband knows me so well. He knows that I need yarn and yarn like items to keep me happy. Boy did he ever make me happy this Christmas morning. To start, I know have an iPod instead of a shuffle so I can control the knitting podcasts that I listen to. The engraving on the back reads "Lakeside Knitter." Excellent.

Here's my other loot:

The Knitting Nature book is beautiful. Best of all, he bought it at my LYS where I get 10% off any yarn for projects in this book x 1 year. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill, very similar to Koigu. The crazy coincidence is I am working on Koigu yarn right now that is practically the exact same colorway of one of these. Now I can have semi-matching gloves and socks...or perhaps a hat, scarf...

These stitch markers were limited edition Christmas markers from Amy at She has an excellent knitting blog if you're not already reading it. The stitch markers are adorable, right down to their 3-D flippers.

Lastly and not leastly - check out this T-shirt. Brian went to Strange Cargo in Chicago with the intention of making me a custom iron-on shirt that read "I'd Rather Be Knitting." The store employee was clever enough to ask "Oh, is this for a knitter? Let me show you a shirt we have." I'm so glad she was on top of her game that day because this shirt is incredible.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Dec 23, 2006

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. Brian and I are set for a three day weekend of festivities including a Lansing get together with college friends, wedding in GR, the traditional surf and turf with the Burches (Yum!) and a relaxing Christmas day with my family. I have to admit that I can't wait for gift opening. It's horrible to say, but true. I pester Brian everyday to let me open a gift, but I am always denied. "Evening a stocking stuffer?," I say. Denied yet again.

I finished knitting my Santa hat in the knick of time. I ran out of my red yarn with 8 rows left but was glad to find the yarn store open til 8 pm. A Christmas Miracle, I think. Brian wore the hat to work yesterday and received rave reviews.

Dec 21, 2006

Let it snow... I mean rain

It's a not so beautiful rainy day here in Holland. I wish we had a touch of what Colorado has right now. Thanks for all of the well wishes - my cold is clearing up slowly but nicely and I'll be ready to rock out in time for Christmas. Before I can think of celebrating I have a few intense days of work ahead. I'll come to you with a new and exciting post soon!

Dec 19, 2006


For some reason, some people in this world think they can't survive the common cold. They think antibiotics are a necessity. After working in the medical field for three years, I have come to know many cliche statements from my patients, including the following:
1) I know my body, and I need an antibiotic.
2) It moved down to my chest.
3) This IS a fever for me because I usually run 96 degrees.

I am extra sensitive to this right now because I, myself, am currently afflicted with the adenovirus. For all those who care in the world I want to share the common progression of symptoms. First - achey and sore throat. This lasts approximately 2-3 days. Congestion then sets in, many times with sinus pressure. This is a miserable time for any, but that doesn't mean it's bacterial...even if the drainage is green-brown-any color under the rainbow my patients try to proclaim. The congestion lasts about 4-6 days. The cough will make its approach during the congestion. This is the time when everyone tells me "it moved to my chest." Well, yes it did. That's the last place the symptoms show up and the cough may last two weeks. So unless they are coughing up copious phlegm through the day, congestion lasts and lasts, or a fever about 100 F is noted - I'm not usually recommending antibiotics.

I try to share this with my patients and remind them that the body is equipped to fight many bacterial infections. They don't seem to care. They say "So I wasted my time coming in today." No that's not exactly what I was trying to convey.

Sorry for this rant - but it's just that time of the year and I'm getting a lot of this.

Dec 14, 2006

I LOVE this!

By next Christmas I MUST have a full set of these for our tree.

I will start saving scrap yarn this instant!

Dec 13, 2006

The Break is Over

I'm back from my mini vacation and ready to attack the Christmas holidays with cheer and baked goods! I spent a long weekend in the beautiful Irish Hills of Michigan. I stalked the two local yarn shops, saw Casino Royale in the vintage $3 movie theater, viewed hundreds of displayed nativites, and slept in my "big girl bed" from the 5th grade.

My least favorite nativity (and I know Brian will agree):

Give me inflatable penguins, the Grinch, and three reindeer in a canoe, but I just can't handle the inflatable Jesus.

I didn't spend as much time knitting as I'd thought I would. But I did manage to get all of this done. I'm in love with the elf slippers. I hope they fit the 2 1/2 and 4 year old they're meant for!

As for baked goods - I had a lot of fun making pierogi and candy with my mom. The pierogi turned out excellent. For those who don't know the process, first a sticky basic dough was made, then chilled overnight. The dough has egg, flour, and sour cream as the secret ingredient. Well, maybe it's not secret, but it's cool to say that. The filling is mashed potato with ricotta and sauteed onion.

We then placed a spoonful of potatoes in our dough circle.

Fold the dough over and fork/crimp the edges.

Boil them until they float. That's it - you can eat them after this. Of course, we couldn't eat all 50, so off to the freezer they went. I say it like it's simple, but my mom and I agree, it's a two woman job. And I do specify woman, because we figure a man would just eat one as soon as it's made.

I have candy making stories to share too, but I'll save those to draw out the blogging goodness.

Dec 6, 2006

Are you kidding me?

This is what came out of my mouth when, during an un-official poll today at work, I found out that no one there knew what a pierogie is. This is one of the most delicious pasta/potato Polish creations ever!

I am going to the 'rents house this weekend for some quality time with my mom. We're planning on making some pierogies from scratch. I'm definitely bringing some back for my co-workers to try. Who else out there hasn't had these before?

Yesterday was a big day of baking/cooking for me. My new Junior League cookbook inspired me. These Oatmeal Crisp cookies turned out so great. Of course, I'm sure the two sticks of butter had nothing to do with how great they taste! They are sweetened with coconut flakes. The best part - the recipe used only one measuring cup and two spoons. Talk about low maintenance.

For dinner - I went with the chicken and cheddar chowder. Three pots later and one pan later, I was wishing I had a cleaning crew in the back room.

This was also good, but I had to make a note in the margin because whoever wrote this recipe definitely had a taste for salt. I hate Progresso soup because of their saltiness. This called for 1 tbsp. I should've known can always add more salt, not take away.

For the knitters who care, an update on the elf slippers. The curly toe is not difficult at all, it's just that I apparently don't know what the instep of the foot is. Odd that I should know anatomy being a PA and all. If the pattern called for "Pick up 4 stitches from the superior aspect of the foot," I may have caught on faster. I thanked the yarn store lady for her help, then bought this to ease my so-called-guilt from getting free help.

The Koigu is assigned to a pair of gloves. Can anyone guess what the red and white yarn is destined to become?

Dec 5, 2006

O Tanenbaum

Our Christmas tree is up and I love it! I'll love it even more when there are gifts stacked beneath it! haha. It looks like it's leaning in the photo, but I think the sloped ceiling exaggerates that a bit.
I can't believe this is only the second time Brian and I have put up a tree together. He cracks up at my old ornaments, particularly my Rainbow Brite bulb. I just adore each of my ornaments. We tend to pick up souvenirs wherever we go. I have some from my PA rotation in Sault Ste. Marie, our trip to Cape Cod, Washington D.C., and a black bear from Tahquemenon Falls. I have an angel collection and Frosty Friends set from Hallmark that I like to add to every year. This year the Frosty Friends are roasting marshmallows. You can't believe the cuteness until you see it!

We don't have a great spot to display our Willow Tree nativity right now, but I wanted to squeeze it into our main living area to enjoy. We saw The Nativity Story this weekend. This is an excellent movie. Brian called it a bit "hokey" in parts. I think it gives a renewed appreciation for Mary and Joseph. I also have a new appreciation for the donkey. This year I gave him a special place in our nativity, close to his family. Cheesy, I know, but wait til you see the movie.

Now, I'm not sure if my Grandma reads this blog - if so I'm spoiling her Christmas gift. I have the hand towels finished and finished them for presentation this morning.

I have to finish a project for my Secret Santa plus I need some time make a hat for my friend's son...I'm confident I'll be just fine.

Dec 2, 2006

Writer's Block

Sorry I'm slow on posts this week. The lighting parade was fairly lame on Tuesday. This was my only decent picture.

Semis and trucks were all decorated with lights. The whole thing lasted about 30 minutes. It would have been more fun if I was allowed to dive for the candy like all of the children.

Last night was Brian's advent concert at church. As a whole, they sounded nice. There was also a bell choir. However, the solos left something to be desired. I swear, one girl sounded exactly like the sister, Lisa, on Dirty Dancing. If anyone can remember the lyrics to that lame song she sings in the final show, please remind me because it's really bugging me. I remember she was dressed in hula.

Amber and I are in a Christmas Gift KAL. Here's her first finished gift. She's making washcloths for a set of triplets with their first initial on them. Only a speech therapist/mom would think of this!

for those out there trying to figure out what to buy that knitter on your Christmas list (hint hint).
Here's a holiday gift guide.

Nov 28, 2006

Happy 100th!

Can you believe you have read through 100 mindless posts from the Lakeside Knitter today? I always knew I had an infinite talent for talking about knitting! Thank you to everyone for still reading and commenting. The more comments the better. I'm having a lot of fun with the blog still - It's like a diary for an adult.

Currently I'm working on another hand towel from Mason*Dixon Knitting. This is for my Grandma K. It's coming out nicely - but I'm quite ready to be done with it. I would like to have a little extra time to make something for my Secret Santa exchange at work.

Other events:
Brian and I picked up our free Christmas tree this weekends, all thanks to Woodland Realty (now Coldwell Banker).

Picking a tree out of a lot is not quite as fantastic as cutting it down yourself. We went with a blue spruce. Brian hates the sharpness of the needles, but I don't think the firs and pines are strong enough to hold our ornaments. I thoroughly enjoyed the petting zoo. It all but made up for the trees. Fortunately my fingers are all still intact.

I'm trying to work up the guts to go to my local yarn store today and get help on the elf slippers I'm working on. I wish I had Linda to help me instead!

Tonight we're going to the Lighting Parade downtown. Expect more pics soon.

Nov 26, 2006

Chuck is a Slick Sixty

Patty and the rest of the family threw Chuck a surprise party Saturday. See all of the pics here. We partied like he was turning 21. Seriously, we didn't go to bed until 3 am. The party was at the Community Cabin in Rockford. The company, food, drinks and music were great. He had so many family and friends there, including friends from church, Boy Scouts, and Jeff and David's cottage-frequenting friends. Sometimes we think they have a nose for free beer!

Highlights of the night:

1) Chuck's look of awe and humility when he entered the door.

2) Chuck's interpretative dance to "Play that Funky Music"

3) Bonding with my brothers (in law)

His birthday is actually December 3rd. It may take that long for us to recover!

Here's my favorite picture of the night....the immediate family - plus a few party crashers - Uncle Jim and Aunt Mary

Nov 24, 2006

Thank Goodness it's Black Friday!

Today started off just like any Black Friday....

The alarm was set for 4:15 am. (No Target recording of Kermit this year.) We were out the door by 4:38. We busted the doors down at Younkers. The group at the door next to us were actually griping that ours might get unlocked first. "We were here first!," they exclaimed. Give me a break. After making out like bandits there, we headed to Kohl's. I don't know who of you have ever gone to Kohl's on this very special day, but you have to make sure you pack a whole lot of patience. The place is packed and the aisles are full of floor-to-ceiling displays. The line ALWAYS goes to the back of the store.

Our line was so long, it actually overlapped with the line heading in the other direction. The lady behind us asked what I had to do to get Brian to come along. She was mostly jealous I had someone to help carry the stuff. I actually saw here dripping sweat by the time we reached the front of the store.

I told her how I manipulate him with the promise of a special treat -

Dear bacon, egg & cheese McGriddle,
We love you. You have always been there to support us in times of need. You warm us before a long flight. You have given us energy on moving day. But most of all, you are the inspiration that helps us roll out of bed in the early morn' to save 50% on a food processor.
Angie and Brian

At the end of the day, we have this to show.

It may not look like much in the bags, but I'm here to tell you that there are going to be some happy faces come Christmas morning (especially mine since I know I'm getting the food processor!!).

Nov 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a great day. My mission is to lounge around watching the parade, lounge around eating turkey/drinking wine, and then watch a fantastic Grey's and ER. I have to be well rested for my favorite day of the year - Black Friday! Watch out, I'm going to bust a few doors down.

Question: What's your favorite Thanksgiving food? I am addicted to sweet potato casserole - the kind with all of the pecans and brown sugar.

Nov 21, 2006

Is she for real?

I know a few of us out there who love "How I Met Your Mother." Matt sent me this link. On last night's episode Robin refused to go to the mall with her friends. The entire episode was spent trying to figure out what her fear was based on. Apparently she was a prior teen superstar with this hit. Weird.

I spent this morning shopping downtown Holland (again) with my mom and sister. They are on a winery tour which my sister conveniently planned as a school project. Why didn't I ever think of that? I replenished our supply with some tasty wine from Fenn Valley. Now - off to knit. I have 3.5/7 projects done. Exactly half way there!

Nov 19, 2006

The True Meaning

What a great weekend! We had the opportunity to see so many out-of-town friends. First, David and his friend Bill came up from Cincinnati. We took them out to see Big Red. Coming from Ohio, Bill does not love lighthouses quite as much as we do. But he has potential. He is a really nice guy and even took kindly to my excessive knitting talk. He's promised to be the pastry chef for my future fantasy coffee/knitting shop.

Carrie, her fiance Matt, and Meredith stopped by later in the day. After a great dinner at 84 East (our fav downtown pasta joint), we got to enjoy the start of the Christmas season during the Holland Holiday Open House.

I've never seen downtown Holland so crowded. Luminaries lit the sidewalks.

Meredith said it was too early for Christmas carolers, but these folks in their authentic garb were as good as it gets..

The activities even led me to venture into a few stores that I never would have thought I'd enjoy. I was pleasantly surprised.

Today we drove to my parents to enjoy an early Thanksgiving dinner. Brian demonstrated his turkey skills...

He is fist deep in the turkey for a reason - stuffing the herb rub between the skin and meat. My parents deep fried the turkey - yum. After stuffing and stuffing ourselves, it's back to Ho-land for a short work week.

So, as we get prepared to enter the hectic holiday season of '06, we were reminded what is so terrific about these few weeks...committing time to friends and family to celebrate and give thanks. Thanks for visiting us everyone!