Hailey’s comet

I finally finished it!

Crochet star-shaped blanket

I’ve been working on this blanket for my niece Hailey since September 2008. Although really, it’s been sitting in my WIP pile for probably two years of that, just waiting for the final border and the ends weaved in. (I really hate weaving ends.)

The final motivating push happened last month because I was going to actually *meet* Hailey in person for the first time. See, my brother’s family lives several states away, and, since I suck, I haven’t visited in at least ten years. (It’s a long and boring story.) But last week they came to L.A. for a family vacation, so I pulled out the blanket, steeled my resolve, and weaved those damned ends for my wee niece. And it was such a pleasure to finally present it to her while she was still (mostly) small enough to enjoy it! ūüėÄ

The pattern is Beth’s Little Star Afghan, and the yarn is Bernat’s Satin Solids.

Hailey and her mom cuddle up under the starry blanket

(Cross-posted with knitting.polgara.net)

Of Scarves and Drupal Devilry

So I’m knitting again. Woot! I finished a (unfortunately heavy) orange and tag-yarn scarf last week, and now I’m working on two scarves/shawls (stockinette to the end, then drop every third stitch). One is sparkly red yarn (Karabella Stardust) and will be this year’s holiday scarf, and the other is a tweedy Plymouth Encore that I’m going to have to frog and restart, ’cause it’s too wide for only two balls of yarn.

I started up again because work, both my day job and my freelance projects, have been stressing me out, and after several near-meltdowns, I had a “D’oh!” moment and realized that I’d given up more than just something to do with my hands when I stopped knitting–I’d given up an important stress-reliever. I can’t believe I ever forgot how relaxing it is work with my hands and let my mind fly loose. Stupid.

Anyway, in other news, Drupal continues to kick my ass. I spent four hours yesterday trying–and failing–to beat the forums into submission. I still can’t figure out why setting a block exception for “forum” only works for the forum posts and not the other forum pages, and google was no help this time. I picked up another Drupal development book at B&N today, one more advanced and with far more customization examples than my other two books, so hopefully that’ll help, but for today I’m leaving the forums alone and working on some of the other things for the site that I might actually be able to fix. I need to get a few more successes under my belt before I tackle the evil forums again, and not just because my ego needs reinflating. I also need to have something closer to complete by Monday for the client. Yay?

And finally, because posts without pictures are just plain boring, here is a gratuitous photo relating to nothing else in this post. It’s from earlier this week at work, when the sun was setting and the fog was rolling in from two different directions. It was so damned beautiful that night I took about 40 pictures, but IMO this is one of the better ones.

Fog over Brentwood

My So-Called Frog

I started a My So-Called Scarf a couple of weeks ago with Patons Merino in the Good Earth variegated colors (and honestly, I think those colors look better wrapped in a skein than knitted out) and got about 12 inches into it before I realized I’d made a mistake about 15 rows earlier, reducing the stitches by two, maybe four stitches (I couldn’t remember what I’d started with).¬†I find the pattern too confusing to reverse knit, so I just frogged the whole thing. I have yet to finish an MSCS–the pattern is so pretty when knitted up, but I’m terribly slow at it. The last time I just got bored and never went back (plus it was super-scratchy Red Heart, which didn’t help).

I frogged it almost a week ago, and haven’t started anything else yet. Nothing’s inspiring me to make me want to pick up the needles. On the other hand, I’ve finished three books this week, two of them just this weekend. My passions really do seem to have cycled back to books, as I’d rather be reading than just about anything else (which is so very welcome, as that’s how I grew up, loving books more than anything else). I’ve purchased 11 new books this week and picked up another two at the library. Instead of trying to get through my TBR list, I just keep adding more titles to it.

My favorite new series, which sadly only has three books so far, is the Vampire Academy series. Despite its ridiculous name and covers ripped off from Buffy Season Two stock photos, the writing is pretty good, the plots are a fun ride, and the characters are so real they practically jump off the page. Sure, there’s¬†the hint of a¬†Buffy influence throughout¬†that swells up and practically conks you on the head like a¬†Quellar demon falling from the sky¬†in book three, but as a fan of the Buffster, I don’t see this as a bad thing. Seriously, so many books use Buffy to try to pull you in–“It’s Buffy in St. Louis!” or “It’s Buffy if she grew up, got married, had kids and became a soccer mom!”–but these books capture more than the kick-ass-ness of Buffy, or the smartass wisecracks. These books are about friendship and relationships, and how they change and grow while the characters deal with their reality. I really love these books.

A little late, but…

I finally finished (as in, weaved in the ends) the Lime and Tangerine Fun Fur scarf. I finished knitting it over a week ago, but I hate the “finishing” part, so only got to weaving in the ends today. It’s cute and fuzzy and bright, but honestly, I’ve decided I like my pink and orange one better, which I made this week with Bernat Boa in Tweety Bird and Chick (yes, those names are real, but translated means “orange and yellow” and “pink”). (Since I’m posting this directly from Flickr, I can only include one pic at a time, so to see the Boa scarf, go here.)

Mindless scarf knitting, for the win!

Ravelry? Oh yeah, I remember Ravelry!

MandrillI just added my first project to Ravelry since forever–the lime green and tangerine Fun Fur scarf that I should be finishing sometime tonight. (No pics yet.) It’s my first knitted project since I don’t even know when; I’ve been mainlining the crochet lately (although not nearly as obsessively as before the tendonitis incident, sadly).

I still haven’t finished Hailey’s Comet blanket–I paused for too long and can’t remember how I was doing the join, and so far have been too lazy to reverse engineer it–so instead I’ve been working on slouchy puffy hats. I did one in red (too bright!), and one in red and pink variegated with white puffs (my sis didn’t like the way the white puffs looked), and my current wip is subtly variegated purple. (None have been blocked yet, so they’re not DONE done.) But I was missing the needles, and I hadn’t made a scarf in about a year, so, when I got a JoAnn gift card for Christmas, I used it for four balls of Fun Fur specifically for this scarf (turns out it only needs two), plus two balls of Cha Cha? Moda Dea? I can’t remember, a vaguely feathery eyelash yarn in pink and orange; plus two balls of the Patons I’ve been using for the slouchy hats (my friend Suzy coveted my pink cammo hat when I was in NYC, so I plan to make a matching one for her).

ION, I’ve also been reading a lot more, in my attempt to read more books before April 1, 2009 than I did between April 1, 2007 and March 31, 2008 (see my LibraryThing for the lists). I’ve been on a supernatural kick (big surprise) and practically inhaled the Twilight books over Christmas (please don’t judge me), then moved on to Sherrilyn Kenyon (no judging!) and the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris (judge me all you want here, I love these). Unfortunately I’ve been buying too many new books and not reading enough from my TBR shelf, so my current rule is that I can’t read two books in a row from the same series. It’s not working perfectly yet–in fact, I don’t see a single book that I’ve read in the last three quarters that came from the TBR shelf–but hopefully it’ll slow me down before I gobble up the rest of the Sookie books (I’ve only read two so far).

For some reason I’ve been very uninterested in DVDs lately. This is most unlike me and I’m not sure what that’s about, but I really need to put my Netflix on hold until it passes–I’ve been holding onto the same two dvds for about three months now, while still paying the monthly fees. Very bad.

Finally, I have to share this website I found, which I’m probably the last person to learn about: ZenHabits.net. I *heart* it so. It has all kinds of good advice on all kinds of different topics. Check it out!

Oh, and finally finally, here’s a video I took at the L.A. Zoo a couple of weeks ago, of a Koala and her baby. Enjoy!