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! 😀

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)

Six months in 500 words or less

May 1st?? May freakin’ first?!!! Wow, someone needs to kick my ass. Let’s see if I can summarize the past holy-wow-six months.

May:
TroubleBad news first: My cat Trouble died. It was a terrible terrible thing, and I still blame myself for being too busy to take her to the vet sooner. She spent almost a week in the vet hospital before she passed, and I visited her every day. I wasn’t with her when she died, arriving about 30 minutes too late. 🙁

June:
Was the “official” photographer for a meet and greet fan event with Nick Brendon.

IMG_6450Got a new friend for Jack–this is Dr. Zeva Tinycat, although she’s no longer quite this tiny, as she eats like the shelter cat she was. She’s two and a half, loves string and meowing a lot, doesn’t like people food, and bounces on the stomachs of my houseguests when they sleep on the couch.

Started seeing a therapist. She’s cool, albeit expensive. The expense adds a little to my stress, but I feel it’s the one thing I can’t really talk about with her.

July:
Spot of my perfect momentDrove out to Zion National Park in Utah by myself and spent a couple of days hiking. It was an incredible experience. The park was beautiful, and being on my own and beholden to none was very freeing. Next time, though, I’d rather share the beauty with someone–and the little travelled trail I’d discovered.

August:
For my birthday I got my first ever kidney stone. Yeah, it sucked donkey balls. It hit two days before, at work. I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance, where my boss hung out with me until I was released (and it was *his* birthday). Spent the rest of the week on my couch in much pain. Bonus, I still have two more stones hanging out in my kidneys that could drop at any time. Yay.

September:
IMG_8398Spent nine days at Disney World with nine friends and relatives to celebrate my sister’s 40th birthday. We had a BLAST! Seriously, one of my best vacations ever.

October:
Work project kicked into high gear and the stress became the center of my life. Not the greatest month ever. However, I did make it to Carnaval in West Hollywood for the first time in about seven years, so that was cool. It’s still just as fun and crazy as I remember. And I spent four hours on a Saturday helping to assemble holiday boxes to send to troops in I believe Afghanistan. That was cool.

So now it’s November. The work project is still in progress and still stressful, but should be launching in a week and a half. Unfortunately it coincides with a Fitness Challenge being held at the work-site gym, where eight teams of eight are competing to lose the most (percentage-wise) in seven weeks. I’m blogging my progress with that little event over here, but I must say, not being able to eat chocolate when I’m stressed is doing bad things to my general disposition.

I’ve been crocheting this whole time. All summer I’d work on granny squares–boring, basic squares, each made from a full ball of Plymouth Encore. I now have 20 squares that need to be joined into a blanket. Don’t know when that’ll be happening. I also made one ginormous granny square blanket for my sister’s birthday.

IMG_8734

So that’s the past six months in a nutshell. Hopefully it won’t be another six months before my next update. 🙂

As time goes by

Wow, have I been lax! My most sincere apologies for not updating for two freakin’ months. I tend to forget that I actually do have some readers.

The last time I posted, I mentioned the horror of finding out the yarn I was using–Bernat Satin in Palm green–had been discontinued. Well, Decherd Needleworks sent me their last four skeins, and right quick too, so they are ROCK STARS. Unfortunately (through no fault of theirs!) I’ve become distracted from the star afghan and have instead been making puffy slouchy hats, as they are easier to carry around now that the afghan is so big, and the pattern is easy to remember. I made one in variegated pinks and reds with the puff-stitch rows in cream and another a solid bright red. (No pics yet, but soon!)

Another “unfortunately” is that I couldn’t get my act together enough this season to make something for the annual charity auction at the company holiday party (it was last night). And from what I saw, many of the usual knitters and crocheters that donate each year also had a hard time coming up with something this time, as the pickings were slim for yarn items (fortunately the slack was covered by the paint-inclined artists).

Things are sucking all over this time around, not a great way to end 2008. Is it too early for new year’s resolutions? ‘Cause I’m thinking 2009 needs to have more knitting, more crocheting, and more blogging. And maybe a site redesign–the pink is starting to wear thin.

And as for the past two months, allow me to nutshell that for ya: painted a wall in the living room; went to a wedding on Jekyll Island, GA, and had a great time; psyched about the results of the presidential election; bought a laptop (green! I named it Lorne); went to D.C. for a conference and had a great time; knee is healing slowly but steadily; cats stopped like their food and we’ve been taste-testing for the past month; had a great Thanksgiving with lots of bourbon-flavored sides; and I intend to have a great Christmas. And to post more. 🙂

Talk to the Palm

Yesterday I learned that the lovey Palm green Bernat Satin that I’m using for Hailey’s star afghan has been…wait for it…discontinued. Can you say panic? My usual supplier (Stitches from the Heart) was sold out, and had been out for quite some time (damn you, tedonitis, for making me skip the summer!), so when I got home last night I’d barely put my keys down before heading for Google.

Fortunately not everyone is sold out yet, and I found a lovely store in Tennessee named Decherd Needleworks that was still listing it. I ordered five skeins, not because I expect to need five skeins, but because I love that green and want to stock up before they’re all gone. They emailed me today to let me know they only had four skeins left and did I still want them (Hells yes!). Here’s to hoping their follow-through is as quick and efficient as their follow-up, since I only have two more rows to go before I need the green again (although I probably have enough left to last me about three rows before running out).

Honestly, I’ve been using that green for nearly four years now, about as long as I’ve been knitting–never in a million years would it have occurred to me that they’d discontinue it! Such a pretty color. *sigh* Sad now.

I'm back, baby!

It finally happened–the PT gave me dispensation to start knitting/crochet again! Woot! I’m on the easing-back-into-it program, started at ten minutes, a couple of times a day, and I’m up to about 20 minutes at a time now. I’m working on a crocheted star afghan in Bernat Satin for my niece, and it’s now large enough that I can’t finish a full round in my allotted 20 minutes, but that’s ok. I don’t want to rush it and ruin all the progress of the last four months, not when we’re this close to Christmas and winter knitting.

In knee news, it’s also progressing slowly. I’m back at work, but I’m still using a cane, as I can only go so far before the knee gets very, very tired. PT has banned me from big stores (Target, Michael’s, etc.), given how much walking one can do there without even realizing it. The couple of times I tried Target, I came out totally exhausted. But I can walk around my office suite without the cane and not feel pain, so that’s a plus, especially since the cane use is starting to screw with my back and hip.

I’ve been slowly, slowly emptying the shelves of the bookcases that I’ll be swapping with the entertainment center. I have no idea where I’ll put the bookcases in the interim, but they need to go somewhere so I can paint that wall, hopefully next weekend. I was going to paint it green like the attached smaller wall, but I’m also considering a complimentary blue. It will most likely be green, though, since I already have the paint for that, and I’m more of a path-of-least-resistance person.

That’s the it for now. Hopefully now that I’m back with the yarn I’ll be updating more frequently again. Yay yarn!