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

Slouchy hats and porn stars

First, I hate the new WordPress interface. I feel like I’ve stepped back in time, design-wise. I wish I could revert it back. Blech.

Second, I feel the need to note that many of my posts are made when I’m avoiding something else–this time, my long list of weekend chores. At least I can feel like I’ve accomplished something once I’ve made a post, though.

Slouchy hatOk, so, more important than all that–I seem to have recovered from my knitter’s block–woot! While I was waiting for the Wildwood to arrive, I started and finished a Puffy Slouchy Hat (left) using my Berrocco Foliage that I bought at Handmade last fall. At first, I was verra disappointed in it–too small! WTH?! I still liked the idea of it, though, so I started another with a worsted weight variegated in pinks and browns, adding stitches, adding rows, essentially making it enormous. During this second hat, I realized my mistake with the first–it need to be wrapped around a plate to block the crap out of it. Oops? So I did that, and of course the hat came out awesomecakes! Except, then I had this enormous pink and brown hat to deal with. I finished it anyway, in the hopes that maybe it would work out fine by skipping the blocking step. Um, not so much. So, I frogged it back 3/4 of the way last night and now I’m making it more to the pattern (still with a couple of extra rows, though, given the smaller gauge)–the yarn was too damned cute not to try again. It’s like pink cammo!

And of course, the Wildwood arrived on Thursday, so once this hat is finished, I’ll be getting back to the sparkly shawl. I hope it turns out half as well as the hat.

Oh, and in other news, I realize that I never followed up on the Little Coco. Back in November, I posted about the hit count on my flickr picture of the Little Coco bag, and how absurdly high it was at 98. Well, the hit count is now at 2,673. And the reason my pink purse is so popular? Apparently Little Coco is also the name of a porn star. ?! BWAH! I had no idea, and I wonder if the designer of the bag was aware of this and did it on purpose. It cracks me up that people looking for something to whack off to are instead finding my cute purse.

Ok, that’s all I’ve got for today. I really should get started on that chore list now. *sigh*

slump

I haven’t been posting in awhile, but mostly it’s because I haven’t been knitting/crocheting much. My friend K’s hat is finished, but wrong–it’s more slouchy than beanie, which means I really will have to frog the whole thing and start over, and I’m so not looking forward to that. I finished the single-crochet scarf (Patons Soy Wool) while I was at the hospital two weeks ago with K, who was admitted after experiencing heart attack symptoms (wasn’t a heart attack, whew!), and I started a hat with the leftover yarn, but only had enough for the crown. I tried starting the hat my sister asked for, with the purple Lion faux-suede, but ugh, that yarn is tough! I got discouraged fast. I did start and finish another hat for a friend that asked for one since she has a hard time shopping for hats (larger than normal head size), but I haven’t got around to mailing it to Iowa yet.

That has been the extent of my yarncraft in the past three weeks. Pathetic, yes? I haven’t even been to the SnB group on Thursdays since Valentine’s day, and won’t be able to go next week as I have plans for that night.

This is why I don’t often take requests–if I get bored or stumped with them, I feel guilty about starting something more interesting until I get cracking on the obligations, so instead I do….nothing. I’m so predictable.

That’s all I’ve got. Depressing, no? Here’s something a little more cheery:
Aspen
It’s a picture I took of the Maroon Bells in Aspen back in 1999 or 2000 (can’t remember the year). I’m going to Colorado next month and hope to go hiking at least once while there, if only to get more cool photos like this one.

Posting a finished hat through Flickr's "Blog This"!



Todd wearing his new hat
Originally uploaded by BronzePolgara

I configured my Flickr today to post directly to my knitting blog, so this is me, testing it out. Sadly, you can’t choose tags/categories in this window, so I’ll still have to sign in to edit a little, but I think I might post more often if I’m posting directly from a photo page.

This is the hat I made for my brother-in-law for (after) Christmas. It’s double-stranded Patons wool, ribbed brim with a stockinette base. I was afraid the 80-stitch cast-on might’ve made it too big, but I think it was just right. Not happy with the little peak at the top, though.

Also, I should probably mention that I did NOT chicken out Thursday night and did, in fact, go to the WeHo SnB group at the Farmer’s Market. It was scary, I’ll admit–I expected maybe six people, and there were closer to 20 people there–but I grabbed an empty chair, pulled out my crochet, and even managed to spit out a sentence or two before the night was over. And, I met Ellen Bloom, whose blog I’ve been reading for almost a year, so that was cool too. Which reminds me, I have to go look up the shawl she was working on, it was beautiful–Serephim? Serephina? Something like that.

I can’t say that I fit in right away, since it takes me awhile to warm up to new people and start acting like myself, but I do plan on going again next week, so I call it a win!

My To Do list for 2008

I am home now, yay! Well, home as in Los Angeles–at this very second, I’m actually at work.

I have a list of things I need to accomplish before I can do my own projects again:

  • a scarf for my sister using yarn she purchased at Webs a couple of weeks ago and a pattern from a crochet magazine (Crochet Today? Interweave Crochet? I forget, they all blend together for me);
  • a hat, also for my sister, to match the scarf I gave her for Xmas, using the leftover Lion Suede;
  • and a hat for my friend K to match the scarf I gave her for her birthday (fingers crossed that there’s enough yarn left over).

I think I’m free as a bird after that to tackle my own projects, such as:

  • finishing my UMass scarf;
  • doing something, I don’t know what, with the yarn I bought from Webs;
  • tackling my first-ever sweater (I already have the yarn, I just need a pattern);
  • finishing my gazillion WIPs;
  • and a little (translation: verra ambitious) project I’ve been contemplating for awhile, an intarsia wall-hanging (haven’t decided on a pattern yet–I waver between two or three color movie-poster-theme and multi-color recreation of a work of art).

That last one is the one I’m most excited about, but it really will be a big and scary undertaking (that will require much yarn to boot), so I don’t know when that one will happen.  Hopefully in 2008, though.

I also have to figure out what to do with my now largish collection of felted handbags, since I didn’t give away nearly as many as I’d expected to for the holidays.  I don’t need that many bags myself, that’s for sure, but I don’t feel comfortable selling them since all but one were made from other people’s patterns. I may yet find people to give them to, or I may use them for some charitable purpose. Or, I may continue my lazy ways, stick them in a bag in a closet, and forget about them until next Christmas. Who knows?

GabbyAnd finally, since this blog is horribly boring enough without including any photos, here’s a picture of my sister’s cat Gabby.  Gabby likes to talk (a lot!), is always begging for food, and has the largest eyes any of us have ever seen on a cat.  In fact, her vet even examined them for oddities since even he had never seen such large eyes and was afraid she might be in pain (no evidence of this, though).