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.

Off the yarn wagon….again

So last week, as I had mentioned, I went yarn shopping at Stitches from the Heart, and as we all knew would happen, I bought more than I’d planned. That’ll teach me to carry my vacation credit card with me when I’m no longer on vacation! First it took me forever to decide on a yarn for Haley’s blanket–cool colors, soft texture and machine washable is a tough combination to find!–but I finally chose Universal Yarn’s Classic Worsted LP (20% wool/80 acrylic) in the variegated “purple allure” (aka 11418) pallette. But before I decided on that, I’d kept returning to the Bernat Satin wall o’color. So many bright and beautiful colors! I’d been wanting to do some amigurumi work, but you need a good acrylic for that, so the stitches don’t stretch and leak stuffing all over the place. In the end, I couldn’t resist all those beautiful colors, and ended up with twelve balls of Bernat Satin, in twelve different colors.

Of course, now that I have all I need for a cute amigurumi doll, I can’t decide on a pattern. Sigh.

But yes, I bought a ton of yarn last week, so hopefully that’ll carry me over the summer. There have been many yarn sales lately–at WEBS and at Unwind (one of my LYSs), but I haven’t even glanced at either one, so as not to tempt myself.

So back to Haley’s blanket–I started a crocheted log cabin, but so far I don’t love it. The yarn is great, but it’s the pattern–no matter how many of these I do, I still can’t nail the right number of stitches to add when crocheting across the side of a row, so some sides are longer than others, and there’s a folding/pinching issue where I picked up too many/didn’t pick up enough. I’m thinking of frogging it and making a star afghan instead. If I do that, then I think I’d switch to the Satin, ’cause the pattern would benefit far more from different colored yarns than from one variegated pallette. And the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of a “Haley’s Comet” blanket. Hmm….

In other yarn news, I haven’t done anything lately with the sparkly market shawl, the too-big pink slouchy hat, the pseudo fair isle tam from Knitty, the scratchy my so-called scarf, or Kristen’s hat. I really suck at finishing, yo.

And finally, on a completely unrelated tangent, I rejoined Weight Watchers this week, and had my first meeting yesterday. My plan is to relearn how to eat properly. Lindora did great things for me the first six months I was on it, but it just went downhil from there, and I’d like to be able to look at a potato again without freaking out or binging on them (or is it bingeing?).

That’s all I got for today. Have a great Memorial Day tomorrow!

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*

Bitching, with sparkly yarn and a baby girl to balance things out

This is my sentence acknowledging that it’s been far too long since my last update. There, now I can move on.

Little has changed since my last post–I’m still feeling reticent about picking up the yarn and sticks, and instead have been spending far too much time in front of the tv doing….nothing. I still haven’t frogged K’s failed hat; haven’t mailed J’s finished hat; haven’t tried again with my sister’s hat.  Damn hats! I have on occasion picked up the languishing My So-Called Scarf (the one with the bright yet scratchy Red Heart), which is now about a foot long instead of just six inches.

However, I did get started on a shawl this weekend when I took a friend to the hospital. I knew in advance she’d be needing a ride, so I reviewed my yarn, picked the Valley Yarns Wildwood that I bought at Webs over Christmas, and picked the Sunday Market Shawl for my pattern, which is basically stockinette until the very end and therefore would be easy to knit if I’d ended up in complete darkness for three hours like last time (I didn’t). Sadly, as beautiful as it’s knitting up, I’m starting to think the yarn and the pattern should never have been paired.  The shawl is narrower than I’d wanted, more like a scarf, and the fabric is denser than I’d imagined for this yarn. It’s pretty, just not what I’d wanted.

Gah! I feel like a big ball of suck right now, like I can’t pick the right pattern for any given yarn. *sigh* I could continue with this yarn and this pattern, but if it doesn’t work out, it’ll be a bitch to frog it (mohair and sparkly thread), and I don’t want to give up on the yarn. It made such a pretty shawl in the Webs store.

In other news, I’d like to thank Melanie for her lovely comment on my last post–it cheered me up that day when I saw it. I don’t think I’m over the hump yet, but I won’t give in entirely–I love yarn too much.

And finally, in totally AWESOME news, I have a new niece! Hailey is seven days old today, and looks just like her dad. Welcome to the world, Hailey darlin’! Hopefully I’ll get to meet you and your big brother this summer!

Hailey!