Happy New Year! Let the new knitting projects commence!

Per usual, I spent the Christmas holidays in New England, and the combination of awesome baby nephew and getting Baby Beanies: Happy Hats to Knit for Little Heads for Christmas meant getting back on the knitting wagon. Of course, that also meant a trip to Michael’s for yarn, circs and double-pointed needles–always fun!

I finished this hat in two days:

Riley's hat
Choc....something hat from Baby Beanies

Which looks even more adorable *on* him:
Riley in hat
Riley in the first hat his Auntie Polgara made for him

I made another hat as well–a pointy one in blue and green–but for some reason completely forgot to take a picture of it. Plus I suspect it’s already too small for his head. Obviously this means I’ll need to make another in the next size up!

I also picked up some marbled yarn (don’t have it with me, will try to remember to add the name later) in cranberry colors to make a Big Bad Baby Blanket, which I wanted to get started on a couple of days ago, but I can’t find any of my size 11 or 13 circs. I know I have them, ’cause it’s my favorite size, so I can only assume I have a gazillion WIPs still on needles hiding in the many nooks and crannies of my apartment. Question is, do I go in search of them, or do I just buy more needles? Hmm. I think I see some new Addi Turbos in my future! ūüėÄ

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. ūüôā

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!

Egads, a month! I used to be good at this.

Ok, it’s been a month since my last post. I suck. There, I’ve addressed it, and now I’m moving on.

As before, little has been accomplished on the yarnwork front. Oh, except, I have a picture! This is me at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs two weeks ago.

Me @ Garden of the GodsNote that I’m wearing the pink cammo slouchy hat that in my previous post was still waiting to be blocked. It’s not so slouchy in this picture, due to the fact that the wind was FREEZING and my shiny new hat was the only thing protecting my ears from a nasty earache. It did what hats are supposed to do, though, so I was ever so grateful to have it with me. And yes, that’s my Patons soy/wool scarf wrapped ever so tightly around my neck. (Did I mention the FREEZING?)

While I was in Denver, I started yet another slouchy hat, in hot pink; and once again, I went too big and will probably have to frog it, much like the cammo one.¬† I could’ve sworn I stuck to the final cammo specs, too, given that it’s the same yarn. Phooey. There’s been no progress on the shawl–well, not much, anyway. And I think that’s all I’ve done yarn-wise since my last post. Sadly, I didn’t even get to any of the local Denver yarn shops, even though I had a rental for half the trip. I suck. I did, however, get my hair cut–it’s super cute, even though you can’t tell from this pic (or any of them, for that matter).

My new niece was born a few weeks ago. I was going to give her the log cabin blanket I was working on last summer, but now I’m thinking of starting something new just for her. Oo! Maybe I’ll stop at the yarnstore after PT today! It’s allowed, since most of my stash is made up of natural fibers, which is not good for something that’ll need frequent washings.

That’s it for today–have a marvelous weekend, and try to stay cool!

Off-topic rambles, with a hint of yarnspeak

I haven’t really done much since the slouchy hats. Having finished the second hat, it’s still waiting to be blocked, and I haven’t picked up the sparkly market shawl all week, mostly because I left it at my least favorite point–having to work in another color. I HATE switching yarns/colors, because inevitably the edge looks wonky and the row is obviously thicker. I love lots of colors, but working colors in is too much a chore, so I almost always work in single colors. This is also why I adore variegated so much, with its many colors and infrequent yarn-switching.

That’s all the yarn-related news I have, so I think I’ll go off-topic for a bit.

About Shopping
I’m going to a conference in Denver soon, so I went shopping yesterday. Woot! Shopping is my sickness, so I try to avoid it unless it’s well planned, otherwise I go overboard and come away with a wallet hangover that lasts a month.¬† I still went a smidge overboard yesterday, but there was room for it, finance-wise, and it was all for necessities–two pairs of jeans and a pair of shoes to replace my beloved yet beaten up black Aerosoles (all planned), and cute underwear and socks to go with the jeans and shoes (unplanned, but necessary given the styles of the shoes and jeans). Of course, now I’m wondering if I should go back for sensible shoes to go with my skirts (my skirt shoes were not made for walking, and the conference is not in the hotel), but the weather forecast for Denver does not look skirt-friendly, so I suspect I’m just looking for excuses for more shopping. I can’t go spending too much of the tax refund, ’cause most of it has been tagged for new tires.

About Digital vs. Analog
Last week, I bought a digital converter for my analog television. I applied for one of those coupons from the government, so it only cost me $25 instead of $65. So far, I don’t understand how digital is supposed to be an improvement. With my analog, a fuzzy signal meant a snowy picture with usually decent sound. With digital, when the signal fades in and out (which it does with varying frequencies on every station I’ve tried so far), the sound stops and the picture goes pixel. Holy crap is this annoying! Like, turn the tv off before I throw something at it annoying–a digital version of nails on a chalkboard. I’m considering giving up television entirely and just watching my shows online, but I hate to take such a step–I’d miss Diane and Robin in the morning (GMA), and Jeopardy while I have my dinner, two shows I’d never bother to catch online. Mostly, I’m pissed that analog is going away before they’ve perfected digital signals–I feel like I’m being pressured to go back to cable, but as long as it’s the monopoly it is (not to mention so ridiculously expensive), I refuse to yield.

About Work
I don’t like to talk about work too much, as I’ve seen too many stories of people who were fired because of what they wrote in their blogs, and while I’m sure those are isolated instances, I love my job and don’t ever want to jeopardize it. That said, work stuff has been¬†claiming a big chunk of my energies the last few weeks, as we prep for the upcoming conference while working on a few other big projects simultaneously. The upside is that I’ve been working more and more with Flash, which is awesome because it’s exactly what I want to be doing. The more time I spend with it, the fewer questions I have to bring to my gurus. There’s one project in particular that occupied much of my time last week, that I managed to work out almost entirely on my own….before I hit the final roadblock that I couldn’t solve, but still! I’m very pleased with how far my skills are progressing.

Sadly I have no new pictures to show off, although I did have a glimmer of an idea–a goal, really– to attempt to take at least 100 new pictures this weekend, to try to jumpstart my motivation. It could still happen, given that it’s only Saturday morning.

Have yourself a marvelous weekend!