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

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.

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!

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!

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*