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Greetings, Blog! It’s been a long time.

A lot has been happening. A lot a lot. This year has been crazy-busy, plus a good deal of personal stuff happened that made it hard to wrap my head around this blog. Now, I’m back. And, since one of my New Year’s Goals is to write for this blog at least once a week, I hope to see you much more often.

So, what have I been up to? Allow me to show you, in no particular order, with photos!

I went to the Black Sheep Gathering, which is local for me. (I didn’t take any of these photos, but I’m grateful to my friend, EB, who did.)

From left to right: My Friend Liz, Me, and My Friend Miriam. This was the first booth we visited, I think. The entire festival went on similarly. Please take note of the beautiful shawl that Miriam is wearing. Lots of other people did.

I was honestly having a good time. I have no idea why I’m making that face.

The shawl is Laminaria from Knitty. It is a lovely pattern, and I hope to make one someday. (Miriam’s is extra-pretty.)

My dear friend EB made me socks for this occasion. (She and Liz stayed at my house.) I was charmed, delighted, overjoyed.

The socks are Jack Sparrow’s Favorite Socks. I love them. They are warm and happy socks, and they’re my favorite color.

I went to Japan. It was gorgeous.

Yeah. Cats are pretty much the same everywhere.

This is also knitting related, because I bought yarn. (Of course I bought yarn. What, you thought I would go to a foreign land and not buy yarn?)

Sorry about the low contrast there. The yarn is a beautiful wisteria purple. I plan to make socks.
Did you know that, in Japanese, wool is “woo-roo”? It’s true.

I participated in a really nifty swap. This is the spiffy package I got.

I am such a sucker for packaging. Note the skulls.

A lovely cowl, plenty of chocolate, and other fun goodies.

I love this monkey, despite his out-of-focusness. It’s not his fault; I just can’t seem to hold my camera steady enough. He’s one of two monkeys that make up an awesome set of needle-keepers for double-points.

I knitted many, many things.

I finished my first cardigan.

Hiro needed to help me block it and sew on the buttons. There are more details here on Ravelry: Concord Cardigan. I love it and practically live in it. The pattern is “Oatmeal” from Spin-Off Magazine, Winter 2009.

I knitted socks, both top-down and toe-up. In other words, I learned to knit toe-up socks. They’re not so hard. I’m behind on photographing them, though.

I knitted and blocked my very first lace.

This is “Ishbel” by the incredibly talented Ysolda Teague. (Ravelry Link: I Shall Wear Midnight)

I liked it so much that I made it again, this time with beads:

(Ravelry Link: Sage Feathers)
This is my first beaded knitting project.

I finished a pair of socks for my charming husband that actually fit him. They are black.

It’s hard to see the pattern on these because they’re black, but it’s a really nice knit-and-purl diamond pattern. The pattern is “Gentleman’s Socks With Lozenge Pattern” from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. I modified the pattern significantly by making them toe-up. Further details are here on my Ravelry page: Toe-Up Gentleman’s Socks. They fit. I’ve knitted several pairs of socks for him, but none of them really fit. I’ve learned a lot about socks since I started knitting, and he’s definitely benefiting.

I started another pair for him. They’re purple. I love purple (no kidding!), and so does my charming husband.

I’m making up the pattern as I go. The yarn is Sanguine Gryphon Bugga! in “Northern Purple Gold Beetle.” (WARNING: If you are susceptible to beautiful yarn at all, be careful about going to this website. I routinely fall down and have wool accidents when I go and look at Sanguine Gryphon.)

I cast on lots of projects.

This is only a small sampling. I am not project-monogamous, to put it lightly.

I also discovered that I love both Signature Needles and Addi Lace Click Needles. Signature Needle Arts turned me onto straight needles.

For Christmas this year, my husband gave me a Legere Sock Knitting Machine! I’ll post pictures once I get it set up. I’m incredibly excited about learning to use this new toy tool!

In the next year, I’m hoping to knit more patterns from the many, many books I own, experiment with new techniques, and finish more sweaters. I’m also seriously considering doing a self-imposed sock club (link to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s blog entry on starting such a sock club). I’m going to Stitches West again in February, plus I’m taking a class from Nancy Bush on Vintage Socks. That should be fun!

I also plan to try to be more regular on the blog here (at least once a week) and do my best to be entertaining.

It’s good to be back.