Monday, January 5, 2009

I Return! Without Malaria!

All right, my little chickadees! I am back.

Vietnam was fantastic, in case you're wondering. Warm, friendly, lively, cheap, and relaxing - everything I wanted from a vacation. No yarn, alas, but then we didn't do much shopping. There was the adorable little girl, above, in a boat on the Mekong Delta wearing what I would swear was a hand-made hat. This same boat also had what looked like a crocheted cover for it's engine. So someone in southern Vietnam likes fiber craft! Hong Kong was also a good time, though I was only there for an evening and didn't get to explore as I would wish to. Then it was back to Japan for New Year's, which was cold but loads of fun, and now I am home again and today was back to work and the old routine. A wonderful break, and it put my head together for me, and now I really don't want to go back to work. It was so much nicer to sleep in and hang out.

Oh, well. Now, it seems to be regular in this sort of blog thingy to do an end-of-year recap and talk about all the fabulous crap I'll be doing this year. Hmm. I'm doing most of that in my regular blog, and this one is supposed to be for knitting and my random shareable-on-the-internet crafty/geeky interests, so I'll stick with that.

So 2008 in short:
- I did a decent amount of knitting this year, but my interest really took off again when I discovered Ravelry at the end of August. Before then, I had done a couple of baby bits and finished some old projects since coming to Japan, but I had lost some of my knitting mojo - I'm in such a rural area and I felt kind of isolated, knit-wise. But with the discovery of Ravelry and the infinite possibilities of knitting brought far closer in vivid, colored detail, I became re-obsessed.
- Started this blog, with a specific purpose which shall be revealed in the fullness of time (I hope).
- Began obsessively reading knit blogs. See sidebar.
- New skills include knitting from a chart, the very halting beginnings of crochet, and seaming, albeit badly.
- Favorite project this year is tough to choose, but I think it might be the Christmas Fetching for Jessica in the Exceed Wool. That yarn is just delicious and I liked the color. In spite of the trials, as of this moment they are the project I remember with the most warmth. Fetching is not my favorite pattern, however, in spite of how many times I made it; that would be the Mary Janes or Bamboozled, both of which I enjoyed immensely. They kept my interest and delivered interesting stuff.

- Read more than 47 books this year. 47 are how many show up in the list I just arranged on Visual Bookshelf on Facebook, but that doesn't count a few odd cheesy romance novels and Star Wars books that I haven't put on there. At first that seems like a paltry number but it's almost a book a week, and since I feel certain there are a fair few missing, that's probably at least a book a week. Favorites include the Omnivore's Dilemma (brilliant and eye-opening), Eat, Pray, Love (lovely, personal, and inspiring), the Patrick O'Brian series (unbelievably cool and full of fascinating history), Jane Eyre and Sense and Sensibility (yes, re-reads, but still amazing), and In Her Bathrobe She Blogged... (hilarious and mentions yours truly). Honorable mention goes to Saturday, Freakonomics, and the Know-It-All.
- Didn't write a damn thing. Well, there may have been a cherry blossom sonnet in the fervor of spring, but it's best left wherever it's currently moldering.

- Bought more SW books and even watched ANH in Japanese when I realized it was dubbed and I couldn't access the DVD menu. Darth Vader in Japanese was a distinct disappointment, by the way, and I could barely tell the difference between Luke and Leia.
- Bought a book on HTML, XHTML, and CSS and am really excited about learning it.
- Hopped on this whole social networking bandwagon, a little late.
- Consistently felt that the most important site in any new destination were the museums. Acted accordingly.
- Now own the first six volumes of Death Note and am looking to acquire the rest. Manga, folks, manga! It spells the end of any chance I had at normalcy, not that I ever wanted normalcy.
- Began obsessively reading several web comics, geeky blogs, and humor websites. See sidebar.
- Began a blog with the word "geek" in the title.

So! What about 2009?
- The Big Secret Project will be begun.
- I'm going to try working on this whole crochet thing. Surely some kind obaasan will help me?
- Baby blanket and booties for Sheila's little one due in April.
- When back in the States, will join a Stitch'N'Bitch or whatever it might be called wherever I land.

- Keep on reading them.
- Stop freaking buying them until I leave this country.

- Will learn how to make a cool website.
- Will start graduate school (pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease) and study library science.
- Will become the SW-knitting-cat lady. Sigh.

FOs next entry.

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