Saturday, January 2, 2010


Another year, another decade. As some of you faithful readers know, I work in textbook publishing. Like the car industry, we operate in the future. I just held in my hand the pages of a book that I have been working on since calendar-year 2007, and was signed in calendar-year 2005. The book was 5 years in the making, and will be physically bound as of next week, in calendar-year 2010, but it's a copyright of 2011. There are several bound copyright '11s in my office right now, that we weren't legally allowed to ship out until yesterday. It gets very confusing, since professors are only just finishing their first semester with the 2010 copyright books, and we are already working on 2012 books. (And in some cases, beyond that, since first editions have a much longer lead time than revisions.)

This is a long-winded way of saying that I never have any idea what the actual year is, anymore, without checking a calendar or asking someone who preferably doesn't also work in publishing. In some ways, the new decade started for me three years ago, which makes all the "looking back" posts and articles a bit odd for me. (10 years ago I was a junior in high school!)

But the new year is the new year no matter when my brain is, and the new year is always a time for reflection and resolutions. This year, I'm not doing resolutions per se, but rather a "Zodiac Challenge" that as far as I know was concocted by my friend DigiKami. The idea of the challenge is to complete 13 projects over 28 day periods throughout the year, leaving us with a day off at the end of the year. I agreed to do this, got lazy and forgot to come up with challenges, except for a few vague ones, so when I got my reminder email this morning, I was scrambling a bit.

The challenges are meant to be projects, and if you don't finish your project within the allotted four weeks, you must put it down. If you finish early, you can go back to any previously unfinished projects. Obviously not all projects will take as long as others--one of mine is to sand and either repaint or stain a small dresser and my night stand, which should only take me a weekend, and another is to crochet my grandfather a blanket.

I'll be posting here with updates about my challenges. The first challenge will be a secret, though. It's something I need to do and would get in the way of starting any other projects, and I can't have someone reading on here what my challenge is for the 1st through the 28th.

One Last Present

The CephaloPod seems to have been a hit. It was oohed over when it was opened. It was in fact the second present opened in the Yankee Swap, and while no one took it away from the person who opened it, she never opted to trade for any of the other things in the swap.

The final gift I gave this holiday season was another scarf. This one, too, was hard to give up. It was made with Malabrigo Aquarella, a super bulky, thick and thin yarn. The color I used was "Coronilla," which ranges from coppery red through brown and into black. And of course, since it's Malabrigo, the color is delicious and the yarn is soft and buttery. I kept the scarf simple, to highlight the qualities of the yarn--it's just a garter stitch scarf, so it looks fabulously home-made with the thick and thin yarn.

This is not the best picture, as it comes out looking darker than it is in real life. I shall attempt to capture the scarf "in the wild," that is, around the neck of its recipient, my roommate. I've seen her wearing the scarf a couple of times already, so another success!

For those who care about such things, and aren't on Ravelry, here are the details:

Yarn: Malabrigo Aquarella, 3 skeins in Coronilla
Needles: Size 13 KnitPicks Options.

I used the new acrylic Zephyr tips. I am not a huge fan--they are a little bit grabbier than the original, nickel-plated tips. I haven't used the Harmony tips yet, but I did order the Harmony 9s so soon I should be able to have a full comparison of the various tips.