Thanks for all the seasonal greetings. In August I referred to checking my Google Analytics statistics and poring over all the dots on the map that represent my readers and I would like to wish a happy, healthy and productive 2010 to all my dots, and the splodges that you become when you are crowded together, as you are in some unexpected places. You are much more than dots to me and I appreciate your coming here as regularly as you do.
I won't do a round-up of last year's projects, and I don't propose to reveal much in the way of plans either - I never use the Queue facility in Ravelry because I know I couldn't take the pressure. But the item I have been most pleased with, and perhaps even a little proud, was the Queen Anne's Lace spiral shawl. The pattern is here and I strongly recommend it.
It is still wrapped up in tissue paper and I don't know what I'm going to do with it, but I don't regret the time I spent on it at all, or the extravagance of the materials (not so much the yarn as the hand-made silver stitch markers, eek!) one bit; I'm very satisfied with it and when I need to whisk one of these out of a hat, then I'll have it handy. As Fiona says, it's nice to be able to do that.
Kaari chunters on. Of course, I missed the row on the first sleeve cap where I should have slowed down with the increases, so I had to rip it back etc., but I was watching Wallander at the time so I think I can be excused.
I was going to block the Pinwheel today, but it occurred to me that it might be a better idea to wait until the daytime temperatures are above freezing before I pin a large piece of wet knitting to my bed. So I cast on a Jyri instead, in white Paton's Jet. This is in the same book as Kaari and is another example of Norah Gaughan's genius. I think it will be a present for a friend.
The white Jet feels softer than the navy Jet that I'm using for Kaari. I thought at first that this was a crazy idea and that I was misled by its soft white prettiness, but I suppose it's possible that the dyes used for the navy blue have a different effect, or that the fact that I'm knitting Kaari on smaller needles makes the fabric minutely stiffer. Anyway, the Jyri is lovely to knit and I don't mind the long rows (it's knitted lengthwise) at all.
One promising thing about the start to the new year is that the mouse scarer I bought seems to be working already. It's one of these; it doesn't just make a horrible (to them) noise, but has additional electro-magnetic capabilities. My upstairs neighbour and I have a fleet of mice that swop back and forth between us, so she's getting one too. I suppose everyone in the block might have to get one eventually but I don't care as long as I don't have to keep hosing down my kitchen with disinfectant. Anyway, I plugged it in on Hogmanay and matters have greatly improved since then. Fingers crossed.
Another hope for 2010 is that this bit of research into XMRV might prove to be the breakthrough that some of us have been hoping for. Apart from anything else, wouldn't it be smart to have a virus that starts with an X? I wouldn't mind at all what letter the cure might start with - let's hear it for reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
There are of course stunning photographs of the year's beginning at the Big Picture, and while you're looking at them, you can listen to this (thanks, Lisa!)