So, folks, do you miss my blog as much as I do? (That’s a rhetorical question, really.) The poor thing has been broken for almost 18 months. It keeps reverting back to the same post from September 2010 as if nothing had happened since then, and for whatever reason, it’s just eating up bandwidth. And even more recently, the layout of the page has pretty much disappeared. If you go into the Archive, however, or to any specific post, everything looks normal.

I’m not a web designer, as you know, and I don’t know how to fix this. I’m assuming it’s been hacked at some point, but have no clue what to do to make it right. And so Chappysmom just sits here, alone and lonely. (And, ironically, still being paid for by me to the webhosting company that threatens me with shutting it down because of using too much bandwidth. Ah, the irony, when I’ve barely been able to use my own site for a year. But that just reinforces my assumption that I’ve somehow been hacked.

Meantime … life goes on. You just haven’t heard about it.

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Chappy is well and happy. Cute and adorable as ever. He’s ten and a half now, if you’ve lost count. Playful, eager to get out for walks, but taking his napping more seriously these days. He was depressed around Christmas when his best friend, Horatio, died suddenly. They’ve known each other since they were puppies and even though they hadn’t seen each other in a while, they were still best friends.

My niece graduated from college in December. My nephew is a freshman in college. I don’t know how they got so big. Mom and Dad are well, if dealing with a few more aches and pains these days. They both had “big” birthdays this year, too. (You know, the kind that end with 5 and 0, but I don’t want to get in trouble with Mom by telling you what the digit before her 0 was.) She and I will be going into NY one of these days very soon as her birthday present from me, because she loves the city. She’s also willingly tagged along with me a couple times, for Vogue Knitting Live in January, and to see the Harry Potter exhibit with Jessalu in September.

We’ve been having crazy weather. Not extreme, exactly. No, you couldn’t call it that. This is one of the mildest winters I can remember, but we had almost a full quota of snow in OCTOBER when we got 18″ of the stuff the day before Halloween. That was simply tragic. We’d had an usually warm autumn, too, so half the trees hadn’t even changed color yet, forget about dropping their leaves. Then, add 18″ of wet, heavy snow on top of that and, well, disaster. We lost power for 5 days (which has never happened before), and my entire town shut down for days because there were so many roads blocked and power lines down.

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It absolutely decimated the trees. I have never, EVER seen so many huge trees down, or so many branches. Truly heartbreaking.

And that, of course, was just two months after Hurricane Irene in August which flooded the entire downtown. We’ve got a river running through, and there are spots that flood in big storms. That’s not uncommon, but we’ve NEVER had the entire downtown washed out before. Ever. In the history of the town. I’ve never seen anything like it.

On the plus side, I’ve also never seen anything like the community response, either. I’ve been so very proud of my town. People opened their homes to neighbors who were washed out, and they knocked themselves out trying to help the businesses that were washed out. I think there’s only one that didn’t make it back at all, and one–a gourmet Italian deli/shop–hasn’t quite opened again yet. Some of those shops lost everything, so the fact that they were able to pull it together to open again at all is impressive. (This includes the LYS, Nonna’s Yarn Cafe.) There have been follow-up articles in the paper about how my town is practically the poster child for exactly how a community SHOULD respond to a disaster, so that’s kind of nice.

Let’s see. Oh yeah, there’s been knitting, too.

When’s the last time I showed you any knitting? I mean, the last “real” post that wasn’t just a reading list was last JUNE, for heaven’s sake, and I’ve definitely done some knitting since then!

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I finished my EZ Green Cardigan, which I kind of love and wear often.

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I knitted a pair of boot toppers for the Juniper Moon Farm trunk show last Fall, too. The yarn is to die for.

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Then there’s the Deco sweater (by Kate Davies), which I love so much words can’t even say. It’s knit in Spud & Chloe “Fine” in the Goldfish color which I adore. Its gold-orange-yellow color is one of my favorites. (And kind of reminds me of my bedroom-that-was, too. And my new teapot.) LOVE this sweater.

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I made a lap afghan out of Plymouth Encore in green and gray. This is an early photo, but I kept going until it was about 3′ square. Perfect lap size, very cuddly. And it was delightfully mindless knitting.

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Made a pair of slippers for the Juniper Moon Farm design contest. (Actually, I made the first pair for my sister for Christmas and THEN knit a second pair to submit to the contest.)

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Chappy likes them, which counts for a lot.

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Made a scarf (back when I thought the winter would be cold enough that I’d actually NEED one). It’s green to match my new coat which I bought to match the FABULOUS alpaca hat I got from Rhinebeck as a birthday present. (Because, oh yeah, I turned 45 in November.) This was Cascade Venezia yarn and I loved working with it. Loved the olive-green color, too, and keep thinking what a nice sweater it would make.

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Except, my yarn stash is big enough to be going on with, don’t you think?

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Made an “Austin Hoodie” out of Madelinetosh yarn (in Vanilla Bean, which may be one of my favorite colors), though I left off the hood. I never wear them anyway. Love the way the sweater turned out, though, and am particularly pleased with the accenting/coordinating zipper.

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Finally.

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FINALLY. A Hyrna Herborgar shawl, in Juniper Moon Farm Findley. (Which is also an amazing yarn. Wool and silk with a gorgeous sheen, but which actually cooperates, which Zephyr never did.)

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And, currently, working on a Log Cabin afghan, using Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool from my stash. (Every sweater I’ve ever made with this has grown disastrously as soon as I’ve washed it, but I still love the stuff. So … afghan is perfect.) (And, some of the brighter colors were generously contributed by a Ravelry friend who was destashing.)

Oh, and my sister cross-stitched this adorable little Chappy for me. I charted it from one of my favorite pictures of him, romping in our backyard-that-was. Isn’t it sweet? I keep it next to my computer and it makes me smile every time I see it. (But then, Chappy does that.)

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In current television obsessions, now that CHUCK is gone (it finished its 5th and final season January 27th), and now that DOWNTON ABBEY has finished its second season … I’m obsessing on SHERLOCK. Have I mentioned before how much I adore Sherlock?

If you haven’t heard of it, it’s the BBC show by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat (the team behind the current Doctor Who). It sets Sherlock Holmes in modern day London and it’s BRILLIANT. Absolutely wonderful. Season 1, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, aired in 2010, and season 2 just aired in England last month. It’s so delicious and so addictive, I ordered a multi-region DVD player just so I could order the DVD set when it came out on January 23rd so I wouldn’t have to wait until May when it airs here on PBS. (Yes, MAY. Don’t ask me why it’s 4 agonizing months later. It’s just cruel.)

There are only a total of 6 episodes, but they’re each an hour and a half long, so it’s really more like 6 films, and they’re just wonderful. I was hugely skeptical–Sherlock in modern London? How good could that be? Except it IS. Really good. It’s so easy to forget that the character of Sherlock Holmes was totally cutting-edge in his day. He was like an entire Victorian CSI lab in a frock coat, solving crimes that could have happened right around the corner from the people reading the stories. They weren’t “quaint” little mysteries that took place over 100 years ago when things were simple and sweet. So the idea of imaging Sherlock into a world with computers and cell phones totally works IF it’s done right, and this really, really is.

“Obsessing” is truly the word, too. Not only did I buy the DVD and player from England, but also the soundtrack–which also is not yet available here in the USA–because the music is so good. I’ve watched all three of the new episodes multiple times, and have spent an absurd amount of time reading fanfiction–a trend which I’ve managed to avoid for years. I’ve never been sucked in, before, but it’s been so frustrating being the only person I know who’s SEEN the second season, and not having anyone to talk to about it, that reading fanfic by other people who had (1) seen it and (2) loved Sherlock as much as I do became a welcome release valve.

In other words, you should absolutely be watching this show. Does it help if I tell you that its two stars are just about to become huge? Martin Freeman is playing Bilbo in the upcoming “The Hobbit” (prequel to Lord of the Rings), and Benedict Cumberbatch, just in “War Horse,” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is going to be in the next Star Trek movie as well.

In other words, it’s really, REALLY good that they’ve already got these two gents locked in for a season 3 of Sherlock. Otherwise that season 2 ender would just break my heart.

Reading-wise … well, I need to get my reading list up, I suppose, because you KNOW I’ve been reading. In fact I did so little writing towards the end of the year ( I lost my writing mojo for a while), I got a lot of reading done. (And that’s another thing about fanfiction. I enjoyed reading it so much, I actually wrote some, which kind of got me started writing again, so … no worries there.)

Well! I think that pretty much catches us up!

I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen here at Chappysmom. I’m not saying this blog isn’t fixable, but it is very definitely not something in my skill set to fix. I don’t want to lose it, I don’t want to lose the archives, but … at this moment, I don’t really see how I can move it forward, either. (And, honestly, I’m not crazy about paying for the hosting that I essentially can’t use, either.)

I’m thinking about setting up a blog over at Knitting Scholar and posting there, but again … I need to figure out HOW to set up a sub-blog on the existing site and again … not my skill set. I do want you all to know that I’m still here, though! Still knitting. Still interested. Still reading all of your blogs. (Though I know I’m not the only one who’s noticed a HUGE drop off in general in comments and blog interactions in the last couple years. And I admit I don’t comment as often as I used to when I read other blogs, either.)

Hope you’re all well!

10 Thoughts on “Long Update

  1. Hi! I was wondering what happened to you. How annoying you are having all sorts of technical issues… I have been missing your reading lists! I always get recommendations and things. Glad to read an update and see Chappy. :)

  2. I’m sorry to hear that your tech woes continue, but am genuinely glad to see you and Chappy pop up in my Google Reader. Welcome back!

  3. I was thrilld to see your new posting this morning. I have missed your blog and hearing about Chappy, your knitting and your Mom. Because of our Boykins it has always felt to me like we’re distantly related. As always your knitting is gorgeous.

  4. Another excited reader hear! You knitting looks wonderful and Chappy is adorable!

  5. Glad to see an update! Hope the blog is fixed soon.

  6. Oh it’s good to see you back! What gorgeous knitting projects! I adore that goldfish color.
    We had a lot of tree damage this winter too, a huge maple down in our back yard. It still makes me cry.

    Hon, if I can figure out how to move a blog, anybody can, really. Who are you hosting with? I’m using bluehost with wordpress and haven’t had a bit of trouble. It would be a pain to move all the old posts, but ultimately worth it.

  7. So glad to see an update. Good luck with the technical issues.

  8. Good to “see” you! (And Chappy, too!)

    I take it you’ve discussed the blog issues with your hosting company? They may very well be no help but you never know!

    Also – the 3 episodes of Sherlock season 1 are streaming on Netflix, so I will be watching them soon!

  9. Yay Chappy! Lovely knits…

    I blame facebook, and ravelry forums, and recently I blame that it’s hard to get a good feed reader that works like we’re used to (or I haven’t found one anyhow) for (my new toy) the ipad.

  10. Ugh! Blog technical issues are sucky. I’d be tempted to move the blog to wordpress since it’s free. The photos are the problem unless they’re all on flickr or something like that.

    FYI I watch the BBC shows via a VPN server in London that I pay $50/year for. If you’re connected to the internet, you sign into a server in a country you want and voila. I saw Sherlock that way… I use Witopia btw.

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