Yeah, the holidays kicked my ass. I'm still working on recovery. Not easy, when stress exacerbates symptoms.
I'm still working, though. At a snail's pace...and that's complicated by my laptop having hard drive issues (it's a disk drive, not a solid state hard drive). I do have a laptop on order--a Dell, since my last few Acers have been disappointing. It should be here...sometime between tomorrow and Wednesday.
Other projects involve yarn.
I ordered myself a set of interchangeable knitting needles, just after Christmas. Knitter's Pride (India, not China), lacquered hardwood. I finished a poncho I'd started on bamboo needles (the cord on the bamboo circulars was a tad too short), then picked up and started working on a scarf/hat set in the kids' school colors, for their superintendent (who was one of the best science teachers I'd ever had, long long ago--something around 25 years ago, when I was in 8th grade).
These needles are freakin' awesome.
I have been knitting since I was 13. Started learning just after my birthday. In that near-three-decades of knitting experience, I have worn the color coating off the tips of dozens of anodized aluminum needles, and flat worn out multiple sets of bamboo needles (as in: worn down to getting splinters every time I picked them up, and shredding yarn...which takes about three years or so, with the amount I knit).
Until recently, my favorite needles were Clover Takumi bamboo needles (made in Japan). Those are the ones I'd wear out in about three or four years (constant use will do that). Mostly circular, with a few sets of double pointed. They cost somewhere between double and quadruple what the aluminum needles did, but they were very much worth the cost difference--the yarn doesn't squeak along the needles when my hands would get a little sweaty, nor slide off when I set the project down for any reason.
The Knitter's Pride interchangeable needles have the good points of the Clover Takumi bamboo. I'm hopeful that the lacquered hardwood will be more durable a longer period of use. They feel sturdier than the bamboo needles, and they're smoother. One of the reasons I'd switched from metal needles (what I started with) to bamboo was because the bamboo was more comfortable to use for longer periods of time--the lacquered hardwood seems, so far, to have that same quality.
The set I got is utterly gorgeous. There is distinct wood-grain, highlighted by a very good, dark stain. It ranges from US size 3 all the way up through size 17, and came with three lengths of cord (two cords in each length), and all sorts of extra bits and pieces to make the set more functional. The case...the company calls it "luxurious vegan leather," which is either an oxymoron, or something very amusing and disturbing. But the case is also attractive--blue and tan--and has a pocket for the notions that snaps firmly shut, a magnetic board to hold your patterns for you and help you not lose your place in the knitting process, and a solidly reliable magnetic closure system.
Oh. And a ballpoint pen that matches the needles.
I've finished a scarf. I'm working on a hat.
Once I'm done with that, I'll probably make a poncho for me--the one that I made for the imp started out with me fiddling around, trying to make a pattern I liked (all the ones I'd found online sucked), and he decided he loved it and wanted it. He's worn it on and off since I bound off the last stitch.
Mine is probably going to be multi-colored--using up small bits of yarn from here and there (clear out some of the acrylic stash I inherited from both of my aunts, so that Odysseus can stop using "yarn!" as a curse word). Or maybe mostly cream with other colors accenting. I'm not sure yet.
And yes, I'm doing a lot of this while I'm reading...and waiting on my new laptop so I can get back to writing, sometime next week.