Here is some good news.
My brother is officially back from Afghanistan for good!
He's my closest brother both in terms of age and being my best friend, and it's a major relief and joy to have him home. Now he can find new dangerous things to do, like learning to ride a motorcycle and dating.
Susan sent me home with a bag full of yarn and books and magazines. On the one hand, this violates my yarn diet, on the other hand, I didn't spend any money on them, which is what I was really concerned about.
Ravelry is amazing. It is the most comprehensive and exhaustively indexed pattern database I've ever encountered, and I love the inventory tools. It is very cool to be able to type in a yarn that I have and see what other people have made with it, or see the finished objects they've made of patterns that I want to try. It's like a social network for knitters/crocheters, but so much more than that. It's my new favorite website.
I'm almost finished with Mirasol, my Free Spirit doll (pattern by Beth Webber)
This is a really fun pattern to crochet, very clearly and understandably written. All of the dolls at By Hook, By Hand look like they're pure joy to make, and I look forward to working up more of them. After all, once she's finished, Mirasol will need lots of clothes and friends!