Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The non-wool equivalent of spit-splice?

I think I have discovered a way only having to weave in 1 end per piece, and it doesn't matter what your fibre content is!!!

You know how when you join a new ball of yarn, you knit the first stitch with both yarns held together, then knit that double stranded stitch together on the next row? Well that was my inspiration. By the way, I am presuming here that you are working in flat non-striped stockinette, but it can be easily adapted.

Let's call the new yarn Albert and the old yarn Boswell (because why not?). Hold together Albert and Boswell, leaving a long tail of Albert, just as you would regularly to weave in the end. Knit 5 stitches with both Albert and Boswell, treating them as if they are one strand. Drop Boswell. Knit the rest of the row with Albert. Purl the next row, treating the stitches with both Albert and Boswell as if they had only one strand (as if you were doing p2tog, but with only 1 stitch).

At the beginning of the next row, where you will be knitting, do the same 5-stitch double-strand knitting as you did before, except this time you will be doing it with two strands of Albert. Then, when you come back to them the next time, treat them like 1 strand as before. Then continue on your merry way!

Voila: no ends to weave in. You get the exact same look as if you had weaved in your ends using duplicate stitch (as shown in the Knitty tutorial on weaving in ends). Those 5 stitches will be a little chunkier, but still only as much as with duplicate stitch (and possibly less). You can also get rid of your cast-on tail like this - but not your bind-off tail. For the same reason, when changing colours, you can get rid of the new Albert tail, but not the old Boswell tail, because you'd be able to see the yellow (for example) of Boswell in the blue section of Albert. But I have done this with striping sock yarn and it's not that noticeable. If the stripes are very narrow (i.e. less than 3 rows or 2 rounds), it's going to be noticable.

When working in the round, you can do this in only 2 rounds, instead of 3 rows, because there's no need to purl back.

I hope this works for you! It's also great for when you discover a %^&*ing knot in your yarn. Just tink back 5 stitches!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

King Kong

(Yarr! Spoilers ahead!)

I just saw this movie and wanted to post right away. Hmm, where to start? I LOVED IT. I was expecting it to be good, especially with all that hubbub about awards and snubbing and so on. But it. was. amazing. What did I like?
1. Naomi Watts was great. Beautiful (though I thought she looked almost exactly like Tea Leoni for most of the movie, and Nicole Kidman otherwise), fabulous actress, not at all annoying. She's the heart and soul of the movie and the parts that suffer most are without her. Of course (sigh) a great screamer.
2. And Adrien Brody. Ahem. I have always been a rather strongly pro-Adrien Brody kind of gal, and as my mom described it, "It's Adrien Brody being Indiana Jones for three hours." !!! For heaven's sakes people! You could have skipped all yer fancy-schmancy marketing, used those 9 little words and sold me into seeing it 10 times over.
3. Glorious, unbelievable, best-I've-ever-seen-including-Narnia-and-LOTR CGI. Except why can't anyone get a green screen right yet?
4. I am now a total Andy Serkis fangirl. He rules.
5. The opening credits. What? I liked the font and shadowing.
6. To quote my brother, "I'd pay any amount of money to see a dinosaur and a gorilla fight. That's just good watching."
7. Wrenches your heart.
8. Did I mention the dinosaurs?
9. It's got pretty funny moments too.
10. Why is it that I have to go see a movie about a giant monkey to see a romantic subplot done right?
11. Overall, a good supporting cast - the captain and Mr. Hayes were standouts. Plus, Jamie Bell and Colin Hanks (who seems to have taken some weird ageing pill)! But, unfortunately, this leads me to the biggest fault in the movie.

Jack Black. Why, why, why, why, why. Grossly, incredibly, unbelievably miscast. Don't get me wrong, the man's talented. But not in the way the part, or movie, requires. This was a mistake that sticks out like a sore thumb. The movie has a lot of close-ups, and he has the exact same look on his face every time. You don't know whether he's sinister or creative, whether you're supposed to laugh or be shocked by his comments. The mind says, 'Jack Black? hee hee hee hee hee...' but the gut says, 'wait a tick... this just isn't right.' He delivers the final line in the movie, and it just doesn't have the right emotional punch.

However, if you see the movie, this hardly matters. Because the rest is just that damn good. My mom and brother complained it was too long (3+ hours), but to me it just whizzed by. I have to admit, I was getting antsy and bored during the parts with the natives, but looking back I'd say that's the weakest part of the movie. Once you get to the dinosaurs, it's all money from there, baby. (But, excuse me? Those vines can hold a giant gorilla battling two T. Rexes but they snap if a starving actress falls on them from 3 feet? Puh-leaze.) But see, that's the best part about this movie. You can go giant gorilla, okay, dinosaurs alive in 1933, okay, woman-man-aforementioned gorilla love triangle, why not, it's a new millennium, but those vines were sooooo unrealistic. I would say this is easily one of, if not the, best adventure film I've ever seen. I say that because it did everything it was supposed to do, which was keep me on the edge of my seat and cry a little inside (fine, outside too) at the end.

So, why is this movie not doing gangbusters at the box office? Maybe people saw too much krep like The Island this year and just weren't into the whole pretty people and suspension of disbelief thing. Uh oh - that's pretty much what movies are. Maybe it's the price of tickets. Maybe it's the names - after all, Jack Black is basically the most bankable star in the flick (except for Peter Jackson. What, do people not even remember LotR?), and that's not saying much. So here's my mission. This is a blockbuster-style film that deserves to make as much as Titanic (blech) did. So go see it. It'll be worth your while. Or at least spread around some copies of that Men's Health magazine with Adrien Brody on the cover. Whooo boy.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


I think I shall take a break from studying and begin what I hope will be a fairly regular event on this here blog. See, I did this swap at Craftster where you set your music player on shuffle then burn a CD of whatever comes up without leaving anything out. Most people claimed to be a little embarassed or surprised at what came up. So, for your edification, I offer an analysis of 10 random songs Windows Media Player spits out.

1. Can't Buy Me Love - The Beatles
Off of
1. This CD was my introduction to the Beatles. I just got it out of the library a few days ago to listen to it again. From this, I went to Revolver, which I promptly declared their best album. Then I heard Abbey Road. I still have yet to listen to Sgt. Pepper's. This is one of the classic pop Beatles songs, great for singing in the shower. Yet, to paraphrase Bart Simpson, despite everything going for it, the Michael Buble cover of it both sucks and blows.

2. All I Want For Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
Uh, yeah. I know. It's Mariah Carey. Despite the craziness and the cheesecake, apparently she was once just considered an awesome singer. And she does have a great voice. I used to have a serious objection to Christmas songs about love and stuff, but what can I say? Sometimes a girl's gotta have a swingin' ballad. I think I downloaded this song after seeing the little girl sing it in
Love Actually.

3. This Fire - Franz Ferdinand
I used to listen to this song a lot more. Nowadays I have a bit of trouble distinguishing between it and "This Fffire", the remix from the US bonus disc. There was a period a while back where I wasn't my usual self about music. Normally I am very, very picky about my music and I don't really expand my boundaries a lot. However, I got into both Franz Ferdinand and Michael Buble around the same time and got their CDs after listening to only one song each - "Take Me Out" and "I've Got You Under My Skin", respectively. My little brother bought me this CD for my 18th birthday.

4. El Condor Pasa (If I Could) - Simon & Garfunkel
Wow, this song hardly ever pops up and here it is for the second time today. It's not one of my favourite Simon & Garfunkel songs - I was going to mention those but it would be a big list - but it's pretty good. This is off their
Greatest Hits CD. I got into Simon & Garfunkel big time after listening to their live Concert in Central Park CD, and then seeing the special. They are one of the few bands I'd want to see live, and probably the only one I'd fork out $100 for a nosebleed seat. They're like the Stones - you always worry this tour's their last.

5. Shoebox - The Barenaked Ladies
Meh. This is off yet another greatest hits CD. However, this CD (
Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits 1991-2001) did get me into BNL, so I guess I should be glad for that. Speaking of which, did I mention I'm going to SEE the Barenaked Ladies in Vancouver! Yayyyyy!

6. I Want to Be Evil - Eartha Kitt
"Santa Baby" +
The Emperor's New Groove + the original Catwoman = awesomeness beyond compare. Plus, this song totally taps into my fears about my Catholic conscience (yes, despite not actually being Catholic. See post entitled "Music" for explanation). I downloaded this song after watching TENG most recently.

7. Do You Hear What I Hear? - Bing Crosby
I downloaded this in my recent frenzy for Christmas music. I now like Bing Crosby a lot more, because he was totally talented. Plus, he did a duet with
David Bowie (who can do no wrong in my mind)! Fierce.

8. A Hazy Shade of Winter - Simon & Garfunkel
In the same swap as I mentioned above, someone had this song in one of their CDs, and I'd never heard of it, so I downloaded it. It's ... interesting, certainly not what you'd expect from a Simon & Garfunkel song with that sort of title. It's faster, for one. The only other Simon & Garfunkel song I've ever heard that wasn't from their concert or greatest hits CD was "The Only Living Boy in New York", so I guess I was sort of expecting it to live up to that. Tough act to follow, I must admit.

9. Istanbul (Not Constantinople) - They Might Be Giants
YES. This song rocks. Silly and fun. I had this song quite some time ago and played it over and over again. Then I think it got deleted when the computer had a ridiculous amount of viruses. Recently I was talking with my cousin and somehow this song came up (he couldn't remember the name). I instantly knew what he was talking about and downloaded it a few days later. I can listen to this song over and over again.

10. Polythene Pam - The Beatles
This, more than any other song off the B-side of
Abbey Road, comes up a lot. I think that other than the obvious exception of "Here Comes the Sun", it works as a single song better than any of the others. This is another one I can sing or play over and over again until people beg me to quit it already.

Well, this was fun!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Who needs sleep?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Christmas List

Well, I debated this for a while, but I've been told it's not rude or crass at my age to put up a list. So here we are. Please keep in mind I really do enjoy whatever I receive, especially a surprise.

What I would like for Christmas:
  • Time with my friends and family. I miss you people! Honestly, the best gift you could give me is a cup of coffee and an hour of your time.
  • An "experience" (I am already receiving this twice over- I'm going to see BNL[!!!] and a play.)
  • A hand-made quilt.
I know, I'm giving you all diabetes. Fine:
  • House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski
  • I can't find it on Amazon, but the Carleton bookstore had a highly useful-looking Procrastinator's Agenda.
  • Yarn. There is no such thing as bad yarn. However, a few pieces of info:
    • if it's more than 30% acrylic or cotton or "unknown fibre" (ew), it's probably not to my taste
    • if it's more than $6 or $7 a ball, I could find a less expensive substitute
  • DVDs:
    • Horatio Hornblower, especially Mutiny or Retribution
    • The Lion King or Beauty & the Beast (I don't need the special editions - just copied from VHS is fine)
  • Clothing: I am currently looking for V-neck sweaters and pants that aren't jeans.
  • Origami paper and/or plain white cardstock - small amounts are OK
  • Folk Knitting in Estonia by Nancy Bush or Latvian Mittens: Traditional Designs and Techniques by Lizbeth Uptis
  • A subscription to BUST or ReadyMade magazine
  • And if you are still at a loss, gift certificates to Michael's, Chapters, Starbucks, or a local yarn store would of course be appreciated.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Which Classic Female Literary Character Are you?

You're Beth March of Little Women by Louisa May

Which Classic Female Literary Character Are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Uh, I don't think so.


Hell = working until into the ungodly wee hours of the morning on a project, then staying up even longer to take a chance on yet another Sophie Kinsella book.
Heaven = enjoying it, in an adrenaline-filled way. Even the book. (The Undomestic Goddess, by the way. It's the . . . good god, the fifth Sophie Kinsella book I've read, and the only one I've enjoyed. )
Hell = learning I did the project wrong.
Heaven = getting a chance to add in the missing bits, and not having to do another essay, because...
Hell = learning the project isn't actually due until next week.

Things I have learned so far this year:
  1. Moving out is really hard.
  2. Laundry doesn't do itself.
  3. What a double-double actually is. (I thought it was a size.)
  4. Tests are easy.
  5. Projects are hard.
  6. Crafts don't make (or buy) themselves.
  7. Craftsales are designed to be delightful diversions for shoppers, and soul-grinding torture for vendors.
  8. I hate doing laundry.
  9. I miss Starbucks, despite realizing just how really super-expensive it is.
  10. Paper crafts actually are really fun. (Yes, yet another section of Michaels to poke around in for hours.)
  11. People have much lower expectations of you than you do of yourself. (Why, why, why is my perfectionist side only coming out now???)
  12. Laundry is pretty much the dullest thing on earth.
Things I want to do when I come home
  1. Drink Starbucks, and lots of it. In fact, I am going to through down the gauntlet and say I am not leaving YVR without a latte in hand.
  2. Spend lots of time with my family and friends.
  3. Eat lots of mandarin oranges. You can't get any good ones out here yet.
  4. I can't think of anything more right now...but I will.