Friday, May 19, 2006

Grey day

Just kicking around today. I had a really full day yesterday - expect a total photodump of a blog entry soon. Just for a teaser, here's my new desktop wallpaper (feel free to steal if you so wish):

So I'm just cleaning up my room in my pyjamas listening to the radio at a much louder volume than is truly sensible. It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend spending a day like this.

Oh, and there has been so so much undocumented knitting you wouldn't believe it. Even - oh yes - a doily.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Well, I thought it would help...

Your Career Type: Artistic

You are expressive, original, and independent.
Your talents lie in your artistic abilities: creative writing, drama, crafts, music, or art.

You would make an excellent:

Actor - Art Teacher - Book Editor
Clothes Designer - Comedian - Composer
Dancer - DJ - Graphic Designer
Illustrator - Musician - Sculptor

The worst career options for your are conventional careers, like bank teller or secretary.
What's Your Ideal Career?

Ehhhh, not so much. See, the thing is, I think I am fairly creative. But I also like having a certain order to things. It's my compulsive-obsessive side coming out.* I think that's why I prefer knitting to sewing. Knitting is so much more orderly, so tidier! Some may complain about the length of time *cough* not me! never! *cough*, but I think I mostly find it soothing to watch your own two hands making fabric with nothing but two twigs and some string and the same movements over and over again. Plus, you can't really bring a cutting mat onto the bus with you.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I've got a secret! I've been hiding! Under my skin!

Spoiler warning if you don't want to know what happens at the end of this season of CSI.

I was bored today surfing around, so I got the idea into my head to check out the CBS website for details on the final eps of CSI this season. I've been getting really frustrated with CSI lately - I think it's just fallen prey to its own reputation. "We are a wild and crazy show! Yay! Look at us! Pretty actors! We got sex and lotsa violent crime and drugs and lookit more sex and vampires and werewolves and pr0n (that means sex!) and wheeeeeeeee!" [falls off edge of stage] Also, the Mengele episode. Shudder. I can handle a lot, but not that. But I got back into watching the reruns on Spike, and it really can be good escapist fluff.

So I was on CBS's CSI website, and they have this promotion to search for clues as to what happens in the season finale. You look around in a photo with a magnifying glass and discover exciting things. Also, some parts change when you look at them with the magnifying glass. Here's my screen cap, but you really need to look at the original to get it all.

Yes, it's tiny. Click for bigger.

Here's what I have so far, roughly from left to right (some stuff from various googling):

There's a mark on Nick's neck. It looks like a cut. Also, when did George Eads's face become composed entirely out of tanned hide?

When you pan over Sara's face, she turns her head to the right. It's slightly creepy but also kind of pretty in a Madonna of the Rocks sort of way. Yes, I did just read The Da Vinci Code last week, why do you ask?

Panning over the backwards neon PLAY sign turns it into a backwards neon DEAD sign.

Warrick's prominently-displayed left hand is ringless. We found out he got married in the first episode of this season, and there's been conflicts between him and his wife - I think she was upset about his long hours (my, how original. On a show about law-enforcement officials, no less), and he was upset about her spending time with a male colleague. That's is just off the top of my head, though.

Can't see anything significant about Greg or Doc Robbins. Yes, the good doctor is holding a scalpel, but he is a coroner. Unless he and Nick were in a rumble and he wanted to teach that pretty boy a lesson.

Now we come to the big one, the part of the picture that's screaming "LOOK AT ME! MY GOODNESS, WHAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN?!?!?!": the slumped-over body with the bullet wound. My first thought, even before I noticed the "clues", was that it had to be Brass because he was the only one not pictured. Also, the police badge just falling out of his pocket. Brass is going to die? How sad, and also stupid on the part of the producers/writers/etc.

On the stool (ha ha, you said stool) next to Brass's body, something's written in the dust. First off, dust? On a diner stool? Sigh. Anyway, at first I thought it said "UGx?", but I think I was wrong and it's actually "GG + ?" GG is obviously Gil Grissom. I suppose we're fortunate whoever made this stopped just short of encircling this clue with a heart.

Catherine is dressed unbelievably inappropriately for her job. Oh wait, that's not significant at all because that's what she always does. Next!

There is something in the window of the door between Catherine and Grissom. I can't make it out at all. One forum I found whilst googling suggested it was a couple, but I think I only see that once the idea's in my head.

When you scroll over Grissom's face, his head turns to the left. Now Sara and Grissom are looking at each other. Awwww. I'm not normally a 'shipper, but I really liked the end of last week's episode, and I wouldn't mind someone on this team having a halfway happy life every once in a while. That's why Nick's always the one being stalked and kidnapped and buried alive - he's the only normally-functioning human being who works there.

I'm not sure if this merits an individual mention, but whatever's in the door window changes when Grissom's head moves. I'm pretty sure that's not a lightsabre, but who knows . . .

I just noticed this one! When you pan over Grissom's hand, it changes from being relatively flat against his leg to being extended out - like he's offering me a handshake. You could intrepret all kinds of things from this, but it seems jarring to interpret a hand position as "Well, he's clearly moving from being a private, solitary person to one who is extending out into the world" when the picture shouts, "There's a BODY with a GUN WOUND with a BADGE!"*

Has anyone else noticed anything? Mention it in the comments. Apparently the picture keeps changing, with new details being added - some have mentioned something about Catherine's holster being empty, when I can't see any holster. Point out something new for a cookie! Everybody likes cookies!

*That would be the body that has the badge. Not the gun wound.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Secret Pal 8 info

I was so disappointed today! I kept checking my email but I didn't get my SP8 (I pronounce it "spate"!) info. Then I checked and saw that while signups closed April 30, partner info may not be sent out until May 15.

Well, I feel sheepish.

Anyway, info!

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love wool, especially merino. I also like alpaca, wool blends and some acrylics - Bernat Satin and Caron Simply Soft come to mind. I don't like knitting with cheap, rough acrylic or dishcloth-style cotton.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I store my Denises in their kit, my straights in a needle case and my dpns in a drawer.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
2-1/2 years. I would consider myself to be intermediate - I can handle a lot of different techniques and am just dipping my toe into the serious design pool.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Cinnamon, mango and pear are all good.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
HECK YEAH I got a sweet tooth. I like American Hershery bars, plain and with almonds, and Canadian Hershey toffee & almond bars. I also love love love Phillipine brand dried mango, and basically any type of really good milk or dark chocolate.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I also make notebooks out of old hardcovers and record albums. I quilt and sew a bit. I'm thinking of learning how to crochet. I do basic crafty stuff like decoupage. I really want to learn to spin - hopefully I'm going to take classes this autumn.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I guess the best classification is classic rock. There's a list of the bands I like in my profile. But my brother is into music like I'm into knitting, so he's always pushing music on me. So I've got kinda diverse taste. My computer can play mp3s.

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
My favourite colours are green and blue. I generally like colours that are deep - jewel-y tones, though not necessarily shiny. I don't like pastels or anything that's too much of a "crayon" colour.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
This summer I'm living with my mom, dad and younger brother in Vancouver. The rest of the year I live with my aunt and cousin in Ottawa, where I go to school. The Vancouver house has 3 cats.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes, yes, yes and no.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I love socks, and I'm trying to knit more garments now, like sweaters.

13. What are you knitting right now?
I'm doing the finishing on my Picovoli and Boobholder, have two pairs of socks on the needles (one for me, one for my mom), one sweater for me, and I'm swatching for a gift sweater. Normally it's less than this, but I've been to the yarn store lately.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I have a Denise set which I love, but I'm also trying out more straights. I'm never really used any bamboo, but I prefer aluminum over plastic.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
My dad and I are planning on making a swift this summer, but I don't have a yarn winder.

17. How did you learn to knit?
I taught myself Labour Day 2004, out of Debbie Bliss's How to Knit.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?
As far as UFO and not "waiting for the frog pond", probably a triangular garter stitch shawl for my mom. It's got to be at least a year and a half old. I know, bad daughter.

19. What is your favorite holiday?

20. Is there anything that you collect?
Does yarn count? ;) No, I try not to.

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Always! My latest book-lust obsessions are Big Girl Knits and Knitting Rules. I also like almost all of Stephanie Japel's patterns, but I don't have any way to buy online (which is probably a good thing). I don't have any magazine subscriptions.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'd like to try more Fair Isle, and I've got a real hankering for lace but haven't been able to find any laceweight.

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I am a sock knitter! All hail the mighty sock! Uh . . . yeah. My foot is 10" long, and both my leg and foot are 9-1/2" around.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

Thank you, SP! I can't wait until I get my partner's info.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Between the devil and the deep blue sea

I know, I know, it's been a long time since I've posted. Whoda thunk it - taking exams and spending time with friends and family takes away from time spent chronicling my eventless life on the interwebs!

Anyway, there has been quite a bit of knitting. Remember Tubey?

I'm going to quote myself here: "But I know eventually I'll finish it. Could you frog 55" of hard-fought St st?"

Apparently you could.

It was just getting very, very boring. Plus, once I finished the shrug, there was going to be 13" of straight ribbing. Gaggity gag gag gag. There's a reason I never made Tempting. So into ze land of frogs she went.

I began Teva Durham's Dreamcatcher Medallion Cardigan. You can see gorgeous versions here and here. Has anyone else noticed that in Loop-d-Loop, the sizes get larger the further you go into the book? I mean, the Ballet T's size large is 28", and some of the Fair Isle stuff is up into the 50" range, I believe. It's really a sign that I wasn't even knitting the largest size, but the next one down. I know, I know. But I like my cardigans to not have much ease. I wear them open most of the time. I liked learning in Stitch & Bitch Nation about ease, but I think it really is more useful to measure the fit of the sweaters you like.

Ooops, did I say that I was knitting a specific size? Not that I am? Yeah, about that.

Isn't she cute? Lookit that big ole hole! Look at all that careful pattern-reading! Look at those carefully made and attractive bust darts! And what's all this I hear about making buttonholes as you go along?

Yeah. About that. No, it's not crumpled. That's how it looks.

Essentially, you make buttonholes every 12 rows. But I misread the pattern and did them every 11 rows. When I realized my error, I was on the last buttonhole. Oh, how the mighty fall. It just shows what happens when you get cocky. I remembered to do the really cool bust darts (which, incidentally, has got to be the most painful-sounding term in clothing), and I followed the decreases for the dreamcatcher so carefully! And it's the counting of rows that kicks my ass.

So I began to worry. Those 6 rows or so could make quite a bit of difference, I thought. And it's not exactly like I could just add in length when I realized my error because of the shaping of the medallion opening. So I decided I was going to drop down the 3 or so stitches involved, and rework the buttonholes one row later on each.

I'm not going to go into why this was a particularly bad idea. It was. Suffice it to say that I should have remembered that buttonholin' makes new stitches and gets rid of old ones and oh it's just messy and I don't like looking at it.

So I know now how to fix it - I'd drop down all the buttonhole ribbing and rework it all. Easier on everyone. But now I can't stand to look at the thing. And I'd gotten so far . . . and it was going so fast . . . [silent weeping].

But, just like the best way to get over someone is to get under someone, I am a knitting ho and unable to even conceive of waiting until the body's cold. I need someone new. Someone with more than 25% natural fibre, baby. Maybe some . . . merino? And cables, that's right.

My own design. Let me say it again: my own design!!! It's just a raglan from the bottom up, but I did the cable swatch and blocked it and everything. I'm much further along now, but it's just eactly the same as seen there, only longer. 248 stitches per row. Ay ay ay. Twenty cables. I think the sleeves are just going to be plain reverse stockinette with a single cable running up the centre.

This sweater was another reason I didn't post for a while (yes, that's adult, blame the sweater). No, really. I was considering writing it up and submitting it to Knitty or something, but the thing is, the sizing wouldn't work. I'm making mine 40", then I added on the buttonhole edging so it'll be a bit bigger. To make it smaller, you'd have to remove one cable from each cardigan front and two from the back. That would make an 8" difference in sizes. Eight inches! Have you seen many successful patterns that go 32" (40", 48", 56")? I don't think so. The alternative would be to add or remove stitches between the cables to give different gauges for different sizes, but since I'm already using Teva Durham's way of making buttonholes, I'm not going to rip off her Cabled Riding Jacket in the very same garment.

So I'm just going to write up the 40" size when I'm finished. It'll be a free pattern here. I know, you're quivering with anticipation. Me too - but that may be because I'm going to a yarn store and a Hershey factory today. Yay!