Thursday, June 15, 2006

In conversation, she spoke just like a baroness

Blech. I am gross and sick and stuffed-up. I honestly wanted to do a proper entry, but . . . no. SO! Here are some links that always make me laugh:

Free to a Good Home. A guy on craigslist trying to get rid of a cat. No matter how many times I read this, I always always laugh out loud, so be warned.

George Lucas in Love. Think Shakespeare in Love, only with George Lucas instead. Video and sound.

How to Write Screenplays. Badly. Just plain hilarious, and they update fairly regularly.

Wordplay. Ever heard of the screenwriting team Ted Elliot & Terry Rossio? No? How about those little-seen art house flicks Aladdin, Shrek and Pirates of the Carribean? This is their site.

Mows, an adorable and eerily accurate webcomic about 3 cats.

White Ninja Comics. See, there's this white ninja, and he . . . Well, just read it. Also, he looks just like my little brother. I'm serious. "That's cuz HOCKEY RULES!"

Uh . . . what else . . . right now I really like the songs "Hips Don't Lie" (Shakira ft. Wycleaf Jean), "Black Horse & Cherry Tree" (KT Tunstall), "Woman King" (Iron & Wine), and "Zephyr Song" (the Red Hot Chili Peppers).

OK, fine, here's a cute picture of my cat Marlowe.


Edited to add: check out this here video of my friends! How to describe it? Well . . . there's these four guys, and they lipsync to "Tunak Tunak Tun". There's wigs, and a car, and a gap in continuity (how long ago did you guys shoot this?), and awesome editing. According to Stefan, it's part of a larger whole - the near-mythic Aufbau.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Some people juggle geese!

Wednesday night I spent cavorting with my friends until the wee hours.

Last night I was working until 11:30 at the store. Every weekday we get a delivery in, normally before noon. It didn't come until 6:30 last night, and it was a big one - three and a half skids. I just realized this may be a regional thing. A skid is a also known as a pallette - think of those big wooden things that the merchandise sits on at Costco. Oy vey, my back.

Tonight I'm going to see Cabaret at the Stanley with my mom.

And I have 15 new messages in my inbox.

See what happens when I get a life? My internet time has gone way down. Tsk, tsk.

Oh, knitting? I've about halfway through the instep shaping on my mom's Aloe Vera socks. Oh my gosh - Vera. (Terrible link, but it gives you the info you need. And Mom'll get a giggle out of it.) She wanted the stripes to match up on the socks. I have never done this before, basically because I am lazy, but it's neat because this way I don't have to measure anything. I just know to start the heel at the end of the yellow stripe, and so on. So I didn't bother taking a new picture, but here is an artist's recreation:

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Opening doors and pulling some strings

I'm making a pair of socks for my mom out of the infamous Austermann Step (colourway 01), the sock yarn with aloe vera and jojoba oil. And yes, you can definitely feel it. My hands just feel as smooth as buttah when I work with this. I don't know yet how it'll hold up during washing but it's just deelish right now. Here's the first one in all its soft stripey glory:

I knit it on my 2.75 mm dpns, but I stopped after I finished the first sock and started the heart-breaking Cobweb Doily. Well, the jig is up. It's time to face facts, and finish this pair of socks. Note: this is not second sock syndrome. I have never had second sock syndrome, except for the first time I knit socks, out of plain blue Patons Kroy. I learned my lesson - I don't knit plain fingering-weight socks anymore. Problem solved.

Wait, what was I talking about again? Oh yeah, needing the needles out of the doily.

Because it's not a knitting blog without a cat, I had a supervisor in case I screwed up. Excuse the blur. That's Nico, our kitten.

Here it is, in all its puffy glory.

After performing the (sob) extraction. Look at it! It coulda been a contender. Even with the mistakes and the unevenness (blocking blocking blocking, that's my mantra), so adorable!

The obligatory low-angle artsy shot.

So, it's off to make another sock. Not that I'm complaining. But I still hear the siren call of lace. So much so that I feel the need to make another doily. Yes, a DOILY. I know I've never been hip, but still. My desire to make doilies is so strong it's a little embarassing. But can I help it if they're really pretty? And fun to make? And apparently there's lots of old free patterns online? I mean sheesh, everybody loves vintage patterns, but I would like to know just what the girls with busts bigger than 36" MADE in olden days. Perhaps they just had to go cardigan-less and be mocked. My point is, doilies don't care about your gauge. They love you no matter what size you need.

So I was muchly delighted when I discovered the caches of doilies at both Yarn Over and Knitting Pattern Central. Even more so when I discovered that Yarn Over has a section dedicated to German patterns from the 1920s. The history geek in me let out a girlish squeal at this discovery. Germany! The 1920s! Inflation! Appeasement! Weimar! Doilies! The metaphor practically writes itself. I am particularly fond of Laura (seen at right). Swirly.

For something more modern, how are those ballerina slippers felting?

Apparently the answer to that is "Not well." But I've made felted objects before that ended up thicker than the fabric is here. I can keep felting. I'm just disappointed because this is so unlike all the other felted projects I've made with Paton's Classic and my parents' washing machine. I think it's the garter stitch that's gumming up the works. Better felted too little than too much, I suppose.

Friday, June 02, 2006

This Bud's for me.

Summertime and the livin' is easy . . .

I have not been writing much lately! This was really brought to my attention the other day when my "friend" that I will not name here except maybe I will give her a pseudonym and that pseudonym is MELISSA told me I was pretty much a non-blogger. I must concur. But I have an excuse. Or two.

See, I started a new job about two weeks ago. I don't want to talk about it much, partly for fear of being dooced, but also basically because of privacy and safety issues. I'm now a clerk at a liquor store, and just the other night another liquor store in town was robbed and the clerk was beaten up. So you may see why I want to play this one close to the chest. Also, apparently I am a good worker (or they are really hard up), because this part-time, just for the summer job has me working 47 hours this week.

So you can see why I may be having a bit of trouble writing. Partly because of security, partly because a lot of my energy is focussed on one thing that most people probably wouldn't find interesting, and partly because I'm working more than either of my parents.

But a benefit to not posting for a long time is that there is knitting that just sneaks right up on you!

I'm not sure if I've blogged about my mom's Christmas slippers yet. Oh well, if I have, too sad. I made my mom a pair of Fuzzyfeet for Christmas this past year, and she liked them so much she walked right through the soles in a few months. I've learned that socks are a great thing to knit for my mom. She crafts a lot - she makes the most beautiful quilts you've ever seen - so even though she doesn't knit, she understands the work that goes into them. (These Broadripples were her Mother's Day present. Yes, I did make them and save them, I just blogged them ahead of time. I didn't wear them until the day before and then give them to her off my stinky feet!)

So anyway, I made Mom slippers, she liked them a lot, she now has no slippers. Clearly the situation must be rectified. I found a really cute Fiber Trends pattern in my Ottawa LYS for felted ballerina slippers. How cute? Cute enough that I had to make a tester pair.

I call these my Tim Burton slippers because of the colours.

Beside my foot for scale. Check out my toenail colour, the striping on the bottom of the slipper, and my mom and dad's fab-u-lous new flooring for the kitchen and family room. And yes, these have not been felted yet.

Now, I knit a lot, and I've been knitting for a while, and I like to think of myself as a decent knitter. Now, there's a TON I haven't done. I am not a Knitter. I know all the basics, and I firmly believe that once you know the knit and purl stitches, there is nothing - nothing - that is truly hard. There are quite a few complex pieces of knitting. But that's it. Knit, purl, and variations thereof. (Actually, that sounds like an awesome title banner.) So why haven't I lived up to my claims yet and knit real lace?

Here it is! The Cobweb Doily from A Gathering of Lace. Looking very non-lacey, and more like a jellyfish. Excuse the flash - the photo with natural light was blurry. Not that it would really change what you could see of the doily anyway.

A profile shot! I didn't notice until I was uploading this photo that there are three cat toys in the background. That's sort of my house at a glance.

I'm just making it in Opera crochet cotton. Cotton on metal dpns . . . sigh . . . smart move, eh? The way the doily is set up, most of it is done in a pattern that looks like little leaves or diamonds surrounded by eyelets. There are seven repeats of this pattern, separated by borders of eyelets and ssk's, so that the borders curve as the doily grows. The edging is scalloped leaves. You knit the first chart once all the way through, then only part of it again, then the edging chart. Except . . . this is where my "not hard, complex" theory is proven. Boy did I prove it. See the thing is, I completely misread the instructions. Instead of doing lines A to Z in the first chart, then K to R before moving on to the second chart, I more like did K to Z. Z!!!

Smooth. I guess other part of knitting is knowing how to freakin' read. Do I sound a little upset?

So now I guess I have to frog this. Did I mention the cotton thread? Bye-bye, cobweb doily.

This calls for something more relaxing. How about mohair?

I know, I know. But it's basically the easiest cardigan ever known to knitterkind.

It's the Mo Jacket by Fleece Artist. It goes incredibly fast because it uses 7 mm needles. I love 7 mm needles. Such a useful size. Because the mohair is so light and airy though, it doesn't feel like a chunky-weight sweater. For those Browncoats out there, I've always wanted to make the sweater River wears in the episode "Safe", but have had to content myself with the fact that I would probably not look good in an oversized tunic-length assymetric ragged hot pink mohair pullover. (Be quiet. It's science fiction.) Well, this is no longer the Mo Jacket. It is now my River cardigan, because it's as close as I'm ever going to get to that hot-pink mohair pullover.

There ya go. Three projects in one post. If you average it out, I'm quite verbose.