Knitting and a Movie
Thursday, September 30, 2004
      ( 10:57 AM ) Rebecca  
Going Postal
What came in the mail

First of all, Gerbera. I was tempted by Gerbera on Karen's blog. Then Webs emailed me and the yarn I was going to get for Marta (a perfect match, perfect colour) was sold out during their big yarn sale. So no Marta for trip knitting. That clinched it. I ordered the dark grey yarn and the pattern book from Knitter's Mercantile ON SALE (although I found out after I got it that I could have gotten aubergine which is the purple. Oh well.)

Then I went to the LYS (name omitted to protect the not-so-innocent) that the other SnBers agree with me is snobby, because they had the pewter Sisik yarn. So I got the remaining yarn for Gerbera, and a sheep tape measure (because how can you resist? and besides, my tape measure has a big scissors cut in it anyway). So how appropriate is it, I'll be making a Norwegian sweater on the way to Iceland (assuming my needles don't get confiscated).

(I of course, had to swatch during the Presidential debates last night! Sisik is lovely soft, although it has the Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride/Lopi tendency of having lots of loosely spun bits that get caught on things if you aren't careful....)

Then, from the UK, I got Rowan 35 (Jodi, there are some really fun bags in there) which has some cute tanks for next year (yay, mindless knitting!) and a fun ribbed sweater by Kim Hargreaves (of course) called Audrey.

And some fun Point 5 in Chocolate Mint, which I have designs on making into a scarf.

And finally, another Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Limited Edition scent: Queen of Spades. Yummy and spicy and dark, a great fall scent.

And a fun little bottle of homemade liquor...


Movie Reviews time. If you've been following my blog, I have been anticipating Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind since I first saw the preview. I loved the concept of being able to erase someone from your mind, and it looked like a fun movie (plus both the director and writer were good). It was in and out of the theatres around here like a flash, and I didn't get to see it. Then it was in the theatre in Boston for MONTHS and I kept trying to get out there to go see it, but it was too much of a logistical nightmare. So I have been counting down until it came out on video. It came out Tuesday, and at lunch I went to Target and bought it, and watched it Tuesday night.

Normally when I look forward to a movie so much, I am disappointed (and conversely, if I expect it to be bad, I may actually enjoy it because it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be). This one, however, lived up to my expectations (mostly). I won't go off on an opinion tangent of what I wanted from the movie and how I felt about the ending, since that would spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it, but was a fun movie. I enjoyed it a lot. Still doesn't top Lost in Translation though.

Now Finding Neverland is on the top of my Most Anticipated Movies list. Johnny Depp playing J.M. Barrie... enough said. I AM seeing that one in the theatre, whatever I have to do. #


Monday, September 27, 2004
      ( 10:31 AM ) Rebecca  
The beach? In September????
And commentary on ready-to-wear sweaters

Yes, I went to the beach yesterday. Actually, it was quite nice. Made up for the fact that not ONCE this year we went to the beach. Free parking, no crowds (maybe 40-50 people there). Water was warm (well, warm for New England). Gas and ice cream on the way back were still expensive, but still well worth it. I didn't get any beach knitting done though, because my daughter is too cool to play with her brother now.

Of course, being the 90% prepared person I always am, I forgot a sweater. And brought a cami top to change into, since it was so warm out. Since my son wouldn't let me be at the beach without going in the water with him, I was cold from being wet. So when we stopped for dinner, I ran into a shop and bought a sweater for $20. Zip cardigan, knit with soft bulky acrylic yarn, with a nice texture. I guarantee it will last 1 season. It is machine-knit too loosely, so it will start to unravel. The pocket squares are just loosely tacked on the inside, so they will fall off. So, sure, it's a bargain, and the yarn for the same sweater might cost me about the same (or more if it's a better yarn), but really, the quality just isn't there. See, justification for knitting!!!

Also had a fun trip to the post office today, which I may append if I get a chance to take photos.

I leave you with the quote of the day from one of my coworkers (any computer geeks out there will get this): "DB work is NOT an approximate science!" #


Saturday, September 25, 2004
      ( 2:52 PM ) Rebecca  
Well, the yarn in the attic is taking over again, and I've spent too much money on knitting paraphenelia lately that I shouldn't have spent, so I'm trying to recoup my losses. I've listed a bunch of stuff on ebay. Yarn bought in Maine for a vest for my daughter that she decided she didn't want (mercifully before I knit it this time). Yarn bought when we were talking about having a baby a while ago (and changed our minds on that). Yarn bought from a grab bag that wasn't my kind of colour AT ALL. Hopefully someone else wants it, it's nice yarn, it's just intended for projects that are never going to happen. And I have enough planned projects without keeping yarn for unplanned projects.

Movie news: we FINALLY watched Cold Mountain, after it's been sitting on top of the TV in its Netflix envelope for a week and a half. It just seemed like it was never a good night to commit to watching it. I can't really make any comments without spoiling the movie for those who haven't seen it. Was it good? Yes. Would I watch it again? Not on your life. Was Jude Law gorgeous? Of course. Enough said.

And for those who were not at SnB, here is the errant sleeve. Note how the cabling doesn't twist between the 2 diamonds. Argh! I guess I will add the twist in between the future diamonds. Or do I frog it? Yuck. And maybe one of these days I will learn to work a digital camera and have it not be blurry.


Thursday, September 23, 2004
      ( 8:45 AM ) Rebecca  
More randomness
I just wanted to share the smoothie recipe that I came up with this morning:
Chocolate Hazelnut Smoothie
1 cup vanilla rice milk
1 banana
2T Nutella (or equivalent, I used Rapunzel's Chocolate Hazelnut spread)
2-3 ice cubes
Blend until smooth.

I didn't have any frozen bananas handy, and the rice milk wasn't chilled, so it wasn't as frosty as I wanted, but it was very yummy. I am thinking that a frozen banana would do the trick, and if not maybe some extra ice cubes made out of rice milk? #


Wednesday, September 22, 2004
      ( 9:02 PM ) Rebecca  
Non-knitting Randomness
So, being the B-movie fan that I am, I found the perfect movie poster for my downstairs bathroom when I redecorate:

Sadly, I can't find a print of this anyplace. So I've resigned myself to a saved search on eBay, with the hope that someday one will become available. If anyone knows a source of cheesy old movie posters, please share. I did find a print of a movie poster for this movie, but it was nowhere near as cool looking as this one.

Tonight in SnB I realised I messed up the sleeve for Moss. The general consensus was rather than frogging 70-odd rows of pattern repeat, no one would notice. Now the big question is do I continue up the sleeve with the screw-up, or do I finish the sleeve in the correct pattern? Hmm.... will think on that. Moss has become Portable Knitting so I have some time to think on this. #

Comments       ( 9:59 AM ) Rebecca  
Finally, a Rogue Photo
So now that I am done with the kangaroo pocket, I got off my butt and took a photo of Rogue. The cabling doesn't show up well in the picture, and it looks more red than the maroon it actually is, but there will be more photos as I work on it more, so here it is:

Also, in New Project Enabling mode, I saw this lovely Sirdar Donegal Tweed pattern:

(Why does EVERYONE make a yarn called Donegal Tweed?)
I really want to make it, but I don't need any more projects or to spend any more money on yarn, and I already got tempted by Karen's Gerbera. (Seeing blog photos of details of designs makes them much more appealing than the original photo, doesn't it?) And I'm already waiting for Marta to come in the mail (designated plane knitting).


Saturday, September 18, 2004
      ( 8:31 AM ) Rebecca  
It was a dark and stormy day....
What a dark and rainy day... a perfect day to finish watching the 2nd season of Angel on DVD and work on Rogue. I've finished the kangaroo pouch (actually last night during Bangkok Dangerous, a Thai movie directed by the Pang brothers who directed the fabulous movie The Eye... not a great movie by any stretch, even coming from my Hong Kong movie fan perspective, but really interesting camera work), and am making progress up the body. Where you pick up stitches along the base of the kangaroo pouch is a teeny bit wonky (it was hard to tell which stitches to pick up), but I'm hoping it won't be noticeable.

It was also a good day to finally put the pictures on the computer and bring them into Photoshop for trimming, so here we go:
Inishmaan swatch -- lovely yarn isn't it? This is "sand stitch" although you can't really see the stitch definition in the photo.

Finished One Skein Noro Hat (pattern by Flory) for my mom for Christmas. (Shh...good thing she doesn't read my blog!)

And some fun things from my garden.... what happens when you forget to check the zucchini patch.

And finally, a beautiful Black Jack gladiola. When the buds are closed, they are black, and then they open to this lovely stippled maroon colour.



Friday, September 17, 2004
      ( 4:59 AM ) Rebecca  
Believe the Hype
I used to think that Denise needles were just overhyped. I think it has to do with my tendency towards Needle Snob that came from learning to knit on icky K-Mart needles-- those horrible yucky bendy plastic ones and the horrendous metal ones. When I discovered bamboo needles, I thought "AHHHHH....needles don't have to suck." So I had an aversion to metal and plastic needles for the longest time. Then I tried Addi Turbos and Inox needles and thought "Oh, not ALL metal needles are bad! But plastic? That's just ICKY." But after hearing the SnBers raving about Denise and someone (Candace maybe?) said that they tend to be good for bringing on the plane, I decided to break down and try them. After I was so excited to play with my new toys (and after Jodi showed me how to put the needles together, because I was having a brain-dead day), I decided to swatch for Inishmaan (more on that in a minute). Wow! You wouldn't know they are plastic, except for the weight. They feel like Inox needles, only lighter. They are nice and slippery, not grabby and rough like the K-mart plastic needles. They have nice points, but are not sharp (I have this tendency to hold my left finger against my needle tip and wound myself). Now, I haven't tried them in the round yet, so I don't know how the cables ultimately feel, but I think they'll be fine. Sadly, they are put away until I finish one of these other projects I am working on (or maybe until my trip). Now, do I bring the whole set in my carryon? Or just the one I want to work with? Any pointers?

OK...Inishmaan (from Alice Starmore's Fishermen's Sweaters, which is one of the cheap still-in-print ones). Have you ever bought yarn for a project and left it languishing in your stash, only to forget what it looked like? I bought a cone of Brora yarn at Webs ages ago, and it was a heathery colour, and up it went in its Webs bag into the attic. It was designated to be Inishmaan, when I had a chance to work on it, because I love that sweater. I was thinking about upcoming projects, and said, "Oh yeah, I should start Inishmaan one of these days," but somehow remembered the yarn to be a heathery pink and thought, "What was I THINKING???" I went up to the attic to get the yarn to swatch, and discovered it was a heathery purple, and a gorgeous heathery purple at that. Right, THAT is why I bought it. (Hope to post a pic of my swatch soon when I can get pics edited.) Of course, I promise not to start this sweater until I at least finish Moss and maybe Rogue.

Rogue is coming along nicely on the Suzanne Ebony circulars (which are also lovely, but certainly not as versatile as Denise, and if I bought a whole set they would cost way more than the Denise needles). I've started the little kangaroo pocket. If you haven't heard the Rogue hype yet and don't know what the design is, you can see it (and even buy it) here. I like it because there's enough detail to make it interesting and enough mindless work to make it quick. I should work on more projects like this.

OK, blog site techie question...anyone? Sometimes I see little cool things people put in their sidebar like "What am I reading today" or "Current mood" etc etc. I can't imagine editing your template every time you want to update that. Are there little server side programs for that sort of thing, maybe PHP or something? I'd love to add things like that if it's EASY.

Finally, a funny yarn story. I heard Elann was getting Jo Sharp Silkroad DK yarn yesterday. I went to the site and saw some lovely dark colours, especially a heathery black, and there were like 50 skeins of each. I thought about buying some for the Knitty wrap, but really shouldn't spend the money. I had it in my shopping basket and hemmed and hawed. Before I could decide to buy it, someone(s) managed to buy up ALL the yarn in ALL the colours. Wow! It wasn't in stock for even a WHOLE DAY. That is just AMAZING. (And much better for my pocketbook.) #


Wednesday, September 15, 2004
      ( 11:54 AM ) Rebecca  
The cold weather makes me want to pull out all those projects I WANTED to start last winter and didn't have time. I cast on for Rogue, and knit the hem facing (figuring since I am knitting off a cone it's less portable for things like soccer and SnB, although I did lug it to DH's doctor's appointment today, and I wanted to save the sleeve to work on for SnB, in case I ran out of yarn or sleeve). Then today, whilst at the post office, I got my Denise needles! Wow! No wonder that ebay seller has 2000+ 100% positive feedbacks! So of course THAT makes me want to play with my new toys! I have a swatch I was going to knit, so maybe I can use them for that. Time will tell if I like them or want to bring them on my trip.

And now I'm not sure if I can make it to SnB and get a Denise needle tutorial, because it conflicts with Cub Scouts. It is just a boring signup/informational meeting can I get out, or at least sneak out early? My fingers are crossed....

I'd better do some power knitting and finish off some projects before I end up working on 20 things at once like I usually do. Because I am already planning a completely new project for Airplane Knitting in October, since Rogue and her coned yarn is just too unwieldy, and I'd better be done with the sleeves for Moss by then. And the needles for Donegal are far too scary, airport security will suspect me of being a knitting terrorist for sure with the Addi turbos. #


Monday, September 13, 2004
      ( 8:02 AM ) Rebecca  
Monday Blahs
Agh, today is one of those days where I just want to avoid work. I think it has something to do with staying up late to do work last night, and then getting woken up at 4 in the morning. I just want to play with Colinette Point 5 and giant knitting needles. But no, I have to hunt down ASP files and figure out which ones need updating and move them from one site to another without breaking anything.

I've picked up Moss again (see archives) and made good progress on the first sleeve. Maybe I'll put pictures up soon (harder to edit/upload pictures in between work tests than to just post on one's blog).

I also broke down and ordered a set of Denise needles, thanks to the Stitch N Bitch Enablement Squad. Everyone (well Candace, Jodi, and Corine) swears by them, and convinced me that they are the best choice for airplane knitting. Plus I really wanted to swatch for Inishmaan (a dream sweater that I have purple yarn pining away to be used for), but I discovered I don't own a single pair of size 8 needles, and it calls for size 8 straights and dpn. So that clinched it. I could spend roughly $20 or so on the two pairs of Crystal Palace/Clover needles, or I could spend a little more and have the Denise needles. And if I don't like them, I'll just turn around and sell them on ebay.

Meanwhile, new Knitty. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that front shawl/wrap thingie. But Mandalay is $7 a skein and that is just too much money for me. I checked Elann and Webs, but no cheapie Aran-weight silk subs. Maybe I will ask someone in my family to buy me some Mandalay for Christmas, because it does come in some lovely colours. Aren't Indigo and Garnet gorgeous?

Also, all you "bag ladies" out there -- aren't these Sheep Tote Kits SO CUTE?

That's it, I am throwing out the next catalogue Patternworks sends me without looking. #


Tuesday, September 07, 2004
      ( 6:22 PM ) Rebecca  
Traffic Zen
Today, I had to go into the office, and being the first day of school I ended up having to drive into Hartford in the middle of rush hour. However, it must have been the mood I was in, or the mixed CD that I was listening to, because I found the whole traffic congestion to be peaceful and calming in some bizarre way. There's an argument for not working in the office every day, if I ever heard one.

I actually have a few finished objects to share, but you all will just have to wait until I have time to properly photograph/edit them. (Yes, the cami is one, more on that when I post pics, and a Christmas present for my mom which was my Hospital Knitting.)

So I will leave you with some movie reviews for the day. Master and Commander: not even Russell Crowe could save this one. We rented it, and I love period pieces, but it was boring and unnecessarily bloody. I let hubby finish this one on his own, I watched about half before giving up on it.

A FAR better movie was Hero, with Jet Li, Donnie Yen (who is better looking than Russell Crowe anyway), and Zhang Ziyi. Beautiful, beautiful film. Amazing use of colour. Emotional, touching, and fun (a Wuxia film like Crouching Tiger, it has great wirework with people flying during fight scenes). If anyone has any more great Wuxia films to recommend that can be easily found in the US (either Netflix or easy enough to buy), please let me know.

The weather is starting to get colder, soccer is starting this week, and I think I may pick back up some cold weather projects. #



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