Knitting and a Movie
Sunday, March 27, 2005
      ( 6:07 PM ) Rebecca  
Gleđilega Páska!

Now, to frighten any small children (or anyone else that may be around):

WHY does anyone think these things are a good idea?

I still haven't gotten around to modelling my FO's, so you'll have to wait to see Cleo and Rogue. I had a revelation yesterday, though. I've noticed that I seem to be only drawn to European designers and European yarn lately. Dale, Rebecca, Bergčre de France, Solveig Hisdal, Rowan. OK, well, Knitty seems to be the exception. Anyway, all these European yarns are SO EXPENSIVE, not because they are all that better made (although some are very nice), but because they have to be imported. It seems like American yarns tend to be the mass-produced crappy variety, and a lot of acrylic. The exceptions are things like Brown Sheep, Bartlettyarns, Green Mountain Spinnery, and so on. Although a lot of those are very rustic, and not very useful for the fine intricate designs.

So why is it? Is it that Americans only really care about novelty yarn, and want acrylic and cheap yarns and fast knitting projects? Is it that is how the yarn industry PERCEIVES us? Would a US Colinette or Noro or Dale or Hifa or GGH style company just not work? Is there nowhere to MAKE those kinds of yarns here?

Bad enough I can't find a shop to buy a bra here. Have to go to Europe for that too. Don't get me started.

Happy Easter, one and all. #


Friday, March 25, 2005
      ( 6:50 AM ) Rebecca  
Miss Rebecca's Sickness of Snow

You know, it's SUPPOSED to be spring.

So the reason I haven't been blogging much this week is I received Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow in the mail from someone on BookCrossing (in trade for another book). I didn't have a lot of free time, but I finished my classwork for the week so I thought, "Oh, I'll just take a quick look, read a few pages." Before I knew it, I was sucked in, so every free moment was taken up reading that book (even a few minutes in the lunchroom at work). It is hands down the best book I have read in a long time. It's exciting and incredibly well-written, with little anecdotes sprinkled throughout. Now I have to Netflix the film. One of my friends told me it was good. If anyone wants to borrow the book, let me know. Good thing I finished, now I have to start reading Frankenstein for my class.

Somewhere in there I have been working on the triangles for Cleo:

I just have the i-cord for triangle #2 to do. Well, the i-cord for triangle #1 was a bit short, but I ran out of yarn and didn't want to change mid-i-cord. I figured if it's not long enough when assembled, I'll just rip it back and re-do the i-cord then.

And I have been working on finishing that Gerbera sleeve, but I was out and about knitting and ran out of yarn less than an inch before I was due to finish it. Hopefully I can finish that sleeve today. One of my friends told me I had better finish it before she sees me next, she said, "Are you STILL working on that one sleeve?" I was wearing Rogue, so I said, "At least I finished THIS."

Oh, and we watched What the #$*! Do We Know!?. It had a lot of hype, but I just didn't like it. It was a little too VH1-meets-PBS-special for me. But the worst part about it is where they started saying things like if you are an emotional person, you age faster, you're less healthy, so you should change yourself. It reminded me of my college physics-major roommate who used to tell me "Stop being so emotional", until he had his heart thoroughly broken and punched out someone at a physics lecture. So this "uplifting" movie just had the effect of making me feel that much worse about myself. Yay. I think I've got to go watch Requiem for a Dream again, now THAT is an uplifing movie (not!) #


Sunday, March 20, 2005
      ( 3:44 AM ) Rebecca  
Stash Organisation!

OK, Jodi, you didn't make me do this by making me talk about my stash, honest!

I went out yesterday and bought some plastic tubs, and decided to organise my "to-be-knitted" and "temporarily abandoned WIPs" stash. In the process of moving things around, I discovered 5 skeins of charcoal grey Brown Sheep Naturespun yarn (dye lot 074, just in case anyone has some). I thought to myself "Hmm.... if I could get just 3 more skeins, then I would have almost pre-existing stash to make Mariah this fall." Especially since the project that yarn was ORIGINALLY intended for is NEVER going to be made. It was one of those "What was I THINKING???" projects (I seem to have a lot of those). So now I will be on the hunt for more Brown Sheep, otherwise those 5 skeins will just sit around pining away waiting to be used. And I'm thinking that I have a new knitting discipline that I'd like to start. For every new project I start, I have to rescue one abandoned WIP and try to finish it. Doesn't that seem like a good idea? Think I can stick to it?

We had a special Saturday knitting session at Cosi, which apparently is the only place in the Hartford area where one can get a TRUE mocha coffee. Corine and I discussed how most places around here (especially chains, which is pretty much all we have) think a mocha coffee is hot chocolate with a hint of coffee. Yuck. I finished the bottom of Cleo, although the band is STILL too big. I washed it to see if the cotton yarn would behave and shrink up for me. She is still drying, so we shall see. If not, I will rip it backwards and knit the band from the bottom up.

We stopped at the new LYS, Sit N Knit, where I got some DPNs for Cleo, and the new Rebecca magazine. There are some really cute tops in there I might like to make, and the coolest linen skirt. The yarn is prohibitively expensive, so I will hunt around for some kind of cheap substitute. Besides, I have enough stashed projects at this point to keep me busy (although Cleo is flying, I really hope it turns out to be actually wearable).

Oh, and I finished Rogue (it was ONE SEAM that was holding me up!) It's drying right now. Hopefully I'll have pics later this week. #


Friday, March 18, 2005
      ( 3:54 PM ) Rebecca  
Jodi (of fabulous Mariah design, as opposed to the local Jodi) had a fun "interview me" thing, so here goes.
If you want to play too, here are the rules (cut n pasted from Jodi):
1. Leave me a comment saying “interview me.”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions here. They will be different questions than the ones below.
3. You will update YOUR blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

And here are her interview questions for me:
1. What is the butt-ugliest thing you've ever knitted? Do you still have it? (can we see?)
Hmm.... I think it was the very first colour project I did, which came out to be a buckled all buckled and warped. I didn't know anything about maintaining tension when using more than one colour, and it was horrific. Sadly, there is no proof of its existence. I am very proud that I actually broke down and frogged it and gave away the yarn. (Not so proud about how long I hung onto it BEFORE frogging and giving away the yarn).

2. Watch out. . . here comes the obligatory stash question again! Is it a beast or a pussycat? Can it be contained? Does it cause domestic strife? (some of you more astute readers may notice a theme here, and wonder what I'm trying to say about my own stash-related domestic situation. I'm just trying to find out if I'm the only one taking over more than my fair share of the house, okay?)
Oh, it's a beast. And because I do sewing too, it's sort of this big, fibery mess. I have a finished attic, and my side is my craft area. I keep telling myself I will knit out of my stash, but because my stash is project oriented and I suffer from shiny object-itis, I keep breaking this. I do periodically do clearance and put stuff on ebay. Since it stays on my side, it doesn't cause any strife. I am working to contain it. My latest plan is to get some rubbermaid tubs and put the larger stashed projects in that, and then put a packing list on the side.

3. And because I'm apparently obsessed with other people's ink, as well. . . that's a nice new tat! Do you have any others, and if so, what/where are they? Any more in the works?
Thanks! This is my first one, I have a few piercings and that's it. I am a notorious waffler. One of my friends told me it would take me two years to decide to buy a pair of shoes. Since tattoos are a bit more permanent than shoes, I took a long time deliberating what I wanted to get and where I wanted to put it. That said, my artist told me "Oh, once you get one, then you'll just keep getting them." I guess we'll see. In high school I wanted to get a triskele (Celtic symbol) on my arm.

4. What is you oldest WIP? How long has it been since you worked on it?
Abandoned, or unabandoned? My very oldest WIP is a baby sweater started 10 years ago and then misplaced. It turned up years later, but was so motheaten that there was no point in finishing. (It's too bad, because it was my first cable project and was actually pretty nice). Second oldest WIP is an afghan started around the same time, which was neither lost nor moth eaten, but I think it's been about 8 years since I worked on it because it would take so long to figure out where I am in the pattern that I am completely intimidated.

5. What do you eat squeezable shrimp cheese on? (please, for the love of god, don't say Pittsburgh Salad). Does that cheese come in any other flavours, and if so, have you tried them?
My friend Helene used to put it on Wonder bread, but that's pretty icky. I like it on rye crackers, especially the waffle-y sort of ones (I can't think of the brand). The only other flavour I've seen is just plain Gouda, which is pretty good too. They also have roe in a tube, but I haven't tried that.

Geek alert: today I downloaded Mozilla's Thunderbird email client. I got sick of sending/receiving emails with Icelandic characters that my other email client couldn't handle, since they are doublebyte. I'm not sure if I'm hooked yet, but it seems pretty nice. It's at least good for saying "Gođan fostudaginn". #


Wednesday, March 16, 2005
      ( 8:00 PM ) Rebecca  
Obligatory Birthday Post
Yep, today was my birthday. Enjoying my tattoo, although the worst part is the tape wounds from the bandage afterwards. Stitchin Bitchers, I missed you, although Jodi is still in Ireland and Corine was unable to make it, so I will see Corine and Eina on Saturday (yay!). I had friends over, and watched Dracula's Daughter (theoretically based on a Bram Stoker story I read for class, but hard to see the connection, let me tell you) and ate sushi. So no knitting was accomplished. But at least I am back to where I was (more or less) with Cleo, and I am SURE she will fit better this time.

And I got Teuscher truffles (the BEST EVER!!) and a pair of Moomin mugs (the Moomin books were some of my favourite childhood books, so these are so fun!!) #


Tuesday, March 15, 2005
      ( 8:46 PM ) Rebecca  
New Tattoo

And now for a completely non-knitting-related post...


Monday, March 14, 2005
      ( 5:47 PM ) Rebecca  
Spring Break!

So this week is my Spring Break from my class, but I still have to work. So I figured since it was an online class, I would have a virtual Spring Break. Here's a beach picture:

(OK... so it's not warm and sunny and sandy, but it's water right? It was the only picture I had handy. I will try to get off my butt and get the rest of my Iceland photos off Mystic Photo one of these months and make a little photo album like I have promised everyone last October.)

To continue the Scandanavian Spring Break theme, Dave gave me an early birthday present:

"SHRIMP CHEESE?" you ask? Well, let me tell you, Scandanavia's answer to Cheese Whiz is PURE HEAVEN. Well, if you like shrimp. I know it sounds totally weird, especially the part about coming in a toothpaste tube, but it is just the best thing EVER. And I haven't had it since college (when my friend who taught me to knit used to bring it with her after she came back from visiting her family in Sweden. See, knitting connection! Who'da thunk?) So this was very exciting.

I also got a package from Iceland, oddly enough.

My friend Ingimar sent me the local English language paper (yes, that cover is a joke), and a copy of his band's demo CD.

And I have started Cleo again, much humbled. Let's hope that it works better THIS time around. I had to take out 11 stitches to stay in pattern. If it's too small, I'll just switch to a smaller needle when doing the band when I do it the THIRD time. #


Friday, March 11, 2005
      ( 4:14 PM ) Rebecca  
Like Yarn Crocuses in the Snow...

So my Spring fever Elann yarn arrived... just like crocuses it is a burst of purple!

Note the frou-frou yarn. I plan to make a funky guitar strap with that, once I consult Jodi on the intricacies of working with frou-frou yarn, since she is the Scarf Mistress. Do you know, it's the FIRST TIME I have bought eyelash yarn? But there was one lonely purple skein on Elann, and it was only $2.75 or something. I HAD to buy it. It needed a HOME!

I couldn't restrain myself so I cast on and started Cleo with Elann Endless Summer Sonata cotton in Lilac and African Violet.

Sadly, I had gotten to the point where I could try it on, and realised that the band was WAYY too huge (well, at least an inch) so I frogged the whole thing and somehow ended up with a pile of tangled purple spaghetti. So I've been untangling the yarn so I can cast on again with 9 fewer stitches and do it over. I'm going to try the backless version, since I'm afraid it would be too tent-like if I did the full-back version. I may have to get creative with support, though. Or maybe my stuffed panda will have a new halter top.

My birthday is Wednesday, so I had my family over to celebrate last night. I bought some flowers...

(Pay no attention to the snow outside, it's spring, darnit!)

...and made the MOST AMAZING chocolate cake EVER, from the February (Valentine's) issue of Vegetarian times. It almost fudgey-brownie-like, a dense cake made with loads of bittersweet chocolate, and topped with chocolate whipped cream (from scratch, but of course!), and is about a billion calories per piece. I would link to it, but sadly VT doesn't have that particular recipe on their website. SnBers, if you want to try the recipe, let me know and I will bring it next time I go.

Don't worry, Gerbera is not forgotten. Finished the colourweek on the first sleeve:

And how could I forget, we watched I <3 Huckabees last night. What a weird movie. I can't even say if I liked it or not, it made my brain hurt. It was entertaining, I think I liked it. Sartre would be so proud. #


Sunday, March 06, 2005
      ( 1:49 PM ) Rebecca  
The Wrong Sort of Bees

I get on these kicks for wanting to recycle clothes, and I have these images in my head. So I went Salvation Army shopping yesterday and grabbed a few wool sweaters to attempt to recycle, a herringbone jacket on ultra clearance, and a cool formal dress that I wanted to repurpose into a top. Well, my plan with the jacket was to overdye it purple, but that didn't work, because it apparently had been treated for dry cleaning. Oh well. I'll incorporate it into some patchwork project at some point, it was just not what I had in mind. And then the sweaters were not the "right kind" -- they don't unravel into one long strand like I had hoped. Live and learn. I think my top will still work out, though.

So, my birthday is coming up in a little over a week, and I am getting a tattoo. Here is the tattoo artist's initial sketch, based on my horrible sketches. I don't really like the head, I wanted a more rounded one, so I may have him change that.

The reason I bring it up is now my spring knitting planning turns to thoughts of tops I can wear that will show it off. So I am hoping to make Cleo, which I've been wanting to make since it came out. I hope it actually works OK on me. But I bought some super cheap (purple of course!) Elann yarn to use for it. And of course Butterfly, which I posted a pic of last week. And then just to be crazy, I think I may make those silly fishnet stockings. I am planning a bunch of fun little summer projects. I think I am burnt out on sweaters for a bit.

Speaking of sweaters, Rogue, she is almost finished:

Note how you can see through the hood... have to graft that last little bit, and it's done! It is very snuggly too.

And Gerbera is chugging along, slowly.

Maybe I will get it done, since I am down to one project. We shall see. I was just told it is supposed to be cold all the rest of March. UGH. At least I'll be able to wear Rogue a few times.

For something completely different....Tim Burton is having a garage sale! Man, I am so tempted to buy plane tix to California just to be able to walk around there. I bet it would be mobbed. #


Saturday, March 05, 2005
      ( 8:26 AM ) Rebecca  
Lazy Saturday, Sneaky Dogs

So I was going to go to the Fabric Place Knitter's Breakfast with Corine. Well, not with, but I was going to meet up with her. This is the first weekend day in a long time where I have absolutely nothing I HAD to do. So I ended up keeping my lazy butt in bed, thinking about getting up and going. Then the cat climbed on my back and started giving me a massage (kneading) and I was done.

Instead of going to a knitting breakfast, I decided to make homemade cinnamon rolls. The kind with yeast that take forever to rise. So I left them out (covered with towel) for the final rise, and went upstairs to kill time. (APPARENTLY I should have been sewing Rogue hems in the kitchen, guarding them like a hawk). The dog decided that they were just too temptingly tasty, and ate ALL BUT FIVE. (There were something like 12 of them). I am ready to cry. At least she left us a few.

Last night I grafted the two sides of the hood, and sewed the arms up and onto Rogue. I still have to sew up the hems, and do the last little graft bit at the back of the hood which is kind of confusing. I guess I pick up the stitches along the one edge and graft that to the live stitches. I tried it on, and it looks pretty good. There is a place at the bottom of the V of the neck which is a bit hole-y, but maybe I can sew up behind it to tighten it up. #


Friday, March 04, 2005
      ( 5:16 PM ) Rebecca  
Roguing, Roguing, Roguing

So I finished the knitting bits for Rogue last night while watching The Big Empty. Funny thing about that movie, neither of us has any idea how it got in the Netflix queue. Did aliens put it there? (Read the blurb). Anyway, I was a little trepidatious about watching it, but it was the funniest, weirdest, most entertaining movie I've seen in a long time. Loads of fun.

Now it's grafting and sewing for Rogue. And I officially started the light grey on Gerbera Sleeve #1. It's so bitter cold here that it seems like you could work on winter knitting forever. However, I really do think Spring is just around the corner SOMEWHERE. Maybe it's under the bed with all the dustbunnies and left socks. I got the new Rowan magazine so I will go into Spring knitting more later.

I actually finished my paper, so all I have to do is read The Call of the Cthulhu sometime this weekend or early next week. So maybe I will actually have some knitting time this weekend!

Can I get Rogue done in time for next week's Stitch 'N' Bitch? Will Gerbera be finished before it's balmy out? And will someone watch the cheesy Dracula DVD I got from Amazon the other week with me? Stay tuned for these exciting answers! #


Thursday, March 03, 2005
      ( 3:42 PM ) Rebecca  
I Would Walk Ten Thousand Miles...
(for a decent cuppa coffee)

Interesting observation of the day. I work upstairs from Dunkin Donuts, as I mentioned. However, not only am I avoiding sugared coffee, but I can't eat their food. So I walked a little while in the cold to a local (or smaller chain?) coffee shop called Zuzu's, to get a (better and cheaper!) cup of coffee, and something that claimed to be a scone (but was still better than what I would have been able to get at DD). On the way back, I saw people walking back from DD to their offices right near Zuzu's, meaning they went ALL THE WAY JUST to go to DD. To each his own. I guess I'm just swimming upstream. I did enjoy that coffee.

So one side of the Rogue hood is DONE!!! SnB Hartford seems to have splintered into a few smaller groups, which meant I could have a nice, fun knitting session where I actually got to talk to people! I'm also ready for the colourwork on Gerbera sleeve #1. Things are coming together. I still am a bit baffled as to the final grafting, but one thing at a time.

Did I mention on my blog that one reason I haven't had much time for knitting or blogging is I am taking a lit class? The Horror Story. Fun readings, but I have a paper due Sunday night (crazy scheduling of online classes). So I think I've got to edit my paper tonight and not finish the Rogue hood. Maybe I will do a bang-up job of editing and get some knitting time as a reward. Oh well, off to edit my paper on "The Yellow Wallpaper". #


Tuesday, March 01, 2005
      ( 7:34 PM ) Rebecca  

So anyone that's read my ramblings for a while, or anyone from SnB will know my car has been very unreliable as of late. I had 112,000 miles on it, and it was feeling it. Plus the tires were bald, but I hated to spend money on new tires for a car that was starting to break down at inopportune times, so I went car-looking. Turns out Honda was having a great end-of-the-month financing deal, and the season of good car deals is rapidly approaching a close, so I got:

And then promptly it got snowed upon. At least it seems to handle OK in the snow.

Rogue is chugging along. I'm almost to the part of the pattern that makes me go "Huh" (namely the top of the hood). I want to be able to wear it, so I have to figure out the crazy splitting and grafting bit. I think I may have to check if the mailing list is still active. Any Rogue alumnis?

I watched Super Size Me last night. No, we're not Oscar-bandwagon-jumpers, just lazy Netflix-holders-on. If you haven't watched it, do. For me, it was preaching to the choir, I can't even remember when I last ate at McDonalds, and the last time I ate at BK (even though I work above one) was sometime last spring, when I got a veggie burger from the drive-thro on the way to dance class. I still found it entertaining.

And while talking about the Oscars, Beyonce is gorgeous, she is great at doing her "pop funk" genre of singing, but she can NOT sing classical songs AT ALL, and she BUTCHERED the French language. ARGH! Why do they have to spoil the ceremony by getting pop singers to sing songs from movies? Just find someone who can sing! Oh well, it could have been worse, it could have been Britney Spears. #



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