Monthly Archives: April 2008

I want real stories

I need more good movies and shows to knit by. Sometimes I think knitters are the only crafters who build their entertainment around their craft. We want our entertainment to accommodate our need to knit simultaneously.

I got really sick of those “High School Reunion” ads on TV Land that ran for the last few months. “God!” I thought. “Most of us really couldn’t stand these dics when we were in high school. Why would we want to watch a show about them?!” So what if they’re just actors… even tuning in to watch these people humiliate themselves by exposing their lackluster lives replete with petty obsessions and retarded vanities… is JUST NOT SO INTERESTING ANYMORE. We all know that reality television is a misnomer… and that even virtual reality (manipulated by real people at least) has more of a foothold in reality than this garbage.

I want stories… good stories… not more of this reality garbage.  I know that many of the good BBC tv shows come from radio shows… Nathan Barley, Mighty Boosh…etc. Maybe what we need are more good radio shows a la podcasts.  Eric and I actually found a cool series of 1970’s thrillers from the BBC called Beasts. There was a particularly harrowing story about rats taking over the English countryside.  Also my favorite was the episode called “Baby” about this couple who finds this wizened mummy-like creature in a jar in the wall plaster of their old cottage. Eric felt that the rat story would make a good onstage drama. I think that most of the stories in this series could actually be converted into great radio plays.

*We have a mysterious hole in our back yard in the middle of the lawn… it’s too big for a rat and too small for a cat… I always joke to Eric… that’s were “The Baby” lives.

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Filed under Knit, Knitting

Meet Ichiro

This has nothing to do with knitting.

This has been in the works for a few weeks, but this weekend I took my Dad out with me to get a pug puppy. It was my gift to him. His dear dog Duke had passed away, and Dad was feeling pretty lonely. We are a pug family all around, so I contacted Otto’s breeder. This weekend we kept the puppy overnight while my Dad made sure his house was puppy-proofed as much as possible. It was really hard to let go of the little guy. He has such a wonderful, curious personality. Eric was pretty convinced that he was ‘top notch’ as puppies go.. super smart, fully of energy, ‘into things,’ and a good study.

At first Dad seemed pretty set on calling him Duke… again. But then in the car on the way home from the breeder… I said, “He looks like a Japanese filmstar to me … how about Toshiro (Mifune)… or Akira… or…”

“How about Ichiro, like the baseball player,” my Dad said.

So Ichiro it was. When we were buying the supplies at the pet store. I actually had the tag made then and there, just to make sure he wouldn’t waffle. I know he could always get a new tag, but I feel very strongly about giving pets names that are unique to them. It did occur to me that maybe my dad needed to mourn Duke a little more, but you know it just seemed that it would be good for him to have ‘someone’ like an ani-pal there in the house with him to keep him on his toes.

I haven’t seen my Dad that pleased or happy in a long time. Even though part of me didn’t want to let go of the dog, it seemed worth it after I saw the look in my Dad’s face.

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Deciphering Japanese Patterns: an Adventure

My husband has this habit (a bit irritating to me) of watching foreign movies without the subtitles. He’s perfectly happy enjoying the movie by watching and interpreting facial impressions and physical gestures. Sometimes he just likes to sit back and enjoy the cinematography or art direction. I realized the other day that I should be a little more tolerant and sypathetic of this habit of his because I’ve been known to buy books and magazines in foreign language because I simply enjoy the designs, the artwork and photography. Any item that has clearly drawn and organized symbolic instructions just leaves me in awe and appreciation. Perhaps it because these instructions effectively transgress any language barriers and effectively present the task or material in a truly universal language.  Even though Japanese knitting patterns have elements that are indecipherable to me, I still think that a non-Japanese speaking individual can glean more from the design of the object than one could from patterns written in English.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I bought a few knitting pattern books as well as a stitch dictionary (for both knitting and crochet) in San Francisco’s Japantown a two weeks ago. I am planning to attempt one of the hat patterns soon with the help of some of the translation resources (see below) and the stitch dictionary. If I attempt to work on any of the garments in these books, I’ll have to strategically place darts or increases in the patterns to accommodate the ‘curviness’ of my figure. 🙂

The cute little hat, I’d love to make (it’s crochet)

Resources for using Japanese Patterns:

A helpful PDF guide that walks you through the process of understanding and using Japanese Patterns. There are also several web resources on the subject listed at the end of this document.

http://www.needleartsbookshop.com/InterpretingJapaneseKnittingPatterns.pdf

Wonderful Guide including translations of needle sizes and common terms:

http://www.tata-tatao.to/knit/japanese/e-index.html

Legend for Stitches:

http://www.tata-tatao.to/knit/stitches/e-index.html

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Filed under Crochet, Fashion, Garment Design, Knit, Knitting, Pattern Links, Techniques

Make Magazine Features the Ravelry Folks

http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/04/knitting_and_crochet_onli.html?CMP=OTC-0D6B48984890

I love Ravelry because it’s really the best example of how people in a community of craft can work together to learn and enrich their craft. I have to say, I have learned so much from the Ravelry community and I’ve only been on it for a few weeks.

On the way down to San Francisco, I listed to the Y Knit (Episode 4) where the Y-Knit team interviews Jess and Casey. They mentioned that the restricted membership was a turn off to some. I have to admit that I was one of those people. I felt that peoples’ membership to the site was promoting an exclusive culture (most likely unintentionally). People would talk about Ravelry, but then you’d realize that you couldn’t get in. It seemed like only “Ravelry People” were ‘in the know.’ In fact, I was so turned off by this that I didn’t even bother trying to sign up until a month or so ago.

I’m really glad I did.

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Filed under Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Techie

Friday Fun: Spongebob does Casablanca

Nothing to do with Knitting, but…

[Youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=rwZlFBVUb0s]

The Marlon Brando scene at the end is classic.

I had this fantasy at my old job (which I did not really like) that the day I went nuts or quit… I would suddenly break into song in my cubicle and start singing the Spongebob Squarepants theme as loud as I could. “Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?!”

Of course, I never got to do it. I quit while I was on medical leave.

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Frothy pink French chic

I finished this scarf over the weekend to wear at the wedding I never attended. It’s the Lala scarf in the Greetings from Knit Cafe book. It was a pretty quick knit until I got to the ruffle, but knitting picot after picot actually put me into a meditative state. It was sort of like knitting an endless Rosary.

I’m actually, really enjoying the Knit Cafe book. In order to be set for mid Spring, I intend to finish the Kat Coyle “Lacey Skirt with Bows.”

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Filed under Fashion, Knit, Knitting, Lace