Thursday, February 15, 2007

I'm Knitting Them as Fast as I Can

I've been knitting like crazy on Susan's new sock pattern. I'm all caught up and ready to Kitchener. I'm very, very tempted to just go ahead and finish them, because I think this is the first pair of socks I've made that aren't too big. But I'll wait impatiently for Susan's "fool-proof" method.

Aren't they cute? I feel like Miss Sushi Toes. The only problem is trying to get shoes on my feet with those darn needles on my toes.

The big question, of course, is what name she's going to give them. They should be called something like "Susan's Fool-Proof Socks", since they were pretty easy, even for a sock novice like me. But I'm sure Susan has something much more creative in mind. Like "Live Dangerously, Don't Swatch Learn to Kitchener Socks". Or the obvious "She-Who-Could-Not-Kitchener-But-Now-Can Socks". Or maybe it's something simpler, like "I Can Kitchener" socks. But I think I know the real answer: the "Pop Your Kitchener Cherry Socks". I'm sure that's it. No doubt about it. Dontcha think?

Monday, February 12, 2007

I am Hermione

After seeing this on Stitch-n-Snitch, I knew who I'd be even without bothering to take the test. No surprise here:


You scored as Hermione Granger. You're extremely hard-working and will not feel satisfied with yourself unless you've given everything your all. You're very intelligent and make good use of your witty remarks and astounding ability to insult people. You tend to be a stickler for the rules but are smart enough to know that rules sometimes need to be broken. Your major downfall, however, is your fear of failure, which you should have no reason to fear. You love your friends but also like to keep them in line.

Hermione Granger


66%

Albus Dumbledore


63%

Harry Potter


50%

Sirius Black


47%

Remus Lupin


47%

Percy Weasley


44%

Oliver Wood


41%

Ron Weasley


38%

Luna Lovegood


38%

Lord Voldemort


34%

Neville Longbottom


34%

Bellatrix Lestrange


31%

Severus Snape


28%

Draco Malfoy


16%

Harry Potter Character Combatibility Test
created with QuizFarm.com

Sunday, February 11, 2007

It's a Match!

I finally, finally finished the second garter-rib sock. DH is very pleased (he's wearing them today), and was really impressed at how well the stripes matched.

Pattern: Garter Rib Socks from "Sensational Knitted Socks"

Yarn: Plymouth Sockotta (45% cotton, 40% superwash wool, 15% nylon)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Ooooh Yeah.....

Blackberry cobbler. Berries from Costco, recipe from Allrecipes. Hot out of the oven. Soon to be topped, of course, with a bit of vanilla ice cream. What could be finer on a chilly, rainy, February evening.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Sock Progress

Here's my progress on Susan's seriatum socks. I'm ready for the next step! I had to leave work early last night and just made it home in time to pray to the porcelain god. Blech. I couldn't do anything last night besides lie down and feel sick. At midnight I finally had a good stomach purging and felt enough better that I could finally sleep. I still feel pretty crappy today (no pun intended - thankfully that hasn't been a problem!), so I'm just lounging around the house sipping tea and ginger ale. At least I felt well enough to do a little knitting - I was glad to have an easy project with worsted weight yarn that didn't take much concentration. I don't think I could have handled much else. Now the question is whether I should start the second sock from the other end of the yarn, take a nap, or try eating some oatmeal. I'm leaning towards the nap.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

This and That

For lack of any real knitting progress photos, I'll instead show you the new Elizabeth Austen knitting bag I picked up at "Tuesday Morning" for half price. I'm very happy with it - it's a nice size, and has lots of pockets inside for needles and accessories.

I've had a really hectic couple of weeks. I had closed on two different real estate transactions last week, both of which have been real hassles. Work has been even more stressful than usual, especially now that my retirement has been announced. Way too much to do in too little time.

Today I had to go to the funeral of our best friend's mother - a bitter old woman who had no friends, and who had alienated most of her family as well. Not that you'd know it from the speeches at the funeral, of course. What really disgusts me is how much the family gets shafted when someone dies. $10,000 for the funeral. $400 for an average-sized obituary. (The newspapers make a fortune on those.) When it's my turn, I just want to be cremated as cheaply as possible, have my ashes dumped in the mountains, and have nothing but a friends-and-family get-together to celebrate life. No viewing, no hypocritical speeches. I don't even care about an obituary. The people who need to know will know.

Sorry, didn't mean to go off on a rant. As for knitting, I'm finally getting close to finishing the socks for my husband. He's very excited. And I'm planning to cast on for Susan's seriatum socks. With worsted weight yarn, they might actually get done in a timely fashion. Unlike everything else I'm working on, which is taking forever. Her new blog is having feed problems, so do be sure to stop by and check her site for updates. Last night at SnB, Susan wondered if anyone would start her socks without knowing what they would look like. Margene and I assured her that of course they would - everyone trusted her. Margene would know, of course, since she will be starring in future installments of the sock instructions. I, however, was just going on blind faith.
I even had the yarn and needles with me, though I didn't end up starting them last night. But this afternoon, I will.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Little Naughties Nighties

I've just been drooling over the preview for the Spring 2007 Interweave Knits. I will certainly be purchasing this one. Maybe I'll even finally sign up for a subscription. Seeing the nightie in the staff projects section reminds me that someone got to my blog recently by searching for "knitted lingerie". Gee, I'm sorry I disappointed whoever it was. But in case anyone ever comes back here looking for that, I'll just send them to this IK issue, or to the Summer 2004 issue of "Sex and the Knitty".

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Shifting Attention

I haven't blogged much this week because A) My internet service was down for a couple of days and B) Although I've been knitting away, I'm still working on the same projects so there isn't really anything new to show. I've also been incredibly busy with some personal stuff this week.

I did get out to see Volver last night with a friend, and we enjoyed it very much. She's from Spain, so it made her a bit homesick. Penelope Cruz is definitely much better in Spanish films. And so beautiful - it's nice to see a woman with curves instead of one who looks like a toothpick, like all of the top fashion models. I don't think I could begin to describe the plot of the movie, but I'm glad I saw it.

My husband and I also laughed ourselves into hysterics watching "Gwok chaan Ling Ling Chat" ("From Beijing With Love") the other night. My first Stephen Chow movie was Kung Fu Hustle, which I thought was very funny and creative, and it inspired me to look up other Stephen Chow movies. "From Beijing With Love" is one of his older movies. It's a parody of James Bond films - sort of a weird mixture of Bond films, Get Smart, slapstick comedy, and Quentin Tarantino (over-the-top bloody violence). I'm sure a lot of the Cantonese humor is lost on an English-speaking audience, but it's still funny in a very silly, "popcorn movie" kind of way. Stephen Chow got nominated for Best Actor in the Hong Kong Film awards for this movie, by the way.

I'm still not quite sure if it was just the movie itself that was so funny, or the movie combined with the poor English subtitles, which often lost a lot in translation. For example, Ling Ling Chai (played by Stephen Chow) has been called out of his retirement as a pork vendor in order to investigate the theft of the skull of China's only dinosaur specimen. "The Commander" is giving Chai his orders:

"During the investigation, you've got to keep secret. And, the man with a golden gun is extreme mysterious. And he is so cruel. You will be very dangerous."

Whether it was intentional or unintentional humor, I don't remember the last time I laughed so much at a movie. (Of course, I'm sure the wine I had to drink didn't hurt, either.) There's a "Q" type character who makes the most ridiculous gadgets (like a solar flashlight that only works when there's light), and a beautiful double-agent (Kem) who's supposed to kill Chai but of course, falls in love with him. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Kem is trying to remove a bullet from Chai's thigh (he doesn't know that she's the one who shot him in the first place). I won't spoil the scene for anyone who may watch this movie in the future, but I was in tears of laughter. The scene revolves around Chai's method of "Shifting Attention" as a method of anesthetic.

So if you find yourself in the mood for a silly comedy, especially if you're a Bond fan, and you can handle scenes with people getting killed with lots of blood being splattered about (I know, that's a weird combination - what can I say), you may want to take a peek at this one. It's not rated, but I would say an "R" for the bloody, graphic violence. (Think "Kill Bill".) The biggest drawback to the movie is that the dialog is so quick that sometimes you don't have enough time to read the subtitles. Be prepared to use the "reverse" and "pause" buttons on your remote, and praise the virtues of DVDs.

While I did find the movie very funny, I know it's not for everyone. I sort of feel like the person who takes a drink of something, says "Ewww - this is awful", then hands it to you and says "Taste it!". In this case, I thought it was very funny, but I might be in a tiny percentage of people with a weird enough sense of humor to think so. Caveat Emptor.