I've made two starts on the Swallowtail Shawl. I used 5mm needles the first time and decided they were too big; I couldn't tell the gaps caused by the YOs from the gaps between the stitches. I've gone down to 4mm. Also, I had made some mistakes, it has to be said.
With the Forest Canopy, I followed the written instructions at first, and then kept the chart at my elbow as an aide memoire, so for the second start on this I wrote out the pattern and fixed it to my magnetic board. This helped a little bit, but didn't entirely solve the problem. I did a year or so of Russian when I did my degree, and I found it very salutary to be back moving my finger along under the letters and uttering halting sentences about Boris and Natasha, just as I had been with Janet and John some decades before. I feel a bit the same about lace charts, when I hear myself saying 'Knit, yo, knit, slip, knit, pass, yo,' and so on as I stumble through the lines. I don't make many mistakes on the first half, before the middle stitch, but after that all h*ll breaks loose. I think I make fewer mistakes when I follow the stitches instead of the pattern, but that may be wishful thinking. Anyway, if I make a total mess of it I can always knit another Forest Canopy with the yarn.
I've decided to do the Movie Meme which is going around. You choose 15 (or 10, or whatever you want) movies and select a quote from each on IMDB. You happy readers get to guess what they are - purely for your own amusement - and add the answers in the Comments. I did it by thinking of my favourite quotes and then checking them on IMDB, so there is a bias towards what I could remember rather than what are necessarily my favourites, which seems to indicate a tendency toward the frivolous on my part. No great surprise there. If you guess a lot of them, you can probably identify my favourite actor too. And yes, the picture is a clue, although not to my favourite actor, just one of my favourite actors and one of the quotations.
1. I’m asking you to marry me, you little fool. Rebecca, guessed by Vivienne. Spoken by Laurence Olivier, with a moustache.
2. Son of a bitch just stole my watch. Not The Sting or Pulp Fiction, Gretchen and Kassia. It's the last line, I think, of a film which has been made more than once and not always under the same title.
Clue: the line is spoken by Walter Matthau and he's complaining (falsely) about Jack Lemmon.
No, Kassia, it's not one of the Grumpy Old men movies. It's well before that, but after The Odd Couple.
The Front Page, the 1974 version. I'm a bit surprised nobody got this one, but maybe I'm living in the past.
3. Tell me five things about yourself, four of them true. Breach, guessed by Cetta. An underrated film, with the great Chris Cooper and the drippy Ryan Phillippe.
4. Miss Casswell is an actress, a graduate of the Copacabana School of Dramatic Art. All About Eve, guessed by Gretchen. George Sanders said it of the character played by Marilyn Monroe.
5. Have the florist send some roses to Mrs Upjohn, and write ‘Emily, I love you,’ on the back of the bill. A Day at the Races, guessed by Tamara. Said by Groucho Marx of Margaret Dumont, who else?
6. Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue. Airplane, guessed by Cetta. Spoken by Lloyd Bridges.
7. It costs a lot to look this cheap. No, this isn't Steel Magnolias, Lee. I'll give you a clue: it isn't spoken by a woman but by a drag queen. Actually, it's pretty obscure and I only included it because it's my favourite actor. No, Shadowdancer, not To Wong Foo... or Mrs Doubtfire either. No, Kathy and SuzySZ, it isn't Priscilla, Queen of the Desert or Some Like It Hot either.
Clue: the line is addressed to Robert de Niro and this is probably time to tell you that my favourite actor is Philip Seymour Hoffman.
And no, it's not Analyze This, either, SuzySZ. Or Analyze That.
Flawless (1999), guessed by SusySZ, who got there in the end, hurrah.
8. So tell me, Cameron, just tell me because I'd like to know, what on earth could make you think that we would want to share a flat like this with someone like you? I mean, my first impression, and they're rarely wrong, is that you have none of the qualities that we normally seek in a prospective flatmate. I'm talking here about things like presence, charisma, style and charm, and I don't think we're asking too much, I don't think we're being unreasonable. Take David here, for instance: a chartered accountant he may be, but at least he tries hard. The point is I don't think you're trying. Shallow Grave, guessed by Vivienne.
9. Hi. How are you? My name's Elliot, and I'm with the Cub Scouts of America. We're... we're selling uncut cocaine to get to the jamboree. True Romance, guessed by the blogless Sandyb. I can watch this film over and over, except that I skip the bits with Gary Oldman and Christopher Walken, cos they're too scary: oddly, I don't find the bit with James Gandolfini scary. I have listened to every commentary on the special edition dvd.
10. Hello, this is Harris. I'm in right now, so you can talk to me personally. Please start talking at the sound of the beep. LA Story, guessed by Sandyb. Not one of the greatest movies, but I love this line. And I had to include a Steve Martin film.
11. You know you've reached rock bottom when you're told you have character flaws by a man who hanged his predecessor in a military coup. Or, from the same film You're no James Bond. You're no Thomas Jefferson, either. Let's call it even. No, not Bananas, Gretchen, although there is a film by that writer / director lower down. This film is much more recent than Bananas.
Clue: the lines are spoken by Tom Hanks and MFA, Phil.
Charlie Wilson's War, guessed by Mary. A lot of people have criticized this film for not being a documentary, but it's still a great movie with a very witty script by the writer of The West Wing, Aaron Sorkin.
12. It's as if Perry and I grew up in the same house. And one day he stood up and went out the back door, while I went out the front.
Clue: the line is spoken by Phil and he got an Oscar for it.
Capote, guessed by Lee. Phil and Chris Cooper, what more could life have to offer?
13. Joseph Turner White: I may have to go to jail.
Ann Black: I'll knit you a sweater.
Joseph Turner White: I'm gonna be in there a long time.
Ann Black: I'll knit you a jumpsuit.
Clue: the lines are spoken by Phil again and Rebecca Pidgeon, in a very funny David Mamet film.
State and Main, guessed by Candlepick, who describes the film as 'a trove of quotable stuff, much of it delivered in weary deadpan by William H. Macy' - I couldn't put it better myself.
14. You’re so beautiful, I can hardly keep my eyes on the meter.
Clue: how could you not get this? It's Woody to Diane - which film?
No, Lee, it isn't Sleeper. A little later than that.
Big clue: it was shot in black and white.
Manhattan, guessed by Lee. He also says, 'My analyst warned me, but you were so beautiful I got another analyst. '
15. L’amour, c’est si simple, Baptiste.
Clue: I used to think that this was the greatest film ever made. I'm not sure now that it isn't. Made in France in 1943-44, during the German Occupation.
Les Enfants du Paradis, directed by Marcel Carné.