Tuesday, 28 April 2009


I got a tiny little parcel on Monday morning.

It's for a secret project that I'm doing off-blog.

I've been keeping an eye on Spindlecat's Etsy shop for a long time, even before she got a mention in the Spring 2009 issue of IK (page 7), but it wasn't until now that I've finally worked up an excuse to buy these, lovely little hammered silver rings.

The project needs lots of markers (or my addled brain needs them; it depends on how you look at it) but the yarn is very fine so I wanted tiny ones that wouldn't get in the way. She made these as a special order for me.

These are perfect. You can click.

I've lost one already.

After I wrote about the film Still Life in my last post, a comment from Lisa R-R made me realize that it was the same director who made The World, which I wrote about here.

They're very different-looking films, but I'm not surprised they're by the same person. This and this say it rather better than I can. Well worth seeing, both of them, if you're at all interested in Chinese cinema - but then if you are, you probably already knew that...

I went to see In the Loop on Sunday, and laughed a lot. I'm looking forward to seeing it again, and to watching the extras on the DVD. It keeps the frenzied style of the original The Thick of It, and the magnificent swearing, and has many of the same actors although the characters they play have different names, with the exception of Peter Capaldi whose character is still called Malcolm Tucker.

I shudder to think what he's saying.

Friday, 24 April 2009

A Bad Film and a Good Film

I only need one more ball of All Seasons Cotton to finish off the latest Pinwheel Blanket. Is the navy blue back in stock yet, Lindsay?

The two bands of pale blue aren't the same; the first one is Iceberg and the second is Jazz, but the two turquoises are the same colour. The bands aren't getting narrower as fast as I thought they would. My elementary knowledge of geometry has let me down this time.

This mysteriously cast itself on one evening while I was watching telelvision.

It's the most gorgeous rich, complex orange marmalade, almost a semi-solid, the sort with shreds of peel in it, and I think it's 100% mohair. It's about 3 inches wide, and those are 6mm needles. It's for a colourful friend, although I'm terribly tempted to keep it for myself. It would look so good with grey.

Have you seen this story about the knitted village?

Associated Press

It's Mersham, in Kent, and it's been knitted over a long time by the Afternoon Club there and shown in order to raise money for the Village Hall. It's got too big now so next month they're hoping to sell off the houses to the people who live in them. In a way it's a shame that it's being broken up, but it's also nice that the bits will 'go home'.

I hope one of the knitting mags - or perhaps even a non-knitting mag - does a big spread on it before it disappears.

I watched Elegy last night, which I thought wasn't any good. I thought it was a big male fantasy and was very surprised to see that it was directed by a woman, although not at all surprised to see that it was based on a novel by Philip Roth. About half-way through I said, 'This is like a Woody Allen film without the jokes,' but there was less to it than that.

Earlier in the week I watched Still Life, a Chinese film set in the Three Gorges during the work on the dam. Much better, a very good film.

I think I might get the DVD (I'd recorded it from the television) so that I can listen to the commentary and find out a bit more about it: I think some of the supporting roles may have been played by non-actors.

On a more trivial level, I can't stop watching this. Put the sound on.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

They're Going to Put Me in the Movies

You might remember I knitted a Harry Potter scarf for a teddy bear recently. It's now been featured in a movie.

I'm thrilled. I'll have to knit another one soon. Scarf, I mean.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Shag Noir

I finished the latest Shag. There was a lighter flash at the end of the second ball which placed itself very effectively at one end of the scarf.
Every time I walk past it, I think of black and white films. I do find the yarn (Rowan Tapestry) a tiny bit scratchy, but not so much that I can't wear it.

And I've started yet another repeat project, this time another Pinwheel Blanket. One of my friends is due this week ('I'm due to be sectioned on 9th April,' she said in a text, which is quite a good joke in British English) and it's a boy, so I'm doing this one in shades of blue All Seasons Cotton. I started it with this very clever circular cast on from Theresa's blog which makes a nice neat start.

After wrestling for hours with the beginning of my first Pinwheel, I now start these by knitting backwards and forwards for the first few rows - knitting five stitches on four needles doesn't do anything for my temper - and sew up the hole afterwards.

Theresa also shows how to do Norwegian purl, which allows you to do ribbing or moss stitch without eternally taking the yarn backwards and forwards and is one of the cleverest things I know. I haven't perfected doing it yet, but I practise from time to time and intend one day to do a piece of moss stitch that isn't horribly slack.

Since I snapped this, I've started on the third colour, which is a vivid turquoise.

Something New
I am however in the planning stages of a new project which will use a pattern I haven't done before, and a new-to-me yarn too, so things should brighten up soon. The yarn is on its way from Canada; another essential ingredient will soon be on its way New Jersey; and then swatching can begin. I have a horrible feeing that I'm cruising for a fall and it will all, as my aunt says, 'come a box of eggs', but let's hope not.

I bought this gorgeous book last week.

It's called Little Luxury Knits, and isn't to be confused with Knitting Little Luxuries, which came out at the end of 2007. Why do they do that? Don't they know I'm confused enough already? The first one brought out my inner Presbyterian, who can be quite a powerful force - she's the one who didn't want me to buy the iPod Touch before my birthday. She did a lot of harumphing about why would you need a pattern to knit a thing like that? and so on, so I didn't buy it, but this one has brought out my inner butterfly and I've been cooing over it pretty steadily since I got it home. Haven't cast on anything yet.

Lots of pictures here.

I've also fallen very heavily for Kim Hargreaves' new collection, Breeze, but I haven't bought it yet. It appears that having been fairly successful in stopping buying yarn, I am now buying pattern books instead. It reminds me of when my father saw a hypnotherapist to see if he (the hypnotist) could stop him (my father) smoking: after examining him and learning how long he had been smoking and how much, the hypnotist said that he could, but he didn't know what he might start doing instead.

Exciting news from the ospreys' nest: a suitor has arrived. He isn't ringed so they don't know where he's from, and they've called him Odin. Her name is EJ, from her leg ring, but I like to think that it stands for Elizabeth Jane or something - given the Scottish angle, maybe Elspeth Janet. There's still time for another man to show up, but this one has been bringing her fish and generally doing his best to impress her.