Friday, 11 June 2010

The Comtesse de Ribes Has Brought Her Own Vodka

The knitting here is mostly rather unremarkable and not really worth photographing. I've nearly finished the second ball of Kid Classic on Billie. Every 16th row I get to do two decreases, woop de doo, but I'm enjoying it. I picked up the green and white Pinwheel again last night and am flogging onwards. It occurs to me that both the upcoming babies have an Irish connection so I may not have to throw it away.

I'm still swatching for that baby shawl. This is some Yeoman Polo laceweight, 100% merino, which I bought years ago on eBay from someone who is now a Ravelry friend. It is s-o springy, it's sometimes like knitting with shirring elastic. Used single and double.

While I was doing these, I remembered that I knitted a Shetland Triangle in white angora, and it suddenly became less important to do this in Fir Cone stitch. I keep thinking how good this yarn would be for the lily of the valley pattern in the Swallowtail Shawl. It's on a cone, so if I'm going to use it double I will have to wind off a lot of it. I'm rather old school about winding yarn and like to do it by hand because it reminds me of holding skeins for my aunties, but I might have to be more practical about this or I will end up with a horrible fankle.

Little Boxes
This is an idea I stole from Fleegle, who sells Folca boxes on her Etsy site. To save on the mileage, I buy them from a fishing tackle seller on eBay UK, tradtackle. The colour is a true purpley purple although it looks blueish in these photos.

I got this one for myself, and this duo as a thank you for a friend. You have to have some special friends for them to appreciate a tackle box as a thank you present, but if you do, then these are just the job.

There's another one, which looks as if it might take a tiny pair of scissors. The labels peel off. You have to tell him you want purple, or they come in camouflage green if you prefer. Very nice, helpful seller, and fast delivery.

Viewing Pleasure
All this vanilla knitting has allowed me to spend a lot of time staring blankly at the television screen. I watched a doco about Valentino, the couturier - Valentino, the Last Emperor.

This probably isn't the place to say this, but I actually get more excited about fabric and cut than I do about yarn and stitches (please don't blacklist me) and I was interested to see that his methods are completely different from Karl Lagerfeld, whom I saw in a series about the house of Chanel. Lagerfeld draws sketches which are whisked off and rendered into life by cunning sempstresses, while Valentino works with fabric on a model - a living, walking about model. I would rather wear Armani than either of them, given the choice, but I still hyperventilate at the sight of the skills exercised by those women in ateliers. Looking at an assembly of his designs from the beginning of his career, Valentino said, 'To do this embroidery today, you would need to sell an Italian bank.'

Also fairly gobsmacking are the glimpses into the lives revealed by such a programme. At a hugely fancy party thrown by Valentino, full of important people and people who think they're important, a flunkey dashed behind the scenes and said breathessly, 'The Comtesse de Ribes has brought her own vodka.' I was brought up to eat and drink what was put in front of me when I'm in someone else's house, but plainly it's different for the Comtesse. Or maybe she was just afraid he wouldn't have enough.

The second series of the Swedish Wallander is nearing its end, and I'm rather relieved. They've used up all the Henning Mankell books and are making up their own now, and it's become quite formulaic. Almost every episode has a young female in danger - done in way which is voyeuristic, at least to my jaundiced eye - and we have far too much about the two trainees and not enough about Wallander, who spends all his time being told off by the female prosecutor and whined at by the female trainee. The latter spends a lot of time complaining about not getting anything interesting to do, and then disobeying instructions and putting her own and other peoples' lives in danger, and then getting petulant when she's told off. And they send the two trainees off together to question people, instead of sending one of them with an experienced person - I know it's not a documentary, but really. I can spot a dramatic device when I see one, and this one is getting tired. Sweetly, though, the BBC always gives us a strong language warning at the beginning, although it's subtitled. Obviously we have to be protected against Swedish swearing.

I watched a bit of Sleep, My Love this week, with Claudette Colbert as the Frightened Wife and Don Ameche as the Sinister Husband. I much prefer Don Ameche when he's allowed to be charming, as here with Rosalind Russell in The Feminine Touch.

It reminded me that there's a very good Sinister Husband film on television this coming week, Deceived (BBC1, Monday 14 June, 23.20). It's one of those films that if I catch the beginning, I'll always watch it all over again. Goldie Hawn is the Frightened Wife and John Heard is the Sinister Husband, and the last bit, in the empty apartment building, always gets to me.

Zombies don't frighten me, and vampires bore me, but those people who turn out to be someone other than they appear to be - there's always a scene with a high school yearbook and the photograph is of - Someone Else! - they scare the bejasus out of me. It's a very creepy notion, that you've revealed yourself to someone who was only pretending to exist, or at least it is for me.

It should allow quite a lot of green stocking stitch of one sort and another, so I might have something to show you in my next post.


Jean said...

I thought when I saw your headline that the "comtesse de Ribes" was going to be you, with a reference to flowering currants and perhaps an over-used colour (you felt). She's older than I am, and I would unhesitatingly take my own Weston's Vintage Cider, which is not often served.
Valentino dresses the Duchess of Rothesay, does he not? That's where I first heard of him. I'm going straight there when I get my second million.
I'll record "Deceived". Thanks.

Anonymous said...

The Valentino doc had too much society and not enough of his gorgeous couture to satisfy me. The pugs, however, were delightful.

Have you seen the YSL docs-- "Yves Saint Laurent: His Life and Times" and especially "Yves Saint Laurent: 5 Ave Marceau 75116 Paris"? The second one focuses almost entirely on the design process. These two were more illuminating than the Valentino doc, imo. Both designers are among my favorites; when, as Jean said above, I get my next million, I'm going straight into vintage YSL and V.
-- Gretchen

Knitting Linguist said...

I'm with you totally, that is the kind of thing that flips me out, too. On another note, I have to tell you that when I first saw that picture of your knitting, I thought you were working on a pair of lace thongs. Oops...

Mary Lou said...

I'm with the Linguist. I thought the countess de Ribes was knitting her own underwear as a result of the vodka consumption.

Jones Morris said...

Lagerfeld draws sketches which are whisked off and rendered into life by cunning sempstresses, the classic sempstress