Saturday, 23 October 2010

Knitting Inspectors

Knitting. And Cats.
Doesn't baby knitting always look better with a baby? This is Cora with her Pinwheel Blanket. Isn't she lovely?

She doesn't need a christening shawl after all, because she's going to wear her Daddy's, so it's just as well I didn't knit a vast surprise shawl.

Given the astonishing synchronicity between Mary Lou and myself in the matter of Knitting Inspectors, I thought I'd have a little google. (I use a capital letter when referring to the company, but a lower case when using it as a verb: I hope this passes the grammar inspectors.) It appears that the term is in use in two ways: one, as a perfectly sensible job in a textile factory, and as a whimsical way of describing one's cat. Or very occasionally, dog or rabbit. Dogs don't seem to be so good at it. It got me thinking about those ladies who used to teach us to knit and sew and what a sour bunch they were. I always assumed that they were soured by years of dealing with ghastly little girls, but thinking about it last night I reaized that we weren't that bad. I was a nice little girl, very anxious to please. One of my fellow pupils was told to unpick something and do it again; she waited a suitable length of time and took the original work back. 'See, that's much better, isn't it?' said the teacher. I was quite baffled by this: I think it was a turning point.

On the subject of cats, you have probably seen Spinning Fishwife's post about the IKEA cats ad. There has been a further development, in the form of a parody of the behind-the-scenes.

I couldn't stop watching it. It was posted very quickly so he must have practically made it up on the spot. Brilliant.

Thank you for the compliments on Billie. I've been wearing it and it's been receiving compliments in person too. I thought I was going to knit another Kid Classic cardi next, but when I went into John Lewis this week I was seduced by the Rowan Purelife Autumn book. I had looked at this online and not been grabbed, but when I saw the pix full size I melted. I'm very taken with Wild Saffron, a tunic with a sort of basketweave yoke, and there are a couple of nice shrugs. I keep meaning to knit a shrug.

Meanwhile, I've finished off the latest little Daisy Hats. These are for a new baby and her big sister: I've posted them to Australia. They are the cousins of the little girls who got these Daisy Hats: they're living in Saudi just now, I think. It's hard to keep up.

The larger one started off as a Daisy Hat but I used the Berry Baby Hat pattern for the top, just for a change. I think it worked well.

And this has mysteriously alighted (alit?) upon my needles. I don't quite know how that happened.

It's a Feather Duster in Kidsilk Night - can you see the tiny sparkles? The pattern's by Susan Lawrence, who designed my beloved Forest Canopy shawl. It took me nearly two full pattern repeats to realize that the pattern is the same on every pattern row, apart from a few stitches at each end to set up the next duster; I can be excused slightly on the grounds that there is only one pattern row in every four rows, the rest being stocking stitch. This makes the lace slightly harder to read while you're knitting, but it's what diffuses the pattern and gives it that lovely floaty floomfiness.

She says you don't need markers, bless her, but you can see I'm not taking any chances. I think I might do an extra repeat or two, but then we always think that at the beginning when the rows are short. There are some lovely examples on Ravelry: it's one of those patterns that looks good in all sorts of yarns.

The Flickering Screen
I watched a very beautiful film last night called 3-Iron, a South Korean film.

When it started, my friend said suspiciously, 'This isn't about golf, is it?' The original title means Empty Houses and I think it might have been better to stick with that, as anyone misled by the title would be fairly bewildered.

At the beginning I thought it was going to be rather light-hearted, and then it became much darker, and then it changed again. A young man lets himself into the homes of people who are away, and lives in them for a day or two.

He doesn't steal anything; in fact he sometimes carries out small repairs and in one place he adjusts the bathroom scales so that the occupants think they weigh less. Then, in a house full of photographs of a beautiful young woman (the young man is very beautiful too) he discovers that he isn't alone.

Long steretches of it have no dialogue, and I think one could watch it without subtitles and not miss very much at all as it is full of wonderful images.

I liked it a lot and will watch it again.

Also last night, I watched the first 45 minutes of The Event - from the sublime to the ridiculous. I had recorded the first two episodes but 45 minutes was much as I could stand. It's full of actors - I use the term loosely - who have obviously spent more money on having their teeth whitened than on acting lessons, and ideas that have been lifted from other series. Every now and again there would be a startling shot that would make me think I might stick with it, and then we'd be back to the teeth and the whining. Pity. I was looking forward to a nice gripping serial for the winter but this plainly isn't going to be it.

Last weekend I watched Heartburn, twice. It's a film I have a great weakness for - Meryl, Jack and a clever script. I don't really do all those Magnolias and Beaches sort of films - Biddy Movies I call them - but I do like Heartburn. I think it's the sharpest of Nora Ephron's romcoms; When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail get progressively slushier and less funny. I wonder if she changed or if the studios brought about the change. I've just noticed she has the same birthday as I do (and you, Raveller) although she's not as young as we are. Anyway, I like the snappy dialogue and the 'eighties clothes and the Carly Simon soundtrack, and everyone's in it, including Kevin Spacey whose first flm it was, and Meryl's little girl is played by - Meryl's little girl. I can't find a decent clip from it, so here instead is Cam from Modern Family telling us how he feels about Meryl.



Having just finished a lace shawl, I can't help but want to start more lace. Really like the Feather Duster you posted!

Sea said...

Nice to see a pinwheel and recipient!
I have been given a wonderful skein of laceweight wool...not sure what to do with it...any thinking maybe an Icarus shawl?

amy said...

hi its amy again--your :non: knitting friend in york, sc USA:: my goodness--cora has gotten sooo big!!! i looove the blanket u knitted for her:: i am always in awe of your work!! i love the daisy hats as well!! but, what ever happened to the aeolian shawl you were make-ing--i loooved that!??! the man in the movie :3 iron: is very attractive:: but i have never seen it here in the usa..? please keep up the blog/good work;; i look EVERY DAY for as new blog from you;; although we have never met, in my heart, we are friends!!! :)

Mette said...

Lovely post! I am sure you were a nice little girl. I was a bit ghastly when it came to embroidery lessons. I hid under a table but "She" found me and there was no mercy- I had to do cross stitch for 3 months.

Anonymous said...

"Biddie movie" is an excellent term, more concise than my old phrase for the genre: "whiny girl self-pity" movies.

Baby on pinwheel pic is hypnotically compelling.
-- Gretchen

Joan said...

Watched some of first episode of The Event and got bored as well as annoyed. I had been warned about Modern Family by my sis in the States, and had it on order. Episodes are being rationed out parsimoniously, and greatly enjoyed.

Love the Feather Duster. It is in my queue, in Kidsilk Haze burnt orange, but I am knitting hats now...

Mary Lou said...

Biddy Movies - I love it. But like you, don't care for many of them. Must check out Heartburn, I've never seen it. And I agree that babies always improve the appearance of baby knitted wear. And I suppose there are real knitting inspectors, but I hope my city never hires one!

Joan said...

P.S. have you seen "Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter... and Spring"? You might enjoy it.

Knitting Linguist said...

Great baby on a blanket! That's the way to shoot baby blankets, I think - somehow they're much more exciting in use. I also love the start of your shawl; I must try that yarn sometime, it looks like it would be wonderful to wear.

Meanwhile, I hear you saying you want to knit a shrug, and I'd like to say enthusiastic things, but my Shrug Slog continues...

susan said...

Time to lose the markers!

Lisa R-R said...

I do hope the knitting inspectors never check my work, even if I feel my finishing techniques are vastly improved in recent years.
thanks for the great baby blanket photo!

Raveller said...

Cora looks great on her blankie. It's her colour. I love it that you knit those extra shapes onto it for her to amuse herself.

Too bad it's not Meryl Streep who has the same birthday as us!