Thursday, 14 June 2012

Forwards and Backwards

I handed over the Purity shawl this week and there was lots of squealing, so I feel reassured. I'll keep you posted.

After endless perusal of my Ravelry Favourites, sorry, Favorites, I remembered how much I always like the Summer Flies shawl whenever I catch sight of it in my Friends' activities so I cast on in the lovely soft Madelinetosh Merino Light in Denim which I can't remember buying but of which I have three skeins. It's easy and fun, and although I would like to have charts the pattern is simple enough that it's easy to follow.

Then, during a bout of sleeplessness the following early morning I had a moment of clarity and thought, 'You know, you'll never wear that, it's far too fussy for you.' So when I got up I ripped it out, because I like this yarn too much to give it away to anyone else.

I decided to have another think about the Veera Slow Line cardi I cast on a while ago, uncertain of whether I was casting on or swatching, and when I checked the pattern I discovered, in bold type, the words which I had mysteriously overlooked, 'and at the same time', so I guess that's a swatch.

Eventually I remembered that I've always planned to do another Shetland Triangle for myself, so I've cast that on in the Denim MML and I'm progressing quite happily, but it's packed away so I can't show you it. Imagine the above photo but with a tiny Shetland Triangle instead of a tiny Summer Flies.

I've also been reminded how much I like Veera's Alga, and I need to swatch my two blue shades of MML which are different base yarns and see if they'll work together so I  might take a skein or two with me to wind into balls - cat-sitting and wool-winding, what could possible go wrong?

Addi sparkly needles are clear plastic with silver sparkles in them, Mary Lou

Perhaps they only do them in Germany or Europe: I think I may have bought them from Germany on eBay. I have a straight pair as well which I think may have gold sparkles but I can't find them to photograph. And if you liked Alien, I think it's really worth listening to Ridley Scott's commentary on the dvd; he's very thorough and I learnt a lot from it. He shot a lot of Alien himself, with a handheld camera, so I'm looking forward to hearing what he's got to say on the Prometheus dvd. His brother Tony Scott does very good commentaries too, but I think I might be the only person I know who ever listens to dvd commentaries because my friends always look at me in amazement when I mention them. I found Prometheus a lot less creepy than Alien, Jocelyn. There is a very gruesome bit but you have lots of warning and I just shut my eyes until it was finished. It doesn't have the dark, gothic suspense of Alien which as Ridley pointed out isn't a science fiction movie, it's a locked house movie. In fact, Prometheus goes back to the idea of a clean hygienic future which was one of the conventions that Alien shattered with its big, dirty, dark spaceship and grimy disgruntled crew.

Daily Japanese Textile
My friend Valerie, one of the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas, has started a new daily blog called Daily Japanese Textile which is full of gorgeous stuff. If you're at all interested in textiles I recommend you take a look.

The items range from the luxurious to the humdrum and are always photographed in detail with a description; she knows what she's talking about so unless you know a lot about Japanese textiles too, I think you'll be in for some illuminating surprises.

I think I've tried Braquo before, Lynne, and found it a bit too violent for me, but I'll have another go. I've been meaning to say how much I like Scott and Bailey and it's run through two series without my remembering, but it's available on dvd in the UK. I think it reminds me of Cagney and Lacey although it's actually so long since I saw that that I could be wrong. (Why isn't Cagney and Lacey being endlessly repeated on some cable channel, huh?) It has three very good actresses in it and although I felt that the second series was too taken up with their private lives and not enough with the work, it's still well worth watching. It's written by Sally Braithwaite, who has some good stuff in her past.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

What Next?

I have no idea what I'm going to knit next. I was so enchanted by the Purity shawl that I didn't look ahead at all. I had a couple of other things on the needles which are now finished or as good as, and I have no idea what to do next.

Purity is in the bath as I type, but I took some more besotted shots beforehand.

  The Cloudy Cozy is done. I've just realized I haven't got a photo yet of it off the needles. It's nice, although I knitted it on an Addi sparkly plastic needle and the tension is very loose. I realized when it was finished that the dark stripes will shed on to light garments, and the light stripe on to dark garments, so that was clever. It needs a soak and some cooler weather.

I've almost finished the coral Opal but haven't taken a pic of that at all. I forgot to pay attention at one point so it's not quite the right shape, but Aura is not for ripping so it'll be fine as it is. It's the same needle size as the Cozy but I switched to an Addi Turbo and the tension is tighter. Gorgeous colour and the silk is particularly sheenful in this colourway. My impression is that different shades of Aura are slightly different in weight and appearance, but that can't be right, can it?

I have been sorting through my Favorites on Ravelry, looking for something that I simply have to cast on immediately.

I bought Norah Gaughan Vol. 10 recently. I always like her designs and there are a couple of good tunics in this book.  Berrocco charge the same price for the online purchase of a PDF as they do for the hard copy, which I thought was a bit cheeky but after reading the discussions about supporting LYS and so on, I can see their point. I bought it online and then got clobbered for the price of two international telephone calls because I'd used a debit card instead of a credit card, so in the end I could have bought a nice shiny 200-page hardback for the same outlay. Sigh. I like Gregale very much, although I might omit the lace panels. I like Levanto too and there are a couple of nice cardis.

Then there's Cerulean from Kim Hargreaves' new book, Indigo.I like this, although the model looks very grumpy about it.

I'm not planning to wear it as a dress. Perhaps she didn't want to either, and that's why she's so grumpy.

Selection is further complicated by the fact that my body dysmorphia is even more severe than usual just now and I can't decide what might suit me, or more importantly, what might not.

I have the yarn for an I Want You, three balls of Rowan Kid Classic in the most heavenly shade of pearly misty bluey grey called Drought, but I think that's something to knit in the autumn.

And I've got some Kidsilk Haze Stripe which would make a good Mohair Bias Loop, or perhaps another Shoulder Cozy.

Orr I could do another Purity; I do, after all, have another whole ball of Cream KSH to use, which weighed the same after I had finished the cast-off as it did before I started.

I've got a few days away from home coming up - I've got a cat-sitting gig - so I had better have something  cast on by then.

I went to see Prometheus at the weekend. I'm an Alien purist and haven't seen any of the sequels because they weren't directed by Ridley Scott, but I've seen Alien rather often and in all its versions, although I couldn't necessarily tell you what the fine differences are. I've listened to all the commentaries on the special edition dvd too. I would have quite liked to see Prometheus in 3D on an IMAX screen but my companions were another kind of purist and they insisted on 2D. I enjoyed it a lot and I thought Michael Fassbender was terrific. He plays an android (although they keep calling him a robot) who models his appearance and mannersisms on Peter O'Toole, and he handles his ambiguous role (I'm not telling you any more than that) with subtlety.

 Michael Fassbender as David

Some reviewers have complained of a lack of character development, which makes me laugh. Obviously they thought they were going to see a Bergman movie. Some of the characters are fairly stock ( you can recognize who's going to get killed first) and you won't view life differently when you come out of the cinema, but it's staggering to look at, the sound and the music are outstanding and I didn't look at my watch once.

Noomi Rapace has the role of The Girl Who Runs Around Screaming a Lot and does well in it (I can't understand why anyone would complain about character development rather than the fact that she continues running around screaming after major abdominal surgery); Idris Elba is great as the Captain; and while I expected a fairly by-the-numbers perfromance from Charlize Theron, she does much better than that. The script was wittier than I expected too. There are all sorts of hommages in it, probably more than I spotted, so a working knowledge of sci-fi movies will enable you to get more out of it but it works well as a stand-alone too. It sets up enough ripples for a few more sequels or even a television spin-off, but unless Ridley directs them I probably won't see them.

When The Bridge finished on BBC4 we had a couple of episodes of another scandicrime, called Sebastian something but I found it so dull that I can't even be bothered to look up its name. There wasn't a single character in it that I cared whether I ever saw again (which was one of the problems for me with The Bridge, as well as the ludicrous number of red herrings) and I think with a serial or a series there has to be someone every now and again that you are actually glad to see on the screen, someone who doesn't just come in, snap at all the other characters and go out again. Lilyhammer is coming on over here in the autumn, Mary Lou, so I'll catch up with that then. But I'm still missing Inspector Montalbano.