Thursday, 23 August 2012

Round and round we go

There's not been a lot going on around here, due to the Summer Awfulness descending as it usually does, but there has been a little activity. I mentioned in my last post that I had started something else. First of all I did swatches. Ignore the one at top left.

It still always surprises me how much difference half a millimetre makes. This is one of my favourite yarns, Rowan All Season Cotton, in my favourite colour, turquoise, so when it was half-price in the John Lewis sale it was, as we used to say, a no-brainer. After the usual endless perusal of patterns I thought first of all of re-knitting Chrissy, which went horribly wrong last time owing to the yarn coming up in different weights, but I haven't kept the original and can't remember how it fitted so I've settled instead on re-knitting Navigator, my Distressed Sweater.

 I wear the original quite a lot so I know I'll wear this one, and the shoulders fit me. I'm going to do the neck differently this time, or at least try not to knit it three times, and I'm going to do the rips again. They are borrowed from another pattern, Raspy. I'm knitting the body in the round, so I'm going round and round with a single purl stitch at each side as a fake seam, and my fake rip on the front.

While I was searching through cupboards for something that wasn't too hot to wear, I found Dapper, which I knew was a mistake even as I was finishing it two years ago but decided to put away until I could face ripping it. I ripped it. It's Rowan Wool Cotton in Cypress and the colour is just about right in the picture. A very nice shade, sort of verdigris.

 Which was very well timed because I got distracted by something bright and shiny in the form of Rayures, a stripy cowl. I had a stash of Rowan Wool Cotton in lots of colours and this seemd the perfect way to use them up. The first time I photographed it, it looked like this.

Now it looks like this. The colours look less muddy in reality.

You can see I've just begun to incorporate the Cypress.  I'm going to switch into Cypress and pink, and then two pinks, and then I think I'll have a section of single stripes, if it hasn't got too bizarrely long by then. I want it to be easily long enough to be doubled.

I didn't buy the pattern, just cast on 90-odd stitches and set off. Three rows is the perfect width for a stripe beacuse you can always do just one more. I'm doing a jogless join from TECHknits, where you slip the first stitch of the second round. I've foolishly forgotten to photograph it for you, but I'll correct that later. I'm inordinately pleased with how it's turned out as I had a total lack of success the last time I tried to do a jogless join.

So I've got two projects that involve going round and round in circles, not all that different from all the garter stitch I was doing before, but with less counting.

I've been meaning to blog about this for ages, actual years. When my friend trekked to Everest Base Camp she brought me back two gifts. One was a length of silk yarn which I made into a long skinny scarf, and the other was this.

Apparently it's yak, but I don't know what do with it. It hasn't been spun, it's just sort of stranded along a length of white thread which I'm guessing is cotton. Click on it and you can probably see how soft and flimsy it is.

I haven't even dared try to wind it into balls. Does anyone have any idea what I should do with it? Is it ready to be spun?

The Goggle Box, or Idiot's Lantern
I've been sitting in front of the flickering screen quite a lot, although I can't really remember much about it at the moment. But I was very sad to learn early on Monday morning (damn you, Twitter) that the director Tony Scott had died. I've written before about his True Romance. Even although I don't watch most of the violent bits, of which there are many, the remainder adds up to one of my absolutely favouritest films ever. A gem of a script, a well chosen cast and photography to make your teeth water. He also made Top Gun, which I was too snobbish to see when it came out but have since grown to love as a camp and knowing joy.

 The films he made with Denzel Washington are all compelling.

People have often said of him that he was more about form than content as if it were some sort of virtue for a film to be visually uninteresting; his lighting and composition are never merely technical, the feeling is always there. 

 Enemy of the State I love too, where Will Smith does his Cary Grant. If you've ever wondered where the film and television convention of strapping the location and date across the opening of a shot came from, watch Enemy of the State .

Here's a sample from True Romance, voiceover by Patricia Arquette. If the music sounds familiar, it's because it was first used in Badlands, an old Martin Sheen movie which isn't bad either.

Nearly all of the people he worked with have said how nice he was, that he knew everyone's name, and how generous he was with time and help and advice. When did you last read that about anyone in Hollywood? If you listen the the commentaries on the True Romance dvd (yes, I've listened to them all) his tells you about how the film was made and why he did the things he did, and Quentin Tarantino's (he wrote the script) tells you about, well, Quentin Tarantino.