Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Bogged Down

I haven't been ill this time, just bogged down in a bit of knitting that I'm not finding very inspiring. At one point I was so uncaring that I didn't notice I'd picked up the wrong needle and I produced this abomination, pink Pinwheel and Mediterranean Rubble conjoined.

But I'm about to start the picot bind-off, unless I decide to knit another round first, so the end is in sight,  albeit somewhat distantly. It's 530 stitches, give or take, which isn't too bad.

The cat-sitting went well. Here she is, telepathically informing me that it's 5 o'clock and time for her dinner. In fact, it was only 4.30 so she's going to have to wait a little longer. It was during that very hot week we had at the end of February and her Mummy and Daddy were colder in Spain than they would have been here. Now we're freezing at night again and lots of people have snow. Crazy.

I got some photos of past knitting. Boys in Doctor Who scarves.

One boy in a Doctor Who scarf. I would like to point out that he's got it folded double so it looks much shorter than it actually is.

And a Coffee Cozy. I don't think I blogged about this. It's some of the bright red Sirdar Sublime Chunky Merino that I used for the Doctor Who scarves. It is the most brilliant true red: it's called Tartan but could easily be called Christmas, a colour that endlessly pleases the eyes.

I made the pattern up out of my head. The ribbing has a slit at the side so that it can fit different sizes or be rolled up for a shorter cup. I thought it was for a paper coffee cup; apparently it was for a travel mug  but it still fits, phew.

Someone on Ravelry has knitted another gorgeous stripy  cowl. I feel simultaneously disappointed and relieved that I don't have a lovely bag of leftovers that I could use as an excuse to cast on for this.

Composing Lace
One of my Twitter friends alerted me to a radio programme on the World Service about the Dark Days Music Festival in Iceland, which included an interview with Icelandic composer Hafdis Bjarnadottir who uses lace knitting charts as inspiration for her music - you can hear the holes being made. It's available to listen to here and here, but I don't know which of these, if either, will be available overseas. If you don't want to listen to the whole thing, the knitting bit starts at 11:20.

If you can't listen to it, there's a brief newspaper account here. It's written by someone who thinks knitting is frightfully amusing but we're used to that.

Silver Screen
Going round and round in pink circles left quite a lot of time for staring at the screen. I watched all of the latest House of Cards, and then couldn't resist watching the old one too. I felt the new one was too long; there isn't really any reason for it to last 13 episodes except that that's how long a television series usually is nowadays; for the same sort of reason the last episode was unsatisfactory because everyone who should have been getting their just desserts was being set up for the next series. The writing wasn't always very exciting, and one was told things - she's an outstanding journalist, he's got great promise as a politician - without necessarily seeing any evidence for these statements. The relationship between the politician and the journalist was much more of a transaction than a relationship - interestingly, in the older show the woman initiated things and was much more of a driving force - well, not so much at the end, but still. Apart from that, it was all watchable and Spacey was as good as I'd hoped. I like Corey Stoll, who played David Russo and thought he shone. Robin Wright was convincingly dastardly and always beautifully dressed.

The old one (1990) was skipped through much more quickly, three books boiled down into four episodes, and the ending was as definite an ending as you could get.  And everyone seemed to cope very well without mobile phones.

They're both on Netflix in the UK. I learnt recently that if you're travelling you can log into the local Netflix site using your home username and password. It remembers what you're watching and everything. I thought it was a mistake at first but it's just Netflix being practical. Bravo.

The BBC are showing I, Claudius again, all remastered and tidied up from 1976. They're not repeating it and it isn't available on iPlayer so one has to catch it on a Tuesday night. I was worried that it might seem very silly and out-of-date as innovative things often do 35 years later but I'm enjoying it as much as ever and am surprised by what huge chunks of it I remember vividly. The very modern style and avoidance of fake ancientness still works. Sian Phillips is entirely convincing as the deadly Livia and I'm dreading the appearance of John Hurt as Caligula. The scenery does wobble from time and ageing make-up has improved a lot since then, but it doesn't really matter.

I'd wanted to see Sightseers since it came out and have finally caught up with it. It's a British film, a black comedy. It has been described as Mike Leigh's Nuts in May meets Terence Malick's Badlands, and that's pretty accurate. It's about a couple who go on their first holiday together, and the people they meet. You wouldn't want to be one of those people for, oh, lots of reasons. This is the lovely knitted poster.

I suppose that being told a film is very funny is always a bad idea as it almost inevitably sets you up to be disappointed, and I think it probably works much better in a cinema with a responsive audience than watched in silent solitary contemplation, so I didn't enjoy it as much as I expected. I think I should watch it again with a crowd. It certainly had some very good lines. The actors who play the ghastly couple are also the writers  so I guess they may also be a couple in real life, although of course far from ghastly.

Thank you, Mary G.; it's nice to hear from you again.


Mary Lou said...

I loved the conjoined project. Sounds like something I would do. I wondered about Sightseers. Knitting and murder? I just watched the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Somehow I never have. I quite enjoyed it, and dug out the book, which somehow, I never got round to reading.

kmkat said...

I agree completely on the new vs. original House of Cards. (And I also watched the original again after watching the new one.)