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Posts from February 2006

Bleh, but improving

Yep, I'm still sick.  Not as bad as last week, but still at home, still napping, and still not knitting.  Thanks for all the well wishing, that did help when I came downstairs to stare at my computer in a feverish haze--it was nice to know people miss me.

Not much else to say, having the flu sucks, I will get a shot next fall, I should probably visit the doctor again, but likely won't (it's a virus, not much can be done, and I am getting better), and I'm still not eating much, though that's the big goal for today.  Betchya I'll be able to stay awake through an afternoon epidsode of Star Trek TNG if I have some food in my stomach. 

Yep, it's important to set goals. 

Mermaid Update

Mermaid is nearing completion, but I'm a tad nervous about how it will look.  I stitched up the body today and tried it on, and it's going to be a tugging match to pin it shut.  And, the first sleeve seems short.  They're knit side to side, so adjustments aren't all that easy.  I really need to sew it on before I finish the next one (I'm at the halfway point). 


I forced myself to knit a size smaller than my usual instinct told me.  This is because I have several too-big sweaters in my cedar chest and I need to see my body for the size it is.  This sweater is currently not giving me confidence in my quest to acknowledge my true size.  Either that or I really have gained a lot of weight this winter.  I hope this sweater will be saved by the miracle of blocking.


To the wonderful person at Atomic Age Comics on Pape Ave. who found my keys and left a business card on my windshield to let me know you had them--THANK YOU.

I'm very happy to have them back and to know my neighbourhood is filled with fantastic people.

List time!

I like lists and I feel like procrastinating.  There is always controversy in must-see lists of movies, but I think this is a pretty good list provided by Jenn so why not?

And it gives me some titles to add to my Zip list.  The * are beside the ones I own

[X] Citizen Kane
[X] Casablanca
[X] The Godfather*
[X] The Godfather Part 2*
[X] Gone with the Wind
[   ] Lawrence of Arabia
[X] The Wizard of Oz
[X] The Graduate
[   ] On the Waterfront
[X] Schindler's List
[   ] Singing in the Rain
[   ] Ben-Hur

Total: 8

[X] Seven Samurai*
[X] Magnificent Seven*
[X] Three Amigos
[X] Yojimbo*
[X] Fist Full of Dollars*
[X] Last Man Standing
[X] Hidden Fortress*
[X] Star Wars*
[X] Empire Strikes Back*
[X] Return of the Jedi*
[X] Ran*
[   ] Dreams
[   ] Rashomon


[X] Psycho*
[X] Vertigo
[X] North by Northwest
[X] The Birds
[X] Rear Window
[X] Dial M for Murder


[X] Blood Simple
[X] Raising Arizona*

[X] Millers Crossing
[X] Barton Fink
[X] Hudsucker Proxy
[X] Fargo*
[X] Big Lebowski
[X] O Brother Where Art Thou?


[X] Alien*
[X] Blade Runner*
[X] Legend
[X] Black Rain
[X] Thelma & Louise
[   ] Black Hawk Down
[X] Gladiator


[X] Time Bandits
[X] Brazil
[X] The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
[X] The Fisher King
[X] Twelve Monkeys
[X] Seven
[X] Fight Club
[X] Primal Fear
[   ] American History X


[X] Spartacus
[X] Lolita*
[X] Dr. Strangelove*
[X] Point for knowing the full title of Dr. Strangelove
(I know it. I can't tell YOU, though. That would be cheating.)
[X] 2001: A Space Odyssey*
[X] Clockwork Orange*
[X] The Shining*
[X] Full Metal Jacket*


[ ] The Pianist
[ ] Rosemary's Baby
[X] China Town
[X] Easy Rider
[X ] One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest*


[X] Unforgiven*
[X] The Good, the Bad and the Ugly*
[ ] The Searchers
[] Rio Bravo
[] Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)
[X] Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)* (so very bad)


[X] Halloween
[] Nightmare on Elm Street
[X] Friday the 13th
[] Chainsaw Massacre
[X] The Exorcist
[X] Silence of the Lambs


[] Pee-wee's Big Adventure
[X] Beetle Juice
[X] Batman
[X] Edward Scissor Hands
[X] Ed Wood
[X] Mars Attacks!


[X] Reservoir Dogs*
[X] Pulp Fiction*
[X] Kill Bill: Vol 1
[X ] Kill Bill: Vol 2
[X] Sin City
[X] Four Rooms
[X] From Dusk Till Dawn
[X] Desperado
[X] El Mariachi


[ ] Gates of Heaven
[ ] Vernon, Florida
[] The Thin Blue Line
[ ] Fast, Cheap & Out of Control
[] Mr. Death
[] The Fog of War


[X] LOTR: The Fellowship of the Rings*
[X] LOTR: The Two Towers*
[X] LOTR: Return of the King*
[ ] Forgotten Silver
[] Heavenly Creatures
[] Braindead aka Dead Alive
[ ] Meet the Feebles
[ ] Bad Taste


[X] King Kong (1933)
[X] King Kong (1976)
[ ] King Kong (2005)


[X] The Sixth Sense
[X] Unbreakable
[] Signs
[] The Village


[] Pi
[] Requiem for a Dream
[X] Memento
[] Insomnia
[] Batman Begins
[ ] Following
[X] The Virgin Suicides
[X] Lost in Translation
[X] Being John Malkovich
[X] Adaptation*
[X] Eternal Sunshine or the Spotless Mind


[X] Better Off Dead
[X] Sixteen Candles
[X] The Breakfast Club
[X] Weird Science
[X] Ferris Beuller's Day Off
[X] Planes, Trains & Automobiles
[X] The Goonies
[X] Stand by Me


[X] The Shawshank Redemption
[] The Green Mile


[X] Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
[X] Princess Bride
[X] This is Spinal Tap
[X] The Jerk
[X] Ghost Busters
[X] Animal House
[X] Blues Brothers
[X] Little Shop of Horrors


[] Princess Mononoke
[ ] My Neighbor Totoro
[] Spirited Away
[ ] Howl's Moving Castle
[] Akira
[] Steamboy
[] Ghost in the Shell


[] Waiting for Guffman
[X] Best in Show
[X] A Mighty Wind


[X] Night of the Living Dead
[X] Dawn of the Dead (1978)
[X] Day of the Dead
[ ] Land of the Dead
[X] Shawn of the Dead
[X ] 28 days later


[ ] Bottle Rocket
[X] Rushmore
[X] Royal Tenenbaums
[X] The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
[X] Snatch
[X] Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels*
[X] Trainspotting*
[] Shallow Grave


[X] Delicatessen
[X] Amilie*
[X] City of Lost Children
[] Run Lola Run
[X] La Femme Nikita*
[X] The Professional
[X] The Fifth Element*


[ ] Mean Streets
[X] Taxi Driver
[X] Raging Bull
[X] Last Temptation of Christ
[X] Goodfellas
[X] Casino


[ ] M
[ ] Metropolis
[X] Nosferatu
[X] Diabolique
[X] Usual Suspects*
[X] Double Indemnity
[] The Third Man
[X] Manchurian Candidate (1962)
[X] Cool Hand Luke


[X] Raiders of the Lost Ark*
[X] Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom*
[X] Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade*
[X] Jurassic Park
[X] Color Purple
[X] Saving Private Ryan
[X] E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
[X] Jaws


[X] Die Hard
[X] Lethal Weapon
[X] Mad Max*
[X] The Road Warrior*
[X] Braveheart
[ ] Man Without a Face
[ ] Passion of the Christ


GRAND TOTAL: 152 out of 205

I can cite some omissions in some categories like anyone else--where's Carrie, Five Easy Pieces, Play Misty for Me, Midnight Cowboy or Fatal Attraction?  And there are some completely omitted categories like historical dramas (Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Merchant Ivory films) or heist films (I love heist films)  But it's a pretty good list all the same.  Off to fill in my Zip list.

Happy Valentine's Day from the Patriarchy

So nice to see this making the rounds on the internet as married men harken back to the golden ages where they were the Man of The House (tm) with a doting robotic slave Wife to take care of him.  (Click on the image to make it bigger).


I have no doubt this was a real article in a real magazine. Women's magazines are handbooks on femininity, providing instruction on how to be the ideal woman. Though I notice there is no mention of "marital duties" in this one. I guess that wouldn't be ladylike.

I'm also pretty sure I know where the script for the Stepford Wives came from now (see the original, not the remake).

And no I didn't do the underlining, some guy decided he had to emphasize the parts he really liked.   Like the whole thing wasn't freakish enough.


Added later:  So it's a fake. Shannon was smart enough to go to Snopes and do some research.  But before you discount it completely, read the whole piece.  For example:

Whether the piece at hand is a genuine excerpt from a yet-undiscovered home economics textbook, it is nonetheless a relatively accurate reflection of the mainstream vision of a woman's appointed role in post-war America...

It was seen as only right and proper that the wife should keep the home running smoothly, making it a quiet haven of peace and joy for her husband, the breadwinner. Her role in the marriage -- though still important -- was simply not considered to be on the same level as his. Certainly, the tribulations of running a home were never to be openly compared with a man's daily travails. He earned money, she didn't; thus his work was important.

And, having studied women's magazines for a long time, I see stuff like this every day.  It's more nuanced and is often framed as something women can do "for themselves" but the cult of domesticity still reigns baby.

Brains: not always telling you the truth

Somehow my brain told me that I didn't need to be done my Jaywalker socks to be entered into Cara's fab STR give-away draw.  That was until I read Cara's blog yesterday and actually read and comprehended all the words.  Sometimes I wonder how I manage to get out of the house.

Anyway I spent last night knitting my socks (off) and finished at 11pm. 


They're pretty nice.  I like the short-row heels and I even had a little yarn to spare.  They're just right on the foot, but a little loose around the ankle (damn bunions).  If I made another pair I would do the smaller size.  I've had them on all day and keep admiring the pretty and nice to wear yarn.


My next socks will be for the Red Hot Sizzling Socks-Along (which is closed, but I'll knit-along all the same).  I have some fiery red koigu that will be great for my first koigu socks (I know, why have I been waiting so long to make myself koigu socks?).  Right now I'm trying to decide if I want to make good old toe-up socks (possibly with a picot hem) or branch out into something else.  The yarn is varigated so I don't want anything too busy that will get lost in all the colour.  Suggestions are welcome.  I'm actually not sure I want anything too complicated because (gasp) I have no brainless knitting on the needles.

Time warps and gauge

Only a couple of questions to answer.  Though they vary in complexity.

1. Cara asked about possible solutions to her gauge problems with stranded knitting.  Though she figured it out on her own--go up another needle size.  Her just-right mittens look fantastic.

Another option for those who don't want to start over, just yet, is to put the garment on a holder and wet block it to see how it behaves.  Some yarns will relax a fair bit with water and block out wonderfully.  Others won't so you have to rip and re-do.  Most people knit in the round at a different gauge than flat and knit fair isle at a different gauge as well.  The only way to know for sure is to swatch.  Or consider your small object a swatch (which is what I do for hats, mittens etc) and measure during the knitting.

2. Anmiryam asks a more challenging question:

My Olympic problem is simple to solve -- I need more hours in the day. Do you know anything about warping the time space continuum?

Sadly my Ph.D. is not in physics.  But after consulting several Star Trek sites and speaking with some people who know far more about physics than myself I have declared that currently we do not have the technical capabilities to warp the space time continuum and I cannot recommend knitters attempt such experiments at home.  All the Star Trek I watched in my misspent youth provides a corpus of cautionary tales warning that disasterous results like your work spontaneously unknitting or turning into an evil sweater from an alternate universe are possible results which should be avoided at all costs.


Since time warping, or even other daring feats such as knitting very fast like Neo in the Matrix, or stopping time periodically to squeeze in some extra stitches, are currently beyond human comprehension (though this project shows promise), I would suggest a bit of planning to map out how much you have to knit each day to complete the project.  Be sure to factor in finishing time (don't forget that wool takes a long time to dry if you're wet blocking) and work in all those other things in life that really need to get done.  However,  if you don't shower every day, I won't tell anyone.

Ask Dr. Steph

Friday night found me and about 50 knitters at the Duke of York pub kicking off the Olympic knitting festivities.  I didn't bring my camera, but you can look at pictures here and here.  They sum up the evening pretty well.  But Steph, we weren't really having fun, we just put on a good show.  Toronto knitters are hilarious, partiers boring.

And, while there, I found my role in these Knitting Olympics--technical support.  Every athlete has a team of coaches, psychologists, managers and others supporters who help them through the games.  At the pub I counselled a few people regarding the tough question of whether to rip or ignore (rip--sure you want it done in 16 days but you want to like it too) and helped another knitter with her first provisional cast on.  I even took my own advice and stopped knitting  when I realized the beer might impede my progress.  Probably just in time.

So Olympic Knitters: If you require assistance of a technical or psychological nature, please email me and I'll do my best to help you out.


Feeling like you won't finish?  We'll design a finishing plan--plans make you feel better even if they are impossible.

Wondering how many beers you can drink before it messes with the knitting?  We can go to the pub and figure that out.

Not sure if you should rip?  Let's see if we can find a cheat that no one will notice or I can (virtually) hold your hand and pull that yarn. 

Family/friends questioning your sanity?  Write me and I'll send them some nasty email telling them to leave you alone--it's only 16 days and then things will return to whatever they were before (I don't want to use normal because, well, I don't want to judge).

So email me with your questions, concerns, rants etc.  The best questions will be posted here over the next two weeks.  And if no one writes, I'll just make stuff up.


I'm not finished Mermaid yet, and I want another Hanne Falkenberg kit


Probably in the same colour, though I like shade 4 too (see the other shades here).  For the life of me, I can't figure out how it's put together, which is part of the fun.

I'm past the half-way point on the first sleeve!  Being home, a tad under the weather, with a West Wing DVD to watch helped a bunch.  I'm hoping to get in some quantity time on this sleeve on the weekend by arranging some play-dates for the kids.  Have a great weekend everyone.