Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Channeling My Inner Martha - The Spice Drawer

Up until today, my spices have been stored in a pull-out cupboard shelf below eye level and another shelf above eye level.  This meant that every time I had to find a particular spice, I had to look at a number of containers individually.  Well, no more!  Today I bought an organizer that fits into a drawer.  I arranged as many spices as would fit in a roughly alphabetical order.   It doesn't hold all the spices, but the rest of them went into the pull-out shelf.  By putting labels on those spices, I should be able to find what I'm looking for quickly and without getting annoyed.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

DVD: "Anvil! The Story of Anvil"

I have close to zero interest in heavy metal music, but this documentary was very watchable.  Canadian metal band Anvil has been playing together for 30 years, and although they influenced many other more successful bands, they have not achieved much success themselves.  The movie shows the determination to keep doing the work that you love, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks about you.

My rating:  *** (out of 5)

Book: "The Museum of Innocence"

Turkish author Orhan Pamuk follows the decade long obsession of Kemal with his beautiful distant relative Fusun.  It reminds me a little bit of Gabriel Garcia Marquez' Love in the Time of Cholera because of the subject matter.  In the usual post modernist way, Pamuk himself becomes a character in the novel near the end of the book.

My rating:  ***** (out of 5)

DVD: Coraline

I had missed this movie in theaters, so caught it on DVD.  Probably way too scary for young viewers, it is about childrens wish for different "better" parents while at the same time being  fearful of separation from their real parents.  Beautiful and scary images.

My rating:  **** (out of 5)

Movie: Precious

Just when you think things cannot get worse for teen-age incest victim and mother of two, Precious Jones, they do.  Thanks to a caring teacher and social worker, the movie ends on a (probably unrealistic) hopeful note.  Impressive acting by all.

My rating:  ****

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Completed Object: Sheep in this Meadow

Pattern:  Sheep Yoke Baby Cardigan
Yarn:  Rowan Cashsoft

I re-did the rear center sheep using satin stitch rather than duplicate stitch, and I'm reasonably happy with it.  I tried, as the designer and a Facebook friend suggested, to add eyes to that sheep with French knots in the blue yarn.  The French knots were way too big, so I removed them.   I may return to this project in the future and add eyes with embroidery floss and neaten up the other sheep.  But for now, I'm done with it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Knitting Dilemma: Crazed Sheep

I'm almost finished with my sheep cardigan and have an aesthetic, and perhaps moral, dilemma.  The sheep heads and legs for the sideways facing sheep, although not things of beauty, are acceptable looking (especially from a distance).  However, the sheep in the back of the sweater, who faces frontward, is terrifying.  I feel a sense of moral unease in imposing such an image on an infant.

I'm considering removing all the black duplicate stitch and calling the remaining white blobs "clouds."  However they're in the "grass," rather than the sky, so how much sense does that make?  Any opinions?

I'll postpone the decision until after I put the buttons on.

Movie: " Where the Wild Things Are"

I wouldn't take a child younger than 10 to this movie because it's kind of scary, but I thought it was an outstanding movie.  It expands on the Maurice Sendak story to provide a back story explaining Max's behavior, but the wild creatures dreamed up by Max are true to Sendak's vision.  The movie is quite honest about how frightening it can be when we lose control of our emotions and express them without considering the consequences.

My rating:  ***** (out of 5)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Finished Object: Barrymore Slouch Hat

Yarn:  Classic Elite Bazic Wool
Pattern:  Barrymore Slouch Hat

I wish the hat were a little slouchier, but that's probably a function of the yarn I chose.  I'm not a fan of how hats look on me, but this should be a good cross-country ski hat.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Finished Object: Mittens for Grandson

Pattern:  My plain mitten pattern
Yarn:  Baby Ull from Dalegarn

These turned out to be a little too small, but I finished them while visiting the recipient and he wanted to keep them rather than let me take them home to adjust the size.  What an easy recipient to knit for!