Monday, June 20, 2011

I saw Tree of Life, guys. My brain melted.

Since my blog's name is rage knitting, one would assume I'm generally an angry person. I don't believe this to be true; I just found the name amusing. More often than not I'm hibernating and frogging projects in disgust, but 'disgusting knitting' as a title would have a different connotation altogether. I think most people would say I'm cranky, or set in my ways. Think an old person yelling, "Get off my porch!" and it's basically me. Why have I even started the post this way? I guess it was to segue into the movie I saw this weekend (twice), the Tree of Life. I hate seeing new things. I am dragged kicking and screaming to anything new. I like what I like, and that is it. (Now get off my porch!) Usually when Chris and I go intend to go see a movie, we plan on seeing whatever comic movie is playing currently, and "go to Cafe Routier first for a drink." We end up staying at Cafe Routier all night, horsing their fries with garlic aioli mayonnaise, and drinking martinis and such. So it's surprising that I made it to the theater at all, let alone twice.
It was...amazing. When I first saw it, I could barely wrap my brain around it. I couldn't understand how something like this could get made.

Oh, and I'm going to say it now: TOTAL SPOILER ALERT (Maybe?)

Maybe I'm being overly sentimental, or maybe I just ... I don't know. I saw this movie as an intensely personal movie that was at the same time universal. Some reviews say it is pretentious, but I don't see that at all. The concept of it is the story of a man, coming to terms with his life and death intermingled with how small we are in the grand scheme of the universe. A huge undertaking, that is for sure, but it seemed...honest. Too sincere to be pretentious. A lot of people see it as overtly religious, but have seen some religious reviewers that saw it as New Age-y. There's not a ton of dialogue in the movie (which seems crazy for a movie that's almost two and a half hours long), and some of the dialogue are whispered questions and statements; presumably directed at God. The funny thing about the whispered questions is that they seemed to me to be one of the easiest things to relate to about this movie (I really don't even want to call it that; it seems too beautiful to be called just a movie). They are universal questions; and I found myself thinking that I've asked those questions both before I had any sort of organized religion in my life (I didn't become a Catholic until I was 26.), and since I have become a Catholic. They are basically unanswerable questions anyway - "How could you let this happen," "Where where you,", etc. At the beginning of this movie is a quote from Job, which basically asks that: "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?" The difference here is that it is God speaking. Job has had all sorts of tragedies befall him when he had been a good man all of his life, and asks why. God responds by saying that to him, which I guess is a really poetic way of saying "I created the universe, so shut your pie hole about earthly problems."
I'm kidding about that interpretation (sorta). I think that it's God's way of saying that there are things that we will never be able to understand or have an answer to. I think this movie tries to answer that question, and to my mind, is successful - or, at least, as good as can be grasped. The movie itself is spectacular to look at. Just...glorious. The music as well brought me to tears several times. This was the song playing during the montage of the creation of the universe (I said spoiler alert already.) This song has been in my head since the first time I saw it on Saturday, and if a song like that playing over and over in your head seems dramatical, let me assure you that it is. It's hard to try and edit a spreadsheet at work when all you hear is "Lacrimooooooosaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Lacrimooosaaaaaaaaaaaa!" and thinking about cells splitting and lava and waves and light and....I don't know if the beauty of that sequence can be described in words. It was incredible. I thought it intermingled faith and science in such a lovely way - light giving way to the lava/water, giving way to cells splitting and mingling with other cells, to jellyfish, to dinosaurs, to the Earth's horizon...Just lovely. I can't recommend this movie enough. I think whether you're religious or not, it is the story of a life with issues and feelings and thoughts we all face; that we can all relate to.

I'm not sure how to end this post. Oh, yes I do.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lovely day...

This morning was spent in knitting bliss. I realize that my previous post seemed glum compared to the opening sentence of this one, but for the first time in a while my yarn and pattern choices made sense together. I frogged my Swallowtail Shawl and started on the Summer Flies Shawl with my Malabrigo Lace. I had started it yesterday - I just love shawls so much. And this one is alternating sections of eyelets and stockinette with tiny butterfly lace.
I was fully in the zone with this one. I'm on row 63 of 93. It. Is. On.
Initially I had started this with my size 8 rosewood straight needles, but I knew I'd have to switch it up once the shawl started blossoming. Those needles are such a dream, though...until it got a little splintery at the end and it had to be sanded down a bit. So swishy though; I love the feel of them.
At about 10 o'clock this morning I realized that I needed to find my size 8 circulars - it was getting slightly tricksy to use the rosewoods. I dug through my yarn nook, and my needle case. Nothing. No size 8s. How can this be? I know for a fact I've bought Addi size 8s. I think my first set of Addis was the size 8s for the Central Park Hoodie...So I could not find them. Went to the yarn room, and found a set of Susan Bates size 8s on the Guinan hat I had hibernating since last fall. (Yes, it is Guinan from TNG. A rather hilarious pattern that I'd just never finished.) So, after liberating them from the Guinan, I continued on my merry way. This pattern goes quickly; I'm almost at the knitted openwork section, which seems to be near the end. I mean, I am over halfway there. I wonder how quickly I can get it done? Hmm...
If I keep up at this rate, I bet I could be done Monday. Although, tomorrow I won't be able to knit as much - Tiny One and I have lots of cooking to do for Christopher for Father's Day. We shall see!

P.S. I saw Tree of Life this afternoon. I'm still trying to process it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Once upon a time, I said something about crocheting.

While on Twitter the other day, one of the Ravelry ladies said something about making a bazillion granny squares. I thought I knew what that was, but googled it anyway. Granny squares remind me of afghans we had when I was little. I looked at some videos on how to make them, and it looked so...easy? Fast? Maybe not easy. But a fluid movement. I think...I'll take back everything negative I've ever said about crocheting. Besides, crochet seems to be the chosen method for making tiny animals.

I think I am frogging the Swallowtail Shawl I'm currently working on with my Malabrigo Lace, and going to make the Summer Flies shawl with the Malabrigo held doubled. I love the color of the Malabrigo Alpine Pearl. So dark, and purple-y. (Just like me?)

I probably should be working on birthday presents. My good friend's birthday is in September, and I've been promising her a knitted garment for ... uh...a while. I did make her a hat, but good grief. It was one of the first hats I made and it was a nightmare. I wouldn't blame her if it was in a garbage can.

No, I'm not shame spiraling. Just speculating. A bit of a crazy day, and week. Lot of stressful things going on at work; want to be doing my best, but have a confidence problem with my abilities. I'm also looking at going back to school and have the whole "I'm too old to go back; I wasted so much time." conflict going on in my head. I don't know. Also, when I was leaving my doctor at lunch today, I drove into the back of some lady's Volvo. There was no problem with either car, and she was super nice, but it was just...ugh. Capping off a crappy day, an emotional day with a car accident. Perfect.

OK, that fully sounds like a shame spiral, but ... I didn't really dwell on that. I mean, I did listen to this on my ipod, but no big deal, right? Totally fine for someone that is having a crappy day.

Good grief.

Crocheting, right guys?! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sometimes, you just have ugly yarn.

While for the most part, I am in a state of bliss when encountering yarn, there is the dreaded skein or two that you acquired that you just despise. Whether it be a hand me down, gift, or someone cleaning their closet, you end up with...ugh. Now, I have a hard time saying no when it involves adding to my yarn stash. I accepted bags and bags of yarn from a bunch of old ladies, knowing it was colors and yarns I'd never use. I hung on to those bags of the roughest acrylic (don't get me wrong, I appreciate acrylics, but this was like from the dollar bin at Ocean State Job Lot)in the most hideous colors. While at work one day, someone told me there was a group of yarn bombers that needed donations of yarn - any yarn. I lugged these bags in and sent them on their merry way. It was delicious. I got rid of all of this yarn that I was not crazy about but accepted...because how can you say no to someone when they're offering you free yarn? What do you say? "Good grief. Why the hell did you get that yarn? Were you drunk?"
I'd have found something to do with it eventually...once I got through my usual stash (which I'll probably not get through during my lifetime).
Also, isn't Noro weird? I made this Arrowhead Arm Warmer:

(I only made one, natch. And it's too small for anyone other than a tiny baby.)(OK, that's a slight exaggeration.) out of Noro Silk Garden Lite. What a strange yarn. I'm not crazy about how it feels. Noro always feels rough on my fingers. Why does everyone love Noro so much? Huh? Anyone? Is Silk Garden Lite just their crappiest yarn?

Finally, why do I even have cable when I just want to watch streaming Netflix? I'm feeling a hankerin' for some Mystery Science Theater 3000. Maybe ... even ... this one ...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Stuff! Here's stuff.

A few things I've found when organizing my photos.

My attempt this winter at a Mystery shawl, using my Skacel Lace (Impossible to use, btw. This is how far I got)
Mystery shawls/scarves have the pattern revealed a day at a time...keeps it interesting; but Skacel Lace is seriously impossible. It is basically knitting with sewing thread.

My second Bandit, which I made with Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light (acquired in a yarn swap with my sister); it was for my cousin's birthday last year...I screwed this one up, though. Was running out of yarn so I didn't complete the edge chart. I don't think you can tell. (Can you?)

This one I'd really like to finish someday...It was a last minute present, intended for my mother - the Backyard Leaves pattern It was a perfect storm. Cachemir Anny from Kir's trip to France (!), an asymmetrical pattern, just perfect. Need to finish this one.

Here is some work on the Aidez...

These were taken in my grandparents' backyard. My parents have owned the house basically since Ducky (my grandmother) passed away in 2006. Ducky was an avid knitter. The first picture on this post is an afghan she made. Papa made the fringe. I still wish I had been able to tell her about my knitting. I had started knitting a bit in 2003 - I made a garter stitch blanket in Thick 'n' Quick (dark, dark maroon) without a pattern. I didn't care to learn anything other than the knit stitch then. Giant yarn on giant needles was enough for me. When Ducky went to hospice, it wasn't like we weren't expecting it...she had cancer for as long as I can remember, but it had been in remission. So we spent time with her was the same time I found out I was pregnant with what was her first great-grandchild. It was an extremely emotional time. I started thinking about getting into knitting when she was in hospice. The nurses gave us a prayer shawl. My first thought was...I want to do this for someone else. Someone made this. Someone thought, "I want to give comfort to someone that is in pain." I had barely been able to process my other grandmother dying 8 months before. That simple shawl is what inspired me. Creating a blanket, a shawl, a sweater, anything. Something you can give to someone you love. Something that is you. Something to be remembered by. When I think about knitting, my thoughts go to Ducky. Wanting to tell her that I finally got into it after all of these years. Wanting to ask her how she felt about Continental vs. English. What her favorite pattern was. Did she like knitting cables? Did she like knitting lace?
I can wish all I want that I had talked to her about it, that I started years ago, that she had known what she'd inspired. Regret is something I never want to feel. I think what I can take away from this reflection, rather than regretting I never shared knitting with her - was to be grateful that she had passed it on to my sister Kirsten, who kept the knitting going in the family, and now I've (and two of my other sisters) joined her in this ... I don't want to say hobby, because it's so much more than that. I have this to share with my sisters, and we're going to keep it going. It's in our blood; I'm fairly certain of that.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Here we are.

I was going to start this as yet another abject failure post, but have decided otherwise. It will be more ... whatever random thoughts I want it to be. Speaking of random, it's so nice to drive through an enchanted forest to get home, isn't it? (If you look, I am not moving when I took this picture. One of the benefits of living in the woods: you can randomly stop your car in the road to take pictures and no one cares.)

Anyway, I digress. This week has provided many, many knitting segues. Last Saturday evening, I was at a super fancy party at my good friend's house, which had an extremely highbrow premise. The premise was: sit on the porch with 40's in a paper bag, and drink them. Now, I'm generally a wine sort of girl. I appreciate beer, but a 40? I put my fancy foot down and brought my own beer. I had two Sierra Nevada 24 oz and one Sam Adams Summer Ale 24 oz. (I won't answer your next question; which I know already, "Didja drink 'em all?") So, we're all sitting on the porch with our paper bags and 40s, (or 24s), and Miss Bez herself gets a text that our good friend and my cousin is currently in labor (she wasn't due until July). So Bez has to book to the hospital, where Julie had a baby boy. 5 lbs, 5 oz, same weight as my Tiny One was when he was born. (Tiny One was 4 weeks early). So, once her baby was on the way, I immediately started thinking about baby items. Baby items are quick and satisfying. I started to try making booties, but they came out huge. Having had a preemie, I knew it was a ridiculously huge size. I was using size 5 needles and Classic Elite Bam Boo, and it was still huge. The pattern I was using was for a heavier weight yarn, methinks.
I was going to include a photo, but I already frogged it in disgust.

Anyway. I need to make something. I don't want to rush it. (Ugh; I'm always rushing it.) Thinking of a two color blanket. I always want to make the Tree of Life pattern, but if I'm doing a two color blanket (say, with the Sirdar Tweedie I have in blue and white) I don't think that would work so well doing two color blocks. That would be kind of nuts. I'll figure something out. I think?

I also got a fair amount of cooking done. I made some BBQ chicken and delicious biscuits (if I do say so myself)

Whatever, no picture of chicken. I don't care. I also made carrot and apple muffins, which Tiny One went bonkers for (he asked me if he could have 18 of them this morning)

And then...homemade Samoas. Yes, I ran out of dark chocolate. No, I don't care. The bottoms are dipped in dark chocolate, which works for me. Here they are preparing for their swim:
Shortbread cookies. Toasted coconut. Melted caramels. Dark chocolate. Hard to go wrong there.

Of course, I had my trusty sidekick - the apron I've had for the past thirteen years. We've been through many flourless chocolate tortes, her and I. And I love her for it.

Well, that seems like enough for now, I suppose. Oh, tomorrow is yarn bombing day. I'm tired. I'm not doing it. I am, however, starting this.
Ugh. Just tried to take a picture (I'm on row 30); but my stupid Blackberry isn't working. I have to return that piece of garbage to Verizon tomorrow to get another one. This will be my third Blackberry since I got it in September. Yes, it was a mistake. I should have held out for an iPhone. Don't tell anyone that I want an iPhone. It'll ruin my Linux street cred.

Off to CZ's for some girl time. G'nite, y'all!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Got some knittin' done, y'all

Yeah, yeah, I know. I started this blog about 3 years ago and I'm just starting to link things now. Being a Cancer, I will now do this all the time. So let's just get this over with, shall we?

I woke up this morning with my regular Rizzo hair. I had a grand plan this afternoon to find a random high school that was going to be putting on a production of Grease and try out real quick before my hair appointment.

Totally didn't happen. So now I'm back to my new hair, which, yeah. I love. Because it's a full rip off of someone. Who was it again?

Still working on the blanket. The controversial stripe is not bothering me as much as it did earlier, but still...I don't know. I finished 1 1/2 repeats of the chart at lunch, which pleased me immensely. It was a lovely day outside, so I took my knitting out to the mean streets and

It was absolutely terrifying. The foliage, the quiet, the gentle breeze. Horrid. Well, there was a pigeon that was staring at me when I first got there for what seemed like an hour, but it was probably only a minute. It was disgusting. I couldn't even knit. I just stared at it. It was staring at me. It had red eyes. I wanted to run away but was petrified that it would peck my eyes out. I'm getting chills thinking about it. Anyway, enough about disgusting birds. After that thing left, I continued my work. And in the sunlight, you can see the difference in the dye lots much better.

Why yes, I am wicked pale. Well, I was in the sun. Sort of. I kept moving back under the shade of a tree because I burn in like 3 seconds.

I feel like I should link some more, but am now out of ideas. I think I'll knit for a bit and watch embarrassing television programming while Chris is at the movies. (It's totally not Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives) (ok, fine it is, but I'm not linking to anything featuring Guy Fieri's face.)

Why does Scully keep biting me? What does she want? Why won't she shut her meow trap? This is irritating, Scully. I don't want to cuddle with you now. You'd probably bite me anyway. You're fired, evil cat!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Playing hooky and a fatal mistake (OK, I'm being dramatic)

I completely phoned it in this weekend. I made almost no progress on the blanket, except a few repeats and to decide that it's actually going to be a gift for my sister Burj instead of a baby. Who makes a charcoal gray blanket for a baby (here's a hint...someone that looks suspiciously like me)? Anyway, in my complete non-progress, I made a realization. When I purchased the cotton, I bought...different dye lots. I have realized this the third ball of yarn in. So I can either press on, or frog it (it was incredibly hard not to do the latter last night). Ugh.

Ugh, again. Ridiculous. That's what I get for basically being a rabid dog in a yarn store and spastically grabbing balls of Cotton 1824. And yes, I am basically a spaz when I am in a yarn store. Isn't that what we all do? Wandering aimlessly, molesting yarn (and ridiculous and glorious needles) I'll never buy because it's too...insanely...expensive....(OH! Oh, my.) Anyway. Drooling aside, I suppose that I could very well continue and just have it be striped, but...I don't want it to be striped. I want it to be straight up gray, not varying shades. That is completely not what I intended. Everything. Must. Be. What. I. Intended. (Or not. Whatever.)
I'll probably continue along. Or, it will join my infamous yarn nook and hibernate until a few years down the road, and I find it and completely forget what I was had been doing and frog it anyway. No. No! Must...keep....going...Ok. OK! I'll do it. I'll finish the damn blanket. Hmm? What's that? Don't do this to me! I need to keep my focus!!

You're not going to let me, are you? Fine. FINE!