Amelia Earhart Cap

Amelia Earhart Aviator Cap

The tension of this hat is a bit odd, and it ends up being too large on most people. I got gauge, and it was even a little big than I liked on my large head. Still, a simple pattern that uses short rows. If you’ve never wrapped and turned, this is good for beginners especially since short rows feature in a lot of shaping of socks. I hate seaming though, but if it covers my ears, so that’s a plus. Not a lot of forehead coverage though.

Amelia Earhart Cap, started March 5th 2008, finished March 9th 2008 Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Amelia Earhart Aviator Cap by Flor Ravelry Pattern Page
Yarn: Patons Classic Merino Wool (100g 204m/223yds 100% wool) in Natural Chestnut – less than one skein
Needles: #7/4.5mm bamboo circs
Cost of Project: $5
Would I knit it again? Yes, but on smaller needles and/or DK yarn.

The Darjeeling Limited

Wes Anderson movies: hype, good content or shallow narratives of pretentious twits? All of the above. I have seen Rushmore, The Royal Tannenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited (in this order). The whiff coming of Life Aquatic sounded so bad that I didn’t even try it. I also don’t need to see Natalie Portman’s ass in Hotel Chevalier the short film that sets a prelude to this one. First off, the good stuff: nice acting (good casting of the periphery characters), gorgeous art direction and cinematography, apt music selection, and a couple of genuinely amusing/funny moments. All three brothers are suppose to be shallow assholes, and Owen Wilson plays that really well. Adrien Brody worked only because his character was callous to his wife, but it’s hard to stay mad at Brody. I still believe Rushmore is the best of Anderson’s work, and I sort of a soft spot for Jason Schwartzman as a result (though I have only ever seen him in Anderson stuff). Now the bad: Anderson’s postmodern narratives are fairly decent on the smaller levels, but bad in the overall themes. I did a get a sense that the brothers had united in the end, but the constant material symbolism that is infused felt flat to me. The use of the suitcases, Peter’s (Brody) obsession with their late father’s things, the perfume bottle, Francis’s belt, and so on. The women in Anderson’s movies are 2D or severely underdeveloped with the exception of the teacher in Rushmore (played by the beautiful Olivia Williams), but even though she seemed sidelined in the end. Rita (newcomer Amara Kara) is the object of desire in this film, but she too is pushed off early and becomes yet another object of desire and projection for one of the male lead’s (Schwartzman’s Jack). The hype that follows Anderson as a life changer auteur has always been a bit much, but maybe I’m not as invested in (or traumatised by) family dysfunction and wealth/materialism, two things that feature in most of his works. Often, I feel indifference for Anderson’s characters and plots, but appreciate the visuals, some of the comedy and music. TDL is worth watching for the Indian visuals and art direction.

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Sunday Salon: March Madness

Two Sundays have passed without me posting a Sunday Salon. I haven’t finished a book since then either because it is the last month of classes, and I am stressed and a bit sick too. The Salons until April will be rather sparse, but I have made some decisions in my reading habits. With the summer holiday coming up (and my imminent graduation), I am going to attempt to read as many unread books that I own this year. I know many people make that promise, and I do too, but I am more serious and dedicated. Similarly, I am trying to avoid buying yarn compulsively and knitting with my sizable stash. 2008 is a year of endings and beginnings or at least transitions. I’m going to declutter my life a bit and explore all the things I do own.I digress. Here are the reading updates. I have been reading Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The former is 1200 pages and the latter is less than 200.  I’ve been reading CoMC through DailyLit, but I fell behind this week. I caught up just now and am midway through chapter 5.  That’s less than 50p in the Penguin Classics edition which I have from the library. Yes, I do have a hard copy, but I hardly have time to read as it is. I intend to read it normally once I have time in April. I am enjoying it so far. The good thing about Dumas is that there is a lot of dialogue in his writing so it seems the writing goes by quickly, and yet his books are still quite large. It is still early to tell how well this novel will be paced even though I already know most of the plot point and the ending.

Today, I also went past halfway through One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. I’m not sure what I think about this book. It’s not boring, but it’s not exciting either. The prose is good, but I think I’m a bit wary of reading depressing books right now. I am afraid I won’t have much to say about it when I review it. Hopefully the ending gives me things to ponder.

It’s barely the afternoon, but I am going to have to focus on other things and then take a nap.

Literary Links:

The Twenty Science Fiction Novels That Will Change Your Life – Well, maybe not my life, but some of these look very intriguing.

Top 10 Undercover Economics Books – My love/hate relationship with econ continues. Apparently Robert Frost can help me understand opportunity cost.

50 Crime Writers to Read Before You Die – Haven’t read much crime myself, but Telegraph’s list looks good.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman – Not my favourite Gaiman work, but still good and a free novel online so woot.

Planet eBook – Even though I don’t really read them that often, I am always in support of books as public goods. The PDFs on this site seem better than other ebook sites.

International Digital Children’s Library – free children books from all around the world.

30 of the Most Creative Bookshelf Designs and Bookcase Bedroom

Shetland Triangle

Shetland Triangle

One of my best knit items yet. Last summer, I tried making Evelyn A. Clark’s other popular pattern Swallowtail Shawl and ran into a lot of problems so it has been hibernating. I am ready to tackle it again after this wonderful project. Popularized by Brooklyn Tweed’s version of aran lace, I decided to do some stashbusting with my Patons. This was one of my most enjoyable knits; it’s easy to knit up and remember. It’s also very classy and great pattern for gifts. Usually, I make a few noticeable mistakes and due to my never ripping back policy, I don’t fix them. With this project, I made one or two mistakes, and I don’t even know where they are. Even the invisible/provisional CO worked out, and I hate provisional COs. The heavier yarn makes the knitting flow better. Good signs for my lace future; other than Branching Out, I’d never done a real big lace project until now. I am going to be making BT Hemlock Ring Blanket as well. Hopefully it’ll turn out as beautiful as this project.

Shetland Triangle bottom edge

Shetland Triangle, started February 26th 2008, finished March 5th 2008 Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Shetland Triangle by Evelyn A. Clark from Wrap Style Ravelry Pattern Page
Size: approximately 65″ wide x 35″ long blocked (unblocked, it was 10″ less wide)
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino (100g – 204m/223yds – 100% wool) in 00240 Leaf Green – 2 skeins and a bit
Needles: #9/5.5mm 100 cm bamboo circs and 7.0mm circs for BO

Green Shetland Triangle

Modifications: Subbed yarn from 2ply lace weight to worsted weight, skipped last two rows of edging chart, 10 body repeats instead of 8 in pattern. Brooklyn Tweed apparently did nine repeats with 400m aran yarn. Doing nine reps would probably be enough with 2 skeins of this wool if you don’t mind using stretchy and bouncing merino. I BO on a 7.0mm using this lace nameless BO I found on Ravelry forums: “k1, k1, sl. both stitches back on left needle k 2 tog. through back loop, [k1, sl both stitches on left needle and knit tog. through back loop,] rep across row.” It looks okay so I may or may not use it next time.
Tools/Notions: 4 stitch markers
Lessons Learned: The aforementioned nameless BO
Cost of Project: $15 (though I only used a tiny bit of the third skein)
Would I knit it again? YES! Good for gifts, and I would love to make this in a silk/wool mix or with non-merino wool fabric such as alpaca. I’d prefer to stick to the heavier weight yarn rather than lace with this project.

Shetland Triangle closer up

Monhly Movies 02/08

Snow Cake (02 02 08) – REVIEW
Venus (06 02 08) – Oh, Peter O’Toole. Why must you go breaking my heart with your heartbreaking, pathos-filled portrayal of age, love, desire, and stark reality. Someone always be stealing Peter O’Toole’s Oscars.
La Vie En Rose (16 02 08) – I knew a bit that Edith Piaf had a rough childhood, but it was interesting to see how bad it was. I think the acting by Cotillard was fine, but sometimes, I really wanted to shake Edith Piaf and say, “Get it together, woman!” She was a smartass a lot, and I didn’t really warm up to the character. It was not a bad film, but I was not particularly enlightened or wowed by much.

Booking Through Thursday — Hero

You should have seen this one coming … Who is your favorite Male lead character?BTT

Off the top of my head:

Morpheus from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman – Okay, so he’s not particularly heroic. He’s broody, quiet and mysterious, but awesome characterisation.

Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre – If anything, he is entertaining to read.

Will from the His Dark Materials series – One day, if I am blessed, I’d have a son as loyal, loving, strong and smart as Will.

Calvin and Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes – Technically comics but whatever. I love Hobbes more.

Harry Potter from Harry Potter – ’nuff said.

Hazel from Watership Down – Smart, quiet, and talented.

Peter Pan from Peter Pan – Maudlin again.

Cal from East of Eden – Flawed, angsty Cal. Not a hero per se, but definitely a lead.

Winnie the Pooh from Winnie the Pooh – Well, he’s somewhat heroic.