Month: June 2007

Seeking Weave me away

Rose’s Wrist Warmers, started 1 June 2007, finished 17 June 2007
Pattern: Rose’s Wrist Warmers (PDF File) by Christina
Yarn: Wendy Merino DK in Plum #3045 (100% wool) – almost two skeins
Needles: US#4/3.5mm DPNs (Boyle plastic)
Cost of Project: $8 for yarn.
Pattern Notes and Comments: These wrist warmers are from a pattern designed to look like the ones Rose Tyler wears in the season/series two finale of BBC’s Doctor Who. I remember watching the episode and actually liking the look of them. They looked really good on her, and the purple was just a nice colour to complement her black jacket. Afterwards, I stumbled upon the pattern couple months later. It was meant to be. I have this proclivity to knit wrist warmers / fingerless gloves; these are my second pair in less than a year. I like warm hands I guess, and I’m scared of knitting actual gloves. My first pair of mittens sorta sucked, but I did well with Knitty’s fingerless Fetching gloves and these are nice wrist warmers. There is not much of a climate in this part of Canada to wear wrist warmers. It’s either too warm for them or too cold. The diamond pattern is very nice with the moss stitch centres; I also really like that she wrote in a thumb gusset because a lot of patterns for mittens and fingerless gloves seems to forgo on that. It’s oddly appropriate this yarn is from Wendy/Peter Pan because the Doctor/Rose relationship was always reminscient of that. I really look forward to wearing these this autumn. They are already very warm, but then again, it’s high twenties celsius these days. It’s 31C today without the humidex.
Would I knit it again? Unsure. I like the cabling enough, but I had ladder issues due to the cables no matter how hard I tried to avoid them. If I do ever knit these again, I would make them longer, maybe another diamond repeat before the gusset and a couple of rows more after the thumb.

Some blog business first off: I’ve installed a WordPress plugin to allow people to edit comments. In addition to the other comment plugin of subscribing to posts which is useful if you want to know my reply to your comment which happens fairly often. I also have a nifty new archives plugin that is flashy. If anyone wants to contact me, the contact form still exists as do the comments. I also have all the major IM programs, but I have no excuse to really use them anymore. I prefer long or fascinating emails really.

Updates were fewer at the end of the previous week because I was working. I’m working four three days next week plus the following Sunday. This past weekend, I’ve been knitting and listened to the audiobook for Harry Potter book two. I finished the Rose’s Wrist Warmers today too; I’ll blog about that on Tuesday. I also added another item to my knitting project queue this week. I will need a pair of decent pair of mittens this winter. I bought the needles for the Swallowtail Shawl so I’ll start that after the socks. Right now, I am casting on the wool hat for Dad. This would be a late Father’s Day present, but it’s probably going to be an early birthday present since his day is in August. He’s been asking for a winter hat since I started knitting. The first one was a bit of a failure.

The hat will be good knitting for tomorrow because I’ll doing a one day roadtrip with the family tomorrow. Must be up at 5AM, back home before midnight. No posts tomorrow, but I will be back to blogging and reading on Tuesday. Maybe I will have some pretty photos of the highway to put on flickr.

This post and all posts about Harry Potter will contain spoilers.

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  1. Do you cheat and peek ahead at the end of your books? Or do you resolutely read in sequence, as the author intended?
  2. And, if you don’t peek, do you ever feel tempted?  Booking Through Thursday

No, I don’t peek. I do feel tempted sometimes, but it’s more motivation for me to finish it because I know things will be resolved at the end. This has helped me read faster which may not be the best thing because sometimes I want to know the ending so bad I rush through some details.

Working all day today and tomorrow which means not much reading. I’ll have time on Saturday to reread HP2, Twelfth Night, and start another book.

Ginger Up

My last attempt at ginger cookies left me dissatisfied, and I wanted them softer and more chewy.

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Watership DownI was never interested in reading this book until I was older, few people I know actually read this when they were younger. I read this all yesterday and stayed up a bit to finish it before midnight. It is a very well written book, and I think I’m going to miss out a lot of why it’s so good in this review. First, my view on rabbits is neutral, but even as an animal lover, I am not a fan of the domesticated rabbit. I’ve met a couple of temperamental ones. Reading the book, I was always afraid that that the rabbits were going to die or get fatally wounded. I liked every single one of the rabbits, and I found the antagonistic ones fascinating. The characterization set them apart from one another. I loved the folklore and mythology set into the book because Adams has sampled so many old world stories and the oral narrative in this story. The novel is also a story of environmental degradation, human, political and social commentary. There are cautionary tales in it, and it showcases the divide between humans and nature. The rabbits are not simply just anthropomorphic, but essentially retain their rabbit like features in their values for wit, cunning, trickery, survival and relationship with nature. The novel itself is similar to old folklore and fables of animal characters. It’s an adventure story about leadership and team work to survive and build a home. Definitely another good summer read.

Just some updates of what I have been up to. I started Watership Down today, am more than halfway now, and enjoying it immensely. I reread Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone this past weekend, as well as listening to Stephen Fry’s audiobook for it while I knitted the Rose Wrist Warmers.

During the narration, I finished the left glove. No photos until the complete project. It could have been longer, but it fits very well. I always worry about that sort of thing because I never make a gauge swatch. Gasp. I know. When I knit a sweater, I’ll do it then. Anyway, the only issue is that I forgot to BO the thumb loosely, and so right now it has a tube of lipstick in the thumb to stretch the BO edge. It’s actually working until I block it when I’m finished the right one. I’ve CO for that, but I won’t knit it for a couple more days methinks. Estimated time of FO: Two weeks. After that, back to socks.

Last week, I went to Michaels.  They truly suck for needles selection because they didn’t have either of the circs I wanted. They only seem good for the yarn sales I’m waiting for, on Patons SWS and Classic Merino Wool.

As for the tangled pink Misti Lace Alpaca, I enlisted my mother to help me out and she helped detangle it out. It’s not perfect because we had to break it, but it’s now wound into two toilet paper roll. I just need the needles, and then I can start the Swallowtail Shawl.

Books Books Books

Nothing like coming home to your books. I got home from work two hours ago. It was a very hot and humid day, but it rained a great storm when I was at work (which was thankfully not too busy). The evening was cool from the rain and the air was beautifully fresh. I came home, and I saw the above pile of books on my printer as if to say “Welcome, home.” instead of “You’re disorganized for putting a big pile of books on a printer.” I made this pile today after getting a lot of these books from the library.

As you can see, most of these books are for the Book Awards Challenge. I’ve decided to read Street of Riches instead of The Tin Flute because I am going to read the books in French and try to make room for some French Milan Kundera as well. I may still read TTF in the near future though. The pile on the left has the first three Harry Potter books stacked on top of my copy of Toni Morrison’s Beloved.

As a testament to my messy but manageable style, there are another two small pile of books on this desk as well, not to mention the twenty library books perpetually on the floor beside it. I need to clean my desk, but the books always remain where they are on my desk, in my life.

Perfume: The Story of a MurdererBased on the book of the same name by German writer Patrick Süskind, several directors including Stanely Kubrick and Martin Scorcesse pronounced the film unadaptable. I haven’t read the book, and as I often do when I happen to watch the movie before the book, I wish I did. Not that it would make things less odd, but it would leave me feeling less disjointed afterwards. I know that if I had not read Trainspotting, the movie would have been more confusing. This story takes place in 18th century France, and it’s shot very well. I think the directing, design, and cinematography are the best things about the film along with the casting. I wanted to see the movie based on the ensemble cast including Dustin Hoffman and Alan Rickman, two of my favourites. Rachel Hurd-Wood who played Wendy in 2003’s Peter Pan was also in it with well done dye job on her red hair which I don’t think is her natural hair colour. The protagonist is played by British actor Ben Whishaw whose cheekbones could glass for all I know. The story is unique though, and the protagonist is an antihero rather than a clear cut out character to sympathise with. The book is apparently classified as Magical Realism which explains a lot. The ending is weird and offbeat, and the whole film is different than most stories or films. I think the film can be accused of being pedantic and absurd by others. I don’t know if I would recommend the film, but I don’t hate it. Then again, I rarely truly dislike a book or a film. I think there are positive aspects to almost everything. In this film’s case, the visuals, the casting, and the style of shooting. I may seek out the book, but not soon.

On a related note, I have kept a list of every book to movie adaptation I have read and then seen or vice versa. I’ll post the list in the near future. Now, I need to get started on Watership Down.

Almost everyone can name at least one author that you would love just ONE more book from. Either because they’re dead, not being published any more, not writing more, not producing new work for whatever reason . . . or they’ve aged and aren’t writing to their old standards any more . . . For whatever reason, there just hasn’t been anything new (or worth reading) of theirs and isn’t likely to be.

If you could have just ONE more book from an author you love . . . a book that would be as good any of their best (while we’re dreaming) . . . something that would round out a series, or finish their last work, or just be something NEW . . . Who would the author be, and why? Jane Austen? Shakespeare? Laurie Colwin? Kurt Vonnegut? – Booking Through Thursday

I love so many authors. Of course, I would like another Jane Austen, Shakespeare or Kurt Vonnegut. I also really like Leo Tolstoy, John Steinbeck, Edith Wharton, Oscar Wilde, and E. M. Forster.  I think I could enjoy works from any of the above.

Here is my list for twelve award winning books to be read between July 1 2007 to July 1 2008 for the Book Awards Challenge. I’m confident I’ll complete this challenge because I have a couple of the books in my house and couple of which are also Newbery. I have provided a long list of prospective books for additional reading in the challenge.

  1. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (Booker Prize)
  2. Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje (Giller, Governor General’s)
  3. Street of Riches by Gabrielle Roy (Governor’s General’s)
  4. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (Newbery)
  5. A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nany Willard (Newbery)
  6. Complete Poems and Plays by T. S. Eliot (Nobel 1948)
  7. Beloved by Toni Morrison (Pulitzer, Nobel)
  8. Beowulf: New Verse Translation (Costa/Whitbread)
  9. Neuromancer by William Gibson (Hugo, Nebula)
  10. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Newbery)
  11. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (Pulitzer, NBCC)
  12. Little, Big by John Crowley (World Fantasy)

Bonus Books:
Bel Canto by Ann Pratchett (PEN/Faulkner, Orange)
The Color Purple by Alice Walker (Pulitzer)
Eucalyptus by Murray Bail (Miles Franklin, Commonwealth Writers’) – I remember trying to read this years ago when it was first published; I managed one chapter, so we’ll see how far I get this time.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (Hugo, Nebula)
The Poetry of Pablo Neruda (Nobel)
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich: A Novel by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Nobel)l
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (Commonwealth Writers’) – I own this, and it is big.
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson (PEN/Faulkner)
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Pulitzer)
The Good Earth Pearl S. Buck (Pulitzer, Nobel)
The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields (Pulitzer, NBCC, Governor General’s)
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (Giller)
The Pearl and Cannery Row by John Steinbeck (Nobel 1962)
All the Names by Jose Saramago (Nobel 1998)

28 Days LaterI never watch horror movies. When I got this movie last month, it was on a whim because it was around the time of the release of the sequel, I had heard good things about it, and Christopher Eccleston is in it. Since I don’t generally care for horror or scary movies, I can’t say if it was a good movie of its genre, but certainly an entertaining film overall. The beginning was pretty slow, but I noticed the nice soundtrack which only got better as did the plot, characters, settings, and scariness of the film. Yes, it reminded me of Shaun of the Dead a lot, but not in the psychologically scary parts surrounding Christopher Eccleston’s character. It was the fear of what happens to people in post-apocalyptic and dystopian worlds, not of the zombies. As usual, I’m pleased with CE’s work here even if the character was sometimes both dimensional (his psychology) and flat (bit stereotypical). The equally attractive Cillian Murphy really carries the film because slowly, his and the other characters are revealed to us and shown to be resilient capable survivors. There’s actual character growth. The screenplay is quite good then. Even though I haven’t seen any horror movies, I have a feeling the writing is better than most of the genre. I like that it was an original screenplay rather than adapted from novel, short story, graphic novel or comic book which often happens in science fiction. Director Danny Boyle said the writer Alex Garland cited The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndam as an inspiration for the book which I mentioned the other day. I liked the ending which I read was the original one. The sequel does not have any of the original cast, and there is apparently to be a third. I’m not quite sure I will seek out the sequels in the near future even if I did like this one. All because I liked this movie doesn’t mean I’ll make a habit of watching more horror films.

On a lighter note, here is a hilarious interview Time interview with George Clooney, Matt Damon, Ellen Barkin and Brad Pitt. I really want to hang out with these people.