‘Tis the season

October 5, 2009 § 4 Comments

Going from the contemplativeness of autumn…

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… straight to the good ol’ christmassy party times!!!

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Yes, we have so many glasses we have to keep some on top of the wall cupboard. Yes, those are four liters of spiced wine for relatively immediate consumption by two people. Yes, there’s another liter down on the worktop, but it would’ve ruined the setup.

No, we don’t have an alcohol problem. Not yet, anyway. Cause October or not – Christmas time is approaching fast!

(Seriously. Last night Saskia and I had our first spiced wine of this year. Well, this Christmas season. It was a relevation. We’re giddy and excited and I can’t believe it’s That Time already!)

Somewhere ’round mile-marker one-twelve

September 30, 2009 § 2 Comments

Ah, I’m home. Back in Leipzig, back to the Saskias and the dog. Back to my wide bed where I can let my feet dangle over the edge. Back to my own kitchen, my own bath, two clocks in my room, green walls, cooking for myself, the TARDIS poster on my door, tons of pillows between me and the wall, and tons of yarn, needles and books to choose from.

I came home yesterday, actually, but it was rather late, I was kinda knackered, and pretty much all I did was changing my sheets from dusty to new and sparkly, taking a bubble bath, and making some baked beans. And tea, lots of tea. And soup, around 1.30am, when I was inexplicably bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Then, today, I got up late, and after breakfast set out to the long-procrastinated-on task of cleaning up my room. I’m… just so lazy with it. I do parts, but for the wide majority of the time, I just drop things on my desk or wherever, or plop down books on other books in the case instead of putting them back properly.

Seriously, the only part of my room that’s even remotely organized 90% of the time is my stash.

So I took down three bags worth of trash, a carton full of paper, plus I dusted, vacuumed, started on my desk, and reorganized my books. Oh, and I found two DPNs, a row counter and a crochet hook behind my bed. I’d been looking for those.

My proudest achievement of the day? Organizing a cultural timeline from Ancient Egypt all the way to contemporary Germany and the UK. It’s the history and culture textbooks I have, plus stuff like Shakespeare’s plays, Greek myths, the Iliad, Arabian Nights, Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’, Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’, Thoreau’s ‘Civil Disobedience’ – basically, essential texts, books that I didn’t really want to put in my mostly fiction-based regular bookcase. The only thing in the main bookcase that’s non-fiction are the handful of knitting books, and John Barrowman’s bios. And I think that’s about it.

So, yeah. I’m rather enchanted by the whole timeline thing though, because it illustrates my point of view exactly: History and culture and literature are never entirely separate things, but quite the opposite: they three facets of the exact same thing. Like three sides of the same, weirdly-shaped coin. Ahem.

Other than that… I did the ‘most boring slideshow ever’ today, for Saskia. I’d told Sassi about it beforehand, and we both had to work very hard to keep from bursting out laughing when Saskia’s comments became more and more pissy. ‘Well, it would be nice if you could see anything besides the three of you! Seriously!’ Mwahaha. But I did a slightly-more-extended-than-the-regular slideshow afterwards, and she was rather more enthusiastic about that one.

I still have to upload a couple of pictures to show up here, but… not tonight.

It’s so nice here, all quiet, except for the dog breathing on the (freshly vacuumed) rug next to my bed.

Sassi squeed really, really loudly when I gave her the little ball I spun out of the hairs Wave shed this spring.

I am what I am

August 18, 2009 § 3 Comments

Get your geek on!

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Was definitely the motto of the last 24 hours. In which I produced two EXFOLIATE Dalek washclothes, and a little K-9 plushie for Saskia. I also played around with the Tardis dishcloth pattern, effectively knitting about two washclothes, but ripping them up periodically. I had one pretty much finished, apart from the top ribbing… and then I realized I’d done 1×1 instead of moss stitch down the sides, and it looked ridiculous, and I frogged it. And started three times more, and eventually abandoned the whole plan.

However, I feel pretty accomplished. The Dalek clothes were a blast to make, since they only took about an hour each? Which is quite simply brilliant for any kind of knitted item. K-9 took way longer – not necessarily knitting it, but the whole making up business. Seriously. I crocheted the parts together, since I know it’s sturdy, plus my darning needle is halfway across the country at my parents’.

EXFOLIATE Dalek washclothes, made from Schachenmayr Catania in ‘limette’ (for me) and ‘mandarine’ (for Saskia), 3.5mm needles. The name alone amuses me to no end. Seriously.

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K-9, made from scraps of Lana grossa Meilenweit in grey (leftovers from Time Warp Socks, which makes that nondescript grey ball the geekiest yarn I own!), and a tiny bit of some red merino of presumably Lana Grossa origin. 3.5mm needles, 3.5mm crochet hook.

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Saskia being fascinated by her new plushie:

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Ah, geekery. I kinda don’t wanna leave again, but tomorrow is volcano day, so to speak.

Speaking of Cpt Jack. I downloaded two of John Barrowman’s albums, Music, Music, Music and Another Side. They’re mostly covers of pop and musical songs, and I do like pop and musical, especially musicals, and I did know John Barrowman has been in what feels like every West End musical of the past two decades… and yet, I was still a bit skeptical, to say the least. The image of Captain Jack lingers, even after both reading and listening to his autobiography, and that image is not really compatible with… music. Of any sort.

But, like with the bio, I was positively surprised. Very much so, indeed. My favorites include ‘You’re so vain’, ‘Uptown Girl’, ‘Angel’ and ‘I am what I am’.  Especially ‘I am what I am’, which is not only from ‘La Cage aux Folles’, one of the gayest musicals ever, but is also this time sung by a gay man who’s had a pretty good career despite, or even because of never denying who he is. And that gives a girl like me hope, that in this world, not all is lost.

Same message in the autobiography, Anything goes. I ordered it the other day, and went through it close to the speed of light… great book.

It doesn’t exactly follow a timeline, which makes it hard to find specific events… but then, it has the effect that the Barrowman hopes for in the preface:

To be honest, here’s what I hope – that by arranging the book in this way, you’ll feel as if you and I are lounging in our pyjamas on the couch in my Cardiff living room, sharing a bottle of champagne or a pot of tea, with music on in the background, having a blether and a laugh about my life so far.

And he certainly succeeds with that. It’s got an intimate feel to it, possibly for the slightly rambling style that goes from here to there and gets sidetracked and digresses within the digression… and it has tons of footnotes. I love footnotes. Of any kind, but especially when they come in flocks like in this book, and give so much character to the writing. I mean, I sort of talk in footnotes sometimes. Anyone who includes a lot of them is automatically my friend. (I also like Terry Pratchett a lot for that exact reason, and a couple more.)

And it’s funny. Genuinely, laugh-out-loud funny. I giggled through whole pages, and sometimes couldn’t read them to my roomie because my fit of laughter would bubble back up and interrupt my reading. Stories of crazy actors, his family, his superstitions (on a scale from one to five, with five being obsessive compulsive, he claims to be an eight), Scott, his travels as a kid and now, practical jokes, Torchwood and Doctor Who sets… pretty much everything.

There’s three photo signatures, with photos from pretty much the last 35 years. Lots of private photos, photos from musical productions, and behind-the-scenes… the Torchwood people plus David Tennant, piled together on the couch for watching the first Torchwood broadcast, is probably my favorite picture of them all, even before the wedding picture of John, Scott and the dogs.

Under the title ‘Some things never change’, there’s also a page of John Barrowman mooning, spanning between the ages of approximately 9 and 40. *shakes head*

I knew a lot of stuff before I read this book, but this is, I think, mostly due to my having the audiobook, which is an abridged version, but awesome in its own right. Mostly because John Barrowman has a voice I could listen to for hours, and he’s a really lively narrator who really gets into the story and pulls you right in with him. Though it doesn’t necessarily take his reading to entrance you – he and his sister have done a wonderful job with this book. And the love for his work, his family, everything he does, really shines through, and when I was done reading, my smile lingered on for hours.

It’s a good book. Don’t let the terribly cheesy cover photograph scare you away.

The only thing that I might want to mention on the negative side is what tons of other people have already said before me: there are some parts where there’s a lot, and I mean a LOT of name-dropping. Like the time he got invited to Valentino’s yacht. But then, those stories are still wicked funny, so that’s excusable.

Holy crap, I’ve just cracked a wordcount of 1000 for this post. Well. Considering the fact that the other day, I had a bit of inspiration for a fanfic, and that barely made it to 500… that is pretty impressive. Ah, rambling.

I’d better go and assemble my cut-out TARDIS, to make the geeky day complete.

Silence is everywhere…

May 9, 2009 § 2 Comments

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Knit-tastic times over here at la casa da Patti.

Since my last entry, I started two pairs of socks and finished one and a half of them. Actually, I knit one sock of the Café Caramel, then I did both of the Walpurgis for Beltaine, and then I started back up on the CC socks the other night when I couldn’t keep my fingers still.

Walpurgis is pretty straightforward, with cables and straight lines in 3×2 rib. Very pretty color, if you ask me, and simple enough to knit even drunk. Zitron HandArt.
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Café Caramel is yet ANOTHER variation of the Wave pattern, adjusted to fit over 15 stitches. In a pretty, coffee and caramel-y color. Due to my yarn diet I’ve been actually knitting from my stash instead of buying new sock yarn, so. Yay.
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There’s actually another FO that stupid me forgot to take pictures of: Celina’s fingerless gaming mitts. They were a RIDICULOUSLY quick knit – maybe two, two and a half hours per mitt? Instant gratification, and took pretty much exactly 50g of yarn. So I immediately started another pair for myself. I’ve finished one mitt. Almost, that is. I have yet to put it together – I’m actually considering learning the three-needle bind-off for this. I crocheted Celina’s, and while it worked out ok, it wasn’t quite what I wanted. Christian says she loves them, and that she keeps teasing her boyfriend about her having awesome mitts with the Swiss flag on them while he doesn’t.

The SYS is also amazingly, blissfully done. It’s actually been done since the 4th or so, but it took me forever to find the time to block it, nevermind weaving in the ends. The weaving in took me 45 minutes of pure boredom, which is about half of “Keeping the Faith”, a cute romantic comedy with Edward Norton as a Catholic priest and Ben Stiller as a rabbi.

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And, you know, because I seem to be addicted to shawls, I started the Miralda Shawl from Knitted Lace of Estonia. I was prepared for the worst, after reading the Yarn Harlot’s account of casting on in a fashion that closely resembled the work of Sisyphos. I’m not gonna get cocky and tempt the Knitting Fates, but… at least I cast on the right number of stitches, with the yarn held double. Possibly because I placed markers every 20 stitches, plus different colored markers every 100, and I obsessively recounted. To be honest, I’m not sure if the yarn I chose will work out the way I want it to. It’s Zitron, and a lovely brown with one thread changing between yellow, turquoise, burgundy and brown, and up till now, it looks promising. But you never know. That’s one of the advantages of starting a shawl in the middle of the back – less stitches to rip back if it goes wrong after all. But we’ll see. I’m hopeful.

Speaking of hopeful: I taught my one Roomie (the one with the Argyle socks) to knit, and she already shows great promise by having said the magical words after just a couple of centimeters: ‘Yeah, just a moment, I’m just gonna finish this one row!’

It always makes my heart glad to hear stuff like that.

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