Peacock Honey Hat

I never thought I’d finish this, even though it didn’t take so long in retrospect. It’s just that while actually knitting, the miles of K3P1 were about to kill me.

This is not the miles of K3P1

In the end, it turned out well. I finished most of it off on the flight back from Seattle, and spent my first Saturday back home in Chicago swearing at my yarn and dpns, as you do. Now all that remains is the blocking, which I will do this weekend, and the mailing to my sister, which I will do when it’s dry.

I loved the yarn, which was Malabrigo Rastita in Peacock, and have enough leftover for a mini project or two. Making myself a headband with <a href=”http://noidlehandswithyarn.blogspot.com/2011/04/gabby-headband-pattern.html”>this pattern</a>, and then maybe being a good cat mommy and knitting some catnip toys for his imperial majesty.

The hat is Madelinetosh’s Honey Hat pattern. I didn’t make any mods, except the accidental kind. Because that’s how I roll.

Save It for the Coffee Shop Philosophers

Work sent me to Seattle last week, and here’s a newsflash: it doesn’t rain there nearly as much as they claim it does. It sprinkled one morning, and there was a downpour Thursday afternoon (this, naturally, was the only day this week I wore my 2.5 inch wedges instead of my ballet flats) but other than that, it was bright, sunny and gorgeous.

In my spare time, I shopped. The coworkers I was with are from out of the country, so I spent an extreme amount of time in shopping malls and actually went to Ross Dress for Less three times in the space of two days. But I also forced them to go to Pike Place Market, Seattle Center, and we went to the Seattle Art Museum, too.

On the last day, when they went hiking, I went back out shopping myself. For yarn. You saw this coming, didn’t you?

First, I continued my obsession with Malabrigo yarn with a skein of sock yarn:

Malabrigo Sock Yarn in Primavera, Image c/o Fabulous Yarn

This is going to be a hat, specifically the Sockhead Hat. The slouchy ribbed hat I got last year is starting to show some wear, so it’s time for a new one.

Also got this:

Madelinetosh DK in Nebula, Image c/o Knitterly

No idea what it’s going to be yet, but I love the color. It’s my favorite. I might use it for another pair of fingerless gloves, or just make myself the same honey cowl I made my mom.

Both skeins were purchased at Weaving Works in the U District, where they also taught me how to wind my yarn! Which only went partly okay.

Pity the Fool

Television Without Pity is shutting down! Also Daily Candy, but words cannot express how little I care about that.

Television Without Pity, though, was an integral part of my tv viewing for a number of years. I did not watch an episode of either Alias or Veronica Mars without also reading the recaps. The Alias recaps were better; Erin’s recaps were so good that she was actually featured on the commentary track for one of the season dvd sets (nope, can’t remember which one). I even followed Sarah Bunting from TWOP to her own blog at Tomato Nation.

There’s no denying that TWOP lost some of its edge after NBC Universal bought it. It was defanged, slightly, the snark toned down. It wasn’t as fun, but I still read it as long as I was in tv fandoms. I haven’t been in tv fandoms in a long time now, haven’t watched much tv for the last several years – other than a painful stint in the Supernatural fandom – so TWOP stopped being a site I followed. Still, this is the end of an era. TWOP was one of the first sites – if not the first – that really took tv viewing seriously.

I don’t know if recaps are a thing anymore. I’d suspect that people aren’t centralizing them as much – they’re finding them on blogs or on tumblrs. Maybe a site like TWOP isn’t necessary.

I would, however, read every word Erin wrote about Sleepy Hollow. And I probably would have bothered keeping up with the show if I’d been reading snarktastic recaps.

Stages of Adulthood

I have a theory that there are three stages of adulthood as pertains to home decor and other assorted home related shopping

 

  • Stage 1: You get really excited about sheets and rugs. This starts when you go off to college for the first time, go to Target/Wal-Mart/big box store of choice and ooh and ahh over purple floral sheets, fluffy towels and mod runners. You buy poster prints at the college bookstore and make wall art collages with decorations from Party City.

    Or maybe that last one was just me.

  • My platonic ideal sheets were purple chrysanthemum print from Target. These aren’t them.

  • Stage 2: Suddenly, you find yourself wandering through Crate and Barrel and Williams Sonoma on a regular basis. You buy a tea kettle in your favorite color. You know exactly what color of Le Creuset you would buy if you could bring yourself to spend $400 on a pot.

    I could never bring myself to spend $400, so I have a 30 year old mustard yellow one that’s probably better anyway

  • Stage 3: You get excited because your new Bissell CleanView vacuum cleaner actually picks up the cat hair.

    It doesn’t even blink at the cat hair.

    I am at least aware of what a sad person this makes me.

Montgomery Fingerless Mitts

If I don’t have music on while I’m knitting, I’ll end up humming “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” As far as I can tell, this says one of two things about me:

  1. I have latent subconscious fantasies of knitting socks for my sweetheart in the Union Army
  2. Knitting is war

With this project, it was definitely the latter. The whole thing is knitted on double pointed needles, of course, which are also known as my enemy. Many stitches were dropped, many curses were invented, much muted screaming happened in the late hours of the night, but eventually it worked out.

In progress, or when it resembles a fantasy novel weapon more than a knitting project

Finished and on as I was waiting for my hair dye to finish cooking.

Posing for their closeup

The pattern is pretty cute, which I can say now that I’m done swearing at yarn, and can be found here.

Things I Have Purchased Under the Assumption that Winter Will End

  1. Cobalt blue maxi skirt, Nordstrom:
  2. Relatedly, gray jersey maxi skirt, Gap:
  3. I Want My Blue Sky t-shirt, Threadless:
  4. Seasons t-shirt, Threadless:
  5. Charlie Skinny Jean in Patchwork, Lucky Jeans:

 

Is anyone good enough for Veronica Mars?

As advertised, I trooped downtown in below freezing weather (because, again, winter will never actually end) to see the 11:00am showing of the Veronica Mars movie on Sunday. The theatre was packed, which was a little surprising for an early morning showing of a limited release movie that was funded by a Kickstarter campaign. Then again – maybe we shouldn’t underestimate the power of fandom.

In any case, it was amazing.  A lot of the problem late in the series (season three on) was because Veronica was no longer in high school, and Rob Thomas hadn’t quite figured out how to transcend that. That problem’s taken care of in the movie by taking place nine years later. Veronica is a graduate of Columbia Law and left Neptune behind long ago. She has a long-term picture perfect boyfriend in Piz, who was Wallace’s roommate at Hearst College in season three (and unrelatedly, the character I got in a What Veronica Mars Character Are You? quiz). Then Logan Echolls calls, accused of murdering his pop singer girlfriend, and Veronica is right back in the thick of it in the seedy beach town she escaped from.

It was everything I wanted and it actually had my brain back in that giddy, buzzy, fangirl-y place all over again.

There’s been some online discussion recently about whether there was ever any boy in the original series who was really worthy of Veronica. It’s had me thinking for the last couple of days, and I think that person who said it is right. I don’t think any of the boys in Neptune were good enough for a girl and then woman of Veronica Mars’ caliber. But that was then, and this is now. Nine years have passed, and a lot of growing up has happened.

The big aircraft carrier sized ship in the Veronica Mars fandom has always been Veronica and Logan Echolls, who hooked up at the end of season one and lived a tumultuous, fiery existence through the rest of the series. It was a classic case of two people who couldn’t stay away from each other, and that fact remains true even nine years later – ultimately, after all, it’s Logan who manages to get Veronica back home again. I never shipped it. I was actually steadfastly resistant to shipping it. I wrote fanfic pairing them with pretty much every other potential significant other, and that was largely because, as much as I loved Logan, I thought Veronica deserved better.

Fast forward. Nine years have passed in radio silence, as Logan himself puts it, and Veronica has packed her previous life away into boxes and plowed through Stanford and Columbia. She’s on the verge of embarking on a big New York law career. She’s in a steady relationship with a charming, understanding, seriously nice adult man who almost certainly doesn’t regularly go into rages and get into fights. Life should be perfect, but you immediately don’t get the feeling that Veronica is happy.

And then there’s Logan. Logan himself has gone through a lot of changes. He’s a Navy pilot, for one, which isn’t a career I would have ever imagined for him. He describes his relationship with his dead former girlfriend as more akin to being a sponsor than a boyfriend, and – most stunningly – he has a firm grip on his temper. Logan has a lot of shit on his plate during the entire movie, and somehow gets through it while instigating only one fistfight (tellingly, this is over the sex tape that ended Veronica’s sojourn in Neptune nine years before). He takes responsibility for his actions and takes his actual responsibilities seriously.  Veronica herself spends a lot of the movie dodging calls from the law firm where she’s accepted a job, but Logan, in contrast, is pretty firm about adhering to his responsibilities to the Navy.  He’s grown up, and he’s grown up better than you might have expected him to.

For the first time, after watching this movie, I really did ship this pairing. No, it’s not going to be dramatic and romantic and the stuff of William Shakespeare. But it’s going to be good, and Logan Echolls is finally a man good enough for Veronica Mars. Enough so that, unlike Lindsey Bahr at EW, the movie was enough to switch me to Team Logan.

But let’s be realistic: the only real team anyone should be on is Team Veronica.

HEY GUYS

You know what I’m doing tomorrow?

That’s right, I will be heading all the way downtown (a true sacrifice on St. Pat’s weekend in Chicago, let me tell you) to see the Veronica Mars movie.

Veronica Mars was one of the first shows I stuck with even though no one else I knew – online or offline – was watching it, and this rare moment of stubbornness on my part was because it was just that good. I spent two years being grumpy at Lost because, in those days before dvrs, Lost was killing Veronica’s ratings, and Veronica Mars was the far better show. Especially in the first two seasons.

The first two seasons took place in a Southern California small town high school that illustrated the haves and have nots of modern America better than any show before or since. The characters were either fabulously wealthy or they worked for the fabulously wealthy, and the disparity was never clearer than in the halls of Neptune High School. Veronica was a girl with foot in each of the worlds, but mostly in the have not side. She had an effective armor built from sarcasm, sass and inner steel that got her through her days as a target from the popular set.

And she solved crime, particularly the crime of her best friend’s brutal murder.

The third season didn’t work as well, and I was only an occasional viewer when the show finally went off the air, but when I found out there was a movie, I went straight back to those days when Veronica Mars was the highlight of the week.

Pink Shoes

These are sneakers.

I haven’t gotten to wear sneakers for something like three months, because Chicago has been buried in a pile of snow, covered in a layer of ice, covered in another pile of snow, covered in more…well, you get the picture. It’s sucked. By the beginning of February I was completely over it, and then we had another month and a half of it (It was ten degrees when I got back from Texas. I was the opposite of happy). At that point I went beyond over and was just at the point where I despised the weather outside with every fiber of my being.

One of the things that was really getting to me was the fact that I had to wear the same pair of boots – Frye Harness 12Rs that I’ve had for half a decade – pretty much every single day. They’re the only shoes I have that can stand up to the amount of cold and wet we’ve been dealing with, they’re entirely broken in, and they go with everything. I’m completely sick of them. They’re one of the things I growl at in the morning when I get dressed.

(Other things I growl at in the morning include but are not limited to: my hair in the bathroom mirror, the pile of dishes I should have done last night, and cans of cat food.)

But it’s here! It’s spring! I can wear pink shoes again without my feet getting entirely soaked! I got to switch to my lighter coat and only wore  a hat this morning! The end’s in sight!

Except for one minor detail: It’s snowing tomorrow.

Again.

My name is Amanda, and I have a yarn problem

One of my online friends is a big knitter. We met through a journal-based RPG – which she recently left – and one of her characters was an even bigger knitter. Sophie would knit all the complex projects that S. couldn’t manage, and sometimes S. would share patterns and gorgeous yarns with me when she was planning her own (or her character’s) projects. It was enough to make me wish I could knit, but I held off.

Partly I held off because I’d always felt awkward growing up, trying to learn crafts. My maternal grandmother was a home ec teacher and an avid crocheter, and both she and my mother could sew. I was terrible at sewing. I was okay at plastic canvas needlepoint, but had a tendency to sew the yarn through the wrong way requiring my mother’s help in fixing it, and I was cursed with hands that tend to shake as a matter of course. Knitting, I figured, just wouldn’t go well, something that I just got more evidence for when I bought a book and couldn’t figure out how the hell to cast on. Still, I decided to take a class, and as it turned out, I was wrong: I’m actually pretty good at knitting. Since January I’ve made three scarves and a hat, and right now I’m working on another hat – for my younger sister.

I’ve also discovered the problem that all knitters should warn new adopters about: yarn is really damn pretty. I particularly have a problem with Malabrigo, which is ridiculously beautiful hand-dyed wool yarn from Uruguay. My sister’s hat is being made out of this:

Malabrigo Rastita 146 Peacock, Image c/o FabulousYarn.com

I made a fantastic moss stitch scarf out of this:

Malabrigo Aquarella Paysandu, Image c/o FabulousYarn.com

And then last week, when I was supposed to take my second knitting class – on fingerless gloves, because I buy them on etsy and then tragically leave them on the bus and in taxicabs – I ended up picking up another skein:

Malabrigo Worsted Red Mahogany, Image c/o Etsy

Even though there was a slight comedy of errors and the teacher didn’t know there was supposed to be a class that night.  Hey, now I have the yarn in advance, amirite? Totally a legitimate reason.

I’m still not allowed in a yarn store until I take that class. And I’m not allowed to buy my yarn until I use up the skiens I have earmarked for projects already.