agents of p.a.r.t.y.

episode two of agents of s.h.i.e.l.d. airs tomorrow, but before i brace myself for that gut punch, let me back this bus up and tell you how the bf and i celebrated episode one.

we had a s.h.i.e.l.d. party. yes, really.

we received lanyards bearing our agent names, savored prosciutto and fresh mozzarella sandwiches (though i refused the pesto), drank dendrotoxin-blue drinks with umbrellas worthy of tahiti, enjoyed hydra-themed "vile villain" jellybeans (because tentacled sea witches back hydra, obviously), and disposed of eyeballs bearing sinister kill switches (pop rocks added authentic exploding sfx!).

so, what's with the easter eggs, you ask?

fluorescent marker messages plus black lights equal a "root out the hydra influence" hunt. it was cool.

much thanks go out to the bf for doing recon, stockpiling supplies and munitions, and performing admirably in the field. he proved his loyalty to the cause, and maybe even earned a promotion to level two!

now, of course, we have to secure the feels bunker in prep for tomorrow's onslaught. it'll be a doozy, i have no doubt.

this week i... (moody colors edition)

image (c) harpercollins

>> finished up the winterling trilogy with moonkind, which was good, but *stiff*. it has some fun characters and i enjoy the premise of nature-magic in other worlds, but there was always something keeping me from being totally engrossed. maybe it's that muted quality kirkus pointed out.

image (c) lu lu's

>> lusted after the ombré nails i've seen, because color gradients, yay! i don't have such a huge collection of polishes to quite capture a full spectrum, but i'm tempted to try a two-color version.

>> watched the mesmerizing ooziness of the monolitt art installation and was all like, "art and tech are awesome." seriously, watch the video, see what it does, and tell me you don't want to see a bigger, more colorful one in a city you love.

>> experienced the double mind-blow (all the way across the skyyy) while watching the season four trailer for korra. one, because the content. what. is. happening. two, because this shit starts NEXT WEEK. i know it's the final season and the end is nigh, but it's going to be a hell of a ride.

so, this was september: month of waiting. it started on a good note, with the completion of the winter rye socks, but everything since has been a bit of a slog: working on large-scale projects, waiting for shows to resume, waiting for special dates to do special things, waiting for packages to arrive.

now that october is in our sights it's time for epic holiday waiting. gotta plan a halloween party, get ready for a thanksgiving feast, finish everything needed for xmas, and reflect on the events of 2014. that said, mondays in october are going to feature ideas for halloween prep, so brace yourselves—something wicked this way comes.

concerning hobbit-a-longs

i recently crocheted my way through a third ball of yarn for the bed-butt cozy, and i gotta say, it felt good. here we are, a week away from october, and the purple strip of doom is about half done.

which is a damn good thing, because there's another time-sensitive project that's captured my attention lately.

yup, the third (and final! feels!) hobbit-a-long project has been cast on and it looks fabulous. knit with robins red breast from madelinetosh, the intense red with black overdye and reverse stockinette capture the essence of smaug: bold and sooty with all-over texture.

but while i'm happy with the combination of pattern and yarn, it's a bit sad to think that this will be the final time i set off on just such an adventure. sure, life can't all be ponies rides in may sunshine, but we were promised a road that goes on and on!

guess i'll just have to look through the pages of the lord of the rings/the hobbit-inspired patterns out there and queue one or two more to take the edge off. sadly, "appendixes-a-long" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

this week i... (shadows and light edition)

image (c) egmontusa

>> plumbed the depths of reality and fear in the amazingly wrought white space by ilsa bick. she pulled together such a compelling read about what is and what can be (and all the horrors that lurk in between) that i absolutely could not stop thinking about it, despite the terror and gore. sequel next year.

image (c) abc

>> stepped out of the shadows and into the light that is agents of s.h.i.e.l.d.'s second season premiere in four days. i've got plans for my tuesday night, and they involve prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, dendrotoxin-blue drinks, and find-the-centipedes games. no, really.

image (c) debbie bliss

>> walked from the harsh light of the bunker to the soft afternoon glow of the shire. sure, fine donegal was attempting to capture a scottish aesthetic with this collection, but the yarn is so perfectly autumnal and the styling is so hobbit that it simply can't be unseen. i'm primed for that adventure.

it looks like fall is seeping into summer's edges by way of grey, drizzly days and cooler nights. not that i'm complaining: i'm ready to break out the hand knits, start planning my winter projects (all the shawls! all the sweaters!), and start dreaming of all the great seasonal foods (cider, donuts, hot chocolate, apples...).

tell me you didn't just swoon a little.

season's bounty

can we all take a moment to appreciate the plethora of awesome fall patterns hitting ravelry of late?

image (c) yellowcosmo

welcome semptember, by yellowcosmo

is this not the quintessential fall cardigan? muted harvest tones, cosy texture, comfortable fit, leafy motif. i'll take one with a late afternoon stroll through the turning trees and a steaming mug of cocoa, please. yellowcosmo, you know what's good.

image (c) knitscene

thyri, by hilary smith callis

hey, kohls, i've found my yes for this fall. i love the color, obviously, but also the length, the simple texture, the built-in hand warmers, and the ease with which you could shift it from dressed up to bumming around. wearable and fuss-free.

image (c) knitscene

hanne, by joann rogers

in the same vein, this one is just as wearable, though just a bit more relaxed. i could see myself wearing this in overly-air conditioned offices, restaurants, and stores all season if knit in a color that goes with anything.

image (c) rosarios 4

re-use sweater, by rosarios 4

that cabling. almost sporty (as heavily-textured sweaters go), classic, and something i need in my wardrobe. tragically, i don't read the language this pattern was released in, and thus will have to go without for now. i suppose i'll make do admiring it with my eyes.

image (c) stitch seekers

tron, by lotta groeger

there were several great patterns in the most recent stitch seekers release, but the lace/texture combo of this shawl really grabbed me. it's big, it's bold, and it's playful in just the right way. if i didn't already have a shawl waiting in the wings to be cast on, i might consider adding tron to the "cast on without regret" queue.

so that's what jumped out at me as the highlights of september's new patterns. of course, i've still got the giant blanket to finish in time for xmas and the shawl to start and finish before the battle of five armies, but it never hurts to look, right? look, and not succumb, that is.

what patterns have got you going?