happy halloween!

i'm back from the dead just in time to celebrate today's spooktacular, for which we are so prepared. pumpkins, festive decor, candy, harvesty treats, a dorky movie, and nothing to do but chill out.

 no doubt the scariest thing about this year's holiday catching up on everything i fell behind on over the past week. no knitting, no crochet, no blogging, barely anything creative at all—bleh. glad that shit's over for a while, and hope to spending this weekend making up for lost time.

have an excellent time with your tricking and/or treating!

this week i... (50% more free edition)

no retreat, no surrender!
image (c) reel fx

>> massively enjoyed the book of life, which was more than just a pretty visuals. this movie wanted to have fun, and it did. there are plenty of laughs along the way from life to death and back, but by far the best came after the first full bullfight. all the luls.

image (c) toei animation

>> watched sailor venus show them all how it's done in the highly-anticipated act 8 of crystal. minako was always one of my favorite scouts, and the idea of her being the princess serenity is pretty cool, seeing as how she was the first to gain her powers and start kicking butt. two weeks until the mooooooon!

image (c) trigger

>> had a go of the fall season's well-received anime, starting with when supernatural battles became commonplace. frankly, commonplace is the only way to describe it. sure, the kids gain odd powers without DESTINY! attached, but it's still one boy and four girls do wacky things in an after school club. meh.

image (c) mappa

>> rage of bahamut, on the other hand, i loved. it's a high-fantasy western set in italy (?) with a roguish protag and a background plot of "magical armageddon". there's improbable fight scenes, pokemon-meets-yugioh bounty hunting, a kick-ass magical female, and the growth of a demon tail on a human to wrap things up. what's not to love?

>> had the usual fangasm after seeing the age of ultron trailer. there's not much to say about this one aside from how much it makes all marvel cinematic universe fans want may 2015 to be next month. i'll even overlook the oddity of ultron being a disney fan and knowing all about "i've got no strings."

image (c) hyperion

>> said my goodbyes to the demigod crew of reading the blood of olympus. it was a solid read, it packed in a lot of plot and even some character development, and it ended well. i'm absolutely sure riordan will write a short story or two about some of the looser ends, but things are left in a good place

wow, this week had some much stuff it made every other this week i look bad. of course, with so much geek crammed into seven days there wasn't quite as much knitting or yarn-related activity as i'd like. receiving my first yarn club package was great and finishing the shawl was awesome, but what i'm really craving now is something new. now that the days have cooled off and the nights carry a bit of chill, it'd be great to curl up with a hot chocolate and some fresh yarn.
before that dream can become a reality, though, i've got to put in some time with the bed-butt cozy. it has four skeins in it, but three to go and only two months until xmas. i'm going to need some self-discipline between now and december.

>> fast-forward friday >>

though it hasn't been long since it was last featured on the blog, i'm happy to provide a status update for shawl, chiefest and greatest: it is done-done.

and it looks good.

as has been mentioned, this pattern was knit as part of knit 1 geek 2’s third (and final!) hobbit-a-long in anticipation of the battle of three armies' december premiere. it's been fun to knit through my excitement for bilbo traipsing (who are we kidding? running for his damn life) all over middle earth these past few years, though this being the last hurrah makes it bittersweet. sure, there are tons of awesome tolkien-inspired patterns out there, but there won't be the same motivation to make them.

speaking of patterns, this one is umbel, by andrea halasi. i knit it mostly as written, with three major exceptions. first, i added four extra umbels, which increased the size and added the extra bit of fandom flaunting: one umbel each for thirteen dwarves, one hobbit, and one wizard. exactly the kind of geek shit you'd expect from a fandom knit-a-long.

second, i twisted all the knit stitches of the umbels to make them distinct from the purl background. well, that and i hate gappy-looking ribbing. third, i left off the picot edging. i was going for a span of dragon wings, and little spikelets would detract from the smooth, leathery edge i'd envisioned.

all of this lead to a very satisfying end product, which i will wear to the movie theater (and wherever else i please) with pride! and every time i wrap it around my shoulders you can be sure i'm thinking "my wings are a hurricane!"

because damn, this bright red beauty had better twirl some heads.

gettin' lucky

in september i asked myself some hard questions: do i go to a yarn event? do i join a yarn club?

i never did make it to that event, but i sure as hell joined the club.

corrie sock in lucky

that twist of happiness right there met me at the mailbox courtesy of sheepy time knits' spechul snowflake yarn club, which caters to the picky yarnies out there. every other month the dyer creates two colorways available on available on a variety of bases for members to choose from—your yarn, your way.

for the october package i had a choice of a self-striping in bright pinks (nope!) or the bright pop of green with darker speckling i opted for, named lucky. it was so bold and looked so good in fingering weight that i didn't even pause to consider before deciding. the green, it would be mine.

it arrived just yesterday, instantly improving my mood, and fulfilled my expectation. vivid and pretty, i'm happy to add it to my wee babbie stash.


the base is 100% corriedale in fingering weight, a fiber i've never worked with before. it's incredibly dense and has a definite sproing to it, but also possesses a kind of crispness i've noticed in bfl. what i'll do with it, who can say? maybe socks, possibly a shawl... i've seen at least one pattern that it'd be perfect for, but we'll see what strikes me when obligational items are done.

i'm already eager to see what the choices for december's package are!

craft countdown: halloween is coming really damn soon

back in september i decided it would be an excellent idea to do a series craft-related halloween posts, because why not? one post went up, time went on, reality caught up with me, and now the night of tricks and treats is less than two weeks away. whoops.

but before it's entirely too late to be relevant, i figured i'd highlight a few more cool things you could do before november is upon us:

image (c) simply delicious

poisoned candy apples via simply delicious

these would look eerily awesome on any snack table with that liquid shine tempting guests to take a bite.

such cute ghosts!
image (c) mr. printables

geometric ghost boxes via mr. printables

squee! these ghosts are adorable, and the use of waxed paper is a genius way to suggest translucence.

image (c) say yes

diy boo bags via say yes

yet another entry in the "cuuuuute!" category, these little sacks are sweet enough to make up for how involved they'd be to create en masse.

image (c) make it & love it

pumpkin jars via make it & love it

and then there are these bad boys. points for up-cycling, but the process could probably be simplified by using a different type of paint and eliminating the wire handles.

as ever, my grand plans for an excellent halloween season have been overshadowed by the reality of being a grownup: strands of colored lights are up, a small tablescape is on display, candy corn is in the house, and pumpkin marshmallows have topped all my hot chocolates, but the i haven't taken the time and energy to do everything i'd hoped. better get cracking on the cookie-baking and party-planning this coming weekend.