this week i... (grit and lace edition)

image (c) lionsgate

>> vicariously participated in the third quarter quell courtesy of catching fire. despite fan love of these movies, i remain underwhelmed by them, but keep watching out of...completist compulsion. i do wonder how the two-movie adaptation of mockingjay will fare, considering the sheer hell every character goes through before the ashes green over.

image (c) marvel

>> picked up an american comic for a change, since there's been good buzz about ms. marvel. i liked it—the art style especially—and will keep reading, but i have no clue wtf is up with kamala's random shifting. don't mind this n00b, watching marvel movies and s.h.i.e.l.d. and ignoring the comics.

image (c) linus ouellet

>> burned through the twist collective spring/summer 2014 issue, eagerly drinking in the fresh colors and textures. i admit there wasn't a lot i felt compelled to cast on, but it was good to take inspiration for the warm weather season. always good to have some ideas floating around the back of your head when summer starts discouraging thoughts of sweaters and socks.

>> discovered that i very much don't like saccharine cozy mysteries about quaint seaside towns with quaint folks and quaint yarn shops where quaint women pull together and decide whodunit over shellfish fettuccine and wine. maybe i just got a bad one (and it was a stretch to enjoy a book in this vein, anyway), but ugh.

to cleanse my brain of the overwrought similes and repetitive paragraphs, i'm treating myself to a day out. time to plug back into the world with some farmer's marketing, downtown window shopping, and (obviously) browsing of knitting materials. i definitely feel the need for a recharge, and this should be just the thing.


if at fourth you don't succeed, rip that motherfscker out.

upon encountering yet another round of inexplicable errors on bonsai after having such success with summer rye, i conceded my failure to the universe.

this shawl might not have worked out, but i wasn't about to give up on the idea; after wrangling my wad of ramen into a ball, i immediately hit ravelry's advanced pattern browser in search of a new candidate.

unsurprisingly, the source of my persistence is geeky. see, there's this manga/anime series titled mushishi about a guy who wanders the countryside studying mushi (picture bug/bacteria/fungus/spirit mash-ups) and the phenomena they cause. some of the most compelling stories deal with mushi related to snow, ice, winter, etc., and our protagonist happens to wear a simple, purple scarf in several of them.

image (c) kondansha

armed with only that background it might not be immediately obvious why i was drawn to the ginkgo shawlette. it's got an organic motif, true, but nothing else to link it to a simple piece of deep color starkly contrasted against snow.

that is, until you learn that mushishi's protagonist is named ginko, after which point it makes perfect sense to have read the pattern through, done some furious math, and cast on immediately. especially if you also know that mushishi aired as a 26-episode series eight years ago and has only recently begun airing its second season (dreams come true!).

so, knitting a shawl in the same color family as a garment worn by a fictional character that also shares a name with said character through the duration of said character's return to television? impressive layers of geek-ception, i feel.

and this shawl is thus far going so much more smoothly than its predecessor. i dare to hope for success, but hope the universe turns a blind eye to my hubris for a little while longer.

easter, observed

in the grand tradition of celebrating odd holidays outsiders don't understand, this past weekend i was away for fake easter: easter food and candy before the official date, because reasons.

and in the grand tradition of trips away, choosing knitting to take along was serious business. yeah, so it was only going to be a few days, but there were three strong contenders to consider: the sock, the shawl, and the coasters. did i want to bring a small project that could be picked up and put down with ease or a larger project that would benefit from exclusive extra attention to make progress? one thing to dedicate myself to or many to bounce between?

suffering from indecision, i turned to the bf. apparently his one degree of separation from the pretties allowed for harsher judgement; he declared in no uncertain terms that i would only have time for one.

i wound up taking only summer rye along, somewhat unconvinced i'd feel like working on it. i mean, socks are okay and all, but sorta the steady, childhood friend of knitting compared to the diversity and sophistication of shawls (other opinions are available).

nevertheless i knit on the socks after my initial post-car-trip recovery (this involved the ambrosia that is pizza). i knit on them while we watched catching fire (meh). i knit on them while ham was baking and potatoes were boiling (sweet mother of baby yarns, yes). i knit on them while random tv and conversation lulled us deeper into a food coma (there is so much bad television). i knit on them during a viewing of a study in pink (what was up with the lighting in that ep?). i even put a few rows in after repacking my bag and readying to head home.

i knit on this sock so much that at last count it had 1.5 inches to go before needing a heel, or as my mom put it, i pretty much knit the whole sock while there.

guess it just goes to show how humble socks, with their rounds and rounds of sameness can be exactly what you need. also, looks like i need to take more weekend trips. apparently i'm wildly productive on them!

this week i... (unseasonable weather edition)

image (c) disney

>> finally got around to watching frozen in an attempt to see what all the crazy was about. i will say that it was pretty to look at and fun; i only cringed at a few clunky bits of dialogue that is seriously not going to survive the test of time. do i feel that this was disney's most progressive feminist film? no. not in the least. brave (which i expounded upon here) did it better.

image (c) square fish

>> allowed myself to be sucked into another ya fantasy series, shadow and bone, which was very absorbing with its in-depth magi-political intrigue and cast of compelling characters. i've got the next book waiting in the wings and am hoping (possibly against hope) that it doesn't disappoint.

image (c) p.a. works

>> caught the finale of nagi asu, the ridiculous rom-dram about life, love, and the sea. which is a gross over-generalization of a show that followed angsty middle-schoolers as they fell for their childhood friends, hibernated during an alleged calamity, and wake up to a (slightly) changed world. i don't regret watching it, but i also don't mourn its passing.

cuter in real life

>> encountered the adorable giant bunny peeps and was struck dumb by their inescapable cuteness. rainbows and sparkles flashed before my eyes, and i came back into myself unsure how i ever got by without their dapper bow ties and carrots.

the peeps are particularly appropriate, as i'm celebrating easter a week early to contend with rubbish scheduling over actual easter. i'm here with my peeps great and small, boatloads of chocolate, jellybeans, and pastel m&ms, ready for the festivities to get underway.

i'll see you when i manage to climb out of the ensuing sugar coma.

good effort

pressing on in times of adversity is supposed to be an admirable trait, so this week i stubbornly boldly picked up where i'd left off last time bonsai was mentioned: reknitting nearly half of chart one in hopes of achieving the proper stitch count and executing the yarnover increases properly.

last night i completed what i thought was the final chart repeat and counted my stitches.

another failed color capture

take three guesses how that turned out. no, really.

once again things were wonky and i'm not really sure how it happened. the stitch count was off, but both the bf and i calculated that there was no mathematical way to rip back to a point with the right count and the right ending row (increase four stitches on the rs, two on the ws but off ten or so stitches. ...what?)

in the end i did what the pros do: i fudged the crap outta it. i've got at least one extra pattern repeat and only increased by two stitches on the latest rs, but things are back where they should be and i can stop worrying about it so freaking hard. i can just blissfully knit on without car—

oh shit, that's right. i need beads to proceed. i don't have beads to proceed. i couldn't get the beads i wanted to proceed last time i was at the craft store.

time to go crochet something.


sometimes the universe tries to send you a subtle message, but you stuff point protectors in your ears and carry on anyway. in response, the universe—now somewhat irritated—starts fucking your shit up as an object lesson.

screw you too.

consider this lesson learned, universe!

at the start of the new year i resolved to knit more socks, then proceeded to finish the second flutterby sock, the bf's belated xmas present, and cast on a simple pair of socks for me. observable progress made, i decided it was time to start something new as a counterpoint to tiny stitches of doom.

this seemed like a practical move to avoid sock burnout but apparently the universe was unimpressed, because it sent subtle messages to dissuade casting on:

midsummer aran: have yarn and pattern; discovered the us3 and us5 needles i own aren't the right length. kinda forgot that it matters after knitting so many cardigans...

apis dorsata: have yarn and pattern; need us1 needles. nova cubix (love those things!) only goes as small as us1.5

bonsai: have yarn, needles, and pattern; have no workable beads in stash and the local store only has one tube in stock

not to be deterred, i planned to knit bonsai as far as i could, then put it aside while i tracked down enough beads to proceed. i cast on and knit through the entirety of chart one without obvious issue before the universe moved on to its object lesson.

my camera failed with this color...

not sure how i managed it, but everything was wrong: the stitch count was off, the stitch pattern didn't line up, the yarnover increases weren't properly executed... it was suddenly so obvious that i must have been in subconcious denial the first time, and it was not going to be fixed by some clever fudging.

i ripped. i ripped inches, reducing my progress to about 60% of chart one. it sucked and i'm still working to catch back up, but things are turning out much more satisfactorily this go-round. i'm sure i'll appreciate the extra effort in the end. until that point, however, i'm going to be grumbling about you, universe. grumbling and knitting along, searching for the perfect beads in the interim.

this week i... ('hot right now' edition)

image (c) feiwel & friends

>> thought i was reaching the climax of the lunar chronicles by reading cress, only to find out that this is one of those newfangled four-part young adult series. grats to marissa meyer for not only writing an engaging set of books, but also trolling fans who have grown accustomed to the trilogy format! the fourth book, winter, comes out next year. (p.s. - cress/thorne, otp)

>> drank in all the pretty colors via knit picks spring catalog. though i have no need for yarn in the foreseeable future, it was gratifying to see all the seasonal tones on display and remind myself that winter is over. this reminder is accompanied by another that emphasizes that i do not need any more yarn, not even stroll brights.

image (c) bones
image (c) a-1 pictures

>> bade farewell to noragami and silver spoon, two anime series i really enjoyed this season. the former was heavy on the laughs and the difficulty accepting loss and change (so profound, eh?), while the latter balanced the possibilities of youth with the harsher realities of modern farm life (such depth!); it was refreshing to escape the myriad romcoms, fight shows, and otaku bait out there.

but, of course, the big news of the week was...

image (c) marvel studios

>> seeing captain america: the winter solider! without revealing any spoilers i can say exactly two things: this movie is action from start to finish, so strap in, and ohmygawdohmygawdohmygawd, where does anything fscking go from here!? after shit goes down, nothing is the same. my little mind will continue to explode until phase two concludes and there are other insane developments to distract me.

i don't pretend to understand the whims of the universe, but it definitely seems like a transition period has begun: tons of new stuff has come out in the past week, several things have reached their end, and there's a whole load of upcoming events to look forward to (yarn projects, geeky movies, holidays, weather). before i get all caught up in what's to come, i'm going to relax this weekend and mentally prepare for the onslaught of spring.