Saturday, July 18, 2009

Extra, extra! Read all about US!

I have to take a moment, and brag- just a little. The Knitmore Girls- the podcast I co-host - was mentioned in a piece in the Herald Tribune. I saw it and let out a squeal of delight so high-pitched that the dogs got all excited, too. Then, I may have done my Sally Field impression. Just maybe.

[Andrew was less excited, since he was asleep. Sorry! He was appropriately enthusiastic when he was more awake.]

You can read the article here.

Speaking of men in vests...

I'm going to harken back to the late '90s, and remind you that there was a man so bold as to wear a vest on network television. A man SO bold as to wear a vest, on television, shirtless.

That man is none other than Kevin Sorbo. Go ahead, laugh; I do. Not many men can pull off the shirtless vest, but I assure you, Kevin Sorbo is in those ranks. I have been powering through Hercules: The Legendary Journeys via my favorite medium for cheesy, B-Movies: Netflix Instant Watch.

Maybe it's his epic chest. Maybe it's the tight pants. Perhaps it's the Microsoft Paint special effects equivalent. Maybe it's the Hasselhoffing (definition #6). Maybe it's the timeless quotability, including classic lines like, "Slavery is just WRONG" and "I'm not just a piece of meat". Sing it, Herc.

It could very well be the intense cheese factor; take Captain Hammer, stick him in a wheel of brie, bake him, sprinkle him with toasted almonds, and he still doesn't measure up to the cheese factor that is Kevin Sorbo as Hercules.

To be fair (and balanced!), I've also queued Xena: Warrior Princess. The icing on the Herculean cake *might* be the fact that Lucy Lawless was a random red-shirty-slave-girl in an early episode, becomes Xena, then dons the hyper-masculine Romulan shoulder accoutrement. (By the way, Lucy Lawless? Crazy long legs. I even liked her as a cylon.)

No apologies, no excuses, just, "Hey, Lucy Lawless is super-hot. Let's make her a superhero." That's exactly the kind of decision making I like to see in my entertainment. Forget about continuity, just cast all willy nilly, get drunk, and write dialogue.

Hm. Sounds kind of like my dream job. Think Christian Williams needs a hand?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Stage 13 - Tour de Fleece

Team Spinmore, stage 13.

As your fearless Yellow Jersey spinner, I feel it is only fair to give an update. (You know, since radios were banned. The ban has been lifted, as of yesterday. That's what I'm blaming the blog silence on. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.) Can you hear me now?

So, my progress: I have finished Leg 1 and Leg 2 of my Tour de Fleece goals. The Mango has been plied and skeined, the Albatross has been plied and is waiting for Andrew to skein it. (His socks, he skeins. Totally fair.)

But, I have wandered off of the path, taken a side route, if you will, had a picnic under a tree, took a nap, smelled some roses, and am slowly wandering back towards the race. Lance Armstrong, I am not.

Part of my diversion from the challenge - which I planned into my goals, by the way - is that I am spinning some STUNNING tussah silk from A Verb for Keeping Warm (in Vermillion II). I am spinning it fine, and if yardage yields, it will grow up to be an Aeolian.

I know that I have limited time to meet my goal, but by pacing myself, I know I'll finish and not burn out, pull a hamstring, or cause a peloton pileup. Of spinners. Metaphorically speaking.

Until then, spinners, back to our wheels! Remember, safety first- take regular stretch breaks, ice if necessary, and most of all, stay hydrated.

Friday, July 10, 2009

What is it about a man in a vest?

While working on my Tour de Fleece projects, I've been working my way through a couple of new TV shows- including The Mentalist. I tripped across it by accident (and given my affinity for Psych, decided to give it a chance), and I have to say... wow.

Now, I'm not going to Clark Kent all over it because suspension of disbelief is part of the joy that is television. So, you're not going to get another attack of the implausible [noun] this time.

First- Simon Baker/Patrick Jane has the best Botox-ed forehead EVER. An un-paralyzed forehead has nothing on him- and even (shockingly) looks unnatural. Weird, right?

Second- he wears a VEST. Seriously. Evidently, vests aren't just for ushers and magicians anymore. He might be the only man on television who wears a vest, but I'll be damned if he doesn't rock it.

(Talking about underrated accessories- Mom pointed out that Gabrielle Anwar rocks a fanny pack on Burn Notice. Take that, you fanny pack haters!)

I'm sure the discussion that made that wardrobe decision went something like this:

Wardrobe Person #1: We want him to be different. Quirky.
Wardrobe Person #2: Maybe we should have him wear obnoxious ties, or a belt buckle, or mismatched socks!
Wardrobe Person #1: Nah, that's been done on Bones. And Criminal Minds.
Wardrobe Person #2: Hm. Since he works with law enforcement, maybe it should be a special tie.
Wardrobe Person #1: No way. They're California law enforcement. Nobody in California wears a tie to work.
Wardrobe Person #2: Flip flops?
Wardrobe Person #1: Flip flops aren't shoes. We need something that says, "Hey, I respect my work AND I'm unconventional."
Wardrobe Person #2: I know. A VEST. Nobody wears a vest anymore!
Wardrobe Person #1: GENIUS.

And so it was. The Vested Man.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Holy sock, Batman!

That's right. I can officially say that I have worn through the heel of a handknit sock. Proof:

Holy sock, Batman!

I knit these in 2002 out of Silja sock yarn that I bought at the Yarn Place. (Someone, please tell me why I can remember that, but not what I ate for lunch yesterday? It's a puzzlement.) Seven years and a million washes later, we have a spectacular, spontaneous hole.

Tour de Fleece is going swimmingly- I have plied both the Mango Merino/Silk from Redfish Dyeworks and the Crown Mountain Superwash Merino (in Albatross) for Andrew. Of course there aren't pictures. Evidently, I can post cell-phone pictures of holy socks, but my Beloved Handspun(tm) requires a photo shoot. Puzzlement, part 2.

I am knitting like a MADWOMAN on my Adamas shawl. I'm hoping to finish it in the next couple of weeks so that I can do a huge blocking session out on the patio. I have not one, but three, shawls that need blocking. How is it that after a hundred hours of knitting something, blocking is what keeps it in the UFO bin? Puzzlement, part 3.

In regards to the Lace Gauntlet Throwdown (because nobody loves a challenge like I do), I have been slowly working through combing the Baby Cormo locks, and I think I'm going to bribe No-Blog-Rachel with wine (or mojitos) to come over with her Patrick Greene drumcarder so I can drumcard Frank and Luther. There is just NO way I'm combing all that.

(For your reference, it's taking me approximately one million years per ounce to comb - poorly - the beautiful locks. Sorry, Meghan, there is a real reason why I love Shari.)

I've sustained some minor battle damage, but I think Andrew might just dig fiber related scars.

"See this one? Combing baby cormo." Hm. Doesn't quite have that "tough guy" ring to it. (Considering I told a few people that I tore my chest muscles in a bar fight - because coughing hard enough to cause that damage just sounded sissified - I'm not above a creative story.)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

...with liberty and libations for all!

Today kicked off the Tour de Fleece. After careful consideration, and much debate, I found my goal. I'm going to ply up all the projects that have been sitting, resting indefinitely, which include:

- 25 oz of Tallulah, to be knit into a Mariah:


- 4 oz of Redfish Dyeworks 80% merino/ 20% tussah silk, in the Mango colorway, spun for lace knitting.

- 4 oz of Crown Mountain Superwash merino in "Albatross". Spun for socks for Andrew. (Side note: Crown Mountain had a sale last week, and I totally resisted the urge to purchase.)

But alas, as the race kicked off, guess who got a flat tire? Yours truly. I start plying up the mango colored laceweight, and my Woolee Winder refuses to draw in. So I oil everything (because that's the first step in fixing any spinning issue. Yes, the bobbin is new, so it needs to be broken in. But alas, my Woolee Winder needs to be cleaned and tightened. My pit crew (Andrew) has been informed.

Lest you think I spun alone today, I was joined by some of my closest friends, and their families. What started as a casual day of sitting around, watching movies and spinning turned into a full-out pot-luck style barbeque. I haven't had this much fun on a Fourth of July in ages!

When we served dinner, we packed a dozen people into our living room, tossed in 1776 - which might be the best movie EVER, second only to Xanadu - and watched William Daniels declare independency for the United States. Sure, it was a tight fit, but we still had a great time.

So, I close with some self-evident truths:

- Where there is a fire pit and s'more components, fun will be had.
- Getting into a hammock can be a challenge, but well worth it.
- Friends come to party, real friends help with the cleanup. Mine are the best!