Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

Earth Hour 2009,Earth Hour button observed worldwide on March 28 for one hour starting 8:30 p.m. local time, is in progress!

Posted 9:30 a.m. EDT: The movement began, appropriately enough, in Sydney in 2007 (see the video). My township is throwing an outdoor party in Edgemont Park at 8:00 this evening.

That's a ways off, so howabout a random sock photo to enliven things? This is Kaibashira by Chrissy Gardner, worked in Zarzuela's Fibers Shiny Sheep, colorway DC Sunrise.

Kaibashira singleton

Ironically, it's overcast this morning.

Posted 10:30 a.m. EDT: I'm surprised by the unreasoning vehemence and hyperbolic fear-mongering by some critics of Earth Hour. Of course needful things like navigation beacons and hospitals will continue to function. Of course I'm keeping my refrigerator on. That isn't hypocrisy, just common sense.

Posted 10:00 p.m. EDT: DH started to feel unwell, so we stayed home and I knit on the second Kaibashira by candlelight. Who knew my best only pix of the day would be of knitting! Here's what the socks looked like by daylight.

Kaibashira 2nd sock, daylight

Here's what they looked like, after a bit of knitting, by candlelight. The object in the upper right corner is the candlestick and chimney.

Kaibashira 2nd sock, candlelight

And here's what they looked like by flash. I'm surprised my little digicam has such a powerful flash.

Kaibashira 2nd sock, flash

So that was my Earth Hour 2009.

ETA: An estimated one billion people participated in Earth Hour 2009!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Round One

Alert the media – my Tropical Mer-tini socks are finished! Not only do Rutgers women advance to the Sweet Sixteen, I advance to the next round of Sock Madness. Go Rutgers, yay me!

Tropical Mer-tini socks

When first off the needles, the socks were very compressed both vertically and horizontally. I frogged the toes and added an extra half-inch of stockinette st and also lightly blocked the socks, which helped them relax a little. But alas, the fit is still unpleasantly tight on my Frankenfeet – it's not so much the foot length as the heel arch. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the unusual afterthought flap heel has less ease than either a standard afterthought heel or a short-row heel (and much less ease than a standard flap heel). For me it's an ill-fitting novelty, but it could be useful to someone with a shallow and narrow heel.

Tropical Mer-tini socks

A cocktail recipe came with the pattern, but I lack the necessary to mix it. According to "Your Signature Cocktail," that's telling; not to mention apparently Jimmy Fallon needs to drink a more manly drink. Yeesh, oh-so-serious! It's only round one – don't judge me by my drink choices, not least if I choose not to indulge.

Edited to add another photo for Craftivore (see her comment below). One reason the Tropical Mer-tini socks knit up so quickly is they're anklets, which may not be apparent when they're seen without a visual reference, but becomes obvious when compared with a calf-length sock like Kaibashira.

Kaibashira and Tropical Mer-tini

Another reason is I've made a conscious decision to fight Wollmeise Syndrome. Rawr!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


The spring equinox arrived yesterday bringing morning snow flurries; the day before that, Sock Madness began!Sock Madness 3 button I'm in the Purl and Prejudice Division – our mascot is Mr. Darcy (teehee). Perhaps a bit incongruously for one from Austen, I'm off like a jackrabbit on the first pattern, Tropical Mer-tini (with cocktail recipe) by Ronni Smith. Here's the sock in progress, snarling at a wall o' orchids:

Tropical Mer-tini in progress

The pattern offers some interesting techniques, including the Twisted German cast on, which gives a firm, prettily beaded edge, and the not yet worked afterthought heel with flap and gusset. The stitch pattern is based on the versatile quarter round quilt block Drunkard's Path. Perhaps because of word association with the cast on, to me the stitch pattern looks like a crypto hakenkreuz, so I'm pleased at the way the yarn, Tess' Designer Yarns Super Socks and Baby, colorway Lime Splash, works with both the positive space and the negative space of the stitch pattern to de-emphasize that.

Orchids and bromeliads

Pre-game, the chatter by returning Sock Madness knitters was starting to get me down. Wollmeise Syndrome, I call it – the feeling that it's not worth it even to try because others are totally obsessed and have overwhelming resources. But all thoughts of premature folding or placing the rest of my life on hold have vanished now that the game is on. Instead of either weak option, I took the sock to The Orchid Show in the Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden.

Reflecting pool

I'm told Martha Stewart, bundled in her trademark puffy black coat and white Pashmina wrap, was in the building with an entourage, also a Telemundo crew. Alas, I never noticed – my attention was focused on the floral displays, styled by the aptly named Raymond Jungles, and on not fainting. It was steamy in the Conservatory, see how fogged the windows were!


After the show and a restorative stroll outside came an excellent dinner at Emilia's Restaurant on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, which is like Little Italy in Manhattan, but more relaxed, old country charming, and wallet-friendly. Whatever else may happen, my Sock Madness has started very well.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


This former Sock of Shame has been an FO for a while, but I only just got around to snapping a pic: Stashbuster Spirals by Janine Hempy, worked in three late-winter-early-spring-hued oddments, shown with low sun on blinding leg (sorry about that).

Stashbuster Spirals

I've already rhapsodized about the pattern elsewhere.

Stashbuster Spirals

The stats on this pair ought to hearten other participants in Sock Madness 3: started March 2005, finished March 2009. Tenacious but slow, that's me.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A List of His Own

A while ago DH saw my list of 10 quotes from guilty pleasure movies and put together a list of his own favorites. So without further ado, here's a mess o' faux fur to provide the obligatory knitting content, the original rules of the meme, and DH. Consider yourself flashed and tagged, if you wish.

Mess o' faux fur
The rules:
1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. Looking them up is cheating, please don’t.

Hello, here are some of my favorite movie quotes as taken from IMDB. I am pleased to offer you these for your entertainment, and to hopefully inspire you to see or see once again the films represented. All of the films are well worth seeing, and each is a good or great film from its genre. If you can’t identify the film by the quotation outright, a clue will be provided.

1. "Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator n his back."
Dr. Peter Venkman, played by Bill Murray, to his colleagues in the sci-fi comedy Ghostbusters as they ride an elevator to their first ghost busting assignment.
Identified by: stbyra.

2. "If it wasn't for graft, you'd get a very low type of people in politics!"
A political operative, Skeeters, played by William Demarest (later of My Three Sons) in the Preston Sturges screwball political comedy, The Great McGinty.
Identified by: Kathy.

3. "I hope you're not in the habit of seeing dead people, however distinguished – it’s not in the best of taste!"

4. "I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it."
Michael Rennie as Klaatu in the 50s sci fi classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still, to a cabinet secretary.
Identified by: Kathy.

5. "So it has always seemed to me that to do something very dangerous requires a certain absence of imagination."

6. "Marry her if you can, my son, but never fall in love with her."
Nina Foche playing Bithiah, to her adoptive son Moses, a Prince of Egypt in the biblical epic film Ten Commandments regarding Princess Nefretiri – who is standing near by.
Identified by: Kathy.

7. "Talking pictures, that means I'm out of a job. At last I can start suffering and write that symphony."
Donald O’Connor, playing Cosmo Brown, music director of Monumental Pictures in the silent-to-sound-pictures musical Singing in the Rain.
Identified by: Deb.

8. "I wish the wolves had eaten you! Then maybe I could've found a real husband."
Jada Pinkett Smith playing Toki, one of the Japanese iron workers in the Japanese animated classic film, Princess Mononoki.
Identified by: underdutchskies.

9. "In time you'll drop dead and I'll come to your funeral in a red dress!"
Loretta Castorini played by Cher in her Oscar-winning performance as an unlucky accountant in the romantic comedy, Moonstruck.
Identified by: Deb.

10. "Not much meat on her, but what's there is cherce."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More Leaves

The laundry is screeching, so briefly: I cast on for another Malabrigo March project, Climbing Vines pullover by Joëlle Meier Rioux, worked in Malabrigo Worsted, colorway Indigo. This is a sleeve, with a leaf motif added to enliven the expanse o' stockinette. I do love leaves.

Climbing Vines sleeve

Tomorrow I'm off to the Philadelphia Flower Show to admire more leaves (among other things), such as these Carludovica palmata, source of the fiber used to make Panama hats.

Carludovica palmata

Should the planets align just so, I'll also attend Tina's fabulous annual Stir Crazy Stitch & Spin (see pdf flyer) in Hudson (see map) on Sunday. If not, oh well. Meanwhile, for those who can't attend (and even for those who can),, "The Online Community Just for Spinners!", is having a contest.

Finally, just for Deb, a photo from when I was in first grade. Back then I really really really wanted a red bicycle. Some things haven't changed much.

In first grade

And even though Nancy Sinatra's boots had kitten heels, I was pretty sure mine were made for walkin' too. Tomorrow that's just what I'll do!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Busyness elsewhere has begun to abate (hooray), leaving me enough time to start a Malabrigo March project. It seemed apropos to cast on Spring Thaw by Cat Bordhi (in Knitter's K91, Summer 2008) worked in Malabrigo Sock, colorway Lettuce.

Spring Thaw socks in progress

Ordinarily this much twisted ribbing would make me crazy, but Cat's designs are so absorbing that the aggravation is minimal. Although I have my limits – I'm knitting the sock cuff down rather than toe up to accommodate my Frankenfeet.

Alas, the irony is that no sooner do I start on Spring Thaw socks than the weather forecast is for heavy snow. Le sigh!