A Good Yarn

Monday, April 25, 2005

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.


The other Renee sent this interview to me a long time ago and I've been so busy the last couple of weeks that I haven't posted my questions. Sorry, Renee! It's been fun answering them.

1) Pretend I'm coming to Minneapolis and you have been designated my tour guide. What are 5 things I'd need to see? Where would we go for lunch?

Well, if it's YOU, I guess we'd have to start with a yarn store crawl. We're lucky enough to have bunches and bunches of yarn stores here, so we'd have to check a few of those out. I'm assuming we have more than one day for this trip, so perhaps we'd spend one day just doing yarn stores, with perhaps a few stops at bead stores or scrapbooking stores or such. I think we'd end up in St. Paul and have lunch at Punch, my favorite Pizzeria.

You'd definitely want to check out the natural beauty of this place, which for me is best represented by the chain of lakes right in Minneapolis - Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet and Lake of the Isles. Then we'd take a trip out to Lake Minnetonka, particularly if it's summertime and we have access to a boat. In Minnetonka, we could have a nice sushi lunch at Origami.

On Day 3 we'd devote ourselves to man-made beauty and check out the recently reopened Walker Art Center and the Sculpture Garden right outside. Everyone's gotta see the Spoon Bridge and Cherry when they're in the Twin Cities. We could then check out a play at the attached Guthrie Theater or head over to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for more fine arts. They have excellent exhibits there, including a Kaffe Fassett exhibit a few years ago. I think lunch would be somewhere Uptown - my favorite is probably Campiello. Or, if you're not as addicted to Italian food as I am, perhaps Cafe Barbette.

I think Day 4 would concentrate on Downtown Minneapolis. A walk along the Mississippi River is a must as the River is as much a part of the Twin Cities as the Lakes. There's nothing more satisfying to me than when I'm driving back home from a road trip and the Minneapolis skyline appears - a calm, peaceful, at home feeling always washes over me. While in downtown, we could indulge in whatever you're passionate about - a basketball, football or baseball game? Perhaps a broadway musical or some other musical act touring through the Twin Cities? A facial and pedicure? How about bowling and videogames at Gameworks? A little non-knitting retail therapy? If it's summer, the farmer's market is wonderful and you can often find some sort of live music. There's so much to do in downtown and we'd definitely take the light rail train and forget about parking! While we're downtown, I'd propose either a hipster, delicious lunch at Zelo or a nice juicy steak at one of the downtown steakhouses.

And #5 would have to be our most popular attraction, the Mall of America. I'll admit I was completely wrong about the MoA. When it was proposed I thought it was the worst idea in the world. Who's going to take a vacation just to go shopping? Turns out, a lot of people. I'll admit it, I even go there frequently myself. There are major department stores (Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom). There's all manner of specialty stores. There's a multi-screen movie theater. For the kids, there's Camp Snoopy, Legoland, Underwater World and Jillian's. And there's a lot of bars and restaurants for the adults to have fun, too. My favorite there is California Cafe.

However, my all time favorite thing in Minneapolis/St. Paul is the people. So I'd definitely introduce you to as many people as I could. I know you'd love them as much as I do.

2) Do you have any pet peeves? If so, what are they?

I have a ton of pet peeves - too many to list. In fact, I think I'm a little intolerant. As everyone has seen just lately, one of my pet peeves is people who think feminists hate men. I have all sorts of driving pet peeves - people who drive below the posted speed limit, people who don't follow proper merging etiquette. Another big one is people who espouse opinions about something they have no first hand knowledge about - like "Reality TV is stupid" when they've never seen a reality show. Or "movies with subtitles are boring" when they've never seen one. It's one thing to say, "I'm not going to watch Fear Factor because it doesn't look like the kind of thing I'd like" and another to say "Fear Factor is leading to the downfall of America" when you've never seen Fear Factor (which by the way I haven't. I've seen bits and pieces, but not the whole thing. See, I'm just a cranky old lady.

3) Name a knitting technique you don't know but would love to learn.

I can't really think of anything. I've been knitting for a while and taken A LOT of knitting classes. So I think anything I've wanted to learn, I have done so. Now, there are a lot of things I wish I was better at and like to have maybe one on one instruction to help improve my techniques. Like with the Lucky sweater I'm knitting now - one of the three holes in the clover lace is substantially smaller than the other two. I don't know why. I wish it was more even. And the hearts sweater - I wish my intarsia was more even and neat. I wish I worked in my ends better. I wish I could pick up stitches more evenly. That list goes on and on and on.

4) What is the best thing about being a lawyer? How 'bout the worst thing?

I think the best thing is probably feeling like you have the tools to help solve people's problems. You've (hopefully) learned how to articulate yourself and be persuasive so that you can advocate for yourself or for others - whether that's in court or in a store or restaurant or just among other people. You learn a certain way of reading and thinking so that you can approach a problem, understand many different aspects of it and find a solution.

The worst thing is definitely dealing with other lawyers. Sorry, but there's a lot of jackasses out there. And they don't necessarily want to find the best solution for everyone or solve problems, they just want to win at all costs. Related to that is the public perception other people have of you when they find out you're a lawyer. I understand where it comes from (see the first part of this answer), but it sucks to have it applied so broadly when there are a lot of really good, hard working lawyers who are trying to be a positive force in the world.

5) I'm have to know what your dream TV lineup would be. Let's try an hour of sitcoms, two hours of drama and a talk show.

Here's my lineup:

Arrested Development
Twin Peaks
The X Files

and my chat show would definitely be David Letterman - Late Night or Late Show, either one.

Thanks again to everyone who's commented on the feminism thread - it's been so interesting. If you haven't seen it, check out Share's great comment giving a real world voice.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Happy Earth Day!

I really wish I had installed a different commenting program before I posted such a controversial topic so I could have emailed some people directly. I thought all the comments were thought provoking and I loved having that conversation.

Some of the comments did touch on one of my hot button issues, so I've gotta address it. Some people have the impression that feminist somehow means anti-man or placing women above men. Absolutely not. The dictionary definition of feminism is "belief in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes". Equality, not superiority. That may seem obvious and perhaps you may think all right-thinking people believe in equality of people regardless of gender, but that definitely isn't true and it certainly wasn't true in the history of this country.

A Short History of Feminism

Most people mark the Seneca Falls convention in 1848 as the beginning of the modern-day feminist movement in the US. That was the First Wave of Feminists. This group arose from the general reform movement - these women wanted to protect school children and the mentally ill and were abolitionists. Definitely concerned with the general well-being of all people. While working on these social issues, it became obvious that women were denied basic legal rights. Women couldn't vote. A married woman's property and wages legally belonged to her husband. Women were not allowed to enroll in college or pursue the professions. Many churches barred women from holding positions of authority. And divorce was pretty rare, but when it occurred, the children were automatically awarded to the husband. I daresay that if those conditions applied today, all of us women would consider ourselves feminists!

Women have only had the right to vote since 1919 - less than 100 years. That's not that long ago in the sense of history and structural, cultural change. Those kind of changes take time. That's why we've never had a woman as President or Vice-President. There aren't very many women in the Senate and Congress. Yes, those things are changing, but I would implore my sisters not to willfully ignore the reality. There are still many, many people out there who believe women can't hold positions of authority, politically or economically, because they are too emotional, too stupid, too weak.

In the late 60s and early 70s, the Second Wave of Feminism concentrated on social and economic equality for women. Despite the fact that there are more women than men in our country, there weren't more women than men in college until 1978. 1978 folks. I was already 10 years old by then. The advent of the birth control pill also provided a way for women to have more control and choices in their lives. And of course, Roe v. Wade ensured the legal right to the choice of a safe abortion. When women have control over their bodies and their reproduction, that gives them all sorts of other choices.

It's easy to say you're in favor of abortion rights and other rights for everyone and yes, in a theoretical way, I am too. But the fact of the matter is, no man will ever have to have an abortion. There is no birth control for men that is solely dispensed by a pharmacist, so if you live in a small town with only one pharmicist and he refuses to dispense birth control pills because he feels they are immoral, you are only going to be directly effected if you are a woman. If an employer decides to have a policy that they don't want to hire anyone who must take a maternity leave, that will only effect female employees because men don't give birth. Yes, these issues DEFINITELY effect men and women, but it's only women who are being discriminated against, so it's only women are being treated unequally. I don't want women to be placed in a place superior to men nor do I think they are naturally superior to men, but I would like women to be treated equally legally, socially, politically and economically.

In the end, I think Anna's post encapsulates my feelings exactly - to me, feminism is about providing the same choices to women that men have. If you choose to pursue a life in politics or business, great. If you choose to raise children, fantastic. Feminism is all about empowering women to make their own choices. I wish everyone had that choice, man or woman.

End Rant

Back to knitting. I went to Michael's to pick up something for my Secret Pal and discovered they were having an in-store sale. And one of my favorite yarns, Katrina, was on sale for $2 per skein. I used this yarn to knit a sweater for my mother (at $7 per skein) and just loved it! So, I bought batches in three colors:

I may go back and pick up some chocolate brown too.

I know, I'm supposed to be saving my money for MDS&W, but come on, $2 per skein!


I'm pretty much finished with the sleeves of Mariah:

After I finished the first sleeve, I had 4 fewer stitches than I was supposed to (98 instead of 102). I counted up all the stitches in the pattern and couldn't figure out where I missed those 4 stitches. As I was reading the pattern, I should end up with 98. So, I started the second sleeve. I finished the second sleeve and had 100 stitches. So I figured out where I lost 2 stitches on the first sleeve and adjusted. I also counted the increases in the pattern again and found where I was counting wrong, so I am supposed to have 102 stitches. I still don't know where I forgot to increase, but I'm going to stick with 100 stitches and adjust the yoke decreases because the sleeves are as long as I want them.

TGIF! Tomorrow is the NFL Draft, so football content will be returning to this blog! Oh, goody!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Clean Up

First, I finished up the toddler socks from my 2 Socks on 2 Circular Needles class:

You can clearly see where I switched from 2s to 3s above the heel. I'll probably just donate these to Children in Common or something like that with a lot of different kids, so hopefully there will be some kid with long skinny feet who'll be excited to finally have some warm socks that really fit.

Knitting and Feminism

I consider myself a feminist and I'm very interested in the way some feminists view crafting and mothering and other "traditional" female pursuits. For instance, I know a lot of feminists hate Martha Stewart, but I love her. Of course, she's easy to view as a role model just as a businesswoman who built a very strong business almost single-handedly. She didn't inherit a great deal of wealth and prestige. I'm leaving aside the alleged insider trading and lying to the SEC and why Martha was so strongly pursued while male CEOs get a free pass. Well, mostly leaving that aside.

I think the problem a lot of feminists have with Martha is that she built her business empire on crafting and cooking and homekeeping. I think some people view that as an attempt to force women into a traditional, powerless role. That if you enjoy throwing parties, knitting, quilting, decorating, etc. you will be busy around the home and won't bother to worry your pretty little head about politics and the plight of the poor or disenfranchised or equal pay for equal work, etc.

I have a different take on it though. I think Martha helped increase the value of traditional female pursuits. It seems like women are going to cook and do crafts and decorate their homes, Martha or no Martha. But Martha made people realize that this wasn't just fluff, it had real value. Women weren't wasting their time, they were making a valuable contribution to society and to their families. And she made it profitable, which is a language I think all Americans speak.

A more particular debate has ensured in the knitting world. There have been a number of articles written from a feminist perspective calling for our sisters to put down the needles and see knitting as an anti-feminist activity. Again, I think part of the backlash is the fear that women who are busy knitting, won't be busy engaging in the world. There's also the notion that if you knit, you are embracing the traditional role of a woman as limited to the home - housewife and mother. Obviously, I don't see things that way. I came across it again this week when I was reading Katha Pollitt's essay about the life and death of Andrea Dworkin. I love Katha Pollitt and usually agree with her. But I was a little taken aback by her statement:

"These days, feminism is all sexy uplift, a cross between a workout and a makeover. Go for it, girls--breast implants, botox, face-lifts, corsets, knitting, boxing, prostitution."

Wow. I know what she means and I know where she's coming from. A lot of knitters these days are the post-feminist (or Third Wave Feminist as I think they prefer to be called) Stitch N Bitch 20-something women. And she's right, a lot of feminists embrace their sexuality and celebrate things that feminists of the 70s would abhor - like the mudflap girl tank in one of the SNB books.

So, as a knitter (and scrapbooker and beader and frequent watcher of decorating television shows and sometimes aspiring gourmet chef), do I fall into that group? Am I sacrificing my core beliefs? I know that I haven't embraced a traditional female role. I haven't turned my back on the world at large - I continue to be active politically and do my part to make the world a better place beyond just those in my direct sphere. I still insist on using gender neutral language and being called "Ms." I knit gender-neutral clothes for babies (unless specifically requested otherwise) and refuse to buy Barbies for my niece (although I broke down and bought her a Bratz, which is probably just as bad a role model for little girls in a different way).

Maybe none of that matters and it's all just words. Maybe all that really matters is that I find peace and relaxation in my own life through knitting. That I'm able to become a part of a community instead of sticking to my own little world by knitting with others and blogging. And that I continue to fight for the rights of other women - to obtain birth control regardless of their pharmacists' personal beliefs, to obtain safe abortions when necessary, to have a place to live, food to eat and good health care and for their children to live in a safe and nurturing world where every child is valued from birth until death.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


Yesterday the Minnesota Knitters Guild held our annual Yarnover - a sort of mini-Stitches conference. It's a one day event with a keynote speaker, classes, a lunch and a yarn market. Guild members have first shot at registering for the classes, which is the main reason I belong to the MKG.

When we arrived, we received this lovely bag, obviously donated by Amazing Threads.

They were available in green, bright pink, dark blue and brown. I am not a morning person, so by the time I arrived all that was left was brown. At lunch, I bemoaned the fact that I hated brown, so a very, very nice woman offered to trade me her green one. I think we all know how much I like green! This is one of those jelly bags that is so popular right now, which is perfect for when I spill coffee on my bag. It also has a nice little zippered pouch which snaps inside. There's also a little compartment inside, I'm not sure what it's designed for. It does sort of smell very strongly of plastic, which is why the very, very nice woman was willing to trade me - she said she probably won't use it because she'll get ill from the smell. I'm hoping that it'll air out over time.

Inside of the bag were lots of little fliers and a collection of different patterns:

I had been thinking about buying that little book, "Knitters I know", so I'm very pleased to have gotten that. I'm thinking about knitting a couple of those Classic Elite cardigans. I didn't see anything I liked in the "Knit N Style", so if anyone wants it, let me know and I'll ship it off to you. Make sure you leave an email address if you leave a comment because Blogger's comment program does not allow you to email back.

We also had a scarf kit from Pine Tree Yarns, which was donated by Needlework Unlimited:

These also came in a number of different colorways and they had a little table set up with extra kits so you could exchange for a different colorway if you wanted to. My original kit was a nice dark blue and gray colorway, but I thought this pink and green one would be more fun. Pine Tree Yarns is going to be a Maryland Sheep & Wool, so I'll have to check out their other yarns.

At the end of the day, if you turn in your event evaluation form, you get a little prize. For years, it was a mug with the Yarnover logo and the year printed on it. Every year the mug was a different color, so it was pretty fun to have a little collection of these mugs, but last year they decided to try something different and gave out a really cute pen. Loved it. This year Shelley and the gang outdid themselves, though, and we got a beaded bracelet kit:

Shelley was wearing hers and it was very, very cute! I can't wait to knit this thing up. I didn't even choose this colorway - it just happens to be the one I was given.

The class I took was an all day class - Knitting 2 socks on 2 circular needles from the top down. I like the technique a lot and I'll definitely use it again. We were supposed to bring sport weight yarn and two circular needles 1 or 2 sizes smaller than called for. I brought some Rowan and sport is usually knit on a size 3 or 4, so I brought size 2 needles. Well, they knit a very firm gauge with this fabric. Which is pretty good for socks, but it really hurt my hands to knit pretty much all day on such a tight gauge. We were knitting toddler socks and I'm afraid they're too narrow for any kid's foot. On such a small gauge, it took me the whole day just to get up to the gussets, too, so the actual instruction time in class was only about 1 hour, which is kind of disappointing. But, that's the nature of something like this. Luckily I've knit socks before, so I was able to figure out how to turn the heels and did that last night when I got home. After the heels, I switched to size 3 needles, which feels much better. Hopefully the leg part will be big enough for some kid with really narrow feet. I'll post a picture of them when I finish them up.

They keynote speaker was Lucy Neatby. She has a delightful Welsh accent and wry sense of humor. Not to mention bright blue and purple hair, multi-colored knitwear and two shoes that don't match. She spoke about rescuing your knitting - you don't always have to finish everything. Don't immediately rip things out - start over with new yarn and you may find you liked the first way better. You can use mistakes for something else - create a pillow or bag, sew and cut into something else, etc. I thought I'd looked at this book before, but my sock teacher had a bunch of sock books in the classroom and I fell in love with Lucy's book, so I bought a copy and she autographed:

A bunch of us AK met up in the cafeteria over lunch and for some shopping. I thought I was relatively restrained, but some of my classmates thought I'd bought a lot.

First, I bought some Chinese cashmere. One of my AK friends knows these folks, Silk Road North Woods, and told me that they adopted a Chinese baby. When she got a little older, they took her back to China to see her homeland and made connections with a yarn manufacturer. They import cashmere, silk and Chinese bactrian camel wool to Minnesota and then hand paint them into beautiful color combos and sell them. I'm thinking this cashmere will become an incredibly soft scarf:

Next I bought some sport weight microfiber:

I was thinking maybe socks, but I'm not sure how well they'll wear. I did a search and found someone blogged that they worked well for socks she knit, so maybe I'll still knit socks. I had never seen this yarn before, which is why I bought it. In my goggling I found out it's on elann, so I could have gotten it much cheaper there. Oh well, at least I supported a yarn store from my home state of SD.

I also bought some Peace Fleece from South Dakota Natural Colored Wool Studio:

Love, love, love the Peace Fleece concept and I've never bought any, so I couldn't resist these bright colors. I was originally thinking a buttonhole type of bag, but now I think I'm going to make one of Susan's felted baskets. I keep all of my receipts in a basket before I go through them and enter the in for taxes (I know, it's appalling) and I noticed on Friday that the bottom of the basket is really coming apart, so a nice knitted basket might make doing taxes more cozy.

From Playing with Yarn, I bought another beaded bracelet kit, since I enjoy bead knitting so much:

I also got a dichroic glass button there, but I forgot to take a picture of it. It's lime green, blue, silver and black. I was thinking I'd use it on a felted bag, but I may use it for a bracelet instead.

Finally, I don't consider this a yarn purchase, but more a home furnishings/artwork purchase (in fact, it's not going into the yarn stash inventory).

I bought that from Clickety-Sticks. I never go to that store because it's not really near the places I frequent. However, I really like Tamara and try to buy stuff from her when I see her at stuff like Yarnover. When I first started knitting, I used to go to Three Kittens and Tamara was always really nice and helpful to me as a new knitter. One of my first sweaters was an Alice Starmore design. I didn't want to do it in wool because I didn't wear much wool in those days (I know, what was wrong with me?). Despite the fact that a stranded pattern really works better in wool, after making sure I really didn't want to use wool, she helped me pick out a good Classic Elite yarn that was a cotton/silk blend. She also convinced me to use circular needles, which I now use exclusively (except DPNs, which I still like just fine). So, in appreciation for nurturing a future knitting addict, I want to support her.

So, overall, not a bad haul. I supported yarn stores I don't frequent all the time around here. I got some really good stuff, but in a reasonable amount instead of that huge amount of Blue Sky Alpaca that I got last year for a cabled sweater for me (No, I haven't knitted it up yet) or the expensive cashmere I bought for a scarf and gloves for me a couple of years ago. I did notice a orange trend to my purchases. I'm not sure what that's about. I used to hate orange, but it's really growing on me ever since I made that orange and green bead jewelry for Alissa....

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Here's a picture of the Keith Lewis Studio necklace and earrings I got at the ACC:

His stuff is incredible. I had a hard time choosing just one piece.

Monday I had a Wills & Trusts CLE all day - yawn! I got there just as it was starting, so the main auditorium was full and I ended up in the overflow room. Happily, I brought along on car knitting and was able to finish the tennis socks from Socks, Socks, Socks:

This was my first time putting a picture on the heel. I think it worked out ok. I'm working my way through that Socks book as my car knitting, so I think I'll use that new Sisu sock yarn I got at Yarn Cafe for my next pair.

For lunch, I met my brother at Mission American. It was delicious! I had a roasted pear salad and a cup of chicken soup. Loved the salad. The decor was beautiful too.

Last night my brother and I attended the Wing Ding and Dessert Fling, a fundraiser for the Harriet Tubman Alliance. Such a great time. You buy a ticket to get in and then eat for free. About 30 different restaurants had tables set up, serving different types of chicken wings or desserts. Delicious! I love chicken wings and I love dessert, so what's not to like? Plus, I love the whole taste sampler type of event. My favorite wings were definitely from Tracy's Saloon. They had some nice spicy Buffalo type wings and some fantastic dry rub Caribbean wings. Both were outstanding. I'm definitely going to have to go there for lunch one of these days. Lyon's Pub had an outstanding homemade blue cheese dressing. A nice big salad with that stuff would really hit the spot! The best dessert was a sponge cake with berries and whipped cream on top from The Mermaid. I've been trying to eat more healthy and I definitely went astray, but it was worth it.

They also had a jazz combo called Yo Jimbo, which was very nice. Local media types were acting as celebrity waiters, so I had a little chat with one my favorite sports station hosts. There was also a silent auction and I won a couple of different auctions. There were a lot of different knitted items up for auction and I don't think many of them had bids. I felt bad about that, but they were all pretty simple stuff like garter stitch scarves and baby hats.

I got good, supportive comments about the hearts sweater. Thanks everyone! After I finally get my taxes done I'm definitely going to download better comment software so I can email people back when I get comments. Your support is much appreciated!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I love weekends!

I wish I could afford to work a 3 or 4 day week so I could have longer weekends, because I just love the weekends!

Since I had oral surgery on Friday, I decided to sign up for a bead crocheting class at Insomniac Beads as a special treat. I've wanted to learn this technique for a long time. I like bead knitting a lot, but I think bead crochet looks better, which is odd since I like knitted fabric much, much better than crochet fabric.

Anyway, I am happy to report that I was able to pick up the technique pretty quickly. We made a practice piece with crochet thread and 6 different colors of beads, which made it much easier. Then I strung my beads and cast on for a bracelet. It was a lot more difficult to crochet the first 4 rows or so with the perle cotton and two beads of the same color in a row:

The left piece is the practice one and the right one is my bracelet. I love it and will definitely be doing more bead crochet!

Saturday we had our monthly AK List Knit Together. We decided to go to Yarn Cafe, which was a big hit. We had about 12 people and had reserved the cushy chairs and couches. I picked up some new sock yarn, just because I like the colors:

It was an absolutely gorgeous spring weekend. Saturday night I went over to Bill and Beth's and we had steaks and corn on the cob on the grill - delicious!

Sunday I had my favorite brunch at 128 Cafe and then headed over to the American Craft Council show. I was a bit disappointed with the offerings this year. There was an awful lot of clothing and a lot of it was chenille. Just not my type of stuff to wear. I did buy a cute small fabric purse, which I think will be perfect for MD S&W. I also bought a necklace and earrings from Keith Lewis Studio.

I got a good bit done on the heart sweater for Saralee's granddaughter:

I'm not a big fan of doing intarsia, but it looks ok. I hope she likes it.

Friday, April 08, 2005


I hate it when people apologize for not posting for so long, but I find myself doing it all the time. It's so lame. The thing is, I then end up posting a huge post, which I know is annoying for the reader. But, here goes.

I was going to post on Sunday, but I ended up spending most of the day at my brother's house. The pipes backed up into his duplex and flooded the place - mostly Jessica's room and the kitchen. Thank goodness I have a wet-vac and we were able to get it cleaned up for the most part. The homeowner snaked out the pipes and everything is working fine now.


I haven't knit much this week, but I have been beading. I made another bracelet with crystals I bought at the closeout sale:

Jessica liked that style, so I went to Insomniac Beads and got some red and black crystals to make a bracelet and some earrings to match her red sparkly prom dress:

It's been absolutely gorgeous all week here in Minnesota - sunny and warm! Such a fast change from the snow and cold of just a couple of weeks ago. I started packing away the sweaters and unpacking the summer clothes, but haven't only just started. I wore my brand new green suit on Monday with my really cool new turquoise and lime shoes. I really need turquoise jewelry to tie the suit and shoes together, but I don't have any bracelets that color, so I made myself a nice and bright one:

I love spring!!!

Secret Pal

My Secret Pal revealed herself and sent her final gift:

I love it! No one ever knits for me, so I'm pretty excited to get a knitted gift. This is a really neat shape, with a nice full bottom. Jenanne sent me that beautiful purple brooch earlier and as soon as I saw this bag I thought how perfect it would be on this bag. I love it.

She also sent me the great sheep magnet below:

I have a metal filing cabinet right next to my desk, so I love having this magnet right next to me. The magnet above it is one I picked up while I was doing some shopping for my secret pal - it reminded me of pretty much every date I've been on over the last few years.

You've been an awesome pal, Jenanne!!!

Renee's Reviews

Last night, I saw this movie with my brother:

I liked it, but didn't love it. I loved the look of it. It was really, really cool. Rodriguez was able to really bring the look and feel of the graphic novel to the film. The cinematography was amazing and almost any shot in the movie could be a beautiful poster. I liked the looping, crossing structure of the film, reminiscent of Pulp Fiction. It really gives you a sense of unease and adds to the overall feel of the film. I also loved the way you couldn't really tell when the film took place - there's great big chunky cell phone, razor phones, cars from many different eras, classic costumes that look very modern and yet like the 1950s. On the downside, it really is all about the images and the feel and not so much a cohesive storyline. Everything is so unreal that you don't really get involved in the characters lives in an effective way. As a warning for others, it's also very violent and pretty sexist. There's a sense of post-feminist grrrl power in the prostitutes who control their own section of town and how the men who victimize women are punished, but the bondage wear and the prevalence of violence against women as spectacle are pretty sexist.


That's the recap of my week. I'll leave you with a picture of Finbar - he really wanted me to get off the computer and let him outside!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Movie Night

A friend and I went out for dinner and then a sneak preview of this movie:

I liked it. It's about what you think, so if that's your type of movie, you'll enjoy it. I'm a huge Nick Hornby fan, but I have never read this book. The book is more about his soccer fanaticism and less of a romantic comedy and I know nothing about soccer. I love romantic comedies, though, and this one fit the bill.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Wow, Time Flies!

I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted. Partly been a busy week and partly I didn't have much knitting to show. I finished up the beaded project I was working on, but I'm going to wait to post it until I know if I'm going to use it for the Beaded Knitting Group kit for June. I also worked on Mariah, but one sleeve looks like the other, so what's the point of posting. I also worked on Lucky and I've made some progress, but it's not all that much different than last time.

Things have gotten super nice and springy around here, so I'm probably not going to get to wear Mariah and Lucky once they're done, but perhaps it'll take me all summer to make Lucky. I'm absolutely loving the warmer weather and the sun! The pictures I post today were taken outside, which facilitates much better photos. Now if we could just get a bit of green and flowers, it'd be ideal!

With the spring weather, I've felt more like buying spring clothes. When they first appeared in the stores, I just couldn't stand even trying them on. It was so cold out that the idea of a thin cotton blouse was horrible. But now.... Ahhh.... And those cute spring colors. I'm still on my green kick, but I'm adding in a little bright blue - sort of a torquoisey color. While I was shopping, I stopped in Bijoux Bead in Rosedale. They are going out of business this weekend, so everything was 70% off. I got a bunch of stuff for about $25. Nice! They still had some crystal cubes left, so I bought some olive ones and made this bracelet:

I went to Bead Monkey to get the bi-cones and decided to join their bead of the month club. I signed up for 6 months ahead of time and got a kit for this necklace as part of the package:

I'm thinking about taking out some of the small crystals and shortening it up a bit.

On Friday I met my friend Saralee at The Yarnery so she could pick out the yarn for a sweater I'm going to knit for her granddaughter. I also gave her the Baby Uggs and other stuff I already knit for the baby. She really liked them. We picked out a yarn from Rowan's new line called RY Classic:

This is great stuff! It's a blend of cotton, polyamide, angora, viscose and cashmere. So soft and lovely! The store owner was knitting a sweater for herself out of that green color and brought it out to show us. It was so heavenly! And it's so much fun to go yarn shopping when I'm not paying the bills!

Friday I also went to my niece, Jessica's school, to help her pick out a prom dress. A sorority at the U of MN has program where they collect new and used formal dresses, shoes and accessories and offer them for free to lower income girls. It was so fun to see all the girls trying on the pretty dresses. They were so excited! Jessica picked out a very long and slinky red, sparkly dress. She's very thin and looked fantastic in this dress. She also picked out a pair of gold sequined shoes and a little gold bag. She was very happy and excited about it. I think the only alteration I'll have to make is shortening the straps for her.

I finished up Blow Fly this week too. It was pretty disappointing. There were parts that were really good, but it's no where near as good as those first couple of Scarpetta books that I would stay up all night to finish because I was so absorbed. I started my next Book Club selection: