A Good Yarn

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Not Quite Done With 2005 Yet

Every year I create my own personal Top Ten Films list, but I'm not quite ready to do that yet. There are a few more films I'd like to see first. However, I'll be surprised if I like anything better than this:

EXCELLENT film. I just loved it. Amazing performances from Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. I've been a Gyllenhaal fan for a while, but I've always thought Heath Ledger was just a pretty boy. In this film, wow, he knocked my socks off. His performance as a tightly contained man longing for happiness and true freedom is so real and so believable. Don't get me wrong, these are two damn pretty cowboys - I can see why they'd fall in love with each other - so sexy! The script co-written by one of my favorite authors, Larry McMurtry, is heartbreaking. And of course the film is beautiful. When you've got the big mountainy backgrounds, that's a pretty good canvas. The boys are sheep herders, so I quite enjoyed seeing all the sheep - well, except when one sheep got killed. There's a shot in the film where the entire screen is filled with sheep - it's amazing. That's why I love seeing film in a theater, on that big screen. The film is just so moving and has stayed with me ever since I saw it. I know everyone (including me) labels it "the gay cowboy movie", which it is. But it's so much more than that. There's a line in Roger Ebert's review that really explains my reaction to it: "I can imagine someone weeping at this film, identifying with it, because he always wanted to stay in the Marines, or be an artist or a cabinetmaker." Yes, I felt deeply for these two men, for their inability to create the lives for themselves that they both wanted. I reacted to the love story the same way I did in "The English Patient" or "Titanic". However, I think the depth of my feelings and what makes this film great is that it goes beyond just the specific characters in the film to a more universal theme of fulfilling your dreams and how the choices you make in life echo through the years.

Hopefully I'll be able to see the rest of the films I want to over the next couple of weeks. I think I may have delayed too long on "Walk the Line" though. I can't believe I didn't see that - I absolutely ADORE Johnny Cash and wanted to see that film so badly. I blame my illness around Thanksgiving time, when I normally would have rushed out to see it.

I still haven't had a chance to try out the clothing steamer, either. Last weekend just blew by and I wasn't home for very much of it. Hopefully THIS weekend I'll have time to set it up and give it a whirl. I even have something to block! I finished knitting the first snake scarf. I think I'll pin it out and steam it and then sew it onto a fabric backing. Pictures will follow.

I am also almost completely finished with piecing "Lucky" together. I am just sewing on the neckband. I ran into a bit of a problem that I haven't yet decided how to solve. Since I was part of a knitalong with this project, I learned from others that you need to sort of gather up stitches on the body of the sweater in order for the wrap to look like a v-neck instead of being wide open like a boatneck. So I pinned it all together and it looked like I was going to have to do quite a bit of gathering because the body of the sweater was quite a bit longer than the neckband. Then I realized that I hadn't left 17" of the neckband off the edge for the tie. So the body of the sweater is way, way too big for the neckband. All the sizes of the sweater have the same neckband length, which I should have realized would be problematic for the largest size that I knit. So, I probably should unseam the portion of the neckband I already sewed in, undo the bind off on the neckband and knit it quite a bit longer. However, I do really want to draw the neck in because it was way too wide when I tried it on. So, I'm going to keep sewing the neckband on, gathering stitches as I go, and see how it turns out. If it looks awful, I'll just rip the seam then and knit the band longer. Hopefully I'll only lose 2 days of work by trying this out. So much trouble on finishing this sweater! The good news is, it seems to fit ok. The upper arms are a bit more snug than I would normally like, so I'll definitely have to wear a sleeveless shell underneath this thing rather than a long-sleeve top. It's also shorter than I would normally like, falling just at the top of my waist. That's the lenght it's supposed to be - once again, I should have looked at it and realized I wanted something longer. It was just taking so dang long to knit this thing that when I got to the part where I could start decreasing for the arm holes, I couldn't resist. Maybe in the new year I'll learn to think more while I'm knitting and not be so impatient about that little warning voice in my head.