A Good Yarn

Friday, April 28, 2006

Bearing Witness

Just one film last night, but it was a good one. I saw a documentary called "Bearing Witness." It's about 5 women who were journalists working in Iraq when the war began. They each talk about their experiences as war correspondents, but also about what it means to be a woman in a job like that and how it has affected their personal lives. So, so interesting! I just loved all of the women, but especially Marie Colvin, who is a senior foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times of London. She was just so confident and calm in the middle of some highly charged and dangerous situations. The film was financed by A&E and appeared on that channel last year. It's also available on DVD. I would highly recommend it.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Still April

No film fest yesterday because I went to a fundraiser for the Harriet Tubman Family Alliance. The Honeydogs played and I really enjoyed them. I think I have heard them on local radio, but I'd never heard them live and they were good. My brother was also the big winner in the raffle. They had a little different set up for the raffle - you would drop your ticket into a bowl for the specific prize you'd like to win, rather than just having one big raffle with 1st, 2nd, 3rd prize, etc. So, Greg won a free year of beer. That's right, 36 cases of beer. We had to take 12 cases of it home with us last night and let me tell you, that's a lot of beer! He also won a $100 gift certificate to a local restaurant and a night for 10 people at a comedy club. What fun, eh?

Being that we were unloading beer and such, I didn't get home until late and still haven't knit this week. I did make a photo mosaic of the yellow and/or orange stuff around my house:

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

More Films

I checked out a couple more good films last night:

First up was American Gun. It reminded me of "Crash" in that it interwove the stories of a big ensemble cast. What a fantastic cast, too. In this film, all of the stories are not connected, however. There are three major plotlines - the best in Oregon involving the three-year anniversary of a Columbine-type school shooting. Marcia Gay Harden plays the mother of one of the shooters. There's also some characters in Chicago, including Forest Whitaker as a principal in a tough inner-city school. The final set of characters live in Charlottesville, VA, including Donald Sutherland as a gun store owner and Linda Cardellini as his granddaughter who reluctantly works in the store. As is implied by the title, it's about the effect of guns and gun violence on American people. I found it really effective. There's just a constant sense of impending danger and with most of characters you are caught up in what they're going through and want to know what's going to happen to them. The acting was just unbelievable - such a great cast.

You know you can't keep me away from the documentaries for long! The second film I saw was a documentary called "Beethoven's Hair." It was fascinating. In 1994 two men bought a lock of Beethoven's Hair at auction. One of them is a urologist who wanted to have some of the hair tested to try to determine why Beethoven died and why he was so sick all of his life and went deaf. The film combines standard documentary interviews with some re-enactments and clips from old films about Beethoven. It interweaves the story of the two men who bought the lock of hair and the testing with the history of the lock itself - from being clipped off Beethoven as a momento the day after he died to its "escape" from Germany during WWII to the auction house. The people interviewed are interesting, the journey of the lock of hair was interesting and Beethoven was really brought alive. The whole film is accompanied by a gorgeous soundtrack of Beethoven's music, of course. It's really an interesting and fun film. If you're interested in finding out more about the hair, there's a cool interactive website here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Back in the Swing of Things

Now that the crunch to read my book club book is over, I'm back to the M-SPIFF. I saw a couple of good ones last night.

La Petite Jerusalem is a French film about two sisters who are Tunisian Jews living in the Little Jerusalem neighborhood of Paris. The older sister is married, with children, but is forced to face her sexuality and her faith. The younger sister is studying philosophy and working as a custodian. She is trying to reject all urges and devote herself strictly to philosophy. Until she meets another custodian - a journalist from Algeria. The film has very sparse dialogue. The acting is wonderful, however, including the actress playing the mother of the sisters. There are a number of religious ceremonies presented in the film, so for me, it was a fascinating look into the lives of a completely different culture. There's a lot of nudity and sexuality, if that would be of concern to you.

The other film I saw was "An Enemy of the People." It's a film updating the Ibsen play, directed by the director of the original version of the movie "Insomnia". I really loved this film. It was pretty bleak and depressing, however. I wasn't familiar with the Ibsen play, but from what I've read describing the play, this film is a pretty faithful adaptation. It's about a Norwegian nutritionist who becomes well-known for his tv show exposing big business and health - they show an episode of the show where he goes after the biggest Norwegian milk producer and the ill-effects of drinking too much milk. He's sort of a Michael Moore-type. After the tv network tries to limit his corporate attacks, he quits television and decides to go into business with his brother, bottling and selling water from the springs in their small hometown. He believes these are the most healthful waters and wants to prove their health benefits to the whole country. His wife has some misgivings about returning to the old hometown because her father is a bit of an alcoholic and was involved in some sort of scandal back in the day, so she feels she'll be unwelcome. Nevertheless they move to the small town, start bottling the water, getting investments from everyone in town and then the doctor discovers there are unsafe levels of pesticide in the water. Needless to say, everyone who has invested their life savings and hopes for the future of their town in this water plant doesn't want to hear about pesticides. The doctor is a true believer, however, and tries to warn the world, paying no mind of the cost to himself or his family or of any other possible solutions to making the water safe. It's really a fascinating story and paced just perfectly. I loved the actors - the doctor starts out as this loving husband, charismatic leader, enthusiastic dreamer and by the end he's just a complete lunatic who is out of control. His wife and son also have some very nice transformations. The film is absolutely gorgeous. I can't tell you how much I want to go to Norway now - it's just breathtaking.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Weekend Update

I spent most of the weekend reading. I had book club yesterday and I was really trying to finish the book before I got there and ALMOST made it. I still have about 50 pages left to read, so I'll wait to talk about it until I finish. I did manage to sneak in a couple of other things over the weekend too.

Saturday night I saw this:

Funny movie! I really enjoyed it. It's about a big tobacco lobbyist played by Aaron Eckhart - it's a role he's perfect for. His only friends are the lobbyists for the alcohol and firearms industries. The call themselves the MOD (merchants of death) squad and debate whose product is deadlier and therefore whose job is hardest. There's stinging satire against the movie industry and Congress and journalism and just about any other target you can think of. However, it's really a controlled and sort of subtle humor - it's not outrageous laughter, but smart, knowing commentary that's funny.

I also did a little knitting. I finished the first side of the Wobbly Circles Tote:

Holy cow! This thing is ginormous!! I though it wasn't going to be as long as I wanted since it was so wide, but it's also really, really long. I could seam up the sides and this bag would become a tunic. Or a dress. I fear I'm going to run out of yarn. We'll see how big it is when it's felted down.

I also finished up the cabled hat:

Project Name: Cricket Hat
Designer: Knitwhits
Pattern Source: Knitwhits Leaflet
Yarn: Alchemy Bamboo
Yarn Source: Yarn Trade
Date Started: 4/15/06
Date Completed: 4/22/06

Comments: I got this yarn in one of the stash swaps - I think the Stash Snob Redistribution Project (SSRP). The gorgeous colors are hard to capture on film. I thought it would be a perfect yarn for the April Project Spectrum project. The bamboo yarn is like a cross between cotton and linen. It has a very nice drape. I had a good amount of yarn left, so I could have made the toddler size instead of the infant size. I think maybe I'll make a roll brim baby hat with black yarn and stripes of this yarn.

Friday, April 21, 2006


First, Project Spectrum Swap - I've posted my anwers to the questions here, if you'd like to read them over.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival (M-SPIFF) started last night and I attended the opening film, Al Franken: God Spoke. I really enjoyed it. It's a documentary about Al Franken. They filmed him right after Lies came out and the whole lawsuit filed by Fox, through the formation of Air America Radio through shortly after the 2004 election and his contemplation of running for the US Senate against Norm Coleman here in Minnesota. It's an interesting portrait of a man that I admire.

I'm not sure I learned a lot about him, but I already knew quite a bit going into it. Mr. Franken attended The Blake School, a private school in Minneapolis. I was an assistant debate coach there in college and they were very proud to have him as an alum, so I've followed his career pretty closely ever since then. I think if you enjoyed "The War Room" or like Al Franken, you'd enjoy the film. He's very funny in it, though they also show he's very intense and emotional.

I went to the film with my brother and his friend and my nephew. I remember when my nephew's mom went into labor with him, I took her to the hospital and stayed with her there for most of the day. I was reading "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot" and trying not to laugh because she was in so much pain. 10 years later he's a very grown up boy, watching a documentary about the author and hearing him speak. How time flies!

Anyway, Mr. Franken spoke after the film and I got the strong impression that he has decided to run for the Senate. Since I despise Norm Coleman, I'm very happy at that prospect. Al Franken was friends with Paul Wellstone and I think they share a lot of the same qualities - the passion for social justice, the clear voice without any concern about what might be damaging, politically, the enormous intelligence. I also think Franken's celebrity would be an asset against Coleman - we did elect Jesse Ventura as Governor. Coleman's close allegiance with the Bush administration can't be helping him either, with Bush's approval rating at 33% right now (and it's got to be even lower in Minnesota, since we voted for Kerry in an even larger numbers than we voted for Gore - we clearly wanted that bastard out of office). One concern I have after watching the film, though, is that Al Franken has a quick temper and great disdain for anyone he considers wrong and/or stupid, which will probably be Norm Coleman all the time. There's a scene with Michael Medved where they're discussing Zell Miller's speech at the Republican National Convention and Franken is debunking Miller's bullshit about how John Kerry is going to tear down our defense because he voted against this list of weapons. There's a great chapter in The Truth about this subject if you're interested. Anyway, Medved is trying to parse words and defend Miller and at one point he overgeneralizes and says something that isn't true and Franken just gets apoplectic. I thought he was going to start throwing things around the room. I fear that on a long and tiring campaign trail, he's going to lose control of his emotions and "pull a Howard Dean." Personally, I didn't see anything wrong with Dean's speech - he didn't seem crazy to me, he just seemed passionate and reminded me of Paul Wellstone, but I was in the clear minority on that one. Dean's campaign was dead after that. So, if Franken does run, I hope he'll be able to keep himself in check enough for the very reserved Minnesotans. I always think that we embraced a guy like Paul Wellstone and Jesse Ventura, who is a complete nutjob, we must be pretty good at seeing past the surface. Of course we also voted for a blow-dried shell of a man like Norm Coleman. Ugh.

In knitting news, I've continued work on my Wobbly Circles Tote and am almost done with the cabled baby hat. I'll show pictures next time. I did see one of my knitting pals in the Franken movie. Rebecca went to see him speak and they show her intently listening at one point in the film. She's a superstar!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Project Spectrum Swap

I received a box of goodies from my PS Swap partner, Heather, yesterday. It couldn't have come at a better time because I was really bummed out when I found out how much I owe in taxes.

I was delighted when I opened the box! You can kind of see the orange and yellow crinkly paper that everything was packed in - it was a feast for the eyes when I opened it up. From left to right, the contents are:

A jelly bean carrot
Yellow Peeps
Harvest Spice Votive Candles
Manner Lemon Cream Wafers
A Lined Notebook that says "hi" on the front
Liquid Beadz
Yellow and Orange stitch markers
Twinings Lemon & Ginger Herbal Tea
A polka-dotted "R" magnet
Hot Curry Powder
Cayenne Pepper
and the piece de resistance - some of her yarn in the "Tangerine and Lemon" Colorswap colorway!

I have to admit, when I saw that I was paired with Heather, I was really hoping that she'd send me some of her gorgeous yarn. Heather is a wizard at the dyepot and the yarn is really soft and beautiful in person. Here's a closer picture of the yarn - sorry it's not clearer. I would have taken another picture but my batteries died.

She did an awesome job with everything, though - I'm totally gobsmacked! I have to admit I was feeling a bit sad about being a grownup and not getting an Easter basket any more and Heather took care of that with the fun candy - plus I really love those Manner wafers. I always burn candles, so those will be put to good use. My love affair with beaded stitch markers is well documented on this blog and these are some beauts! I've been wanting to try those Liquid Beadz, so I can't wait to come up with a project for that. She hit all my loves - knitting, beads, paper craft and cooking. And the magnet will be proudly displayed on the filing cabinet next to my desk - it's so cute and polka dotty! I'm just so thrilled with everything - what a fantastic swap!! Thanks so much Heather for being a great partner and Lynne for creating and organizing this amazing fun! Signups for May are already closed, but I'd highly recommend signing up for June. Especially if you want to try out a swap for the first time - it's only one exchange and you have the same partner for giving and receiving. Plus, it's super fun to shop in a color theme!

I've also been knitting in the Spectrum. I still couldn't get a good picture of it, but here's my orange hat:

Next time I'll try taking it outside and see if I can get a better picture. It's a cable and moss stitch hat for a baby in Alchemy Bamboo.

I also started my Wobbly Circles Tote last night:

It looks very retro with the harvest gold, avocado and rust colors. I bumped up to a size 11 needle since I'm using LP Bulky and want to give the fibers room to move around and grab onto each other when felting. That means I think it'll be a little wider than the original bag is, but that's ok. I would have gotten more done last night, but just as I sat down to knit, this guy came over to me:

He had a ham bone sticking out the side of his mouth. He had been chewing on it and got it stuck on his teeth. I couldn't get it loose, so I took him in to the emergency vet where they popped it right off. His gum is a little torn up, but otherwise I think he's no worse for wear.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Catching Up

I can't believe it's been a week since my last post. This week just flew by. I was really busy with work, so I won't have a huge amount to post here. It kind of sucked, too, because all of last week it was above 70 degrees and I so much wanted to just go home and read my book club book, but I couldn't because I had so much to get done. So much for the flexibility of being self-employed, eh?

Last time I posted pictures of my yarn for the Wobbly Circles Tote. I think the color in the picture was way off because pretty much everyone said that the oregano looked too dark and the lime was good. I had all the yarns together in a bag for the last few weeks and everytime I walked by that bag the lime green just jumped out, so I really think the bright flash in that picture brighened up the sapphire and lotus pink. I appreciate everyone's feedback, though, and it got me to thinking. I had originally started with loving the oregano and raspberry together and putting the sapphire with them because it looked kind of purple to me. Here's a picture of the yarn outside, so maybe it's more true to color:

So I got to thinking that maybe I needed to ditch both the lime and pink. But then I thought maybe instead of the sapphire, I'd use some amethyst I also have in stash as the main color. The whole point of this project was to use stash yarn, so I have to make what I have work, for the most part. So, I could either go with sapphire, pink and lime and join in 2 other bright colors or Amethyst, oregano and raspberry. I checked the stash some more and thought about joining in the leftover yellow from the first Nantasket basket. The other colors I have in stash are not suitable for either grouping, so I decided to go to the yarn store one more time and pick up just two skeins, which isn't too much to add. Especially since The Yarnery is having a 20% off everything in the store sale. So, after going through all the Lamb's Pride I decided to stick with my first choice, the oregano and raspberry and put it with amethyst as the main color. I added in rust and sunburst gold and I think I really like this grouping. I may have been attracted to these colors because of Project Spectrum, but I really do think they look good together.

That picture still isn't a good reflection of the colors, even though it's outside in natural light. It looks like they're all primary colors, but it really is a gold, not a yellow and the other colors are more subtle. No matter how I try that Oregano looks dark, too, and it's not that dark in real life. This color card is the best representation I've seen in person, if you're really interested.

Of course, it could just be that I don't have a good sense of color. Either way I really like these colors and I'm definitely going with them. Even if everyone else thinks the green is too dark or they don't go together, I like them and will be happy with the bag, so that's all that really matters, to me. The knitalong has started, so I'm planning on casting on tonight. Speaking of colors, I also bought a few more skeins of Cotton Classic at The Yarnery for my mitred squares blanket. I know that's going to be really colorful and perhaps some will find it hideous, but I think I'm going to like it.

In other Project Spectrum news, I felted the third Nantasket basket and it didn't turn out so well:

As you can see, it didn't really felt much. As I posted before, I used Peace Fleece for this one. It's a little bit heavier than the other two yarns I used, so it ended up being a lot bigger to begin with. Since it didn't felt down much, the finished project was a lot bigger than the first two. I tried to take a closeup of the fabric so you could see what it looks like, although it's not so great:

I ran it through the wash I think 4 times. It felted some and was really, really hairy. I shaved it to take away alot of the hairiness. The blue for the handles actually seemed to felt much better, although they are still floppy and not stiff like the lamb's pride handles. I gave all three baskets filled with goodies to the kids this weekend and they all seemed to really like them. They were excited that they got to keep them. Katie got the Peace Fleece one and liked it because it was the biggest one. So, all's well that ends well. No more baskets for me for a while - I'm kinda sick of them.

I started knitting a baby hat out of a gorgeous orange bamboo yarn from Alchemy, but neither of the two pictures I took look very nice, so I'm going to wait and post a picture of that later in the week.

I knit up a few squares for animal shelter cage liners for Chris on Saturday. I just grabbed the closest acrylic I had in stash, which turned out to be some Lion Brand Microspun. Coral isn't really orange, but I consider it a pink and orange hybrid, so I think they're cousins and this counts as a PS project :-)

It was just a quick, fun little diversion on a day that I was mostly working on my taxes - ugh. I'm excited to be taking things OFF of the stash inventory instead of always adding them ON, too.

Sunday I decided to do a little Project Spectrum beading. First up is a necklace with a little orange and yellow in it:

I saw this cool heart-shaped bead and it immediately reminded me of the Irish flag, so I thought maybe I'd pair it with a three-strand seed bead necklace in the Irish flag colors. This didn't turn out exactly what I had in mind. I think I may pick up a large jump ring and hook the bead onto all three strands of the necklace. Or maybe I'll leave it. Next I worked on a millefiore necklace, but I decided it needed some metal, so I'm going to pick up some silver heishis and finish it up later. Last, I made a bracelet with some red, brown and yellow beads I really liked:

Kind of hard to see - I took a bunch of pictures and none of them were great. The darker beads are red, the lighter ones are a rootbeer color of brown and then the yellow is obvious. and yes, I really like accenting my pieces with silver heishis.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Yesterday was about the most perfect day you can have, weather-wise. It was 77 and sunny. Those of you in the warmer climes are probably yawning just about now. But there aren't many days between the cold and snow and the heat and humidity around here. And a lot of those days are gray and rainy. So a day like yesterday is like gold. We have to deal with that cold and snow and people don't understand why we do it, but we also appreciate a beautiful day like yesterday in a way you can't if you live in sunny California. Unfortunately, I was very unproductive last week, so I couldn't leave work early. I so much wanted to head home and sit in the sun and try to read some of my book club book. I did manage to sit outside and read a report for about a half hour. Almost as good.

I should be able to finish up the third Nantasket Basket tonight - just the handles left to knit, then the felting. This one is HUGE and we'll see if it felts down.

And I finished the knitting on the April mitred square.

That's them blocking. The square is shaped much better than the old pattern I was using. I'll rip that one out and re-knit the pink and red square. I may rearrange these squares before sewing them together. I think the pink and red are too close to be sewn together.

This weekend I'm going to start the Wobbly Circles Tote Knitalong. I had a bunch of Lamb's Pride Bulky in my stash, that I'm going to use:

The only skein I bought for this is that bright green and now that I have it with the other yarns, I think it might be too bright. I may pick up something else. It's just a small accent color, but I'm thinking that's still too much.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Another one Finished!

Comments: This one is made with Lamb's Pride Worsted. I got the brown at Depth of Field just for this project and the Turquoise from the sale room at The Yarnery. I made the sides a little bit longer on this one because I thought the first one was too shallow, but then I ended up running out of yarn and having to use another blue to finish the handle. If it wasn't just a kid's Easter basket, I probably would have ripped back and reclaimed some of the yarn to finish up. It also felted differently, so with this yarn I think the original size would have been fine. I did make the handles shorter and kitchnered them together and I like the results much, much better.

I've also been working on Project Spectrum stuff. I did some papercrafting:

I also finished up the Orange Crush mitred square:

It looks just like the old Bronco's colors. This orange and yellow square will be very bright and cheery!

I also started ANOTHER Nantasket Basket for Easter in PS: April colors.

As you can see, these pictures were taken outside - we're having a lovely spring weekend! I've started switching out the wardrobe and wore some new sandals today - I'm very happy about that! I went to the American Craft Council show today and ALMOST made it without buying any earrings after my gluttony last weekend, but I found a pair I had to have. I picked up a few other things too. Such wonderful, talented artists!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

PS: April

We had a lovely spring day around here yesterday. It was about 60 degrees and I got to wear capri pants for the first time. There's something about that little patch of bare leg that feels so freeing. Not to mention not being buried in piles of winter coat, scarves, hats and mittens. Today it's back to April showers, but that's ok. I feel reinvigorated.

I made my first mitred square for Project Spectrum April, orange and yellow:

I started the second square which I'm calling Orange Crush: it's orange and blue, like the Denver Broncos. I'm also almost done with another Nantasket Basket. Just the handles and the felting left to finish:

My friend Deepa gave me a very cute tape measure for my collection yesterday too. I tried to take a picture of it, but just couldn't get my camera to focus correctly. Here's a link to the website - it's Tickles the Tapeworm. I love his teeth!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Kate is having a contest that requires you to post the contents of the cupboard above your fridge. I don't have a cupboard above my fridge, but I do have one above the window on the same wall as the fridge which is equally inaccessible, so I think it qualifies:

Sorry for the wonky angle, but it's way above my head and if I stand on the ladder that I use to open the cupboard to take the picture, I'm too close to get the whole thing.

From left to right: my blender, some silver serving pieces, some paper cups, some plastic serving pieces and some ceramic serving bowls. So basically, party stuff. I don't have people over very often any more because the dogs are not good hosts. However, I'm not getting rid of the stuff because it's stuff that I can and do use periodically.

It does bring up a good question. At what point do you get rid of stuff you're just keeping around "in case". This is an important question for me because I live in a small home built in the 20s. I always say they built my house when people only had 3 outfits to wear. I have significantly more than 3 outfits. And a lot of books. And as you know, a lot of yarn. So storage is a huge problem for me.

The "Clean Sweep" type of shows always say to just purge, purge, purge. I do that somewhat with the clothes. Since we have two very distinct clothing seasons in Minnesota, I switch out the wardrobe twice a year. When I'm packing away the previous season clothes, I always try to weed out the stuff I haven't worn at all that season. (As a side note, this is the time of the year I start to wear the stuff I haven't worn all season so that I can keep them or decide to finally get rid of them. Like the green shirt that I wore yesterday.) Sometimes I keep something I haven't worn all season just because I want to and I think I'm going to wear it again. I still have way, way more clothes than I should and my closet is jam packed, my wardrobe bar is jam packed and I have small storage units in the dining room with clothes.

I'm trying to go through the books and get rid of them. I've joined Book Crossing and have released some of them into the wild. I've gotta keep going. I'm never going to have time to read all of those books, unless I end up in jail. Same thing with my music and movies. I should just get rid of all my casettes and video tapes, since they are not on my preferred mediums. But it's so hard. I was so happy to get those things and I might someday really really want to watch "The Prince of Tides" or listen to "Eric Clapton Unplugged".

It's the stuff like that in the kitchen and that ilk that are the hardest for me to even think about getting rid of. It's perfectly good stuff. Some day I might need to use it and it would be expensive to replace it. But perhaps I should be more realistic and just purge and feel better about my surroundings on a day to day basis. This is something I really need to think about and consider doing. But first I need to actually get the house clean even with the clutter before I start de-cluttering.

It also brings to mind an article in the paper today from an advise columnist. The writer asked how does one become happy. The columnist answered that you have to be happy with what you have already and not just focus on what you want. Good advice.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I forgot to include this button in my last post:

I quite enjoyed the knitting content on Grey's Anatomy this week. I like that they showed the docs knitting the week before to set up this episode. I loved Meredith's angry stabbing knitting. I loved Izzy's graceful, quick knitting. I loved that she knit a sweater for Denny, though I doubt a surgeon, no matter how fast she knits, could knit a sweater in one day at work. Izzy's so conflicted about her feelings for Denny - do you think she knows about the boyfriend sweater curse and is hoping that perhaps the relationship won't work out so she doesn't have to face her feelings? Most of all I loved the mantra, "I have my knitting." Knitting as salve to the soul as well as crutch to avoid painful feelings. Oh, how I identify with that theme. And that's the end of the knitting content in this entry. Since I'm talking about tv, I'll do my semi-regular tv talk.

I also really enjoyed West Wing. I've never been a big fan of the Josh and Donna coupling, but I was pretty thrilled that they finally consumated it. I loved their ackwardness, especially Donna's - a little unexpected for me. And even though I knew it was coming, I still cried like a baby when Leo was discovered. I'm glad they're wrapping the show up now and in this way. I'm excited to see some of the old faces, too.

I'm also really excited about the return of The Sopranos. How genius to come full circle in the series and have Uncle Jun shoot Tony. This season is fantastic so far and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it will end.

I've also been watching "Big Love" on HBO before The Sopranos. I was a bit skeptical about it, but I'm totally absorbed. It's really just a soap opera, so I love it. I love how the actresses are playing the three wives. It does seem so very authentic. I have to admit it's odd to see Chloe Sevigny in prairie skirts, though - her frequent appearances on Go Fug Yourself have been burned into my brain.

So far that's the only mid-season replacement show I'm really digging. Thief has only aired once so far and I'm intrigued with that. Andre Braugher's very complex character is interesting to watch. And it's a little thrill to see "Ann" from Arrested Development playing his daughter.

Speaking of my all time favorite show, I'll close with sad news. Entertainment Weekly reports that AD was given a chance by Showtime, but the series creator, Mitch Hurwitz decided to turn it down. He says, "I had taken it as far as I felt I could as a series." I'm so very sad. That show was so funny and creative. But, I appreciate his concern about not destroying those qualities by keeping it going. He said a lot of the actors are being cast in films, so hopefully we'll see them all again soon!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Weekend Update

This weekend wasn't nearly as productive as the past couple of weekends have been. It did seem to zip on by, though. Friday I saw this film:

I had mixed feelings about it. It is very stylish and there are some visuals that are stunning. And I certainly believe in the sentiment of it. But I did feel like it sort of knocked you over the head with the message and edged over the line of cornball in the process. There are some great character actors in this film, and I especially liked the complexity of the detective played by Stephen Rea. I didn't much care for Natalie Portman's performance. It just didn't seem authentic to me. The story isn't told in a straight forward narrative - things are explained as the film goes on in flashbacks and discoveries. I usually enjoy this kind of plot manipulation, but I'm not sure it was completely effective in this film - I think I understand the history of the world from now to 2020, when the film takes place, but it was rather confusing at times before things were explained.

I also picked up the Mason-Dixon Knitting book and made a new mitered square following their directions.

Pre-blocked, but I can already tell this one is more square than my previous attempt, so I'm going to rip out the other square and follow these directions. I also started a new Nantasket Basket, outside of Project Spectrum:

As you can see, this time I'm making one with the basket pattern, using one of my favorite combos - turquoise and chocolate brown. I'm using Lamb's Pride for this one. I did knit up those yellow and orange swatches from elann this weekend. I don't think I'm going to buy any of those yarns, but it was fun to knit those bright colors!

We've had a lot of rain and gloom over the weekend, so the bright, sunshiney colors are good for April! No April fools jokes on or by me on Saturday. I did go to a craft show with Kerry and picked up three pairs of earrings. One of these days I'm going to have to learn glasswork so that I can make my own beautiful glass. We also stopped by Needlework Unlimited . I picked up a couple more balls of the Alchemy Haiku and the pattern for Femme Fatale. Maybe when blue month rolls around that's what I'll work on. I didn't participate in Flash your Stash on Saturday because my yarn is all in plastic boxes and plastic bags, so it's boring to look at unless I drag it out, which would be a pain in the ass. Some of the stash is on the inventory page if you're just interested in what I have. I really need to get working on getting the rest of it on the page, too. Maybe that'll be my spring project. To keep me from feeling too deprived about not going to Maryland Sheep & Wool. If you didn't see it, check out Wendy's Stash Flash - truly yarn porn!

Sunday I went with Bill and his family to an Easter Bunny breakfast at the store I'll always call Dayton's (a sure sign of age, when you call things by names they haven't been for years). Afterwards we went to the Science Museum and saw one of the films in the Omnifest.

Of course I love documentaries and films and animals, so what's not to love about this? Imax films are so much fun to see and this one is a short one - less than 40 minutes long, I think. The beavers are adorable, though. It's amazing to see them topple a huge tree. There's a film about India also playing, which I'd like to see before Omnifest closes.