A Good Yarn

Saturday, September 29, 2007


As I mentioned last time, I finished up my Tomato:

Project Name: Tomato
Designer: Wendy Bernard
Pattern Source: No Sheep For You
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Cotton
Yarn Source: I can't really remember, but maybe Borealis
Date Started: 8/15/07
Date Completed: 9/23/07

Comments: This was a project I did for the last color grouping in this year's Project Spectrum. I started and finished it within the allotted time! I think this is the quickest I've ever knit a sweater for myself. This pattern was featured in the Interweave Knits Knitting Daily emails for a while, and I used the modifications Sandi talked about in KD. Specifically, I did darts in the bust area and divided the front and back at the bottom for side vents. I'm not sure I like the side vents, since I didn't add back in the extra stitches I decreased for the bust darts. Therefore, the front has fewer stitches than the back, so the side vents aren't really on the side. The darts definitely make the sweater more form fitting and so it's probably more flattering than having all that extra fabric, but it also really makes me look busty. I think it looks better when I have a necklace to draw the eye up a little like this self-portrait:

It's even warm enough these days that I can still wear it a time or two before I have to pack it away for winter. This yarn is one that Mission Falls discontinued for a little while, so I bought up all of the skeins of this purple in some store locally, I think Borealis. It's a nice and soft cotton, but I prefer a smooth mercerized like Cotton Classic.

I saw a couple of movies this weekend, on opposite ends of the spectrum. This one is one I loved:

What a powerful, amazing movie. It's directed by Sean Penn, who I love as an actor. He's always talking about how he wants to give up acting forever and just direct and I'm afraid with this film, he may decide to make that move for good. It's based on a novel by Jon Krakauer, a true story about Christopher McCandless. Chris graduates from college in 1990 and decides to give away all his money (he's from a wealthy family, so it's over $24,000) and hit the road. His goal is to end up in Alaska, just to live in the wilderness and commune with nature. The film goes back and forth between Chris in Alaska and his journey to get there. You may think by that description, that it's a beautiful, fun road movie and part of it is that, but it's so much more. The non-linear structure is wonderful, because you really build up a connection with Chris and things are revealed in a really effective way. At the beginning of the film I really was irritated with Chris and sort of wanted to slap him. But the more you watch the film, the more you learn about who he is, how he came to make these choices and what effect they have on him, his family and the people he meets along the way. It's really something special. Chris is played by a relatively new actor, Emile Hirsch. His performance is pretty amazing and I'll be pretty shocked if he isn't nominated for an Academy Award. He captures so many different layers of Chris - his selfishness, his naivete, his charisma and charm. He also makes a pretty significant transformation over the course of the film. There are loads of great supporting performances throughout the film, too. Sean Penn incorporates all kinds of camera tricks. Sometimes I thought it was a little too much trickery in that it took me out of the film and into the "filmmaking", if you know what I mean. But overall, it obviously worked because I was totally sucked in and believed everything, which is so crucial when filming a true story. All of the scenes were filmed on location, so you get a ton of gorgeous scenery of the southwest, South Dakota, Alaska. The soundtrack includes a number of haunting songs written and performed by Eddie Vedder, that are the perfect accompaniment for what's happening on screen. I can't recommend this film strongly enough, but make sure you're prepared for the emotional impact.

On the other hand, I hated this:

You've probably seen the previews, so you know this movie stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as a big time pro football quarterback who suddenly finds out he has a young daughter. It is really awful. It was completely predictable. Everything that happens in the film is telegraphed far in advance and you'd have to have never seen a movie before in your life to not know what was going to happen next. And yet, as impossible as it seems, everything that happens is completely unrealistic. You know what's going to happen, but you also know that that would never happen in real life. I don't even want to say more than that, because it will just make me mad. I will say, however, that The Rock actually can act. He has tremendous charisma and even though the dialog was ridiculous, he kind of sold it. I am hoping he'll be able to work his way into better material than this in the future.

For the record, I didn't choose "The Game Plan." We were going to go mini-golfing at Lava Links in Pavilion Place mall, but they've closed down. So sad. We've had so much fun golfing the volcano there and playing air hockey. We'll really miss it. Since it was closed, we went across the street to the place responsible for closing it down, the huge AMC Theater at Rosedale Mall. Once that theater opened, the theaters at Pavilion Place closed and I guess once the theaters closed, there wasn't enough traffic into the mall to keep Lava Links open. On the plus side, Chipotle is scheduled to open next to the theater later this fall, so I finally have a Chipotle near my office!

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