A Good Yarn

Sunday, August 31, 2008

End of Summer

I know it's not officially the end of summer yet, but Labor Day weekend always feels like the end of summer - the State Fair closes, school starts, football starts for real and the days are getting shorter and cooler. I love fall and I'm excited about it, but I'm also a little sad because this summer just zipped by and I don't feel like I made the most of it.

Another sure sign of the end of summer - the end of Summer of Socks. I finished up my second pair:

Project Name: Silk and Cashmere Ankle Socks
Pattern Source: Handmaiden Website
Yarn: Handmaiden 4 Ply Silk Cashmere in Sangria Colorway
Yarn Source: Simply Socks Yarn Company
Date Started: 7/27/08
Date Completed: 8/28/08

Comments: These are so incredibly soft and warm! I started with the pattern linked above, but I decided to skip the yarnovers on the edge and just do ribbing. Then I decided to carry the ribbing all the way down the top of the foot. This yarn has very little elasticity because neither silk nor cashmere do, so it probably won't stay huggy ribby very long, but I do like how it fits. After I finished the socks, I still had a ton of yarn left, so I undid the cast on and knit another inch on the legs, so the middle of the legs shift 1/2 a stitch. I still had yarn leftover at the end, so I probably should have just knit toe up socks, but at only 170m, I didn't think I'd have that much yarn. This is a gorgeous, special yarn and I'd definitely buy it again for a special project.

I had hoped to knit three pair of socks, but since it usually takes me about a month to knit a pair of socks, 2.5 pairs is about right for the time period. I'm also almost done with the first sock of my Obama Veterans knitting socks.

I also did a little beading. As I mentioned before, I got the Kit of the Month club from The Bead Monkey for my friend Florence for Hannukah last year and we try to get together periodically to do our kits together. Here's the latest:

Once again, it's really hard to get a good picture of your own wrist. There's a better picture of the kit at the link above. This project looks deceptively simple, but it's actually a bit complicated to keep the wires straight so you get the pattern right, without it looking like a big mess of wire. I finally got a system going and once I figure that out, it went pretty quickly. We also worked on another project, but that one required some time to set, so I'll show that one once we get it all finished.

I saw this film this weekend:

I always feel like I have to start reviews of Woody Allen films by saying I'm a huge fan. He seems to be one of those directors who either appeals to you or he doesn't and he definitely is one of my favorites. By the same token, I should also say that I don't like ScarJo. Obama supporter or not, she annoys me whenever I see her on film. I do think she's less annoying in Woody's films, which is good since she seems to be his muse these days. I still think she's a wooden actress and her performance in this film was no exception. She plays Cristina, an American in Barcelona with her best friend, Vicky. Cristina is an artsy, free-thinking woman who is always vaguely dissatisfied and searching for something better, especially in the love department. Vicky is her opposite in all ways, visually and temperamentally. Vicky is decisive and knows exactly what she wants and has her whole future, including her impending marriage to Doug, mapped out. Vicky and Cristina meet Juan Antonio, played by Javier Bardem at his most sexy and sultry, a Spanish artist known for his tempestuous relationship and divorce from his ex-wife, Maria Elena, played by Penelope Cruz. With a cast like that, there's a lot of sexy on the screen and your eyes just drink it in. The story of how these people interact and what they're looking for in love and in life is really interesting. It's not a laugh a minute and it's not earth shaking drama, but it's really well made and I loved spending every minute with this group.

I also finished up a book:

A friend of mine read this book for book club and now that I'm living the cubicle/office life, it sounded intriguing. I'm so glad I picked it up. It's about a group of people who work at an advertising agency that is slowly going down the tubes. It takes place in 2001, before 9/11, and everyone is gripped by the fear that they're going to be the next one laid off (which they call "Walking Spanish down the hall, from a Tom Waits song). The book is narrated in a first person plural voice - meaning it's not one person telling the story, but the whole group. It's an interesting device and I really thought it worked well. The book starts off very light and very funny - I could definitely see my coworkers and our office life in the characters and action. It gradually gets a little darker and more serious and there's a big shift toward the middle, where the middle section changes to one person's story. Then the last portion goes back to the third person plural narration and office story, but things aren't so light and funny any more. It's really different and I really enjoyed it. Even though the story is told through the voice of the collective, you get to know each of the people that work in the office, too, and they seem very real. The details are all spot on and really stay with you. If you've ever worked in an office, I really think you'd enjoy this book.

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