Monday, April 30, 2007

Movie Musings Monday: Underworld Evolution Blu-Ray Edition

Hubs and I undertook a new project this weekend - hooking up the PS3 and DVD player through HDMI cables, upgrading the surround sound system to optical cords, and adding an HDMI source selector to our home theater setup. Ok, more like my idea to add all this stuff and Hubs hard work to get it working properly. I did google around a bit to find a cord that would let these HDMI devices be plugged into our TV's DVI input though. :) Thanks to our college friends, Christina and Tony, who we got the chance to see for the first time in ages this weekend, we even had a Blu-Ray movie recommendation.

We have a copy of Underworld Evolution on regular ol' DVD, so the plot didn't have any big unexpected twists for me to be caught by. What I didn't count on was just how amazing high definition through an HDMI cord looks compared to a non-HD signal. Said amazement led me to say things like "Wow, look at that guy's head get ripped off in HD!" and "Wow, look at that shine off Kate Beckingsale's ass in HD!" By far the best effect was the blue vampire HD. :) As Hubs said, this movie will be "The Matrix" DVD of the Blu-Ray format - everyone had to buy a copy of "The Matrix" when they purchased their first DVD player. So it goes with Blu-Ray player and "Underworld Evolution".

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars. Visually stunning on Blu-Ray.
Knitting Rating: 0 out of 5 Skeins. Far too visually interesting for the simplest stockinette in the round. I abandoned the sock midway through the first scene.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Knitting Knitting, Who's Got the Knitting?

Yeah, I've actually been knitting! Main work has been on the Opal Tiger socks. I decided that these will be a Mother's Day present, so I better get cracking!

Love these stripes!

Much more lace inspiration lies within!

Since the most recent Knitpicks catalog has been sent, I've been enamored with the Feather and Fan Shawl. I scoured over all the local bookstore and vendor at the fiber fest trying to get my hands on a copy of "A Gathering of Lace". Being the impatient yet cheapskate person that I am, I ordered a copy from Overstock. And waited...and waited...and waited. Finally, it arrived on my doorstep last night, and I've been drooling over the lace projects since. Can't wait to cast on!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Good and the Fibery

First off, let me take a minute to say "Thanks!" for all the good healing thoughts for Bandit. I dropped him off at the vet's office this morning for a thorough check-up after noticing he had developed a limp overnight. At lunchtime, I got a call from the vet that Bandit has a sprained left shoulder. He'll need a week or so of painkillers and lots of rest. He's in a bit of pain, but he'll get better soon. :)

Catching up a bit on blogging backlog. After a very tough day last Thursday, I was greeted at home by a wonderful package from my awesome Knitty Spring Fling SP, JayneHat!

J Knits hand dyed sock yarn in "Indiana", bath bomb and Dreamtime bath melt from LUSH(!!!!), and yummy Vosages hot chocolate

On Saturday, April 14th, I went to The Fiber Event at the Putnam County Fairgrounds. There were lots of fiber vendors from all over the Midwest ranging from yarn stores to alpaca farmers to dyers. I was so happy that the sinus infection from hell eased up in time for me to get out and enjoy the event. The weather was horrid - rainy and cold. Shortly after I got into my SUV, sleet and snow started to fall. I was very happy when I picked up an elephant ear for Hubs at a food vendor that they were selling hot chocolate.

Of course, I couldn't go to a fiber fest with multiple buildings worth of yarn-y goodness and not buy some.

2500 yards of alpaca lace weight Angel Face by Briar Rose Fibers

Fleece Artist Sea Wool sock yarn

Fleece Artist superwash merino sock yarn
Opal Rain Forest in "Bumble Bee"

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sick Poochie-Pie

Bandit didn't have a very nice weekend. While at the dog park Saturday morning, Bandit was on the receiving end of a tousle with a German Shepherd and Lab. Once we got home, he seemed to be in a lot of pain - crying out when he tried to bark and shaking. We took him to the emergency vet hospital and walked out with some pain pills for him and a diagnosis of just general pain. Tonight, he's not doing any better; still refusing to bark, shaking, and lethargic. :( I spoke with his regular vet this evening, and will take him to the vet tomorrow morning. I'm so scared that something is wrong with him or that he's in a lot of pain. Please keep our little guy in your thoughts tomorrow.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Jayne, the Dog That's Not Called Jayne!

How's it sit? Pretty cunning, don't ya think?

I think it's the sweetest thing ever.

Hell, he poses like a true knitwear model after a rough and tumble hour at the dog park!

Pattern Specs
Pattern: Jayne Hat Kit from Wear With Style
Modifications: No mods this time
Needles: US 10.5 Crystal Palace Bamboo DPNs
Thoughts: Loved this project! It was a great quick turn around project that fit in with my hellish schedule this week. I've been wearing it around the house all afternoon. :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

As with so many other things in life, you can't have too many dice.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Jayne, the WIP They Call Jayne!

I finally broke down last week and ordered a Jayne hat kit from Wear With Style. Oh, how excited I was to see a package postmarked Osiris and Canton in my mailbox when I got home tonight.

Hero of Canton Overlooking Hat Kit

Realizing that I didn't have a 16 inch size 10.5 circular needle at my fingertips, I learned the Magic Loop technique so I could get a start on my Jayne Hat. However, I quickly realized I'd rather poke myself in the eye with the pointy Knitpicks Options needles than do Magic Loop long enough to make a hat. I'll have to make a mad dash to the LYS tomorrow evening to get a set of DPNs.

Who wouldn't want a cunning hat like Jayne's?

Movie Musings Monday: Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest

Yesterday afternoon, I started catching up a bit on our newer additions to our DVD collection. If you like a good pirate brain candy movie, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies are just the ticket. Sit back, relax, grab some knitting and just enjoy the impressive visual effects, soundtrack, and staggering antics of Captain Jack Sparrow.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars. Good movie, but it's a middle movie. Lose a star for the fate of the prison pooch.
Knitting Rating: 3 out of 5 Skeins. I got a bit distracted by the visuals while picking up stitches on a sock for Hubs. Good for mindless knitting though.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Thursday night, I finished knitting the North Star Scarf. I ended with 7 full pattern repeats , 2 repeats shy of the pattern specifications. I didn't want to tempt the knitting fates by trying more repeats with the wee bit of leftover yarn. In a fit of energetic productivity, blocking commenced this afternoon.

Cause of this evening's back crick
But wait..

ARGH! A MISTAKE!! Why couldn't I see this big honkin' mistake before blocking?

Artistic pose over the snowy April afternoon

Really, the bathroom and I aren't orange. Guess it's new camera time!

Project Specs
Pattern: North Star Scarf from "Arctic Lace"
Modifications: Only completed 7 out of 9 repeats due to short yardage
Yarn: Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud in "Horizon Heather". The Knitpicks website has this listed as needing one skein of Alpaca Cloud, but to have a full-sized version, buy two skeins.
Needles: US 3 Knitpicks classic circs
Project Thoughts: Once I got the hang of the slippery Alpaca Cloud, the KP classic circulars were very nice for the lace work. Loved the pointy ends. Pattern was very well done with easy to read charts; I especially liked the inclusion of plain knit stitch counts between pattern elements on the chart. The evenness of the k2tog and k2togtbl kept the stars crisp looking. Overall, I loved this project, and it's a major downer that it's finished.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Today's words of wisdom are "don't burn the candle at both ends and then set fire to the middle, too." I've been keeping a pretty crazy schedule lately, and my body decided to revolt. Sunday and Monday, I felt a bit off - headache, burning sinuses. That was just the small beginnings of a nasty bout with sinusitis I have now. Much <3 for antibiotics, cough suppressants, and Puffs with lotion. Hopefully, I'll be able to rejoin the human race in a few days.

Monday, April 09, 2007

No Movies, More Lace

Once again, I find it to be Monday without any weekend movie watching for a "Movie Musings Monday" post. Keeping busy with trips to my hometown on Friday and Sunday, and a general lack of energy on Saturday left little time that I felt cognizant enough to follow a movie plot.

But, there was knitting. Oh, and how there was knitting.

Now on 7th repeat of the North Star Scarf

A rather large chunk of time Saturday afternoon and night was spent curled up on the couch with CSI Season 5 and The L Word Season 3 DVDs. (Can I just say, sad Alice just breaks my heart!) An 8 hour chunk of Saturday to be exact. I do love lazy weekend days.

On a separate note, there is no way in hell that I'll be able to do a full-sized 9 repeat North Star Scarf with one skein of Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud. If you want a long flowing North Star Scarf, get an extra skein of yarn. I'm hoping beyond hope I can eek by with the wee ball remaining and finish the 7th repeat.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Why I Haven't Bought Much Yarn

Hubs' Helm

Hubs has gotten involved with medieval reenactment with the SCA over the past year and took up heavy fighting. Since he rather requires the use of his brain to make a living, I insisted that he get a schweet helm to protect his melon. He commissioned the helm in September and picked it up tonight. Halfway to getting all his armor pieces done now, but this was the most expensive piece.

I really deserve some major yarn shopping after this.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

This week's words of wisdom are fairly serious. Don't allow other's perceptions of your vocabulary influence how you speak.

As a college sophomore in a program that was around 85% male dominated, I took an intro to computer programming course. Being one of five females in the class, I was clearly in the minority. I have always been one to keep up with the pace of lectures. When the professor or presenter asks questions to the class, I will go against my quiet nature and offer an answer to keep the flow of the course going; I don't like those long awkward pauses waiting for responses. During one early morning class, the programming prof had a Visual Basic code snippet on the overhead and asked for a critique of the code. Seeing that there was duplicated code and after waiting until the requisite long awkward pause happened, I raised my hand and stated "The second line of the code is superfluous. It has the same effect as the first." Apparently, using a four-syllable word was just too much, and the professor went on a sarcastic diatribe on my vocabulary stating that he would work "superfluous" into all his lectures. Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for the next four months, he worked "superfluous" into every lecture, the ass. I was mortified, especially when I learned that he carried on the tradition into the following semester, too.

My intentions weren't to sound smart or try to impress the class; I was only attempting to get my point across. Looking back, this occurrence is one of those times of my life I could revisit and have a "do over" as it caused me to be quite unwilling to speak up in that class ever again.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Today's Doggie Randomness

Why are you on the floor taking my picture and not scratching my belly?

The Ol' Switcheroo

With the untimely demise of Rome and general lack of any other programming that caught my attention, I canceled HBO last weekend. I picked up Showtime just in time to catch the series premiere of The Tudors - loosely based historical drama, count me in! However, we did watch Dexter and enjoyed that more than The Tudors which I purchased Showtime to watch. What can I say, I love those CSI-like shows. My Sunday evenings will be TV filled once again with Dexter, The Tudors, and Dresden Files. :)

As you can guess, I was able to work in some knitting time with all that TV watching.

Lookie, four repeats done!

Monday, April 02, 2007

New PC Night!

Once every two years or so, Hubs and I splurge a bit and upgrade our computers. Final shipment of desktop PC goodies arrived to our house this evening, and the majority of the night has been spent setting everything up. Oh, and I sliced two of my fingers on the back of my new CPU when I was only 3 USB plugs away from having it all set up. Knitting is going to be a blast this week, but I'm all ready singing the praises of my new 20"widescreen monitor. :)

Before Installation, not a Dell warehouse

The Aftermath

Movie Musings Monday: 300

With a leery heart, I saw 300 in the movie theater last weekend. My feelings of trepidation were on a count of my reaction to the last movie based on a graphic novel I saw, Sin City. 300 contained no creepy orange-skinned molesters nor any cannibalistic hobbits dressed as Harry Potter (that's how I interpreted Elijah Woods' character in Sin City). That's a huge bonus in my mind for 300 right off the back.

Now, don't get me wrong; 300 portrays lots of stylized over the top violence. Just not to the extent of causing weak constitutioned me to have nightmares, surprisingly enough. Personally, I thought the plot was a bit weak. Persians invade Greece, and King Leonidas wants to send Sparta to war, but his requests are rejected. King goes off with 300 Spartans to face the insurmountable enemy. Much violence ensues.

The overall look of the movie was very well done with nearly dance-like choreography of the fight scenes, even if the costuming, especially the Spartan army was a bit on the bare side. Have to wonder what the end result would have been had the Spartans worn armor and not just a helmet and loincloth.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars. Visually interesting, but I like more plot.
Knitting Rating: 4 out of 5 Skeins. No worries about missing big plot lines if you don't watch closely. I was able to knit stockinette in the round in the dark of the theater with this movie.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Flash Your Stash: 2007

I've heard that the daily food pyramid is getting a revamp, so I give you the fiber pyramid for this year's Flash Your Stash.

The bottom of the pyramid is dedicated to bulky weight yarn (for Saffron Cables). Worsted weight should make up the second most portion of the fiber pyramid as it's good for felting and teaching others how to knit. DK weight is middling, have to have it but a lot of my DK stuff has been marinating. More like the fruit section of the food pyramid really. Providing tasty colors and being used quickly is my sock yarn stash - maybe this would equate to the lean meat section of the food pyramid since I have a skein of the Tofutsies yarn (made with some crab shells!). At the top of the fiber pyramid rests the lace weight, like the buttercream icing on a cake.

Upon seeing my stash laid out in all its glory, Hubs exclamed "You have a freakin' lot of yarn!".