Friday, January 01, 2010

Hepper, Anyway...

Wow! I'm going to post some knitting crap on my knitting blog - it must be a new year, if not a new decade. I'm not going to debate when decades end and begin. My orderly mind says 00-09 belong together, and 10-19 belong together. I realize that zero is a weird 'number' mathematically speaking, but if I were organizing the years in a file cabinet, above is how I would order them.

But enough about silly things that people have too much leisure time to worry about. I've some photos of recent projects, and one old one that I'm determined to get off the needles by the end of January 2010. Yes, this January, not next. Ay caramba! I've also a little something at the end for those kind enough to endure poor photos of knitting and that previous rambling blog about Charlie Chan movies.

My Multnomah shawl - a pretty little thing. Hers looks much nice than the rumpled mess I'm working on - yeah, well, that'll happen.


Next up, a cravat/neck warmer/short scarf knitting up from one skein of Claudia Handpainted yarn using a reversible stitch from one of Barbara Walker's books:


My photos do a really poor job of showing off the stitch details. I'm underwhelmed.

Here's something that will be an Xmas gift - a 2009 Xmas gift, natch - called Asphodel (warning - link leads to download, I think):

I'm rather liking the look of it - it will look nice when I've blocked all signs of life out of it - but that bird's eye stitch is kicking my ass. Once I've knitted the 55 inches of it requested by the pattern, though, I expect I'll be pretty good at it.

And then there's the Hemlock Ring Blanket. It's come to life and started to eat anything resembling a life form in my apartment; mostly it's pissed that it's been on the needles awaiting bind off for a year now.

Blogger is being a butt today... Anyway, to save mankind, I'm going to get this thing off the needles this month. Yeah, yeah, I hear y'all out there going, "I wonder how far along she'll be in January - another scallop, maybe?"

I'm also knitting another one of these for my former supervisor:

It's a neck warmer thingy, something that I can even knit when I'm drinking. There are few projects that fall under that category, btw. I've found some cool buttons for these:

I've knitted a few versions of this thing, in case you're wondering why you see a teeny bit of one that looks nothing like the one the monster is wearing. I've posted the pattern for the brain dead, as I think of it, in the notes on Ravelry, but really, it's a four to six inch wide rectangle, approximately 24-26 inches in length, with three or four crochet scallops on one end for button loops. Wow. That's difficult. You don't even need to be a knitter for these, one could crochet the same damned thing.

Okay, so here's a pattern from the archives, a 1933 beauty, kids:


Hyper Ape Yawn!

I'm sure everyone reading this already knows that I was given a set of Charlie Chan dvds for Christmas. In fact, if I hadn't been ill, I would have scripted a little Christmas play, "A Charlie Chan Xmas", in which a famed Chinese-American detective buys a beat-up tree for the holidays, only to discover the proprietor dead beneath it, stabbed through his carotid artery with an expensive glass ornament...

Anyway, I've managed to spend most of the holidays in the 1930's, thanks to this dvd set, and I really want to share some of the beauties of it.

For example, did anyone realize that Bela Lugosi was in one of them? Probably the best of the bunch, in terms of productions values and such, "The Black Camel" is a pretty wonderful film. Here are some shots below, showing that the cinematographer got to have a little fun, at least (apologies for the photo quality - I can't use the Grab function on my computer in conjunction with the dvd player):



Unfortunately, the whole film doesn't look quite this stylized, but it looks good, Bela looks healthy, and he has some fun dialog.

Another favorite of mine is "Charlie Chan Does London", or something like that. London is in the title, at any rate, and Warner Oland is again in the lead role. This film contains the coolest silk velvet outfit ever:



Even though the print was restored for this film, it's obvious the original was in very poor shape. This Chan movie is loaded with wonderful clothing, though. Highly recommended for 1930's fans.

There was knitting in one of them - midget knitting, as Olive Brasno knits up some thing in "Charlie Chan Goes to The Circus" (or some such title - it's Warner Oland and Keye Luke at the Circus, at any rate).  I tried to get close-ups of what she was knitting, and they are uber-crappy:

Part stockinette, then with loopy rows? chenille rows? eyelash yarn spun from the bearded lady rows? See for yourselves:

No bloody help at all. Rent the movie, folks, and then tell me what you see.

As if Bela Lugosi, silk velvet, and knitting midgets weren't enough fun, in "Charlie Chan at The Olympics" he actually rides in the Hindenburg!  Oh, alright, it's just stock footage. But stock footage of the Hindenburg! And one little bit is shot from the inside of a zeppelin (not sure it's the Hindenburg - it could have been from the Graf Zeppelin or another airship). See for yourselves:


I've still got five movies from the set to watch, so you might have to look at more crappy photos of my laptop. Apologies.