Posts Tagged ‘Les Mis’

I’ve started reading again

I’m currently reading Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things.  I was wondering whether one of the poems in that might work for the young man I was tutoring yesterday, if I should have him again next week (I volunteer), as he should probably be working on summarizing and pulling the ‘main idea’ out of a work.  I might try it, if he’s a comic book fan and has at least heard of Sandman.

Not that I think Gaiman’s inaccessible, but I don’t want to miss the mark completely.  Many of these students are (or claim to be) as ignorant of pop culture as they are of what I would view as the educational staples.  A poem about alien invasions, zombies, genies and multiple apocapolishould be fun, but I can see (intellectually at least)  how it might not work for everyone.

But this got my brain hopping again.  I once heard someone say that Sandman was the first sympathetic portrayal of Death personified.  Easily dismissed, as Sandman began it’s run in 1988, and Death didn’t even show up until the next year. Terry Pratchett’s Colour of Magic came out in 1983.  Although DEATH is f nowhere near as cute and cuddly as Death, he’s clearly a nice enough guy.  Incidentally, Alan Dean Foster’s On a Pale Horse also came out in 1983.  His Death is much more accessible than Pratchett, as well as being the protagonist, I would even admit that he’s a nice enough guy, but I really like DEATH as a character.

Peter S. Beagle came in years before that, in 1963, with his short story “Come, Lady Death“.  As always, I can’t say enough good things about Peter S. Beagle.  Gaiman is the only author who comes close to creating dreamy worlds rich with humor and love.  Going back to 1962, there’s the Twilight Zone episode  “Nothing in the Dark” where an old woman locked herself into her house, hiding from Death personified.  It turned out he was a really nice guy, (a very young, golden haired Robert Redford) and she needn’t have been afraid.  Both these stories affected me deeply as a child, and I think in a positive way.

I’d have to track it down to be sure, but I seem to recall that Death Takes a Holiday also provided us with  pretty sympathetic portrayal back in 1934. Earlier than that?   I think there’s a story or two where a personified death is referred to as ‘old friend’, but I can’t recall any in particular.

Of course, the original remark may have been intended to refer to death in comic books only, but that seems to be a pretty ticky-tack differentiation.  They’re all pop culture images, and I can’t imagine a world where books, films, TV and comics don’t all borrow from each other.

Actual Knitting Content

I publicly declared the baby blanket “the most boring project I’ve ever worked on”, then finished the second set of squares in the doubleknit section and have decided it’s not boring anymore.  Also, a woman in a waiting room asked what happened to the Les Miserables shawl which I put on hold, so not only am I kipping along but people pay attention, which is kind of cool.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I entered the Knitbot Essentials giveaway from Quince and Co (April 20), Phat Fibers Sunrise Sparkle Lace giveaway (April 23) and Lantium Ex Machina’s Hypocrite Sock Yarn giveaway (April 22)

I didn’t win According to Matt’s Y.A.R.N. giveaway, or the Color Guys giveaway.  The Lionbrand Meaningful Handmade Gift Contest ends April 29th (not the 16th).


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The Portable WIP

Last post was devoted to Wonton, the sit and think project. As per usual, I also have a less brain intensive project going…

First Repeat Almost Done

Stockinette and dropped stitches

This is my Les Miserables shawl (the Ravelry project is named “Miserable Maiden Aunt” because of the yarn I’m using for it).  Most of the finished projects I’ve seen for this pattern have used solid yarns, but I really think it calls out for the variation.  I might randomize the dropped stitches a little bit too for a more tattered look.  12 repeats of 54 stitches, then felted.  Whee!

The KIPping experience

This has been my car-and-waiting room project recently.  I’ve been getting a lot of comments and queries on it.  So far, none of them have been ‘is that crochet’? which tends to be the most common KIP response in general.  Crocheting in public gets (you guessed it) ‘are you knitting?’  Honestly, it’s to the point where I’m pleasantly surprised when someone gets it right.

Have I been tempted to snark when it happens?  No, not really.  I guess the yarn in hand lowers the blood pressure to the point where I’m pre-mellowed.  It’s just a friendly experience, and I generally respond with a smile (as opposed to laughing in someone’s face), well, sometimes I may chuckle.

It’s not very common that I come across someone else KIPping, though.  Recently ran into a woman at a coffee shop struggling with a new cast on.  I might have been able to walk on by, but she was using such yummy chunky yarn – it turned out to be pure roving, and we’re not talking pencil lead width roving, I just had to say ‘Hi’ and see if I knew the CO she was trying (I didn’t).  Her children showed up and had that ‘oh no, not again’ look on their faces because here was Mommy, talking about knitting again.

Search Term Observation

I was thrilled to see that someone found this blog by searching for “crochet beholder”, and disappointed on the searcher’s behalf that there is not, in fact, a pattern for such here. I assume that the searcher was looking for an amigurumi version of the the D&D monster first published in the original Greyhawk by Gygax and Kuntz. I may put one up sometime, but there are already several of them out there.  A quick Ravelry search revealed these three, reproduced here in case the searcher is not a Ravelry member:

They are all pretty awesome.

Success in Searching

If the above searcher was in fact looking for my Pokeball Tea Cozy she could now find it listed at Crochet Pattern Central!  Thanks for the link, guys. I can see my hits going up already (on that one page in any case)  🙂

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I did not win the skein of handspun from Wool and Cotton,  I did put in for a Phat Fiber drawing for undyed local wool (results probably on Friday).  I’ve also joined the March Madknits NCAA tournament pool – for yarn! I passed on the Addison’s Yarn Giveaway (closes March 14) because I don’t love the color, but other people do. You might, in fact, so check it out!

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Since I’m on a posting jag, and I have some yarn giveaways to follow up on (and new ones to link to) I think it’s time to get all my readers caught up on my current project list.

What I’m Doing Now

Yarn Work


Yes, it was used in the wedding.  Yes, it was beautiful.  No it’s not ‘properly finished’.  Yes, this is another example of me being lame…

As you can see, it was light enough to be caught by the wind, which was a good thing.  Now I just need to finish putting the little flower motifs between all the bigger ones.  Not difficult, but it’s large enough to be unwieldy and unportable.

Hopefully I can give it to them on their first anniversary!

Hermit Crab Amigurumi

My friend Colleen has hermit crabs.  Last fall, when she went on vacation, she asked DD#2 to crab sit.  She gave us all the instructions, and an isolation tank to use if one of the three was unwell or being bullied.

We ended up using it when “Wonton” began to bury himself.  Poor DD kept digging him up, and was eventually convinced that he was dead, but kept misting him daily because she didn’t want to admit defeat.  When Colleen came back she was impressed that DD had nursed him (successfully) through a molt!  I am making her this little guy,

It’s the Hermit Crab from Hansi Singh’s Amigurumi Knits (it’s a Goodreads link, you can use the Amazon link from within Ravelry and give them the referrer’s cut…)

Unfortunately, the tight gauge makes my hands hurt, and it’s definitely not driving knitting anyway, so I’ve got a third project.

Les Miserables Shawl

I’m using the  Old Maiden Aunt “Moody” laceweight yarn I won in a giveaway from Knitting Pipeline back in 2010, and I’m knitting Les Miserables (by Cynthia Parker, published in Handheld Knitting).

Useful Resource

I’ve found that the amigurumi knitting is both physically and mentally intensive, so that I can’t do it for too long at a go without my hands complaining.  So far I’ve just switched to the less intense shawl project, but thanks to a post I found at Knitfreedom, now I have 5 Stretches to Relieve Knitting Pain.  Of course, I first read this as “5 Stitches to Relieve Knitting Pain”, which was even more exciting, but I’m still happy to have found it.

Other Projects

March is National Novel Editing Month (NaNoEdMo).  Since I finished NaNoWriMo last year I’ve signed up for it.  Here’s hoping that in April I’ll have a draft I feel confident in showing to others…

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the Retrobaby giveaway, or the Twist & Twine giveaway, but Earthmama 101 has a giveaway which will be of interest to parents of young children.  Natalie Servant Designs is giving away a wonderful skein of yarn hand dyed by Indigodragonfly, but I’m not sure I can write a limerick for yarn, so I’m holding off on this one (I’ve tweeted about it though, that’s worth something, right?).  Also followed up on the Knitfreedom handspun giveaway and free pattern. I entered the Red Heart Yarn of the Month giveaway as well (after checking out projects made with it on Ravelry)  If I actually had any Malabrigo I’d join Mr. Yarn’s Malabrigo March giveaways – but you have to have some to win some.  😦

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