31 Mar

Random 10 end of March edition

  1. “Mad World” — Tears For Fears
  2. “Day After Day” — Badfinger
  3. “That’s Just What You Are” — Aimee Mann
  4. “Let Love Rule” — Lenny Kravitz
  5. “Girl U Want” — Devo
  6. “I Can’t Get Behind That” — William Shatner Featuring Henry Rollins
  7. “He’s Waitin'” — Sonics
  8. “Pickin’ Flowers For” — Best Kissers In The World
  9. “Robert Bradley’s Postcard” — David Mead
  10. “Love My Way” — Jon Auer
31 Mar

Haven’t you canceled your Times subscription yet?

Seth at Seattlest has had enough of the Seattle Times. Why? Because Times columnists (such as the ever-irritating Joni Balter) seem to think that a tougher Teen Dance Ordinance would have prevented Kyle Huff from killing seven people at a house party last weekend. Apparently if there are no all-ages dances, or if there is a curfew, no kids would ever be in a position to be victims of a senseless crime committed by a maniac. Of course, these particular kids (and they weren’t all kids, but at least a couple were underage) were in someone’s house. If there had been a curfew, they could have partied indoors all night, not violating any curfew rules — and Kyle Huff might still have snapped, for whatever reason, and the result would have been the same.

See, the thing is — a senseless crime is just that, senseless. Dancing in zombie makeup didn’t make Kyle Huff shoot people. All night parties didn’t make Kyle Huff shoot people. The fact that kids were present didn’t do it, either. And you know what? Even if those folks at the party were rude to him and made him feel excluded (and there’s no evidence that this was the case), that didn’t make him shoot people either. The responsibility for what happened rests with Kyle Huff. (Assisted by the gun culture that let a disturbed young man collect an arsenal, and keep his guns even after drunkenly shooting up street art in his home town.)

Thinking that a curfew or a teen dance ordinance will prevent anything bad from ever happening to your precious children is short-sighted. I can promise you that when the old TDO was in effect, my underage friends managed to get in plenty of trouble, some of it serious. And when I had a curfew, I didn’t always manage to get home on time, either.

But the one time when something seriously bad could have happened to me (I was the object of an attempted abduction — luckily foiled by a neighbor who came along at just the right time to frighten the abductor into letting me go), I was walking home from the corner store, in a perfectly safe and normal Seattle neighborhood. In broad daylight (I think it was a Saturday). It was spring. It was 28 years ago this spring.

If things had gone differently, would it have been the fault of my parents for letting me walk to the store in daylight? Or of the city for not having a 2pm curfew? No. It would have been senseless, and it would have been no one’s fault… except the guy who grabbed me and tried to carry me away, only half a block away from my own home.

I guess I’m ranting a bit here. Anyway, Seattle Times, Joni Balter, you should be ashamed. Assign misguided blame all you want, but I don’t know how you sleep at night, all smug in bed.

(And I wouldn’t subscribe to the Times if you paid me. I get the Sunday paper, which would be the P-I if it wasn’t for that goddamned JOA, but the Times lost me when they mistreated their employees during and after the strike a few years ago; stunts like these ridiculous editorials go a long way toward ensuring you’ll never be forgiven.)

31 Mar

Pictures: Lots of wristwarmers!

Photo by AK_neve.

Imagine my surprise to find that someone has made not one, not two, but all three of my wristwarmer patterns! They look lovely, too. The knitter is AK_neve, and the Little Twist wristwarmers here are knitted in Debbie Bliss Cathay, which is silk (though I forget what percentage is silk). With that yarn, the stitch definition is really nice!

AK_neve also knitted the Warm Braid Cable Wristwarmers (in gorgeous deep blue!) and the One Day Wristwarmers (in fuzzy yarn), and both are pictured here:

I am just thrilled to see that people are knitting cool things from these patterns. Thanks, AK_neve!

24 Mar

Random 10

No commentary today, just a quick Random Ten:

  1. “Switchboard Susan” — Nick Lowe
  2. “So Sad About Us” — Steve Brown; a Who cover from the Who’s Not Forgotten tribute album
  3. “The Wait” — the Pretenders
  4. “Try a Little Tenderness” — Otis Redding
  5. “Barely Breathing” — Duncan Sheik
  6. “Picking Up the Pieces” — Difford and Tilbrook
  7. “A Little Knowledge” — Scritti Politti
  8. “The Medication is Wearing Off” — eels
  9. “Wouldn’t It Be Good” — Nik Kershaw
  10. “The Harder They Come” — Joe Jackson (cover of the Jimmy Cliff song)
23 Mar

Picture: A Little Twist Wristwarmers, knitted

gray knitted wristwarmers Tanya knitted these Little Twist Wristwarmers (Craftster post/blog post) from my pattern; don’t they look nice? I like the pale gray color.

She mentioned having the yarn pill a lot. I had that problem with mine as well, though a different yarn. I think the main problem is that the yarns we both used are very very soft, and when you are wearing them on your hands, the items get a lot of wear. So it’s probably best to use a less soft yarn for wristwarmers. But if you don’t mind the pilling, the soft yarns feel so nice…

22 Mar

A great idea, along with an example of copyright insanity

Pre-pixelated clothes for reality TV shows: one of those ideas that seems so obvious once you see it. I love it! I want to buy a few of these.

However, in the comments below that post, there’s a fine example of how stupid people have gotten about copyrights and trademarks. A poster named Adam wrote:

“I do this for a living. I am the guy that watches shows and tells people what to blur. Funny shirts. However as one person pointed out if I saw these in a show I would have to blur them. If I can track down the person or place that owns the design I have them sign a release so I don’t have to blur the logo.”

What kind of a world do we live in that people have to be “pixelators” for a living? Who are the freaks that would sue if their logo was on someone’s t-shirt in The Real World? And what is the point of blurring something that’s already blurred? Gah.

(Incidentally, I love the design of the Ironic Sans website, with the ink sketched letters and side bars. It’s uncommon to see designs on the web that look this handmade and uncomputery, and yet so darned great.)

20 Mar

Baby sweater finished

Don’t freak out, I’m not pregnant… but I do have to attend a baby shower next weekend, so I’ve knitted up this tiny sweater from the Knitty.com pattern, Haiku. Next, I’ll whip up a hat or two. My deadline is next Sunday.

Technical details:

  • Yarn: Lion Cotton, Candy Colors colorway (did not like knitting with this yarn; will use a cotton blend or something next time)
  • Needles: US9, aluminum
  • Gauge: 4 sts/inch
  • Time to knit: about a week off and on

17 Mar

St. Patrick’s Day Random 10

Well, I didn’t try to make an Irish-themed Random 10 this week, just the usual first 10 songs in iTunes’ Party Shuffle. So here goes…

  1. “Fake” — The Frames (hey! an Irish band!)
  2. “New Mistake” — Jellyfish
  3. “Flavor of the Week” — American Hi-Fi, whom I saw in concert a few years ago, opening for…
  4. “You’ll Never Be a Man” — Elvis Costello. Who is of Irish descent.
  5. “Too Shy” — Kajagoogoo
  6. “Chorus” — Erasure
  7. “Hoy Hoy” — The Collins Kids (old rockabilly track)
  8. “Limitless Expressions” — the Posies
  9. “Touch Me I’m Sick” — Mudhoney
  10. “Narcolepsy” — Ben Folds Five
14 Mar

Pattern: Mossy Hat

This pattern is for a simple top-down hat from one skein of Noro Kureyon. (It’s actually the second pattern I wrote, last fall, so it had to be simple.) 😉 It’s really very basic — if you haven’t knitted a hat before, this is a good first pattern. I didn’t post the pattern here sooner, because it was going to be published in an online knitzine — but the knitzine ended up not being published at all, so here is the pattern, better late than never.

Download the Mossy Hat pattern here (PDF)

Please let me know what you think of it. Here’s another picture:
The Mossy Hat flat

If you knit this, send me your URL if you post pictures of it and I’ll link to your pictures here.

10 Mar

Sick again, Random Ten

Dang it, I just got over that nasty lower-respiratory virus, and now I’ve got another one. Or maybe the same one. I don’t know. It sucks, it’s not fair, and I’m going to pout for a while. And listen to a new Random Ten:

  1. “Maureen” — Fountains of Wayne
  2. “I Can’t Go For That” — ProGrammar; this is the Hall & Oates song, covered by a guy doing all a capella and human beat box stuff. It’s kind of fun.
  3. “The Fourth Dimension” — the Ventures; this is a cover of the Frantics’ song “Werewolf” (well, I think the Frantics themselves might have been covering it as well — I’m not sure), without the horror-movie narration and with more “spacey” sounds.
  4. “Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)” — Paul Young
  5. “Say You’re Wrong” — Julian Lennon; I admit to an inexplicable soft spot for Jules.
  6. “Common People” — William Shatner; one of my favorite singles of the last few years.
  7. “The Imposter” — Elvis Costello
  8. “Pale Shelter” — Tears for Fears
  9. “Weather With You” — Crowded House; one of my least favorite CH songs — the chorus to me sounds more like an old beer commercial jingle than a great song. But it has its moments.
  10. “Message to my Girl” — Split Enz
07 Mar

The legendary Clapotis

When I started knitting, almost a year ago, I started reading a lot of knitting blogs and forums. Because I’m obsessive that way. And I kept seeing all of these references to something called “Clapotis”. Clapotis this, Clapotis that — it sounded like some kind of disease. And not a very nice one, either.

But as I eventually realized, it’s actually a knitting pattern, for a scarf/shawl hybrid. “Ho hum,” I thought, and went on with life.

But then, I started spending a lot of time browsing Flickr. And I saw Clapotis after Clapotis, and they were all so darned gorgeous that I started to want to knit one.

Clapotis twisty

One day I had an extra ball of yarn sitting around, and I thought “hmm, let’s just play around with it a bit to see what a Clapotis would look like with this yarn.” I started knitting, and then I was hooked. This was a mini-Clapotis, a little scarf that I finished quickly, but it just made me want to knit the full-size Clapotis more.

I tried it in one yarn, and I didn’t like the way that was going, so eventually I resorted to the yarn the pattern calls for: Lorna’s Laces Lion & Lamb in the gorgeous (and… very pink) Bittersweet colorway. 19 days later… a Clapotis! You can see in the picture here that it’s a pretty big scarf. It’s almost as long as I am tall, and it is very wide. It makes a nice warm shawl, but also a nice scarf, all wavy-like.

Clapotis curled up like a kitten

So now the Clapotis is done and I am free, free from the Clapotis Compulsion (only a year after the rest of the net knitters, but hey, I only started knitting less than a year ago). No more wraps and scarves since summer is coming! But then I see this… and this… uh, I might be doomed again.

(Technical info for the knitters in the crowd: almost 3 full skeins of Lion & Lamb, knitted flat on US9 circular needles from the Boye Needlemaster set, pattern altered by leaving out one of the straight section repeats but otherwise exactly as written.)

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