Ravellenic Games Update

It appears I may fail the Ravellenic Games.  Not an Epic!Fail, as the crash of Sergio Henao (Columbia) and Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) in the Olympic cycling men’s road race.  The two cyclists, in a lead group of three riders, crashed in the late stages of the race during the mountain descent.  (I remember reading an article in Bicycling magazine, many years ago when I was actively cycling, when the author tried to scale the Alpe d’Huez, the best-known climb in the Tour de France.  He made it to the top, but hadn’t realized how treacherous the descent would be.  He, too, crashed.)

Hmm, it appears I’ve digressed into a different passion.

After 3-plus days of knitting, I have only 5½ inches to show for my work.

Ugh. Only 5½ inches to show for 3 days’—and several hours’—work.

After thee full days of knitting (today is day 4), I’m still on the spiral 3×3 rib, for a total of 5½ inches.   The entire project consists of 36 inches (for both socks).  At this rate, I’ll have completed only 32 inches by the closing ceremony.  This is my first experience using fingering weight yarn.  Between the super-fine yarn and the teeny tiny needles, progress is s–l–o–w.  I could persevere and work harder/longer, but honestly, I’m getting B.O.R.E.D.

Oh yeah.  And I think I’m allergic to wool.  😦

Actually, I could Epic!Fail if I just give up.  When I started writing this blog post, I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel, but now that I’ve discussed my frustration and ennui, I’m much more tempted.  I will finish the socks eventually, because they’re adorable; but I think for now I might switch back to a couple other projects that aren’t wool.

Let the Games Begin!

The Ravellenic Games, that is.

As in Ravelry, the world’s most incredible database of all things yarn and fiber.  The idea is to knit, crochet, weave or spin your way through the Olympics.  You cannot (or rather could not, as the time is in the past) start your project until the opening ceremony in Rio, and must have it finished by the closing ceremony.

The "Do the Twist" tube socks pattern comes from the book "Happy Feet" by Cathy Carron, via Knitting Daily TV.

“Do the Twist,” from Happy Feet by Cathy Carron © 2014

This is my first year as a “Ravthelete,” having never heard of Ravelry before 2015.  I’ve entered the Sock-Putt by trying to make a pair of tube socks with a twist.  The twist is, well, literally, a twist in the 3×3 rib, a brightly colored foot, and little bobbles on the cuff.  The photo on the right shows what the socks are supposed to look like once finished.  The pattern is from the book Happy Feet by Cathy Carron, which I first found on Knitting Daily TV.  (My yarn and colors of choice are shown in the picture above.)

The local yarn shop, fibre space, hosted a Ravellenics kick-off cast-on party last night.  It was a bit of a bust.  NBC didn’t start airing anything until 7:30 (when the official cast-on time was 7:15), and when NBC did begin, it was all that pre-ceremony crap of boring interviews and lengthy commercials.  I have no idea if the ceremonies even started by 9:00 pm, when the store closed and the party was supposed to end.  I left early, having fed the meter for only 1½ hours.

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What’s on Your Needles?

I’m not a focused person.  I start one project, get bored, then begin something else because it haunts my brain.  So now I have several items in the works.  I have finished a few things, but we’ll talk about those later.  This is about works in progress.  Even more so, those projects that are actually on my needles, not the two or three projects that are awaiting assembly.  More on those later, too.

My favorite yarn right now is Homespun by Lion Brand.  It’s not a fancy hand-dyed boutique yarn.  But it is made in America.  It’s fuzzy and nubby, and even the non-variegated colorways host are multi-hued.  It comes in 2 thicknesses, or weights, bulky and super bulky.  Which means projects finish quickly.  Always a plus for the attention-span challenged like me.

I'm using Homespun and Homespun Thick n Quick to make an afghan.

This afghan is already taking longer than 8 hours!

First up is the “8 Hour Throw.”  I’m not following the pattern exactly.  It calls for size 50 circular needles (needed to hold 40 huge stitches).  I already have a pair of straight size 35 needles and refuse to buy another pair of humongous needles.  Instead, I’m making it in three strips, changing the number of rows to get the same approximate size.  At the rate I’m going (only the first two colors of the first strip are done), I’ll be finished by next winter.  Definitely not 8 hours!

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Serendipity @ Midnight

Chris Hardwick awards points to guests for funny comebacks.

Points! [photo from funnyordie.tumblr.com]

Last night The night before last (I’m really horrible about posting in a timely manner!) I was still up late enough to watch @Midnight live. It’s a fairly new quiz-type show on Comedy Central hosted by Doctor Who mega-fan Chris Hardwick.  He poses questions to three guest comedians based on some of social media’s wildest postings.  The guests compete for “Points!” and the honor of “Wins the Internet for the next 24 hours.”  Unless it’s Thursday, in which case the winner gets to claim  for the entire (extended) weekend, until a new winner is declared the following Monday.  Unlike SyFy’s now-defunct The Wil Wheaton Project, @Midnight is hilarious.  (Incidentally, Wil and Chris were roommates at one time.  Scifi nerds, unite!)

The show is so hipster-oriented, I often have no idea what they’re talking about,.  Not so much because of the social media stuff, but because of the slang used.  This ignorance of course, is a product of age, which is something the show loves to make fun of.  To which I say, “Just you wait!”  Heck, if you don’t grow old, something’s happened—and it’s not good.

Nonetheless, I’ve learned many things from watching this show.  One of which is a “furry” is a person with a fetish for dressing up like a stuffed animal, and seeking like-minded individuals for various forms of “social” intercourse.  Which means, of course, there are indeed furry-dating websites.  [All this makes me think I ought to change my “Furries” category here, because that is not what it refers to.]

Anyway, back to the discussion at hand.

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Four(th) Musings

This is my current pedicure. I’d been thinking about getting something American flag-esque for years, and while this isn’t exactly what I had in mind, the intention is clear.  (This is the first time I’ve had nail art done, and it’s a bit distracting.  I’ll probably never do it again.)

This is a red, white, and blue seperator.

Q:  Do they have a 4th of July in Great Britain?
A:  Yes they do.  They also have a 5th and a 6th and a….

My dad told that joke way back in… well, Mom was still alive, so it was over a quarter of a century ago.  😮

This is a red, white, and blue seperator.

I think I’m finally ready to see How to Train Your Dragon 2.  Apparently I’ve missed the IMAX version, but it’s still being shown in 3-D.  I’m sure it will still be a beautiful experience.  I’ll need to remember to restock my portable tissue supply.  I’ll probably be a mess when it’s over.

This is a red, white, and blue seperator.

On a related note, the Arlington animal shelter had a trio of two-month-old kittens for adoption named Astrid, Hiccup & Toothless.  Toothless was an all black male, Hiccup was a black-and-white female, and Astrid was a cream-colored cutie.  Astrid was spoken for when I visited, and Hiccup & Toothless were adopted shortly thereafter (hopefully together).  Then Astrid returned.  As of now, she’s still shown as being available.  I will likely visit the shelter tomorrow.  Encouraged by Suzanne’s success with Fizzie and Tig, I may have to bring her home.

 

Calling All David Tennant Fans

Yes, Suzanne, I’m looking at you!  :mrgreen:

3. Another Thing I Learned from Twitter

Cressida Cowell retweeted a notice from David Tennant ForumsCressida Cowell has a new book in her How to Train Yor Dragon series.  After seeing the above tweet and the accompanying trailer (voiced by David Tennant), I rushed to Amazon to purchase the final installment of the adventures of 14-year-old Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third and his Common or Garden dragon Toothless, only to find this isn’t the final book.  Rather, it’s a compendium of dragon species, drawn from Hiccup’s boyhood notebook.

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Things I’ve Learned from Twitter

Although I’ve been a member of Twitter since 2008 (at least that’s what Twitter tells me), I’ve not used it other than to redirect posts from here and SciFi Chicks.  However, my preoccupation with Dancing with the Stars prodded me to visit it more frequently.  (And increase my “following” tweeps to a whopping 27.  (I had 29 but gave up two, one after DWTS ended; the other, @midnight, because its “hashtag wars” created too much Twitter noise.)

Even with only 27 followings, though, Twitter has been abuzz lately.

1.  Goldilocks Has Left the Building

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Charlie White recieves his scores after dancing a jive.

Dancing with Charlie

From Television Without Pity’s Dancing with the Stars Forums:

Anyone who says they don’t have a crush on Charlie White is lying.

If you put the essence of sunshine, rainbows, and puppies in a jar and shook it, you’d pour out Charlie White.*

I started this post a couple weeks ago, about how I’d become smitten with the bowl of sunshine that is Charlie White, and that he’d be voted off Dancing with the Stars over my dead body.  Well, it happened, so I must be dead.  😥

RIP Gail

You know Charlie White, right?  He’s the mop-top Olympic Gold Medalist for ice dancing (with his partner Meryl Davis, of course).  Since I didn’t watch one iota of the Olympic coverage this year, I only “met” Charlie when he came to be on Dancing with the Stars.  The funny thing is, I hate that show.

Charlie White and Sharna Burgess dance the quickstep.

Ballroom at its best

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Hiccup takes Astrid for a ride on Toothless

Sunday Seven: More Dragons!

Yes, it’s another How to Train Your Dragon Sunday Seven list.  It won’t be the last.

Last June, in my first How to Train Your Dragon Sunday Seven, I listed seven unexpected or moving moments from the film.  Yet the movie is so rich in its story and animation, there were several things I missed upon first viewing.  So here are seven things I noticed upon watching the movie a second time.

Seven Things I Caught When Watching How to Train Your Dragon for a Second Time

  1. During the DreamWorks logo/credit, after the boy in the moon casts his fishing line,  a Night Fury flies across the night sky.
  2. Hiccup is left-handed.  At the time I hadn’t read any of the books, so I was curious as to why the creators made this choice.  Once I’d read How to be a Pirate (the second volume in the How to Train Your Dragon series of books), everything made sense.
  3. Gothi, the village elder, watches the teens’ dragon training session with the Deadly Nadder.  She also observes the Zippleback training session, and thereafter is joined by more and more villagers.
  4. Also during Nadder training session:  when Snotlout, trying to impress Astrid, throws his weapon at the dragon and misses, the Nadder laughs at him.
  5. Towards the end of the “Forbidden Friendship” scene (when Hiccup tries to befriend the dragon in the cove), after Hiccup has made it successfully through the dragon’s maze, his hand reaching out is in 3-D.  Since I’ve only seen the movie in 2-D, I hadn’t realized this was an obvious  3-D “gag.”
  6. When Hiccup and Toothless race through the archipelago without the aid of the cheat sheet at the end of their “Test Drive”), Toothless does a 360-degree barrel roll.
  7. After the teens arrive at the battle scene with the Green Death, Astrid throws a salute to the others when she and Hiccup peel off to save Toothless.

There you have just some of the delightful wonders this film provides.  What are your favorites?

And just because it must be said:

Only 88 days until How to Train Your Dragon 2 is in theaters!

In a scene from How to Train Your Dragon 2, Toothless plays with a large, colorful dragon.

Could it be that Toothless has a girlfriend?

Fishlegs joins Hiccup on the back of Toothless to save Meatlug from capture.

Back on the Dragon Train!

The second season of DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk wrapped up this week, and FX aired How to Train You Dragon last Friday.  So this seems like a good time to return to my Dragons obsession.  This week we’ll look at the television series.  Next week we’ll revisit the movie, and after that we’ll take another look at John Powell’s fabulous soundtrack.

I wasn’t terribly consistent in reviewing the Defenders of Berk episodes at SciFi Chicks, but I never missed an episode (unless thwarted by electricity), and my obsession love for the franchise continues.  And so I present…

My Seven Favorite Defenders of Berk Episodes

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