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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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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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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Sunday Seven Is Back!

Downton Abbey.  It’s one of those shows I dislike, but always end up watching.  Given the unremarkable season 4 finale of television’s Second-Most Overrated Show (Game of Thrones being the first), I’ve come up with some ideas to make next season less predictable, more enjoyable and unexpected.

Seven Ways  Downton Abbey Could Improve… But Won‘t

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Sunday Seven: Sci Fi Hi Fi.. er, 7

Are you looking forward to the new television season this fall?  Are there any new shows that pique your interest?

Every season I have a list of new shows to check out, although I rarely get to them all.  This season may be different.  Several new science fiction-oriented shows are on the agenda, and Sci Fi Chicks stands at the ready.

Seven New Sci Fi Shows to Check Out This Fall
(in no particular order)

[Caveat:  This list does not include shows I have no intention of watching; nor does it include shows set for a mid-season debut.]

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Problem Solved

The Daily Show is what I like to call an equal opportunity skewer-er.  It doesn’t matter what your political affiliations are, if you do or say something that’s contradictory or stupid, it will be covered.

This is a view of NSA from one of it's many, many parking lots.

Ah, not so sweet memories.

Like every other news (and ersatz news) outlet, The Daily Show (without Jon Stewart) has spent the last two days discussing NSA’s woes.  When it flashed this photo, I had a bit of deja vu.  Ok, more than a bit.  I walked past that damn sign every single day for a year and a half.  I didn’t work for NSA, but I worked at its headquarters, for U.S. Cyber Command.

This gives me a somewhat different perspective than most citizens on the whole government surveillance program problem.  But that’s for another day.  If ever.

One of The Daily Show‘s long-standing concerns is gun control, or rather the lack of it.   Last night the show highlighted statements from senators who said they don’t mind having their telephone conversations and web browsing monitored, if it’s in the interest of public safety.  Yet these same men believe a gun control registry is an invasion of privacy?

Suddenly, I had the answer!  Let NSA track the buying and selling of personal weapons.