Friday, February 13, 2009

Mah birfday, Let's get on with it

I'm going to go ahead and apologize for getting "Let's Get it On" stuck in your head. All I have to do is hear the words "Let's Get it On" and I'm humming it to myself for days. There's precious few things more more embarrassing than sitting at work singing "Let's Get it On" to yourself. Don't let this happen to you. Clear the earworm I just gave you by going to Amazon.com and downloading a free copy of this VD classic. And by 'VD' I mean Valentines Day, of course. [Amazon will ask for a payment method. Ignore that and just hit continue to download your song at no charge.]
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Today is my birthday and Friday the 13th. I don't buy in to that Friday the 13th nonsense except so far my birthday has consisted of 3 hours of laying wide awake grateful to be breathing a little bit easier but not so grateful for steroid-induced insomnia, 1 hour of dreaming about how to pack funny zombies into Plexiglas cubes Tetris-style and half an hour humming "Let's Get it On"while the cats give me funny looks.

I'm suspicious about how the day has started, but haven't declared it unlucky yet. I might be meeting a few friends later today. This evening we're having dinner and cake with my family. Tomorrow a double date for homemade fried chicken and more cake. Then next week is Mardi Gras, the first derby bout of the season (season pass! woo!) and an Oscar party, so even if Friday the 13th doesn't work out so well I have next week to look forward to.

My knit night group through me a party this past Wednesday the best way they know how--with 1 cake, 2 pans of brownies, a batch of mochi and a Greek feast complete with saganaki (OPA!), baklava and very thoughtful and unexpected gifts. No pictures of the Greek feast at Ari's Resturant. I was too mesmerized by the flaming cheese to pull out my camera.
Knit night birthday
From left to right, top to bottom:
  • Sugar, sugar, sugar. Yum. Yum. Yum. One of those brownies are gluten free and surprisingly good. I had three of them even after finding out the main ingredients are black beans and coffee. I may have to ask for the recipe. SO GOOD!
  • Kakao marshmallow pie and moon cakes from Ann. The pies were so good that I went out and bought two of them for the biggest marshmallow lover I know. Several of us split a small moon cake to share the luck. It was one of the best moon cakes I have had. Good flavor, just the right size, rich but not overpowering.
  • Industrial ball winder--Wow. I was amazed that they got this for me. I am so touched that my friends remembered I wanted this and chipped in for it. Have you seen the video of this ball winder? The video is a little dry and very long, but for us yarn store workers this is like porn. The only thing hotter would be a video of an adjustable electronic skein winder with triple skein attachments and counter. Let's get it on.
  • Pop Rocks are the best candy in the whole world. The day I met Scott we slammed a few bottles of Nitro Cola (with extra caffeine!) and a few packs of Pop Rocks and ended up throwing a gross of Snap-n-Pops off the top of the Arch stairs one pack at a time. The cops standing at the bottom of the Arch stairs did not find this amusing at all. As an adult I am appalled. My inner 15 year old is still giggling.
  • That Princess of Power sticker is stuck to the front of my refrigerator now.
  • I love this pendant Mindy from CraftyandCrap made for me. She is responsible for the Pop Rocks, the sticker and the mochi. She also is one of the few indie dyers who still does self-striping yarns and she dyes them in Muppet-themed colorways.
  • Ann and I have been talking about Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop yarn for a year now. I'm having a hard time waiting for my new ball winder to wind this up. It is soft, springy, with good color and great yardage. Ann also brought Grape Crush soda. Ann is awesome.
  • A lucky La-di-day stitch marker made by Suzanne (available at Knitorious) and a gift from Deborah. I think this stitch marker is lucky. I've been letting it hang out with the sweater of error and doom and for the first time in weeks this sweater is finally doing what it is supposed to be doing.
  • This last picture isn't a gift, but they are cool. Deborah tested the organic merino chunky yarn in my shop by making these mitts. They are very warm and soft. More info in a future blog post.
I am very lucky, Friday the 13th or not, to have my knitting pals both online and in real life. Thank you.

*yawn* I'm finally getting sleepy. I don't have to be up for....45 minutes. *headdesk* Maybe I'll have another moon cake for luck.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Handknit Heroes

Recently the creators sent me a copy of Handknit Heroes, a comic book with knitting content, and asked for a review. A comic combining superheroism, supervilliany and knitting? Hmmm, let me think about this. Would I, the dyer of such yarns as Dark Knight and Shulkie, want to review a comic book? Hells ya!
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I decided to approach the review from three angles--knitting content, story and art.

I love the idea of adding knitting content to a comic book. When I first heard of Handknit Heroes I did wonder how they would insert knitting in to a comic story without cornering themselves in to a very narrow niche market. What I found is the knitting content is introduced in the story naturally. It follows the plot line instead of feeling artificially inserted in to a pre-determined story. Handknit Heroes is definitely a niche comic for knitters who read comics right now. The addition of a knitting pattern in the back pages will hopefully attract more knitters to comics. Fitting knititng content in to an otherwise good story will hopefully attract non-knitters, as well. I would like to see a niche comic like this succeed. How many times can I say niche in one paragraph?

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The story starts a little slow, like most early issue comics. It takes the storytellers time to develop the stories and background and it takes the reader some time to become familiar with this new world. That is normal and expected (at least for me) whether reading a new comic, watching a new show are reading a new book. Handknit Heroes is intriguing enough on its own without the knitting content that I will get the next issue. I want to know more about these characters. I am curious to see how the story continues to develop.
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The art is not distracting from the story and moves the story along. As a personal preference, I generally prefer less angular faces and fewer lines. As with many new indie comics, the art develops over time. I look forward to seeing that development.
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Learn more about HandKnit Heroes and how to obtain your own copy by visiting their website.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Small Update

  • A year ago my friend Selena's daughter had a double lung transplant. Things have not been going according to plan lately and we have spent a lot of time in an ICU waiting room this week. Prayers, well wishes and good thoughts are welcome if you are so inclined.
  • My knitting this week has taken a negative nose dive. I finished the top-down sleeve caps for Scott's sweater before he left town last week. They were slightly baggy, but considering how many problems I've had with errors in the pattern a little baggy sleeve cap was livable. While he was gone I finished both sleeves and began on the body. I was about 6" of straight knitting from being finished when he was able to try it on again. Do I need to even finish this story? You all can guess what happened. RIP RIP RIP RIP. Luckily this all happened in the waiting room and the best knitter I know was there with me for several days to help brainstorm the best way to fix it.