Friday, March 23, 2007

Lily Tomlin Came To Chico

LilytomlinWe saw Lily Tomlin at CSU Chico last night.  The tickets were pricey - $50, and seniors didn't get a discount.

I'm glad we went.  She's terrific - so funny.  She was on stage for a little over an hour and a half, counting the encore, and took no breaks.  Her politics are left leaning (fine by me), but her characters are funny to everybody.

My favorite character is Trudy, the crazy street woman.  "I
refuse to be intimidated by reality anymore. After all, what is reality anyway?
Nothin' but a collective hunch. I made some studies: Reality is the leading
cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.

Ms. Tomlin started out with some witty chat about Chico.  "Do you have to be dyslexic to get a driver's license in Chico?"

There were so many lines that I heard during the show and thought, "I'll remember that one."  Of course, the one-liners were gone from my head before we were even out of the theater.  Her web site has a quotes page that has some of the things we heard during the show.

If you have a chance to see her, I recommend the experience.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bamboo Convertible


The Gentle Breeze Tee is No More.  I ripped it out during my last meeting with the ChicoKnittersSocialClub.  It is becoming a Knitty Convertible.  It's a very simple lace repeat - 13 stitches.  The stitch pattern was taken from Vogue Knitting and is called "Lace entrelac", page 147 in my 1989 edition of Vogue Knitting.

ImageThe funny looking beaded thing in the bottom right of the closeup is a knitters abacus (click on picture for closer look).  It shows that I have knit 9 rows of this repeat:  the light blue bead is 5, and the dark green beads are 1 each.  There is a 5 and four 1s on the bottom of the circles.  On the next row I will push the green beads up and push a blue bead down, ending up with two blue beads equaling 10 rows knit.  What can I say, I like toys.

The beads at the top are stitch markers marking 13 st repeats.

I adjusted the number of sts cast on because my gauge was different than the pattern.  Using the pattern's gauge, I figured that the Convertible is supposed to be about 20.5 inches wide.  I get 6 sts per in, and the pattern calls for 5 sts per in.  I added about 26 stitches to get about 21.5 inch width, casting on 129 instead of 103.  (129 sts / 6 sts per in = 21.5 inches).

I luvs my gauge swatches.

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace (*** good) is a history film on a junior level.  It isn't complex, and it's an extremely abridged version of the story.

It's about William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffud), a late-1700s British merchant's son who campaigns for years in the House of Commons to abolish slavery.  He's about the same age as, and a good friend of, the prime minister, William Pitt the Younger (Benedict Cumberbatch). 

The title "Amazing Grace" is about a song written by a born again slave ship captain who is haunted by the souls of the 20,000 slaves that died on his ships, John Newton (Albert Finney).

The NY Times review was about right, I think.

There are many, many excellent British actors in the movie.  I recommend it.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Table Mountain

click for today's snapshots There is an area on top of one of the local buttes called Table Mountain.  The rock is very close to the surface, so the water doesn't drain and there is only a thin layer of dirt.  It's windy most of the time.  In Spring the wildflower display is spectacular - blue dicks, monkey flowers, lupines, poppies, butter cups, lewisia, violets, and many more I cannot name.  All the varieties are dwarfed. (You can click on the picture to see today's snapshots.)

Today was a beautiful day and we are having an early, warm Spring, so we went for a drive up to Table Mountain, between Chico and Oroville, CA, on Cherokee road.  Others had the same idea, including an antique car club.  The geezers weren't interesting in wondering around in the fields.  They just sat in the parking lot and partied.  Lots of people did venture away from the parking area into the fields.  We ran into somebody I work with at the library!  Once again, Chico proves to be a small town.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

In the next life

When I get rich or in my next life, whichever happens first, I'm going to hire somebody to clean my house for me... and I'm going to pay them a bundle for all their hard work.  Can you tell I just mopped the living room and kitchen?  Doing it once is okay, but every week?

Well, the good news is that I get to go to my knitting group this afternoon :-)  And the garden is going crazy with Spring Hopes...


You can click on this photo of Wisteria Buds to see today's snapshots in the garden.  Buds everywhere....

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Finished Amethyst Socks

The Basketweave Amethyst socks are finished.

Image These socks took me forever, and I finally figured out why.  I needed better magnifying glasses!  The color is just dark enough that the poor evening light in the living room made it difficult to see the stitch pattern.  I have new readers and am contemplating a trip to the eye doctor.

This yarn is Knitivity's Southern Purls Amethyst Sock Yarn (75% Merino Wool, 25% Nylon).  Because of the Merino it's soft and just a tiny bit fuzzy.  It felt good to work, and I imagine the socks will feel good to wear.  Ray, at Knitivity, provides a high level of service and his colors are always unique.  My digital photo doesn't do just to the real color, but it's close.  It's a beautiful, deep purple variegation.

Image The pattern is mine.  I took the basketweave stitch pattern from Charlene Schurch's "Sensational Knitted Socks" book.  I used size 0 (US) needles and got a gauge of 9 sts per in on the stockinette part.  They are worked top down with a standard heel stitch on the heel flap, and round heels.

There was plenty of yarn to make socks for my size 9 feet, with just a little left over.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Painted Veil

We saw The Painted Veil (**** Very Good) on Sunday.  It's a love story set in a cholera epidemic in mid-1920s China.  Stars Edward Norton and Naomi Watts, both very good.

The story is based on Summerset Maugham's novel of the same name.

A British couple leaves London and arrives in Shanghai, then leaves Shanghai and travels to the interior of China.  Their marriage is not happy.  He started out loving her while she did not love him.  She has an affair.  He finds out and manipulates her into joining him when he volunteers to work in a cholera epidemic amidst political upheaval.  She is a vain and shallow girl who grows during the movie.  It isn't until the very end that they finally begin to respect and love each other. 

I liked The Painted Veil more before I read the NY Times Review.  The reviewer was unhappy that the story took liberties with the novel, and presented the husband as a more vibrant character than he was in the book.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

A beautiful day

Eat your hearts out, East Coast.  While you are still having cold and snow, we are having spring.  Hahahaha.

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Sunday, March 4, 2007

Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume One

I think there is an error in Pattern #157, "Georgia Lace", in Vogue Knitting's Stitchionary Volume One Knit & Purl.

The last line says  "Rep rows 5-2."  It should probably say "Rep rows 5-26." ?

FYI: The errata page for this book does not include this pattern.

Gripe, Gripe, Gripe -- I hate patterns that do not include charts, especially if they also contain errors!!!! 

This picture is my own attempt to chart the pattern.  I'm not an ace lace charter, but even my charts are better than none.

The Sparkly Spiral Girl found the problem.  Good eyes!

Friday, March 2, 2007

You Choose '08

Some of the front runners in the 2008 Presidential campaign have created accounts in YouTube.  It's called You Choose '08, Face the candidates on You Tube.

So far, there are videos from John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani, Bill Richardson, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich, Joe Bidon, Barak Obama, and Mitt Romney.

My favorite, Barak Obama, has the most views :-)   I read Obama's latest book, Audacity of Hope.  He's easy to understand, down to earth, sounds honest about the pressures on a politician.  He doesn't give "solutions" to current problems, but he does say how he would approach a problem if he had the chance.  He is very direct in his criticism of the current administration.