SDCC Day 1

July 25, 2010

I got a lot of knitting done on day one of Comic-Con. This is what my Lune shawl looked like when I got home:

Lune shawl - Day 1 SDCC

This was the most knitting I got done any of the days, because I think I may have overdone it a bit. My shoulder hurt a bit overnight, so I scaled it back the next two days. The Lune shawl was absolutely perfect Comic-Con knitting though, easily worked on with minimal attention. I didn’t really see any other knitters beyond the ones I already know though.

Thursday I went to 6 panels: Danny Elfman, Iron Man and Rocket Men, Spotlight on Charlaine Harris, Showtime’s Anti-Heroes, Dexter, and Transcending Trauma: From the Birth of Batman to the Rise of the Red Hood. The Danny Elfman panel was okay. They pitched a new huge box set – albums from all his movies with Tim Burton, coffee table book + CD – coming out around Christmas, and he told a couple stories about starting out working with Tim Burton. I left once the Q&A started, as man were there a lot of inappropriate questions.

Leaving that panel early wound up being a good thing, as there was a line (!) to get into the Iron Man and Rocket Men panel. I have some friends who are involved in the San Diego Space Society and Space Up, which were both represented on this panel, which is why I decided to check it out. Basically, it used the idea of Iron Man and Stark Industries as a jumping off point for talking about space tourism and advances in space travel. Fairly interesting, although one of the guys came off as kind of a jerk. The takeaway was basically that space tourism wasn’t going to happen until there was a way to get into orbit with a significant reduction in fuel costs.

Next was one of my two favorites of the day, which really surprised me. Spotlight on Charlaine Harris wound up being a great panel. I was a little worried, because two (or 3?) years ago I went to the True Blood panel they had before the show premiered and was kind of squicked out by it. I think it might have just been the moderator though. This one was great. Ms. Harris is sweet and funny. She told a story about Anne Rice sending her a facebook message and how taken aback she was by that (she’s a huge Anne Rice fan). The Q&A was actually pretty good. She says she doesn’t actually have much involvement in the show, but she loves it, and views the books and shows at totally different creative entities. She also talked about embarrassing fan questions, including a woman who told her every time a book comes out she copies all the dirty bits with her husband. Charlaine Harris asked us to please not tell her those kinds of things. No real spoilers or upcoming plot developments, except an answer to whether Sookie would ever become a vampire and Eric’s opinion about that. (I can add that in later if people want to know.)

Then I wandered the show floor until I remembered I hate wandering the show floor. It’s just too crowded for me. I hopped in line for assorted Showtime panels, and laughed at some people who thought they could get in line for Ballroom 20 less than 30 minutes before what they wanted to see. The Showtime Anti-Heroes panel was kind of a weird thing to have at Comic-Con. None of the shows really fit within the themes of comics/sci-fi. Still, it was fairly interesting, and David Duchovny was hilariously incoherent. Only a few inappropriate comments here too. The Dexter panel was okay. The teaser reel they showed was exciting, but the questions asked were pretty much all exactly the same – variations on “do you find the character sympathetic” – and not that interesting. I left early because there was a very loudly fussing 3 year old in the audience, which was both annoying and inappropriate. Don’t take your small children to panels about graphically violent shows people. I shouldn’t have to tell you this.

My last panel of the day was my other favorite. Last year, a group of forensic psychologists had a panel called Unlocking Arkham, about Batman Villains and the definition of criminal insanity. This panel featured the same doctors discussing reactions to trauma and whether various heroes and villains showed signs of PTSD. They talked about resiliency in the face of trauma and social and personal factors that increased that, and some specific character studies. It was really interesting and a great way to end the day. Next year they’re proposing a panel about Green Lantern.

All and all, a great first day at Comic-Con.

You got your homophobia in my Comic-Con

July 24, 2010

Comic-Con was super fun. I saw lots of great panels, and will have posts up about some of them next week. This, however, I found disheartening enough to want to talk about right away. While waiting for panels for The Guild and Community, I overheard the guy behind me complaining about True Blood. (Warning, I discuss up to the episode that aired on July 18th. If you’re watching a season behind and don’t want to be spoiled, probably better to skip this post.)

Now while I love True Blood, there are plenty of reasons to complain about it. It’s very graphically violent. There are a lot of power imbalance/control issues. It’s pretty trashy. Sookie Stackhouse might literally be too dumb to live. None of these were his complaints though. His problem? Dudes kissing.

Seriously. He went on and on (and on) about the number of gay male relationships in the show and the time spent on them. Specifically he seemed upset about the just beginning Lafayette and Jesus relationship. His argument basically boiled down to 1. no one is interested in seeing gay male relationships or, more specifically, two dudes doing it, on TV, 2. it wasn’t relevant to the show because both characters were human and 3. the volume of gay relationships is too high. Let me break this down for you random homophobe.

1. Umm, have you heard of slash fiction? I don’t necessarily understand the fixation of some straight women on gay male relationships, but you can’t deny it exists. Also, Torchwood, very popular with the ladies. There is obviously a segment of straight women interested in seeing these relationships. (Not to mention, you know, actual gay people who might be interested. I don’t mean to imply that it’s required straight women find these relationships compelling. Dude specifically said straight women aren’t interested in relationships between gay characters, which is demonstrably false.) Additionally, there is merit in showing different types of relationships. His argument here basically boils down to “gay sex is icky” and “how dare you show people who aren’t like me?” Rebuttal: you’re a boring asshole. I’m way excited for the Lafayette and Jesus relationship to grow. Lafayette is an interesting character and I’m hoping he gets a little bit of something nice going on for him.

2. What? I don’t even understand what this has to do with anything. Are Jason’s relationships/conquests irrelevant to the show because they’re generally human/human? Are all the human characters irrelevant? Obviously not. I can think of plenty of ways the Lafayette/Jesus relationship could be relevant and I’m not even that imaginative. For example, is Jesus going to start to pry into the arrangement Lafayette has with Eric? I’d know I’d question where the money came from if I was dating a short order cook who drove a Bentley. Will Jesus get sucked into the whole Tara/Franklin thing when Lafayette goes looking for her? Other, better plot points thought up by actual writers and not some annoyed chick on the internets?

3. Also, WTF? There have been zero gay sex scenes on True Blood. Early this season there was a sexually charged dream Sam had featuring Bill, but it didn’t get beyond removed shirts and there might have been a kiss. Russel and Talbot are a couple, yes, but they’ve never even kissed to my recollection. The guy mentioned that the show had already had a human and vampire gay couple, but for the life of me I can’t figure out who he’s talking about. Compare this to the volume of hetero sex scenes. I’m not going to go over to wikipedia and count, but an average of 1-2 per episode honestly seems accurate, so lets say upwards of 30. I’m not even going to touch how he kept stressing that it was gay *male* sex that bothered him.

And finally, do you know anything at all about Alan Ball? Were you somehow able to miss the completely unsubtle correlation between coming out of the closet/coffin? This is a show about homophobia.

So please, random dude waiting to see Felicia Day, next time keep your homophobia out of my Comic-Con.

A knitter’s guide to Comic-Con

July 21, 2010

San Diego Comic-Con starts tomorrow, and I’m expecting to get a lot of knitting done there. This will be my fourth SDCC. This year, what is really cool is the Sched based check list scheduling. You can see what panels I’ll be trying to get into here.

Anyway, here are some tips for knitting at Comic-Con.

1. Your project should not take up too much space and be something you can work on while standing/moving slowly. While waiting in line for the more popular panels (especially anything in Hall H or Ballroom 20) you’ll be shuffling around a lot. I like to use a box bag dangling off my wrist. The yarn bracelets Laci sells are another good idea.

2. Your project should be something you can work on in low light. Many rooms dim the lights for panels, and nothing sucks more than waiting through a panel you’re not really interested in where it’s too dark to knit. I’m going to be working on the stockinette version of the Lune Shawl, in a pretty blue Malabrigo Sock.

project for SDCC

3. Bring a refillable water bottle. All the panel rooms have water dispensers, but can sometimes run out of cups.

4. It will be hot on the floor and cold in the panels. The A/C is blaring at Comic-Con, making it very cold in empty panels. A great time to bust out one of your hand knit shawls.

5. Sunscreen. You’d think you’d be inside all day. You’d be wrong. The lines for Hall H and Room 6 can be outside and it’s really easy to get a sunburn.

6. Snacks. Food at the convention center is expensive and mostly gross. There’s a grocery store 3 blocks from the convention if you forgot something, it’s on 1st and G. I usually try to bring trail mix, granola bars, peanut butter sandwiches, etc.

7. Avoiding Con Crud. I try to take lots of Vitamin C and make sure to wash my hands as often as possible, especially if I’ve been shaking hands at assorted events. Con crud is the worst.

Anyone else going to be at Con?

I have been blogging!

July 19, 2010

…just not here. Oops.

Well, since we saw each other last, I’ve finished something like 7 projects, including two sweaters, and gone to TNNA. I’ve also started blogging for the Anzula site.

Here’s a pair of socks I finished Memorial Day Weekend.

Bricker Socks

The pattern is Anne Hanson’s Bricker. As usual, Anne’s pattern was lovely to knit and turned out great. The yarn is Blue Moon Socks that Rock in Bella Coola, which was a sock club yarn the year I was a member (2007, I think). I think the Bricker pattern was a good match for this fairly busy sock yarn. I’ve been trying to find nice simple textured patterns to use up some of my crazy color sock yarn and I think this one will be great for that.

I’ll also give you a preview of my Coraline sweater, photographed with Ysolda at TNNA.

With Ysolsa at the raveley TNNA party.

Hopefully I’ll get some better pictures of this sweater soon and do a full write up. I’m really happy with how it turned out.

Squishy Longjohns

April 5, 2010

longjohn socks

These might be my new favorite socks!

longjohn socks

Pattern: Longjohn Sock by Anne Hanson
Yarn: Anzula Squishy. This is some of my Stitches West ’09 yarn.

longjohn socks

Last post I complained about yarn lacking elasticity. This yarn is the complete opposite. Very elastic, and, well, squishy. It’s also very soft, with the cashmere thrown in for good measure. The pattern is great, as per usual for Anne Hanson, and the texture of the pattern really works well with the squish of the yarn. They remind me of a favorite thermal cardigan I wore until my roommate made me toss it out due to the holes in the elbows and extra holes in the button band. The colors are outside my usual comfort zone, but are still totally working for me. I might even knit these again sometime. Highly recommend for multicolored yarn. There’s enough patterning to be interesting, while being simple enough not to complete with busy yarn.

Third time’s a charm

April 1, 2010

Last time I showed you my Eleanora socks they were in a sad state. Luckily, I spent quite a bit of time on trains in February and March and can now smile about these socks.

Elenora Socks

Pattern: Eleanora by Miriam Felton (apparently I’m totally on a MimKnits kick this week)
Yarn: ShibuiKnits Sock
Needles: 2.25mm Knitpicks 40″ circs, magic loop style.

Elenora Socks

This pattern is pretty great and I’m super happy with how the socks turned out. However, I don’t love this yarn. It was a little stringy for my taste, just not as much spring or elasticity as I like in a sock yarn. I’m also not thrilled with the pooling, but it’s not actually that noticeable in person. The color isn’t quite accurate, since my camera has a hard time with reds. You also might be able to see that one toe is in a different yarn. I ran out of yarn with about 3″ to go on the second sock, so I used some other leftover red yarn from my scrap pile (I think it might be Lorna’s Laces). I knew I was cutting it close on yarn (lots of stitches, tiny gauge, long cuffs, big feet) but I’m still kind of bummed about that.

Elenora Socks

Anyway, to sum up, two enthusiastic thumbs up for the pattern, and just a meh on the yarn. But hey, that’s another project’s worth of yarn from Stitches 2008 knit up! Only 3 skeins of sock yarn left unused from Stitches ’08. Might actually clear out my Stitches backlog in time for next year.

Juno Regina

March 29, 2010

Or, welcome back spring.

Juno Regina

D helped me out with a lunch time photo shoot at Trolley Barn Park in University Heights. The weather is so nice right now, although I did get a little chilly in the wind.

Juno Regina

Pattern: Juno Regina, the wider wrap version.
Yarn: Anzula Wash my Lace, in Paprika. Most of a skein.
Needles: US #3 Knitpicks circulars. Love these for lace.

Juno Regina

I’m very happy with how this turned out. It opened up a lot in blocking, and the lace looks super crisp. It was super easy to block too, with all the straight edges. I only needed about a dozen pins.

Juno Regina blocking

Juno Regina blocking

Overall, a big success. Not sure what the next lace project in the works is, but I’m excited to pick one out.

Another one of my hobbies

March 15, 2010

I do have a few hobbies besides knitting. Reading and karaoke are a couple, but today’s topic is my love of craft beer. Once a month or so, some friends come over for a tasting night, our Beer Club.

We <3 Beer Club

February’s theme? We ❤ Beer Club, of course. Everyone brought something they love, which made for a pretty good tasting event. The line-up, from left to right is: Green Flash Le Freak, Stone 07-07-07 Vertical Epic, Alpine Nelson, Delirium Tremins , Maredsous Triple , Victory Hop Devil, Ballast Point Sculpin, Stone/Brewdog Basha, Maredsous Brown, Alesmith Old Numbskull, and Deshuttes Black Butte Porter XXI

(FYI, this was split among 10 people) Slightly over half San Diego beers, and a whole lot of tastiness. I brought the Le Freak, partially because I knew Ted would bring Nelson. My favorites, Le Freak, 07-07-07, Nelson and Sculpin. New beers to me, Sculpin, the Maredsous, Old Numbskull, and Black Butte Porter XXI. Beers outside my comfort zone, Old Numbskull. Barleywine and I do not get along well. I love IPAs. I like Belgians and Sours. I appreciate Porters and Stouts. I dislike Barelywine and beer that tastes like bourbon.

Anyway, February’s meeting was super fun. Not sure what we’re doing yet for March. Some suggestions include blind taste testing things we think we should know the difference between, which would be fun, and beer we found disappointing, which probably wouldn’t be as fun. We’re open to suggestions for themes, so if you have an idea I’d love to hear it.

Farinelli take two

March 11, 2010

This is something that’s a little unusual for me, I can’t think of the last time I knit the same pattern twice, especially within two months. After knitting a pair for Paaj in December, I knew I needed my own Farinelli mitts, so I made them into a mini Olympic knitting project.

Mitts

Pattern: Farinelli by Ysolda. shorter, fingerless, modification
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug. Bought this yarn years ago and finally found the right thing for it. Great yarn for mitts, as the yardage it a touch short for socks for me.
Needles: My ever faithful Inox #2 coated DPNs. I need these in more sizes.

Mitts

Look! A fiber animal! Gave the mitts a whirl at the San Diego Zoo last week and introduced them to some Yaks and Llamas. The new elephant exhibit is pretty bad ass, highly recommended if you’re in SD.

This pattern is still pretty awesome, and was fun to knit a second time. Only four days from start to finish on these, which was perfect. Wonderful short attention span knitting. The palm is a little tight on me, probably because I have gigantic hands. They’ve been fine on everyone else who’s tried them, but if you have really big hands, I suggest adding a few thumb gusset stitches along with the back of hand increases. It’s not enough to make them unwearable, I would just be more comfortable if there were a couple more stitches in there.

February Lady Sweater, in March

March 8, 2010

One of the great things about Stitches is seeing everyone’s cool projects. My February Lady Sweater had been languishing without sleeves for months until I saw how awesome it looked on so many people at Stitches.

February Lady Sweater

Pattern: February Lady Sweater
Yarn: Brooks Farm Willow, 2.5 skeins
Needles: US #8
Buttons: Porcelain, by Vika

I’d been dithering about sleeve length on this sweater for months, but finally decided on elbow length. Once I’d come to that conclusion, it only took two evenings to finish the sweater off. I picked up the buttons at Stitches. They involved texting D to get out the sweater and count and measure button holes. Thankfully he’s a good sport about that kind of thing. I love these buttons, and I think they go perfectly with the sweater.

February Lady Sweater

This is going to be a great light spring/summer sweater. So happy to have finally completed it!