Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sweet Tooth KAL

I had some requests for a KAL to go with the Sweet Tooth mystery ebook... so we're doin' it! Over in the Dull Roar-ers Ravelry group. There are prizes. Perhaps more prizes later, as the mood takes me. Please do pop in! (And you can join right up until the end date, so if you weren't feeling Dragée and want to wait, that's a-okay.)

Friday, September 12, 2014


I do all my best knitting by the gentle glow of Netflix, so I thought it might be worth rounding up some recommendations. I have several simple rules for my knit-viewing:

1. Must be in a language I am fluent in (so, er, English. *shameface*)
I can knit plain stockinette without looking, but it's much easier to drop a stitch or split plies or otherwise make a silly mistake. Plus, I'm not often knitting only stockinette with no shaping for long periods. So subtitles just aren't going to happen. (Which is a shame, because I used to really enjoy foreign flicks and now I never get to watch 'em.)

2. TV Shows > Movies
If you pick a TV show, especially one with many seasons, you don't have to stop and find something new to watch nearly so often. Which is important when you're knitting several hours a day, and are terribly indecisive about movies, like I am.

3. It can't be too complex, or too visual
You want something dialogue-heavy with relatively little action-that-you-actually-have-to-watch. You want to be able to keep track of the plot without actually seeing every detail that happens on screen. This manifests in obvious ways (action flicks aren't great) but also less obvious ones- while I did watch Sherlock while knitting, their reliance on text messages was a pain in the ass and I did a lot of rewinding. Pretty Little Liars had the same issue, except that the characters frequently read the text messages out loud, so that helps. Knitting is a great excuse to watch guilty-pleasure tv, because you need your brainpower for things other than following the plot.

4. It must be available on Netflix Streaming
.... 'cause we cancelled our DVD plan and I ain't paying for Hulu as long as they insist on making you watch the same ad 10,000 times even though you are a PAID MEMBER, DAMMIT.

Without further ado, a few of my recent picks:

Once Upon a Time
Kind of low budget and the acting isn't great but somehow it's still SO GOOD. Basically, fairy tale characters in exile in Maine. Beloved Disney characters doing untoward things. Evil Queens being sasstastic.

Parks and Rec
This show is just objectively good. It's funny, it's adorable, it's feminist-friendly, and has the perfect balance of curmudgeonly characters and lovable idiots.

New Girl
Aww I know everyone kinda hates Zooey Deschanel a little but this show was kind of cute.

Don't Trust the B-- in Apt 23
This show is seriously underrated. It probably got cancelled because it has the WORST NAME EVER. But it features Krysten Ritter being amazing and James Van Der Beek as (an alternate version of) himself. If you watched Dawson's Creek as a kid it'll probably make you really happy.

Desperate Housewives
Okay fine it's not the BEST show, but it's addicting and it's like a million seasons long. It will entertain without distracting you for many, many hours.

My Name is Earl
Another underrated, cancelled-too-early gem. When this was on the air I assumed it was something dumb and trashy but it's actually pretty fantastic. Plus Joy Turner is pretty much my favorite tv character ever.

Also here's a song about eating crabs:

Respect The Meat from Livia Gondim on Vimeo.


However, if you ARE interested in dumb and trashy, I have for you the reality show to end all reality shows. Brides competing for plastic surgery! I'm actually not 100% convinced that this show wasn't designed to be a parody of other reality shows... it's just so unreal, and oddly engaging.

Do you like shows about fucked up teenagers who have way more dramatic lives than you do or probably ever did? Are you into sex, drugs, violence, and the folly of youth? Would you prefer it all with a side of Britishness? Step into my office.

I'm kinda getting all sentimental and feeling like rewatching them all now, man. There are, of course, many many more. I'm trying to avoid the obvious hits (OitNB, Whedon stuff, etc... Parks and Rec was pretty obvious but oh well) and the amazing-but-slightly-too-action-packed-or-complex-to-be-ideal (American Horror Story comes to mind) but I'm sure I can dredge up enough for a second installment.

How 'bout you guys? Any knit-able shows that I should definitely not miss?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Introducing Sweet Tooth, a Progressive Ebook

I am trying a little experiment - a "mystery ebook," you could call it.

I have in my (metaphorical) hands four knitting patterns- each a cheery-colored hat knit in Malabrigo Merino Worsted, each knit up on size US 8 needles. Some feature simple cables, others merely textures. Some are one-color, some are more (but there is no stranding.) One requires the use of charts, the rest do not.

Today, I release the first pattern (more on that in a minute). Two weeks from now, the second. Two weeks later, the third. And so on.

Each pattern can be purchased individually, of course. But if you choose to take the gamble and buy the ebook before the rest of the collection is released, you'll get a discount proportionate to the amount of risk you're taking. The price will go up each time a pattern is added, until all four patterns are released and it reaches its final price.

Like to live dangerously? Buy the ebook today and you'll get all four patterns for just $8. Rather wait and be sure? That's fine too, the ebook will still be a good deal even after it's all over.

The first pattern is Dragée:

Dragée features large (but simple) cables on heavily textured background (there's just something so delightfully... chewy, about seed stitch. Does that word make sense? Not rustic, exactly. Just...chewy. Maybe I'm just associating seeds with granola, haha.) The colors remind me of Jordan Almonds, hence the name (which is pronounced like this, btw- I had to look it up, heh. Been saying "Draggie" on my head for years.) 

You can find Dragée on Ravelry here (or buy now), and if you're ready to take the plunge and snap up the Sweet Tooth ebook at the lowest price it'll ever be, you can do that here!

Monday, September 8, 2014

ImagiKnit Trunk Show

If you're in the San Francisco area (luckyyyy), you can peruse a herd of Dull Roar samples over at ImagiKnit until the 15th!

Please tell 'em I said hi ;-)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Twenty Things

I saw this thing that Stacey did and while I feel rather weird blathering about myself, it seemed like a fun way to rouse the blog a bit during the summer knitting-hibernation-season. So here's a bunch of stuff you probably don't care to know about me! I'll fill it with links to help you waste time more effectively.

1. All of my boots have squished and dented toes because I am intensely paranoid about spiders and centipedes hanging out in my shoes, and I'll step on the toes to make sure that nothing that made it through the "shaking out upside-down" phase lives. If I haven't worn them in awhile I'll sometimes vacuum them out, or ask Travis to stick his arm in there to check (whatta guy.)

2. I'm a super tactile person and I have an intense obsession with sturdy, classic-feeling textiles: canvas, wool (of course), velvet, leather. I'm slowly moving towards filling my house (and wardrobe) with as many of them as possible. Right now I'm super hung up on Hudson Bay point blankets (a phase that will probably last until I find a good deal on one) and waxed canvas.

3. Songs that I will never turn off before the end: Magic Man, Total Eclipse of the Heart, Crazy on You, Just Dropped In, Head Over Heels. I realize two of those are by Heart and one has "Heart" in the name, what does it all mean??

4. I don't really drink any alcohol or caffeine- not for any moral or health reasons, I just react strongly to both and therefore don't really enjoy them. I used to drink both, I'm not sure what changed. I will sometimes have green or black tea if I'm super tired (or in England), but I'll generally take decaf if it's available. And I'll taste other people's boozedrinks- I really rather miss the taste of wine.

5. One time I was on the Cobra Snake. I looked awful. I consider that the point where my hipness peaked before plummeting down the other side.

6. I have a BA in Psychology with a minor in visual arts (well, the equivalent of, since my school didn't do minors.) It's not getting a whole lot of use, but I still love reading about psych (book recommendations welcomed and encouraged!)

7. Occasionally (fortunately infrequently) I get ocular migraines where my vision gets taken over by blobs of light (kind of like if you press on your eyes) and I basically go mostly-blind for awhile. I certainly prefer them to the pain kind, but they're still pretty annoying when they happen. (That video is kind of accurate...closest I've found, anyway.)

8. Once when my mother was scanning the radio, I yelled out "Tarzan Boy" and lo and behold, the next station she switched to was just playing the opening yodels of Tarzan Boy. It was the proudest moment of my life, beating out two graduations and every other personal and professional achievement to date.

9. I once won a wedding craft competition! Looking back on it, I have no idea how I won...that project is kinda busted. I spent the entirety of the prize money fixing my car's power steering :-(
(Later my wedding was on that blog, though, so that's pretty cool! And THAT bouquet was much better.)

10. I had good grades and test scores in high school, but was rejected from the National Honor Society because I answered their "What are you good at?" essay question with something to the effect of "Making Kraft Macaroni and Cheese." I guess I thought they would appreciate my wit?

11. I play the ukulele, but not well, and never with an audience. More specifically, it's a banjolele (twaaang!) though I did buy a baritone uke recently thinking it might be a good stepping stone to a guitar. But so far in my life, I've failed at every instrument that had more strings that I had fingers.

12. Top 5 most bangable cartoon characters:
  1. Brock Samson
  2. Kronk (aka ditzy South American Brock Samson)
  3. Disney's Robin Hood (it's not just me, okay?!?)
  4. I was going to cheat and say "Adrian Brody if he was a cartoon" but I'll go with Trent.
  5. Both the guys from Road to El Dorado, at the same time.

13. I once got fired from a summer cleaning job that was run out of a trailer that smelled like cat pee. If being psychically linked to Tarzan Boy was the high point of my life, that was the low. In my defense, my boss was nuts and was firing me for something another girl was responsible for, but the other girl had already quit and someone had to go. House cleaning was actually a pretty interesting gig (I love looking around the inside of houses), though not exactly fun in the heat.

14. I can come out of pretty much any light-on-gore horror movie unscathed, but fat hairy plant stems scare the hell out of me.

15. If I'm home, in the car, or otherwise in a situation where nobody can see me, there is a 90% chance that my jeans are unbuttoned. Ahhhhh. Waistbands are a burden.

16. I'm a quitter. I like trying things but see no point in sticking with them if I don't fall in love. A brief list of things I've quit in vague chronological order: tap dance, T-ball, ballet, "hip-hop" dance, swimming, gymnastics, piano, violin, guitar (acoustic and electric), sitar, French, art school, German, meditation classes, juggling classes, pretty much every job I've ever had, Couch-to-5k (almost immediately) .... technically also horseback riding and ceramics classes, though that was more a matter of time and priorities changing - I'd still happily do both! I've never really regretted any of it, though sometimes I like to go back and dabble a bit, and I know my flakiness drove my mother crazy (sorry Mom!! Thanks for letting me bail and not going all Tiger Mother on me!)

17. I'm very into new-agey woo-woo things like crystals, candles, alchemy, celestial stuff, tarot, general witchery, etc... except that I don't believe a whiff of it. I just love the aesthetics. I did once get my fortune told by a professional, and it was...70% accurate, maybe. I was really impressed until she told me I wanted like 8 kids (haaaaa!)

18. If I have my choice, I watch everything with closed captioning on because I'm super bad at understanding mumbles and I hate having to rewind. Weirdly enough this helps even though I'm usually knitting while watching and not looking at the screen.

19. My nails don't have half-moons at the bottom (unless I paint them there). I'm pretty sure it's just because they're short and stubby, but as a kid some magazine told me they were a sign of health so I was pretty sure I was doomed.

20. I am firmly pro-Oxford-comma.

Okay! Well that was a fun procrastinatory activity. I try to leave the memes back in my Livejournal days, but once in awhile I can't resist. If any of you do it, leave me a link in the comments!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Re-release of Garterrific and Show-Off Scarf

I've been very slowly re-knitting, re-photographing, and re-writing some of my older, more sloppily-executed patterns, and I'm pleased to announce that two of them are back in a newer, shinier, better-written form!

There's the Show-Off Scarf:

And (in neon glory): Garterrific!

Click the names or photos to find 'em on Ravelry!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rip Curl Shawlette Now Available to All!

This shawlette was originally part of Twisted's Shawlette Club and was released last year. Technically I think it was "available to all" through Twisted already... but now it's available through me ;-)

Rip Curl has an usual shape- an asymmetrical curl like a cresting wave. Though it seems odd, it wears like a charm- you can wrap it twice and use the little curly end as a hook to help keep it on! The sample was knit with a gradient set from Hazel Knits, in their delicious "Entice" yarn... but you can of course make it solid or striped, in any fingering-weight yarn you please. Slipped stitch "spines" and "bones" stick out from the garter stitch background to add a little extra geometric intrigue. 

(yeah it's upside-down here. I'm a champ. But hey, always nice to have a good-looking wrong-side.) 

You can find Rip Curl on Ravelry here, or:

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