New Fedora Fad

There's a new comic out there. Yes, I know, as much of a geek as I am the most comic reading I do is Buffy Season 8 (though I'm a bit behind. Haven't read since the Fray arch). But I do keep somewhat up to date. I do, after all, have posters for World of New Krypton and Battle of the Cowl. So I'm not that out of the loop, right?

Yeah, ok, anyway, there is only one thing we're here to talk about and that's Stranger Comics' new book The Untamed (now by book, I mean comic book. And by comic book, I mean ongoing series. Yeah, I need help).

The Untamed is a story of mystery! Betrayal! Intrigue! It seriously feels to me like the start of one really good sci-fi/fantasy novel. And before you say anything, I do know the difference between sci-fi and fantasy. But there are those rare moments where the lines begin to blur and an exciting playground emerges. The Untamed is just that. An exciting playground in which the dead may just come to life.

The story itself involves a mysterious stranger who is permitted to leave Hell to return to a town he once ruled (ruled? maybe he ran it. I'm not sure because it hasn't come out yet and that's not in the eleven pages I was advanced). The man crosses the river out of Hell to visit the graves of his family before entering the town. What happens next you'll just have to wait and see. I know I'm not the best comic reviewer, but seriously, it's pretty exciting stuff. And what's really cool? We'll be meeting the main character of Stranger Comics' main series through this comic. Not just any main character, but a strong female lead, which is going to be so cool! The artwork is stunning and the writing is very well done. And the critics are raving.

The most awesome thing is that the company, Stranger Comics, is not one of your mainstream comic lines (but I DON'T have anything against the mainstream. Let's make that clear. And comic lines probably isn't the best terminology but oh well). As an emerging comic publisher, Stranger Comics is involving in not just traditional comic distribution, which will be done on recycled paper, but will also be making comics downloadable via the iphone app Panelfly. AND, there is an animated version on the official website (it rocks).

Because I'm so excited about this comic (and thanks to the provision of Tabz), I am hosting a giveaway here for the comic itself. All you have to do to enter is to visit Stranger Comic's YouTube channel and watch the first installment of the animated comic. THEN, come back here and leave a comment telling me what you think. Two people will win a signed copy of issue one. How cool is that? The giveaway will run through Saturday, November 7, and the winners will be notified on here with details.

And the thing I find most cool about Stranger Comics? The little dude in their logo is wearing a fedora!


Yellow and Black, Purple, Red

As everyone who knows me is aware, two weeks ago was my birthday. It was great, it was awesome, and it hasn't stopped. Last weekend my mom and I went to a GIANT (I mean giant. Get it?) concert for my birthday. We went to see Superchick but saw 7 other bands as well, culminating in Stryper, who is on their 25th anniversary tour. I've been waiting to see Superchick since I was in the 9th grade. Which means I've been wanting to see them since I was 13 or 8 years. Needless to say, it was awesome. I love having my mom come visit, and buying my tshirt from Matt (Superchick's lead guitarist) was just the icing on the cake. We actually took knitting with us because it was a day-long outdoor event that was supposed to be around forty degrees, but we didn't need it. I did make a lot of headway on my Angela Shawl on the way there, but that was all the knitting we accomplished that day.

Oh yeah. Did I mention we were second row center and the people in front of us never showed?

Speaking of the Angela Shawl, it is all but finished. I highly recommend this pattern because I had so much fun making it. Monday night all I did was knit the last bit of the lace chart and did the bindoff Tuesday morning. However, I still have not blocked it because I've been way too busy due to school to take the time I'll need to figure it out. This was my first lace shawl and I'm very proud. I found Ravelry user sarah1's spreadsheet for the initial stockinette section to be quite helpful to get started. Then it was just a matter of finding a pencil and ticking off the chart rows as I went. Only problem-- those last rows are WAY too long for my small project knitting taste.

I used my Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock yarn and still have quite a bit leftover. I'll save it for future scrap yarn fun and look into getting some more. That yarn is awesome!

Last weekend was also one of many Cons in NYC. In attendance were many big names including Linda Hamilton and the ever lovely Miracle Laurie. Also in attendance were my good friends over at Echo Alert, Frank and Andrew. If you read this blog regularly then you know about this already and if you haven't go look at the preceding post. They gave Miracle Laurie my scarf!

(screencap courtesy of Frank)

I can't tell you how excited I am. I love Miracle as an actress as well as her character(s) and she was so nice to the guys (and me by extension). I made the Haruha scarf for her because the leaf motif reminded me of her initial Dollhouse character, Millie. Millie was a very sweet, down to earth, caring girl (woman?) who wore a variety of outfits that were more bohemian in overall style. The leaves seemed like something that would appeal to her and the Finnish origin seemed just exotic enough to intrigue her. And of course it's purple because that's Miracle's favorite color (and mine)!

While they were at the con, Frank also picked up a birthday present for me that's, well the best way to describe it is frakin awesome!

That's really all there is to say on that count. It's now sitting in a frame in a place of honor near my Firefly autographs, Indiana Jones whip, and lightsabre.

Lastly, I cast on a new project last night for my friend Carmen. I'm improvising the pattern myself, but she showed me some pictures of what she wanted, so I'm working an insane amount of stockinette to make this crazy hat for her to wear with her Bella mittens. The good thing about stockinette was that I could work on it at the movies last night when we went to see Zombieland. Yes, this is not my typical movie choice, but I actually mostly enjoyed it. Probably because of all the cultural references. You can tell I'm working on a degree that involves some film cultural analysis because that's all I seem to look for anymore. I think my favorite reference was to the song "Send in the Clowns" (or whatever the title is). That was pretty sophisticated for a vulgar comedy full of zombies.


Placeholder for Future Rockingly Awesome Post

They did it! The guys over at Echo Alert met the amazing Miracle Laurie at Big Apple Con and GAVE HER MY SCARF (I know, tone down the enthusiasm, right)! I really don't have time right now to write up the post dedicated to the episode, but I wanted to give everyone a heads up (see, I said everyone. I know you're out there). Go watch the video cast on the website or download into your itunes, which is really what you should be doing anyway. The scarf itself is the Haruha scarf by Mari Muinonen, whose beautiful pattern can be found on MadeByMyself or on Ravelry. The website is in Finnish, but if you scroll down you can look at the pdf, which is in English and Finnish.

So go! Watch, enjoy, knit. And don't forget to watch Dollhouse Friday nights on Fox at 9/8 central.


Cast-On-Itis: In Search of a Cure

I have a confession to make. I've been casting on projects like crazy. I'm growing concerned for my workload. You think I'm kidding? Here's a picture of my project bag.

Still don't believe me? Inside are 2 gift projects, a shawl, and a set of fingerless gloves. Plus I need to start on a hat project for a friend. It's insane. Yeah, ok, so maybe this isn't a lot for some knitters, but I'm a pretty consistent monogomous knitter. I might have two projects on the needles at times, but never this many (did I mention that the Great Gatsby Dress hasn't been touched since July?) I have a case of cast-on-itis, and I have it bad.

In addition to these projects I've been pattern surfing again (I know I know. Just bear with me). The temperature dropped significantly this week going from 90ish on my birthday (Saturday) to the 50s today. And I thought I'd never get to wear my sweaters. Well I know better now. This drop in temperature has made me desperate to knit warm items. It hasn't quite been a year since I started this blog and that was the time I actually got into pattern knitting and such, so this is the first time I've really seen all these possibilities for what they are, possibilities. There are so many cool options and I just don't have the time or the needles to keep up with them all.

As I've said before, fingerless gloves have become something I'm desperate to make for myself. I actually cast on Fetching last night (and by cast on I mean there are about 6 stitches on one of the five needles). I'm going to use the other skein from my Summer Beret. The idea of soft green bamboo gloves is very seductive. I can't wait to get more done with them. But my love really is devoted to my Angela Shawl (aka, the Traveling Woman shawl that's such a big hit on Ravelry right now). It's an amazing pattern and looks so good! Plus, it's really not boring for what has got to be over 200 stitches per row (and still increasing might I add). I can't put it down. It's like a really bad habit. And the Three Irish Girls yarn is simply gorgeous. I can't wait to put up pictures when it is done. Blocking is going to be the hardest part but I've been told that's when the magic happens (my first shawl, what do I know?)

This obsessive knitting has gone great with my tv watching. Via computer, of course, because I don't have cable and my tv isn't digital so we get 0 signal. In addition to the myriad of programs I've been watching, I've also had a mini-obsession with the OC in the past months (don't judge me, I was in highschool when it was on). I picked up the first two seasons for $20 (which is a miracle for dvd sets) and am now in the middle of season 3. I had seen random episodes but didn't really get it. My geek girl friends kept telling me to try it so I finally gave in and am loving getting caught up. It's weird in some ways because I was talking to a student about a research paper and tv came up and I realized . . . she barely remembers it being on tv. That's so strange to me. I must be getting old.

But what sort of blogger would I be if I didn't brag about my birthday? I did in fact get some knitting goodies. My roommate, goddess that she is, bought me two GIANT skeins of Bernat Super Value. One skein of purple and one of teal (teal because it's our school color. She went there for undergrad so she's a bit obsessed). I was trying to decide what to do with them and I think I'm going to go with afghan squares. I think a purple and teal blanket would be pretty cool, plus it would match the color skeem that seems to be developing in my room. She also gave me one skein of Lion Brand Homespun but I haven't decided what to do with that one yet.

Also in this picture is the yarn I went out and bought today because I found a pattern I just had to have. These slippers over at French Press Knits are absolutely awesome. I love them so much I actually bought the pattern (I know. How long did I sit and ponder Whimsical Little Knits 2?) It was $7 on Ravelry but I think it'll be worth it. The yarn is a really pretty lavendar that photographs more blue than it actually is, but you get the idea. Plus, it's a felting pattern, so I get to try my hand at that. I really think these will be practical to have because my feet are always cold, but I can't wear socks around the apartment too much or they'll get holes. The only problem I can forsee right now is that they are knit with multiple strands held together and I'm not sure how to do that.

Overall the knitting prospects, while looming large, are pretty exciting. Plus, I'm doing this to myself so I might as well deal with it. And I have two new dvd sets to watch while making them courtesy of my fraking awesome boyfriend.

And maybe some pretty roses to try to keep alive.


Running Through Wool

Looking at the calendar it is hard to believe that it's already October. We actually experienced a weather change here last week but it was back up in the 80s again today. Sad as it is, this is what life is like when you live at the beach (evidentially. I've only lived here since May so I don't know yet). October is my favorite month. Not because the leaves change colors (though I'm from a mountainy area and do miss that), and not because it's my birthday month (Saturday. The 10th if you're wondering. I accept cash as well as material goods), but because of that weather change. I've always loved the sudden crispness to the air and the way it burns the back of my throat just a little. I have this old ugly sweater I pull out to wear that I've had since I was, oh I don't know, 8? 9? 10? It's a hand-me-down from some old neighbors so God only knows how long that rust-green and royal blue have been cohabitating.

Knitters, I've discovered, are very fond of this season. It's like a new year of knitting just opens up to us. Here on the east coast and especially in our humidity in the South, it's really hard to knit with heavy or sticky yarns during the warmer months so you end up doing a lot of fingering-weight projects or just taking time off altogether. But when it gets cold suddenly you can knit in wool and heavier yarns that would just cause itchy misery no matter how soft and beautiful (I'm not saying wool is itchy. This humidity could make anything itchy. Even the air gets itchy).

I currently have two beautiful cold-weather projects on the needles but they're gifts so they must remain locked away in my ravelry page until they are finished. BUT, I finally splurged and bought Whimsical Little Knits 2 (only the digital version. I can't afford the print add-on at the moment), so I'm planning on making one of everything very soon. Particularly Ripley and Veyla. And maybe Damson if I find some yarn that just speaks to me. I'm very excited because I recently purchased fourteen sets of bamboo 8 inch double pointed needles. They're gorgeous and only cost me $20 total because I bought them on Ebay!

Because of this I may very soon knit my first pair of socks. I know, it's Socktober so I should of course be knitting socks, but with November looming with all of its giant deadlines (one of my classes doesn't meet again after Thanksgiving) I don't know if I've got the time to teach myself such a skill.

I did finally finish hand-winding all of my Three Irish Girls Adorn sock yarn (I don't reccomend this if you can help it. It got tangled right away and took me FOREVER), but I don't want to make socks with it. I've been thinking for a month or two about a shawl pattern that actually seems to be becoming popular on Ravelry. It's called Traveling Woman and is partly inspired by the character of Angela from Bones. It was written by Liz Abinante from feministy.com. It's a gorgeous pattern written for a single skein so it's be perfect for this gorgeous yarn.

And speaking of yarn, she also has a very unique and awesome collection of yarn over at her Etsy shop. If you look at the sock yarn you'll notice that five colors are from her True Blood collection. I know, awesome, right? They're $23 so it might be a while, but I definately want to try at least one of these to work with while I listen to the audio books (I'm on book 3).

Another thing I've been doing to keep myself from becoming emotionally unstable because of all of this work (I feel like I complain about school alot. I actually love school. It's been better than I could have hoped) is I have started running. I was in a car accident at the end of August and suffered some injury to my neck so I'm not able to do my pilates for a while until it heals. Because of this I have no form of physical activity left to me. I know, it sounds sad. All there is for me to do is run. It's my last resort. And I don't necessarily like it. But it has been good for me and I love the way I feel when I finish. I'm not that good yet. I think I ran a total of 10 minutes today (3.3 songs or so) and walked a comparable amount. Anyway, the point is that I was remembering this passage from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 and it really describes how Bridget is running again after letting herself wallow in self-pity for a very long time. She runs and starts to feel the freedom of being herself and the burden she's been carrying starts to ever so slowly slip away. That's how I feel. That freedom. I'm not saying I enjoy it. I still hate running. But the freedom is starting to kick in, and that I truly love.


Where's Angel?

You've heard me talk about Angel Between the Lines, or at least mention it in passing. You know, it's that audio drama I've been working on all summer? Well today is the day. Today, on the 10 year anniversary of Angel: the Series, Buffy Between the Lines ends and Angel Between the Lines begins. This season will answer the questions every fan has concerning the time between seasons 3 and 4. So what are you waiting for? Go subscribe, stream / download, or listen to the content in any other way possible (which I don't think exists. Another way I mean. Except maybe through EMAIL).

PS: If you haven't watched Buffy or Angel yet, what are you doing? Go! Now! Hulu has some seasons so you now have no excuse. Plus, it's a great way to get in some knitting time as well.


Urchins Live At the Beach

Single Skein September ended last night. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, September is the month set aside by listeners of the Stash and Burn podcast to knit those random single skeins that knitters inevitably have lying around. Unless you're me and you actually don't have much of a stash and actually have to go buy the skeins for those projects. Kind of defeating the purpose, but that's ok. I'm the moderator for the Ravelry thread so starting tomorrow I have to start counting everyone's projects to put in the spreadsheet. It is a lot of work but it's also fun. I'm getting to see all of this beautiful knitting and getting great ideas.

For example, I'm becoming obsessed with fingerless gloves. I really like Fetching which has been the #1 glove pattern for a while. I started looking at Debbie Bliss yarn last night on Ravelry and had to convince myself I don't have the $7 quite yet that I'd need for this pattern. I also really like Suzie's Reading Mitts and CanCans so I'm thinking I'm going to use that extra skein from my Summer Beret.

My own contribution that I'm most proud of is URCHIN! Yes, I finally finished and just in time for the hint of a season change. I'm hoping to find an excuse to wear it this weekend because I'm so excited to finally have it finished. Despite the headache it caused I still love it so much.

I'm now wanting to make more designs by Ysolda. In particular I'm really liking the things I'm seeing come from Whimsical Little Knits 2. Especially Ripley and Veyla. I could just buy the patterns online which would be about $10 or so, but I want the book version to, which means I'd spend around $22 because it's shipped from Scottland. I should probably just buy the digital version and get the print add-on later, but I'm not sure I can afford it so I just keep looking at the patterns and sitting on my hands while I drool.

School's keeping me super busy (surprise!) but I did find time to hit our LYS here, The Quarter Stitch, for the first time today. It was a wonderful experience. There were women knitting and talking and the store had that close in, friendly feeling. Yeah, I loved it. I'm still such a newbie when it comes to knitting (not a noob, that implies incompetence and I think I have the hang of most things now. Except socks. I have yet to knit a pair of socks). When I go in a store I just have to touch everything and I'm shocked by the amount and variety and the colors. It's like a sensory overload. So of course I bought some things (duh!). I picked up these amazing Japanese bamboo circs for the project I'm making for my twitter friend Amanda's baby due at the end of the year/beginning of '10. Can't tell you what it is because it's a secret, but I promise to post a preliminary picture once she gets it and later a picture of the adorableness once the baby is born. I also picked up a skein of Borroco Ultra Light Alpaca in color way 4288. I know, sounds like nothing, but it's a stunning deep grey-ish blue with flecks of dark purple. I fell in love with it and the fact that it was under $6 guaranteed I was buying it.

One last thing. I just heard from Frank that Echo Alert has been in touch with Miracle Laurie and she remembers the scarf I was making for her. She will be at Big Apple Con this month and wants them to give it to her there! I'm so excited (even though I won't be there). Of course because they're giving her something I've made, but also because they get to meet her. Yeah, I'm really really really jealous.

Ok, I'm stopping for now. But the fact that I have more to say is a good indicator that I'll update sooner rather than later (provided my classes don't cause me to jump out of my second-story window. JUST KIDDING MOM!)