Monthly Archives: July 2013

It’s a rocket, man

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‘Tech Knits’ by Sue Culligan (also published as ‘Knits of Tomorrow’)

Why this book isn’t talked about in hushed whispers in awed whispers in every corner of the internet inhabited by nerdy knitters, I just don’t know. Sue Culligan doesn’t seem to have much of an online presence and most of the patterns in this book aren’t on Ravlery. Steps must be taken to rectify this! The twenty patterns in this book range for the adorably kitsch – flying saucer paper weight – to the incredibly classy – radio mast socks and circuit board fingerless mitts.

So when my brother, on being asked what he wants for his upcoming birthday, said he wanted a rocket, I knew it was to this book that I must turn. The space rocket desk tidies were just the thing I was looking for to give my geeky, artistic sibling. I nabbed a jar from J’s glass recycling box and got to work.

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The rocket wasn’t an overwhelming success. The patterns calls for the rocket to be shaped to the jar and it turns out I’m not quite the pattern-adapting wunderkind I thought I was. The rocket hangs baggy on its jar, but hopefully not too noticeably. And then there was the whole porthole fiasco. The portholes are crocheted. I hadn’t touched a crochet hook in years, not since the thimble-sized hat incident, which still haunts me to this day…. I exaggerate. But not when I say that I don’t understand crochet at all.

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It’s crochet Jim, but not as we know it.

Refusing to be daunted, I nicked another jar and immediately began work on another rocket. This one turned out better.

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I even started to get the hang of crocheting and I don’t think the portholes on this one… okay, I don’t think the top porthole on this one is too abysmal. And now my brother gets to have two rockets for his birthday!

This was a quick project, but with lots of techniques to keep it interesting. I got to work in the round, pick up stitches, use short row shaping and colour work. The pattern was well laid out and easy to follow.

Blast off!…. Or should I say cast off?

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World’s End film review

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“Wilkommen. Bienvenue. Welcome.”

Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul, Run Fatboy Run – all great films, but I wouldn’t have said I  was a particular fan of Simon Pegg. But The World’s End changed my mind. Dye someone’s hair black, dress them in a long flowing black coat and big boots and they achieve instant cool. Simon Pegg was rocking the goth look. I’m probably biased, having once rocked the goth look myself, but I love that style. It’s so striking. And it can make anyone look good.

Oh, and I really liked his acting in this, too.

But onto the film. The World’s End basically follows the plot line of Jack Finney’s novel Invasion of the Body Snatchers, only with more pubs. What made the film come into its own was not the plot, but the characters, the setting, the comedy and the theme of the older person realising they have lost their youth and trying to recapture it. I don’t know why, but that theme has always touched a nerve in me. I’m a sucker for it, it breaks my heart every time.

The film starts with Gary King (Simon Pegg) collecting all his old school buddies together (played by Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Paddy Considine) for one last go at the Golden Mile – an epic pub crawl covering all 12 pubs in their home town. Gary King is the tragic hero on a par with other great literary characters. He is the leader of the pack, a rebel without a cause, dedicated to having fun even if it kills him.

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“Nobody really knows how many musketeers there were.”

He’s a comedic character, some funny dialogue and lots of slapstick, but there are several moments of brilliantly-done pathos in which we are allowed glimpses behind Gary’s facade. One scene in particular between Gary and Andy (Nick Frost) had me sobbing into my neighbour’s popcorn. Yet the film achieves the trick of never becoming too maudlin or self-indulgent.

Nick Frost. Now that is a guy, I think, who deserves way more recognition than he gets. His acting is comic genius, his jumbled front teeth are adorable, his speeches are majestic. I’m sure all the biggest laughs I heard in the cinema went to him. He just gets it right every time. Yes, I’m a Nick Frost fan. Some people think of him just as a foil to Simon Pegg, in which case I point them towards the comedy series Hyperdrive that he stars in. I can’t recommend it enough.

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World’s End is set in Gary King’s hometown of Newton Haven, a small dead end town. I grew up and still live in a town very much like it. Andy’s attitude to it is one I’m sure a lot of small-towners, including myself, can relate to: “I made a promise not to die in this town”. I liked how the setting was a character in itself, the ‘blanks’ keeping the main characters trapped in the town a metaphor for the struggle of their teenage selves to escape out into the world.

If all that sounds a bit too heavy, there’s also a lot of slapstick and knockabout comedy, with even a nod to the great ‘Fawlty Towers’ in one scene. Lots of fun fight scenes (I love how almost everyone becomes a consummate fighter when faces with a horde of angry robots), although nothing as good as that fight scene in Shaun of the Dead. The scene with the robot wearing her twin’s legs in place of her arms was genius. Pure genius. And lots of cameos from great actors, from Pierce Brosnan to Reece Shearsmith (another comedy actor I shamelessy fan over).

I left the cinema invigorated, humming ‘I’m Free’ under my breath and only slightly paranoid that my town had been taken over by robots in my brief absence. I was all ready to embark on a pub crawl all of my own, until I remembered my town only has two pubs so it would be more of a Golden Inch than a Golden Mile. (Oo-er, missus.) So I went home and listened to Sister of Mercy instead. (Really hope they bring out a soundtrack to this film.)

Go see it!


Super Sweet Blogging Award!

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I only entered the world of blogging a month ago, so I feel pretty darned honoured to have been awarded the Super Sweet Blogging award by gynjii. She writes such a stylish blog, with beautiful pictures of the things she’s made and it’s exciting to read about her journey towards motherhood. A big thanks to her for this award, it’s amazing to think that people are reading the random little snippets I post and even enjoying them!

If someone asked why I started blogging, the answer would be what I give to most things: “I don’t know, I just felt like it.” I’ve enjoyed sharing my passion for hair, knitting and conventions, but most of all I’ve enjoyed getting to know other members of the WP community. Everyone is so friendly and I feel privileged to be allowed these peeks into their lives. So… onto business.

The Super Sweet Blogging Award

The rules for those nominated:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

2. Answer 5 Super Sweet questions. These can be found down below.

3. Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your blog post.

4. Nominate a baker’s dozen (13) other deserving bloggers.

5. Notify your Super Sweet nominees on their blog.

5 SUPER SWEET QUESTIONS

1. Cookies or Cake?
Cake 🙂 As a coeliac, I often have to bake my own treats and I think that cake is more fun to make than cookies.

2. Chocolate or Vanilla?
My brain says vanilla (healthy yoghurts and such), but my heart says chocolate (not-so-healthy ice cream and cakes).

3. Favorite Sweet Treat?
Nutella! There’s a shop called Shakeaway, they do milkshakes and my favourite is Nutella and banana.

4. When Do You Crave Sweet Things The Most?
When I smell baking. Love the smell of baking.

5. Sweet Nick Name?
J calls me “puddin'” sometimes, which is cute. Just like Harley and the Joker 🙂

NOMINEES FOR THIS SUPER SWEET BLOGGING AWARD (in no particular order)

1. Introverted Knitter
Lots of lovely words to read, interspersed with pictures of pretty knitted things and spun yarn.

2.  All Night Knitter
A pleasure to read, she writes with such energy and humour.

3.  Knits and Crafts of Derring-Do
I always look forwards to seeing her posts come up on the reader. She knits adorable toys and takes such pretty photos of them, it inspires me to work on my own photography.

4.  Buzy Day
I don’t think you could find anyone more committed to the knitting blogs of WP than NikkiM. Every knitting post I read, she always seems to have been there and liked it before me. She’s so supportive and another person who takes amazing pictures.

5. Hands on Bowie
The guy behind the cat. I love cats and it’s always fun to see what Mr. Bowie has been up to. He takes great selfies, btw. Check him out!

6.  Akward Geeky Girl
If you like your cute posts with thoughtfulness, look no further than this blog. She talks about nerd and pop culture with an insight that is a pleasure to read.

7.  Co op Campaign
I know gynjii has just given them this award, but I can’t have this list without including them. They are a married couple building a cosplay together and it’s amazing to watch it start coming together.

8.  The Knitter Nerd
Nerdiness and knitting… what more could anyone want?

9.  Bon Jovi Addiction
An IRL friend and newcomer to WordPress, her passion for her favourite band shines through her posts.

10.  Patchwork of Life
I love her watercolour paintings, they’re beautiful. This is such a calm and positive read.

11.  Wordsmithing Ain’t Easy
A writer and reader, her posts are always interesting. They cover book reviews, her own writing and a writing playlist feature that I particularly enjoy.

12.  Owned by Rats
I only disovered this blog a couple of days ago, but it’s adorable. Lots of pictures of pet ratties and it’s obvious how well they are cared for. I have a couple of pet rats myself and think they are hugely underrated in general, they make wonderful, intelligent pets.

13.  Jackie Cangro
Another very recent discovery. Really interesting posts about all kinds of things.


Updatey goodness

So here’s what I’ve been working on knit-wise the last week or so:

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A crab hat for my sister on her birthday. Knitted from ‘Animal Hats’ by Rachel Henderson. Love this book, I think I’m going to end up knitting most of the hats in it. 

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A tea cosy. Well, cup cosy really, since I don’t have a teapot.

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The first of (hopefully) many Christmas presents to come – a sock monkey hat. Knitted from ‘Animal Hats’ again, but I was inspired by Misha Collins’ hat:

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 The present is for the sister. She introduced me to Supernatural and we’re both Misha fans.

Aaaand I started work on….

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A birthday present for my brother who said he wanted a rocket for his birthday. It’s a desk tidy rocket from ‘Tech Knits’ by Sue Culligan. The pattern wanted aran weight yarn and 4mm dpns, but since I’m trying to use up my stash it’s being knitted with dk weight. But I’ve never listened to what a pattern tells me to do anyway. The pen and paper you can see in the picture is me working stuff out to adjust the pattern to the different yarn weight and the jar the knitted piece is going to cover. Fun stuff.

And finally, the first roses have come out in my garden! I feel super-proud, even though it’s nothing to do with me really, and all down to the plant.

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8 things I love about LFCC in pictures

1.The mixing of fandoms and sense of community

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 2. People’s amazing costumes

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It’s a human Impala! ❤

 3. How friendly everyone is 🙂

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 4. Unusual merchandise

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5. Memorabilia

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Not sure if this one is memorabilia or if one of the attendees made this. Either way, it’s awesome 🙂

6. The talks

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 7. Taking it all in from upstairs

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8. The celebrity guests

 

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Confessions of a first time cosplayer at LFCC

ImageI’ve been going to conventions for about three years now, but Sunday 7th July’s London Film and Comic Con was the first time I ever went in cosplay. It was my sister’s first time cosplaying too and she made our outfits. We had a great time and in honour of the event, we’ve put together a few things for fellow first-timers to consider.

Continue reading


Spoiler alert

Spoiler alert

The sister and I as the Riddler and the Joker, respectively.


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