.. when the media decides to call you an expert .
(thank you Alison for the commemorative photo)
A good friend of mine, Emme, went to her knitting group the other day and noticed something (link in Danish): there is a huge overlap between knitters & people who read scifi/fantasy. She notes that Ravelry has at least 65 groups dedicated to fantasy but has just two groups for Copenhagen knitters. And Emme is really surprised by this overlap between scifi/fantasy-reading and knitting: “I don’t get it”.
My first thought? “It’s a geek thing.” Emme responded to say that my response was a cop-out, it had to be something a bit more profound. And so I’d like to ask you, dear readers, why this overlap between scifi & fantasy geeks and knitters?
(From my own observations, there are also huge overlaps called “librarians & knitting” and “GLBT-orientation & knitting”, but we’ll have those discussions another day..)
I like reading books, full stop. I like imagination. I like books that take our mundane lives and turn them inside out; books that take our world and expand upon it. Many of my favourite books tend towards the speculative end of the spectrum with a healthy dollop of misanthropy and dystopia. And I’m horrifyingly entertained by dragons, airships, and ray guns (not necessarily in the same book).
And I knit.
And I think it has to do with imagination and creative space. Knitting is just a ball of string which you loop together in a manner which you find pleasing. You can have an entire jumper in a ball of wool: it’s bigger on the inside, if you like. You can knit optical illusions, crochet ray guns and buy steampunk-themed patterns. And make your own chainmail, of course. All these things that you can create yourself whilst playing with numbers and watching Game of Thrones – what’s not to like?
(Or could it just be that fantasy/scifi happen to be very, very popular genres?)
Who on earth likes both Star Wars and 20thC poetry? ME! And this is one of the funniest things I have seen on the internet this week:
so much depends
a scarred young
stitched with cyber
beneath the black
Or how about
For I have ordered them, ordered them all—
Have crewed the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have crewed my life with storm-troop goons;
I know clones dying with a dying fall,
And Alderaan, beneath the Death Star’s doom
The soundless, vacuum-muted boom.
There died Hunter Fugitive.
And the best of them, among them
For old Boba gone in the teeth
For a botched storyline.
There is just a smattering of Shakespeare in the linked post, which is fine by me, but I do think this cries out for some rock’n’roll 17th C poetry. A bit of Andrew Marvell – but sadly filking is beyond my abilities. I can but dream.
This has to be my song of summer 2011. It’s so lovely in all its pomo pop glory.
Other lovely things right now:
And with that, I am off to back my bag. Not-so-sunny Aberdeenshire awaits and I have books and knitting to pack.
It is that time of year again. The daffodils are blooming, the birds are singing and Eurovision is but a month away. As per usual I have subjected my ears to all the participating songs and here is a quick First Look & Listen response. More to follow when/if my customary Eurovision mania takes hold.
The Alright Ones: Albania have set themselves up as providers of decent pop and this year is no exception (even if it starts out sounding a bit Doctor Who). Denmark have pulled up their socks and have sent an epic sing-along schlager. Estonia proves yet again their knack for sending excellent oddball songs (it’s like they don’t know Eurovision is about cheese). Germany is surprisingly emerging as the pre-show bookie favourite although it is a bit too Gabrielle Cimli/Duffy/Paloma Faith for my taste. I have a weak spot for big Balkan rock ballads and Macedonia brings it this year.
The Disappointing One: Turkey is usually one of the countries to watch and have in recent years provided some real highlights (Mor ve Ötesi’s Deli is still totally awesome). This year they are significantly less than awesome, even if Turkish Emo is .. an interesting concept.
The “What Were You Thinking” Ones: Finland is notoriously hit-and-miss. This year .. well, you be the judge of Kuunkuiskaajat’s Työlki Ellää. In Moldova the local youth club is stuck in 1997, while the Dutch send Sarah Palin singing a local radio hit circa 1977 and the United Kingdom yearns for a pre-drugs Jason Donovan in 1990. Meanwhile Serbia sends something I don’t even know what is (and this is the same country which gave us Molitva!).
Last year Alexander Rybak was a runaway favourite early on. This year nobody really stands out and even the usual heavy-hitters like Russia, Ukraine and Greece are failing to bring a big song/performer (even if Ukraine is trying to court Twi-Hards by sending a blond Kristen Stewart). Prediction? Your guess is as good as mine.
Pardon my knitterly excitement, but I am a few hours away from my first finished garment of the year. I cannot believe it has taken me this long, but I am now a frill and a neckband away from a Summer Tweed cardigan. This is exciting because a) I get to wear a new cardigan verrry soon and b) I get to cast on a new project.
This reminds me.
I do not consider myself a Hardcore Knitter but when an incredulous Other Half asked me why the beep not, I could not really say why. The evidence is stacked against me:
But I still maintain I’m not Hardcore. How would you describe a Hardcore Knitter? Are you one?
But back to the new project I get to start so very soon. I am torn between knitting a hat for myself and casting on for a birthday present. A friend of mine turns forty this summer and has dropped hints about wanting a lace shawl. I have two balls of Kidsilk Haze in Ice Cream and I’m currently trying to find the right pattern. My friend is petite and very feminine, so I want something to match her personality and style. Ishbel is really the perfect pattern, but I have already made three (the same goes for the Swallowtail Shawl) so I’m looking for something .. else. Mooncalf suggested Citron but it is not as girly as I’d like.
However, most of all I am excited by the return of Doctor Who, the delirious, mad-cap, fantastic British sci-fi show. The first episode of the Eleventh Doctor’s reign aired tonight and it was even better than I had hoped. You can read a quick spoilerish review here, or just trust me when I say it was a very good Steven Moffat episode. Moffat penned some of the best Doctor Who episodes in the recent past and I’m so pleased he is now on board as the show runner. I hope my non-UK Whovian friends get to sample the new Doctor soon. You’ll like him.
Yes, the classic “Little Women” has fallen prey to the publishing trend that started with “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”. Joy. I never read the Austen-goes-supernatural novel. I mean, I still have issues with casting Colin Firth as Darcy in that BBC mini-series, so imagine what issues I’d have suddenly encountering zombies in the midst of Pemberley!
Anyway, the synopsis of “Little Women” reads thusly:
In this retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s classic, the beloved little women must keep not just the wolf, but the werewolves, from the door…and the kindly old gentlemen next door and his grandson may have some secrets to hide — or share with the March girls.
There is a silver lining, though. On io9, commentators have fun trying to come up with the next installments in this classics-goes-monstrous trend and they’re really quite funny:
Can anyone come up with a synopsis for any of these?
After Georgia pulled out/was forced to pull out of this Eurovision Song Contest with their gun-to-head song called “I Don’t Wanna Put-in” (get the “pun?”), what can we expect from ESC?
You know I’d only do this for you, my lambs. I’ve sat through every.single.entry and this is the cream of the crop (in more ways than one).
Armenia: Bizarre video – part glamorous folklore, part gym class, part street dance. Surprisingly catchy but maybe be too weird for mainstream Eurovision.
Belarus: Mullet plus “his admiration with the vocal capabilities of Ian Gillan inspired a spiritual journey into the creative heritage of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Even today Petr cherishes the hope to perform the part of Jesus in the famous rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar.” A must-see video (for about forty seconds).
Bulgaria: A former mime(!) who sounds a bit like Jimmy Somerville. Classic Eurovision, in other words. In my weak moments I might put this on my iPod.
Norway: Full-on favourite to win – with good reason. Bloody catchy and upbeat. Looks even stronger now I’ve sat through the other countries.
Slovenia: Quite a year for violins. You only need to watch it from the 2.10 mark on maybe twenty seconds onwards. That dress. The voice. The song. Words fail me.
Turkey: Hotly tipped to win or go top three – and while it is certainly one of the most interesting songs this year, in a stronger year it’d just go top ten. Not a patch on last year’s Turkish entry (one of my favourite songs of the noughties in a completely un-ironic way).
Acts hotly tipped: Norway, Greece and Turkey. Finland and Ukraine are outsiders. Estonia is the dark horse.
And as Germany has just roped in Dita von Teese to help with their stage show, they’ll get some votes now. UK is completely deluded in its belief that a Lloyd-Webber dirge will win, of course. I expect Denmark to land midfield, bless Brinck.
Over all: A really weak year (unless you like boring ballads).