hyperbole: An IKEA-like glass of water with a flower in it. (Default)
I love going to the cinema and have counted myself very lucky to have been living in countries where it didn't drive me to bankruptcy to do so. Today I went anyway.

Monsters University only came out after I left Edinburgh, so I missed my chance to see it in English and at my favourite cinema ever, but I still wanted to see it. In a casual moviegoer kind of way, I really wasn't disappointed; I thought it was quite funny, quite sweet, and it had some values I can support. As a linguist I was kind of annoyed; the idiom was sometimes quite awkward and it is always quite wrong to use a plural pronoun for a single person in Swedish! Just don't do it.

As a gender wary person, however, I was astonished by the amount of Fail there could be in just one film.

Rant. May contain traces of spoilers )

Someday I'd like to go back to the films I watched as a child and look at what characters I identified with and why. I don't think I ever noticed just how male-oriented everything was (I'm a little shocked nowadays!), but I do know I clutched the few awesome female characters I knew very close. I wonder what messages I was really internalising way back then?!
hyperbole: (Jane Eyre)
A magpie just came to sit on my balcony and waved his pretty tailfeathers at me! He took off just as I was pressing the power button on my camera, but next time I'll be ready.

The other day there was one of those small birds with yellow chests and black markings on their heads--super cute! This makes me very happy because when I found out I was going to have a balcony, one of my first thoughts was "birdfeeder!". My dad claimed that I probably wouldn't have much luck getting birds onto a balcony, but it turns out I wasn't wrong. (I think it helps that there's a maple tree right outside. I can't reach it now, but unless they trim it, I'll probably be able to three years from now, if I'm still here.)

The way city and nature merge here is amazing and I love it so much. A few minutes' cycle to the east brings me to a forest at the edge of the sea; south from there goes across picturesque islands; then there's the prettiest city centre I have ever seen, with lots of colourful wooden houses and architecture that in many ways screams "Swedish aesthetic here!". I haven't been to the castle yet, but it's very pretty. If I cycle to the west instead, I find a 4-H farm, a bridge across the highway, then a shopping area with Ikea and similar stores. I'm pretty sure I could find a way across that and out the other side--which would take me straight into countryside!

Did I mention I love the freedom that cycling gives me?

So far, my flat is awesome, the city is awesome, people are very friendly to strangers, and school is interesting and awesome (and gets much industry sponsoring => very fancy buildings!). Only issue right now is that I don't know anybody here, and I'm still my shy self, so I'm kind of lonely, but I'm doing my best to take care of myself and to give myself opportunities to meet people.
hyperbole: An IKEA-like glass of water with a flower in it. (Default)
I started my purple, laceweight, learnt-from-my-mistakes Featherweight cardigan on Sunday. It was awesome. But something was slightly off: my needles seemed to have shrunk. I thought that was a natural shift in perception resulting from having made several pairs of socks on 5mm needles and went on my merry way.

Until this afternoon, when I was lounging in front of the TV, resting a little from my knitting. And glanced below the TV, and saw ... a glass fruit bowl full of hexipuffs. Cue lightbulb moment: after I swatched for the cardigan, I found my hexipuff WIP at the back of a closet and started working some more of them on my favourite needle, the slightly bent 3mm circular that fits my hands perfectly. Which was also the needle I swatched with. But which wasn't attached to my newly started cardigan.

Normally I frog quite gleefully, but this time it's tough. It looked wrong and felt wrong, and I should have realised straight away that that pristine needle definitely was not my well-loved 3mm. But nope, over a thousand stitches and several hours of work for nothing.

I don't always love knitting!
hyperbole: An IKEA-like glass of water with a flower in it. (Default)
Nearly a year ago, I discovered PGDP, the organisation of "distributed proofreaders" that brings loads of people together to produce public domain ebooks for Project Gutenberg. It was instant yay! At the end of April this year, as a way of coping with my final final exams, I got myself admitted as a Post-Processor and started learning a whole new world of tasks. It was exciting. And hard. And sometimes very frustrating.

But now it's done, and my work has been reviewed and okayed, and, well, my first project is up on PG! Flora Adair; or, Love works Wonders, by A. M. Donelan: Volume I and Volume II. I'm especially proud of the HTML—I had to learn coding almost from scratch to do this, and it's good.

Hopefully this is just the beginning. I'm nearing the end of another project—a vegetarian cookbook from the early twentieth century—but I have quite a lot of tedious and/or hard bits of work left on it, so I haven't worked on it since I moved back home for the summer. Most likely I'll dive right back in as soon as I move out again (in just two weeks!).
hyperbole: (Jane Eyre)
Managed to call a prospective landlord. \o/

Three times, always getting a recording saying messages are not accepted and during what times to call instead. /o\

Two of those three calls were within the specified time. /o\

But the flat sounds amazing, or at least like exactly what I'm looking for. I'm trying to prepare for disappointment, but right now this possibility is making the next few months look a lot brighter! After the initial post-graduation panic, pragmatism won, and now it feels more right. (I'm also trying to complete the application for an exciting translation thing that might possibly lead to a job in 2014 or 2015 (if I'm really lucky and extremely good), but it's stressful. Plus coming to a city for my studies, there seems to be a lot more recruitment going on than in my very small hometown, so I will be looking for more immediate alternatives to studying as well.)

(Next up: several knitted FOs, and bobbin lace!)
hyperbole: (Joan)
Finally watching Django Unchained, I was pretty excited to discover that the whole thing hinges on a myth/legend that I studied last year! That's cool, most things German are exciting to me, and I particularly liked that literature course.

Unfortunately I was not at all surprised that they "missed out" two really key elements from that myth.

Firstly, Brunhilde is described as a "princess" who has been locked away on a fiery mountain by the god Wotan. What is left out is the fact that she's a warrior princess, or rather, a Valkyrie, and that Wotan's reason for locking her up is that she's acted according to her own judgement instead of following his orders. The Brunhilde of the Germanic myth is a renowned warrior punished for her agency. The Brunhilde of the movie is just another damsel in distress.

Secondly, the story of how Siegfried reaches Brunhilde is mostly well told but slightly muddled. It's not as clear as it should be that the reason why he makes it past the dragon, up the mountain and through the fire is because he fears nothing, and it is especially not made clear that in finding Brunhilde, he loses that "superpower" because now he is afraid of losing her! Django certainly wasn't meant to have lost his power; indeed I would argue that having a wife and the hope of finding her is his superpower, or at least his driving force.

Another example of convenient cherry-picking. Not surprising, but disappointing.
hyperbole: An IKEA-like glass of water with a flower in it. (Default)
Last night I watched the first episode of BBC's The Paradise, which is based on the Émile Zola novel I believe is called La bonheur des dames. It's about a Victorian (?) department store in London, before department stores were a Thing, and about a young country woman's rise to power there. Or so I think; I'd like to watch the series unspoiled so I haven't looked it up properly.

I thought it was a pretty, sweet and entertaining show until this one line towards the end of the episode cemented my interest. The female protagonist is being teased by a colleague-friend for looking at the store owner like she's fallen for him (as "all the sales girls do" according to this colleague). Her reply is exciting:

I don't want to marry him. I want to be him!


I do hope this goes somewhere good!
hyperbole: An IKEA-like glass of water with a flower in it. (Default)
I finally started spinning the purple merino/silk blend I got from the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. It's lush!

9 pictures of fibre, from unspun to knitted )


I am also nearly done with the cabled cowl (it is so much fun OMG), and accidentally went to my LYS when they were having a sale and came out with 2000m of purple laceweight alpaca/merino for another Featherweight cardigan. It wasn't completely unplanned, and this is a more colourful and even cheaper alternative than what I had been eyeing. (Purple is my favourite colour, and this is a gorgeous shade. But I am wary of putting that much work into something that colourful because I know me. But then, £1 per 100m of yarn this luscious is *amazing* and would make for a whole lot of shawls if I decide it's too risky. */justifications*)
hyperbole: An IKEA-like glass of water with a flower in it. (Default)
It's less than two weeks until I graduate and move back to my homecountry, which means that I'm very busily not packing and not taking care of admin type things to do with not living here anymore. Much of what I do instead is fibre things.

Knitting: Nennir cowl, 1 photo )


Spinning: The grey is practically done! 4 photos )

Estimated yardage is somewhat more than 160m, and I forgot to weigh it before soaking but I think I had around 30g of fibre. I'm very surprised by the sheer amount of wool that came out of that little fluffy piece I started with!

I'm excited to see what it's like when it's dry, too: right now it's completely unsquishy and very scratchy, but it looks like the soak has really relaxed the twist. I'm thinking of knitting a couple of basketweave potholders, though they may need to be doubled up since the wool is so thin... Hmm!


In exciting and related news, in about a month I'm going to take a course in bobbin lace making! Yaaaay! I have attended this course before, but it was two years ago and I've been too busy to keep working on those skills since then, so it'll be very awesome to meet a bunch of old ladies and get some hands-on teaching. Last time I tried on my own, I messed up the width to length ratio in such a way that what were supposed to be symmetrical rhombuses looked more like...carrots, really.
hyperbole: An IKEA-like glass of water with a flower in it. (Default)
Yesterday I got to unpin my newly finished cardigan and go get some photos in the sun and wear it to KnitSoc all in one go. It's very warm even though it's so light (I've been told that alpaca is seven times warmer than standard sheep) and I love it so much! I've got some more details on the Ravelry project page.

But photos! )

I might ask my grandmother to buy me a shawl pin as a graduation gift, because I love the look of the rolled collar when I pinch the sides together at my waist. Yay variety!


I've started spinning again, and it's great fun but very slow. I expect to have finished spinning the fibre I'm working on right now into singles by the end of the year... I've also cast on the Nennir cowl to use up my last 2.5 balls of alpaca. It's high on complicatedness and thinking but sooo pretty, so maybe a good complement to non-thinky spinning?
hyperbole: An IKEA-like glass of water with a flower in it. (Default)
I'm having a lot of thoughts about community and putting myself out there and FEAR and stuff, which is part of the reason why I haven't posted here since my March spinning glee. The other part being: finishing my degree! AKA getting through lots of exams, including stressful orals. That is all done now and I want to post and so I will post.

I haven't actually been spinning, but I have been knitting. I finished the second sleeve of the Featherweight cardigan (with improvised lace cuffs) last night.

Photo! )


And, inspired by my awesome creative inspiring daring flatmate (who will only be my flatmate for another month, sadface), I sewed a skirt in an afternoon last week, and then wore it to the cinema about three minutes after finishing.

Another photo! )


Next up in crafting is to continue spinning (a month of exams left little energy for new and exciting things, so knitting to cope was the way to go), and to keep thinking about maybe making the Carnaby skirt. (I would make it longer, and wider. But then it'd get very heavy and I'd not want to wear it, so maybe I'm better off looking at pretty shawl patterns for my leftover BEIGE alpaca instead.)
hyperbole: An IKEA-like glass of water with a flower in it. (Glass of Water)
(I haven't really posted here before! Hi! My name is Petra and I am excited to start a new hobby (or a new branch of an established hobby) and this seemed like a good place to share my excitement while it also makes for a shiny first post.)


Today the Edinburgh Yarn Festival is taking place just down the road from where I live. Being avid knitters, of course my flatmate and I had to go! And we're glad we did, because it was fantastically awesome. I have never been to anything similar, so the feeling of being in a crowd of people who share that passion was novel -- and lovely. Not to mention all the amazing things to look at -- and to try.

I guess it was inevitable. I have wanted to learn how to spin for years (ever since I started seeing the angora bunny owners doing it at rabbit shows back in my early teens), and lately I've been looking for actual opportunities. So when I saw the Natural Born Dyers stall with their Spurtzleur spinning sticks it was ... perfect. A glorious moment.


Three photos )


This is a whole new world for me! I know next to nothing about fibres, or about making them into yarn. But I'm very excited to learn! (After I get started on my LAST essay for my degree.)

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hyperbole: An IKEA-like glass of water with a flower in it. (Default)
Petra

August 2015

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