Sunday, May 25, 2008

The New Seven Wonders of the World

In trying to come up with a title for this blog, I solicited my husband’s opinion. He suggested something related to the Seven Wonders of the World. So I did a little digging to make sure the title would be justified. I came across this article dated July 9, 2007 at the National Geographic website. Apparently, a phone and internet vote was conducted to pick the new human-made Seven Wonders of the World. The results of the vote were released on July 7, 2007 (07-07-07; coincidence, I think not).

The winners are (in no particular order):

  1. The 105-foot-tall (38-meter-tall) "Christ the Redeemer" statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  2. The Colosseum in Rome
  3. India's Taj Mahal
  4. The Great Wall of China
  5. Jordan's ancient city of Petra
  6. The Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru
  7. The ancient Maya city of Chichén Itzá in Mexico

To my chagrin, The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, was not in this list. There was some kafuffle with the Egyptians who were insulted that there was even a contest over this. So, competition organizers withdrew the Pyramids and granted them "honorary wonder" status. As far as I’m concerned, it is still a wonder of the world; seven is too small a number. What about Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The list goes on and is too lengthy to discuss here.

Believe it or not, this is all related to my current knitting project. A while ago, I mentioned that Ruti’s Needlebed is having a knit or crochet purse contest where the theme is “History Lives” in honour of Streetsville’s 150th anniversary. It is interesting to note that of all the items on the original list of ancient wonders, The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only remaining survivor. I would call that “History Lives”. And hence the idea for my purse; pictures to follow next week.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Knitting and a Movie

It looks like May will be our month for watching movies in the theatre. Due to timing constraints of our Victoria Day week-end schedule, we found ourselves going back to the SilverCity in Oakville again (see last week's comments on the theatre), but this time with the kids (and hence no VIP seating) to watch The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

First, the Movie
The movie was definitely entertaining. Great special effects. I would have to say it’s even better than Disney’s first Narnia movie (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe).

Second, the Theatre
I hope the seating in this theatre is not indicative of a future trend towards smaller seats in movie theatres. I felt compressed in the seat again. The arm-rests, with cup-holders on the ends, were way too short. I had to pull my arm in and up to grab my cup; not comfortable. Once again, this theatre was disappointing. We’re definitely not going back.

When the Coliseum in Mississauga and the Winston Churchill 24 (AMC) Oakville opened, the trend was towards larger, more comfortable seats. For the amount of money we now have to pay to see a movie, why shouldn’t we be comfortable? Heck, the Winston Churchill AMC calls their high-backed seats "loveseats" because the arms in the chair fold back so that couples can snuggle together; brilliant idea.

Third, the Knitting
Just did my first pattern submission today. That’s a huge weight off my shoulders. No idea if it will be accepted and won’t know for a few months until a decision is made.

I haven’t been able to work on any personal knitting because I was focussing on this submission and now on a project for another contest. At least for that, they don’t need to have a written pattern; they just want the final product.

I don’t have anything new to display, so maybe I will show you what is to date, my greatest knitting accomplishment. I knit the Katherine Howard sweater which was designed by Jade Starmore (one of my favourite designers; her mother, Alice Starmore, is another) and can be found in the book Tudor Roses. I made sure I finished the sweater before my son was born because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to finish it afterward. The total time period it was in execution from start to finish was 2.5 years. The tedium of certain areas of the pattern got to me and I put it on the side for too long.

Here it is on display in the Mississauga Central Library in August 2005 alongside a lovely sweater I made in 1992 from the Spring/Summer 1992 issue of Vogue Knitting.

The original sweater called for Classic Elite “Willough” which is a cotton/silk blend. Being a poor university student at the time, I bought an inexpensive 100% cotton yarn and thought, what’s the difference? Thus, I received my first practical lesson in how certain fibres give a garment drape and certain fibres don’t. It still ended up being a beautiful sweater.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

IRON MAN and the Cape Spear Coverlet

What do IRON MAN and a knit Cape Spear Coverlet have in common? My wedding anniversary! That’s right; Tuesday, May 6th was my 13th wedding anniversary so the hubby and I went to see IRON MAN last Saturday (May 3rd) at the new SilverCity with three VIP theatres in Oakville.

First, the Movie
IRON MAN totally rocks! It is far and away one of the best movies I have ever seen. I would highly recommend it to anybody.

Second, the Theatre
I believe the SilverCity in Oakville is the largest digital movie theatre in Canada. It has Dolby Digital Surround Sound, a licensed VIP lounge, and food and drink orders delivered directly to (what they call) plush oversized leather seats in the VIP screening rooms. More details can be found in this review by The Hamilton Spectator which prompted us to go there in the first place. Baby sitting is offered for children from 4 – 10 but my daughter is just shy of 4 so we were lucky a couple of friends volunteered to take care of our munchkins. The actual overall dimension of the seat space seemed to be no different than a regular SilverCity theatre. The “plush” definitely not oversized leather seat actually decreased the internal seat size so I actually felt a bit constricted in my seat and I’m not a large person by any account.

The more sophisticated food offered in the VIP area includes chicken strips, sushi rolls, bruschetta, mac and cheese wedges, onion scoops, ranging in price from $4 to $11 for a tray for two (that’s what they call it – it wouldn’t come close to filling my 3 year old daughter). My hubby tried the mac and cheese wedges for $4. It came in a glossy black cardboard box approximately 3” x 3” x 5”. Inside were a measly 5 deep-fried equilateral triangles approximately 1.5” per side and no more than 3/8” thick.

Desserts include Rockslide Brownie and Passion Mango Cheesecake at about $6. We didn’t bother with dessert after the mac and cheese disappointment. The supposed “side table that swings up to hold snacks” was not existent. There was some sort of wooden armature in between my husband and myself that could not be moved (I would hardly call it a table) so we couldn’t snuggle. The resultant effect was that I was actually sitting closer to the woman beside me than my own husband.

There was no air conditioning; so for the first time ever, I was actually sweating in a movie theatre while wearing a thin dress blouse.

‘Nuf said.

Third, the Coverlet
I bought this pattern when we were on our honeymoon and passing some historical sites in Newfoundland. History and knitting together – must grab. The coverlet was made during the Victorian era and consists of 1,536 shell pieces (triangles when joined together create this lovely scalloped shape). It is in a light house at Cape Spear.
The pattern uses very fine crochet cotton. I decided to do my own thing and substitute with a yarn of my choosing knowing my scallop triangles would be bigger but hopefully much quicker to knit.

Ten years ago, I bought the yarn to do it. It is a lovely Butterfly Super 10 100% mercerized cotton manufactured in Greece. The colour is Ecru. A whopping 125 gram skein has 230 metres of yarn in it.

Today, I have 21 knit unattached pieces and 5 knit joined pieces.

I’m not sure I’ll get it done by my 20th anniversary at this rate! I know; it’s pathetic. As lovely as this pattern is, the amount of repetition has made it tedious and hence a bit boring which is not a good thing for me when I’m knitting. So, I keep dropping it for more interesting patterns. I will eventually get it done (I’m sure).