Sunday, May 31, 2009

And the winner is...

Phew, my week of watching winners and losers is over! I saw all the individual acts from the final show of Britain's Got Talent Saturday afternoon, but then there was a long break, and we had to go out to a birthday party, away from any internet connection, so we didn't know who'd won! We were coming home and read on a board in the subway station that Susan Boyle had come in second, but no word on who was first!

Our return home was slightly delayed when we emerged from the subway to find it pelting down rain! We waited inside for a bit but finally decided to brave the elements and walk the few blocks. The sun was peeping through by the time we got home, which just led to more delay, when we realized it was perfect rainbow conditions!

At last we learn: Diversity takes the big prize. Hey, the choreographer is a physics student!

My faves were Shaun Smith and Gregg Pritchard and Julian Smith, and I had a soft spot for Jamie Pugh as well. Yeah, and some of the kids were great, especially, I think, Callum Francis. Certainly I would never have heard of this show without the Susan Boyle hoopla! She behaved with grace and charm last night, and even seemed to be relieved to have an end to all this in sight! Well done all of you!

(And I have tried, since seeing Knit and Natter in the auditions, to come up with entertaining textile art/sport, and have only come up with juggling balls of yarn to braid them together -- feel free to use this idea next year when they do auditions for the next series!)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Finals tonight

Well, the last semi-final was another night of big excitement. Little Hollie cracked and got a second chance, and ended up in the final. Aidan's show was brilliant and got him first place, but the video effects were so cool I didn't much notice the dancing... And poor Gregg with his wild costume and wild singing came third.

You can see the finalists all in a row here, and even vote for your fave! When I checked this morning, Susan had about 50% and the next highest was Julian with 10!

The finalists are:

2 Grand
Aidan Davis
Hollie Steele
Julian Smith
Shaheen Jafargholi
Shaun Smith
Stavros Flatley
Susan Boyle

It'll be crazy, and I hope nobody cries too much... I'd really like Julian or Shaun to win, but if the real poll is anything like that online one, there's not much chance anyone but Susan will. Unless she cracks up...

Friday, May 29, 2009

We're almost done

Tonight is the last of these semi-finals of Britain's Got Talent. I must say, this is even beginning to get on my nerves. I want to be in the producer's chair -- I would have axed some of the people they let through, and I would have let through that darling drummer!

Tonight two of these will join the finalists:

Aidan Davis -- cool kid dancer
DCD Seniors, who were once called the Debbie Chapman Dancers -- could be good
The Dreambears -- no way, too silly. Or: No, way too silly!
Good Evans -- Oh, I hope not
Gregg Pritchard -- Yes!
Hollie Steel -- Also yes!
Luke Clements -- aw, a juggler
Martin "Gos" Macham -- no way

(I apologize if any of those links acts odd. YouTube has been very sluggish for me lately and things keep starting and stopping. Probably it's just my own wires and buttons that are not quite right, though.)

Gregg and Hollie and Aidan for the top 3, and Gregg and Hollie should get through. And then we're done! On to the completely male dominated final.

Fabia, the former disco-dancing queen turned burlesque dancer, didn't make it through Thursday night, so we now have Susan Boyle and a 12-year-old girl singing with her grandfather, and unless the DCD dancers or Hollie gets through, that's it for the women of Britain! (Fabia really should have won, since she performed last, and the last performer has always won before! Scroll down to "Controversy.") God save the Queen!

And your token knitting pictures.

This is a cotton scarf I worked on on the plane to BC a while back. I bought this yarn for a Red Scarf Project a year or two ago and it didn't work for me then. Now I am just being a bit silly and doing a different pattern on each bit, not mixing the colours, and we'll see how it all works out.

The colour in the pictures is crazy! It's now brightly sunny outside, and the camera can't, apparently, handle it. There are no yellowy bits in the rusty-coloured yarn.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The fourth semi-final

Oh, I love the fact that things keep changing around here. The third semi-final is not loaded onto the site where I usually watch the whole show yet! Why not? And the list for the 4th semi on Wikipedia has now changed from what it said last night. Why?

So, okay, let's look. See most of the auditions here.

2 Grand -- sweet grandpa/granddaughter singers.
Brit Chix -- dumb name for a sort of ordinary guitar rock band
Callum Francis -- cute, sings and dances
Fabia Cerra -- I wonder if she might just dance without taking her clothes off. Probably not. Not sure how she can beat her killer audition. Take more clothes off?
Fred Bowers -- who doesn't love a 73-year-old break dancer?
Jackie Prescott and Tippy Toes -- dancing dog!
Julian Smith -- fantastic saxophonist and very cool fellow
Sugar Free -- female street dancers. Would get eaten alive in competition with Diversity and Flawless, but good luck to them!

Julian Smith is the only one who stands out for me in this group. Maybe Callum and Fabia? Maybe Sugar Free? 2 Grand appeal to a wide audience, I think. No clue, really...

Anyone notice that Susan Boyle is the only woman in the final? The others so far are Shawn, Shaheen, two big male dance groups and the father-son team. Also the winners of the two previous seasons have been men. I smell a conspiracy! What does the queen have to say about this?

There might just be some knitting on this knitting blog some time soon!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Holy patootie!

If Wikipedia is right, tonight's semi-final results are pretty darn unexpected!

Stavros Flatley got the popular vote and Shaheen got the judges' pick into the final. Hooo boy. I thought Stavros Flatly were a bit ... flat ... tonight. But heck, what do I know?

This final is going to be all kids, isn't it? And there are more to come! Hollie Steel, Aidan Davis, Callum Francis...

I was driven to Wikipedia because I haven't found anything about the results on the ITV site or YouTube yet!

PS. Aw, a real heartbreaker in the judging! I knew YouTube would come through! Tears all round!

Tomorrow you get a break from this nonsense

I believe that there is a gap in the Britain's Got Talent semi-finals tomorrow night.

Monday night gave us, I'd say, a bunch of meh. Flawless were okay, but really, not as good as Diversity the night before. They got the popular vote and are through to the finals.

The next two places were Shaun Smith and Gareth the ventriloquist! Shaun, great; Gareth, well, not to my taste... Luckily the judges agreed with me, but Shaun's A-Levels schedule will be all messed up by him having to perform some more!

Jamie did not make the cut, but perhaps that was partly because of his song choice. Also, just, in my opinion, not as good as at the audition. Merlin was death-defying and didn't die (it must be nice to be in a business where every day you don't die is a successful day).

The Hot Honeyz and Peter Coghlan were blah, and now I can't even remember the other performer! Oh, yes, DJ Talent in a gold suit. (makes barfing noises off-stage...) You can see them all on the ITV site.

Tonight seems to be:

The Barrow Boys -- good fun
Ben and Becky -- yay
Floral High Notes -- nope
Harmony -- nope
Kayode Oresanya -- could be good, but has to be a big improvement on his audition
MD show group -- a bunch of kids in wild makeup, could be good
Shaheen Jafargholi -- clear winner
Stavros Flatley -- more good fun

My picks for tonight: Shaheen, Ben and Becky, and MD Show Group.

Although, last night Piers and Amanda said they wanted more "variety" acts to be considered, so maybe the Barrow Boys or Stavros Flatley will get a nod. Nah, I'll stick to my original choices.

Now, can anyone explain Ant and Dec to me? Are they meant to be funny, or are they just doormen?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Semifinal #2 and some knitting

My predictions were not too bad for yesterday's show, were they? I got the top 3, and having seen the performances, I say the judges were completely right in putting Diversity through rather than Natalie. She made the classic 10-year-old diva mistake of trying to be older, I think. But she's still done really well, and by the time she really is 20, who knows what she'll have done!

Today you can go to the ITV website and see most of the auditions all in one place.

DJ Talent -- ick
Flawless -- great! It'd be fab to see them and Diversity in the final.
Gareth Oliver -- who? He's the very funny ventriloquist. Not getting through tonight but I bet business will pick up.
Hot Honeyz -- dancers. We hardly see anything of them in the audition, but they could be great.
Jamie Pugh -- Oh, I hope he makes it!
Merlin Cadogan -- Crazy, but I hope he does well. Won't get through this round, though.
Peter Coghlan -- ick
Shaun Smith -- 17-year-old hottie rugby-playing singer. He's going all the way.

Top 3 picks are Flawless, Jamie Pugh and Shaun Smith. No idea in what order, though!

Okay, you say, but really, this is a knitting blog.

See, I made a bit of a sock. Not the whole thing, but this is what I made in the hotel room in Castlegar last week. It's Lion Brand something or other, and I tried it on my usual sock needles, but the yarn needs about a 3.25 mm, so this is my second attempt. I wouldn't have bought this colour combo, but got it at a swap and these Broad Ripples will be for Arthur. I love the pattern!

And I will tell you that I have knitted a square! I also planted some stuff in the garden and cleared off a flat surface in my house! Yes, things are really rocking around here.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mary's picks

I must admit to following Britain's Got Talent, since the Susan Boyle hoopla started. I can only watch the whole episodes if some kind soul loads them to an online site, since a) I'm not in Britain and b) I don't have a TV!

I still haven't seen Saturday's show -- the final auditions -- but thanks to YouTube, I've seen who will be in the semi-finals.

Tonight is the first of the semi-finals... Nail-biting excitement... And here's how it will all work out:

Diversity -- top 3 of this episode
Sue Son -- fine musician, great back-story. I'll be sad to keep on hearing about her and her stupid friend, but I think she won't get past tonight.
Darth Jackson -- cannon fodder
Natalie Okri -- top 3, and perhaps top 2
Julia Naidenko -- belly dancing goddess, but this is the end of the line for her
Nick Hell -- cannon fodder. Who really needs a guy who can dangle a garbage can from his earlobes?
Faces of Disco -- nope, sorry
Susan Boyle -- duh. Number 1.

Someone please leave me a message when the show is done! I must know what's next!

ETA: I've found the last auditions!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The long weekend in BC

A wee bit of jetlag here... I'm not used to this jet-setting, cross-the-continent-for-a-weekend lifestyle! We were waking up at 6 am in BC, and spent all yesterday in various airports and planes, getting home just before midnight. So, deep breath and carry on....

Our accomplishments over the weekend include going to the park, throwing rocks in the river, filling a slide with gravel and eating dinner. Oh, and watching lots of Food Network shows at 6 am.

The park. The pink trees and the colours of the waterpark perk up this green and blue quite nicely, don't they?

Happy, smiling children. They must be up to something...

Ah, filling shoes with rocks and dumping them down the little slide. How ingenious.

Arthur tossing a large rock. This sort of thing would keep the children happy for hours!

Trees: a pink one, and an oak.

It was good to see everyone. Actually, we just caught brief glimpses of one sister who drove a long way to get there, coming down with a cold on the way. I don't mind the odd cold germ, but it wouldn't do to introduce it to the seniors' residence. Not much of a fun weekend for her.... We visited my other sister and did a few word puzzles.

A good time was had by all.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Off to the mountains again

It's Victoria Day, May two-four weekend. Yeah, I know the 24th is a long time away, but that's how we do things around here. And, yeah, really the weekend doesn't start Thursday night. But, there was a seat sale and my kids get Friday off school, so we are off to Castlegar BC. I hope to see two of my sisters as well as my parents. And there's always the water park, plus the delightful thrift stores!

Back before you know it, though, I'm sure.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

From the sublime to the ridiculous

One blanket down, and on to the next.

I told you a while ago that I am organising a blanket with Elaine's classmates. The kids, and a few parents and teachers, are making squares for a blanket for the principal's baby, expected this summer. We will give it to her sometime in the last week of school, so we now have about a month to get things all together.

I figure if we have 36 6-inch squares, that'll be a fine covering for any wee child. We now have 19. Not far to go, and if we only get 25 or 30, we'll be fine.

I added those brightly coloured tidbits to some of the "squares" to make them actually square. (Thank goodness for nona, wherever she now is.) The green flowers, or snowflakes, or whatever, on the far left, are actually holding dropped stitches from unravelling all the way down.

This will be a sentimental favourite, I am sure. Honestly, a bunch of kids making a blanket for their prinicipal!? She will love it.

It just makes me nervous having all those wiggly edges and enormously varying gauges and funny cast-off knots.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Blanket progress

Last week I finished up the baby blanket to send to afghans for Afghans, in memory of Kay's husband Peter.

My Canada Post tracking number tells me it has crossed the border, and I think I lose touch with it there.

On Tuesday, Heather (Choephora on Ravelry) and Patricia (aka Patriciaknits) came over and we arranged and admired squares (and drank some beer) and sewed the lot together.

Slight changes were made when two squares arrived in the morning, to fill in our one empty hole, but finally the blanket was done!

I wish I could make nice, even crocheted scallops around the edge, but it seemed too fiddly to make sure the crochet would fit -- I guess gauge is the issue. What size hook? How big, exactly, is a double-crochet, and does it take up more space than a knit stitch? Too complicated!

Whatever, I picked up stitches and made a narrow garter stitch border.

Funny how we got plain square after plain square, and then at the end, the multicoloured squares appeared. It will be nice and warm for a child, and I think that Kay and her family appreciate the thought.

It was in the middle of the MDK afghanalong that I really started reading blogs, back in the day. That first post was from February, 2004, and the afghanalong might have ended two years later with the auction of the All-Noro Afghan. I remember the Yarn Harlot had a sew-up at her house, and I'd just tentatively dipped my toe in the knitblog waters.

I thought, "So, I can just e-mail this person who lives in Toronto and go to their house to sew seams for a blanket? Really? No, no, no, I'm not understanding something here." But in fact, yes, I could have. And perhaps should have.

The community spirit, I think, makes these blankets very special. Spread the work, spread the warm-fuzzy feeling, spread the blankie loooove...

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The knitters know the best youtube stuff

I saw this on Crazy Aunt Purl this morning and must share as well!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Look at all this green stuff!

It's May, and it's finally spring here. You can tell because all the roads are suddenly dug up. I don't think anyone is fixing potholes; I think they just decided to make more holes to celebrate spring, which they will patch later, along with the potholes. Not sure about that -- stay tuned.

Another way you can tell it is spring: green stuff.

This is not the same ravine, but it's the same general idea, and look at that green! Whoo hoo.

Alison showed us dandelion wine making
the other day. Come and get 'em; we got lots! (It's more impressive if you click to embiggen.)

And this is part of the most ginormous magnolia I've seen! I wanted to get the whole tree, but the sun was low in the sky right behind it, and we all know you shouldn't shoot into the sun. Right, Liz? Also, as I took this picture the owner of the house came out the front door and I didn't want to look too crazy, taking pictures of her tree, so I just left with the one!

Big time sew-up at my house tonight, and I hope to have a blanket to show you tomorrow!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

We must go somewhere where there is more cotton

The story of yarn shopping:

On Friday my friend and I met at the Knit Cafe as it opened. I was keen for Kureyon, but it was a nice warm day, and somehow I just couldn't commit myself to knitting a wool sweater as the spring took hold. And the Knit Cafe has lots of wool and not much else...

So we left empty-handed and went down the street to Romni, the home of everything. I drifted over to the Noro stock, and discovered Taiyo! Cotton, silk, wool and nylon. But... no. Not sure why, but I managed to leave the Noro and head to the DK cotton aisle -- they have an aisle for everything, you know.

Hmm, hmm. Finally I came away with Katia Jamaica, in the only decent colourway, the greeny-bluey, #10 on that list. I got enough to make a cardigan, which is what I thought I wanted at the time.... So what am I making? A short-sleeved T-shirt-like thing. Vogue Knitting, latest issue, #19, by Anna Sui. There'll be yarn left over for a swingin' Monteagle bag, fer sure.

The sample in the magazine is knit with two strands of variegated yarn, and the trinity stitch, lace panel and twists are sort of blurred over the whole thing. So, hey, my paint-splop stripes will work just fine; all that knitterly work will be well obscured!

It's very fun to knit, with lots going on, but grrr, I wish there was a chart! The lace pattern is very simple, but it is 24 rows long. There's also something to do every right-side row, trinity stitch which has action on the wrong side and purls on the right side and a 6-row twist! Not KIP material.

Today in history: My parents were married 68 years ago today! Not bad, eh?

Friday, May 01, 2009

Changing months, changing directions

Thanks for your kind comments about my shawl!

And now, not only has April come to an end, but a subsection of Project Spectrum is as well.

In March and April we were dealing with the North, green, stones and so on. I made some green dishcloths and my green vest. Yesterday I bit the bullet and put some dang ribbing around the armholes, and voila, a Finished Object! It's a bit form-fitting, but that's good, and it's a bit multi-patterned, and that's good, too!

Some green socks sat unloved in a bag, though. No progress there.

In May and June, the PS directions switches to the East. Yellow, wood, spring and air are the focus, though Lolly stretched the yellow to include "yellows and golds, whites, browns, grays, more greens" which opens many more doors! I have the Louvre floor blanket squares to work on and some more unfinished socks which are grey and green. That's a start... However, I have a date at Romni Wools today, so I may just come home with a Rosedale's worth of yarn.

And you just shush about any other projects that might be waiting unloved in nooks and crannies of my home! I have kind of decided not to buy a Whitby's worth of denim...