taelle: (crafty)
I've been noticing that some books for me are like a test: I can handle people saying that they don't like/don't understand them, but when people start making _judgements_ on them, it makes me want to move back. Austen is a clearest example. "Austen? Oh, I am not interested in romance novels/chicklit/one more book about girls looking for husband'. Uhhhuh, and I am probably not interested in _you_.

Also, I've been reading an interesting blog, and its author had a post about bringing out and analyzing her internal convictions. And, well, she used crafts as an example - that for her paper crafts is stuff you do with kids, sewing and knitting is normal but still it's more economical to buy stuff... well, the basic conviction she discovered is kinda evident. And it threw me into thinking about me and crafts. Because my first instinct was 'She's right, and what I do is useless' - I do have some periods of thinking like that, usually stopped by 'and what _isn't_ useless?'

But. I know I am not interested in paper crafts, and sometimes I think it's because I find them useless, but. I know some people don't do cross-stitch because is useless... and maybe it is. I often find cross-stitching quoted as this ultimate example of useless fiddling, stuff old-fashioned spinsters/housewives do. And I certainly have a bit of inferiority complex because I use patterns created by others - not creative at all, basically a version of painting-by-numbers. (then again, I mostly consider myself not a creative person anyway).

So, am I trying knitting because it's useful? Because it's more creative? I certainly knit much worse than I cross-stitch (though it's difficult to cross-stitch badly) Even in fandom, knitting is kinda cool, and the only 'cool' cross-stitching is that book that offers patterns for cross-stitching the word 'fuck' and stuff like this.

... actually, no, I don't - I mean, I am also trying sewing, but that _is_ kind of practical, while knitting feels somewhat similar to cross-stitching for me, this process of doing things stitch by stitch, slowly, without trying to get this all at once (I am a slow person rather tired from the world that keeps wanting me to embrace whole processes at once and to be spontaneous and creative).

As for paper crafts, the simple truth is that I don't enjoy handling paper and cardboard the way I enjoy floss and yarn and fabrics.

I tend to forget this at times, though.

And I would love to knit better. And to not be afraid to sew and knit for myself (well, knit not-scarves for myself). And possibly to quilt.

* * *

Feb. 22nd, 2012 01:38 am
taelle: (crafty)
I don't like not having myself well in hand. Even when I have reasons like my period (I have bad ones). ... I've been tetchy, nervous and unable to concentrate all day and I do not like this at all - also, I am now behind on my work. Not that the attempts to distract myself were very productive either - for some reason I went to Wikipedia and spoiled myself for a K-drama I've been watching, and muddled up my knitting in the process. Three times. I mean, I mixed up my ribbing, and undid the wrong rows, and then started again, and I think I did it wrong _again_ and also dropped a stitch in the process. After which I realized I am just about ready to stick my needles into someone - probably myself - and put it away.

Yes, I am bad at knitting. And controlling myself. Right now I feel like I am bad at everything. *goes back to work at least some more*

* * *

Feb. 17th, 2012 08:56 pm
taelle: (crafty)
Today it got warmer a little and sun shone into my window in the afternoon. It's amazing how much better I felt. ... I made an effort and did not take a nap no matter how much I wanted to - it's time to switch to a more daytime regime.

I am sorting out my fabrics. It's amazing how much fabric I amassed for someone who sews at best for the dolls. Will I ever dare to sew for myself? I have some stuff that I'd really like to wear as clothing (temporary break of language - I don't mean I'd wear the fabric as it is). I guess once I'll finish the project of the basic wardrobe for each of my dolls, I'd have to find a courage to graduate to people-clothes. Maybe doing mock-up first, because I am really afraid to spoil the fabrics (one of the reasons I am not sewing; I am also afraid to knit stuff like sweaters, even though you can't spoil yarn, can you?).

Reading-wise, I picked up Buchan's Castle Gay again - I slowed down because I was not very interested in young protagonists, but now things are picking up; I am also in the middle of the 6th Thursday Next book - as always, I am amazed by Fforde's imagination.

* * *

Jan. 14th, 2012 04:38 am
taelle: (crafty)
What I'd really like to do this year is to learn to knit stuff based on patterns, and not just basic scarves and stuff like I've been doing.

... I need to find a book or a site titled something like "knitting for not-quite-idiots", because I seem to be finding either "here's how you knit and here's how you purl" stuff or some very fancy patterns that make me scared.
taelle: (Default)
... though we have no snow yet. The last two winters were excessively snowy, but still I'd like some snow now, please - the last bout of springlike weather in December ended in snow staying for all of April. I'd rather have a snowy December.

Each year I send cards abroad too late. I like sending cards, but in my mind (a) it's New Year which is the holiday, not the 25th, and (b) the holiday time/feeling starts about mid-December. Maybe this year I will be better?

I am reading people who do a "100 days of happiness" in their blogs, but not sure whether I want to do this. One of the main reasons is that I see such memes as a way to spread cheer/good mood, and too much of my happiness is fannish; I doubt anyone else can cheer up reading about me finding a lovely photo of so-and-so online.

I'd like to learn to knit socks. But I still haven't managed to deal with that shawl pattern, and socks are scary, and even my scarves aren't that good yet.

My last xpost to LJ failed - wonder if this one will get through.
taelle: (crafty)
I finished watching the Takarazuka version of Twelfth Night and enjoyed it a lot. They've got the right spirit for this play, I think. Also a bonus: Viola and Sebastian do kind of look like one another. Orsino is young and coltish and amusing, Viola is very nice, but unexpectedly I most loved Sir Toby. Unexpectedly - because he turned out to be much less ridiculous drunkard and more a handsome bonvivant than it's usually done (also, in this version there's Toby/Maria and it makes sense). I also liked Feste quite a lot.

All this, with knitting. For my cross-stitching projects I (a) need to redo some backstitch which I did in black and should have done in white - can't be done while watching videos. Maybe an audiobook? I got so annoyed with Hagrid that I paused listening to Harry Potter; and (b)I need to find a cord for finishing a project. I am bad at finishing.

* * *

Nov. 3rd, 2011 04:05 am
taelle: (crafty)
I am having a spontaneous weekend/holiday in the middle of the week (I started early? We're to have that Ridiculous Holiday on Friday). I think I needed that.

... watched Criminal Minds 7.02. Or tried to - skipping bits and turning away in parts. I do not like the theme of injuries to eyes. And acid. *shudders* The episode itself was good, though, mostly all about the victim's family. With lovely grim Hotch. And a cute scene at Rossi's in the end.

Also, some writing. It's really easier once you open a page and tell yourself "Now write". Two pages. Good (for me), and I think I have some ideas for tomorrow.

And I finished that damn bit of sky on the Suzdal cross-stitch. Now only backstitch and all will be ready. I like backstitch.

Since it's better to watch stuff with some mindless bit of needlework, which backstitch isn't, I started a scarf. Very basic knitting, knit-knit-knit all the way, but fancy yarn. I like fancy yarn, it's sort of kind to inexperienced knitters. I still have plans for that shawl, though. Once I grow some brain back (do I ever?)

* * *

Oct. 12th, 2011 05:00 am
taelle: (rain)
A bit earlier there has been a splendid rain outside - I couldn't resist opening my window to listen, even if that required wrapping myself in a blanket. I do love rain at night... both for the sound, and for the way the city looks in the morning. Also, it's so nice to put on woollen socks at night - and wriggle my toes a bit from enjoyment of warmth (and woolliness) I really should learn knitting socks one day - not just now, though; I've yet to figure out the shawl, and the socks are a complicated thing, as far as I know.

Apparently I know too little of my main characters' past. I might just look for character questionnaires except that I'd feel too stupid filling them in. But really, I'm not even sure how they chose their career - how much of it was what they wanted and how much was 'everyone's going'. And no, that's not LBB fic. But it's another long fic - no, story, not a fic. Which needs to be written.

Watched Criminal Minds 7.01 - it was lovely like meeting old friends (in a way I watch Takarazuka shows like this, for 'old friends' whom you like just seeing onstage), and seeing the gang back together (though I'm glad Hotch shaved fairly quickly. And I can't imagine what  FBI would be doing wherever he was). JJ looks a bit older. Reid looks a bit younger - that's the effect of the haircut, I think (I like him with short hair, I rarely like men with longish hair - looks too untidy and scruffy). Also, Strauss was awesome.

* * *

Oct. 7th, 2011 04:53 am
taelle: (Default)
I think I am all out of one-shot drabble ideas. Time to plan - it feels like something longer than a page needs planning. Also it feels like I forgot how to plan stories. At all. Too tired from work, I guess - and work goes too slowly because I am tired.

In an attempt to feel productive I decided to start on the shawl I long ago bookmarked for knitting. Or, well, tried to. Perhaps I am not sensible in trying this -  I am not a good knitter, and I never knitted anything by pattern before. Especially an English-language pattern. Though the problem here is not with translation as such - it's just that I suspect I was taught the basic knit and purl in a manner which is not quite the accepted one, so videos and too detailed pictures give me headaches and I can't really connect them with what I'm doing. Describing the idea of what I have to do works much better.

Anyway, I redid the very beginning two times but the sixth row still doesn't work. I figured out the idea of SSK even if I'm not yet sure I adapted it correctly, but I can't even find a description of a double YO, and what I'm doing clearly isn't working. ... I'm still doing that shawl, so there. Though I might provide all the dolls with scarves on the side just for the sake of completing something.

With Tolstoy, I am at the war already. I just remembered that we're not actually supposed to like Andrei. I think. I mean, Tolstoy tells us straight ahead that he's only nice and approachable to people who think him special and expect great things from him etc. ... I found the Bolkonsky family life rather interesting, btw - so Andrei loves his sister and his father. How nice. Me, I don't like his sister - her saintliness feels a bit too much, and I feel like she's as haughty as her father and her brother, in her own way.

... and it's funny to compare the 'war' bits to Heyer's Infamous Army - the hero was an aide-de-camp too, after all. Though less special than Andrei.

I think I started noticing how Tolstoy is doing what he's doing - seems like defamiliarization is his favourite trick: describing something with no kind of shorthand, like he - and us with him - sees an action  (he's mostly using it for actions and facial expressions, I think) for the first time ever. Possibly for the first time in history. It works - I think that's why everyone and everything is so alive, like we're really seeing everything; but at the same time I feel like it leads to a kind of estrangement, at least for me - we look at those people with such lack of familiarity that they keep being a bit alien, and there's little chance to feel sympathy with their everyday lives.

(I do read my other books too, but slowly. George Eliot's still writing Adam Bede, so I have ways to go with her bio).


taelle: (Default)

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