“I just want more of her.” A wonderful piece on the late lamented food writer, Laurie Colwin.

I Can Has Helping Yur Cablz

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Dear Kay,
Motoring along here on Rowan 32′s Pearl. This will be a quick note today because I’m still suffering the aftereffects of leaving another movie in the middle because it was so appalling.
[WARNING: The Wrestler SPOILER ALERT and also some gruesome imagery ahead, so skip ahead to the cat playing on the handknits if you're as squeamish as I am.]
Yesterday, a galpal who shall remain nameless because she was seen at the Green Hills Regal Cinema with a fresh pedicure and a blown-out flipflop in 30-degree weather–as tragic a sight as you can imagine–semi-talked me into seeing The Wrestler. OK, I was an easy mark, in a weak orbit. I decided to go as part of my pre-Oscar research.
I didn’t ask for my money back on this one, because I knew full well that it was about a broken-down professional wrestler trying to make a comeback. I knew it would be gritty, and tough, and hard to watch. I’d seen Mickey Rourke win his Golden Globe when he thanked his dogs, which I found extremely moving, and I knew he was kind of a busted-up guy portraying a busted-up guy.
HOWEVER. I was not even vaguely prepared for the scene where The Ram and another wrestler agree beforehand that their fight will involve barbed wire and a staple gun. And sure yeah why not, we get to see every glistening staple in our hero’s poor back. It’s a good five or ten minutes of straight-ahead amateur suturing and abuse. At that point, my scarf went over my head and I started checking email on my phone. Finally, Pedicure Pal leaned over and said, “It’s OK now. He’s in the hospital now. He had a heart attack.”
I just want to know: does anybody out there who saw this movie think that this over-the-top gruesomeness is necessary to the telling of this guy’s story?
Look. The scariest movie I ever saw was Psycho. I still take a shower with the curtain cracked. Yet Hitchcock never showed a knife hitting Janet Leigh. He knew how to play on the viewer’s anxieties. There was art in the way he messed with us. There’s no art in the violence shown in The Wrestler. It just feels exploitative, cheaply manipulative of the audience, low. And it means I can’t get to the heartwarming part when friendly stripper Marisa Tomei finally puts on some clothes and she and The Ram go have a beer together.
Or see the poor kid in Slumdog Millionaire find his true love and win all the rupees.
I can’t figure out to whom to complain, so I’m writing this here in hopes that somebody has an idea about how to howl properly about all this nasty business in movies today. Now I think I should have asked for my money back, so at least there would be a piece of paper somewhere that reads “Reason for Refund: Pointlessly Violent.”
END OF GRUESOME PART.
NOW, ON WITH THE CAT PLAYING ON THE HANDKNIT.
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This is going well enough. The yarn is Rowan Wool Cotton, one of the durable all stars of the yarn world. Kermit thinks knitting needles are alive, somehow.
I am grumpy about the left leaning cables but not tragically so. This project is such a foundling that it’s fun even if it’s imperfect.
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See how smooth the right leaners are? How ragged the left leaners are? Well, I finally remembered the tip I read from the Queen Of All Things Cabley, Melissa Leapman. Now that I have cable fever, her Cables Untangled is looking more tantalizing than ever. And I need to get her latest book, Continuous Cables: An Exploration of Knitted Cabled Knots, Rings, Swirls, and Curlicues, because those crazy tangled cables are really my favorite.
Anyway. Her tip for making those left leaners look better is to work the purl stitch to the left of the last knit cable stitch by wrapping the yarn in the opposite direction from the usual way. It twists the stitch, tightening it. On the next row, when it appears as a twisted knit stitch, knit through the back of the stitch to untwist it. I’m going to give this a try, even if means that half of my right front looks warbly and the other half looks smooth. I really want to improve it, asap.
Other Helpful Tidbits
Readers ask how to knit cables without a cable needle. The incomparable Grumperina explains it in her clear, surprisingly ungrumpy way here. We love you, Grumperina!
For those of you who have our new book, Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines, there’s a quick tutorial on page 50, accompanying the pattern for the Stephen Colbert Socks. This is my favorite sock pattern in the whole world, because you can make the cables wander wherever you like, liberated from a cable needle.
Another reader inquiry: How do you do an increase that is less noticeable than the Make 1?
Here’s a nice, quick instruction from Knotions. The idea is that these lifted increases don’t create a big hole in your knitting the way a Make 1 does. These are much more subtle, and they blend in well. I love ‘em.
Love,
Ann

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78 Comments

78 Comments

  1. Beware of cats chewing on bamboo needles — mine totally ruined a brand new expensive size gigantic bamboo needle that I had just bought and had only knit about 2 rows on. She chewed on the bamboo and the cables and those little teeth dent marks don’t allow yarn to slide gracefully. I thought of using the needles as a garrote around her fuzzy little neck but then she looked at me and purred and I thought, oh heck, isn’t she cute?
    My solution to movies with opening violence is to get my husband to rent them, then I can watch when the gross stuff is over.

  2. Okay – I’m definitely skipping that movie. You should have asked for your money back. I wonder if anyone has……
    As for those cables – I’m now wandering over to Amazon to check out the books.

  3. Thanks for reminding me about these techniques. They are some of what brings our knitting into the modern era.

  4. Did you see The Piano? I actually fainted watching it, and my husband had to help me out to the lobby. To this day I can’t watch Harvey Keitel.

  5. I don’t get out to the movies much but I’m not much on graphic violence either…even if it is part of the story. I had a really difficult time with Saving Private Ryan. As far as scary movies I’ve seen Silence of the Lambs and survived. I watched it only because I didn’t know it would be scary—I had just heard it was a good movie.
    I was awake all night after watching Green Mile afraid that some awful guy would cut open my kids bedroom screen. Back in 9th grade I was petrified when I first saw ET. So you see, scary is relative based on ones experiences.
    I don’t think I will watch the Wrestler. I agree, too graphic. I’ve never seen Psycho, it has always sounded too scary. I want to be able to shower in peace. But I do agree that psychological terror takes a lot more talent and art in movie production. Have you seen Rear Window??
    I love your cats and how they are featured in lots of your posts! So cute.

  6. Another online knitting magazine! Yippee!
    Kermit wants to keep your sweater safe -

  7. You rant on about gratuitous violence in the movie(s) and then show us a cat chewing on a bamboo circ? Now, THAT is gratuitous violence! :-)

  8. I just happened upon Cat Bordhi on YouTube doing a demonstration of how she deals with SSKs, which is not exactly the same as left leaning cables but is a left-lean of some kind, and I was really excited because I didn’t know Cat Bordhi had instructional videos on Youtube. Where have I been?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMHXK3JxrJA

  9. I had not planned to see this movie, but now will actually make a point of not watching it if it ever comes to HBO or whatever I happen to watch at the time. I have a low threshold for movie violence, I almost went over the edge when they boiled the bunny in that darn Michael Douglas/Glen Close movie.. I thought I should have been issued a valium upon entering that one. Glen Close still scares me after that one. I can’t even remember the name of it.
    So thanks for the warning.

  10. I love your cat! I want to pick him up and scrunch him. I’m sorry if that sounds violent, because I can’t stand violence in movies either. But cats just call out to be scrunched.

  11. My solution to violence in movies and TV is to watch neither. I might see a movie a year, tops. I watched TV to see the debates (2008) and the inauguration (might be it for 2009). Periodically I give the hubby Netflix to get through the winter months, then my rate may go up to 2. (Finally saw Pride and Prejudice!!) I have such a low tolerance that even though I have never seen Psycho, I lock the bathroom door when I’m home alone and showering.
    I say go back and ask for your money.
    Thanks for the tech tips-have to go check out that M1 tonight.

  12. I’m with you on the violence. I have a standing rule that I won’t see any movie if it involves violence against children or animals. (That one was made after a streakof movies seen at a then-boyfriend’s insistence.) Your review of Slumdog Millionare actually changed my mind about seeing it, so that’s for the warning!
    My cat thinks knitting needles of all forms are toys, which is my I can’t ever use straight needles around here. I do use metal circs as cat toys, so it might be my fault.

  13. Jane, the Michael Douglas/Glenn Close bunny boiling movie is Fatal Attraction.
    Come to think of it, that title would make a perfect caption for the pic of Kermit chewing on the needles.

  14. Once when I dropped a rosewood needle I said to my dog, “Would you mind picking up that needle and bringing it to me? I’m really comfy here in the recliner, and I don’t want to have to get up and disturb the cats.”
    It was a JOKE. My dog is not Lassie.
    Well. My dog got up, found the needle, picked it up and brought it to me. When she dropped it into my hand, the needle of course had several tooth-divots. And now my dog thinks knitting needles are meant to be picked up and carried around.
    I am an idiot.

  15. I so agree about the movies! Why, I ask, why? There’s so much ugliness, cruelty, and pain in the world already, how does watching it on screen make anyone a better person? I am concerned about those who think these are good things to watch.
    Thanks for the link to Grumperina’s cabling tutorial. That’s one of the techniques I’d like to learn soon, and I didn’t have a good reference.

  16. Amen Sister! I don’t understand why movies have to be so gruesome nowadays. I won’t be watching either The Wrestler or Slumdog Millionare. Thanks for the warning.

  17. I sometimes think that movies have become more and more explicit because they think their core audience likes it – not realizing that their core audience has shrunk to a tiny portion of the (potential) movie going public. The rest of us stay home and pre-screen our videos. I couldn’t watch whole chunks of Fargo – and I’ve skipped nearly everything made since. When will filmmakers and editors realize we are not 17 year old boys (or the emotional equivalent) – nor do we want sappy remakes of period films (and I’m not too keen on movies that employ fart and boob jokes). Disgruntled I am.
    Thanks for the cables and kitties….

  18. Another thing I wonder is why previews have to be so scary? Either there has been a proliferation of horror movie so there are more ads for them on TV, I’ve become more sensitive to them or the ads are becoming scarier and scarier! Some of them terrify me even as I’m fast forwarding past them on the Tivo. Ugh.

  19. Maybe you should just stick to Disney movies. Sheesh.

  20. I’m with you on the movie/TV violence, can’t stand it. I can live without seeing it. I stick to musical,so you know how many movies I see a year! I have to have a clear shower curtain to this day and all deadbolts on! beautiful cat….

  21. Quinn, great story. My cat always liked yarn, but never the needles. My dog just doesn’t like to be ignored.
    Ann, I’m glad we finally see “the other cat” out of hiding.

  22. You are a veritable font of useful information – I love the lifted increases and I love your Pearl. You reminded me I want to knit that one day :0)
    I haven’t been to the pictures (other than those suitable for the under 10′s !) in about a hundred years – the last thing we saw was The 3 Burials of Melquiades Estrada (which I highly recommend) but I completely agree that the suggestion of violence is much more effective than the full-on gore.

  23. I defended Slumdog last time but I will have to agree with you here! The scene you are talking about is really really bloody and really really unnecessary. The rest of the movie was ok.
    And your sweater is looking good!!!

  24. Hi. I’m delurking after (slogging? no! it was a breeze!) reading through all the archives. I love this site, it’s in my daily reads. Makes me wish I was knitting more.
    And I’ve heard of cabling without a cable needle and I tried so hard to figure out how it could be possible. Now that I’ve read the tutorials it’s like, totally duh.
    As far as violence in movies, hands down the scariest and most violent movie I have ever watched was The Passion of the Christ. I watched so much of it through my fingers and had to sleep with the lights on for a few days.

  25. For the record, I’m with you on the violence. I’m 28 and can’t, it seems, watch ANYTHING anymore because movies are so violent. I stuck it out through Slumdog but those scenes are still with me three weeks later.
    I miss movies that are entertaining. Is that too much to ask?

  26. I think you should go see Bedtime Stories. Zany! Only violence is gum balls hitting the guy’s truck and a painful bee sting! Mind you it’s not a good movie!
    Honestly, I don’t know what got into you. No mas! Mickey Rourke’s face alone is enough to give a person the vapors!

  27. I tried to warn you about The Wrestler when you wrote the Slumdog Millionaire post. Yet you went anyway. Read the comments, Ann!

  28. This happened to me at this very stressful movie called “Lola Turns Tricks,” which was deviously listed as “Lola” in my movie guide. I was so traumatized that I asked the usher if I could go see another movie instead, and she agreed, and recommended “Stepmom” with Julia Roberts, which was Hollywood tripe, but non-violent delightful Hollywood tripe. Never have I loved Julia so.

  29. yeah, if you ever figure out who to complain to about pointless violence and sex, you let me know. the only way i know of to get my opinion across is to not see or buy those movies, but somehow i don’t think anyone’s hearing me. *sigh*

  30. One of my cats also insists on learning to knit…

  31. I’m totally going to trash my reputation as “stout” but have you seen WALL-E? Such a cute movie! How they can make two practically non-verbal cartoon robots so endearing, I don’t know. I laughed, I cried. Rent it.

  32. I just don’t find most of the movies on the Oscar list compelling to watch. I loved Wall-E enough that it was bought as soon after Christmas as was reasonable and watched even sooner after that, and I saw the geek movies (Dark Knight and Iron Man) but otherwise I am happy to miss them all.

  33. My cat also chews on my needles, though she likes them best when they are at work,which makes for some complicated knitting (’cause I can’t just put her on the floor, right?)
    What is it with movies and violence? I found last year’s Dark Knight excessively violent, but I think I was the only one. And why does love and nudity get such a bad rap (and I’m not talking pornography) while stapling each other doesn’t?

  34. Can I just point out… cat + handknits = potential pointless violence. Well, pointless from the human perspective, possibly less pointless from the feline perspective, but they never explain.

  35. If a movie has too much nudity or sex they give it an X rating. I think they should include gross, gratuitous violence as one of the criteria for an X rating. Maybe you should start a movement. Knitters against Violence in Movies(KAVIM). You could so do this!
    I knew if Mickey Roarke was it, it would be violent. It was not even on my list. But hearing what you saw makes me feel like I saw it, too, and I feel sick to my stomach. Why do they have to do that? And, like Eliza, we thought Dark Knight was way too violent, too. Definitely not a kids’ movie.

  36. I don’t go to see a lot of movies, partly because you can’t fast-forward parts you don’t like. For example, I like the Coen brothers, mostly, but you know there’s going to be gratuitous violence. Therefore, you wait, rent the DVD, and keep the poker nearby.

  37. the knitting and the cats are lovely
    go watch fred and ginger
    you tube has nelson eddy in rose marie
    delivernce really did scare me a lot
    i hate showers and birds

  38. I guess this may be a generation gap or something (I’m 24, single, no kids), but violence in movies, while it bothers me, doesn’t inhibit me from watching it, mostly because it has the effect of making me hate the real thing even more. Plus, I did a lot of theater in high school, so I guess I can put up the barrier of “okay, this isn’t really happening to the people on-screen, but if it were that would be terrible.” Not everyone has that block (my mom doesn’t, for example), and I totally respect that–I’m not going to tell someone “you should watch this or that” if I know it’ll freak them out. Maybe if/when I have kids that’ll change my mind.

  39. Unfortunately lots and lots of other people either don’t mind the violence or (and this rather bothers me) like it, which is sad because I personally see much more skill in the psychological thriller than in the hack and slash. Part of that might be that I don’t see the hack and slash, but that’s beside the point. There’s nothing wrong with voicing your opinion and thoughts with your dollars (or lack thereof) but I’m afraid these voices of reason will continue to be drowned out.
    Of course the movie I was most moved by last year (Il y a longtemps que je t’aime http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1068649/) didn’t even get noticed by Oscar, so I’ve simply determined that there’s no accounting for taste, that the masses will be masses and that I can just as easily spend that knitting time watching something I’ll like.
    Oh, right, and knitting! Thank you for chronicling this project from the depths of the closet. It’s an inspiration for those of us bogged down by WIPs!

  40. I’ve discovered lately that I’m not nearly as squeamish as I was at movie violence. Like, I’d heard that Eastern Promises was ultra-violent, so I only watched it recently, and was kind of wondering where the ‘ultra’ was. I was very relieved to feel that way. Same with Sweeney Todd. Maybe I do better when the violence is hyped, so I picture all sorts of horrible things and then what’s on screen isn’t nearly as bad? I don’t know.
    I do know that the movies could do with a whole lot less blood and gore. It’s not necessary. Implied is so much more effective. Especially when you’ve got an imagination like mine, it seems.

  41. oh Ann, I can’t stand the violence either. My husband rented ‘Untraceable’ with Diane Lane. She’s cute, safe movie material right? I still can’t get those torture images out of my head, yuck. Watch Mamma Mia, thats a good one!

  42. I’m totally with you on the TMI quality of movies and TV now. I think it creates a far bigger impact for some situations and details to be implied than displayed in technicolor detail. The best horror movies are the old ones, right? “Night of the Living Dead” – the original version – terrifying! And “The Town That Dreaded Sundown.” And anything by Alfred Hitchcock. I’ll even admit to enjoying “The Blair Witch Project.” I don’t need to see gray matter on the walls and spurting blood. The implied speaks so much louder than the blatant!

  43. Movie cowards unite, dear. You out to start a website full of spoilers so people like us can be forewarned. Because I really would lke to be a good movie customer, I really love the movies but the contnent is so terrible and I’m not willing to spend over ten dollars for them when they are so terrible. But how I miss going to to weekend matinee, coming out into the afternoon sunshine blinking furiously.
    Cabling without a cable needle: better than sliced bread.
    Your Kermit is adorable, the spitting image of my late lamented Dr. J., the worst cat ever to live. He was mean for fifteen years, became nice, and then died on me. How I wish I had the opportunity to yell at him for breaking my china again.

  44. There is ample historical precedent to suggest that an insatiable appetite for increasingly barbaric levels of violence as entertainment is one of the defining hallmarks of a crumbling civilization. I fail to see any redeeming value in fictional immersion in human degradation and violence. There is far too much of the real thing in the world, and more than enough opportunities to help if one feels the need to be jolted out of complacency. How will a society ever care enough to stop actual human misery when it has been titillated into insensibility by suffering-as-entertainment?
    Sorry for the rant…. it’s one of my pet peeves, perhaps borne of seeing too much of the real thing as a physician.

  45. There is ample historical precedent to suggest that an insatiable appetite for increasingly barbaric levels of violence as entertainment is one of the defining hallmarks of a crumbling civilization. I fail to see any redeeming value in fictional immersion in human degradation and violence. There is far too much of the real thing in the world, and more than enough opportunities to help if one feels the need to be jolted out of complacency. How will a society ever care enough to stop actual human misery when it has been titillated into insensibility by suffering-as-entertainment?
    Sorry for the rant…. it’s one of my pet peeves, perhaps borne of seeing too much of the real thing as a physician.

  46. Took me a year of training to get along with my cats while knitting.

  47. I agree on the movie comments. I don’t mind tough minded movies, but I get terrible nightmares for weeks when a movie is graphically violent. Maybe they could do two versions, and make a wimpy version so I could actually go see Slum Dog Millionaire, Dark Knight, Sweeney Todd, and all the other movies I wanted to see but passed on because of the violence. As you say, it is *never* necessary – Hitchcock could make you understand brutality without ever showing it directly!

  48. I agree with you wholeheartedly about the movie violence. I still think Psycho is the scariest movie ever made. The Birds was pretty scary too. Hitch sure knew how to make movies – his suspense movies (like Vertigo or Rear Window) were also great. Movies like the ones you’ve been describing just hit you over the head – no subtlety at all. No craft there.

  49. I love the lifted increase; it’s my fave. Kermit is really cute!

  50. I’m going to be one of the only dissenters here. As a person who has attended the very wrestling events portrayed in The Wrestler (more than one of those matches is a Ring of Honor event; ROH is an indie promotion here on the East Coast and it’s fantastic), I can say a couple of things with certainty: 1) That movie feels very “real” in the sense that Aronofsky nailed the indie circuit, right on. Heck, he even included certain local wrestling fanatics in some shots; 2) The kind of stuff he showed in that hardcore wrestling match with Necro Butcher (who is an actual wrestler I have seen live) is absolutely the sort of thing you’d see at a hardcore match. It’s not my cuppa at ALL and I actively avoid hardcore wrestling, but sometimes it’ll creep into an event here or there. In my experience, it was in no way made MORE gruesome for the film (if anything, it was a little toned down, I think); 3) I DO think the brutality of that scene is necessary to show Ram’s desperation. Not only is he putting himself in the kind of physical danger we’d expect, but he needs the job so badly that he’ll engage in practices in which he’s inexperienced (i.e., he doesn’t know about the stapling, etc.) just to get in the ring.
    I dunno. Mind you, that scene was awful and made me cringe, but I guess I sometimes feel like awful is okay if it’s honest, and this seemed very honest to me.

  51. And I thought it was just me (and so did my friends)! I even had a problem with Gremlins (the part where one of them gets into the food processor) – as you say, it doesn’t matter that it’s fictional, I just don’t want that image in my head. And I only saw small parts of Jurassic Park because I had my eyes closed, which made me feel kind of stupid because the very small boy sitting next to me (not mine) watched it wide-eyed and without a whimper. My partner is now trained to nudge me if he thinks there is a violent scene ahead so I can close my eyes. Didn’t see quite a lot of Gladiator as a result but I really wanted to as he was an extra in the opening scenes (though I think he might have ended up on the cutting room floor anyway). Now I just avoid them all together if I can.
    Re knitting, thank you for showing us Pearl – I had a very happy time rediscovering my old Rowan books when I went looking for it. And thanks for pointing us to the new techniques too, looking forward to trying them.

  52. I think you can thank the folks who make and consume “reality” entertainment, Ann. Goodbye imagination, hello exploitation.
    Now Frost/Nixon is another story (and not just because my brother produced it). Peter Morgan took a true story and, guided by his sense of style and history, imagined what might have been happening when the cameras were off. And the ties are marvelous.

  53. A bunch of friends talked me into seeing “Sin City” and I never trusted their taste in movies since (especially after the scenes where a guy has a taste for eating human flesh, want to know more? Didn’t think so.).
    I like the violent movie every now and then but many movies these days have taken violence and gore to the extreme and it’s no longer entertainment when the movie can’t even pretend to have a real plot because it has too many action sequences to show.
    Mainly, I sit around and wonder what happened to making some decent “upper” movies since most everything seems to have a bigger than usual “downer” component in order to get to the good part.

  54. I have believed that they show gratuitous violence for quite some time and have pretty much given up on movies as a source of entertainment. I do get rentals in the house, much cheaper and easier to get rid of. I called once when I thought the previews were too violent/inappropriate for my daughter and was dismissed by the theatre, they did not agree with my assessment.

  55. I hated the Wrestler and I am so glad that you hated it too. So what if he was a realistic character – I don’t care about him. I hated Mickey, I hated the plot, I hated the violence and the scene in the deli was so unneccesary. I have been waiting for someone else to see the movie so I have someone else to hate it with (the much younger male I went with kind of liked it). Thank God for you so I don’t have to be the only one who thought this movie was a big waste of film (I know it was probably digital but you know what I mean)

  56. You had your chance, sister-in-law. Come with me to the romantic movie I’m too embarrassed to admit I want to see, I said. But nooooo. And now it’s gone from theaters.
    Except it’s still there at the $3 Logan Square cinema. So my friend JJ and I saw it. We loved it. We’re buying the DVD when it comes out and keeping it at work so our SO’s won’t know. Yes, that’s how embarrassing it is.

  57. Go see “The Reader”. It should fix the violence problem.

  58. Very high level of discourse here today, ladies! Makes me grateful for free speech (of which movie-making is an extension) and girlfriends who gladly tell it like it is.
    Right on Ruth! The problem with all the violence in the media (realistic as it may be, thanks for the perspective, Heather) is that the constant onslaught does numb us out, increase our own anxiety, and possibly diminish our trust in civilization/other humans. Jeez, look how many of us are still afraid while taking a nice hot shower, one of the finer things in life!
    As a former hospice nurse, I also have absolutely no patience or interest in the visual media’s fascination/obsession with death, medical autopsies, and false depictions of dying in general. Like Ruth says, there is enough real suffering going on around us, next door and down the street, and to fetishize it removes the real power and meaning of death as a profoundly human experience.
    I completely agree with rating movie violence at least as stringently as sexual content, if not more so. Anyone interested in seeing a great, thinking-woman’s documentary on this topic (non-violent, I promise, but LOTS of discussion about sex, maybe a few flesh scenes, nothing gross)– check out “This Movie has Not Been Rated,” a fabulous discourse on the ridiculously inconsistent system we use to rate movies in our culture. Great discussion y’all!

  59. The knitting is beautiful as always and that cat is adorable! Hope you and yours are all doing well.
    xoxo

  60. Well said about the violence and non existant creativity and uninlellegent, unclassy atempt involved in making a movie that is not only gross, but insulting. It’s horrible and I’m glad you brought it up!!
    Laure

  61. Many cats like to hunt snakes and mine seem to view anything that is long and thin as a snake – some things (needles, pens, folded reading glasses, flatware) are apparently petrified snakes while other things (circular needle cables, ribbons, I-cord) are apparently non-petrified snakes. All snakes must, it seems, be dealt with summarily.
    Is it not wonderfully comforting to know that our cats are protecting us from snakes?
    Lovely knitting, by the way.
    Cheers, Karen

  62. I agree with you 100%. There’s no amount of happy that can remove violent scenes from my brain. I’ve stopped going to movies for that reason. And thank you for the warnings. You saved me a few scheckels, which I’ll now spend on some yarn!

  63. I’m sticking with the cables portion of the post…
    Leapman’s trick very much works for me, the left-leaning ones are still slightly wonky when compared to the right-leaning, but not as obviously. Sometimes if I have a particularly ornery cable I will twist a stitch on the wrong side as well. For example: do the Leapman trick on the right side, then on the wrong side I straighten out that stitch, then wrap the following purl the “wrong” way, and then straighten it out on the right side. It’s a little bit more fiddly to straighten it out on the right side sometimes, but it can be worth it.

  64. I have another way of doing an SSK decrease that also ends up in a straight leaning line:
    slip first stitch as if to knit, slip second stitch by inserting right needle from back of the stitch, going left to right (it twists the stitch); then knit the 2 slipped stitches together by inserting your left needle through the 2 stitches, going from right to left. I haven’t tried Cat Bordhi’s method but it seems effective as well.
    Re: movies, I like watching foreign movies, they are not cranked out with the same old Hollywood formulas…

  65. Totally agree with you. Wrestler sucked. Crap is not art. Knitting is.

  66. Cute, cute kitty!
    I also hate those types of movies. But I guess enough people like ‘em and they make $, so that’s why they keep making them. Vote with your wallet! Also, liked the increase instructions – I learned something new today!

  67. So did those circulars survive Kermit? My youngest would have had them in splinters before I could say “spit”! Can’t let the cats anywhere near the handknits or the needles. But dang, they’re good pictures! If the needles were sacrificed, it was a worthy caust!

  68. Just reading some of these comments (describing scenes people rather wouldn’t have seen) makes me cringe…
    I’ve given up on watching anything that’s rated over PG13. I *do* tend to stick to Disney movies, but there’s other ones I like.
    I don’t like horror/violent movies anyway, so I don’t think the imagination-ones are better than the ones that actually show you what’s happening… my imagination is vivid and high definition, unlike the tv. :)

  69. Scratch The Wrestler from my list. I’m with you on Psycho, too. Have you also been avoiding axe-murderers your whole life, as well?! I wish I never read In Cold Blood as a teen.

  70. I have a kitty named Kermit too! He’s an orange tabby :-)

  71. Hi Ann,
    I do so love the look and texture of your sweater! It’s really great-and kitty thinks so, too–that’s the celebrated sweater cat dance he’s doing with those needles…)
    Can’t wait to see it all finished.
    LoveDiane
    P.S. i really appreciate the link to the tutorials. wiil try the cable method sans cable needle some day soon.

  72. I research movies well and try not to see movies like Saw or Silence of the Lambs and have avoided the Piano for years despite the urging of others to see it. Being an Oscar winner doesn’t sway me. I will not see several of last year’s winners despite critical acclaim.
    I saw SM. Stayed for the whole thing despite the disturbing beginning. It was uncomfortable, but unfortunately probably very realistic and eye-opening for me. I think the promoters and reviewers are wrong to label it a “feel-good” movie, however it does have redeeming value.
    My kids see “Saw” type movies now that they are too old for me to make that decision for them. I ask them all the time if it is disturbing to them later. They swear not. If I had a choice I would rather have them see movies like SM so that if images of cruelty do stick with them they might be spurred to action against real injustice and violence rather than being entertained by fantasy gore. When they mature I hope they will take at least the amount of action (mostly ignoring peer pressure) necessary to avoid seeing movies that contain gratuitious violence.
    If you are interested in learning about another aspect of the culture of poverty I would recommend “Born into Brothels”. It is a documentary about children of prostitutes in India.

  73. I like to think that barring violent scenes from my brain makes me more able to resolve conflict without violence. I just don’t like what movie-makers today are suggesting, over and over and over.
    Of course, I think children should be barred from seeing all of this stuff- and I wonder what the big deal is about nudity? Being naked and someone holding a gun to the head are two very different things.
    We can’t afford the movies, but when we do go, it’s for our children. We saw Kung Fu Panda at the theatre and thought it was really worth it.

  74. While I’m sorry you wasted your time & money on this movie, it is heartening to know that I’m not the only person who really does not deal with graphic violence in movies. Private Ryan, Million Dollar Baby, Silence of the Lambs, etc.? Great movies, but I’ve never seen ‘em. Not only does my husband screen movies for me, but his buddies will let me know if I can or cannot see a movie. Avoiding violence is one of the two reasons I love, love, love to rent movies — the other is being able to knit throughout!
    Speaking of the knitting, that sweater is going to be beautiful. Can’t tell you how much I enjoy your posts!

  75. Thanks for the warning – I’ll be sure to avoid both these movies when they hit HBO.

  76. I remember when everyone raved about “Unforgiven,” so I went to see it. First, Clint Eastwood leaves his two little kids all alone on the prairie because he has some business to attend to — for several weeks. That got me, and I wasn’t even a mom yet. Couldn’t he have left them with the Ingalls family?
    Then, there’s Richard Harris kicking someone in the head. I much prefer his Dumbledore…(in fact I dreadfully miss his Dumbledore).
    Dontcha just want to yell “The Emperor has no clothes!” when it comes to unnecessary movie violence?

  77. I appreciated Heather’s perspective on The Wrestler, esp. given her knowledge of the wrestling world. I don’t watch violent movies for the sake of seeing violence but I can appreciate it as an aspect of a movie when it educates me in some way about other parts of the world or the way that some people live, and when it serves a purpose in characterization in a film. However, I understand people wanting to avoid any images of violence when seeking entertainment.

  78. I appreciated Heather’s perspective on The Wrestler, esp. given her knowledge of the wrestling world. I don’t watch violent movies for the sake of seeing violence but I can appreciate it as an aspect of a movie when it educates me in some way about other parts of the world or the way that some people live, and when it serves a purpose in characterization in a film. However, I understand people wanting to avoid any images of violence when seeking entertainment.