March 13th, 2006


monkey magic

Do you want to both laugh and squee? I think you do. So just google image "golden snub nosed monkey".

If you have access to the BBC, I hope you've been watching Planet Earth, because it RULES, and not just because last night it introduced me to the funniest-looking, cutest monkey ever. The snow leopard (which took over two years to film)! The panda baby! The astonishing mountain scenery! David Attenborough (only narrating, alas, so we didn't get to see him being winched up into a tree or roaming across the desert or anything, but you can't have everything)! It's so good.

What is not good, however, is my health - I have developed a hideous sore throat and can't swallow without tremendous pain. So I am currently in bed feeling sorry for myself. I shall spend today knitting and listening to Radio 4.

(no subject)

There are people who can follow purely written instructions for carrying out complicated physical activities (ooh er) but I am not one of them. And so I am slightly disappointed with Debbie Stoller's new crochet book. I was so looking forward to it, but there are simply not enough pictures to show how to make the various stitches - if you're writing an instruction book for beginners, it's not enough to have one picture of a crochet hook, some very complicated strands of wool and a squiggly arrow supposedly showing....what? Which direction you move the hook? What stitches you pull through what? Who knows? I sure as hell don't.

I am very, very bad at following written instructions for anything I have to do with my hands, especially needlework - faced with written instructions and a complicated interwoven set of threads I overthink and get completely confused. How do I know if the wool is on the right side of the needle when starting stitch X? When they say bring the wool foward, do they mean over or under? Am I slipping the stitch onto the needle from the right direction? Unless there are very, very clear diagrams I literally can't understand it. These videos are fantastic, and in fact that's how I really learned how to do double crochet, because La Stoller's instructions were not totally clear to a beginner, but thanks to the video I learned how to do it in seconds.

However, there is no video on that site showing how to increase or decrease, so apparently my crocheting career will be limited to doing squares and rectangles. Stoller's instructions for increasing are ludicrous - she simply says "just make two stitches into the same stitch." And that's it. What? How? What bits of the stitch do you make the stitches into? I have absolutely no idea, and as she doesn't elaborate and there's just one picture with arrows going in seemingly random directions, I will never know. I'm starting to think the book was a waste of money - the patterns aren't even particularly fantastic, even if I did ever figure out how to make them.