Monday, September 19, 2011

And So, the End Begins

On the needles: Orange moss stitch scarf, baby hat.
In production: Custom order scarf

OK, so blog didn't slow down quite as much as I thought (actually, this will be a pleasant break from having to think critically about three different courses AND "Beauty and the Beast"). Although I should technically be reading right now, especially since I still have class reading AND 10 pages to write by Thursday (which includes more reading). I won't go into the nitty gritty, but I feel like it's an accomplishment that I cooked dinners last week.

It's cold and rainy here today, which is sad, but OK. I need to concentrate on my readings. And knitting. I need to finish this moss stitch scarf so that I can make a delivery of all three at the same time...And get to visit my coworkers! I'm hoping that I can get it finished this week, because I can deliver it next Monday, or at least next week at some point. (My goal is before Thanksgiving.) After that, I can start on the custom order scarf (which I do need to tweak a bit...I'm having more difficulties than I thought I would). After that, watch out, because there'll be mittens and scarves and new stuff up on Etsy!

I might even be trying to cable in the scarf! And I am working on learning to crochet. I've kind of got it, but then I lost it. But I will persevere, even if all I end up with is dishcloths (for now)!

I found an awesome yarn review site here: As in, I just found it this morning. It seems like it'll be fun; I'll add the link to the "Online Yarns" as well.

Also, finally looked at this awesome shop in Calgary called "Blame Betty". At least, I looked at their website. I saw them as we were driving through 17th the other day, and I keep hearing about them. Seeing their style, I know where I'm shopping for a grad dress!

Wednesday I have to stand up in front of my honours class and give a five minute blurb about what I'm actually researching, which is nervewracking. However, I can use it to start the 10 pages that I need for Thursday! I have a general idea of what I'm saying, although it doesn't include anything about the main texts in particular. But I do have quite a bit to say, and I'll ramble on to some measure about the whole thing about there not being much (if any) research in Gothic in fairy tales (beyond the passing mention of "Bluebeard", it seems), and how there is only one book currently about it even in Children's Literature.

It's interesting going back to class, because I am entering my fifth year, and I have been working on this project over the summer. A lot of these people that are in the classes are still so young, it kind of amazes me. Or just don't seem connected to things. I was waiting to speak to my supervisor after our Children's Literature class the other day, and one of the women (she was over 30) had thought that the Disney version of the fairy tales were American. I would say that that's fair, but for the fact that you can see it in their films. Yes, Disney, for a lot of people, is a mega corporation that's destroyed fairy tales. However, (first off, I'm a huge Disney fan, but I can see both sides of the argument), Disney has taken them and made them relevant to a lot of our social concerns today, just as the Grimm Brothers or Perrault did. And Disney clearly states (if you watch in "Cinderella") that this version is based off of Perrault's work.

The thing that seems to happen with a lot of people that bash Disney is that they aren't going outside the box and thinking about it critically. And you don't need to be a post-secondary student to think about it critically. Don't take things passively; even before I entered university, I was exploring the Grimms' fairy tales. And I knew that "The Little Mermaid" was actually Danish (Hans Christian Andersen), which is kind of hard to ignore when you know that her statue is in Copenhagen. Anyway. No, fairy tales aren't only American. There are variants of most of these tales from around the world. I have to say that I enjoy what Disney has done with the visuals for most of these films, and I much prefer their ending of "The Little Mermaid". But I'm also not taking these passively, and I'm seeking out other ways that these tales are told (obviously). However, I've also worked with Disney's version of "Beauty and the Beast" to argue that the Beast is, in fact, reverse objectified, becoming the focus of our ideas of masculine perfection, even more so than Belle being objectified. This is especially apparent which most of the audience also agrees that the Beast is actually better as the Beast than as the Prince. Disney works in getting these tales introduced to a mass audience, which is not necessarily a bad thing, and at least you can take them critically from there.

My argument for this paper is quite different, but I won't get into details here. Although part of it does have to do with Penny Arcade's argument in this webcomic:

P.S. Even look at their costumes. It tells you a lot.

/End my side of the debate. For today.

So, on that note, my boyfriend and I also went to check out the "Cut!" exhibit at the Glenbow Museum, which was awesome! And my boyfriend hadn't been to the museum, so we went through most of the other exhibits, too, which was awesome. I still love going to see the geological display (especially all the sparklies).

And Saturday, I went with a friend to shop for her wedding dress, and she found one in the first shop. She looks absolutely amazing in it! I can't wait to see her wedding next year.

I got my card turned over to an "Honours" card so that I can take books about for 4 months (a term) at a time. So I only need to return one book by the 21, and the rest are with me until January! I had asked about this before the summer started, but got a really snarky reply, but then! I found out about last week, which made me happy. So much easier than having to run books back and forth.

Also, one novel down for school: Transmission by Hari Kunzru, which was actually quite good. I think that the discussion about it will be interesting. Hopefully. It's a split level class between senior level undergraduate students and graduate students, so it's interesting to see how it works. It's funny, because one of the girls that I started university with is in the class as well, but as a graduate student, so it's interesting to see how we're actually still at the same level in regards to classes.

OK. I need to go read and actually write my critical works. Having to do how I'm actually meshing together critical theories from Children's literature, fairy tales, and the Gothic, seeing as how there isn't any other literature doing it for me! (Which makes it easier and more difficult at the same time.)

Hope all is well! And one plug for the Etsy shop: I am accepting custom orders. Feel free to message me via the various means of Twitter, Facebook, Etsy conversation, or on here in the comments, and I'll get back to you! I may not be posting as often, but I do spend a few minutes to check everything each day.

Take care!

Katie =^..^=

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Knitting, Knitting, Knitting! (And, actually, Honours!)

On the needles: Moss stitch orange scarf
To Cast on: double knit scarf

So that's the moss stitch scarf. I'm really happy with how it's turning out, and I hope that the lady I'm making it for likes it, too! I decided to do moss stitch so that it didn't cult like stockinette stitch scarves do. And it's a really nice yarn, so I wanted to show it off more than I wanted something really fancy. However, this stitch is VERY time consuming. The only reason I have as much done here as I do is because I watched "Gone With the Wind" last night. haha I knew that production would slow down around school. Although the biggest reason I didn't get as much work done as I should have last week was because I got a pretty bad something or another, and had a fluctuating fever for three days. It's better now, but I'm still recovering. I hate being sick, especially with how warm it was in Calgary last week. But at least it was before classes start.

Speaking of which, I start on Tuesday, and I'm nervously excited about it all. I'm working on my honours' reading right now; I have to have 10 pages, and a revised proposal, written by the 30th! I already have ideas brewing in my head as to what I'm going to say, but I probably should be worrying that I haven't actually read my primary texts yet, just the sources I selected surrounding them. Oh well...It's not like there's any specific sources that say, "Yes, there are Gothic tendencies in young adult fairy tales"; the only thing that comes close to saying this is The Gothic in Children's Literature, which only came out in 2007: 

And I'm almost willing to bet that the biggest push for this was Harry Potter. Seems like there's a lot going on in this book about Harry Potter. Which is fine by me. I may eventually even go there myself. 

In some ways, not having previous scholarship on the subject makes it easier (I don't have to worry that I sound like I'm copying someone), but it also makes it difficult because you can't say "xyz said in ABC that "Beauty and the Beast" contains Gothic tendencies, and that is what I'm building from". Oh well. It also made me scratch my head for awhile, trying to figure out the best approach for my research. Am I focussing more on the fairy tale, or the Gothic constructs? My supervisor was awesome with helping me with my proposal, so I'm focusing on the Gothic, with some fairy tale research to fill in the gaps. 

And lots of reading will occur! Yay for senior level courses, and my honours seminar in which 40 pages is due by April. 

But I'm excited. 

And it'll also be the MA applications this year.

But I'm excited.

(Really, I am.)

Other than that, just getting over this ridiculous sickness, and then life will be good.

Even with all the reading! :) 

By the way, also in the process right now is a chunky yarn baby hat, which I'm really enjoying knitting, because it's super soft and squishy! I can't wait to get it a little bit more finished, and then I'll post pictures. Once I finish this scarf. 

Oooh, and this morning, one of my barettes was put into a curated list by another Etsian! Here's the link:

So happy!

Also, finished reading The Help, which I found really interesting. However, it felt like one of those books that I kept having to tuck away; like it's not something that I could read out in public. Which is kind of ridiculous, but interesting. However, this led to me watching "Gone with the Wind" (Which definitely made me uncomfortable at points), and now I'm reading Gone with the Wind in my "spare" (i.e. not school) reading time. We'll see how this goes. It'll probably take me until April to finish it! 

Take care, everyone. For everyone going back to school (or already finished their first week), good luck!

Katie =^..^=

P.S. I remember September 11, 2001. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Crafting Space

On the Needles: Orange scarf, double knit scarf, and black "boa" scarf.

Other crafting in progress: more hair accessories! (Clips and bobby pins)

So, yes, above is what I'm working on now. Yes, I have three different knitting items on the go. But that's so I don't get bored! The orange scarf and the "boa" scarf won't take too long...But the double knit (dk) scarf will take a bit, because I haven't double knit before...And I have to figure out how to put letters into it, too! haha

The bobby pins and clips are some of those filler items, but they're fast and fun, which is what I like about them! And speaking of fun and fast, I was actually able to start and complete something today! It's a choker, which I just posted here:

But here's a teaser picture:

And that is a TAZO tea box lid I'm using as a background. Isn't it awesome? I got it from one of my coworkers yesterday. 

I also updated all the shipping costs and added international destinations!

And, to give you a peek into the whole process, here's a few pictures of my workspace this afternoon:

I was working in the living room today, on the coffee table, because it stays the comfiest the longest. By the way, that's an empty Kirin Milk Tea bottle (yay TNT Supermarket and their selection of Japanese drinks!). Ummm...And the circular pen case is from the Ghibli museum in Tokyo; it has a 2010 Minnie Mouse/Year of the Tiger cell phone charm on it from Tokyo Disneyland! hehe

This is my yarn basket; there's the orange scarf in it's original form. I found these plastic yarn socks yesterday, which I think will be really useful, since it should help keep my yarn from getting tangled! 

And the other set of craft supplies; those flowers are what I'm going to work with for the hair accessories. And there's the black boa. The dark and light blue yarn are going to be used in another project that I'm developing. 

So, now that you've seen the mess that I work in, you can see how my creative process works a bit better. And this is actually pretty organized; it won't be like this for every long, unfortunately...haha

Besides that, I almost came home with a kitten today. Almost. It was really hard to resist the temptation. But I know that I have to wait until at least one more year. I want to be around more when my boyfriend and I get a kitten...And really we can't afford one right now. Soon, though. Ume (the beta fish) will be good for now!

And not much else. I'm finished work at the gas plant for the summer, and I have this weekend off, which will be nice, and then it's back to the university bookstore next week. But I see that I'm only work half days, so that means I can come home and craft more...And read more for my honours project. I have a 10 page paper due by the end of September already! But I'm excited. I've already started writing the paper in my head, so it will translate to paper well.

Until next time!

Katie =^..^=