Princess Bride - the Mittens
When I first paged through my copy of Knitting On Top of the World by Nicky Epstein (the beloved knitwear designer and my new BFF!!!), the first project that really caught my eye was these mittens. I'm not sure why; maybe it's because here in Minnesota, mittens are a necessity for at least half the year (OK, I'm exaggerating, but not by much!)
As these are knitted in fair isle, the extra thickness of the yarn carried behind the stitches will give them extra thickness and cozy warmth. (Not to mention, they will certainly lend a new degree of elegance to events such as taking the dachshunds for a walk!)
Even my sister Susan is going to make these glorious mittens, and she lives in the San Francisco area, where there is not, in fact, much snow. Or any snow at all. Although, to be fair, Susan will encounter some very cold weather when she visits her son Eric, who just started college at Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
May I just mention that Worcester, Massachusetts, is not very far at all from Northampton, Massachusetts, the home of Webs. www.yarn.com??? I'm guessing she might have to make time for a little side trip, and bring an empty suitcase to fill with yarn! I think I may need to visit my nephew soon, being a good and loving aunt and all ;)
(Oh yeah, my yarn needs for the next 4 years are sort of handled already... ahem.)
Another thing that made these mittens really special for me, besides their lovely pattern and ruffle and overall charm, is that they are made in my one of my all-time favorite color schemes (remember my bouquet from about 10 posts ago?)
See what I mean? My favorite colors, EXACTLY (no wonder this bouquet caught my eye!)
I just couldn't help but decide to make these in the original yarns, Filatura di Crosa's Maxime and New Smoking. If you would like to make these mittens and are having trouble finding the yarn at your LYS, my heroine Nancy Lulli at Royal Yarns can set you up with the yarn you'll need to make your pair identical to the mittens in the book - www.royalyarns.com. I was able to find so many of the yarns for projects in KOTOTW at Royal Yarns, and Nancy offers impeccable service, great pricing, and free shipping for orders over $100.00!
But the final reason I find these mittens irresistible, is that they share the name of one of my favorite movies of all time, The Princess Bride, which came out in 1987. I remember watching this movie again and again once it came out on VHS video (yes, prior to the days of the DVD!), until I could recite portions of it from heart! I loved the humor, the romance, the costumes, the story... so many favorite actors, so many lines that still crack me up to this day ("That word... I do not think it means what you think it means..." the six-fingered man... the ROUS's (rodents of unusual size) that inhabited the Fire Swamp; "Good luck storming the castle! . . . that beautiful, filigreed silver crown Robin Wright Penn wears with that pale blue gown...) sigh.
This movie is also special to me, because it played a small but crucial part in my own life story. When I went to law school in California, one of my best friends was Robert Ward (or "Wardo"), who showed up three days late, in army fatigues, because his commander thought it would be a good joke to send him on field maneuvers just to make him late to law school.
Wardo was a gifted raconteur, and told great stories about his army days. His best friend in the army had been a guy named Alex. For three years of law school, I heard stories about the famed Alex, and his escapades, his inability to resist a dare, his unflappable nature; but I didn't meet the man himself until the very last day of law school, when I walked out of my final exam and met him at a party being thrown by alumni for graduating students. He was deeply tanned (from Desert Storm), had blue eyes, and was shy and seemed really sweet. I immediately had a crush on him, but alas, he was married.
Fast forward 6 months. It is New Year's Eve, 1992 - I'm throwing a bachelor's party in my apartment for Wardo, who is getting married to Melissa on New Year's Day.
I jumped out of the cake - and there was Alex!
Actually, I was helping a friend pour champagne into flutes, preparing for the traditional toast to the New Year, and in walked Alex! (Wardo, before he became too inebriated to speak clearly, whispered in my ear that Alex's divorce was final in 2 days...)
So, even though Alex was stationed in Kansas, and I was working in San Francisco at that time, I was desperate to figure out some way to get him to notice me, some excuse for him to have to contact me again.
We started discussing movies, which led me to mention The Princess Bride, and he said he LOVED that movie! I realized that I had a copy of the book by William Goldman, found it and offered to lend it to him; the story in the book is a bit different than the movie, but equally wonderful. Alex promised he would mail it back, and we exchanged phone numbers... and to make a long story short, we eventually we got married, and had our wonderful son, Nathan.
Alex and I are no longer married; life doesn't always work out "happily ever after," but we do have one of the most congenial divorces I've ever seen. We get along pretty well, live near to each other so that our son can go back and forth between our houses easily, and do our best to raise our boy together.
That is just what life is like; never what you expected, but sometimes better, in a way. When I look at my Nathan, and all he has brought to my life, I say a little prayer of thanks to The Princess Bride, and William Goldman.
So, since this movie brought some wonderful things into my life... without further ado, it is time for --
Are you ready? I am giving away two (2) copies of the movie, The Princess Bride, (new, unopened DVD's), so this giveaway will have two winners. To be eligible to win, all you have to do to enter this contest, is to make a comment to this blog in which you answer the question:
I am a huge movie (and book) buff; I give you fair warning that not ALL the giveaway questions, or giveaways themselves, are going to be yarny, or even yarn-related! Like Leslie Gore sang in the 60's, "It's my bloggie, I can cry if I want to, cry if I want to, do-giveaways-for-things-other-than-yarn if I want to, ..." (OK, I may have gotten the words wrong somewhere in there. . .)
I will take all comments that come in between now and midnight Central Standard Time on Friday, October 9, 2009, number them in order, and then use a random number generator to pick two separate winners, each of whom will win a Princess Bride DVD of their very own, to watch while knitting, or whenever.
(I must admit, the Princess Bride mittens might be a bit complicated to knit while watching a movie; I can do plain knitting without looking, but fair isle requires some serious concentration!)
I hope to get a lot of entries - it will be interesting to see what your favorite rom-com films are!
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OK, here is what is up with the rest of my knit-filled life:
See, I Really DID Run in a Marathon!
One week and two posts ago, I told you about the "Women Run the Cities" marathon I was in last Sunday, September 27. I thought you might like to see photographic evidence that in fact, I actually did take part!
I wasn't aware that a photographer was charged with taking pictures of all of the entrants - maybe I would have at least tried to look like I was moving. I walked the 5K, and I wasn't exactly cruising along with blinding speed. My sister Susan noted my thrilled expression (not unreflective of my usual attitude toward exercise), and my sister Jenny noted that my hands were in the knitting position (although I wasn't actually knitting, I was fiddling with my iPod.)
However, Jenny's comment gave Renay the brilliant idea that next year, my knitting group, the "Twin Cities Knitties," could actually ALL walk and knit together! We could wear matching T-shirts, and get those little hip bags to hold our yarn, and wear matching knitted headbands... ooooh the sheer geeky knittiness of it all!
If this happens, I betcha I'll be smiling in next year's photo!
October 2 - First Thursday Knitting Night With the Twin Cities Knitties
My knitting group managed to meet on our traditional first Thursday of the month; there doesn't ever seem to be a night when we all can make it, but we try to find a night when a majority of us can. The months are flipping by so fast lately, that this one sort of sprung up on me.
I showed off Maddie's little lavender ensemble (see last post), and here's what everyone else is working on:
Renay showed us a beautiful shawl she'd just completed, which looked amazingly right with her green top; in front of her is yet another stack of chemo hats for a project I'll tell you all about really soon.
Kristen, our newbie just-learned-how-to knitter is modelling her beautiful garter stitch scarf. It is hard to see in this photo, but the blue really sets off her eyes. Note the rainy windows -- we had a big rainstorm that night, but it didn't dissuade us from a cozy night of knitting in our usual Starbuck's.
Ann of the beautiful smile is working on a really cute baby hat from a Dale of Norway pattern; it will be finished on top with a T-shaped seam, with little pom-poms at each point.
Unfortunately, I caught Kim mid-blink, but I did manage to catch her new Knit Picks Harmony Wood Options wooden interchangeable needle set. I work with Kim's husband, John, so she had me innocently drop him a "hint" email that she really, really wanted these needles for her birthday (I gave him the website link and everything). John asked Kim asked her the day before her birthday, "You don't still want those needles, do you?"
To which she replied, "Yes, I do."
He said, "Well, I won't be able to get them here that quickly."
To which she replied, "Yes, you will, if you have them sent overnight."
Which he did!
Therefore, John wins the prize for "Twin Cities Knitties Wonder-Husband of the Month!"
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Have a great week, everybody! Don't forget to send me a comment and let me know what your favorite romantic comedy is!