Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Big Ball of Wibbley-Wobbley, Timey-Wimey Stuff

This post includes SPOILERS for those who are years behind in watching Dr Who. Read that as if River Song were singing out in reply to your need for answers. She knows a lot of the answers.

My skein from this installment of the Mean Girls Yarn Club came in the mail today. It scared me really bad.

OK, not at first. I always look at the skein, feel it, try to see if it's telling me what it wants to be at first sight. Usually, it doesn't, but it's a habit when you pick up a new skein to see if there's a message there.

@wearingpurple
First thing I did notice was how soft it was. Next came the colors, because it was hard to believe I was sent a skein of my two favorite colors. If your acquainted with me, you know my screen name is wearingpurple almost everywhere, so you would have easily guessed one of my favorite colors. I love to wear purple and my favorite color to look at is green, and the two colors primarily in this skein is a pale lavender and an nearly olive green.

Then I looked at the info card that came with it: This skein is inspired by Dr Who's 'Weeping Angels', villains so awful the Doctor himself says they are 'the deadliest, most powerful, most malevolent life-form ever produced'. Scary Mean Girls!


Here is where I have to admit, I've not seen all the Dr Who episodes the Weeping Angels appear in, which is six, unless you count the two part episode as two which would make seven total. They first appeared in 'Blink' with the Tenth Doctor, portrayed by David Tennant. Blinking is not the thing you want to do, so easy a defense but impossible not to do, because when you're not watching, that's when these creatures, which resemble the figures in old cemeteries, can get you. If you're looking at them, they are still as stone, but if you turn away, close your eyes to concentrate or even merely involuntarily blink, that's when the Angels move and you're a goner.

The episode that really chilled me was 'The Angels Take Manhattan'. In this episode, it's revealed that when the Angels catch you, they can send you back in time. One of the characters actually meets himself as an old man. The scary part for me was the discovery that The Statue of Liberty is actually a weeping angel. Hard to see that peaceful, beloved face transformed into a menace!

"Fascinating race, the Weeping Angels. The only psychopaths in the universe to kill you nicely. No mess, no fuss, they just zap you into the past and let you live to death. The rest of your life used up and blown away in the blink of an eye. You die in the past, and in the present they consume the energy of all the days you might have had, all your stolen moments. They're creatures of the abstract. They live off potential energy."

I have not seen the other episodes they appear in. From what I can tell, though, the other episodes where the Weeping Angels appear is very limited, fairly considered cameos.

It's interesting to note the concept of Weeping Angels is based on a childhood game called Statues, or as it was called when I was in grade school, Red Light/Green Light, where the person who is "It" is at one end of the playing field, calls out to the crowd at the other end 'Green Light' and they run as fast as they can until It says 'Red Light'. If anyone in the crowd is caught moving after that moment, they have to go back to the beginning. In some regions, and apparently this was the case at Dr Who's writer Russell T Davies' childhood playground, the game is also known as Grandmother's Footsteps where you are trying to sneak up on "Granny" who stays as still as a statue. Get it?

@Rebecca Connor (ItGirl in Ravelry)
I take small comfort in recent surveys that show the Weeping Angels top the charts of worst monsters, above Daleks who have long since ruled the Dr Who lists, but also Neil Gaiman's list of baddies, posted by Entertainment Weekly in 2008. His list included Hannibal Lechter, Swamp Thing, Grendel of Beowolf and the clown Pennywise from Stephen King's 'It'.

I am not alone, in the dark, with the willies!

Exclusive pattern available to participants in MGYC

"Weeping Angels. Often called the scariest Doctor Who villains ever. Wear these cable-cuffed fingerless mitts when dealing with these mean girls and remember, don't blink." 
The pattern looks simple with just enough detail to keep them interesting, making this pattern match the yarn perfectly. How long will it take you to get underway?

INSTALLMENT CONTENTS:

@wearingpurple
Skein of yarn hand-dyed by Dizzy Blonde Studies for the Mean Girls' Yarn Club, Angel Stitch Marker (see picture) & nom is a candy sucker, cinnamon and brandy flavored, inspired by the Dr Who quote, "Life is short, and you are hot".

Yarn Specifications:
Mean Girls' Yarn Club, Episode VII: The Final Frontier "Touched by an Angel", the colorway is a vintage blend of lavender & olive, closely resembling stone figurines in near-darkness with moss accents.
100% Merino Wool, Superwash DK
Approximate 280 yds/256 meters, 4 oz/115 grams
Gauge: 5-6 spi on US #4 - 6
Machine Washable, Lay Flat to Dry

Pattern Recommendations:
Crochet
Summer Triangle Cowl by Sew Lovely Crochet
Wisteria Leg Warmers (crochet version) by Melody Rogers
Buttoned Emma Hat by Chandi Agee
Knitting
Highway 29 Halter by Jenjoyce Designs
Mermaid Shawlette by Natalie Lower
Little Daisy Skirt by Kairi Aksnes
Electric by Knitarelli Patterns
Cengkeh Beanie by Amelia Putri

~Written very late at night, pardon the blurry edges, by Tammy Burke, a nobody you may recognize as a terrible giggler from the Fiber Hooligan podcast that ended last year, currently assisting the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird, and sharing every funny and interesting thing she can about knitting, crochet or just yarn in general in her own Facebook Group, Pursuit of Happy Knits. Once upon a time she was interviewed for being herself by the Knotty Girls. She considers herself just a fan of Dizzy Blonde Studios and loves getting to show her appreciation with properly spelled adjectives and way too many commas. The above article was written with love and ability to do research, without much knowledge but with aim toward that which is fun.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Resistance is Futile

I received a shipment a couple of weeks ago, admitting that because I've been enjoying researching the subject, too much.

The theme is "Simply Irresistible", and the Mean Girl in this one is.... The Borg Queen from Star Trek. Well, let me qualify that a little bit. The Star Trek that we knew from 1987 until about 2005. The most recent movies are rewriting what we knew before, so we'll have to see what the Borg are up in a new alternate universe.

She first appears in the movie Star Trek: Next Generation First Contact. The plot was that Captain Picard and crew follow Borg through a time shift and end up at earth, in their past, just prior to Zefram Cochrane making first contact with alien visitors to earth. Borg take over the engineering department of Enterprise-E, and as Picard and Data make their way into that area, a fleshy torso is lowered from the ceiling and connected with a cyber, robotic body, or cyborg.

She's never actually given a name in the movie's dialog. Common with the apiary theme previously given to this menace, like 'the Hive' or 'Drone', she may have been dubbed in the credits the Borg Queen continuing that in a similar vein. It's thought that when the Borg encounters call for a one-on-one confrontations, she was brought out to communicate on behalf of the Borg.

Portrayed by Alice Krige who's had her share of Mean Girls roles, such as Bathsheba in 1995 King David, Mary Shelley (authoress of Frankenstein) in 1988 Haunted Summer, the mean mother of Natalie Wood in 2004 The Mystery of Natalie Wood, and Joan Collins in 2005 Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure. Just those few roles gives me an easy idea that she knows how to portray a domineering, seductress of the aggressively manipulative variety.

Alice Krige as the Borg Queen
And manipulate she did. She detains Data in the engineering department, offering him a chance at humanity (how completely un-Borg-like of her! Isn't it usually the other way around, taking fleshy beings and making them machines?) if he would join the Borg. In one scene, she gives him a patch of skin on his right forearm, which at first seems unimpressive, but when she purses her lips and blows across that bit of skin, the sensation is.... well, 'orgasmic' for someone who's never experienced it before. Very seductive.

Borg Queen: Are you familiar with physical forms of pleasure?
Lieutenant Commander Data: If you are referring to sexuality, I am... fully functional, programmed in... multiple techniques.
Borg Queen: How long since you've used them?
Lieutenant Commander Data: Eight years, seven months, sixteen days, four minutes, twenty-two...
Borg Queen: Far too long.

Apparently, she was not as 'HOT' as she thought she was, as he was the one that was instrumental in destroying her and the bit of humanity she'd given him, by flooding engineering with plasma, destroying all the Borg remaining on the Starship.

Susana Thompson appeared
as the Borg Queen in the
Star Trek Voyager series.
The Borg Queen appears again, in Star Trek: Voyager, although portrayed by another actress Susanna Thompson (who is currently a regular cast member on The Arrow). Then another Borg Queen portrayed by Alice Krige returns in the final episodes of Star Trek Voyager. In an interview with The Trek Nation, Ms. Krige said about the Voyager finale episodes. 'a couple of nights before we started filming, it suddenly dawned on me that First Contact had been the Borg Queen with two men, that she used sexuality as a means of manipulation, and I called the producer and I said, 'This is two women. It's going to change, it's going to shift the energy, will it work?' And he said, 'Think of her as omnisexual.' And I thought, 'Oh! Okay!'

Like a lot of Mean Girls, The Borg Queen uses her sexuality, her femininity, to manipulate, which doesn't, in the end, help her except to add her to our special list of honorees. So, knit away, members of the Mean Girls Yarn Club, commemorate the Sexy Borg, seemingly all powerful and deadly as a disturbed hive of bees.

The colors of the skein we received is a black and bronze mixture, with a deep blood red thrown in. When I look at this mixture, the darkness and coldness of space and maybe the silence. The red, the way it's mixed into the darkness, reminds me of the iron that mixes with our soil on earth, the determined mineral that as a metal has an unbending will and has been used to reshape destinies. I can only imagine that a project knit with it will be Simply Irresistible.

Installment contents:

Mean Girls Yarn Club Episode VII: The Final Frontier "Simply Irresistible"
100% Merino Wool Superwash Sock, approx. 560 yards/512 meters
4 oz./115 gm 2 ply, Gauge: 6-8 spi on US #1-3

Care Instructions: Machine Washable, Lay Flat to Dry

This shipment included Wildflower honey Sticks that closely resemble how a Borg might receive nutritional supplements, stitch stoppers with and the Borg insignia 'Claw' created by Jelby (jelby.etsy.com) and a color coordinated stitch marker with metallic red & olive beads that may represent the Human and Cyborg fluids and a jet black faceted to represent the metallic workings.

Pattern Recommendations: (Links to Ravelry)

Knitting:
Crochet:
~Written very late at night, pardon the blurry edges, by Tammy Burke, a nobody you may recognize as a terrible giggler from the Fiber Hooligan podcast that ended last year, currently assisting the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird, and sharing every funny and interesting thing she can about knitting, crochet or just yarn in general in her own Facebook Group, Pursuit of Happy Knits. Once upon a time she was interviewed for being herself by the Knotty Girls. She considers herself just a fan of Dizzy Blonde Studios and loves getting to show her appreciation with properly spelled adjectives and way too many commas. The above article was written with love and ability to do research, without much knowledge but with aim toward that which is fun.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Gingers and Suckers

I have received the second installment of Episode 7, The Final Frontier of the Mean Girls Yarn Club. And I've decided not to let the yarn speak to me this time but have cast on a pair of socks ~ more on that in a minute.

The first impressions on seeing the colorway was orange. I had a taste of those orange slices or the creamsicles, the taste of the mixture of vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet was an immediate sense in my head (so clear that my mouth began to water) and then I saw the character that inspired those colors and that feeling melted away.

From the Science Fiction television series: Serenity, it's Saffron, or Bridget or Yolanda or... I suppose it depends on which of her targets you currently feel for, as she first appeared on the good ship Firefly as a stow-away and claimed to have been married to Cap'n Mal the night before. I never really felt that was proven, in spite of Shepherd's verifying the local marriage rites, wherein a woman places a crown of flowers on her chosen one's head and his sipping from her cup of wine. I'm sure if that could be true, there was a lot more marriages in the sixties than anyone could possibly know.

Let's stick with her identity as Saffron. Unlike, most characters not crew on the show, she appears in two episodes of the 14 in the series. In the first of the two, as we said, she claimed to be married to Mal, and nearly succeeds in getting Firefly and crew captured or worse. Her second appearance first divides Mal from a war buddy (another husband), then convinces him and the crew to attempt to steal an artifact from yet another husband.

Inara recognises Saffron has had training as a companion and with as many known marks in her limited appearances on the show, it seems apparent that it was by those skills that she was so successful.
@Tammy Burke/wearingpurple

Quote: But, face it Hubby, I'm really hot.

The color of the skein really reflects this character. Mostly adorned in peasant or gypsy styled clothing of peachy calico, and deep orange-red, perhaps a little of the gemstone carnelian thrown in, Dizzy Blonde Studios has really captured this ginger villainess in a tasty skein.

Even working with it continues that perception, as, when knit, it creates a soft fabric with a slight 'smooshiness' ~ not a lot, just enough to be comfortable, as Saffron's character tried initially to portray herself. As I said, I wound the skein into a ball and cast on a pair of socks the first evening I had it in my possession, toe-up vanilla socks. The yarn has just the right twist to have good stitch definition and works up easily.

@Aimee Abernathy

Installment EXTRA: Misbehavin' Pattern, Boot Toppers by Aimee Abernathy

Created JUST FOR this installment of the MGYC, 'Misbehavin' boot toppers feature a sly optional pouch for your poisoned lip balm, money, ID or other important documents, maybe a folding pocket stiletto knife, or merely your favorite tube if "Goodnight Kiss" lipstick. The pattern is currently only available to the Mean Girls Yarn Club participants, everyone else will be able to get it, Nov. 1st, 2016




Installment Contents: 'Was It Good For You, Too?'

100% Merino Wool Superwash Wool DK
Approx. 280 yds/256 m.
4 oz/115 gms
Gauge: 5-6 spi on US #4-6

Machine washable, lay flat to dry.

Package included a ginger-orange brandy homemade sucker as an homage to those Saffron has taken advantage of and a stitch marker that matches the yarn.

Pattern Recommendations (Links to Ravelry)

Knit:
Eliana Shawl by Petra Breakstone
The Twist by Jackie McAvoy
Inez Cloche by Toby Roxane Barna
Burning Down the House Mitts by Afifa
Lakorra by Georgia Nicholson

Crochet:
Clive's Jumper by Gillian Buckerfield
Madly in Love Mitts by Tamara Kelly
Peekaboo Chevron Cowl by Jill Chapman

@Tammy Burke/wearingpurple
Here are my socks, now complete. As I said, I cast on as soon as I had the skien unwrapped, mostly so as not to let it contaminate the rest of my stash. Can't wait to see your completed projects with this skein, I will be watching in Ravelry.


~Written very late at night, pardon the blurry edges, by Tammy Burke, a nobody you may recognize as a terrible giggler from the Fiber Hooligan podcast that ended last year, currently assisting the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird, and sharing every funny and interesting thing she can about knitting, crochet or just yarn in general in her own Facebook Group, Pursuit of Happy Knits. Once upon a time she was interviewed for being herself by the Knotty Girls. She considers herself just a fan of Dizzy Blonde Studios and loves getting to show her appreciation with properly spelled adjectives and way too many commas. The above article was written with love and ability to do research, without much knowledge but with aim toward that which is fun.