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.

Monday, February 15, 2016

I Want Candy!

Received my first installment of Dizzy Blonde Studios Mean Girls Yarn Club.

Please be warned, there may be spoilers in the following article for those who have not yet seen 'Guardians of the Galaxy'. We don't know any of those people, do we?

OK, I'm going to be totally honest, I've never participated in a yarn club before. And, as they are generally kept secret, so as to be a entertaining surprise for the participants, there was not a lot to learn before hand.

When I first opened the package, I was struck by the brilliant color of the skein, a mix of carnation pinks and sky blues. My very first thought before looking at any of the accompanying materials was the blue and pink colors Pantone picked for spring (think the baby blue and pink of the 80's), but getting under a better light this is much brighter and more fun!

Then, I looked through the package for insights on the colors Dizzy Blonde has chosen for this skein and found the lovely NOM, the cute lotion bar and the card with pattern suggestions, which I immediately logged into Ravelry to check out, but I neglected to turn the card OVER to see that the character inspiration was 'Nebula', from Marvel Comics and a character featured in 'Guardians of the Galaxy', the 2014 movie. It wasn't until I'd messaged Laura and found out that it wasn't a CHARACTER named 'Candy Ass'. (I don't recommend Googling that, btw, but I did find that there is a band with that name that released an album about 20 years ago and one of the songs was titled 'Stitches' which IS TOTALLY appropriate for a yarn, but a whole different story, so let's just skip that for now....)

From Marvel's 1990 cover artwork, you can
see the blue and pink of her costume, which
Dizzy Blonde Studios emulates in this
Mean Girls Yarn Club installment. 
Nebula first appeared in Marvel comic books in 1985 as the granddaughter of Thanos, who had adopted Gamora, (first appearing in the comics ten years earlier) as his daughter. Lots of family dynamics there, plus Nebula is part cyborg, having been nearly killed by Thanos and stealing a gauntlet from him that would enable the wearer to hold the Infinity Gems, which restored her health. Her cyborg parts give her lasers from her wrists, the ability to change/disguise her appearance, lots of power... you know, all the great comic book attributes. She fought the Avengers, too, which maybe something to look forward to in the Marvel Universe to come.

For the movie, Karen Gillan played Nebula (we all remember her as Amy Pond in the 'Doctor Who' series), who studied Spartans for the role and really did shave off all those lovely red locks for the part. Kudos to her for the daily 4.5 hours in the makeup chair, also. She and Zoe Saldana also gave physical meaning to 'Sibling Rivalry' in the fight scene between Nebula and Gamora, as each chose opposing sides. The Infinity Stones, Nebula's being part cyborg and a bit of rearranging in the Thanos family tree were all kept from the comic books as part of her character description for the plot in the movie. Don't want to give anything away, (*SPOILERS*) but Nebula escapes, and is not referred to again, so she COULD very well turn up in a future movie plot.

To quote Nebulla from another appearance, in a 2011 cartoon and voiced by Jane Lynch: I haven't had a mouth for two months, so I'm gonna stay right here and keep eating pie until it comes outta my ears. I can just hear her saying that to the 'Candy Ass' sidekicks beside her. I hope using these images can be pardoned, but really wanted to give you a sense of the Villainess that is Nebula, her alien origins, her powerfulness and why she makes such a great candidate for Mean Girls Yarn Club, Episode 7.

You may be asking, what will I be using my skein to create? It has a little bit of shine to it (from the merino) and a twist that appears will make it drapey, so I haven't really decided. I tend to be slow about picking projects, letting the yarn speak to me for a while, but my first thought was gauntlets, or crocheted fingerless gloves. Must swatch to be sure....

~ Info about this Yarn ~
Mean Girls Yarn Club, Episode 7, The Final Frontier: Candy Ass, "Nebula", character-inspired, from 'Guardians of the Galaxy'. It's a 100% Merino Wool, Superwash Socks. Approx. 560 yds/512m. Guage: 6-8 spi on US #1-3. (Machine Washable, Lay Flat to dry)



Pattern Recommendations (links to Ravelry):

FOR THE KNITTERS:
Diablesse, by Christiane Gaudreau
Cherry Chip Dress, by Taiga Hilliard Designs
Gildas, by Louisa Harding
Sand and Sea Socks, by Stephanie Carrico
Snell's Shell, by Kristen Schaeffer
Bordeaux Wine Cozy, by Elizabeth Greenfield

FOR THE CROCHETERS:
Stars in Heaven Shawl, by Robin Abdullah
Starlet Yoga Socks, by Lisa Soutendijk
Lovestruck Leggies, by April Garwood




There's alway something special tossed in.  The nom is blue raspberry and comes from the cauldron....errr....that is KITCHEN of the Queen of Mean herself. Also included is a hand-made blue crystal stitch marker, a custom lotion bar whose sent is exclusive to the MGYC from Kamalei's Naturals, Infinity (like those darn Infinity Stones) the scent, inspired by Groot's sacrifice, is mystical and woodsy. More by Kamalei's Naturals can be found online at her etsy shop.


~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.