July 1st, 2009

The Librarian

Arachknitopia! (and a really good movie)

My copies of Barbara G. Walker's Charted Knitting Designs : a Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns and A Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns arrived yesterday, so now I own the complete 4-volume set. These aren't books of garment-making patterns, but THE compilation of every knitting stitch design in existence, many with variations, and detailed instructions on how to produce them (there are only 2 stitches in knitting ... the knit and the purl ... every design from lace to cables to the plain stockinette on your socks is all a matter of combining them in different ways and that's what these books are all about)

Flipping through volume three this morning and have decided that I really REALLY need THIS on the back or sleeve of a sweater one day! Or ***looks at stitch count and recalculates for yarn size*** crawling up the outside of a sock ...
(photo is from a site dedicated to producing a sample of every one of the well over 1,000 designs contained in the four Walker volumes ... if you want to see what really amazing things can be done with 2 sticks and some string, this is the place to browse)

But first, this morning, back to the chocolate socks. Probably combined with re-watching Elia Kazan's Panic in the Streets, a gripping film noir I hadn't seen in nearly two decades, but found sitting on a shop shelf in bargain-priced DVD form last week. Just as edge-of-your-seat good as I'd remembered, though I'd recalled star Richard Widmark and the story** while forgetting which amazing supporting actors were involved ... Jack Palance (his first movie and one helluva performance) and Zero Mostel (yes, Zero in a film noir ... and he's perfect!). And all filmed on location in New Orleans, with nary a constructed set. (has a commentary track too, but the two "experts" are so busy trying to out-intellectual each other that they completely miss comprehending a couple of key points in the film ... not worth listening to a second time, IMO).

**The story: a routine autopsy on a John Doe murder victim results in the discovery that he was well-advanced with the pneumonic form of bubonic plague ... he was already close to death when he was shot. A public health doctor and the police have a 48-hour window to identify the victim, his killer(s) and all their contacts before news of the disease is made public ... success means avoiding both lethal epidemic and widespread panic that could lead to fleeing citizens taking the infection across the country. Not as fantastic a storyline as it might seem ... there had been an outbreak of the regular rat/flea-borne form of bubonic plague in Los Angeles only two decades before this film was made.