Monday, February 26, 2018

The Princess Diarest Audiobook: A Short Review

Some books can be read on paper or as an audiobook, others are just soooo muchhhhh betttter as an audiobook. The Princess Diarest by Carrie Fisher one is one of those books. (See also: Lauren Graham reading her book Talking as Fast as I Can.)

Carrie’s undeniably unique voice was such a light and refreshing break from everything happening in the world right now, and I needed it. I needed to hear her acceptance of her own flaws and her strength in overcoming so many hurdles in her life. I needed her sense of humor.

Carrie Fisher is the cheerleader we all need in our lives. I’m so glad this audiobook came to me and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a comical, someone insane break from the insanity.

Next I’m reading:

Wishful Drinking
Empire Falls


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Goddess Dishcloth Pattern

Goddess dishcloths

I have knit this pattern three times now, with slightly different borders on each. This version came out 11” wide and 10” tall. I used size 8 needles and Lily Sugar & Cream cotton yarn.

Don’t forget to share your creations with the hashtag #KatrinaDesigns so I can see your beautiful work!

The Pattern:

Cast on 45 stitches
Row 1-5 – K1, P1 to end
Row 6 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K37, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 7 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P35, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 8 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K37, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 9 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P35, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 10 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K15, P7, K15, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 11 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P13, K9, P13, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 12 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K13, P11, K13, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 13 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P11, K13, P11, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 14 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K11, P15, K11, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 15 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P9, K17, P9, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 16 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K10, P17, K10, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 17 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P9, K17, P9, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 18 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K10, P17, K10, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 19 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P9, K17, P9, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 20 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K10, P17, K10, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 21 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P9, K17, P9, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 22 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K11, P15, K11, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 23 - K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P11, K13, P11, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 24 - K1, P1, K1, P1, K13, P11, K13, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 25 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P12, K11, P12, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 26 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K14, P9, K14, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 27 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P14, K7, P14, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 28 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K15, P7, K15, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 29 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P15, K5, P15, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 30 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K16, P5, K16, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 31 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P15, K5, P15, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 32 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K16, P5, K16, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 33 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P15, K5, P15, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 34 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K16, P5, K16, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 35 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P14, K7, P14, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 36 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K14, P9, K14, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 37 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P13, K9, P13, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 38 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K13, P3, K1, P3, K1, P3, K13, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 39 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P11, K2, P3, K3, P3, K2, P11, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 40 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K11, P2, K3, P5, K3, P2, K11, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 41 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P9, K2, P3, K7, P3, K2, P9, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 42 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K9, P2, K4, P7, K4, P2, K9, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 43 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P8, K2, P4, K7, P4, K2, P8, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 44 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K9, P2, K5, P5, K5, P2, K9, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 45 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P8, K2, P6, K3, P6, K2, P8, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 46 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K9, P2, K15, P2, K9, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 47 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P8, K2, P15, K2, P8, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 48 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K9, P2, K15, P2, K9, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 49 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P9, K2, P13, K2, P9, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 50 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K11, P2, K11, P2, K11, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 51 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P11, K3, P7, K3, P11, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 52 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K37, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 53 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P35, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 54 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K37, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 55 – K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P35, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 56-60 – K1, P1 to end


BO


Monday, January 22, 2018

Rebel Alliance Hat

This design is free for your use. I don't own the rebel alliance logo, obviously, so I’m not going to try to make money off of it. I just think we should all be rebels and we should all have rebel hats! Plus, Long Live General Leia.

Please use the hashtag #KatrinaDesigns if you post your work on social networking so I can see what you create.

This hat fits most adults.

I used 16 inch circular needles in size 13, 9.0mm. I switched to double-pointed needles in the same size for the crown.

I used Patons Classic Wool Roving Yarn for my hats.
Color A – Dark Grey
Color B – Plum

Any chunky yarn would work. Adjust your pattern for your head size and your yarn if need be. For instance, I've also made a baby hat with this pattern, using a smaller yarn and casting on 56 to start. With the baby hat I repeated the chart 4 times. It just required some math. (Yuck. Math.) (Seriously, though, email me. I’ll help you adjust the pattern.)  

CO 44 st in Color A – Join in the round
(K1, P1) for rows 1-5 (I’ve done a few hats with different ribbing in this design, but the one with this ribbing I felt looked the nicest.) 
Row 6 – K11, M1, K11, M1, K11, M1, K11, M1,
Rows 7 - 9 Knit 
Rows 10-22 Knit 3 in Color A, Knit Chart, repeat three times

Note: Make sure to keep a close eye on the tension while knitting this part of this hat. Because the sections of Color B are so wide, it's easy to end up with either super long ladders, or stitches too tight to fit around the head afterward. Test it as you go, if need be.

After knitting the full chart cut and tie off Color B. The crown is in Color A.

Knit in Color A for five rows.

Hat should measure about 7 inches at this point. If it doesn't yet, knit a few more rows until it does.

This is my method for the crown:

I put 4 stitch markers evenly distributed around the hat. The first one is usually in a different color so I can still keep track of my rounds. Then, as I knit around, I knit 2 together before each stitch marker until there are 12 stitches left. Somewhere in there the hat will become too small for your circular needles, and you’ll need to switch to double-pointed needles. Then bind off and tie. Weave ends in.







Thursday, November 9, 2017

Podcasts for the Resistance

This week marks one year since The Election. For those of us completely opposed to the prejudice, vitriol and racism being spewed on a certain twitter feed, it can be difficult to find balance in staying informed while keeping our mental health intact. Today, a few podcasts that have become extremely important to me as a part of The Resistance.

bitch media's Backtalk & Popaganda
This ever-amazing podcast talks about everything pop culture, politics, and the ways the two keep criss-crossing in America these days. They aren’t afraid to cover all the topics we need to hear. Also, Amy Tan’s growl-scream of frustration on nearly every episode is just as cathartic for the listener as I imagine it is for her.

NPR Politics
This podcast is my go to for calm, rational evaluation of current US politics. It’s a twice a week podcast (occasionally more if big things are happening) that gives a good overview of American politics and where we are. The journalists on this podcast know politics, they understand the nuance and complications behind the American Experiment and will give you multiple viewpoints into our world.

1-A
Joshua Johnson is hanging out over on NPR having some powerful conversations. Everything from first amendment rights to the risks of capitalism to the story of human genes and what it says about racism. This show makes an effort to include diverse guests and cover a wide range of topics.

Code Switch
Okay, so perhaps it appears as though NPR is my go to for all things resistance. Well, there’s a reason for that. They have so much programming that is undeniably good, and Code Switch is definitely among those shows. Everything you ever wanted to understand about race relations is all here in this podcast.

Levar Burton Reads
Who doesn’t want Levar Burton to read to us like he did when we were children? Levar Burton Reads is part of this list because the stories he’s reading are reflective of our culture. They tell stories about how we got to where we are that also include jewels of wisdom about where we need to go. Learn from literature. The lessons are there. [Insert his catchphrase here. You know it, right? Okay. Because I hear he’s getting sued for it, so I’m not gonna say it...]

Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me!
This one is here for levity. When I'm feeling overly informed and perhaps a bit overwhelmed, this is where I go to laugh about it all. A classic, this show is always good. 

Amanpour
Christiane Amanpour is obviously a big name in journalism, but it’s important to note how her CNN show (which is also a podcast) is covering the rights of women worldwide. While here in America we’ve had the “Me, Too” movement, Amanpour has also been talking about the French movement #BalanceTonPorc (Out Your Pig) and amplified the voice of a British journalist standing up against an MP who sexually harassed her. 

Good Muslim, Bad Muslim
These two women are just hilarious and wonderful. They are singlehandedly changing minds about religion, prejudice and stereotypes, while also finding room to laugh about life. 

What podcasts are keeping you sane under the current administration?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

My Relationship With Comic Books (and a Short Review of Wonder Woman)

If someone had asked me a year ago if I was a comic book fan I would have said, “Eh, not really.”

However, I just read Wonder Woman, Vol. 2, Year 1 and halfway through it I got thinking about my relationship with comic books. I realized that somehow some patriarchal stereotype of who a comics fan is had made me think I was something I wasn’t. I am totally a comic book fan, I just never read “boys” comic books.

There was a time I owned a notebook with every “Blondie” strip from the Sunday comics taped inside it. I also read every "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," “Archie," and "Betty and Veronica" book I could get my hands on. I read Garfield until I wore through the binding, and I discovered and devoured Dilbert years before I understood the office politics involved.

What I didn’t read was superhero comic books, and the stereotypical image of a “comic book fan” includes superheroes. I fell for that trope so hard I questioned something I’ve known about myself for years.

I am most definitely a comic book fan.

My quick review: I definitely enjoyed this book. The artwork was beautiful, it was timely commentary on our modern world, diverse, and inclusive. It was empowering, and a great accompaniment to the spectacular movie this summer.

And in the future I’ve got to remember that I really am a comic book fan.