Flight of the [Bumble]bee

Today’s post is a mashup of the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week assignment and {this moment}. The assignment is to come up with a different kind of post.

Day Five (Friday April 26th): Something A Bit Different
It’s the annual challenge to blog in a way different to how you normally blog. You may choose to create a podcast, or vlog, create a wordless post or write in verse. You’ve already stretched your wings with an infographic, now it’s time to freestyle. You can post on any topic you like, but be sure to post in a style different from your usual blog presentation. There’s not too much guidance for this one simply because the more varied the posts are on this day, the wider the sources of information for other bloggers will be. Bonus points if you manage to work your house animal in somehow.

Last year I stretched my blogging creativity muscles by creating a stop motion animation video. That was a lot of fun but my goodness, it was a lot of work. You take a photograph, then move things a teeny bit, take another photograph, move things again, take another photograph and on and on and on. It takes forever, I mean f-o-r-e-v-e-r. I used an iPhone app to help me out but still, that was a lot of work. And then you add in the editing and music and text and so on and it’s pretty much a day’s work.

This time around I had a few ideas, but my main idea was to make some kind of knitting gif. Or some kind of slo-motion or high-speed knitting video. And then I picked House of Bee and really spent a lot of time and thought on this bee thing and, well, the idea for the flight of a bee was born. Except that this bee likes yarn better than fruit. Especially since the colorway sounds like its some kind of yummy dessert. So – enjoy!

One Man Star Wars

Given how often I’ve talked about Star Wars on this blog, it’s pretty clear that I would love this: One Man Star Wars. I saw it in DC, at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre, and it was a blast. Charles Ross does an awesome job – it’s not a straight retelling of the original trilogy – and yes, only the original trilogy – it also has lots of little humorous bits in there. He also does all the sound effects, too.

This one is with R2D2 and C3PO. Love the droid sounds!

There is also a One Man Lord of the Rings version, which I haven’t seen so far. But I will! Yup, I’m a geek. Check out his website for more videos of parts of his performance

Sorry for the video heavy post, but I figured you’d enjoy this.


This is an amazing stop motion animation, all shot on a cell phone camera! (a Nokia N8). That was one of my inspirations for my own stop motion animation, created as part of this year’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week.

And here is the awesome making of, which gives you an idea on what kind of scale they were working. I mean, this is a human-sized animation, so each step is way more complicated than just nudging your knitting needles into a new position. Oh, and their setup with the camera was the inspiration for my own camera setup – minus the crane of course. Btw, the guys who made this are part of Aardman Animation – the guys who create Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and so on.

Mah Na Mah Na

I love Sesame Street. Who doesn’t? I mean, Kermit, and Miss Piggy, Ernie and Bert, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster, Waldorf and Statler (the two old guys on the balcony), and so on. Jim Henson was a total genius. The Muppets are his most well known creation, but he also created Fraggle Rock, sketches for SNL and helped in the creation of Yoda. The Muppets were first introduced in a commercial for Wilkins Coffee featuring Muppets and a canon. That has to be a winning combination, right? There’s a whole series of Wilkins Coffee commercials that hint at many Sesame Street characters to come, including Rowlf and Kermit.

Jim Henson was the voice of Kermit and other characters and  created Sesame Street. He influenced children’s television, creating programming that was fun while being educational. Even Elmo is educational. Yes, some of the toys like Tickle-Me Elmo are ridiculously annoying when they giggle over and over when you walk to the toy section of a store. But those little videos for kids are made to convey educational information on a children’s level, using various tools that children can really get. For example, teaching ABC via Cookie Monster:

C is for Cookie ice cream

Jim Henson’s passing was a loss to all children, parents, educators and fans. Sesame Street still continues, and it still gets guests that talk about various topics – remember that uproar over the lowcut outfit that Katy Perry wore when she sang Hot N Cold with Elmo on Sesame Street? Google even came up with a special Google Doodle tribute for the anniversary of his birthday. (On a side note, check out this great post with other awesome interactive Google Doodles).

There are two great Sesame Street documentaries that I can really recommend. The first one is called “The World According to Sesame Street.” It shows the work of the Sesame Street people as they try to establish a Sesame Street program in South Africa, Bangladesh and Kosovo. Sesame Street programs work through local co-productions, where the name Sesame Street is adapted to the local language, some characters are transformed to fit local issues, and the topics developed are relevant to that country. The documentary shows the obstacles and the successes in creating local Sesame Street programs. I remember the German Sesame Street program was called Sesamstraße, and we had a few Germany specific characters, including Samson, a huge bear, Finchen a sleepy little snail, Pferd, a horse (which is a redundant name since the translation of Pferd is horse), and Tiffy.

The other documentary is a recent one, and you’ve probably heard of. It is called “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey” and is the story of Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who brings Elmo to life. It was a 2011 release and people who have seen it really love it – some even thought it should have been nominated for an Oscar. And there are of course the various Sesame Street movies, including the latest one simply called “The Muppets.”

Like everybody, I have a soft spot for certain muppet songs. I love Ernie’s Rubberducky Song, both the German and the English version, and Kermit’s “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” The classical singer in me especially loves “Danny Boy” or “Ode to Joy” (Beaker!!!!),  although the Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody version is awesome (it includes the Swedish Chef!) There’s a whole playlist of classic Sesame clips on the Sesame YouTube channel. But this one is the favorite around here. We all might just randomly launch into ‘Mah-Na-Mah-Na‘ at random times, with someone then answering ‘Doo Doo Do Do Do.’ Ah, the little things in life that you get joy from.

Btw, there are great ideas out there if you want to throw a Sesame Street party. For example, Sesame Street cake pops! Or you could transform everyday items, like a blue trashcan into cookie monster, or other muppets.

Wednesday, Wednesday

The book I’m currently reading is not so much my reading but my nephew’s reading – it’s his good night story. You might have recognized Curious George from the bookcover – and the book itself is called ‘Curious George Storybook Collection.’ This version is very much so based on the TV series, with the same kind of graphics, and really big pictures. It’s quite cute but just doesn’t have the charm of the original stories. I wish they’d stayed consistent with the beginning of the original stories, you know, where it says: “George was a good monkey but always very curious.” Oh, and btw, have you ever wondered what the man with the yellow hat does for a living? Well, I wonder – and given that many of George’s adventures result in big, expensive messes, I wonder if he’s on an unlimited budget. For example, the donut delivery story in this Storybook Collection volume. George buys 100 dozen donuts instead of one dozen donuts. One dozen Krispy Kreme donuts is approximately $6 (dependent on your location), that would mean, that George bought $600 worth of groceries. And the man with the yellow hat accepts that without blinking an eye. Sheesh.

And in the meanwhile, I’ve made some progress, over the past week, and the end is in sight on my Indian Red scarf. Very exciting. It’ll still take me a while to finish it, but I can see how this pattern design is going to work out. I’m concerned that the scarf will be to small, so I’ll probably have to steam block it aggressively, or wet block it. The problem with wet blocking is that it is hard to find a space where I can leave something to dry. Plus, wet blocking doesn’t have that instant gratification effect that you get from steam blocking. I’m going to double check my gauge, and maybe I can add a bit more length in section H… Time to check out the modifications people have made to the scarf. I really really love Ravelry – it makes it so much easier to find that kind of information.
And now, since I’m probably responsible for getting the “Monday, Monday” song stuck in your head, here’s a video of the original song:

That’s it for this Wednesday. I’m participating in this week’s Yarn Along – there are links to other great Yarn Along posts there, with information on how to participate yourself. You can also find a link to this post through Tami’s Amis, through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) series.

Help! Weaving your floats

Hey guys – I need your help! I’ve looked and looked in vain, and I can’t find the video. It showed how to pick up your floats while knitting continental style in a way that you twisted your floats by picking them in a certain way, which made life so much easier. I unfortunately didn’t bookmark that tab, and now I can’t find the video anymore! I don’t even remember the name of the knitter, I just remember that you was grey haired, and she was showing how to knit while standing. Oh, and she mentions in the video that you should go off and practice, and then it cuts to the part where she explains her method for twisting the floats. I’ve been looking through my browser history in vain. If you have a good video to recommend, could you post the link? Maybe the video I’m thinking of will be in there.

UPDATE!!!! Thanks to bridorangi, I found the video. It’s from Philosopher’s Wool, and part of a longer video which you can purchase from them. It’s really a great video, very useful.

In the meanwhile, here’s a great video of how two-color continental fair isle. Want me to put up a video of right and left handed fair isle or right handed fair isle? Let me know.

One more thing – I wrote a post a few days ago on how I ultimately blog for myself, how my posts are about what interests me and what I like. So when it turns out that you’re featured for what you’re doing, then wow, that’s a great honor (I think). In that spirit, I really want to thank Kelly from Blue Bird Sews for featuring me and my pomegranate, black bean, feta, mandarin and mint salad as part of her Eat Grow Sew blog hop. Thank you Kelly! I really really really appreciate it.

Eat, Grow, Sew at Blue Bird Sews