Okay, so this year, in robotics, we have chosen as theme Tron. Tron Legacy is the movie we are inspiring ourselves from, and it features hero Sam Flynn, orphan who grew up with his grandparents after his father mysteriously disappeared. That father was actually the head of a big communications and software company, and he was working on this game that could, as he said, redefine the boundaries of the universe, with him breaking the digital frontier and entering in the game. Of course, he said this as stories, and no one truly believed him, except his son. So the day his dad’s old friend and associate lets him know of the old arcade his father used to own, Sam goes to investigate. He soon discovers a secret passage to his dad’s office, where a server is still running, twenty years after the place was left to the rats. He manages to decipher the encryption, and soon enough he is transported into that same game which has been holding his father prisoner. That world is a dark dystopic universe depicting what a future perfect world could be like. And that is exactly what we took as theme, for it perfectly suits a robotics team, with all the advanced technology and software, the 3D imaging opportunities, the simple but adaptable plot, and of course, the aesthetics. Sleek, dark, with neon lighting, Tron has a supernatural feel to it, and with the competencies of our team, I feel like this year, we have a great chance of winning in most categories, or of at least being amongst the top teams. What is also insane, is that our video captain is an extremely good graphics designer and creator, and he is able to Tron-ify pretty much anything. He simply 3D models it, and then personalizes the settings to suit the image he has in his mind. I am so stoked for how our website and video will look like. Now we just need to get a good kiosk, cool costumes and a robot that works, and hopefully things will work out great!
Taemin, the maknae (youngest) of SHINee (a five-member south korean boy group sensation) just came out with his first solo album, called Ace. His main song is called Danger, and he just came out with the MV for the title track. Oh my goodness, I don’t know what to say… I loved Taemin for being the cute, innocent, well behaved, respectful, slightly mischievous maknae. Now, he is Taeman, going shirtless, with dark makeup, and I’m not too sure I like it. Look at him! He went from this, this cute poodle-hair smiling boy, to this vampire-like rebellious man, trying to be somber and dark and menacing. Really??? Really??? Wow SM, I thought I could trust you, and now you give us this???? I’m sad. For real. And disappointed. (SM being SM Entertainment, his label company, one of the big three with YG and JYJ, the three dominating music industry companies.) Anyways, so yes, his image changed, but now even the song is meh. It features not Taemin’s voice, but a machine altering his beautiful voice to create something that even I could pull off. Well, the singing part is nice, and I could feel a little of Taemin come back, but really, it is not that amazing. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8m2JIDjKU Oh yes, and half of the time, he is just doing all these Jonghyun-style poses and walks with that look-at-my-swagger-even-though-I-don’t-have-any-and-just-look-ridiculous style. Anyways, this, overall, was just a terrible flop to me.
Le grisaille s’étirait aussi loin que le permettait l’horizon. Un frisson de brume s’agitait, démonstration visible de la bise glaciale qui martelait le sol nu. Au loin, quelques bâtiments désaffectés jonchaient la pleine autrement désertique, vestiges d’une époque de prospérité longtemps révolue. Autre que les cris de la brise, un silence lugubre régnait, comme en révérence au paysage mort et autrement enterré dans la déprimante tristesse grise. La vie semblait avoir tout à fait déserté la lande, et pas même un brin d’herbe ne se laissait agiter par le vent. Tout semblait fossilisé, figé en un écrin de pierre et de poussière, proprement enterré au delà de la terre. Toute lumière était filtrée par les nuées grises, répandant une pénombre semi-permanente. À l’apogée de sa traversée orageuse, l’astre solaire ne parvenait pas même à complètement traverser l’éternel plafond de nuages, et lors de son coucher, nul spectacle resplendissant au rendez-vous. La boule maintenant rouge sang se laissait tout simplement tomber au bout de la terre battue et avec sa chute s’écrasait également une terrible noirceur presque palpable. Les seules lueurs visibles lorsque la nuit s’abattait étaient celles que les détonations apportaient.
Tatting??? You mean like, tattoos???? No. Noooooo. NOOOOOOOOOOOO. =P
Tatting is a form of lace falling into the abyss of who-cares-ism characteristic of this time and age. Apparently, the word is derived from the french word “frivolité” (don’t ask me how it’s derived, because really, I have no clue at all), which means something frivolous, lace-y, light, flirty, futile. Basically, the name comes from the fact that this the of lace is not very heavy-duty, is super light and airy and elegant, and has a solely decorative purpose. This type of lace comes with little loops called picots (french word for little dot), and with those you can create beautiful lace patterns, for they give a lightness to the chains created.
To tat, you need small crochet yarn, of maybe 1mm, or less. A hook can also help, but most important, you need at least two tatting shuttles. A tatting shuttle, featured on left, is basically like a little holder for your thread that you will pass through loops to knot it and create the knot you wished to obtain. Often rounded, one side usually is smoother to permit easy gliding through the loops without damaging your work, while the other side can have a more pointed edge, or even a hook. This will be to control the size of the picots and straighten the work as it goes along, but also to aid in the joining of neighbouring picots.
My other grandmother, not the crochet one, the everything else one, well, she is the one that gave me her tatting shuttles and some yarn and pieces of tatting she had tried out. I am lucky for she had some good quality metal tatting shuttles, for the plastic ones, even though they work, aren’t as great as those with a bobbin inside. But yes, I have been practicing a little, but before going full on into tatting, I want to get through with a couple more doilies, finish my scarf and learn more about knitting. I actually will take a crochet and knitting class with my mother this autumn! I’ll say more about that in a further post, but yeah, I’m going to be busy, so tatting is gonna have to wait.
I have fallen in love with the concept of doilies. I grew up always seeing them in my grandmother’s house, and seeing her shakingly crochet her way through smaller projects. As I got older, she initiated me to crochet and taught me the beauty of this needlework, and I slowly opened myself up to the idea of having this as a hobby. However, high school came with its load of projects and activities, and I slowly let my crochet slide. Even during the summer, I worked, so I never took it up. However, once in cegep, the numerous breaks allowed me to renew with my passion for this ancestral art. i eased back into it with a couple smaller projects, like cases and scarves and so forth, to finally hook up with my first love, doilies (hehe saw what I did there? hook? crochet? okay I’ll stop, but still was good eh? eh? hihi).
So, I slowly started with a few small glass cosies, for I had found one of my grandma’s old pattern pamphlet (oh my gosh that booklet is like three time my age, no kidding) and it featured a few small pattens. Doesn’t the pamphlet look oooold? So yeah, I managed to decipher the old yellowed paper and get a few of those done, but it wasn’t enough. Some of the patterns were for knitting or for tatting, so those were out of question, and some of the other patterns were so, soooo… old? out of fashion? So yeah, I haaaad to find new patterns, or my lace crochet career would soon be over. Luckily, I was able to find ravelry.com. Yes, i know I sound like I was paid by them to advertise or something, but this comes from the genuinety (so not a word lol) of my heart.
Aaaanyways, so once I signed up on Ravelry, I got access to thousands of patterns, including hundreds of (free) doily patterns. Commence shopping! *squeals* So I basically copied a bunch of patterns and placed them in a Pages document (too fancy for Word =P) , which are now my waiting list for the next five years, seeing how slow I am. So yeah, doilies are pretty and fun, easy to carry around to make in the train or bus, and are quite long, so they develop patience, and the repetitive pattern really is a great way to meditate.
Doily lovers, together, let’s unite!
Okay, so we all know that I love crochet and other yarn arts, as I call them. Well, I may be above average with my crochet, but that definitely does not mean that I have the patience, skill and imagination to create beautiful patterns. Of course, I can manage to make simple things that require hardly any thinking (flowers, little cases, scarves, etc.), but try and make some lace without pattern? Yeah, no thanks.
However, to all those with the same problem as me, this is the solution to all your problems: ravelry.com. This site simply needs a free sign-up only requiring an email that will solely be used to confirm your signup, and is the proud categorizer of thousands of patterns. From crochet to knitting, every pattern is categorized, including free and less free patterns, as well as by the diverse techniques, the yarns, the types of project, and so forth. You want a 1.5mm hook doily themed with the pineapple stitch? You got it. You want loose knitted leg warmers? A touch on the keyboard, and voilà!
Frankly, I am not surprised that the thousands of users are very happy with this site, for not only does it have this immense library of patterns, but it also provides a space for discussion, for your own projects, for browsing other users projects, and so forth. frankly, now that I discovered ravelry, I don’t know how I didn’t find out about it earlier.