Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I've had this yarn for almost two years. I bought it at Stitches in 2006, and it's almost Stitches time again, so yeah, two years. I've been trying to put my finger on why I was so drawn to it, and I finally figured it out the other day. The colors remind me of the city of Mongo from 'Flash Gordon'.

I know what you're probably all thinking, especially Cristi. Just hear me out on this one.

Back when I was a kid, cable television was a revolutionary thing. Prior to getting it, we had to watch whatever we could find on the dial, and it was literally a DIAL that one cranked around until a broadcast channel came up on the screen. There weren't fifteen separate channels for the premium stations, either. There was one HBO, one Cinemax, one Showtime. And when we first got cable, those three channels had apparently latched on to 'Flash Gordon' as their go-to midday program. We probably watched it a hundred times. I loved the colors. I loved the action. I loved the music, even though I'll admit that it's not one of Queen's crowning achievments. I loved Timothy Dalton in his green tights. If it was on, I was watching it.

A new movie supplanted it on the schedule, probably 'Return of the Jedi' or something similarly big, and I didn't see my beloved 'Flash Gordon' again for more than two decades. It only briefly came out on DVD before going out of print. I forgot about it.

Then, a magical thing happened. Encore or Starz or one of those channels found a copy, dusted it off, and threw it onto one of their secondary channels. It was as wonderful and cheesy as I'd remembered. If anything, it might actually be better with a little aging. Aside from Dale's Earth clothes, it doesn't look dated. Sure, the special effects are bad, but they're not supposed to be anything other than what they are. It's a live-action comic book, not cinéma-vérité. The DVD was still in print in Brazil, so I paid a premium and got a copy of it, not realizing that it would be rereleased for the 25th anniversary. Oh, well. It may not have the extras, but my copy has the option of Portuguese subtitles.

The four balls of yarn I used for this project reminded me of all of the colors of Mongo - the reds of the guards' uniforms, the gold curtains around Dale's bedchamber, the violet clouds and the oranges of the lightning field. There's even a little bit of hot pink every so often, like Princess Aura's shiny catsuit. Needless to say, it's impossible to photograph with accurate color, because of all of that red. Trust me on this one - it's gorgeous in real life.


Dr. Zarkov: "Get your toothbrush and whatever!" (The Pattern)

Clapotis from Knitty, Fall 2004

Hedonia: "It has no name. Many brave men died to bring it here from the Galaxy of Pleasure." (The Yarn)

Interlacements Dyer's Choice from a bin at Stitches. It was probably meant to be Toasty Toes, but it didn't have enough twist. Each skein had about 185 yards, and I used a little less than four skeins. It's another stash-reduction project, which makes me very, very happy.

Flash: "Where are the weapons?" Arborian: "Feel one." (The Needles)

Brittany Birch, size 6 US. I routinely start flat knitting projects with needles two sizes smaller than the pattern calls for, and more often than not, it works out. See? I can be taught.

Dale Arden: "Flash! Flash, I love you, but we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!" (The Time)

I think I started it on January 9th, and I bound off and wove in the ends on January 24th.

Voltan: "Flying blind on a rocket cycle?" (The Modifications)

I left off one increase section, so it's not quite as wide as the pattern. Also, I had no idea how much it would grow once I dropped all of the stitches, so I kept thinking it was too short. Instead of thirteen straight sections, I had twenty. It's long, stretching about an inch below the hem of my coat on both sides when hung straight around my neck. I like it this way. It makes it easier to drape it around my shoulders.

Robot: "Long live Flash. You've saved your Earth. Have a nice day." (Conclusions)

I'd forgotten how boring the last, oh, two thirds of a project like this can be. I think I chased the 'just want to do something mindless' urge out of my system.

I bought this yarn for this project, and I'm glad that I stuck with that plan. I think the rippling of the dropped stitches shows off the colors beautifully.

I've worn my new Clapotis quite a bit since finishing it. It was cold down at my parents' house, sunny but barely above freezing during my dad's funeral. My mom likes to turn off the heater at night, so I slept with my freshly completed project around my neck at least twice while I was there. It's warm and comfortable, and not one bit itchy. It's perfect.

In other news, Buddy's decided to stop me from pursuing further education in systems analysis. Last night, he stomped over to my spot on the couch, rammed the book off of my lap with his head, then promptly laid on it. "Buddy! Dammit, guy! I'm already a week behind because of the funeral and everything. Give me a break!" He was not swayed. He arched his back and somehow managed to scoot himself even farther onto the opened book.


Trillian42 said...

First, that's a lovely Clapotis, and the colors are fab.

Secondly, I, too, loved the utter cheese that was Flash Gordon. I was unaware that it was out on dvd... I might have to pick up a copy. :D

turtlegirl76 said...

As much as the soundtrack disappointed me, this blog post certainly makes up for it in entertainment value! Well done! The cheese stands alone!

The clapotis is absolutely lovely. Great colors.