Friday, December 31, 2010

FO Friday - 12/31/2010

I have one FO to show you today.  I can't show you the whole thing because it hasn't yet been gifted, but I made this cute little item this week:

I finished it early this morning and am about to mail it off to its recipient.

MK out.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WIP Wednesday - 12/29/2010

In the past week, I worked on the one ball shawl and the bag I will felt.  Both are getting closer to being completed, but pictures of them wouldn't look too much different than last week.

I also started another project.  I am making a gift for a cute little girl out of this yarn:

MK out.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Movie Monday - 12/27/10

Disney’s A Christmas Carol is kind of a creepy, animated adaptation of the Charles Dicken’s classic. Jim Carrey plays several parts, including Scrooge and the ghosts. Gary Olham, Cary Elwes and Robin Wright Penn also have multiple roles. It was alright, but I don’t know if little kids would enjoy this movie.

Exit Through the Gift Shop is a documentary directed by street artist Banksy. Thierry Guetta is an LA thrift shop owner who starts videotaping every moment of his life. He then moves on to filming various street artists, and eventually becomes a street artist himself. It was different.

A Prophet, in French and Portuguese with English subtitles, is about a nineteen year old small time criminal who goes to jail for six years, and rises through the ranks of the prison gangs. It was violent, but interesting.

The Other Man, with Liam Neeson, Antonio Banderas and Laura Linney is about a woman trying to come clean with her husband about an affair, and then she’s gone. The husband then tracks down the lover in an effort to find her. It was pretty good.

I Love You Phillip Morris is based on a true story.  It's about a man, played by Jim Carrey, who starts out his life as a police officer with a wife and kids.  He evolves into a con man who meets the love of his life, Phillip Morris, played by Ewan McGregor, in jail.  Jim Carrey has such an elastic face and it really comes in handy for some of the characters he plays.  It really enhances his performance in this film.  There were some really crude parts in this film, but overall, it was entertaining.

And that's it for this edition of Movie Monday...

MK out.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry, Merry Christmas...

I have long wanted to try this recipe that I cut out of a magazine many years ago.  This year was the year.  It's called Peppermint Candy Shortbread Cookies. You can find it on the Argo Cornstarch website.

Y'all have a good one.

MK out.

Friday, December 24, 2010

FO Friday - 12/24/2010

Not much finishing going on around here...I think it's that Christmas thing getting in the way...but do have one FO to report since last Friday.  It's another one ball wonder cowl.  The yarn is Tokyo by Filatura di Crosa:

And here's one from June.  I saw this cute scarf on Ravelry, and modified the pattern Buttons and Stripes by J. L. Fleckenstein.  I used Comfort by Berroco - one ball in each color.

MK out.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WIP Wednesday - 12/22/2010

Remember that shawl I started last week?  I've worked on it some since then:

I also started a bag out of some yarn I found while I was stash diving that was leftover from a project. I felt like doing something with it right then and there. There is no real pattern...I'm just making it up as I go along.  I am planning on felting it.  It will be a surprise to see what I get:

MK out.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Movie Monday - 12/20/2010

I had never seen The Princess Bride, starring a young Robin Wright Penn in the title role. It is a story within a story. A grandfather reads this story to his sick grandson. It is about a girl who agrees to marry a prince five years after hearing that her true love was dead. However, he is not, and he comes back to claim her. It also stars Mandy Patinkin, Andre the Giant, Peter Falk, Fred Savage, Carole Kane, Billy Crystal and several others. It was very good.

The Brothers Bloom is about two brothers, Stephen and Bloom, who seem to have been con artists since their early years in the foster system. Adrien Brody plays the younger one, Bloom, who gets tired of chasing the next con, and wants to get out of the business. However, big bro (my man, Mark Ruffalo) needs him for just one more. Rachel Weisz also stars in this movie full of cons and double-crosses and by the end of the movie…you don’t care to figure it all out. Interestingly, we never find out why they are called The Brothers Bloom, when only one of them is named Bloom, and it is his first name.  It was alright.

Intimate Strangers, in French with English subtitles, is an interesting movie revolving around an abused woman and a tax attorney.  While looking for the office of a psychiatrist, this woman instead goes to the tax attorney's office and launches into the intimate details of what brought her there in the first place.  She leaves there that day still thinking she visited the psychiatrist.  Even when the tax attorney finally corrects her, she continues to meet with him to discuss her situation.  The movie was very character driven, a little quirky and not for everyone.

The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce and Timothy Spall, is about the relationship between Bertie (Firth), the soon-to-be King George VI, his speech therapist, Lionel (Rush). It is a good story, well acted and factually based. I really liked it.

MK out.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

FO Friday - 12/17/2010

 Yay!  I finished a couple of things, but not any of my stalled projects.  I made another Go STARS! Boa for me this time.  I wore it to the game last night.  I felt stylin':

I have random single balls of yarn in my stash. Tonight at the Mavs game, I started and finished a cowl out of one of those random balls called Bebette by Laines du Nord.  I gave it to my friend Jules who was at the game with us:

I have a few FOs that I haven't posted on the blog; so, I will post one or two periodically to get everyone caught up, cause I know y'all live for pictures of my knitting.
I made a Tea Leaves Cardigan by Melissa LaBarre using Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Fragrant.  I decided against the longer sleeves.

Here's the Chastain Park Shawl....a really easy knit.  I used a finer yarn than what was suggested by the pattern, but the adjustments were minimal.  I used a mohair blend.

MK out. 


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Recipe Thursday - 12/16/2010

I couldn't think of a catchy title; so, you got what you got...

I love to cook, although I don't seem to have time to cook all the time.  Maybe, I like it more, because I don't have to do it all the time...I don't know.

I have a cabinet full of cookbooks.  When I'm bored sometimes or I get in a rut, I will look through one or two to find something that sounds good.  I also like to cruise the websites.  My phone and my iPad have recipe apps.  I wonder if I like the idea of cooking more than actually cooking...

I found this recipe called Apple Cabbage Toss on  I made it the other night and everyone loved it.  It's simple and tasty.

MK out.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WIP Wednesday - 12/15/2010

I missed Movie Monday, and was going to put it off to yesterday, but when I came home from work, I was dead tired.  I think a little virus is brewing and I am trying not to let it get me.

Anyway, it is WIP Wednesday, but first, the movie comments I promised to you:

My Sister’s Keeper is about a family who has a child with leukemia. They decide to conceive another one in the hopes that it is a genetic match and can help treat the ill one. Abigail Breslin, Alec Baldwin, Joan Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Sofia Vassilieva and Jason Patric star in this film that deals a little with moral and ethical issues, but not in a heavy-handed way. It was good.

Another Woman is a Woody Allen movie starring many actors from back in the day – Gena Rowlands, Mia Farrow, Blythe Danner, Gene Hackman, Sandy Dennis, Betty Buckley, Frances Conroy, John Houseman and a newby – Martha Plimpton. In typical Allen style, especially in his earlier work, the characters have a lot of dialogue – and it’s rather neurotic. Rowlands plays an accomplished graduate school administrator who is writing a book. She rents an apartment to use as her office. It happens to be right next door to a psychiatrist’s office, and she can hear the doctor-patient sessions through a vent in the wall. It was pretty good.

I had never seen Wallstreet, and since there is now a sequel, I thought I’d better hop to it. Charlie Sheen plays a young broker at the bottom of the chain who comes under the tutelage of Gordon Gecko, a power broker in the financial circles. Gecko’s credo that “Greed is good,” gets tested in his less than ethical dealings. It was pretty good.

In Summer Hours, Juliette Binoche (blond again, but better hairstyle) plays a woman who has to decide, along with her two brothers, about what to do with their mother’s estate after she passes. It is in French, with English subtitles and very character driven. It was alright.

Everlasting Moments, in Swedish with English subtitles, is about a woman with a difficult family life who starts taking photographs and discovers her self-worth. It was a well acted story. I really liked it.

Angelah Johnson: That’s How We Do It is a Comedy Central special with Angelah Johnson, a former Oakland Raiders cheerleader. I first discovered Angelah when a friend told me I had to search YouTube for Bon Qui Qui. That’s Angelah’s ghetto character who is a scream. Another one of her funny characters is Tammy, the Vietnamese nail salon technician. So, when I saw this DVD on my Netflix, I watched it. It’s pretty funny, without being profane and overly crude. She’s not exactly PC, but she’s not too heavy-handed about it.

Y'all have seen my WIPs just recently...I haven't made a move on any of them since.  I am waiting to get Christmas under control before I get myself all worked up over two sticks and a ball of string.  I did start a little shawl yesterday.  It's called 198 Yds of Heaven.  I didn't get very far before I fell asleep:

MK out.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Beautiful Day

Now that I've hopefully given you the earworm of the day...

I have been been trying to combat the knitting curse with some instant gratification projects.  As I've been laying on the couch watching movies on my iPad, feeling sorry for myself that I am not technically advanced enough to figure out how to make sweaters fit me well, or figure out how to decrease while keeping in pattern, (or what have you), my hands have not been keeping still. 

Y'all have to know by now that I have quite a bit of yarn and more than one set of needles in each size.  Surely, y'all know that...And of course, looking through the stash and flipping through patterns is often inspiring.  I found some dark green eyelash yarn and some dark blue eyelash yarn the other day.  I know...It's not the hot ticket anymore, but it does have its uses.  So, I thought a minute and realized that I need some glitzy ornamentation to wear to hockey and basketball games.  I mean, what screams "Team Spirit!!!" louder than funky boa scarves in your teams colors? 

The Go STARS! boa:

The Go MAVS! boa:

And I needed something funky and fun for a young, hip girl for Christmas.  Since she likes pink, I put two and two together and came up with:

I took this picture yesterday afternoon...Things are looking up in Merry Karma's world.  Now, if I could just get that Christmas tree set up...

Movies tomorrow...

MK out.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Knitting Woes

Lord have mercy, I've lost my knitting mojo...

It started this summer, and it continues.  Part of the problem is that gauge is a fickle bitch.  I do my version of swatching, and truth be told, I don't think it is any different than the "real" way of knitting a little square and washing it and making comparisons.  I've tried the "real" way, and my version of casting on a bunch of stitches, knitting a bunch of rows, then measuring to see what I got is just as informative.  More accurately, it is just as noninformative.

I have a top I made out of Berroco Suede back in May. Ms. Gauge had her way with this project in the beginning, but I sorted it out and managed to finish the top quickly.  However...I didn't like the instructions for the straps (I'm stubborn that way); so, I made them "my way." I hated the way "my way" looked; so, I ripped back, finished the top parts as written, and am now knitting the straps "their way."  I haven't gotten very far:

In August, I started knitting the back of a fabulous lacy, summer top out of some pretty fuschia cotton and silk yarn called Wach'i, by Mirasol.  I got a little sidetracked, because I had to finish some deadline knitting and put it aside.  Sometime after, I picked it up again and I moved merrily along until I got to the armholes, and I cannot for the life of me make the decreases work out with the pattern.  So, I threaded the stitches onto some waste yarn and started the front to get it to the armhole decreases.  At that point, I was planning to go to the LYS and get help...Here's what it looks like today:


Next up, I found some pretty cotton fabric to make a little skirt.  I thought I could find some yarn to coordinate and came up with Linie 163 Bingo in brown...not a color I typically wear, but it will go well with the fabric.  Yes, it is a simple stockinette top, but Ms. Gauge has presented problems, and this is my third start of the first piece...It is looking a little worse for the wear, and this isn't the best picture:

There was a Hill Country Yarn Crawl in October.  I was not able to participate, but on the last day, I happened to be in Austin and I visited Gauge.  (Should this name have tipped me off to the issues that followed?) It's a cute little shop with lots of yummy yarn, and there was some Malabrigo Rios with my name on it.  I started a Liesl, by Isolda Teague, because the color of the yarn was so pretty.  I was frustrated with my other tops, but I only guilty about starting another project for about a femptosecond. It was looking a little too loopy to me, and when I tried it on, it really didn't fit right.  I put the stitches on some waste yarn, and started again with smaller needles.  I think I may have to go up a size to get it to work, but I haven't had time lately to really fool with it.  Here it is, in all its glory:

Finally, I did finish two projects in October...a baby sweater, and a scarf.  The baby sweater came out quite well, and it's a story for a different post.  Remember that scarf I showed you a while back out of Buffalo Gold Premium Fibers Lux that was coming out too loose (Ms. Gauge again) and I went down a needle size or two?  I finished it, and had enough yarn and everything.  One day, when I set out to weave in the ends and to block it, I noticed some wonky stitches - right in the middle of the scarf.  It is reversible, and it doesn't show on the other side, but I am seriously considering frogging back to the mistake and fixing it and reknitting the second half of the scarf.  This yarn is pricey and beautiful.  It deserves nothing less than perfection.  It's hard to tell from this picture, but at least you can tell that I have finished it:

So, the last several months have been frustrating in the knitting department.  I've tried many ways to get my groove back.  I am trying not to buy any more yarn until DFW Fiber Fest 2010, but don't cry for me Argentina...I have more than enough yarn to last me for many, many years...

I leave you with a photo of freshly washed handknitted socks:

MK out.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Movie Monday - 12/6/2010

This week was very hectic; so, I didn't have tons of time to watch movies, or do much else besides staying a step or two ahead of the painters.  I did manage to watch a couple of things on my iPad via Netflix:

Judith is an old movie with Sophia Loren and Peter Finch. It is set in Israel, near the Syrian border, about the time that Israel was being declared it's own state. The main character, Judith, who is Jewish, had been betrayed by her Nazi general husband. She and their son were sent to Dauchau and ultimately separated. Her survival was fueled by her desire to exact revenge. She was smuggled to Israel by Finch's group, who are Nazi war criminal hunters. They need hr to help them identify him. He is supplying the Arabs with tanks and munitions to use against the Isrealis. So, it's sort of a Nazi movie and it was good.

The Red Balloon is an award winning short, made in 1956, about a little boy who finds a helium filled balloon. Soon, it seems the balloon has a mind of its own. it is set in Paris, and is in French with English subtitles, though there is not much dialogue. It was cute.

Flight of the Red Balloon, references The Red Balloon. I saw this one first and then looked up the short on Netflix, and they had it. It is also set in Paris and is in French with English subtitles. Juliette Binoche stars in the movie, playing Suzanne, a busy, harried single mother, who hires a nanny to mind her son. The quiet, calm manner of the nanny is contrasted against the mother. Their living quarters are a bit of a mess, and it bugged me through the whole film. Juliette has blonde hair in this film, and that is not disconcerting, but the messy way she wears it is. It was alright.

In other news, the Fly Swarm 2010 - Part 3 is driving me batty.  The Orkin man did come and assured me that the flies were ordinary house flies that had likely come in when the windows and front door were open during the painting adventure.  He didn't charge me for his assessment and suggested I get some fly paper or something to help capture them.

We got one on Saturday and put it up where the flies were hanging out - around my living room windows.  For the whole first day, not one fly got caught on it.  It is an orange tube, similar to a paper towel tube, with flies drawn on it.  The theory is that flies will attract more flies.  Yesterday morning, I got up fairly early and there still were no flies attached.  A few hours later, I checked it, and two flies were attached, right on top of drawings of flies.  Hmmm...maybe there is something to this theory.  However, by the end of the day yesterday, only about 9 flies attached - about one-tenth of the fly population in my home.  Interestingly, all were attached on top of drawn flies.  The body count is going up in more ways than one. They have been starting to die on their own. It has been a few days since they've had food or water or whatever keeps flies alive, and I've swatted a few that had crossed my path, but there are still more than I like flying around making me crazy.

Oh well...

MK out.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's That Time of Year Again...

...It's the beginning of December and it's time to put up the Christmas tree and the decorations, but guess what?  I haven't done any of that yet.

It's also, for the second year in a row, the time of year that I take on a colossal time-consuming, messy and disruptive project.  Why, yes it is.

Remember last year...the Decrapification Challenge?  Well, this year, it's the Repaint the House Challenge. 

So, I called the painters and invited them over.  Initially, I was thinking that we could go ahead and decorate the tree and I would just wait until after Christmas to do the living room.  I then decided, since it was still November (at that point), they could start with the living room, and then it would be finished and I could go ahead and decorate and it wouldn't be an issue.  I also had it in my head that they would come, paint an area, go away for a day or two and I would have time to get things put together before they returned to do a different area.  That was not their vision.  They came Monday and left yesterday.  They painted the whole downstairs except for the kitchen.  Currently, the kitchen is wallpapered, and I was thinking that I would just leave it alone.  I took a good look at it and realized that it is really looking a little worn. After the first of the year, the painters will return to paint the upstairs, as well as strip the kitchen wallpaper, texture, paint and glaze the walls. 

Now that they are gone, I am glad that they came, got the work done and a week.  I was pretty much standing on my last nerve with the mess around me by the middle of the week.

Oh, and remember that living room that was painted first; so, I could get the tree up???

That's how it still looks this morning.

MK out.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Flies Are Back in Town...

So, we got rid of the body and we had the ritual (and disinfecting) cleansing by fire in the fireplace...and two days ago, I noticed flies again. Yesterday, I called the company with whom we have our pest control service and was told that they do not treat flies.*


The receptionist did offer to have our technician call me and offer suggestions. I am still waiting for his call. This morning, I called Orkin. When I was googling (yes, I did just use that as a verb) about flies a couple of days ago, one of the hits directed me to their website. They stated that if I needed help with fly infestations, I could call them.

So, I did.

I did verify with the person who answered the phone that they do indeed treat flies. A technician will be coming by my house later today.

MK out.

*We had also called this company to help us get rid of the squirrels in the attic a few weeks ago and were told that they do not treat squirrels. Now, I ask you, if you advertise that you are a pest control company...well, I won't go there. I will say that I may be changing pest control companies very soon.