Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WIP Wednesday - 8/31/2011

So, if you read my blog enough, you might have read yesterday's Ten on Tuesday.  Carole's list included bad!  I totally forgot.  Lorette pointed out that I didn't mention getting the knitting together....Well, that one goes without saying, and it was quasi-covered in number 4. (gather supplies).  I listed out the other stuff because I might forget something...The knitting - never will get forgotten!  Kat wonders if that boat in the picture was at my house.  The pic was snapped on the G after Ike.  Happily, it was not my house or boat...sadly, it was somebody's house and boat.

I've been working on the finish work on four's like pulling teeth!  I really put them off and find other things that have to get done first, before I sit down to the tasks at hand.  Once I do finish something to the nth degree and it is f.i.n.i.t.o!...k.a.p.u.t!...d.o.n.e!  I am really happy.  Strangely, I find that the happiness does not seem to reinforce the behaviour and drive me to finish other stuff.  I might ponder on that one a while...

One reason may be that things such as this happen:

I was knitting along happily when I discovered this dropped stitch and almost went apoplectic.  I caught it with the safety pin and set the whole project aside for several days.  I decided I would do a little rigging, instead of ripping back and it worked out just fine.  You might get to see it someday soon...

Until Friday, when I can show you some finished stuff, here's what's next on the agenda:

First, I have picked out the yarn (Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Moorland) and the pattern (Aragorn) for my September socks.  Mind you, I haven't even started the August socks...but I'll get there eventually.  The Sock Knitters Anonymous forum on Ravelry starts the Sockdown year in September.  I don't know if I will participate in every single month's challenge, but I've been eyeing that pattern for a while and Janneke Maat is one of the featured designers for the month...Yay! 

Next, I've had these two balls of yarn for a while.  The multicolored one is Bollicine Sissi.  I plan to make a scarf with some beads on the ends out of it.  The turquoise one is Knit Picks Shadow Lace.  I have been wanting to make Annis; so, I will try it with Shadow.

Back to the salt mines...

MK out.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 8/30/2011 Batten down the hatches!

I am guessing that Carole thought of this week’s Ten on Tuesday topic thanks to Irene and the havoc she created on the east coast. 

Here are Ten Ways to Prepare for a Big Storm:
1.   Designate a contact person who lives somewhere far from the action that everyone can check in with in case families and friends get separated.  Be sure and notify the person.
2.   Secure the house.  If a hurricane is on the way, board up the windows or close the storm shutters.
3.   Secure the stuff in the lawn – bring it in or tie it down – You don’t want any missiles flying around out there.
4.   Gather supplies – food, water, baby formula, diapers, pet food, cash, batteries, radios, flashlights, candles, firewood, matches…
5.   Make sure the car is full of gas 
6.   Pack a getaway bag in case you have to evacuate.
7.   Gather important papers and phone numbers.
8.   Gather medicines and prescriptions – don’t forget babies and pets.
9.   Gather important pictures and albums.
10. Charge up the cellphones, iPads, etc.  If the power goes out, they will work for a while.

Stay safe out there!

MK out.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Movie Monday 8/29/2011

Yes, I know it is 2030 on a Monday...but it is still Monday; so, here goes:

The Help is a good adaptation of the book with the same name by Kathryn Stockett.  There were things that were left out of the movie that, had there been enough time, or if the space-time continuum could have been manipulated, would have been nice to include.  Leaving out these elements did not seem to hamper the story much.  Many good actors starred in this film - and it was well cast:  Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Sissy Spacek, Allison Janney, Cicely Tyson, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spence and a host of others.  The movie is set in the south in the 1960s.  Skeeter (Stone) just graduated from college and wants to be a writer.  She starts writing about what it's like to be a maid in that day and time from the maid's point of view.  I loved the book and I really liked the movie.  See it.

Cairo Time, though a little slow, is beautifully shot and very well acted. Patricia Clarkson, an actress I have long admired, stars as Juliette, the wife of a UN member who is working in Gaza. Juliette, whose children are grown and gone, comes to Cairo for a three week stay, hoping that her husband Mark can join her for a little R&R. When he is detained, his former aide Tareq (played by the equally wonderful Alexander Siddig) is left with showing Juliette around. The two fall in love. The film is a wonderful relationship study.  I loved it.

Capitalism: A Love Story is another Michael Moore documentary.  It examines our country's debt-ridden economy and its role in the foreclosures and savings depletions of its citizens.  Although it is quite left leaning, he does bring up some thought provoking points, no matter your political beliefs.  It was interesting.

While watching One Day, adapted from a book I have not read by David Nicholls, I had a sense of foreboding. When it was realized, I was quite shocked none-the-less. Without giving away the story, Anne Hathaway plays Emma and Jim Sturgess plays Dexter. They meet on the day of their graduation from university, and for the rest of the film (the next twenty or so years) we check in on the two on the anniversary of that day. Patricia Clark (yay!) is in this movie, playing Dexter's mother.  It was good.

MK out.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 8/16/2011 Back to the Beach!

This week, it's back to the beach with Ten Great Snacks to Take to the Beach!

Since we lived so close to the beach, we would go frequently.  Being the smart momma that she was, our mom always packed stuff for us to eat, because there something about the sun and waves that made us all hungry.

We usually had:
1.  Water
2.  Sodas
3.  Juice of some sort
4.  Watermelon
5.  Grapes
6.  Sandwiches - usually baloney or ham and cheese
7.  Carrots or celery sticks
8.  Chips
9.  Crackers
10. Cookies

Yum!  Thanks Carole for another trip down memory lane - although maybe not intentional on your part.

MK out.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Movie Monday - 8/15/2011

Knitting some, not finishing much...Not watching movies...What is wrong with the Merry Karma?

It's been really oppressive around here.  We almost set a new record last week for consecutive 100-degree days, but we didn't even tie.  A front was trying to reach us on Thursday but didn't make it.  Still, the temperatures dropped well below 100.  Then, early Saturday rained - 1.6 inches where we live.  It was a welcomed event, for sure.  I was kind of bummed about not breaking the record, after living through almost that many days...but...just...not...quite.  I got over it though.

My roses may not, even with the rain:

So, I did see one movie...

Gattaca, a science fiction thriller set in a world where people of means can choose the genetic make-up of their offspring, and whether one is allowed to realize their dreams and aspirations is dependent on that genetic make-up.  The underlying theme is that discrimination is wrong, no matter what the methods.  Ethan Hawke plays a person with inferior DNA who buys some favorable DNA from a paralyzed man played by Jude Law.  Uma Thurman, who has quality DNA, plays the love interest.  It was really good.

MK out.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WIP Wednesday - 8/10/2011

Howdy, howdy!

The theme for this week's WIP Wednesday is socks.  On Sunday morning, fresh off the wonderful high after attending Sock Summit 2011- it took me a whole week to come down - I noticed that the June socks were not finished, the July socks were not started and the August socks weren't even a thought.

I promptly started the July 2011 socks that afternoon.  I decided to make them toe-up and I used a short-row method to get them going.  I really like working with this yarn.  It is Lone Star Arts Fusion in the Aggieland colorway.  As I've mentioned before, it looks more red than maroon to me, but I love red; so, I'm good with it.  Anyway, the yarn has a nice twist to it, and it feels good in my hands.  I am using 2.0mm (US 0) circulars.  Since they kind of look like peppermint candy to me...and I love peppermint candy at Christmas time...they are my (Christmas in) July 2011 Socks:

I picked up the June 2010 socks yesterday and transferred one onto my 2.0mm Signature Needle Arts double points.  Love these needles - and look out!  They are really sharp, but I digress...Anyway, I searched my library for a short-row heel.  I wanted a short-row in stockinette - and not a Turkish heel - a real short-row heel.  Lucy Neatby does a great garter stitch short-row heel, but I had my heart set on stockinette.  I found one in Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitting Socks. I think I really like it so far:

The plan for today is to work both heels on the June socks and get the July socks to the point where it's time to work the (I'm thinking short-row again) heels.  Then, I think I will find the yarn and pattern I want to use for the August socks.  I might even get them started today.

MK out.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Movie Monday - 8/08/2011

Finally...some movies to discuss:

Inside Job, a documentary, is a pointed look at the recent economic meltdown leaving quite a bit of the middle-class in dire straights, while the investment bankers were lining their pockets with millions of dollars.  It kind of made me sick.  It is an eye opener…You should see it.

Wild Grass is a hard to follow movie.  Is it because it is in French with English subtitles?  Or just because it is a French movie and they are so subtle sometimes that it is hard to figure out what is going on?  I don’t know, but there were many scenes in which one isn’t sure if it’s real or if it’s Memorex. And can I tell you how slow it is in places? It’s about a man who finds a woman’s wallet. He becomes so obsessed with her, that she has to have the police tell him to cool it, at which time she becomes obsessed with him.  He is seemingly happily married with two grown children.  However, he seems to have a dark side that is never explained in the movie. She is a successful dentist who likes to fly airplanes.  I recognize two of the actors – Emannuelle Devos, who plays another dentist and the good friend of the lead female character, and Mathieu Amalric, who plays a police detective.  Meh.

Old Dogs with Robin Williams and John Travolta was pretty dumb.  The two play close business partners who are charged with taking care of a set of seven-year-old twins.  There were some funny parts – mostly slapstick-ish…but…dumb. 

Tamara Drewe is a dramedy about an ugly duckling, who grew up, had a little plastic surgery and returns to her home town where things get stirred up a bit. The movie is adaptated from the graphic novel of the same name. Gemma Arterton, Roger Allam, Bill Camp, Dominic Cooper, Luke Evans and Tamsin Greig star in this cute, little British film set in the quaint little town of Ewedown.

I didn’t really like My Own Private Idaho, starring River Phoenix and Keanu Reaves…can you tell it’s old?  The two play a couple of male prostitutes in Portland, OR.  Mike (Phoenix) is in love with Scott (Reaves).  Scott is from an affluent family, doing the street urchin thing to aggravate his father.  Mike has narcolepsy – and falls down asleep when his stress level rises.  The two go looking for Mike’s mom and travel to Italy, where Scott falls in love with a girl.  It was gritty and sleazy – there’s drug use – and none of these things make for a bad movie in and of themselves necessarily.  It just didn’t ring my bell.

In Local Color Trevor Morgan plays John, a young wanna-be artist meets one of his idols, Nicholi Seroff, played by Armin Mueller-Stahl.  John talks Nicholi into letting him hang around and maybe picking up some tips from the old man.  It was slow in parts, but kind of a sweet coming of age story.

Hope y'all are staying cool...

MK out.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

WIP Wednesday - 8/03/2011 - Not knitting...

It's too hot to knit.

(Did I say that out loud?)

It's too hot to cook, too.  Instead, it's a good time to tear off the late-1980s wallpaper from the kitchen walls and just paint them. 

See it close up?

Now, it's gone.

MK out.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 8/02/2011 Love is in the air...

Today's Ten on Tuesday from Carole is Ten Favorite Romantic Comedies.

Oh my goodness, I have so many, but here are the first ten that popped into my mind (in no particular order):

1.   Sleepless in Seattle
2.   Sabrina - both versions
3.   Four Weddings and A Funeral
4.   The Parent Trap - both, but the original the most
5.   When Harry Met Sally
6.   Groundhog Day
7.   Working Girl
8.   The Holiday
9.   Arthur - both versions
10. It's Complicated

It is so hot outside...maybe staying inside and watching a movie is a really good idea.

MK out.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sock Summit 2011

We interrupt the regularly scheduled Movie Monday in order to bring you the exclusive Merry Karma account of Sock Summit 2011. So, grab a chair, your beverage of choice (or your knitting) and get ready for some pictures...

I flew into Portland on Wednesday afternoon. I already knew that there were at least two other Summiteers on my flight because I saw them as they boarded and we exchanged the "Are you going to Sock Summit?" greeting.  I caught up with one (Annimol*) when we landed, and then we ran into Lucy Neaby in the line to purchase MAX tickets. Here's a not very good quality picture I took of Annimol and Lucy on the train:

This year, I decided to volunteer at Sock Summit.  I figured it was a good way to get to know people and really feel a part of the whole thing.  I am very glad that I did and I will do it again.

I made some new friends.  I met shirleysnh2004 while we were sitting at the volunteer table in between assignments:

I worked with MP on the loading dock Thursday morning helping vendors move in:

I met a fun group of ladies from the most exotic region of our country - the State of Iowa.  They are (from L to R) altygrae, Restoknitter and judithio:

Here's a good shot with Annimol:

I also met mccute while we were working on the loading dock together.  Here we are at Burgerville:

I ran into a few luminaries in the wild.  Franklin Habit was enjoying a Voodoo Donut.  He was wearing a kilt, and no, I did not look under it:

Here's Lynn Hershberger.  She has been a teacher at DFW Fiber Fest before:

I got a picture of Lucy and me:

Here's a picture of Lucy and Lynn together.  They are very colorful:

Next, there's Sandi Wiseheart.  The Exotic Iowa girls and I had met her Wednesday night at Burgerville.  She was sitting by herself and came over and joined us.  From that point on, she was our friend; so, I had to take a picture with her:

I snapped a picture of Tina and Stephanie together (rare) and sitting down (rarer).  It didn't last long:

I took some great classes.  One was Sock Design Workshop:  Know the Rules, Then Break Them with Star Athena:

Kate Atherley taught Writing Up an Awesome Sock Pattern:

I took Writing Sock Patterns from JC Briar:

I didn't get a picture of Parna Mehrbani, but I took a One Hour Wonder class with her called The (C) Word.  Copyright for Knitters and Designers.  It was very informative, as were all my classes. 

I listened to wonderful lectures.  Anna Zilboorg gave an interesting talk called Deeper Meaning of Sock Knitting.  She seems like such a cool lady that Restoknitter and I adopted her as our favorite Aunt.  She was okay with that:

Sock Yarn Stories by Clara Parkes gave me good information about which yarns are better suited for sock knitting and why:

Stephanie's talk This Is Your Brain on Knitting informed us why knitting is good for us.   

I participated in the Flash Mob.  If you look real hard, and look through to the back will see me. 

I shopped...and can I just say, you might be a Needle Ho, if when you introduce yourself to the Signature Needles Arts owner she exclaims, "Oh, I know you! I recognize your name."

So...of course I bought needles.  I bought two circulars from Signature to complete my collection of their 5" needle shaft, stilleto point, 24" circulars.  I also bought a set of Blackthorne double points in 2.25mm (1 US) because I don't have any, and they are supposed to be very strong and won't snap...and because, well...I don't have any...and I am a Needle Ho:

Sock Summit was the only other time this year (besides DFW Fiber Fest) that I was allowing myself to purchase yarn.  So, I did.  From L-R, I got one skein of Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga! in Northern Purple Gold Beetle; Goth Socks Strychnine in Red Queen; Grinning Gargoyle's nice, fingering-weight MCN in Honeysuckle and BugSnugger's soft fingering-weight in Calmer - a color making its debut at the Sock Summit.  I got that last one to give to my friend Ruby.  She was going to come to Sock Summit, but ended up not being able to:


I regretted not purchasing anything from Jenny the Potter at the last Sock Summit; so, I made sure to buy this adorable needle vase this time:

Kind of clockwise - Soak makes some great wool wash. I bought a travel-pak.  They also make a nice foot cream called Heel.  Bar-Maids makes a nice lotion body bar.  I bought the smaller, Lo-Lo To-Go in Honeysuckle. (Is there a theme?  No.)  I also bought some of their Lo-Lo Cuticle Intensive to carry in my purse:

I found some buttons with knitting-related sayings:

Here's my Sock Summit swag:

The "It" item of the whole weekend for me is The Stitch Light.  You pick out the color of your strap, you pick out the little bag (that holds the little things you don't want to lose, and that I tend to lose, while knitting), put it all together, adjust your strap length, sit down with your knitting, turn it on and vee-oh-lah!  You can sit there and knit happily along and see what you are doing while (for instance) The Husb is watching tee vee and doesn't like you to turn on the lamp because it causes a glare on the screen.  It's by Buffy Ann Designs:

All in all, it was a phenomenal experience. Stephanie and Tina, along with all the ST-2s -Debbie, Rachel, Natalie, Lisa, Stephen and Debra - did a fantastic job. I think Sock Summit is a first class fiber conference. Thank you Ladies and Gents....I had a wonderful time.

MK out.

*Ravelry names used to protect the innocent.