Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - 1/24/2012 - I'm Ready for My Closeup Now, Mr. DeMille...

I am still alive, I just have limited communication and publishing methods available at the moment. I will have to edit this post back to my usual style once I can get my hands on more civilized methods...and there are no spell check capabilities; so, beware!

I am all o.v.e.r this week's topic for Ten on Tuesday. Carole asks us to list Ten Movies You Want to See Right Now.. The Oscar nominations have just been announced, and there are seven movies nominated for the "big five" that I haven't seen yet:
1. War Horse
2. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
4. Hugo
5. Albert Nobbs
6. Warrior (because Nick Nolte got nominated for Best Supporting Actor)
7. A Better Life
To round out my list:
8. The latest Sherlock Holmes because I loved the chemistry between Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. in the first one.
9. The new Mission Impossible because I heard it was really good.
10. A Separation because it looks good - and, bonus: it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language.

MK out.

Friday, January 13, 2012

FO Friday - 1/13/2012

I present the Flourish shawl...knit with about 400 yards of yummy Brooks Farm Mas Acero - a delectable blend of wool, silk and rayon - and using 5.0mm circular needles. I made the medium.

I just noticed that the sample is in purple too.  Maybe, that's why I thought of my purple leftovers from the Gathered Pullover that I made in 2009.

It was a fun knit. 

MK out.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday - 1/11/2012

Wow!  It's almost 6:00 PM, and I haven't knitted yet today...It's been a busy one for me.

I can show progress photos of the projects currently OTN though...

The baby blanky is coming along:

I am about half way through Clue #2 on the mystery socks:

I started a little something pink to alternate with the afghan when I am caught up with sock clues:

That's it.  What are you working on?

MK out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - 1/10/2012 - Soup's On!!!

This week, Carole asks us to tell our Ten Favorite Soups.  It's a great day to eat soup around here today - gray, cold, wet...

I love soup.  I love many different kinds, but here are ten that quickly come to mind:
1.  Lentil soup - my mom's recipe...straight forward with lentils, onions, carrots, garlic, water and a little olive oil for sauteing.  Yum!
2.  Split pea soup...again, another Momma recipe and not too many ingredients, but so filling.
3.  My momma also made a chickpea soup that I just love.  She was great with minimal ingredients and big taste.
4.  Avgolemono (Lemon Egg) Soup...Yep, it's another Momma specialty.  This one is a little more involved, as we make our own chicken or turkey broth (after Thanksgiving or Christmas...it is a must to use that leftover carcass), but it is so worth it.
5.  Momma's Beef Stew - all my kids love this one...even some of their friends.
6.  Chicken Tortilla Soup, although I haven't had a good one since Tia's closed.
7.  La Madelaine's Tomato Basil
8.  Campbell's Cream of Tomato Soup - with grilled cheese sandwiches, please.  My mom asked me to make this for supper sometimes, when the boys were gone and it was just the two of us...
9.  Lobster Bisque - Truluck's makes a good one.
10.  The borscht at Nikolai's Roof in Atlanta, Georgia...love it.  Sadly, I haven't been to Atlanta in a while.

I am so thankful that I learned how to make the soups my momma made; so, I can make them anytime I am hungry for them.  I guess I should learn how to make some of the others - except Cambell's can keep making the Cream of Tomato for me.

I think I may make soup for tonight's supper now...

MK out.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sad Sunday

I took this picture outside of our house Friday night.  We always keep our tree up through Epiphany.  (Pardon for my less than stellar photography skills.)  It kind of made me sad.  Inside, it was all warm and shiny - outside, it was dark and kind of gloomy...a dichotomy, of sorts.

Yesterday, I brought down the boxes and took a few ornaments off the tree.  We will finish the task today.

It is always sad to put away the last bits of Christmas. 

The good thing is that it will come around again...

MK out.

Friday, January 6, 2012

FO Friday - 1/6/2012

A friend of mine asked me to make a particular hat for her daughter for Christmas.  We settled on a pretty gray in Berroco Lustra and some scraps of pink yarn that I had around...(Imagine...I have scraps of pink yarn laying around...)

Here's the happy recipient wearing her hat:

Next - Hold onto your hats...grab your smelling salts...

I blocked the Citron shawl yesterday!!!

I know, right?!?

I used every inch (almost) of this yarn that I had.  I've seen Citrons that are teeny tiny.  This one did not turn out huge, by any means, but I think it's a good size for a nice shawlette. 

The yarn is Shaeffer Yarn Company Anne in some colorway that they got at the end of their dyepot and I used my beautiful 4.0mm Signature circulars.  I did an extra repeat of the pattern, except for the last two rows, and then started the ruffle.  I only did eight rows of the ruffle before binding off, and I had about 8 inches of yarn left. 

I got this baby blocked just in time...It is a Christmas gift, and today is the twelfth in the Twelve Days of Christmas...whew!!!

It is now on it's way to the recipient.

MK  out.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

WIP Wednesday - 1/4/2012

Currently, I have only two projects OTN.  I sort of have a plan for the next couple of months...lots of babies being born and other motivations...

I am a member of the Sock Knitters Anonymous group on Ravelry.  Every month, they hold a challenge where you can knit a sock by the featured designer, or knit a pattern that incorporates the featured technique or you can join in the Mystery Sock (MOCK) KAL (knit-a-long) every other month.  I've mostly lurked until last Spring when I joined one of the challenges.  I tried to join another one or two, but things came up and I didn't really participate in that way.  This month, I thought I would do the MOCK.  The first clue was released, and so far, I really like the pattern.

I dug up my American Red Cross knit kit in the commemorative tin because I thought the green yarn would lend itself well to the Flora or Fauna theme of the month.

See, it is green - a kind of Army green, but also a deep-in-the-woods kind of green.

The MOCK is designed by Carrie Sullivan of irishgirlieknits.  It is called Blathnat, meaning "little flower" in Gaelic.  Pictured is the first sock.  I thought I'd do the first clue on each sock separately, and then join the two socks on two circs after that. 

I am also making a little blanky for a special person who will be born next month.  I had a ton of Caron Wintuk from years ago that I had bought for a different project that got derailed.  I am doing a basketweave pattern with a seed-stitch border.  I like it so far.  The yarn...not so much.  I have become quite the yarn snob.

I am continuing to Cold Sheep in 2012.  I was fairly successful in 2011.  I only made thoughtful purchases, and not that many...until I got myself into the Goth Socks Club.  It's only one skein of sock yarn per month, for as long as I stay in...Not sure how long that will be yet.  Anyway, I was perusing my stash pictures on Ravelry and I thought of projects to make and paired them with yarn and made a list. 

I have some cotton chenille yarn that has aged to perfection in the stash and needs to be used this year.  It's not Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille; it's some off brand that I had found years ago.  It doesn't feel like the Crystal Palace, but maybe that yarn snobbery in me is coming out...I don't know.

I had the biggest urge to make a washcloth yesterday; so, I grabbed one of the partially used balls and some needles.  I cast on and worked on it at the STARS game last night.  I finished it today.  (Y'all are seeing an FO and it is not FO Friday.  Shhh, don't tell.) Knitting with this yarn aggravates my bilateral Blackberry thumb issue to no end.  I was thinking about making one of these babies a week until I finished up the yarn, but I may have to rethink that plan...

I didn't make as many projects in 2011 as I have in previous years, but I didn't do too badly.  I made:
7 pair of socks

6 adult hats
2 baby hats
2 baby booties
3 shawlettes
2 adult sweaters
2 baby sweaters
1 felted tote bag
4 washcloths
1 baby afghan
1 toddler poncho
3 Christmas stockings

I am going to become stashless one of these days...I just know it!

MK out.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - 1/3/2012 - The List

I have given up with New Year's Resolutions.  I do write down lists of things that I'd like to accomplish in the coming year, but it is more of a goal setting exercise.  Carole asks us to tell Ten Things That We Want to Do in 2012. 

When I wrote my lists of goals for this year, I noticed that it is rather chore oriented, but I have several "projects" on my plate, and I would really try to get them done.  In the last almost year and a half, The Husb and I lost our remaining parental units. Consequently, we have some additonal real estate that needs attention.  I have listed the big things here and I tried to include some fun things too:  (I write l.i.s.t.s of goals, and trust me when I say, there are way more than ten things I'd like to accomplish this year.)

1.  Decrapify and organize the paperwork files...I really hate paperwork, and I've really let it get out of hand.
2.  Finish cleaning out and sell my mother's house.
3.  Finish cleaning out and sell my inlaw's house.
4.  Finish cleaning out the condo...we might keep this one.
5.  Settlle the estate for which I am the executor.
6.  Study for and pass my recertification test.
7.  Knit from stash to reduce it by one-third this year...If I buy yarn through the year, I will have to knit that much more...
8.  Send some cards and letters...like through the mail.
9.  Spend more time with friends...and be sure to tell them how much they mean to me.
10.  Do at least one fun thing and find joy daily.

MK out.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Movie Monday - 1/2/2012

Happy New Year everybody!  It feels a little weird typing 2012, but I'm sure I will get used to it.

The Best Actress category is going to be one to watch this year. I saw three, if not four, films that should garner nominations for the actresses in them:

Brandon (Michael Fassbender) has a problem.  For someone who cannot get enough sex, he sure doesn't seem to enjoy it. He doesn't appear to like himself much, much less other people. His sister (Sissy, played by Carey Mulligan) comes to stay with him and he is less than thrilled...especially when she walks in on him when he is having some private time. It is quite evident that both siblings have emotional issues. We never find out why or how they came to be how they are. Shame is rated NC-17 for good reason. It is worth seeing just for Carey Mulligan's performance. She should get a nomination. Michael Fassbender was pretty good too. It is a depressing movie, though, and not for everybody.

Run...Don't walk to see My Week with Marilyn. It is based on the true story of Colin Clark talking his way into a job on the set of The Prince and the Show Girl, that starred Lawrence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn (Michelle Williams) was married to Arthur Miller at the time. Olivier (Kenneth Branaugh) was married to Vivien Leigh. Miller leaves for a week, and Monroe pals around with Clark (hence the title). Michelle Williams should win the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance. She was incredible. She will be up against Meryl Streep in Iron Lady. If they figure out a justification to nominate her for Best Supporting Actress, (after all, the main character is technically Colin Clark) there will be no problem in winning in that category. Seriously though, I think her performance just about rivals any of Meryl Streep's. What I cannot understand is why they made Julia Ormond (who played Vivien Leigh) look so old and matronly. Leigh was only supposed to be 42 at the time. I really liked this movie.

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo should also be nominated for an Oscar. You have to see her as herself to really appreciate her talent. She plays a person 180 degrees different from her, and she does it in quite a convincing fashion, in my opinion. The movie is a pretty good adaptation of the book with the same name by Stieg Larsson. Daniel Craig also stars. There is a scene in the film that is pretty graphic (and the 2009 Swedish version is supposed to be even grittier) and hard to watch, but aside from that, i thought it was a pretty good movie. I wonder though, if someone hasn't read the book, would the movie be as good? Hmmm...I don't know, but I was quite entertained by Mara's performance.

Charlize Theron plays Mavis, an unlikeable character, in Young Adult. She is a former beauty queen who has become a ghost writer of a successful book series for young adults. The people back home look up to her as someone who has made the big time, when in reality, her life in the Mini Apple isn't as glamorous and wonderful as people think. In many ways, she acts no differently than her high school characters, although she is in her thirties. She leaves the big city of Minneapolis to return to her hometown when she finds out her high school flame and his wife have just had a baby. In her mind, he and she were meant to be together, and she aims to get him back. Alcohol fuels her delusions. Matt, an unpopular character from her high school days tries to help her see the error of her ways. It was a cute little movie - funny, yet sad.  Depending on the rest of the field, Theron might get a nomination for her performance.

MK out.