Saturday, March 31, 2012

DFW Fiber Fest 2012 Day 1

Yesterday was the first day of Fiber Fest.  I had researched the vendors websites and was armed with a list...Day One was really all about the shopping for me...I didn't take that many pictures, but I will share what I have.

I think I made quite the haul:

I bought two sets of ChiaoGoo 24-in 2.0mm circulars and the bluish yarn in the middle is Poems Socks from The Knitting Fairy.  The colors are what I would call Dallas Mavericks colors and I want to make a Wingspan shawlette to wear to the games.

The three skeins of yarn on the top are:
Timebomb - on a nice SW Falkland British Merino/Nylon blend in a turquoise color - from Gritty Knits,
Makimo - a nice mixture of blues and turquoises (the colorway is called Relaxing) in 100% bamboo - from The Fiber Lady and
Tough Love Sock in the Cold Mountain colorway by sweetgeorgia yarns purchased at the Woolie Wok.

The three on the bottom are:
A nice 100% organic merino fingering weight in the Sakura colorway from Gynx Yarns,
Pashmina in Tart from Madelinetosh and
Marmalade of Ponies - a nice 100% SW fingering weight wool in a beautiful pinky red colorway from Alisha Goes Around.
Oh - and I bought some beads from The Artful Bead to use with the Pashmina to make a Saroyan shawlette.

Here's some of what was in the goodie bags for the students:

Later in the evening, I attended An Evening With Ravelry. 

Mary-Heather and Sarah (toting her handsome assistant) presented "Unraveling Ravely," which shared informative tips that will help maximize our experience and usage of the site.

There were munchies:

There were people:

It was fun.

Then, I got home and there was a package from The Loopy Ewe:

I am going to participate in the Second Quarter 2012 Challenge, which is about knitting a project out of yarn that has cotton in it.  I do have yarn with cotton in it in my stash, but 1. it wasn't purchased from TLE and 2. it is not yarn that TLE carries.  Those are the conditions...So, I had to buy some yarn - Cascade Ultra Pima in turquoise.

Darn, shoot.

I think I had a pretty good day.

MK out.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

WIP Round-Up

I know I mentioned that I was going to gather the WIPs and let y'all have a gander...

I had intended to present them for WIP Wednesday. I got up yesterday and took some pictures, but I was feeling a little puny and never got around to posting.  Beautiful wild flowers are blooming all over the place around here - which means that the pollen count is high enough to get the best of me...and it did.

It is the end of the month, and I have six things OTN.  This weekend is also the DFW Fiber Fest. There may be some knitting on my part, but I plan to purchase some yarn for new projects (to add to the yarn upstairs that I've purchased in the past for other projects), visit with old friends, meet new friends and just generally flit around and drink in all the yarn fumes.

This past weekend, there was some knitting, but we spent a chunk of that time helping our daughter move.  Originally, I figured - "Yay!  Car knitting...I'll get things done!!!" - until I realized that I would be driving one of the vehicles part of the time; so, not as much car knitting..."Boo!!!"

I wanted to have this top finished to wear at Fiber Fest.

As you can see, it is not quite done yet.  Maybe, I can finish it before the last day and be able to wear it, but it will require some sitting down and actually working on it action.  I worked on it quite a bit last Wednesday, but then put it aside (thinking I would have plenty of car knitting time) in favor of casting on for this:

I bought it last year at Fiber Fest.  It is the Bird of Paradise Shawl, designed by Jenn at the Woolie Ewe.  Lorna's Laces created the exclusive colorway, also called Bird of Paradise. The WE were selling it in their booth.  Interestingly, it goes well with the lacy top...

Due to my overachieving tendencies, instead of having one of the two things completed, I currently have two things that are not.

Yesterday morning, I wasn't quite finished with the first ball of yarn.  I then proceeded to knit on it all day (off and on) while I was relaxing and recovering from the allergy attack.  I am on the last section as I type this post.  I am hoping to finish it tonight and possibly even blocking it.  I just may get to wear this shawl this weekend, afterall...

The Little Red Sweater is coming along slowly.

I have done both sleeves and am up to the part where one splits the sleeve to work on the front and back bodices separately.  If I could spend about an hour on it, I'd make quite a bit of progress on it and it will speed on towards the finish line...

I started a little hat to match.

I am using the Cheeky Beret pattern again, but will make it two-tone this time.  I found some pink leftover yarn of a different brand, but I don't think the difference is too apparent.  Maybe, this will be a good project to work on at Fiber Fest.  It won't take too much time or too much concentration to complete. 

I am questioning whether or not I am made to knit complicated charted socks.  I finished the first chart of my March 2012 socks on both cuffs and then put them aside. 

I am using the Aragorn pattern.  The yarn is Tosh Sock in the Moorland colorway.  I tried to knit them back in September, but my MIL had just gone into hospice then, and her decline was pretty rapid...I couldn't really concentrate.  I frogged them and put the pattern and the yarn away for a time when concentration was available.  At least I have until the end of April to meet the Sock Knitters Anonymous (SKA) challenge.

I was going to do the March MOCK too.  I started it, but ended up not getting row gauge (and the pattern specifically states that row gauge is important with this design) and frogging them.  Luckily, they will apply for the April SKA challenge, because I really like the pattern and really want to make them.  I didn't take a picture of the caked up yarn, but it's pink sock yarn.  You will see them next month.

Finally, I have a little bib OTN for a charity fundraiser benefitting an orphanage in Greece. 

I am using Cotton Tots yarn. I really need to get cracking on it, because the date is coming up, and mail to Greece can take a little time...

So, that's the list.

I think I am going to pack up my bag for Fiber Fest tomorrow, finish some wash and get knitting.

MK out.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - 3/27/2012 - Back Up the Moving Van

Carole keeps coming up with topics that are relevant to my life...This week, we are asked to share Ten Tips for Moving.

While construction on our new house has only just begun, I know I will be eager to hear any advice that would make this monumental task a little easier. The last time we moved was almost 25 years ago. If I knew any good tips back then, I am sure I've forgotten them by now...I've got nothing, People!

This weekend, we did help DD2 move to her new apartment. It was a 230 mile move. The only thing I learned from the adventure is: Hire professionals.

MK out.

Friday, March 23, 2012

FO Friday - 3/23/2012

I've been knitting and knitting and knitting - but not finishing...

That's the problem when you have a hectic schedule and too many things OTN.  My WIP count has crept up a little.  I think 3 works best for me, but I've got a few more than that currently.  I think I will do a WIP Round Up on Wednesday and you'll see what I mean.

I did make a bunch of little newborn hats for Parkland Hospital. 

I used leftovers from other projects.  There wasn't enough left of each color, but definitely enough to make a hat or two...

 DFW Fiber Fest always supports a charity or two every year.  This year, there's three - Parkland, The Prison Yarn Program and North Texas Food Bank. 

FYI - I cannot figure out a good way to reply to comments.  Blogger doesn't always give me e-mail addresses.  When they do, I try to reply that way.  When not, I try to reply in the comments section.  Right now, I am very behind, but I will start using the comments section as the default place for replies. 

MK out.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Movie Monday - 3/19/2012

Today's weather has been interesting.  A line of thunderstorms was west of the metroplex early this morning and heading this way. It was cloudy and a little windy, and definitely threatening rain, but nothing was happening.  By 1000, the sun came out and the weather people were talking about possible tornadoes associated with this storm.  It was predicted to reach us in the early afternoon.  I uncharacteristically made out my shopping list and headed out the door hoping to get back home before the storms started.  Well, aside from the wind picking up considerably, the sun shined my whole way home and most of the afternoon.

It is now almost supper time, and the clouds have gathered...I felt a few drops of rain when I walked to the mailbox...

So, it has been a good day to do inside things.  I have been doing a little cooking, washing and general picking up.  I also watched a movie I taped the other day - I've always wanted to see Elmer Gantry and finally got my chance.  The movie apparently was adapted from a book, but only covers part of the story.  It is about a drunken salesman, street preacher, drifter who joins forces with a revival ministry.  Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons and Shirley Jones starred in this well acted and entertaining look at politics and religion.  I liked it.

I watched another old movie yesterday.  High Society is the 1956 musical remake of The  Philadelphia Story.  I loved Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart in the 1940s version; so, I thought I'd watch this one.  Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra starred in the "newer" version...It is set in Newport, RI - where Tracy Lord is about to get remarried, but not if her ex-husband has anything to do with it.  It was really good.

I did watch one video in the last week.  Clive Owen stars in The Boys Are Back, which is based on a true story.  A sports writer loses his wife and is suddenly trying to work and raise his very confused and bereaved six-year-old son.  When his teenaged son from a previous marriage comes to live with them, the situation becomes more difficult.  It was a good warm and fuzzy story, but overall, it was just alright.

MK out.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WIP Wednesday - 3/14/2012

It's cloudy again today, but it was perfect for a powerwalk earlier this morning.  I even gave blood today...Oh, that's not why y'all are here.  Y'all wanna see some WIPs...

Well, I have WIPs everywhere I turn around here.

Remember my beautiful (to me, at least) garden last spring?  I was so excited, because I'm not really much of a gardener and it was my first time to really get my hands dirty and put one in by myself.  Then, Mother Nature decided that rain wasn't necessary all last summer and turned up the heat to triple, my garden had extra strikes against it - besides being my garden.

Yesterday, I took a picture of what survived.  That petunia is going wild!

Check out that hardy little begonia:

In the knitting department, I am working on the Lacy Top:

I am enjoying knitting this pattern as much as I did the first time around.  I hope I have better success this time.  The only tricky part to this pattern is when one comes to the the armhole and shoulder decreases.  I really hate patterns that say "decrease ___ stitches at each end while keeping in pattern", when there is a lace pattern.  Seriously?!?  I have to chart the thing to see what I need to be doing "in pattern."  I don't like to have to work that hard.  I knit for the fun and relaxation.

I am hoping to have it ready to wear to DFW Fiber Fest.  I am going to try to wear only handknits.  Maybe, that's dorky, but that's my little challenge to myself.

MK out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - 3/13/2012 - Pump Up The Volume!!!

We've been having cray-zee weather around here.  One day, it's wet and gray, the next it's warm and sunny...Today it's warmish and partly cloudy.  I needed a boost to get me going, and Carole delivered with today's topic 10 Songs That Put You In A Great Mood.

Well, I love music, and I can think of way more than ten songs, but I'll give you the first ten that popped into my head:

1.   To start it off, I really like Annie Lennox and 'Retha Franklin singing Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves.  That really gets my heart pumping!
2.   Beautiful Day by U2
3.   Magic Man by Heart
4.   I Can't Get No Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones.
5.   Vacation by The Go Gos
6.   Love Shack by B52s
7.   Funky Town by Lipps Inc.
8.   Jazzman by Carole King
9.   Already Gone by Eagles
10. It's My Life by No Doubt...Remakes are usually hit or miss, and I like this version the best of all.

Now that I am pumped...I've got to go upstairs and do some decrapifying...

MK out.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Movie Monday - 3/12/2012

Let's get to it:

Miral is based on a true story. In 1948 Palestine, Hind Husseini (played by Hiam Abbass) came upon 50 homeless Palestinian children with no place to go, She brought them all home with the conviction that they needed to be fed and taken care of. Six months later, she was taking care of two thousand homeless children. She started a school, believing that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be better served with educated people. Years later, Jamal (Alexander Siddig) brings his young daughter Miral (Frieda Pinto) to the school after his wife commits suicide. When Miral is older, she meets a Hani (Omar Metwally), a political activist who thinks violence is the answer to taking back their country. Vanessa Redgrave and Willem Dafoe also star in this interesting look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a different point of view. I liked it.

Isabelle Huppert stars in White Material, set in an unknown African country. The movie is in French with English subtitles. She plays a woman who lives on a coffee plantation owned by her ex-husband's father. The country is about to break out in war, but all she is concerned about is harvesting those coffee beans that will be a good crop this year. Never mind the safety of the workers she is trying to assemble, or even her own...she just doesn't want those beans to go to waste. The movie was definitely well acted, and pretty intellectual, but I wasn't very entertained. Maybe, it was my mood that day.

The Beaver is kind of a dumb movie...Jodie Foster stars in and directs this film about a mentally ill man (Mel Gibson) who is a successful businessman until his breakdown. He then uses a hand puppet to speak for him and gets out the things that are really on his mind. I call BS. The thing that bothered me about this movie is that it trivializes mental illness. Yes, when people are mentally ill (and even when they are not) they have issues with expressing themselves....BUT...I couldn't decide if this movie was trying to be a dramedy or if it was trying to show how ridiculous the actions of mentally ill people seem to others or what...I just thought it was a hot mess, except for the fact that is illustrated that mental illness affects more than just the patient.

Another Earth is a good science fiction film, with many implausible theories, but still good. Another Earth appears in the sky. Rhoda gets accepted to MIT in astrophysics. After a night of celebration, she drives home under the influence, and while gazing up at the other Earth, she slams into a minivan carrying a couple and their child. Only the father survives. Years later, Rhoda wants to make some kind of amends. She also wants to visit the other Earth to find her double there and see if that one is on a different path. The story had holes...mostly regarding scientific facts, but it was good. I liked it.

MK out.

Friday, March 9, 2012

FO Friday - 3/9/2012

I have some FOs to share that I completed last month!!!

First up, I made a mink, thing. 

I was feeling a little disgruntled with the other things I had OTN not too long ago and needed a little instant gratification.  I pulled out some eyelash yarn that I had in black and in brown.  I have too much novelty yarn...I've had it so long that it is coming back in style...but I just wanted to make something with the stuff in the interest of using up some stash.  I decided that I could make some kind of fun boa-type-neck-thing for that special occasion that called for it.  Holding two strands of black and one of brown together gave it a sort of minky-ish look.  It's all garter stitch and it used up nine balls of this stuff.  I still have some left, despite my best efforts.

I did finish that pink thing...It's a little cardi for a special little girl:

It is inspired by the Little Daisy Cardigan pattern by Sublime.  Their version is a little different, plus, it instructs you to make seven pieces that need to be sewn together.  Bah humbug!  I made mine top-down and seamless....I may change out the button...The one I used may be a little too big.  What do you think?

I made a hat to go with the cardi...It is also from the same Sublime booklet and I followed the pattern as stated:

It's called the Cheeky Beret.  I love that name!

Now, back to my knitting...

MK out

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - 3/6/2012 - Bag Lady Confessions...

I have to thank Carole for this week's subject:  Ten Things in Your Purse.  By dumping out the purse I was able to 1. clean it out and 2. find the package for a set of circulars for which I had searched the house yesterday...

Here are what I consider the ten essential items in my purses:

1.  The sunglasses usually sit on top of my head like a headband, but they spend the night in the purse.
2.  The phone - I can't leave home without it.
3.  I have a little coin purse. It also holds driver's license and credit cards.
4.  I still have a Palm Pilot.  Yes...I am old school. I don't like the gmail system and my Droid info doesn't sync with my computer very well.
5.  The car key fob also has the front door keys to our house and to my mom's.
6.  This pillbox was my mom's.  It sure comes in handy to carry some calcium pills; so, I have them available to take if I am out and about.
7.  One of the most important things I carry is a pen.  One always needs a pen.  Back in the day, when I was a swinging bachelorette and would go little purse always had a pen.
8.  Paper is also a must...Writing a cute guy's digits on your hand is just not pretty...(Did I say that out loud?) OK, OK...That was a holdover from back in the day...These days, the things I want to write down are more varied...thoughts, lists of things to do, calls to make - boring stuff...
9.  Lipstick is the most important thing I carry.  I can't go anywhere without my shine.
10.  I carry the checkbook around out of habit.  I don't normally have to write a check while I am out and about, but it is a good place to park it and know where it is when I need to find it.

Here are some additional things that were in there that have other places to go:

I have snaps I bought at Jo Ann's yesterday for which I declined a bag, 40-in 3.00mm circulars from a little hat I made last week, free taco coupons from the Mavericks game this weekend, a Star Bucks gift card, notes about area Zumba classes, the errand list, receipts from the bottom of my bag, the errant circular needles package, a restaurant loyalty card and the shopping list with some coupons...

Yes, my purse is quite messy at times, but not today.

MK out.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Movie Monday - 3/5/2012

It was a slow movie watching week at Chez Merry Karma:

In Welcome to the Rileys, we meet longtime married couple Doug and Lois (played by Melissa Leo and James Gandolfini) who are living their separate lives. She never leaves the house and he is not working, he is having an affair or plays poker with the guys. It doesn't take long to realize why these two are not very happy. When he goes to New Orleans for a convention, he meets a 16-yr-old stripper named Mallory (played by Kristen Stewart). Doug decides to stay in NO for a while to figure things out and helps Mallory in the process. The movie was well acted and it is a good story. I liked it.

Incendies was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2011 Academy Awards. It is mostly in French with English subtitles. Nawal (Lubna Azabal) lives somewhere in the Middle East and undergoes a series of horrors, until she leaves for Canada to protect her twins, Jeanne (Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin) and Simon (Maxim Gaudette). After she dies, she leaves instructions for the twins to deliver two letters - one to the father whom they've thought was dead and one to the brother they didn't know they had. Jeanne takes off for the Middle East right away. Simon joins her later. Their journey brings them closer to the mother they thought they knew. It was every good and very well acted. I really liked it.

MK out.

Friday, March 2, 2012

FO Friday - 3/2/2012

I finished the February Socks while watching the Oscars Sunday night.  I am very pleased about the whole experience. 

I made them TAAT using two 2.25mm circs. The yarn is Fearless Fibers Merino/Tencel sock yarn. It is really yummy to knit! The pattern is Hermione's Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder. The pattern repeat is very easy to memorize and makes a really elegant presentation, I think. 

I have finished three more projects, but I will not post them today.

MK out.