Thursday, May 31, 2012

Crisis Averted...(Sort Of)

I've been away...When we had to leave, rather suddenly, the first thing I did was to run around the house trying to pack my knitting.  I do have my priorities.

I packed The Lazy Girl Shawl, My Tarty Scarf and Clara...patterns, yarn, needles...

Ten minutes down the road, I realized that I had left the second cake of Oceana on MCN Fingering upstairs where I had wound the skein into a cake.  I really didn't have the heart to make The Husb go back so I could get it...despite it being close to the end of MadMay, and I was planning on finishing the second half of the (The Lazy Girl) shawl during the hours and hours of driving time to reach our destination...So, here's what it looks like on the last day of MadMay:

I finished My Tarty Scarf three days ago, and you will have to wait until tomorrow to see it.  I like how it turned out...

The crisis?  Oh yeah.  After I finished the scarf and knitted to the very end of the first skein of Oceana, I pulled out my little packet for Clara and discovered that I had not packed the correct size needles.

I have the needles I need.  At home. the same, exact size.  I know exactly where, too.  I figured - oh well, I can study for my PANRE exam on the way biggie.

The longer I thought about it, the more distressed I became.  All that time sitting in the car, and no knitting to take off the edge?  Oh my!!!

I ran to the nearest LYS and bought some needles.


MK out.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

WIP Wednesday - 5/23/2012

Lordy...It is almost the end of May...That means it is almost the end of MadMay.  I've got two projects to finish before the end of the month.  (And to think that I was contemplating a third...)

The Saroyan is just a bit past halfway today.  Sorry for the crappy picture.  If you click on it, you can see it better (and larger):

The Lazy Girl has a long way to go:

I have a boatload of knitting to do.

MK out.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - 5/22/2012 - I'd Rather Be Knitting

It's Tuesday!  That means Carole has a new topic for us, and today it is 10 Things You Wished You Liked.  Here are mine:

1. Snow skiing – My whole family skis and all are good at it. I just have a real problem with an activity in which an ambulance awaits at the bottom of the mountain.
2. Filing and paperwork wrangling – Ugh!
3. Cleaning house.
4. Exercising – I wish I could find an activity that can keep me fit, but is really fun.
5. Gardening – I tried it last summer, but the triple-digit temperatures really knocked the wind out of my sails…plus, it is an ongoing activity for those who like their garden to prosper…
6. Ironing – I used to like it…I don’t know what happened…I do it now only out of necessity.
7. Crocheting – I know some crochet stitches, but I am nowhere as fast or as adept at it as I am with knitting; so, I don’t really enjoy it.
8. Eating capers – I am Greek, and I think I am supposed to like them, considering that there are some Greek restaurants that seem to use them liberally.  It is a royal pain picking them out of my, no thanks.
9. Riding roller coasters – I have motion issues in general, but I just did not enjoy riding the all two of them I have ridden in my life. Other people seem like they are having so much fun…but, not me.
10. Going camping – I would love to go camping if I had indoor plumbing, running water (with the option of heated water) and electricity….so, I’ll just stick to traveling in my RV – It’s like a really nice hotel suite on wheels.

MK out.

Friday, May 18, 2012

FO Friday - 5/18/2012

Can anyone guess what this picture means?

Need another clue?

How 'bout another?

And another?

The never ending socks are done, done and done!!!

I don't like how funky some construction methods can make a sock look...The foot of the sock looks really stubby and short because I used the high instep option.

If the sock looks sexy on the foot though...I have no complaints.

Pattern - Aragorn by Janneke Maat
Yarn - Moorland on Madelinetosh Tosh Sock
Needles - 2.5mm - TAAT on 2-circs
Comments - I love, love, love them.  This yarn is squishy and always a dream to knit.  Despite the fact that the pattern requires much concentration and the dark yarn color/twisted stitches/cable twists combination was challenging, it really was a fun knit. I would highly recommend anyone who might be interested to give it a whirl. 

I may make these socks again, but not this year...There are too many other things on the sock-to-do list...

Have a great weekend!

MK out.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'm Going to Camp!

Camp Loopy, that is!!!  You can read about it here and here.

I never went to summer camp as a kid.  There just weren't enough dollars lying around...nor was it something in my parents' realms of consciousness.

Anyway, because I must not have enough on my plate, between studying to recertify (something that I had wanted to do last summer) and cleaning out houses, doing repairs and getting them ready for the market and the mountains of paperwork that needs taming...I thought I'd squeeze in a little more deadline knitting...

It came to my attention that another baby had been born and since I have to make a gift anyway, I decided I could participate in Camp Loopy and deem the gift my Project One.

(Well...why the heck not?)

I found a pattern I liked - Clara by Louisa Harding.  I even have the Louisa Harding yarn that was used for this pattern...but one has to use yarn either purchased from or carried by The Loopy Ewe...and this particular yarn doesn't fall under either category.  So, I had to go shopping.


I found some pretty yarn by Rowan/Amy Butler called Belle Organic DK in the Peony colorway. (It is a soft and squishy wool and cotton blend.)

The yarn came right away...

...with my camp pin! 

Since my yarn is a purply color, I am in the Purple/Red Canoe Group.

Now, I just have to wait until May 27th to start...

MK out.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

WIP Wednesday - 5/16/2012

It's that fun time of the week again, when I pull out my projects to see how they are all going.

I've made good progress with My Tarty Scarf.  I weighed the yarn ball last night and there are 56 grams left - exactly half of what the ball weighed before I started knitting with it.  It's probably a good thing, because I am exactly halfway finished with the project.  I am keeping good thoughts that it will indeed be enough to finish...

The Turquoise Cardi is coming along.  I am almost to the point where the pattern says it is time to do the edging and bind off, but I don't think it will be long enough.  I have an entire skein of yarn that hasn't been caked - so, I have more than enough to make it as long as I want...

The Lazy Girl Shawl is fun to knit...I just haven't concentrated on it much since I cast on.  I've made a mistake...can you find it? I am not going to rip back and fix it.  I figure it is my reminder that I am not perfect.

Finally, the Aragorn socks are heading towards the finish line.  I've turned the heel and am happy to report that the end is in sight. 

What is on your needles?

MK out.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Movie Monday - 5/14/2012

Let's get to it!

Zoe Saldana stars in Colombiana. When she was a young girl, she witnessed her parents being killed by a gangster's thugs. She grew up knowing that she would someday bring down those who were responsible. It was very predictable and just "meh."

Contagion, starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude law, Kate Winslet and others, explores how easily global viruses can spread. It sure shows how unprepared humanity is for a pandemic outbreak of dramatic, Hollywood fashion.  That being said...Scary!

Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky, in French with English subtitles, is chiefly about the affair between these two creative people.  Anna Mouglalis and Mads Mikkelsen star as the principles and do a fine job in their roles.  The costume and fashions are superb.  The scenes are beautifully shot.  The only drawback…the story (or maybe the way the screenplay is written)  is not very interesting.  Meh.

Life, Above All - in Sepedi with English subtitles - is a very powerful film about courage and grace.  Chanda (Khomotso Manyaka) is a 12-year-old girl living in a town not far from Johannesburg, South Africa who has to grow up fast.  The rumor of AIDS is swirling around her, and she is the one keeping her family together, as her mother is ill and her stepfather is never there.  Her best friend Esther (Keaobaka Makanyane), who has to prostitute herself to make a living, isn't really helping her reputation with the neighbors.  It was very, very good.

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger is a Woody Allen film, with the usual neurotic-type characters searching for answers and other people in their quests for happiness.  There are many good actors in it - Naomi Watts, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Brolin, Antonio Banderas, Gemma Jones, Frieda Pinto and more.  It isn't one of Woody's best films, but it was entertaining.  I liked it.

MK out.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day 2012

Happy Mother's Day out there!!!

Every year, I think back to my very first Mother's Day, 26 years ago today:

I was newly married to my family - The Husb (for those of you who might not know) was a widower with three kids - and they were all so excited to celebrate Mother's Day. The kids were 9, 10 and 11 at the time and had asked me all week what I wanted to do for my big day. They made me breakfast in bed and we watched a tape of The Wizard of Oz - one of my all-time favorite movies.  They were so adorable...

Then The Husb, so proud of himself, announced that we had tickets to the Texas Rangers double-header that day!!! We were going to see them play the Yankees!!! During the heat of the day!!!

(The exclamation points are meant to be read as my sarcastic excitement.)

So, we went.

It was hot.

The kids kept running to the restrooms and bringing back wet paper towels to put on the backs of our necks. We forgot the sunscreen. Everyone was getting sunburned and cranky and hot - except for The Husb, of course.

Finally - we left during the fourth inning of the second game.  I cannot believe we lasted that long...

Things have come a long way since then.  The past several years, Mother's Day usually found us celebrating with my mom, MIL and daughter with her family - usually at a restaurant or at the club.  Now, that I am the matriarch of this family, we are still finding our new way.  We went out for dinner with our daughter and her kids last night.  Today, The Kid is coming over to spend time with us.  We will be grilling steaks and hanging out.

Before he gets here though, I will be doing what I like best:

I am going to start The Lazy Girl Shawl with my beautiful new yarn that is so squishy to feel and pretty to view.

Hope y'all have a great day!!!

MK out.

Friday, May 11, 2012

FO Friday - 5/11/2012

Knitting, knitting...lots of knitting...

...and a little sewing...

I finished the Summer Lacy Top!!! 

I thought I never would.

This little project took up two years of my life.  Not continuously, of course, because it was in total time out for about a year, but still.  The pattern drove me crazy with the shoulder and neck shaping (mainly because of limited direction) I totally did my own thing there.  I loved knitting it (both times) though.  It really was enjoyable.  The yarn was yummy - albeit a little hard on the hands.  It is Marisol Yarn Wach'i - a beautiful cotton and silk blend and I love the color.  It was a happy experience overall - despite the bumps in the road.

I even wore it today - hence the self photography.

Here are the cute little burpies I made the other day.  I use prefolded diapers and slap a little fabric on them - and Bob's your uncle!

Now, the dreaded Aragorn socks need to be finished, but since I missed the deadline for the challenge by a mile, I figured I can work on them quietly in the background while I move the Saroyan and the Lavendar Cardigan to the forefront. 

The MT MCN in Oceana came yesterday:

I think it is the best choice for the Lazy Girl Shawl.  I intend to start it on Sunday afternoon.

So, that leaves me with two skeins of Oceana on Tosh Merino Light...what to do...what to do?

MK out.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

WIP Wednesday - 5/9/2012

It's WIP Wednesday and what a wonderful Wednesday it is!  The sun is shining outside my window, but it is not too hot.

I have lots keeping me busy in the studio today.  I like calling my sewing room a studio...because, really, it is more than just a sewing room.  And, while I am not the most artistic or original or talented person out is where I create...

There are tons of babies being born in this world every single day...and I seem to know most of them.  I thought some burp pads would be in order:

I moved my operation from the kitchen to the studio, because the light is better in there...and technically, I am, what better place?

Isn't the stack cute?  There's also a pair of white jeans under there that I need to hem...

On the knitting front, I don't think these socks have really moved much since last Wednesday:

...nor have these:

I did a little on My Tarty Scarf:

I have been knitting, honest.  Look!  This cardi has progressed:

Remember when I bought this yarn:

and this yarn?

And remember when I discussed that I needed another one of the Oceana to make the shawl in TML or two in MCN Fingering, because the Carnivale is an MCN base?  While I was in Fort Worth last week, I went by Madtosh.  They only had Oceana on Sock, Chunky and a couple of other bases that were not appropriate.  We looked on the Madelinetosh site - no dice.  The Loopy Ewe and Jimmy Beans Wool didn't have any either - and since these are retail establishments, all I would be getting is the TML.  MCN is still in R&D phase.  Finally, we found some at Purl SoHo.  I ordered two skeins, in case there was a color variation with the one I have.  They came yesterday:

There was no color variation, but that's okay, because I already have a project in mind for the other skein. 

While I was waiting for my order, the Madelinetosh shop (not to be confused with Madtosh - because while they may be two wholly owned subsidiaries of the same company - they are separate entities) got some MCN Fingering in the warehouse and they dyed up some Oceana. 

Guess what I did?  Yep, I bought two skeins of Oceana on MCN Fingering.  I kind of wanted to keep the bases in the same family for this shawl - The Lazy Girl - and now I will have more Oceana on TML than I ever thought I would.  One skein is taken, remember, but if you have any suggestions for the other two, please send them on.

Did y'all notice that there's a project missing?

MK out.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - May 8, 2012 - Belly Laughs at the Movies

This week, Carole asks us about our Ten Favorite Comedy Movies.

So, it's no secret that I like movies.  I like old movies, new movies, funny movies, sad movies, foreign movies, silent movies...I like them all.  Here are some of my favorites from the 1970s to the present, because I had to narrow it down somehow:

1.  Fargo - I know, it's a little dark, but it is funny.
2.  Office Space - I never leave home without my flair.
3.  Paper Moon - OMG, that Tatum O'Neal was a hoot!
4.  The Artist - It's the newest movie on my list, and I love it.
5.  Annie Hall - I enjoyed this Woody Allen classic immensely when I rewatched it not too long ago.
6.  Arthur - I liked the one with Dudley Moore.
7.  Arthur - I also liked the one with Russell Brand...
8.  Mrs. Doubtfire - My mom and I watched this movie just about every time it came on tee vee.
9.  My Cousin Vinny - The two yutes got off, no thanks to Vinny.
10. Little Miss Sunshine - This movie couldn't have asked for a more perfect cast.
11. Meet the Parents - There are very few people in my circle of trust...
12. American Pie - I really liked the first one...the others were rather unfunny.  It will be interesting to see how the latest one measures up...
13. Muriel's Wedding - I loved the Abba songs and the story...
14. Dogma - I thought it was funny, and I still think it is Kevin Smith's best film.

As you can see, my taste is ecclectic and I could go on and on...

MK out.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

WIP Wednesday - May 2, 2012

I could show you pictures of the same stuff as I did yesterday, but how boring would that be?

Oh, wait...I did start My Tarty Scarf.  Y'all only saw the T0 shot it is today:

I just love how subtle, yet add-that-special-touch, those beads are...The Madelinetosh Pashmina yarn is a dream to knit.  The color is beautiful...who doesn't like Tart?

I am participating in Second Quarter Challenge (knit something using a yarn with cotton in it) over at The Loopy Ewe.  I am making The Lavender Cardigan, except in turquoise Cascade Ultra Pima.  Another yarn that is a pleasure to knit.  My monitor isn't really showing the color nicely, but it is a cool turquoise IRL. 

I am sad that I didn't finish my March socks (Aragorn) by the April 30 deadline...and even sadder that I forgot to "register" my April socks (Tara) for the challenge by April 30 too.  Oh well.  I still will have two nice pair of socks when they are finished.

What's on your needles?

MK out.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It's Mad May!!!

The Madelinetosh Lovers group on Ravelry is having a month long knitting extravaganza where a person knits with Madelinetosh yarns and participates in different KALs and challenges.  Each project must be started and finished in May. 

I am about to cast on for Saroyan:

I am going to bead the main vein of the leaf - only one bead on three rows.  Winding up the Pashmina was a sensory delight...I can't wait to start knitting!

I have to wait to start the Lazy Girl Shawl, because I either need another skein of TML or I need 2 skeins of 80/10/10 in Oceana to make it.  (Sniff, sniff...)  I have plenty to keep me entertained, though...

Of course, I haven't finished the Aragorn socks...the past few days has been challenging at Chez Merry Karma...but they are moving along - albeit slowly:

The Tara socks are moving too:

I haven't touched the Lacy Summer Top since I last wrote.  It still looks like this:

Gotta get back to knitting...

MK out.