Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday - 2/27/2013

I have more on the needles (OTN) right now than I care to admit, but I will share the two that are on the front burners today.

First up, I am still working on the February Socks, and the last day of February is tomorrow:

I've gotten a little further along since the realization that I talked about yesterday.  I'm at the gusset increases.  Yay.

I started a hat called Rikke the other day:

I needed something that didn't take too much concentration, although I am finding that garter stitch in the round is not as much fun as regular garter stitch.  I am using some single-ply 100% merino yarn, but I don't know the name of it.  I do know that it is milled by a company called Inca Tops.

So, that's it...That's the list.

MK out.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Never Let It Be Said...

...that I am a knitting expert - or any kind of expert, for that matter.

I was on a long car ride recently, knitting merrily along on my Febuary 2013 socks...When my brain engaged and I realized that I was knitting toe-up socks.  That implies that on the foot part, the sole is knitted plain and the pattern is knitted on the instep. 

Guess what?

Yep, I was knitting the pattern all the way around, as if I would be doing if I were going to knit cuff-down socks.

I was just about to start crying at the thought of ripping back all that work, when I realized that I didn't have to.  Luckily, this all took place in about 1 times 10 to the negative 14 seconds, or else, I would have done an even dumber thing and actually ripped back.

So, I just started dropping one column of stitches at a time like this:

Then, I took the crochet hook and chained up to the needle like this:

It took a while to do half of one sock, especially because I would sometimes skip a bar accidentally and not realize it until I had gotten all the way to the top:

Finally done!

MK out.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

It's Oscar Time

I'm getting ready for the Oscars, are you?  I know a couple of people who are in LA right this minute for Oscars parties (Hi Amy M and James J) and I am totally jealous!!!  I always say that I want to throw a big Oscars bash, and this year adds another year to my streak of talking about wanting to have a party but not having one...Oh well.  I should get on the stick though, cause I'm not getting any younger.

OK...I know y'all have been waiting for my picks (not predictions) to win each of my five big categories; so, here we go:

Best Supporting Actor - Alan Arkin (Argo), Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln) and Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained). 

This category is really tough for me, because I thought all these men did fine jobs in their roles.  Tommy Lee Jones and Christoph Waltz stood out a little more in my estimation, but my pick goes to Tommy Lee Jones.  He really brought the role of Thaddeus Stevens to life for me.

Best Supporting Actress - Amy Adams (The Master), Sally Field (Lincoln), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables), Helen Hunt (The Sessions) and Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook).

Another tough category, because every one of these ladies deserved the nomination, but my clear favorite is Helen Hunt.  She played a difficult role (a sexual surrogate) with such professionalism and aplomb.

Best Actor - Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) and Denzel Washington (Flight).

I had an easier time with this category...I thought Joaquin played crazy very well - and we all  know how much Oscar loves crazy, but Daniel Day-Lewis is my pick.  I never knew Lincoln, but the way that DD-L played him, he made me believe that's just how Lincoln was.

Best Actress - Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour), Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and Naomi Watts (The Impossible).

The choice was between Emmanuelle Riva and Jessica Chastain for me, and I am going with Emmanuelle Riva.  She was awesome in the difficult role of portraying a stroke victim.  

Best Picture - Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty.

I will be deeply disgusted with The Academy if Argo wins for Best Picture.  I thought it was one of the weaker nominations in this category.  I heard that many people feel that Ben Affleck was snubbed by not being nominated for the Best Director Oscar, and that the money is on Argo to win Best Picture to make it up to him.  That would be such a political move, but it is not unheard of with this group of people.  The Academy is notorious for overlooking an actor one year and then awarding him the gold little man the next for a lesser role to make up for the previous year's snub.  And then, there was the time that Halle Berry won the Best Actress Oscar...


I like each of the nominated movies for different reasons, although I really don't see why Argo and Silver Linings were even given a nod, but that's me.  When I think about which movie I think should win Best Picture, I think about which one entertained me the most, while possessing all the qualities I feel are important in a good movie (good story, good acting, pretty/visually interesting - just to name a few).  My pick for Best Picture is Lincoln.

Enjoy the show...

MK out.

Friday, February 22, 2013

FO Friday - February 22, 2013

It's still February...and I feel all Valentinesy the whole month long...and Valentines are red and pink and purple...but mostly red to me.

Everywhere I look, I see red, but in a good way.  There is red yarn allover this place!

I finished the washcloth out of red and pink chenille yarn:

I think I mentioned it's to donate to The New Start Project.  I hope the person who gets it feels the love in every stitch.

Remember this picture?  It is Lobster Pot Yarns Hand Dyed Cashmere that I had in the stash:

It became a cowl...the Chrysalis Cowl that I designed for Madelinetosh:

I had enough yarn to do four repeats of the pattern.

I finished the Sparkly Shawlette:

The yarn is Pizzazz by Ironstone.  The pattern is Litoral Shawl.  It was a relatively quick knit, save for the bothersome stopping every so often to untangle and straighten out the three strands of non-plied novelty yarns...

So, that's it.

MK out.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Movie Monday - 2/18/2013

I have been wanting to see Amour since long before it was nominated for one of the big five Oscar categories.  It's a French film, with English subtitles.  It's long and a friend who had seen it mentioned it was really slow.  Well, none of that bothered me.  The movie is about a couple who were now in their 80s, but had been talented and popular musical performers in the past. The wife suffers a stroke and the husband takes on the care taking duties.  We know from the beginning of the movie that she dies.  The movie is essentially the journey from the stroke to her death.  I thought it was very moving and powerful, in all its subtle glory, as many French films tend to be.  I really liked it.

I will divulge my picks for the Oscars soon.

MK out.

Friday, February 15, 2013

FO Friday - 2/15/2013

Can you believe it?  I have pictures of Finished Objects!!!

I sewed the buttons on the little cardi:

I decided to go with all the colors, because I liked it, and several people suggested it.

This cowl is from a KAL that I am leading at the local university's knitting work shop:

I used one skein of Berroco Vintage DK in a pretty minty color. 

The pattern is A Grey Loop by Helen G.  It was a fun and quick knit.

I also made a hat:

I used most of one skein of Louet Gems Worsted in a pretty blue color that I had in the stash.  The pattern is Basic Cable Hat by Chantal Clay.  The only change I made was using a 4.0mm needle for the ribbing instead of the 4.5mm.  The rest of the hat was made using a 5.0mm needle as suggested by the pattern.

I guess I've been into instant gratification for several weeks...

MK out.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday - 2/13/2013

Last week, I took a picture of my WIPs and was all ready to tell y'all about them, but my computer was in the hospital.  

Now it's back and here's the picture:

Near the 12 o'clock position, a washcloth out of some cotton chenille yarn leftovers is in the works.  One of the charities that the DFW Fiber Fest is sponsoring this year is called The New Start Project.  It sounds like a really good cause, I have some yarn and I even have a couple of washcloths already knitted from last year - so, I thought I'd play.

The two balls of yarn sitting there without any needles nearby are Rainy Days and Wooly Dogs Henbane - Gothling in the Blood Queen colorway.  They are destined to become my February 2013 Socks...

Finally, I've had that red, sparkly, novelty stuff for a while now.  It's Ironstone Pizzaz.  It's three different novelty yarns carried together...not they kind of move at different, they make a mess every now and then...yeah.

As you can surmise, I've been in a red yarn and instant gratification knitting mood.  Life has been kind of rocky at Chez Merry Karma lately - red yarn makes me happy and small projects are satisfying.  So, that's been the order of the day.

In the last week, I found some red yarn that wanted to be a cowl:

Then I found some other red yarn that wanted to be a cowl:

The socks haven't gotten too far:

One of the cowls from above is still OTN (which implies that the other one is finished):

I also have a green cowl in the works:

MK out.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Movie Monday - 2/11/2013

As of today, I have only one movie (Amour) I have to see before The Oscars.  Yay!

If a person sits down to watch The Master without knowing too much about it before hand, he or she may be finding themselves thinking, "WTF?"  I know I did.  It's a sort of psychological study of the relationship between Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), aka Master, and his disciple Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix).  The movie is set just after WWII, and Quell is discharged from the Navy.  He is supposed to be suffering from PTSD, but I personally think that there's more to his mental illness than that.  He isn't adjusting well to life out of the military and drifts from job to job until he meets Dodd, who is running a faith-based organization/religion/cult that seems to be catching on.  The acting was really good, but I didn't really like the movie overall.

Quartet is a delightful film about a home for retired and aging musicians.  There's a quiet, cyclical rhythm to life at the home until the diva Jean (Maggie Smith) comes to live among them.  Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly, Tom Courteney and Pauline Collins also star.  I really liked it.

There were parts of The Impossible that were hard to watch.  The movie is based on the true story of a family vacationing in Thailand over Christmas that is caught in the tsunami that devastated the area in December of 2006.  Maria Bennett (Naomi Watts) and one of her sons are separated from her husband Henry (Ewan McGregor) and the other two boys.  Maria is badly injured, but ends up at the hospital with Lucas and a little boy named Daniel that they found all alone.  Meanwhile, Henry, Tomas and Simon are looking for them.  It was a really good movie.

That's all for now.

MK out.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Start Something Sunday 2/10/1013

Some of you may know that my favorite color is red.

I've been going through a bit of a knitting red frenzy lately, but more on that later this week.

Because I don't seem to have enough projects going (insert eye-roll), I started an infinity scarf just this minute.  It's called Infinitude.  Sorry no pics, but 1. My computer is in the hospital and 2. There's not much to see at this point.

The pattern page on Ravelry is here.

Carry on.

MK out.