Wednesday, December 31, 2014

WIP Wednesday - 12/31/2014

It's the last day of the year and five projects are still OTN.

Gaia is about to be frogged. This cardi has been on the needles since March 2013 and I'm just not feeling it any longer. Say goodbye...

I started the Absolutely Fabulous Throw a year ago. Other projects kept jumping ahead of it, but I think 2015 is the year I will complete it.

Bubblemania was a May start.

I saw Summer Breeze made up at the LYS and had to start it right then...back in July.

In August, the LSSK girls started a KAL of the Sleeping Beauty Baby Blanket and I had to participate.

There you go. Now, I have to get busy finishing these projects, because I feel some startitis coming on.

MK out.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Loopy Academy Semester 1:1

I know it's not Friday, but it's practically the end of the year, and I did finish my final project for Loopy Academy:

The pattern is Outbound. The yarn is a very yummy skein of Dream in Color Special Edition Cashmere Blend Worsted in the Lipstick Lava color-way. 

So, that completes my semester with mittens,


and hat.

I wonder what is in store for us next semester.

MK out.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Movie Monday - 12/29/2014

The Imitation Game is set in England during WWII. It is based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Turing, who was a gifted mathematician and cracked the Nazi's Enigma code, thus helping the Allies win the war.  Kiera Knightley plays Joan Clarke, another code breaker who worked with Turing at Bletchley Park during the war. It was a very good movie - good story, well acted. I really liked it.

MK out.

Friday, December 26, 2014

FO Friday - 12/26/2014

Christmas has come and the gifts have been opened. That means I can show you some recent finished objects.

The theme for this installment is hats. 

First, for one of my Loopy Academy projects, I made wurm. I used Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Mediumweight in the Handsome Man color-way.  The yarn was quite yummy feeling as I knit this pattern.

Next up, I made The Kid a hat using a kit with a licensed chart.  I believe the yarn in the kit is Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted.  

Then, I have these partial balls of different colors of Lion's Brand Wool Ease in my stash and I figured they'd make nice hats.  The all black one is Bankhead.

The two-toned one is another Cool Hat.

All were well received.

MK out.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

WIP Wednesday -12/24/2014

Now that the Christmas knitting is finished, I have to turn my attention back to Loopy Academy. 

The mittens don't look any different than they did two weeks ago - (the last time y'all saw them).

I need to finish them by next Wednesday.

MK out.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Festivus!

Today would have been my mom's 91st birthday.  We would celebrate her special day more often than not, but sometimes when she didn't want the attention focused on her, I would tell her that we would celebrate Festivus instead. The concepts of the show about nothing and Festivus were lost on that feisty, little Greek woman, but she would at humor me and at least act like she was enjoying herself.

Now that she's gone, December the 23rd could be a sad day if I let it.  To help me from falling into the depths of despair, I planned a Festivus celebration of sorts.  I invited one of my college roommates and her two lovely daughters to come over and make Christmas cookies.

The Kid joined us, sort of:

We had quite the accouterments for an afternoon of cookie decorating:

Chocolate covered cherries are a fave:

I think they look pretty cute:

The girls were getting busy, The Kid - not so much:

I mixed up a batch of spritz cookies:

Surprisingly, The Kid got into the decorating.  I think he did a great job:

Mine weren't too bad:

I love the hat on Kate's snowman: (See my spritz cookies in the container with the cherries? I forgot to get a better shot of them.)

Amanda made a bride - complete with a silver ring on her finger - and a boy in overalls with a pocket in the front:

Not bad for an afternoon of fun:

If I look a little tired, it's because I was!

We decided that we are making this Festivus Cookie Baking Party a tradition.

MK out.

Friday, December 19, 2014

FO Friday - 12/19/2014

Ho, ho, ho...I have something to show!

I have some friends and they recently had twin girls.  I have made Christmas stockings for the whole family so far.  

Now it is the twins' turn.

The oldest child who is about five calls her stocking her "sock."  I think it's quite fitting, since I made up the pattern from all my years of sock knitting.  

The yarn is Cascade 220 and Ella Rae Classic.
MK out.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Movie Monday 12/15/2014

A Most Wanted Man is the last movie of Philip Seymour Hoffman's released while he was still alive.  It's a British spy film based on a novel by the same name written by John le Carre'. Robin Wright, Willem Dafoe and Rachel McAdams also star. Hoffman plays a German agent trying to land a minnow to catch a bigger fish.  It was good.

Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike star in Gone Girl. It's a thriller - based on a novel - about a man (Affleck) whose wife disappears and soon, suspicions point to him. Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry also star in this twisty-turny film.  It was quite entertaining.

Two dying teens meet in a support group and fall in love in The Fault in Our Stars. It's a sad subject but the film doesn't get too sappy.  Shailene Woodly, and Willem Dafoe star in this film, also based on a novel.  It was very good.

MK out.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Little Early Christmas Cheer

I have an online group of knitting friends.  I've met quite a few of them IRL, as we have had some meet ups in the past.  Every year, we hold a Secret Santa swap and I have participated several times.

This year, my Secret Santa is someone who has been my Secret Santa before.  She has also been my Scarf Swap Sister too.  She is one of my good friends in this group, and she holds another special place in my heart because she lives in The G.  She keeps things under control for me there, since I can't get down to the place often enough.

As she has on the previous occasions, she sent me some really cool stuff:

Here's the group shot of the opened packages:

Can you guess what this little gem is?  I've seen them before and thought they were really cool.

It's a purse/bag hanger! Isn't it clever? I know I will get good use of it.

There's some needle point protectors:

Aren't these wooden buttons cute?

She crocheted this snowflake:

I love this cute note pad - I am a sucker for note pads.  I love to write down the things that are swirling around in my head so I can make room for more:

The Knitter's Reference Card will come in handy and the yarn is to dye for: (Did you catch the pun?)

It's a gorgeous MCN (merino-cashmere-nylon blend) in an aptly named color - Wine on the Deck. It's Special Delivery Sock by Catawampus Farms and a portion of the proceeds is donated to support midwifery care for women and children in the US. I think that's really cool!

And she included lots of saltwater taffy from one of my fave spots on The G - La King's Confectionery. It's an old fashioned soda fountain kind of place.

I cannot thank her enough for all the Christmas magic she included in this package!!!

MK out.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

WIP Wednesday 12/10/2014

I took some pictures on Sunday in the hopes of writing a Start Something Sunday post, but things got away from me.  It's that time of year - the one of the frantic running around, lists that seem to grow longer despite crossing things off of them, events to attend and people to see.

My house looks like a tornado went through. I've set up stations in the den and kitchen: card addressing/envelope stuffing/stamp affixing, ironing, sewing projects, general paperwork shuffling/attending, knitting (for Christmas, of course) and wrapping/packaging to mail.  It's not the most efficient way to get things done, because I bounce around from thing to thing and get sidetracked within each category, but for some reason - I do get things done and it's comforting in a manic sort of way.

I am giving handmade gifts (read knitted and sewed) for the first time in a while. I don't relish deadline making and finishing. Historically, my handmade gift forays have been of the last minute variety.  Two months ago, I noticed that the gift box is rather full. I enjoyed making all the items, I loved the yarn and was thoroughly charmed the whole time I worked on the projects, but I cannot keep everything! So, I am down to three items still to make.  I cannot tell what each item will be yet, because there's a slight chance (as in 10 to the minus 14) the recipient will read this post before Christmas and his or her surprise will be spoiled.

So, here's what is on the needles - First up, I am making something out of these yarns:

I've already started this item. I am using some of my leftovers of Lion Brand Wool Ease. It's a good yarn to make things for easy care items. 

Secondly, I am making something out of this yarn - and I have started this item also. I think it is by Lamb's Pride:

I haven't quite decided what to make for the third gift, but I still have a little time. Don't I?

Finally, I have started my final project for Loopy Academy this semester - mittens!  

As you can see, I am not very far along, but I have until the 31st to complete them. The pattern is Outbound. The yarn is Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere in Lipstick Lava.  I may keep these, or they will go into the gift box for some future occasion.

I think this elf better get busy!

MK out.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

It's a Christmas Miracle!

We bought a new tree Sunday. Today is December 2nd and I just finished decorating it. 

It's not a record, but it is a Christmas miracle.

MK out.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Movie Monday - 12/1/2014

Justin Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda star in This is Where I Leave You - a dramedy adapted from a novel by Jonathan Tropper. Family matriarch (Fonda) gathers her children and their spouses to sit shiva for her recently deceased husband.  There are funny moments and poignant moments, but the film is not as good as it could have been. Something felt a little off, but overall, it was alright.

The Genius of Marian is a documentary about Pam White, who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. Ironically, she receives the diagnosis when she is in the midst of writing a biography about her mother, the famous painter Marian Williams Steele, who died of Alzheimer's. When she can no longer write, her son Banker starts to record their conversations and is able to capture her memories. It was a compelling picture of how Alzheimer's affects the family and friends of the patient. It was good.

MK out.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Movie Monday - 11/24/2014

In Boyhood, we follow a boy for about several years of his life from age six. What is interesting about this film is that it was shot over a twelve year period, a couple of weeks per year and using the same actors throughout.  The boy, as well as everyone else, age naturally. Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette star in the movie and all do a good job. It was good.

Colin Firth, Emma Stone and Hamish Linklater star in Magic in the Moonlight - an entertaining rom-com by Woody Allen.  The movie is set in the French Riviera during the 1920s. Firth plays a famous illusionist who is hired to discredit Stone, a psychic medium. Jacki Weaver, Eileen Atkins and Marcia Gay Harden also star in this film. I really liked it.

Vincent (Bill Murray) is an unlikely choice for a babysitter, but single-mom Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) has no one else to watch her 12-year-old son in St. VincentNaomi Watts should garner a supporting actress nomination for playing a Russian prostitute who "dates" Vincent. She steals the show from Murray and McCarthy. I'm not a big fan of Watts. I think she's a little over-rated as an actress, but not in this film. She was funny. Chris O'Dowd delivers another wonderful comedic performance. I really liked this movie.

MK out.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Start Something Sunday 11/9/2014

I have many things on the needles, but none are appropriate for my current activity..., I started a new project.

I am making Wurm for my second Loopy Academy Semester 1 project.  The yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Middleweight.  

MK out.

Friday, November 7, 2014

FO Friday - 11/7/2014

I finished something else, Y'all!!! 

I participated in Sweater Babe's MKAL (Mystery Knit A Long) and made this pretty scarf:

I used Rowan Kid Silk Haze.  KSH is not my favorite yarn, but I it was the perfect choice for this scarf.  I enjoyed participating in the KAL and I have a scarf to show for it.

MK out.