Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oscar Showdown

Yesterday was the 2nd Oscar movie marathon.

I finished 4 scarves, will have pictures tomorrow. Right now I'm cooking dinner (Copper River Salmon, and Barley Risotto, along with asparagus - yum!!)

Them movies we watched yesterday were:

Winters Bone I loved this movie! It was raw, gripping, and made you think and consider. Most of the people who were there, hated this movie. I'm not sure why, except I think a lot of people don't realize how complex drugs are, including meth, and I think a lot of people forget how poor, the poor in America are, along with how trapped they are due to their situation and poverty. The acting was amazing, and so was the authenticity of this show. I have lived in rural Missouri and seen these areas, and these people, it's not a movie to love, but to study.

The Black Swan This was the movie that I was most excited to see. I personally was disappointed in it. I was hoping for a Silence of the Lambs complexity, and I just didn't feel it. The story and acting were good, but I wanted a more psychological thriller instead of a horror movie with music.

Inception Inception was a movie I had not thought I'd want to see when I saw previews. Not really my style. But it was actually much better, with a much more complex story line that I anticipated. Amazing special effects, set designs, and of course, Leonardo Dicaprio for a couple hours is never a bad thing.

The Social Network Really well done movie on Facebook. It showed what people can do with their imagination, and how a great idea will survive - even a couple of 20 year olds running it!

The Kings Speech Oh my gosh was this an amazing movie! I love Colin Firth, and he was amazing as King George. Not to mention Helena Bonham Carter AKA Bellatrix Lestrange. The depths this movie went to was great and there wasn't one scene that dragged. Even Kevin who hates British monarchy films, really, really liked this movie.

Let me just say, I love Helena Bonham Carter. She is my new favorite actress. Love her!

I'm not going to pick awards but here is my order of what I liked. Movies are so subjective.

  1. The Kings Speech
  2. Winters Bone
  3. The Fighter
  4. Toy Story 3
  5. The Social Network
  6. Inception
  7. The Black Swan
  8. The Kids are All Right
  9. True Grit

Hope everyone is having a great Oscars night, stay tuned for scarf pictures - I promise they're coming.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Conspiracy Theory and a Random Friday

We have 6 computers in this house. Six of them. Right now, 4 of the 6 are broken. And of the two that are left, one is not recognizing it's DVD Drive thanks to a virus-prevention program - prevents viruses really well if you can't install anything! And the other is a 'work only' pc. This is not fair. I think the end result is we will turn in our desktops for some new laptops. Research is underway.

The bags of fleece are still in the corner. I think I'm going to hold onto a couple of them and add more fleece to the pile. I have yet to decide. This is hinging on my Tax Refund check coming in. Yup that will be telling. Of course first as well, I am taking a long overdue play trip to Detta's Spindle I want to play with wheels and fondle fiber. Then I shall debate the fleece question. I may even take the fleece with me for her opinion. I am undecided.

Tomorrow is movie marathon day again. I must pack my knitting bag. I need to find some more bulky yarn and get ready for scarf knitting. I am excited.

I am still doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I refer to it now as The Twenty Minute Torture. That should be enough of that subject.

The cats are sleeping. It occurred to me that Neptune is almost two years old. Why has he not settled down more? I'm starting to lose faith he will ever seem slightly normal.

I have been eating a lot of frozen fruit lately. Frozen fruit with yogurt, kefir and some protein powder is an amazing smoothie after one of the torture sessions. Just watch the calories - high calories there.

It is March next week. We still have snow. A lot of it. It's still cold, single digits today. The end.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Baa Baa Black Sheep - er Black Alpaca?

I have more than 3 bags full of wool - I have 4, or 5, possibly a couple more. These all need to be sent off to the wool mill for processing, because carding bothers my carpal tunnel to the point that I can't function.

THe question: Should I send them all off at once - or should I space it out? The bags are as follows:

White alpaca fleece, with a cormo fleece.

Black alpaca (suri) straight on 7 POUNDS of prime fleece)

The most beautiful caramel alpaca I've ever felt, with a CA Red fleece in with it.

A steel gray alpaca, with a gray CVM fleece that is sooooo soft.

And a border leicester fleece that's been hanging out on it's own.

Plus I may or may not have a shetland fleece in the mail. I am taking the 5th on that.

Now these are older fleece, all the wool has been washed, but it needs to be used. I just can't decide what to do. All or one? All or none? AUGH! I think I may send off the white, and the black to see how they turn out. I just don't know. I am great at most decisions but not ones involving fleece into roving evidently. Sigh.

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's called 'Shred' for a reason

Because it literally shreds your muscles, and then reassembles them. And I think Jillian Michaels might be a sadist. Not really, actually I like her. But two days ago I started her 30 Day Shred DVD.

Somehow I convinced my nephews and boyfriend to do this with me, mainly because then there is more motivation to continue. Overhead at our house today were the following comments:

"Am I supposed to sweat this much?" - Devin
"I wonder if Jillian Michaels is married?" - Cory
"You know, it hurts my muscles now when I laugh" - Kevin
"I seriously can't walk downstairs anymore" - Me

Now I think they like it, but really, I had no idea that all these muscles existed, not to mention could stretch this much. I am just happy that no one is video taping us bouncing around to the DVD, not to mention groaning through the harder moves, all the while I keep yelling out motivational things like 'Pain is weakness leaving the body!' I do think the kids are learning from it, and they do seem considerably less sore than the adults. I have no idea why, it can't possibly be because they're younger and in better shape..

And finally, check out this great video from Cystal Bowersox - featuring knitting! American Idol is just warming up, I can't wait to see who they discover this year.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Snow

It's snowing again. Oh how this frozen tundra loves to toy with our emotions, warming up enough to melt a bit of the snow, then refreezing and pounding us with another storm. Though I have a hunch we will fare better than a lot of areas in this storm, it really doesn't matter, it's just the principle of it all.

Yesterday was day 1 of our AMC Best Picture Showcase. It was a lot of fun. Out of the movies we watched:

Toy Story 3 - Really I preferred the first 2, but I think this may just be because in my mind I didn't want Andy to grow up. I am firm in my belief that he should still be little and playing with Buzz and Woody in his room. This is probably more my error than the movie's.

The Kids are All Right - A good movie that I felt could have been better. Mainly by more development of the dad's role, and how he felt his life really was. It was well acted but a little flat.

True Grit - The disappointment of the day. I felt like it was stilted and frankly, there was a situation with a horse in the end I didn't appreciate and didn't feel was necessary. I was prepared to like this movie and really didn't at all. It had some unexpected humor and that was about it.

The Fighter - I was least excited to see this movie and actually it was my favorite. I would love to see it again. Mark Wahlberg was amazing. Especially since I still associate him as Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.. Hey, you have to admit that's what you think of too. Not that there is anything wrong with this. Anyway, this movie was emotional, gripping, and beautifully written and performed.

So onto the real question - how much knitting did I get done?

Well, I completed 2 scarves, got a good start on another, and also started something that I think will turn into either a rectangular wrap or else a mobius. If I had stuck to bulky yarn only I think my yield would have been higher. Next week I'm taking an extra pair of big needles and will pre cast on. The casting on in the dark theater wasn't a problem, but finding the right yarn was. So what I ended up doing was finishing one, and then working on my finer Noro scarf for awhile toward the end, then casting on another at the beginning of another movie. We'll see if my theory is correct next weekend.
My pile of knitting

2 scarves are out of handspun, the other is Noro, the green is Araucania Azapa

We got home last night just in time to clean the bathroom and hallway where Cory had puked all over. Evidently he ate 13 or so Lindor truffles. Not a great idea for anyone, but especially not before bed. We weren't sure what was going on last night, but found the wrapper evidence this morning. I was just happy that I hadn't eaten more popcorn at the movies..

Now I must leave you to go download music from Itunes.. It's such a good vibration.. It's such a sweet sensation....."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Let's Go to the Movies...

"Let's go see the stars.. Fred and Ginger SPINNING madly.." I need to watch Annie again. When my nephews were young, I used to make them watch it all the time which really just developed in them a hatred of the movie, and it comes dangerously close to a hatred in musicals. If they really do hate them, they hide it well, except for Hello Dolly, they do hate that movie, but only due to a long trip in the car involving a viewing of the movie with no other options for entertainment. Anyway, this post isn't about musicals, though I can go on for hours and hours about those. But instead, about the movies.
Tomorrow, we are going to the AMC Best Picture Showcase. My brother has gone a few times, but each year I have been either busy, or else solidly uninterested in 90% of the movies playing. This year, I had the time, and it seems like a good lineup. It's actually held over 2 days, tomorrow, and the next Saturday as well.

Tomorrow we are seeing:

Toy Story 3, The Kids are All right, True Grit, and the Fighter. We'll be skipping 127 Hours due to my inability to watch someone suffer for an entire movie. I understand it's a great film, but there are limits. I'm already stretching with True Grit. The next Saturday we're watching: Winter's Bone, Black Swan, Inception, The Social Network, and The Kings' Speech. I'm actually more excited about that lineup. It is truly a movie marathon, and I think it'll be really interesting.

Of course, me being me, my challenge will be how many scarves can I get completed in this amount of time? I'm fairly good at knitting in darkened theaters, and I generally knit there. So today, sorted through my yarn packing bulky yarns in a bag to be knitted into scarves during the movies. I was trying to find lighter colors as well. I have different size needles packed up, and am ready to go!
The chosen yarns all ready to go. I like to pack extra just in case!

Any guesses as to how many scarves I can get completed tomorrow? I'll update everyone tomorrow night, providing I survive an entire day at the movies first!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Physical Therapy

I consulted the same 'Doctor' who told me my ankle and knee were merely sprained not broken.

She subscribed me unlimited spinning on Rosie for PT, and no housecleaning for the next 3 days. I mean really, do you realize how much spinning works your ankles? Just nice gentle repetitive motion...

I love my 'Doctor', and so does Rosie, she's been sitting all neglected in the corner, poor thing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's Mawata with ME? What's Mawata with YOU?

The hankies I'm using now: 1.2 oz from The Painted Tiger again
While watching Wednesday Night TV, (I live such a wild life) I started working a little bit on another color and different technique with these silk hankie/mawatas. I pulled these a lot thicker, switched to a size 8 needle, and decided to see just how far I could take this silk.

My new experiment
Now, a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away there lived a guy named Luke. Oops I digress, it's all the TV tonight. Anyway, a long time ago, I know that the Chinese have long used silk threads for embroidery and tapestry. Silk is much stronger than you would think. So I decided to do a drop stitch scarf. It's turning out really well.
Silk Wars

I would think, someone could get really good with this and actually do really beautiful lacework. The problem, is that silk sticks to everything and pulls out. Once I get this scarf completed, I'm going to do a few tests with this and see how badly it fuzzes out. But soo pretty.

My new Mawata hints:

  • Addi Turbos were working better with this than the bamboo needles I'm using now, the turbos make picking up the stitches a little easier. 
  • Again, remember, don't over draft, you can always draft more later.
  • Cats and mawatas don't mix. Long story here, not worth going into.
  • I am still having problems with my stitch definition, I am really just blaming my mediocre knitting skills for that one.
And finally, did anyone else watch Survivor, Redemption Island? Living alone is hard, will be interesting to see how that works out.. Good knitting TV for the next few months.


 Once upon a time there was a little tiger striped kitten. This kitten knew he was really a wild cat, meant to be free, living life where he could chase squirrels and answer to no one but himself. However, he also knew that if he made that choice, it seriously limited the amount of 2.00 a can cat food, grain free super expensive dry food, and sliced turkey he could eat. Not to mention the lack of sugar and cushy blankets. So he decided to find a home with someone who would appreciate his wild side. It was the start of a beautiful friendship.
Bella went right to work taming the wild beast

Neptune found us, and came home, as unexpectedly as most of our critters do. He was a tiny, car sick little kitten with a huge voice who hated to be left alone. Bella was our only cat, and around 9 months old. Let me just say, she was not amused at first. His arrival happened to coincide with Devin getting braces, and somehow keeping this harmless adorable ooshy, cute little kitty was worked into Devin's master plan, and he convinced us that a kid with braces needed a striped kitten.

Testing out handspun Painted Tiger
Neptune may not spin (there was a scary episode with a flyer that discouraged that,) but he does block scarves, and shawls. He also loves to sort through fiber, and is addicted to The Painted Tiger yarns and fibers.
Hard at work making sure it blocks correctly
Sorting out fiber with Mercury
He is also our watch cat. Don't worry about the dogs, pay attention to the seemingly friendly cat who will then get right in your face and hiss. If he doesn't back you right down into a corner first! People are intimated by this. I don't understand why. He's more scared of them - I think.
On guard duty

What a cute innocent little kitten.
Neptune was one of the worst kittens we have ever had, he'd go on rampages, knocking everything down. Come to think of it, he still does. We just don't leave as much out now. He is fascinated by water, and seriously must, absolutely must knock a glass over if it's left out. He can't help it. I blame the fact we named him after the God of the sea.

His fur is as soft as a bunny, or mink, or the softest thing you can imagine. So plush all you want to do is rub it all day. He does bite though, so I caution visitors, and family members against that. Generally not a good idea to touch him much. Unless you know, he's in a good mood.

He loves to give kisses, will spend time licking you hand or arm, purring all the while then all the sudden take a little nip -sometimes not so little. Depends on his mood.

He'll eat anything, though his favorite is maple syrup and turkey. So much for that super high quality grain free cat food they're fed. He's not above trying to intimidate someone out of their food either, by generally bullying them into giving him some - or all. He's actually fascinated by cooking, and loves to sit on top of the fridge and watch me cook. I think it's because I let him watch Ratatouille as a kitten. Others think it's just because he's weird.

So why does he stay? Who would live with a cat with these quirks at best, psychotic episodes as worst. Maybe it's the way he runs up to meet us when he comes home, talking purring and giving kisses.

They love each other still
Or the way he gently cuddles up with Lance.

Or how he insists on sleeping in my room, purring because he's so happy to be in there.

Or how, even when he's in a bad mood he'll let Devin carry him around upside down happy as can be.

He's a great help around the house really.
Or how, occasionally now, he'll stop mid glass knockdown, catch your eye and walk away.

He is beautiful, loving, and extremely unique, even if a little psychotic.  Is there any such thing though, as a common cat?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

40 and Flowers

Pretty Roses
I did end up with a nice Valentine's day, albeit a selfish one as I didn't get out to buy anything, and definitely didn't cook the dinner I had planned. Ah well, I can make dinner later. I did make it to the kitchen today, which is downstairs. Twice. That, is progress!

Instead I stayed home and watched TV while my wonderful boyfriend brought me flowers, takeout, and a card. It was actually relaxing and pleasant. I still feel bad about the delayed homecooked dinner though...

Meanwhile it's 40 degrees outside for the 3rd day in a row, and my poor dogs sit by the door and wait for me to take them for a walk. Life sucks.

But flowers are fun - though any fresh flowers (or dried, or silk, or plastic, really even pictures of them) have to be guarded here. As in taken from room to room. I wonder why?

Mercury says he's just smelling them

I can't understand why we have problems with flowers...

I hope everyone had a great day and ate lots of chocolate. It's good for you after all, science even says so!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Be My Valentine?

Bella is Merc's Valentine, I'm not sure she feels the same way.
 Only I could manage to sprain my ankle the one day I go outside all winter. I tell you, Snow and Winter has taken out a vendetta against me, and is trying to get even for all the nasty things I say about them. You know what: I triple all I said I hate you Snow and Winter. And thanks to my newly sprained ankle you'll be gone before you can attempt another hit. Nice try. I don't give in that easily.
And you know what Exercise? I blame you too! Yes you! Here I was actually going to the gym - almost regularly and feeling happy about it. And WHAM just like always, something happened. But really, conspiring with Snow and Winter to plan out an injury is just a little much. I'll get even with you later.
Since the abovementioned Snow and Winter not to mention Exercise are off the Valentine's list - will you be my Valentine? Due to the sprained ankle, I can't cook you dinner, really even going out is kind of in question. And I didn't get to the store to get chocolates, and I can't make any cookies (see above). There may still be cupcakes downstairs, I'm not really sure, if there are, you can have them. We can spend the night sitting on the couch knitting. You can even use my yarn stash. Of course I'd rather be spinning, I know I haven't spun in weeks, but now that I can't of course I WANT to. I'm just like that. It's my contrary side.
Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! May it be fun, joyful, and filled with chocolate.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Have a Nice TRIP See ya next FALL..

Our internet is finally working again after 2 days, a new wireless router, and one service call. What a pain. The kids actually though, finally got used to the no internet thing, and even started realizing you can do other things besides play online. We played Pictionary, Clue, and a new game called Funglish which they really enjoyed. We watched Snow White,and a couple other movies. I'm campaigning to make it the new Saturday night rule - at least once in awhile. 

I was working on spring cleaning today, you cause it's 40 degrees out and all. Along the way I had a bright idea to empty out the cat litter boxes all the way. Since we use a biodegradable litter corn based litter, I normally dump it outside in a wooded area where it can breakdown naturally. The fact this is up on a hill, and that it's still covered in snow probably should have stopped me from this idea, but of course it didn't.

I was fine for the first trip but the second coming down I ended up flying down the hill twisting my ankle and knee. My knee seems to be fine now, my ankle not so much. I've sprained my ankles plenty and I know it'll be fine in awhile but man is it sore right now! It makes walking more than a little difficult, that is for sure. I should probably go in and have it looked at but I know all they'd tell me is to stay off of it and rest it. I can give myself that advice here just as easily, and much cheaper. My advice also included eating cupcakes. I think that's a better idea overall anyway.

At least it wasn't my wrist, the Iknitarod is right around the corner afterall, and I have to be able to knit. I'd love to order some special fiber from The Spinning Bunny for it, but I am trying hard to stay on my fiber free diet.

As long as you can still make it to the food dish ~ That's all we care about!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

So much for Saturday test post

So far our wireless router has blownup today plus now the work computer is refusing to connect. So much for relaxing the day away. ugh.


To make the day better I am attempting a post from my phone. Good thing to test out anyway I guess. And more Bella art. I think the above might be a self portait.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Isn't he pretty?

He gets jealous with all the kitty pictures posted here.
After all, he's the best dog in the world.

But dogs are prettier outside- and he's hard to photograph
spending most of his time laying on my feet.

But summer will be here soon, and we can hit the road and trails again.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Trending Now

In the knitting world is knitting with silk hankies or mawatas. You see, The Yarn Harlot posted on this technique a little while ago, and the entire knitting world started to search mawatas. Now, being more of a spinner than a knitter, I already had a source for mawatas, and even kind of understood the technique. So I quickly snapped up some from my enabling dealer The Painter Tiger who had dyed some to keep up with all trends. Brooke dyes things in the most amazing, wonderful, spectacular colors, and these are no exception. I should add, of course this fit under YARN purchases, therefore still not interfering in my fiber fast till May thing. Clearly this is yarn, that could just be multipurposed into fiber.

My pile o' hankies :)

So I've been playing with this a little bit and so far here are my notes:
A few rows of knitting

  • Err on the side of larger when you pull these apart, it will draft more as you knit, leaving you with a finer yarn.
  • Silk is very strong, don't worry about it breaking, but it sticks to everything. Be prepared. As I type, there is a lone silk strand floating.
  • This is process knitting to the extreme - no hurrying this project. It's gonna be a long time till anything is really made - at least for me - others are probably faster.
  • I am aiming for a loose airy scarf here, no neat and tidy for this one.
  • Silk is so amazing for taking color, there is nothing quite like working with hand dyed silk.
The end of one night and 2 layers. It's about 4 inches long.

     The Painted Tiger still has some beautiful hankies available, I resisted my impulse to buy them all. But I'd hurry - my self control is not generally noted.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Think Pink

    I really am not a shoe person, actually I've never owned a ton of shoes. I probably now own 6 pairs, this is more than at any time in my life. The reason I now own so many is due to a very small incident. I tried on a pair of Skecher Shape Ups and they really actually changed my life. I know that seems a little dramatic, but it's true. I went from living in constant knee and back pain to being able to bounce my way around a 12 hour shift with no problems. However, using them for work, meant that eventually I had to use them for every day, because otherwise my knees and back objected to the lack of bounciness. Really, at work I was rivaling Tigger. It's so cool.

    Eventually this led me to another pair for walking, a couple pairs of sandals, and then of course a pair of boots for the winter. And now, I'd like to introduce you to: Skechers SFT workout shoes. Purchased on sale! as an early Valentine's gift. They're cute, are they not? And supposedly, they will bounce me right into the gym and onto the treadmill. Where they may even allow me to run for more than 40 seconds a lot longer time than I currently do. My hope, is by summer to actually rate a pair of Skechers Resistance Runners, but if you never see those mentioned again, you can forget I said that ok. Just don't ask me how the running is going. If I want y'all to know, I'll tell you.
    But I was so happy with my early Valentine's day present! pink shoes! I am nothing if not practial. Leave the pink roses in the garden, bring me pink shoes and some pink yarn for Valentine's day..

    And speaking of pink yarn - we were weren't we? I saw on Facebook that my sister is planning on using the yarn that I gave her last summer. The beautiful, amazing, spectacular gradient yarn that I had spun from Corriedale. Kathlyn is a crochet diva and can make amazing patterns out of anything simply using a hook. But unfortunately I have gotten her hooked on good quality yarn, and I live a long ways away. But this summer, I'm gonna teach her how to spin. And we're gonna visit a gazillion yarn shops, and she shall receive a stash. That is, if I ever see pictures of my beautiful yarn crocheted into a beautiful item.. I'm WAITING!
    Beautiful Yarn in process

    And as last seen before being left in Washington

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    One Year Ago...

    We were in Disney World on an extended family vacation.

    It's going to be -18 degrees here tonight. Not counting the windchill. Sigh.

    We started with a Birthday Breakfast

    And cocktails

    Then a Princess was made

    A boat ride across the water

    To the Hoop De Do Review

    Back across with the castle lighting our way

    And Magic Hours to contemplate Main Street
     I am not clear, as to why I am not in Disney World this moment actually. Something to ponder while avoiding the wind chill and freezing temperatures. I think I'm going to knit myself another scarf.