Saturday, April 28, 2012


My last FO?  Jack Leland!

Aside from being a tasty nibble, he is quite the relaxed baby.  I felt like I was in labor forever.  But some how, despite having his cord wrapped around his neck a whooping THREE times, he managed to beat the previous 'shortest labor' record by exactly five minutes.  He likes to sleep through the night (I KNOW) and to snuggle.  This, my friends, is perfection.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Now that the new baby is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, the nesting urge has set in. Which is why I decided to organize my knitting needles. What? That's not how I'm suppose to nest? Well, the let's instead say my crazy got the best of me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


In an attempt to woo the as of yet unborn boy child out of my womb and into the world, I decided to knit him a hat and booties. I mean come on, right? Handknits? Better than my dark lumpy insides. Right? In any event, the bootie pattern that I'm using will not work on two circs. I mean it. Will. Not. Work. Perhaps it is the pattern. Perhaps it is the smallness of the booties, which yah, I've knit baby socks before so I know this isn't true. Perhaps it is me. Whatever the reason, I'm being forced to use double point and Hi! Ho! They suck. I'm forever being poked and trying to maneuver around the stupid things. This is a true act of love I've got going on over here. You hear that Schickabibble? So come on out already!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Melty Bead Bowls, The Conclusion

As I mentioned, my first melted bead bowl attempt was a bit of trial and error so here I am, continuing the saga. When the first bowl started to fall apart and separate, I jacked the heat and tossed it back in the oven, only to forget about it. For quite some time. Ooops! I suspect the beads were never suppose to become quite that hot and probably leached carcinogens into my oven, kitchen and habitat. But on the upside, they really and truly melted!

Which would explain why this bowl HOLDS WATER. Yes folks, I made a bead bowl that is so melded together that it will reliably hold liquid. I suspect this is not normal for such melty bead crafts. A few of the beads are slightly dimpled and give a hint of the fact that the colored dot was, once upon a time, a bead with a hole and not some other amorphous thing.

My kids were intrigued by the whole process, so we decided to make some more. I used the same glass bowl as the first time and made two more, taller, versions and I used a Pyrex bowl for yet another, fourth, version. The Pyrex one melted the best and most uniformly which could be because it is actually oven proof glass that heats more evenly. Or it could be because of the shape which has straight, not slanted, sides. All three of the bowls were baked at 400°F until they looked slick and slightly gooey which was about 20 mins. I took them out of the oven and immediately used a ladle, sprayed with cooking spray, to gently mush down the beads. They did not fuse into a solid substance like the first bowl, but they didn't fall apart either. Once cooled they have held together. And they look like melted beads. The big burning question now ...



I could use them as yarn holders I suppose. But instead I have plans to ditch give away three of the bowls. And the last one? It has been assimilated into the kid kitchen. I suspect that in a few days I won't ever see again. If that is the case, well, I will just have to make more!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Melted Bead Bowl

While not an addict, per se, I do find myself checking out all things Pinterest once (or twice) a day.  Every so often I see a project, or a nail polish, that grabs me and forces me into immediate compliance.  As was the case with the melted bead bowl.  Now, I know me, and I know I often have big visions and shite results (Turkish Bed Socks I'm looking at you!), so I bought the inexpensive rainbow assortment of melty beads (as opposed to the more tonal colors) and figured if I hit this out of the park then I'd dump the rainbow stuff on the kids and go get me some tonal goodness. 
I followed the directions from as explained in the link above, which were not super detailed, but adequate.  I preheated my oven to 350° F.  Then I went in search of a bowl.  When I found that my Pyrex bowl was dirty, I picked out another glass bowl which I assumed would be oven proof (this assumption proved correct ... whew).  I sprayed that sucker with Pam cooking spray.  Like a lot.  That baby was lubed up.  In fact a little puddle formed at the bottom.  I was worried about the Pam puddle but decided to boldly go forth and ignore it.  Then I dumped in a hand full of beads.  I added a hand full at a time until the bottom was covered.  And then I thought, "SHIT!  Are these all suppose to be oriented in the same way so that they are all side up or hole-end up??"  A glance at the Pinterest picture lead me to think that orientation was not an issue (much like it should not be an issue in marriage, but I digress), and I carried on.  I rotated the bowl and added more beads and pushed down any that rolled to the bottom.  It took some time but eventually I had it up the sides in one even, though not samely oriented, layer. 

And I was ready to approach the oven.  I decided to put my bowl on a cookie tray so that if there was a mass meltdown it, just maybe, might be contained on the tray. Then I baked it.  For ten minutes.  And it still didn't seem melted.  So I took it out, wrapped a ladle in wax paper and mushed the whole thing down.  Then I baked it at 400° F for another five minutes.  Then I set it on the counter to cool.  It popped out no problem, though it was very Pam-tastic and slimy.

At first blush this looks like a great bowl, yes? WRONG! Rotate the bowl and you'll see ... my fingers?

I done lost a chunk of my bowl! And there is there is a line, or fissure, where the sides and bottom don't meet up.  

The actual bottom of the bowl seemed to really have melted and my wax paper ladle mashing seemed to have bonded those puppies together.  So I decided to give this bowl another go.  I rePammed my glass bowl, put the bead bowl back in, replaced the chunk that fell out, added some extra beads on top, put it back in a 400° F oven, started typing up this blog post, and totally forgot about the bowl.  A quick check just revealed some of the beads are LIQUEFIED.  Whoops! I feel like this most recent rendition is going to take quite some time to cool. So, you know, to be continued.

Again and Again

I have an uncanny ability to pick out truly unflattering nail polish.  I've done this for years.  At best I will polish up and look like I have a circulatory problem.  At worse, I'll look like a corpse.  Granted it is just corpse hands, but considering how often I look at my hands (doing the dishes, changing diapers, you know doing the glamorous things in life), it is irksome.  Now I KNOW I do this. So I am always careful when I buy pricey nail polish.  Nonetheless I have ended up with a few corpse inducing Butter of London shades.  Now I can add Zoya's Pandora to that list, which is not actually pricey but still.  DAMMIT!
The mandatory Pinterest nail polish pose.  No, not overly corpsish here. But wait.  You'll see.
I was at Ulta, looking specifically for this color, Pandora.  I'd seen it on Pinterest (DAMMIT PINTEREST! WHY DO YOU DO ME WRONG?) and went to Ulta to TRY IT ON.  Which I did and I thought, "Meh ... prognosis: poor circulation, $8 saved."  But then a sales clerk came over and when I explained my thoughts and the sadness I felt at looking sickly in the polish that I had come to check out, she took a look and proclaimed, "No way!  That color looks great!" At which time my common sense left my body, my brain turned off the part that should note that the sales clerk was being a SALES. CLERK. and I marched the polish up to the checkout area, handed over my hard earned $8 (for which my coupon would not cover) and bought the stupid polish. 

This a glorified crime scene photo. Severed DEAD hand.
And yes, it does help that my fingers look bloated and misshapen.  But still.  CORPSE.
I got home, did another Pinterest thing (melty bead bowl ... more to come on that) and then painted my nails.  This, of course, is when I realized my folly.  You know when it was too late.  When I had already dressed my nails up with Colour de Corpse.  So.  Note-to-self:  Go with your gut.  Ignore the SALES clerk. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

10oT: Chocolate Treats

This week's Ten on Tuesday topic, in homage to Valentine's Day, is your top ten favorite chocolate treats.  And well, let's be honest, there is only one truly phenomenal chocolate treat.  A chocolate treat that despite its commercialized processed foodieness is the king of all kings in the world and that, as we all know, is the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.  May it be in the form of a Valentine's heart, an Easter egg, or a Christmas tree, it is the best.  The peanut butter is just the perfect amount of salty and sweet to compliment and bring out the delicious creamy goodness of the chocolate.  It is, perhaps next to the Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte, the most perfect indulgent treat.
Now I know folk are going to want to pooh pooh this.  I mean it isn't organic, homemade, gourmet, or even slightly high end.  It is like the McDonald's of burgers.  BUT FOLKS ARE WRONG.  The Reese's Peanuty Butter Cup transcends its simple and humble and heck, even ghetto, origins. 

Now, in light of my almost eulogistic prose on the RPBC (as well as the size of my arse), you may find it hard to believe that I am not a huge chocolate lover.  In fact, when it comes down to it, I'll take white (itsnotreallychocolateIKNOW) chocolate over milk or dark any day of the week. Many chocolate things make me want to gag.  Like chocolate pudding.  WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?  I mean come on, chocolate pudding?  People like this?  ARE THEY HIGH? I mean seriously, crack?  Chocolate pudding is to crack heads as Yoohoo is to pot heads?   In any event, there are some other chocolate(ish) things I do like. 

1) Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.  You knew this gonna be number one.

2) Dunkin Donut's White Hot Chocolate.  It is currently off the menu, and this makes me sad.  Which is how I discovered ...

3) DD Coconut Hot Chocolate.  It sounded kind of gross but not so gross as to be repulsive.  So I have it a go.  Yum!  It's no white hot chocolate, but it's not too bad either.

4) Stop & Shop Bakery's Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I miss Publix and all of its sub sandwich goodness.  It does not, at least as far as I know, have these cookies though. I'm not sure what S&S does to these cookies, but when I need a sugar fix, these are a go to item.  And they are one of those foods where I can't eat just one.  For example, the night before last baby cravings set in and I needed these cookies.  My husband offered to go get them.  Only the fact that I have an OB appointment on Wednesday and did not want to explain a 15 lb weight gain stopped me.  Barely.  I caved today and am feeding some to my kids to mitigate any binging.

5) My Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies WITH PECANS.  I use the recipe that use to be found on the back of the Toll House Chocolate Chip bag.  I suspect the recipe is the same today, but mine is off of the back of the bag when a bag of chips was 16 oz., not 12 oz., so perhaps not.  And for the record, did they really think people wouldn't notice the smaller bag for the same cost?  Anyway, I use that recipe, then I add about two and a half cups of chopped pecans and I slightly undercook them.  They are really good. 

6) Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix. As far as boxed brownie mix goes, this stuff if the bombdiggity.  I like to add another cup of milk chocolate chips to the mix, even if I am leaving it as a plain brownie.  Actually I like to add a cup of milk chocolate chips and a cup and a half of pecans because we all know the salty nut MAKES the brownie, and consider it a plain brownie BUT there are those poor sad, palate-challenged, folks that don't "like" nuts in baked goods.  They also don't like RPBC so you just have to feel sorry for them and move on.  For what it is worth, if you're not adding nuts, this is the perfect basic brownie for which to add things like toffee bars or mint candy (break up candy into small bits, add half the brownie mix, then the candy, then the rest of the mix), or sea salt (add a little on top before baking and then once done cooking, a good bit more to top while cooling). 

7) Mudslide. I'm not sure how you are officially suppose to make these but I've got a version I like.  A lot.  I like to take some whole milk ... this is where having a toddler rocks.  They need whole milk and you can use some and not feel like an alcoholic slug for buying a gallon of the stuff.  Anyway, blend some whole milk, vodka (vanilla is nice but plain works), Kahula, a handful of white chocolate chips and ice.  And then, once you have it blending and the chips are no more, squirt in a whole load of chocolate syrup.  Feel free to be heavy handed with that chocolate syrup.  It hides the fact that you were heavy handed with the vodka.  Sometimes I add a Starbucks Via packet which adds some coffee flavor also helps mitigate things when you've gone a little over board with the vodka. 

8) Chocolate fondue.  Pineapple, strawberries, marshmallows, these are all things that do not suck when smothered in chocolate fondue.

9) Aero Milk Chocolate Bars. There are several versions out there, but I first had the Nestle version when studying at Oxford University.  Those chocolate bars filled with little airy holes make a delightful treat!  Kids like them too because you can tell them that they are worm holes. 

10) Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.  You knew I was gonna count this chocolate perfection twice, right?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Made In America

I've only posted about one hundred gazillion dozen times about my Turkish Bed Socks.  So instead of re-hashing the whole process, I thought I would recap my overall thoughts ... be ye not as dumb as me, READ THE PATTERN.

Having knit, reknit, cut, grafted, and re-reknit these socks some more, I finally ended up with a finished pair of socks, and an extra heel cup area, and thought I was done.  So then I went out and purchased (an early Valentine's Day gift from my awesome husband) a pair of ugly shoes only to find (really??) that my socks are too long for the look I wanted.  Because I still, AFTER ALL OF MY SCREW UPS, DISREGARDED THE PATTERN!?!

So, if I want my socks to look like this, my initial inspiration,  the whole reason that I wanted to knit the socks, some sort of strange handknit sock porn for me, if I want that, I have to fold over an inch or so of the sock and tuck them under my toes.  Which you know, NOT comfortable.  Yes, the pattern said knit them shorter than normal and I said shorter schmorter.  Again, be ye not as dumb as me, READ THE PATTERN.  I could cut them and regraft them, you know AGAIN but I am done.  D. O. N. E. done. I'm just gonna wear them with other shoes and call it a day.

Yarn: SHIBUI Sock, color orchid, #4021, lot #5787, slightly less than 1 skein
Needles: Addi Turbo Circs, size 3.0 mm (US 2.5)
Pattern: Churchmouse Yarn's Turkish Bed Socks
Modifications: Too many.  Next time, follow the directions EXACTLY
Time: 5 days.
Care: Machine wash, gentle cycle, cold water. Dry flat.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Too Homespun

Pre-school Valentines and the need to not have the lamest Valentine ever can be a little scary.  Or perhaps I am just a little crazy?  Let's split the difference and go with both, m'kay?  I KNOW.  HUSH.  Move on from my crazy!

Our pre-school has a 'no candy' policy, but J1's teachers, knowing that the Valentine's will not be opened until the kids are home and out of class when the parents can parent, have a 'what happens in the Orange Room stays in the Orange Room philosophy.'  So, we could easily have slapped some candy on a store-bought Valentine and called it a day.  In hindsight, this is a smart way to go.  In any event maybe it is my inherent need to follow the rules, even when the rules are allowed to be broken, which is in total opposition to my driving/speed limit actions, but whatever, I didn't want to do candy Valentines.  This is why I decided J1 and I should get our craft on for Valentine's Day and decided to go with the recycled/homemade heart crayon Valentine idea that a friend recommended.  I perused Pinterest for further inspiration and thought I had a clear idea of what we were doing.

Clearly I did not, though when you look at our Valentines en mass, they seem fine.  But in reality, or at least in my perfectionist not-three-and-a-half-years-old brain, they are a little too homespun.  J1, however, is pleased so I am going to concentrate on that.  Should I ever decide to undertake this venture again, a few notes to myself ...

Select more similar colors.  Yes, your kid LOVES purple, it is her favorite color in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD, but even a color blind person could see that the red and purple crayons look somewhat awful together.  That is not going to change when they bake.

Some people have glitter that bakes and stays glittery.  You are not one of those people.  Your sparkly red glitter will turn to black.  Black dots in homemade crayons look like dirt.  Your kid knows the black dirt dots were glitter and doesn't see this dirt dilemma, the other parents will.  GLITTER = FAIL.

Craft foam may seem like an awesome medium to attach things to and maybe it is.  It is not an awesome medium to print on.  My printer will not print on craft foam.  It will print on labels but those labels will not stick to craft foam.  So, unless you have a hankering to find your sharpest Sharpie and write some lame poem a dozen times, a poem that seemed not so lame until you wrote it a dozen times and then seems like the lamest thing ever, find a different medium.  This will also help with reducing the tears factor, when at some point your kid will have a hard time writing her name on craft foam and will goof up one, or four, of your Sharpie poemed masterpieces.  You will, tired of writing the stupid poem, snap.  She will cry.  Lesson? Craft foam is bad for this.

Your hole puncher has about a one inch reach.  You can not get it to punch three or four inches in from an edge and your three hole punch which may be able to do this has vanished. While it is incredibly crafty to let your kid rummage through your yarn stash and pick out some hand-dyed superwash sock yarn which you then will thread through a darning needle and use to sew your crayon onto your Valentine, it is only crafty for you.  And you know, it is not your crafty Valentine, it is your kid's.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

10oT: Knitting Spot

Today's Ten on Tuesday topic is 10 Things You Can See From Your Favorite Knitting Spot.  Years ago (back in 2006 ... woah!), I posted about my favorite knitting spots. At that time I was fancy free and had no kids. I could knit anywhere I wanted, when I wanted, however I wanted. I also had a fetish for the bathroom it seems? My apologies. Nowadays I can't even sit on the toilet without someone wanting to sit on my lap. I. KNOW. And also, more bathrooms? Really?!? Anyway, no one tells you this when you say you want to have kids. But be not as foolish as me, enjoy your lone bathroom time while you can! Anyway, I digress.

When I knit now, it is either at Starbucks on Wednesday night with my lady friends or it is on the couch after I've put the kids to bed. No longer is my venue chosen by style or ambiance, nope it is 100% easy access, drop where you're standing, comfort. Also known as the couch in my family room.  It's not as exciting as it use to be, I mean it is no Stiltsville, but it is functional.  So, 10 things I see when looking straight ahead, to the right, and to the left are ...


1) A current WiP: These are the skew socks. And, like the Turkish Bed Socks, they have an unusual construction. It's taken me several tries to get the sizing right but now that the left foot fits, I can move on to the right and (hopefully) motor down the home stretch.

2) The TV: Awww. Mark Harmon. How I love thee.

3) Kid Toys: They take up a third of the living room. At least that is what I try to limit them too.  I may be deluding myself.

4) Knitting Notions: I've recently separated my stitch holders into two containers, one for the closed kind and one for the removable kind. This pleases my OCD.

5) The TV Remote: You know, so I can pause on Mark Harmon when I'm using my mobile phone to take photos of my tv.

6) The Dog: Once the kids are in bed (the only time I can safely knit at home), I let the dog join me on the couch. We snuggle and reminisce about our day. Or she naps. 

7) My iPad: You can't see it in the photos but I have the pattern I'm working on in there.  Also, I  can check my email, facebook and pinterest. You know, the important things.

8) The Baby Monitor: Because even when I'm off the clock, I'm not.  Also, I get a kick out of eavesdropping on my kids.  J1 knows I do it but forgets and J2 is clueless.  They like to hatch up crazy plans and I like to thwart them.  I'm supportive that way.

9) Hand Sanitizer & Lotion: We've all been sick up in these parts (hence the nebulizer too) and so I've been sanitizing the heck out of everyone. And then lotioning them too. All that sanitizing is kind of drying.

10) The Phone: Yes, we do indeed have a landline.  And I use it. Call me old fashion, but I prefer it to my mobile phone.

Monday, February 06, 2012


Yes.  I did it.  I couldn't help myself.  I cut my sock in half.  I knit a new top and then cut the old top off in the hopes of making my socks a nice uniform pair.  Having invested the time to knit these babies, I decided that anything worth doing, was worth doing well.  Sadly, there are several levels of "well" but that is for my finished these friggen objects post.  For now, I shall show you my fearlessness of the scissor.

Step one, knit a second heel and then make sure the second heel a) matches the heel you are trying to duplicate (a/k/a you read the instructions and follow them), and b) lines up with the half of the dud sock you are keeping.

Step two, cut into that baby.  These are small socks so there was no need for a fortifying shot of rum (also, that is frowned on in the third trimester and I don't want to have Schickabibbles sprout a third ear at this late date).  I did cut all of my old rows on not-per-instruction-cuff which made for several random strings of yarn in the pulling out process.  Mistake on my part.  Perhaps I should have fortified with something.

Step three, spend an eternity pulling out the yarn you cut so that you have two separate pieces. 

Step four, put the keeper piece of sock (in my case this was the foot) onto a set of needles and get the direction of everything all squared up properly.  Count to make sure your number of stitches on your new keeper part is the same as on your old keeper part.  An equal number of stitches on the old sock foot and new heel is needed for proper grafting (she says to herself in a stern DUH voice).  I also likes looking at my old top and knowing it contained my extra yarn cushion.  Should I need such a cushion.  Which since I never make mistakes, hahahaha, I wouldn't.

Step five, line up the old bit on its needles with the new bit on its needles and start to graft.  On the first stitch I (inserted the darning needle like I had) knitted the bottom off and then (inserted the darning needle like I had) purled the top off, which is actually the first, but not final, step for each needle when grafting because I figured at the end when I was back over here I would be doing the other step. 

Step six, graft, graft, kitchner, kitchner.  Over and over again.  Seriously.  There are like sixty or so stitches you are meshing together.  This ain't no eight stitches toe.  Actually, it is not that hard when you chant in your head "KNIT OFF, PURL ON, PURL OFF, KNIT ON." When you have a two year old, sick, snot laden, toddler using you for a jungle gym it does amp up the difficulty level.  And perhaps, with absolutely no knowledge of how, you may end up kitchnering a pearl stitch two or three random times.  Mind you, I could not kitchner a pearl stitch if you paid me, so I am not sure exactly how that happened.  In any event, it is good enough for me and not (I hope) that noticeable when all is said and done.  I'll let you judge for yourself when I do a finished object post. 

Thursday, February 02, 2012


It turns out that if I was half as smart as I thought I was, I'd be twice as smart as I actually am.  Huh?  Yah, I know. 

I have knit a gazillion pairs of socks in the last five or so years. Okay, maybe not a gazillion pairs, but easily two dozen pairs. When it gets cold, I can go two weeks in hand knit sock and not have to wash any. I've done toe up, I've done cuff down, I've done funky Cat Bordhi style, I've done heel flaps and short row heels. Hell, I have cut socks in half and ripped out the middle when they were too big. Which I suppose is why after a quick skimming of the Turkish Bed Sock patter, I dove in and didn't look back. When I couldn't make the pattern work, I search high and low for errata. It wasn't out there. Only when I tried to solve the problem on my own did I think that perhaps I was intuiting a wee smidge too much. And it was on this, my third attempt, that I realized that one of my many issues was that I was knitting in the round and NO WHERE in the directions was I told to do so. Whoops.

In a normal person this type of fatal error would act as a reminder to READ THE PATTERN, not even closely, just you know READ IT.  But, well, I have never claimed normalcy. And I didn't read the pattern, closely, or otherwise.  Which is why when I got to the foot part of the first sock (which had a few "tweeks" to make it work), I realized that my knitting was aligned backwards.  I decided to ignore it, assumed my second sock would have the same directional issues, finished the sock, tried it on with mediocre results, assumed mediocre results were due to my lack of clogs, and started the second sock.
And well then ... hello there instructions!  For some reason when I skimmed the instructions for the second sock some light bulb went off in the deep recesses of my brain and I realized a few things.  Like that one of my MANY problems was due to my inability to follow instructions for the FIRST THREE ROWS.  Was that a communal groan?  It should be.  So, I (mostly) followed the directions for the second sock and now have two socks that are more like kissing cousins that twins (of the fraternal or identical variety). The big differences are in how the top part of the sock fits which means that the first one, it doesn't fit so well and shloops down into a funky heel thing.  What you ask, well this:

The sock on the right is the dud.  So now I have a conundrum.  What to do? If there was no seaming in the sock (let alone two seams and a kitchner), this wouldn't be a post as I would have ripped out that first sock and been on my way ... again.  But there is seaming and I hate ripping our seaming, sooooo, I am not sure what my next step will be.  I think I have enough yarn left over that I am toying with the idea of knitting a third top part and then cutting the top (and seamed bits off) and somehow sticking them all back together.  This may be too grandiose of a plan.

Perhaps I should just buy the stupid clogs.  I'd like to think that if the socks were in the clogs then their reality would miraculously converge with their intent and BAM, I'd be in business with my new socks.  But then again, if I was half as smart as I think I am ...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Gobble gobble

I've started on a pair of Churchmouse's Turkish Bed Socks.

Not because I have nothing to work on. Nope. Not even because I don't have any socks to work on. Noooo, I started them because I LOVE this picture that is on the pattern. It makes me warm, fuzzy, and envious.  I've hated those clogs for years thinking, despite several of my friends' claims to the contrary, that they are THE. UGLIEST. SHOES. EVER. But something has been eating away at my brain the last two winters (cooped up in a house with the kids perhaps) and now it seems that I want a pair. Very much so.  And well, if I am going to have a pair, I need some of the socks too.  Sadly, whatever has been eating at my brain and convincing it that I need me some ugly shoes, has also affected my ability to read a pattern and follow directions.  Three tries to get me to the point above and that is after I decided that yes, I could live the with the fact that the sock is backwards, or upside down, or whatever word means that I am knitting in the wrong direction.  Whoopsie!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Sometimes my kids are just so bad, so frustrating, such utter shits, well, I have to kill them with kindness because if I just killed them, I'd end up in jail. Today was one of those days so I decided to get my Pinterest on and make Hotdogopuses ... Octodogs ... a fun dinner.  It was extremely easy.

Cut up a hot dog, break up some spaghetti (or whole wheat linguine in our case), and shove the spaghetti into the hot dog pieces. Drop them into boiling water (which I did not salt because the hot dogs were pretty salty to begin with and they leach all that salt into the water) and let them boil until the pasta is cooked.

Scoop them out with a slotted spoon so they drain, drop them on a plate, add a squirt of ketchup and VOILA! Dinner is served!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

10oT: Movie Addition

Today's Ten on Tuesday topic is "10 Movies You Want to See RIGHT NOW."  These can be any movie: not out yet, new release, old, or classic.  All movies count and can be included.

Now, I should preface this post by admitting that I am not a big movie watcher.  I like movies just fine, but I usually prefer the book, or any book.  My imagination typically pleases me more than someone else's . So, you may wonder, why am I choosing to dip my toes into this 10oT if it is not something I can sink my teeth into (and yes, I referred to a lot of body parts in that there sentence considering it isn't even about body parts.  Weird.). The answer is, um, well, just because.  So there!  Also, I have recently seen two movies, in a theater (I KNOW!), and I typed into my cell phone a list of movies, that based on the previews, sounded good so I actually do have something to say ...

1) The Hunger Games  Yes, yes, it is based on a Young Adult novel, kind of like Twilight but trust me, this ain't no Twilight.  I really want to see this movie.  Like right this very second. Now there is the problem of me reading the book, in all honesty, at least a dozen times.  I LOVED the book.  In fact, it so captured my imagination, I forgot that the characters were kids.  That being said, the pre-release hype of the movie is positive and well, if it is a dud, I will still love the book.

2) Twilight Breaking Dawn, Part 2  Having just mocked Twlight a mere sentence or six ago, it may seem stupid to say I'd like to see another Twilight movie.  But I have a reason.  The reason I want to see it and all of the horrid acting and gawdawful CGI effects is, well, because I saw the other three.  I'm invested.  I know this movie is going to be pretty terrible.  I'm hoping it is going to be so terrible, it is a bit campy.  And, if not, well, I hope some young underage beefcake has his shirt off so I can at least be a pervy old lady.

3) Safe House  I'm not a huge fan of Denzel Washington (though I did enjoy him in The Pelican Brief) and I don't find Ryan Reynolds unbelievably hot.  I did, however, like the trailer and I really got pulled in by the music during the trailer, so yah, I added it to my cell phone list.

4) GI Joe: Retaliation  Full disclosure: I saw this on my list and had absolutely ZERO idea what the hell it was.  A google search for the link lead to the trailer and hey, this looks like a nice brainless action flick!  It has The Rock, a man with nice physique and a fellow University of Miami alum, AND it has some odd version of Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes.  Good enough for me.

5) Carnage  I know two people, who do not know each other, that have seen this play in Boston.  They liked it.  So yah.  It is likely gonna hit close to home for this suburban stay-at-home-mom, but oh well, color me intrigued, I want to see it.  Being that it is basically an hour long, I would rather see it at home OnDemand than for $11 in a theater.

6) Shame  Uh, hello Michael Fassbender!  I suspect that this is one of those movies where I am going to be uncomfortable and squirming in my seat just waiting for the awkwardness to be over.  That being said Fassy has given some interviews which just warm the cockles of my  loins heart.  Heck, the man referred to letting his "beast" loose and destroying "the sweet shop" HOLY CANOLI!  It may be purple prose, but dayum, me likes!

And, that is the end of my cell phone list.  Which leads me to movies I haven't seen and are OnDemand ...

7) Moneyball  Brad Pitt, looking hot and not like a dirty hippie? Yum!

8) Columbiana A woman is a "stone cold assassin" ... yeah for female empowerment.  Also, I have some sort of twisted idea that it might be cool to be a cold, bad ass, killing machine.  You know, if you only killed really bad people. 

9) Horrible Bosses  Now I know this wasn't  huge hit (to put it nicely), but.  BUT, if you know me or read really old posts in this here blog, you know that I truly had a Horrible Boss.  A real wackado.  One who would leave you a present one day 'just because,' and then not talk to you for the following two weeks because you didn't say 'Hi!' when you passed her in the hall.  I mean I guess technically, she wasn't horrible so much as INSANE.  But still. I want to see this movie and laugh and say "WIMPS!  That ain't no horrible boss!"

Okay, right, well, I am now kind of stuck on number nine because nothing else appeals. Um ... hey look! Over there! Is that Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender?

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Tonight I made the kids macaroni and cheese from a box. You know, the crappiest type of mac and cheeses out there.  Their favorite of course. The cheese sauce, as you may know, is made by combining butter (yum), milk (yum), and neon orange powdered cheese (uhhhh). Tonight, in my hurry to get dinner ready, I did a poor mixing job and a wad of neon orange cheesy buttery goodness caked onto a few noodles. A good mom would have stirred this in so that the kids could have as much cheesy flavor as possible. I'm not a good mom. I used my fingers, scooped that wad out, and indulged in that strange cheesy paste that transforms blah cardboard into crack. Only to hear J1 squeal, "Mom! You can't eat standing up, from the pot!" I told her she was right. And she told me to go to time out. So I did. And then she told me when I could get up. I suspect that if she knew why I was using my fingers I'd have been in that time out a whole lot longer.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Another day, another cowl?  Perhaps.  It seems to be a thing for me lately.  Because, you know, this, my second cowl makes two, which is a thing?  Oh Jenna. Anywho ...

At our annual Knitting Party, this year's swap gifted me with this yarn in the Christmas Cactus colorway.  Now it is sock yarn, so one might think making socks with it would be logical.  I, however, am not logical.  Also, I recently unearthed (in my husband's car's trunk ... weird, right?) a pair of half, or perhaps a quarter, knit socks still (obviously) on the needles.  Those socks are somewhat brain-requiring and I didn't want to start another pair so I did a little search of the yarn in my colorway on Ravelry.  It is not the most popular colorway out there, but I saw this, and even though the dye lot there is a lot more red than mine, I decided to give it a go.  Also, I am currently addicted to cowls. 

The yarn was easy to ball up and had not a single knot.  Sadly this is worthy of both note and excitement.  What the hell happened to quality control yarn makers??  Anyway, the big down side of this yarn was the fact that knitting more than a row turned my fingers a lovely reddish orange.  I was able to wash my hands each time I finished working on it and the dye came off.  But it was annoying. 

The dye leaching was annoying.  And perhaps a smarter person would have not only remembered that, but thought about it before starting the blocking process.  I did remember it, and not wanting my neck or my collars to turn colors, I gave the cowl two good washes in Eucalan.  And then I let is soak in a third batch over night.  In my sink.  Which is some new age product and not porcelain.  The next morning the water was reddish orange and so was my sink.  NOT WINNING!  Several serious scrubs with Bar Keepers Friend and the sink was once again white, but I was annoyed.  Even with all of this washing and soaking, the cowl left reddish stains on three consecutive towels as I rung it out in prep for blocking.  Also annoying. 

As noted in these instruction, the actual pattern used was this one.  I used it too.  My only deviation was due to my inability to pay attention.  In mine, the garter rows between the yarn over rows vary from three rows to five.  Reddish orange fingers and all, I am happy with this cowl.  It wraps around my neck three times and is more snug than loose, but not too snug.  That being said, one of my CiF folks seemed to really like the yarn at our Knitting Party, so perhaps I will CiF ... I'm undecided right now.

Yarn: Done Roving Frolicking Feet, Christmas Cactus, 1 skein
Needles: Addi Turbo Circs, size 3.5 mm (US 4)
Pattern: Garter & Eyelet Cowl
Modifications: Varied the number of garter rows between lace/yarn over rows.
Time: 18 days.
Care: Machine wash, gentle cycle, cold water. Dry flat to block it out.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


J1 was telling her little sister that she didn't want to play with her. But she was doing it in a nasty tone and making J2 cry. So I was trying to explain to her other ways she could deliver the message without sounding like a snot and hurting J2's feelings. And this is why, two days later, my kids keep saying, "Please leave me alone, I want to play with myself." Parenting fail.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


This morning, I had the pleasure of taking mes bébés to The Cheesecake Factory for brunch.  We met up with some awesome friends, the girls got some awesome Christmas presents, and we had an awesome meal.  Sadly, due to Schikabibble's (the current in vogue name for Baby #3) placement directly on top of my bladder, and having a companion who is three and a half years old, there were a couple of not so awesome trips to the loo.  And each and every time, I, or we, were faced with the automatic flushing toilet. 

Now, in principle, the automatic flushing toilet is brilliant.  It cleans up for people who are too dirty, lazy, or germaphobic to actually push the flusher themselves.  In reality, well, in reality, it is never that nice.  For some damn reason, the automatic flushing toilet will never flush, not even once, for the person before me.  When it is my turn, however, the thing will flush a half a dozen times.  Now, let me be clear, I am not a twitchy person, I don't have Tourette's, and I'm not wiggling around when I'm in the stall.  Nonetheless, that toilet flushes like I'm marching a band in there with me.  Inevitably it flushes once I've lined the seat with paper before I've even managed to sit down.  Then once I re-line, it flushes again.  A flush or two while I am going and then another when I stand up.  Each flush, of course, mists my rear end.  So basically I am using a public bidet.  Which, quite frankly, is probably one of the grossest things out there, if there exists such a thing.  A quick google search reveals that though there a lot of complaints about public flushing toilets, there is no technique which prevents such misting mishaps.  I suspect that most people do not feel a need to, proverbially, build a better mousetrap, which is why I am converting, flip flopping, switching alliances.  No longer will I be a line it, sitter.  Nope, from this day forward I shall always be a squatter. 

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Not As Intended

Despite the insanely warm temperatures  (Damn you Global Warming!), I knit myself a warm and bulky cowl.  In my mind I knew EXACTLY what I wanted.  I wanted it to stripe, but not too obnoxiously.  I want it to be neutral, but not boring.  I wanted it to wrap around my neck twice, but not have too much extra play.  I wanted it to be seamless and soft.  Sadly, that which is in my head is not necessarily one with reality. 


I used Jared Flood's Noro Striped Scarf as a jumping off point.  But I did jump off quite a bit. Which is to say I knit two rows per color, and did so in a 1x1 rib.  I didn't do any of his pretty edging, or use his pattern numbers.


The knitting of this baby was pretty darn quick. I enjoyed watching the shades of the Noro pop in and out. I did not, however, enjoy picking the twigs out of the Noro or dealing with the random breaks and knots in the yarn. In fact, that part was really friggen annoying. Not as annoying as trying to seam this monster together though. While my provisional cast on seemed quite normal, it wasn't. I used a crochet chain. Used the bumps and started my 1x1 rib. Which, I learned at 11:45pm on New Year's Eve, was an epic fail. It looked normal before I took out the chain, but it wasn't.

In fact, it was almost as if it was not actual knitting.  This may have been daunting to some, but not me.  Oh no.  I was sure it would be fine once I got to grafting. Ha!  And HAHAHA.  I had about 10 resources on grafting in a rib, none of which were actually spot on, and tried to cobble something pretty together.  I tried.  Over.  And over.  Never really stopping.  Well, that's not quite true. I did take a quick break to ring in the New Year with a smooch for my husband and a chug of some iced tea, but that was it.  And that is perhaps why, at 1:00 a.m. I said 'to Hell with you' and weaved in my ends.  I wasn't thrilled, but I was tired and I wanted to be done. 

The next morning, I was still tired, but I was also horrified.  What awful crap was this?  What happened to the perfectionist yarn cutter I once was? At the (smart) urging of a friend, I ripped, and cut that shit out.  And then I started again.  I had to reknit several inches because my end weaving was that damn good (unlike my seaming) and so the stripes are now no longer perfect.  This irked me.  And it still kind of does.  But I am going to pretend it doesn't.  In any event, I reknit and then, using my pea brain, decided to use the tried and true mattress stitch instead of some new age grafting stitch I made up out of frustration.


I do have a seam, but it isn't too unseemly (hardy har har).  If you put the seam in the back, you can't tell my stripes are not in perfect colorlogical pattern order.  So, good enough!

Yarn: One and a quarter skeins of Noro Big Kureyon and one skein of an unknown grey yarn I received as a gift from a friend
Needles: Addi Turbo Circs, size 5.5 mm (US 9)
Pattern: Noro Striped Scarf
Modifications: Cast on 55, knit 1x1 rib, bind off, mattress stitch
Time: Two weeks
Care: Dry clean (as if)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

One of Four

So remember when I mentioned that cruel, cruel mistress, Craft It Forward (CIF) 2011, which incidentally has not been seen anywhere in 2012 because people learned their lesson?  No?  Did I mention it?  Well if not in short (heh, as if) there was a status on facebook that read something along the lines of:

It's time to Craft-It-Forward!  Would you like me to make you something special in my oh-so-abundant-free-time?  I have had way to much wine and am feeling friendly.  I also smoked crack and dined on magic mushrooms.  Life is a rainbow, experienced on the back of a unicorn.  I will plan to craft something for the first five people that write a comment AND re-post this status on their own walls. Even as I type this, I suspect it isn't going to end well but I want something awesome from someone else.  I am selfish.  I will pay for this selfishness. Eventually your craft will get done, but only after I feel so guilty for being a slacker and have received a craft from you or someone else.  Please pass the dutchie from the left hand side.

Perhaps it was a bit more succient.  In any event, I had CIF well under control (read: no one had crafted me so I felt comfortable not having crafted someone else).  But then.  But then I was having a crochet issue with the Sweet Pea Shawl and joked that a friend could crochet my shawl for me as my CIF gift ... AND SHE DID.  But then my other friend randomly appeared with an awesome felted gnome bag, with the gnome modeled after a real life one, well real life statute, obviously.  So then my feet were to the fire.  I am working on something for the crocheter, but in the meantime, gnomey said she saw a bandana cowl at a LYS and wanted to make one some day and I thought to myself I AM ON THIS.  Except this is me we are talking about and so by on this I mean I had a month to feel guilty for not going to look at the cowl or picking yarn or starting the knit.  But somehow I got off my rump and got to knitting.

It took me a week and a half to get her done, but I did it.  I followed the pattern EXACTLY but because my yarn wasn't bulky, I doubled it.  While this makes the fabric warm and dense, it does inhibit the drape to some extent.  Having never seen the thing in real life, I was constantly checking other people's versions on Ravelry and kept thinking mine looked loooonnnnnggggg.  And now that I have seen the one in the LYS, I can say my version IS long. 

But my friend swears she likes it, so I am going to assume this is true. When she tried it one she gave it a little swagger. A swish and a wosh. Or something.  It does not look as long and about-to-get-caught-between-the-boobs on her, as it did when I tried it on.  I consider this a good thing. 

As an aside, the yarn I used, Rios, while lovely to knit with, SUCKED BIG MONKEY LIPS to wind.  Before I realized that CIF was a really stupid idea, I bought this yarn with various CIF ideas in mind.  The first skein was twisted and knotted and took me an hour or so to wind due to having to manually untangle the shit.  I figured it was a fluke.  WRONG.  The second skein?  A FUCKING NIGHTMARE.  There were so many knots and twists and tangles, I had to cut the yarn to get it out of the skein.  I had to ball it by hand because it was so tangled on the swift that every turn made it worse.  It took me DAYS to get it into a manageable ball. I have NEVER EVER NEVER NEVER seen such a disaster of yarn in a normal unassuming looking skein.  If, and that is a big if, IF I ever buy this yarn again, it will be with the insistence that the yarn store ball it for me.

Yarn: Malabrigo Rios, almost 2 skeins, 52 Paris Night
Needles: Addi Turbo Circs, size 6.5 mm (US 10)
Pattern: Bandana Cowl
Modifications: Doubled the yarn
Time: A week and a half.
Care: Machine wash, gentle cycle, cold water.  Dry flat.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


I've been so damn slow at blogging my knits, in this case more than two years, that the details of what I did are some what ... foggy.  NOT THAT I AM OLD AND LOSING MY MIND. I'm not.  Advanced maternal age my arse.  I'm a spring chicken dammit.  Now, what was I talking about?

So, another Christmas stocking.  I've blabbered on about Christmas stocking knitting.  A lot.  The stuff about the first stocking was useful.  The stuff about the second stocking was not really present so I guess I can't say it wasn't useful. Anywho, I am going to shake out the cobwebs and hope for the best.  I plan on knitting a third stocking next year for our third baby, who is due in April.  A boy child?!?!?  I go forth optimistically thinking I will remember something useful.

The stocking.  It was fine to knit.  No surprises or deviations. I started at the top and worked my way down, like the pattern calls for and unlike I did for the first one, where I went from the toe up.  Once the stocking was knit, I went ahead and bedazzled it.  I DID NOT BLOCK IT.  Short of a tsunami, that sucker is never going to see water. 

I have an "In Progress" knitting photo and an "In Progress" post-knitting, pre-seaming, damn what a mess photo.


These are of no help, and I am not exactly sure why I took them.  Though the bedazzling was not difficult, it, combined with my inexpert color work, made for quite the train wreck on the oh-so-very-wrong side of the stocking.  Also, I am not the best bedazzler ever.  Or, maybe I *meant* for the boy snowman's arms to have muscles ...

What?  Snowmen aren't JACKED?  Well mine is.  So there!  Other than some creative bedazzling, the only other issue with the stocking that I had was its length.  Having actually loaded that sucker up with goodies this year, I can say that the thing is HUGE.  It is at least an inch longer than the first stocking.

It's the second to last one on the right.  The one practically dragging on the ground. To fill it seems like a MASSIVE undertaking.  I thought I was going to have extra stuff sticking out of the top.  Instead?  Instead it was like a cavernous black hole.  It looked sad and kind of gaping in the middle.

There was another slight hiccup with the lining.  As in the first one I cut, and a sweet friend sewed for me, was too small.  I didn't account for the space the seam would take up.  Duh.  Not winning.  My second go around turned out fine size wise, though my seaming it into the stocking itself was a little ghetto-riffic.  Sometime I will tell you about the story of my sewing machine, the five+ year belief that I had lost the power cord, and the startling revelation that I actually didn't.  In the meantime, I like the stocking a lot.  It was not nearly the pain in the ass that I experienced my first go around and I am glad I knit it and hope my daughter enjoys it.  If she doesn't, I'll just pinch her.


Yarn: Elegant Heirlooms, Googleheims Stocking Kit purchased from Angelika's Yarn Store
Needles: Addi Turbo Lace Circs, size 3.25 mm (US 4)
Pattern: "Moonflakes"
Modifications: Added extra stripe around white name band so both top and bottom had a red and green stripe. This matched the first stocking I knit.
Time:  Ummm, two years total.  EMBARASSING.  But also due to my sewing, or lack thereof.
Care: Only use it once a year and don't let anyone touch it.