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.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

I Got Nothin

So two out of three of my last posts have been about ... clean laundry? Christ on a cracker! Can you say boring? This is what happens when you are home all the time with two midget tyrants and a third on the way. You start relishing things like clean laundry. Someone needs to have an intervention. And perhaps, it could involve some prime steak, chocolate and a Louis Vuitton or two? Hello? Anybody? Damn.

Last week I did have the pleasure of slipping on some black ice and landing into a position known as Tebowing (going down on one knee with your head bent forward in your hand), NOT to be confused with teabagging, that is a whole 'nother kettle of fish.  Anyway, me, black ice, Tebowing.  Oh, and did I mention it was right in front of about a gazillion people at ESPN?  Yah. Awesome.  Also, I am still immature enough that I jumped up "laughing" in an attempt to mitigate my humiliation and did not instead start crying like a baby because HOLY! SHIT! my Tebowed knee HURT.  And, for the record, STILL DOES. I fear I will be that 70 year old lady who falls, breaks a hip, and insists on walking away thus causing more damage, and ends up quadriplegic.

Anyway, other than my bimonthly fall, things have been pretty quite here.  There has been a bunch of finished knitting ...

Like Juliet's stocking.  Which, actually, I finished knitting two years ago, seamed up last year (and made a liner that was too small) and just this year finally made a new liner which was sized right. 

Like a cowl for a friend.  Which I did for "Craft It Forward" a most AWFUL idea, and something that one year later I have yet to complete.

Like a different cowl for me.  In which I learned that the power of my mind can not affect physics.  Or, alternatively, I am an idiot. 

I have put them up on my Ravelry page but have yet to blog them.  Which I will.  Soon.  I think.  In the meantime, I need to go upstairs and make sure my two year old has not dismantled the child locks on the window and attempted to scale the roof.  What?  That isn't normal for a two year old girl?  TELL ME ABOUT IT.

Monday, January 02, 2012


Starting the New Year off with happy feet in clean hand knit socks!