Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Somebody Finally Won!!

Yay! Somebody finally won the movie line contest for Air America. And it was two somebodies, in fact. Both of whom claim that the other should receive the chocolate. What to do? Award chocolate to both! So treats are on their way to Tim and mamma. Well done. Now go back and watch the movie--it really is hilarious. Especially the coloring book scene in the back of the plane. Watch it for that if nothing else.

Here is the new movie line for you to guess. This one should be considerably easier:

"It vexes me. I'm terribly vexed."

That line always makes me giggle. I'm still determined to use it in my everyday life, if I could but find just the right opportunity. I could use it with my kids, since they are the ones that seem to "vex" me every day, but they wouldn't know what the heck I was talking about. Maybe if Girlie's teacher makes me mad at school, or when arguing with the phone company over my bill? The Count would just laugh at me if I used it with him, but then again, that's the point, right?

In knitting news, Tim's scarf blocked beautifully. I don't always block scarves, but this one is special, remember? Now all I have to do is weave in the ends and it will be on its way to Shikaka (Trophy Wife and beloved Sister's name for Chicago).

Mamma had a question about how many skeins of Noro Silk Garden yarn it took to make a hat. For me, personally, it takes one skein for an average size head if I cast on 80 stitches with size six 12" circular needles and start decreasing when the knitting reaches 6" in length. If you do make a hat out of the yarn you were gifted with, I can't wait to see a picture of it on your blog.

While I have been typing this up, little Sproutie has been playing so nicely in his papasan chair. He's been laughing and talking to me, and I wanted to get a great picture to show you his cute little smile. Unfortunately, there is no getting that perfect Sproutie smile with my digital camera. The flash freaks him out, so this is all I ever get after 40 shots: I think it's because the little orange light blinks and tips him off. So I tried to take pictures without the flash, and this is all I get because of the settings and movement. I know just enough technology to get something to work, but I don't know how or why. He's still cute blurry anyway.

Have a great day all.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Has it really been 5 days?

Wow. I can't believe it's been five days since my last post. There must be something to the way of thinking that an artist is more prolific when suffering, because my mom came for a visit last Thursday and just left today, and no posts from me. I actually have been very productive on the knitting front, which I will share with you. I've been working a lot on completing knitting the projects I've started, and seaming up those that have been waiting, and blocking. It's very feng shui to get these things out of the way, I've learned.

First of all, here are some precious pictures of my mom and her grandbabies. Funny that I don't have any of Drammies with ZimDee, though. They played a lot, but ZimDee's a lot like the Tazmanian devil these days, and is constantly spinning. I'm convinced that he was there when the camera snapped the photo, but spun off before it could capture his image.

I was able to knit the hat that my mom wanted while we sat and visited, and she was able to immediately try it on. Instant gratification. Here it is on her head:
and not: This is my fourth hat knit with Noro Silk Garden (45% Silk, 45% Mohair, 10% Lamb's Wool) and it is fabulous for that purpose. It knits up fast because the colors actually hypnotize you, I think.

Next, I finally seamed up a baby sweater that I knit last fall. The pattern is the raglan sweater from The Baby Knits book by Debbie Bliss. And here is my shameful confession: it is knit with Rowan Cashsoft (57% Extra Fine Merino, 33% Microfibre, 10% Cashmere). Please don't yell at me, I didn't know what I was doing at the time. I was still pretty inexperienced, and just blindly used whatever yarn the pattern called for. Now I know that cottons, acrylics, and wools are much more reasonable to use for children's clothing for washability if you want said child to wear the garment more than once in their lifetime. Perhaps I'll just put it on him for pictures. Or chalk it up to a learning experience when he spills green beans all down the front of it. But now that it's finished, it is quite snuggly and yummy and all those things that cashmere should be. So I have no choice but to enjoy it, don't you think?

And here is Tim's scarf peacefully blocking. I can't show you too much of it right now because it is a gift, and he doesn't know about the illusion. I want him to discover it all on his own without my telling him, and call me up all surprised from Chicago when he sees what he thinks he sees, and proclaim me a genius. More pictures on the finished product to come in a few days, after I get that particular phone call. Aren't you so excited? Me too.

And finally, the piece de resistance (ha-had to spell check that): Sproutie's sweater to match his leggings. You saw this blocking in the last post. Again, this is made out of Rowan Wool Cotton from a pattern in Erika Knight's Simple Knits for Cherished Babies. And here he is modeling it for you. Isn't he a sight to behold?Do you see what Sproutie is looking at in that last picture? Look closely, and you'll see ZimDee's face pressed against the inside net of the playpen. No joke, Girlie and ZimDee use this thing much more than Sproutie ever does. If it keeps them quiet, who am I to judge?

Finally, I guess I picked a movie for the contest this time that nobody has seen. Before giving up, I'm now going to tell you the two main actors in this movie, which was made in 1990: Mel Gibson and Robert Downey, Jr. Does that help at all? Please somebody win this chocolate before I turn into Cookie Monster and eat it all myself.

Love to all.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Today I made a lot of progress on the finishing work for two baby sweaters that I knit last fall. I had said before that I wanted to wait until I felt more confident in my finishing techniques before ruining the sweaters I spent so much time knitting. So after taking that class last Saturday and getting some valuable input from my more experienced knitting friends (thanks again to mamma and Tam), I set out to try to get them done before they are too small for Sproutie to fit into. Here is my first foray into wet blocking: This is an unusual sweater designed by Erika Knight that is actually knit in one piece. That's why it looks so funny pinned down. It is knit in wool/cotton, and it is the matching shirt to the leggings I just finished for Sproutie. I'll have more on the particulars when I get it seamed up. But I'm so proud of myself for diving in and getting it done. (doing the happy dance now). I've blocked before, mind you, but with steam and in the back room of the local yarn store with help. Now I've graduated to doing it all by myself. I feel so self-sufficient.

Tam asked for a picture of the newly felted Rowan Aura hat for Girlie. Except I don't know if I'd actually call it felted, because Rowan Calmer is a cotton/acrylic blend, not wool. I just counted on the cotton content giving some shrinkage, which it did. And it made the stitches pudgier, for lack of a better word. Girlie likes its softness now. Here is the picture of the two hats together. I don't know if the camera shows much difference. The shrunken one is on the right.

And today I also discovered a great way to be able to fold my laundry without Sproutie getting separation anxiety. Yes, he is now at that stage where I can't get more than three feet away from him without him crying. So here is what I came up with: He's playing with his little fishy here. It seems to make him happy. Oh, I love him so.

More Movie Line Clues

I'm going to post more lines from the current movie line contest to see if that helps anyone out. The current clues are:

"Don't bother me when I'm coloring, all right?!?"

"Bender? Nah, this isn't a bender. This is just night-time."

"It's just that I'm used to being the weirdest guy in the room, and all of a sudden I'm not even in the running."

"Holiday Inn. Southern California. Own and Operate."

The next two lines up for consideration are:

"I wish you wouldn't use the words American intelligence to describe what it is that you do."

"I'll tell you the reason why--because last time you colored the sky all flesh-colored and it looked stupid."

Good luck to one and all.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Of Dinosaurs, Babies, and Hats

Yesterday was a school holiday, and my babies and I hung out all day in our pajamas. I love days like that. The babies played and I knit, and the world was right. Here are some pictures of the things we did: Girlie set up her dinosaurs to play, just so:Then I asked her to entertain baby Sproutie so I could *gasp* fold the laundry. Here is proof of her entertaining him: Look at this scary face! I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but my kids hate it when I do housework. Could it be that it makes me grumpy or sum'in? Anyway, while Girlie was playing with Sprout, ZimDee decided he should get in on the dinosaur action. Thankfully he didn't go for the same big ones as Girlie. She has relegated some smaller, lesser ones for his enjoyment. She is the oldest, you understand, and pecking orders are intricate and as old as time, and not mine to fight. I am the 3rd child, as I've said before, and I was born into a world where the biggest toy, the newest clothes, and the unbroken cookie were distant dreams. I automatically accepted my place. So I hide and watch as my kids fall into these roles. And while ZimDee occasionally makes a grab for what Girlie thinks is rightfully hers, he usually comes to accept (as I did in my childhood) that these things are her birthright. And you must remember that he's got a baby brother growing up that he can claim 2nd bests over. But don't you worry, as a 3rd child, I am sensitive to Sproutie's plight. There will be days when big brother and sissy are in school that secret ice cream cones and candies will be had. You can be sure of that.

Anyway, since I interrupted Girlie's playing to ask her for help, it was oh so helpful that ZimDee found other related toys to play with instead. Though he did knock over the T-Rex poised over an unsuspecting victim (notice in picture) Zim was quite satisfied to let the little ones duke it out. Let's check out the carnage: By the way, ZimDee is wearing flannel pajamas lovingly sewn by his wonderful Dram-Drams.

And after all was said and done, I had two very exhausted boys on my hands. Tired boys who sleep are good boys. Look at what I found when I peeked in:

Ohhh, that just makes me melt.

So it was a great day.

In knitting news, I'd like to thank Tam and mamma for weighing in on the blocking issue. Your input is appreciated.

I've been knitting a lot of hats lately. It's probably due to the arctic weather that is lingering here. I've now made a total of three hats out of the Noro Silk Garden: one for the Count, one for MovieMan, and I had just enough left over from their hats to make one for myself. Here is ZimDee modelling it.

He and I wear the same size hat because his noggin is so big. He wore it to school today, and I don't mind sharing. He looks completely adorable in it.

Girlie was mentioning that her Rowan Aura hat felt kind of big, so I knit a smaller one. And because I had nothing to lose, I threw the first one in the wash and shrunk it. She likes the shrunken one best because she says it's softer. That leaves the other one for me, maybe. It doesn't look half bad. But we'll see. I know a lot of people who would like that hat. And I even have enough yarn left over to make one more...

Remember there is a movie line contest in the works. Here are the two lines currently up for consideration:

"Don't bother me when I'm coloring, all right?!?"

"Bender? Nah, this isn't a bender. This is just night-time."

And because I love you guys so much, here are two more lines from the same movie:

"It's just that I'm used to being the weirdest guy in the room, and all of a sudden I'm not even in the running."

"Holiday Inn. Southern California. Own and Operate."

Good luck to all.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Two movie lines this time

Congratulations to Tim for winning the latest movie line contest from I Love You To Death. "Ok, ladies, let's go: Monopolyyyyyyyyyyyyy".

Here are the new movie lines up for consideration. I'm giving you two from the same movie this time:

"Don't bother me when I'm coloring, all right?!?"

"Bender? Nah, this isn't a bender. This is just night-time."

Good luck to one and all.

Yesterday I went to a knitting class on finishing techniques. While the teacher was low energy and tended to stray off-task, I at least learned what I needed to know to seam together sweaters and finish off buttonholes. She skimmed over blocking techniques: wet blocking vs. steam blocking. I have only done steam blocking, and I have a question for the more experienced knitters out there: what is your preferred method of blocking, and why? Your input is very welcomed and appreciated.

I like taking classes for the most part because it puts you together with other people who like to knit, and there's always something new to learn. And as much as I adore my children, any adult time I can get where I'm not pulled in 20 different directions is bliss for me.

I hope everyone is having a great day.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Reality TV

Congratulations Mom+SIS+Auntie for winning the movie line contest for Parenthood. I could have gone on and on with those funny lines--there are so much of them:

"Don't worry, Dad, you can still find the bar"

"What a loser, huh?" "I meant me."

"Did he say Cool?"

"After slipping around on somebody's guts for a while, afterwards I like to...blow balloon animals."

"Let me out of here, Mango-face!"

For those of you who haven't seen this movie and who are parents, you must watch it.

And yes, Mom+SIS+Auntie, I did watch Drew's rumba last night on Dancing With the Stars. I'm glad you brought that up, because they said that Michael Buble' was going to sing on tonight's show. For those of you who don't already know, I am a serious reality TV watcher, and despite the cheesiness factor, I will not be reformed. The rumba is my favorite dance. I did like Drew's performance, but not as much as watching Jonathan Roberts do the rumba. He is Anna's husband. He was partnered with Rachel Hunter last season and Gisele Fernandez this season. I have those performances permanently "saved until I delete" on my TiVo. I have most of this season recorded on hard copy (after the first couple shows) (WITHOUT commercials) so I can plug them in and watch them consecutively like you would, say, 24.

And speaking of reality TV, whatever happened to the funeral home guy on American Idol? It never showed him after his great audition. I had him pegged as one of my favorites. Did he even make the trip to Hollywood? They picked the final 24 last night, and he was nowhere in sight. My only consolation is that the "hissy attitude" twins (Simon's quote) are gone. Their voices were fine, but their diva ways grated on me. Have a criminal record much?

On to the next movie line contest. The line is:

"And this is for me, this candy?"

Good luck to all.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Additional Clue

It seems that the line I quoted from the current movie line contest is a bit obscure. I will now add another line to help you all out. The old line is this:

"Friends slow down. They even stop."

Another line from the same movie is:

"It's an electric ear cleaner."


"When I was born, Grover Cleveland was President."


"Chicken's burning. Damn, that looked good too."

and finally:

"If she's so brilliant, then why is she sitting in our neighbor's car?"

This is getting fun. Good luck to one and all.

Sweet days

Congratulations to mamma for winning the movie line contest from Silence of the Lambs. Anthony Hopkins was absolutely brilliant in the role of Hannibal Lector. His Academy Award was well-deserved. And so is your chocolate, mamma.

Guess which movie this next line is from:

"Friends slow down. They even stop."

The movie that this line is from is very rich in witty, funny lines, so if you're having a problem with this, let me know, and I'll be happy to give you other lines as hints.

In knitting news, I finished MovieMan's hat. Here are some pictures of Girlie modelling it for you. The colors are out of this world, and I tried the hat on myself, finding it very warm indeed. It is knit, of course, out of Noro Silk Garden. It looks fabulous on Girlie, which is not surprising, but it also looks pretty decent on me, which is surprising, because I usually don't like the look of hats on me. And I happen to have just enough yarn left to knit one for myself. This I will do after I've finished my mom's hat, and Tim's scarf, and ZimDee's hat, and made more progress on the Drops pattern cardigan.On to the particulars of this hat: knit on size 6 Addi Turbo 16" circular needles, and size 6 short bamboo dpn's. I cast on 80 stitches. I knit 10 rows of seed stitch for the band. (Seed stitch is my favorite stitch to look at--not always to do). Then I switched to stockinette stitch (which is just knitting on circular needles) until the hat measured 6 inches long. I started decreasing as such: (knit 6, k2 tog); knit one row; (knit 5, k2 tog); knit one row; etc. until there were, what, 7-8 stitches left on the needles, then thread the yarn through those stitches and pulled tight. This is my default hat pattern, and it is my favorite.

Sproutie is 8 months old today. I have mixed feelings about my last baby growing up.

Guess who is becoming sweet friends? It is my Girlie and Sproutie. They have this special little bond. It completely warms my heart to see how much they adore each other. They will sit and play for hours just because they love each other's company. They are fond of ZimDee, too, but they are drawn to each other. Here are some pictures I took of them today. Yes, that is Sproutie sitting by himself, wearing his first pair of blue jeans and also modelling a sweater lovingly knit by his late great-grandma Lyn:

I also am the third child, like Sproutie, and it was always my oldest sister (like Girlie!) who protected me and loved me and made sure I knew I was never alone. Now that we live far apart from each other (most definitely not by choice) my sister's love is all the more precious to me. I wish that for my kids. You'll never know how much.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Congratulations to Tim

Congratulatulations to Tim for winning the movie line contest. The line was from Apollo 13, one of the greats. Snaps and chocolate to you, my man.

Here is the next movie line up for consideration:

"You know what you look like to me with your good bag and cheap shoes? You look like a rube."

Good luck to all.

In baby news, I'm so happy to report that the very first sweater I ever knit, while pregnant with Sproutie, now fits him. Look at these adorable photos:I didn't know whether I was having a boy or girl, so I thought I would play it safe with the colors. The pattern is from a free Red Heart flyer, and knit in Baby Teri (52% acrylic, 48% nylon) on size 6 and 8 straight needles. The pattern is extremely easy, because I didn't even know what I was doing and something resembling a sweater was the result. I do see lots of mistakes now, about a year later, but all in all I would recommend this as a good first project. And I love Baby Teri yarn. It took less than one skein of each color to finish this project. That's less than $8 in yarn, and about $2 for the buttons.

A shout out now to all the ghetto knitters in the world, of which I am a proud member. I do love cashmere and silk, there's no question about it, but I grew up wearing slippers and sweaters knit lovingly in Red Heart by my Grandma Lyn, knitter extraordinaire. So I've got a soft spot for the scratchy stuff. I can see how someone could become a yarn snob, because I do have an appreciation for the finer things, but there's something very nostalgic about inexpensive acrylic yarns that bring me right back to those magical days of my childhood.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to one and all. I had a lot of fun decorating the house this year. I want my kids to remember how fun Valentine's Day can be.
The Count even ponied up and got me some flowers, with some help from Girlie. I do love fresh flowers.I hope everyone had a lovely day.

Congratulations to mamma for winning the movie line contest from As Good As it Gets. You are now on a roll. Care to try for 3 in a row?

The new movie line contest is this:

"I can't deal with cleaning up. Let's just sell the house."

(My sentiments exactly, by the way, hahahhaa).

In Knitting Olympics news, we now have a hat. I wasn't sandbagging, I swear, when I chose this project. I thought it was going to be a lot harder than it was. And the seaming up was even a breeze. Look at how precious it looks on Girlie:
So in Olympic fashion, my short program is completed. Some events finish early in the Olympics and are done in the first week. This happens to be one of them. But I will continue knitting to stay in top form. Thanks to all who shared in my victory.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Congratulations to mamma

Hooray for mamma for winning the movie line contest for A Christmas Story. More yummy chocolate for you. If you haven't seen this movie yet, you should because it's funny. Especially because you're the mother of small children. A really funny thing happened the last time I watched this movie: I used to watch it from the kids' perspective, and this time I related to the adults' perspective. Watch it and see what you think.

I have to agree with Tam that book "The Stand" was far superior to the movie. You were right about the actress who played Nadine. Her performance makes the scenes with her in it unwatchable. But will I watch it again? Mayhap I will, and mayhap I won't...
Out of curiosity, who would you recast the movie with? Specifically Frannie, Stu, Flagg, and Mother Abigail?

Speaking of my babies/children/kids, Stephny, I have news to report about Sproutie: he just grew another tooth, this time on the top. That makes three: two on the bottom, and one on the top. And he is a biter. Ouch!

Yesterday was a good day for Knitting Olympics, but not so good over in Italy. It was heartbreaking to watch cutie Apolo not qualify for the event that won him a gold medal four years ago due to a split second mistake. Bode got fifth place, so no medal for him, either. But the Tomato came through on the half pipe after falling in the qualifying round, and won the gold. (hey, I've got to support my fellow Olympians by watching their quest for the gold, no?)

Now for the new movie line contest. The line is:

"Go sell crazy somewhere else. We're all stocked up here."

Good luck to all.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Yay for Tam

Well, that didn't take long! Snaps to Tam for winning the movie line contest for The Stand. You see, liars sit in chairs. Truth tellers hunker down. M-O-O-N, that spells moon. And M&M's spell out Tam's prize. Congratulations.

Here is the next movie line, possibly obvious, but fun anyway:

"You'll shoot your eye out."

Good luck, all.

In Knitting Olympics news, I'm making good progress on the hat. The pattern is starting to become intuitive where I don't have too think about it as I go along. I love it when that happens. Here is a progress photo:
I spread the stitches apart on the needle so you can see the pattern better. It obviously would have been longer by now, but our visit to the frog pond yesterday got in the way of that. I'm getting very excited to see how the finished product looks on little Girlie.

Not to make friends and family in colder climates jealous, but the weather here has been just beautiful lately. The sun has been out all week, though the wind has been blowing hard and it's still cold. But the sun shining through has given me spring fever and has really been good for my spirit. It's amazing what a little sunshine will do.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

New Movie Line Contest

Congratulations to Tim for winning the movie line about imminent rue-age. The line is of course from Twister. I knew that once I corrected it I would have an immediate winner.

The new movie line is this:

"Truth tellers hunker down."

Good luck to all.

In Olympic Knitting news, I had to rip stitches out down to the 3rd row. But I still have that gold medal in sight! This will just make the victory all the sweeter.

Movie Line Correction

Omigosh. I have done you all a terrible wrong. I have blatantly misquoted the movie line in the current contest. No wonder you all were scratching your heads. I'm sure that as soon as I give you the correction, you will all know instantly what movie the line is from. My apologies. And now for the correct quote:

"We're talking imminent rue-age".

I know, I know, but I have said it before, and I still maintain: I'm a dork. Best of luck to you all in the new contest.

In Olympic news, I'm sad to report that today was not a good day on the ice. The day started out well, with smooth sailing over the needles. Then I took the project with me in the car as the Count drove us to lunch (yum). I got to the end of the 12th row and was short a stitch. Why don't I just un-knit it to where the problem first occurred, you ask? I would, but the way the pattern is written, it's not just straight knit or purl. It goes something like this: sl 1, k1, psso (easy enough) and k1, yfwd, k2tog, also easy enough to do straight, but hard for me to un-knit backwards. So unfortunately, much progress had to be ripped out. But I'm still in the game, I just had an off day like many athletes do. I'll be back in top form in no time.

Today Sproutie seemed to grow by leaps and bounds. Since he is my last baby, I'm not in a hurry for him to do that. First of all, he sat by himself in the restaurant's high chair at lunch, so the Count and I could actually eat AND digest our food.

I dressed the boys in matching outfits today. I'm not usually in the habit of doing that, but they got them for Christmas from relatives in California, and I'm partial to how turtlenecks look on my boys. Here are some pictures.Yes, Sproutie is sitting up all by himself. *sigh*
Look at those sweet little teeth.
The other milestone today is Sproutie's first time sitting in the playpen part of his pack and play. Before he only used the bassinet part. But he is *gasp* too big for that now. Of course, any time we bring out something new for him, Girlie and ZimDee have to give it a spin. Just to see if it's suitable, of course. Even if it was theirs when they were babies and they cried to get out of it, now they want to be IN it. First, Girlie got in with Sprout:Then ZimDee got in on the act.Lord I do love those babies.