Sunday, December 30, 2007


M LOVES her new jammies I made her, so I had a little extra time on hand and made her another set - this time with some Cheetah Girls fabric.

For the uninitiated, the Cheetah Girls are a girl band that Disney made up. If you ever turn on Radio Disney, they're played in heavy rotation (Fuego, fuego, fuego. . .)
So here's my Cheetah Girl (don't mind the goofy look in her face - her eyes really aren't that strange):

I also made two more jammies for M's good friend, D. Her momma was who I made the pirate hat for, so I thought this fabric would be very appropriate.

D also got a Batman watch for Christmas, so I thought this would be well received:

And viola:

FO-Super-sized Spiral Doily

Pattern: Doily with Spiral from Yarn Over
Yarn: Tahki Cotton Classic, Deep Red #3424 - 11 skeins (I could have gotten away with 10, but I kept making my joins with very long tails).
Needle: US 6
Size: 48-inches in diameter.
Modifications to pattern: The spiral part of the pattern only goes up to 33 stitches between markers - it only has 8 points. I knitted to 66 stitches and have 14 points. So, if I were to knit this for me, I'd knit it with 99 stitches between markers.

Mom, thanks for the great vacation.

Friday, December 28, 2007

2007 Finished Objects

  1. Super-sized Spiral Doily Shawl
  2. We Call Them Pirates Hat
  3. Flying Spaghetti Monster Ornament
  4. Little Treasure Jacket
  5. Hedgehogs
  6. A Cardigan for Arwen
  7. Little Treasure Booties
  8. House Slippers #1
  9. Bar Harbor Bag
  10. Pi Topper Chemo Hat #5
  11. Pi Topper Chemo Hat #4
  12. Pi Topper Chemo Hat #3
  13. Pi Topper Chemo Hat #2
  14. Small Rabbit with Sweater
  15. Sleepy Snake & Mischievous Mouse
  16. Felted Invaders Coffee Cozy
  17. Felted Snowflake Coffee Cozy
  18. Pinwheel Baby Blanket
  19. Baby Surprise Jacket
  20. Fair-Isle Baby Halter
  21. Katja Baby Halter & Striped Baby Halter
  22. Pi Topper Chemo Cap & PICC Arm Band
  23. Satchel [Smaller Striped Version]
  24. Twisted Stitch Baby Hat
  25. Franny Onsey
  26. Garter Scarf
  27. Wedding Gifts
  28. Spherey Bunny
  29. Eye Ball
  30. Boy Robots & Spherey
  31. Nearly Gloves II
  32. Girl Baby Bobbi Bear & Towel, MDK Kimono & Ruffled Hat
  33. Boy Baby Bobbi Bear & Towel
  34. First Socks

WIP-Super-sized Spiral Doily

I am so close to having this done. Here's a photo of the edging - what's cool is that it's actually looking like the what the pattern photo looks like. That's always encouraging.

This pattern has a weird YOx2 that's repeated through out. Usually when I see this, it's to do a bobble or knit into it several times. This pattern does not do that, so it threw me off a bit. Markers are a MUST as sometimes the YOx2 do get dropped. If I work on it this weekend, I think I may actually finish this up!

FO-We Call Them Pirates hat

This was a quick knit and I really like how it looks with the Encore DK.

Pattern: We Call Them Pirates by Hello Yarn
Yarn: Plymouth Encore DK, white and black
Needles: US 3
Notes: I didn't anticipate this hat being only half-way lined, but I'm pretty happy with the final results. Hope Terri likes it. I love the idea that this is machine wash/dry.

Poor Puppy

We don't keep our dog in a fence because he just keeps getting out. He's a bit of a social dog and likes to go visit the neighbors - who have assured me that they don't mind. We live at the end of a cul-de-sac style road surrounded by Corps property, so the road traffic is really limited to folks who live here.

There is a Siberian Husky who occasionally runs by and plays with Mel - and he gets caught up and keeps following him. Unfortunately, these are nail-biter evenings because I just hate feeling like I'm going to get THE CALL that Mel has been hit by a car. We've been fortunate as he's been found by some really nice people who call us.

The other night Mel didn't come home and I ended up driving around the previous areas where we've found him trying to find him, but I had no luck and went to bed around 10:30 hoping that he'd come home.

We got a call around 11:30 pm. Mel had impaled himself on a wrought iron fence at a house located about three or four miles away (in an area where he had not gone before) and it was bad. I ran over there and got him to the local animal emergency room. I have to admit that I did pretty well at not freaking out. Mel had essentially peeled away all the skin from his right hind leg and all I could see was muscle and red. Once I got him to the vet and knew he was being cared for and out of pain, I started shaking. The vet told me that he was fine, but I had to leave him overnight because he had to operate - the words he used were, "he's a bit of a mess."

After I calmed down enough to drive, I got home and didn't really have a fitful sleep. The next day, I got over to the vet to pick him up. He had MANY, MANY, MANY stitches. I don't want to post a photo because it still freaks me out just to look at them. Let's just say that the gash is over a foot long - and Mel's not that big of a dog.

So yesterday was spent sitting on the floor of my living room and keeping my puppy still by petting him. When he slept, I was able to get some work done on a hat I've been knitting for a good friend. I actually finished it - so I guess that's the only really good thing that happened yesterday. It was really stressful - even though I didn't do much.

He's still sore today, but is doing obviously better. Poor little guy.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Work on Vacation

I have a project that's due at the end of the month, so I brought my laptop on vacation with me. I'm actually able to get a couple of hours worth of work done - it sucks, but it's better than sitting in 40 degree wet weather.

Oh, and the lobby keeps playing the same insipid Christmas music - over and over and over again. If I hear Jingle Bell Rock one more time, I'm gonna kill some one.
J surprised me, though. There was a weird Spanish carol on and he started singing it. I had never heard it, but here was my DH singing this song. I asked him about how he knew the song, and he answered in one word: Catholic. It was funny. He says its about Joseph going from house to house trying to find a room for his pregnant wife, Mary. It's just a little strange having a 6'8" hulk singing a Spanish song at a high pitch - and someone who only knows how to ask where his shoes are in Spanish.
We went snorkeling a couple of days ago. M was scared of getting in the water, but finally had to go to the bathroom. She insisted that Francisco go back so she can use the bathroom. Francisco pointed to the water, and M was horrified. "I don't want to go on my suit!"
So I had to pull the suit aside. After much thought and angst, she finally went pee and proudly announced it to all. Oh. She went pee in the ocean FOUR times that trip!!
Once M was in the water, she did really well. I had her grab on to me while I snorkeled. J finally got to get into the water and snorkel, too. It was great. The fish were beautiful and we saw several eels - very cool.
When M gets tired, she wants to go hang out in the hotel room and watch "Neek" - or Nickelodeon for the non-initiated. She gets to see the same programs she knows and loves - but in Spanish.
All in all, I'm ready to come home. It seems five days is just enough time for us to be on vacation. Seven is two days too long.
Must. Stop. Jingle. Bell. Rock.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


We've been in Cozumel for a couple of days now. It's a beautiful resort. For the past two days, though, it has gotten chilly and was difficult to go swimming because the wind was so cold. The locals called it an El Norte. Hopefully it's gone today because M had declared that she WON'T go swimming today because it's too cold.

It's not the greatest photo, but here's a picture from where I'm sitting while blogging today:

Life can be so difficult sometimes! :)

I finished the Hemlock Ring blanket. I'm glad I finished it. M has claimed it to be her shawl and wears it around the resort. I am getting close to finishing up the Spiral Doily. I'm really liking the way the it's coming out.

Friday, December 14, 2007

AFI Top 100

I've watched 86 out of 100 of the AFI's top 100 movies. How about you?

  1. CITIZEN KANE (1941)
  3. CASABLANCA (1942)
  4. RAGING BULL (1980)
  5. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952)
  6. GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
  8. SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993)
  9. VERTIGO (1958)
  10. WIZARD OF OZ, THE (1939)
  11. CITY LIGHTS (1931)
  12. SEARCHERS, THE (1956)
  13. STAR WARS (1977)
  14. PSYCHO (1960)
  16. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
  17. GRADUATE, THE (1967)
  18. GENERAL, THE (1927)
  19. ON THE WATERFRONT (1954)
  20. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
  21. CHINATOWN (1974)
  22. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)
  23. GRAPES OF WRATH, THE (1940)
  27. HIGH NOON (1952)
  28. ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)
  30. APOCALYPSE NOW (1979)
  31. MALTESE FALCON, THE (1941)
  35. ANNIE HALL (1977)
  39. DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)
  40. SOUND OF MUSIC, THE (1965)
  41. KING KONG (1933)
  42. BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967)
  43. MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969)
  45. SHANE (1953)
  48. REAR WINDOW (1954)
  49. INTOLERANCE (1916)
  51. WEST SIDE STORY (1961)
  52. TAXI DRIVER (1976)
  53. DEER HUNTER, THE (1978)
  54. M*A*S*H (1970)
  56. JAWS (1975)
  57. ROCKY (1976)
  58. GOLD RUSH, THE (1925)
  59. NASHVILLE (1975)
  60. DUCK SOUP (1933)
  63. CABARET (1972)
  64. NETWORK (1976)
  65. AFRICAN QUEEN, THE (1951)
  68. UNFORGIVEN (1992)
  69. TOOTSIE (1982)
  70. CLOCKWORK ORANGE, A (1971)
  76. FORREST GUMP (1994)
  78. MODERN TIMES (1936)
  79. WILD BUNCH, THE (1969)
  80. APARTMENT, THE (1960)
  81. SPARTACUS (1960)
  82. SUNRISE (1927)
  83. TITANIC (1997)
  84. EASY RIDER (1969)
  85. NIGHT AT THE OPERA, A (1935)
  86. PLATOON (1986)
  87. 12 ANGRY MEN (1957)
  88. BRINGING UP BABY (1938)
  89. SIXTH SENSE, THE (1999)
  90. SWING TIME (1936)
  91. SOPHIE'S CHOICE (1982)
  92. GOODFELLAS (1990)
  94. PULP FICTION (1994)
  96. DO THE RIGHT THING (1989)
  97. BLADE RUNNER (1982)
  99. TOY STORY (1995)
  100. BEN-HUR (1959)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

WIP - Spiral Doily

Still knitting along on the spiral doily. I think I have something like thirty six rows to go before I start doing the fancy ends.

The pattern is very easy to knit once I figured out to place markers after each k2tog's. I'm also over knitting the spiral area. The original pattern goes as high as 33 stitches per marker. I'm going to knit till I have 66 stitches per marker. The fancy edging is broken up by 11 stitches, so I think it'll work out.

I have my fingers crossed.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Free Pattern - FSM Ornament

Flying Spaghetti Monster Ornament Knitting Pattern

1 skein worsted weight 100% wool yarn – Brown
1 skein worsted weight 100% wool yarn – Cream (can’t felt white yarn)
US size 4 needles – DPN’s or Circular
US size 11 needles
Tapestry needle
Oobi eyes (I used the oobi like eyes)
Upholstery thread for loop to hang on tree.

Meatball (make 2):

Knitting in the round with brown wool, cast on 6 stitches with US size 4 needles and join. Place marker.

Row 1: K all stitches
Row 2: Kfb around (12 sts)
Row 3: K all stitches
Row 4: (Kfb, K1) around (18 sts)
Row 5: K all stitches
Row 6: (Kfb, K2) around (24 sts)
Row 7: K all stitches
Row 8: K all stitches
Row 9: K all stitches
Row 10: (K2tog, k2) around (18 sts)
Row 11: K all stitches
Row 10: (K2tog, k1) around (12 sts)
Row 11: K all stitches

Stuff the meat ball at this time.

Row 12: (K2tog) around (6 sts)

Break yarn leaving a long tail. Take tail and tapestry needle and thread through remaining stitches and cinch up to close the meatball. Leave the tail so you can use it to sew the meatball to the spaghetti monster.

Felt. (I just throw it into my washer and wash with hot water. If the monster still has some stitch definition, your monster needs more felting).

Spaghetti Monster:

With cream wool, cast on (double stranded) between 20 to 30 stitches with US size 11 needles.

Cast all stitches off but keep the last stitch on the right needle.

Repeat until you have roughly 30 to 35 tendrils.

You’ll have a long string with tendrils on it. Using a tapestry needle, sew the string together to make the monster, leaving the tendrils to dangle.


Make up:

Sew the meatballs on the monster (use the photo above as a guide). Trim all stray yarn ends. Take Oobi eyes and thread some of the tendrils through the loop so the eyes will stay in place (Usually can stay in place with three tendrils). Sew upholstry thread on top and make a loop so you can hang it on the tree.

Variation (added 12/25/07):

If you don't want/can't get the oobie eyes, you can do this instead:

After knitting all 30 tendrils, knit two additional tendrils like this:

Cast on 8 stitches.

K2, turn work, k2, turn work

Cast off 8 stitches.

Make him up as shown above. Using two buttons for each eye socket, you can buy a large white button and insert a smaller black button to make them look like googly eyes. I've found that these work better than the plastic googly eyes. (look at my alligator mittens for an example).

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Random Thought

I truly don't understand the big worry over illegal immigrants in the US. I know that a lot of it is borne out of fear of 9/11, but I can't help but notice that the guys who brought down the towers were Saudis, not Mexicans. You can bet that many Mexicans will be there to help re-build it.

Do our political talking heads have silly priorities or what?

Almost finished - Hemlock

Originally uploaded by civilgrrl
I'm almost finished with the Hemlock Ring Blanket. I am going to run out of yarn, so I am waiting till I get the final ball to finish binding this off.

Mom - don't look!

Originally uploaded by civilgrrl

I've cast on for a spiral doily shawl with a nice cotton yarn. I really love knitting this so far.
Pattern: Doily with Spiral from Yarn Over (Vintage Pattern)
Yarn: Cotton Classic by Tahiki/Stacy Charles. Color: 3424; Lot 371

Here's what I hope it'll look like when I'm done:

FO - Flying Spaghetti Monster Ornament

Originally uploaded by civilgrrl
I have a party to go to this weekend and we do a gift exchange. This is my gift to exchange this year.

Can you see the meat balls?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

FO - Little Treasures Baby Jacket

Pattern: Little Treasures Jacket from Simply Knitting Magazine
Yarn: Sandnes Garn Mandarin Petit
Needles: Size 3
Mods: I didn't knit a button band or add a picot edging to the bottom or to the sleeves.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hemlock Ring Blanket

I had some yarn left over from my sweater, so I cast on for the Hemlock Blanket (as inspired by the Knitting Rose).

I put my keys in the photo because I wanted to show the scale of the flower. It's HUGE!

Thanksgiving crazies

I love my daughter. I really do.

But I'm SO glad school is back in session. M was sick for the most part of the Thanksgiving break, so she spent a lot of time indoors.

I finally had to come up with something to do, so we decorated T-shirts.

I have been wanting to try freezer paper t-shirts, so we did one. I also bought an iron-on crystal wand, so we did a couple of crystals. M has really great motor skills and was able to put some crystals on herself. I was truly impressed.

FO - Gator Mittens

I made these for a teacher at M's school. She noticed M's gloves and really loved them, so I made some in her size. We just gifted them and she LOVED them.

Pattern: Later Gator Mittens from Stitch N Bitch Nation (size: Women's S)
Yarn: Berocco Comfort
Needles: Size 5 & 7
Thoughts: Love the yarn for these - they're machine wash and dry. They also knit up nice and thick. Buttons are used for the eyes and I fastened them with upholstery thread.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

"The Siren Queen" by Fiona Buckley

This was one of my favorite Ursula Blanchard stories. It was written in 2004, so I'm feeling that maybe Ms. Buckley has stopped writing the series - which is really too bad. The final sentence was fabulous as the north is now on the march to the south, Meg may have met her future husband, Matthew de la Roche isn't dead, Cecil is on the outs with Elizabeth, and Gladys may finally stop throwing curses on people.

I think I also liked this book in the series because Meg starts being a character - and she's a pretty astute young lady.

I hope the series continues. I just don't think we'll see it happen as it's been three years since the last book. :(

FO-Flannel nightgown

We went to Joann's yesterday because they were having a GREAT sale - especially on flannel. M fell in love with a mermaid print, so I bought a cheap pattern and knocked out a nightgown for her. She loved them so much, she wore them almost all day today. If they weren't dirty, she'd be wearing them tonight, too. :)

FO - Hedgehog #1 & #2

Patttern: Huggable Hedgehog by Fiber Trends
Yarn: Ella Rae 100% wool; Schachenmayr nomotta Salsa & Brazilia
Thoughts: Fast knit. Terribly cute.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Another Hedgehog!

Boy these things whip up so quickly and they're really cute, too!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Modifications to the Arwen

Initial cast on: I cast on the total amount of stitches listed for all three panels. I didn't take out any stitches for seam allowances. I feel that four extra stitches didn't really give me any grief - although my gage was 5 stitches per inch. The most helpful thing I did on this was to write out the cable patterns onto coil bound index cards.

I knitted each side for 17 inches. I used the measurements to one of my store bought cardigans to determine that the length was right. That, and taking it to SnB every two weeks to get constructive comments helped, too! :)

I then split the cardigan up according to the pattern stitch counts into three different panels.

I did not increase/decrease in the arm area, mainly because I've got broad shoulders. I knitted this area for 11 inches - which gave me 22 inches round for my arms.

Next comes the somewhat confusing part. I grafted together 32 stitches from the inside of each slit to form the shoulders. I then kept on knitting the hood area till it it covered my head. I did a three needle bind off to fasten the hood together.

Next, I picked up stitches along the arm holes and knitted the sleeves in the round (decreasing two stitches every four rows). Notice how I stopped short in the sleeve. That's so I could sew on cables for the sleeves.

I knitted both cables at the same time - 14-inches long - and sewed them to the cuffs.

Here's the finished sweater!

Hedgie #1

road kill
Originally uploaded by civilgrrl
I think I must have been going through toy knitting withdrawal because I sat down last night and knitting this in one sitting. Granted, I was up a little late, but I couldn't sleep, so it all worked out.

Just need to add eyes, nose and stuff him! Isn't he cute? I think the nephews are gonna like him!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Reviewed: "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer

I do enjoy reading Young Adult literature. Some of the books are really well written.

Twilight is not one of them.

There's such hype surrounding these books. I've read where Stephenie Meyer is a SAHM who just sat down and wrote the book - who'd a thunk?

If I were younger, I probably would have loved this book. At forty - not so much.

It just never really went anywhere. After 100 pages, the protagonist was just getting settled in school. After 350 pages, there was a lot of "why does he hate me/does he like me?" angst. The only action happened towards the end of the book, and that wasn't really all that, well, exciting.

I have the second book pulled from my local library. I'm not even going to bother reading it - I'm that disappointed.

FO - Cardigan for Arwen

It's done and I'm thrilled!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Weird Jury Duty

I had jury duty last week at my local municipal courthouse. I've never been called for municipal jury duty and was intrigued - but irritated. Who wants to serve jury duty? Not me.

I did get picked - which surprises me. Usually I am stricken from the pool because of my profession.

The trial was for a speeding ticket. Ironically, I am currently on probation for THE SAME EXACT TRANSGRESSION!! I was sitting on the jury and dutifully listening to the defendant questioning the police officer. As I was listening, I realized - slowly - that the location of the policeman was the same place I got my ticket.

I panicked and felt awful. I didn't want to effect the other jurors who had been selected along with me. I asked the judge if I could tell her something. She told me that I had to talk to the bailiff. The bailiff told me to write down what I had to say. He gave it to the judge and she said that it wasn't a problem.

We listened to the case, deliberated, and found him guilty.

The thing is, I remember being very upset at getting a ticket at that location. I felt like the policeman was waiting at the end of the off ramp to nail me with a ticket. After looking at the location later, I realized that the ramp ended much sooner than I had thought and I really did need to be slowing down by the time I got near to where the cop was waiting.

So I hired a lawyer and paid the ticket.

But this guy didn't and I was a little upset at him for wasting my time, the courts time, the policeman's time, and all the other jurors time with a jury trial.

I'm just glad that I didn't fight my ticket.

After we found the guy guilty and the foreman signed the declaration, I then shared with the rest of the jurors what had happened - 'cause I couldn't share with them before. The one question I got was, "so you paid the ticket?" I told him yes. He was visibly ticked off towards the defendant.

New Blog

Well, I couldn't help it. I started a new blog.

The idea behind it started from when I made my Captain Underpants. Lots of teachers and librarians loved it - and so does my nephew. He still sleeps with him a year later.

Then I mentioned to my sister-in-law that I was knitting hedgehogs for the boys for Christmas (which I have to start!). Her eyes brightened and asked if I could make an over sized white mitten to store them in as it would be a perfect companion to a book they own called The Mitten by Jan Brett.

I also had been thinking of a good school auction knitting activity. Last year my Yuletide Gnomes fetched over $200 for the school while a custom baby item went for $30 and a custom felted purse went for $50. The knitted toys are definitely something bidders responded to.

So I started thinking about what toys I could make that I can pair with a children's book.

Thus the idea behind Children's Lit n Knit was born. I'm getting some good feedback from knitters and the ideas are starting to trickle in.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Reviewed: "Dexter in the Dark" by Jeff Lindsay

I have really enjoyed the Dexter book series, as well as the Showtime show. The Showtime show heavily borrowed it's first season from two books - but they're different enough to be worth reading the books.

But this third book was a terrible disappointment. It introduced a supernatural element that really didn't need to be there. It let's Dexter off from being a monster - I mean come on, he does the things he does because of a demon possession? Dexter is likable already - even though he does some really terrible things. Lindsay didn't have to try to let him off the hook.

I like how Dexter has taken Astor and Cody under his wing. It's a good story line and I'm looking forward to reading more about this.

I liked how Dexter was essentially turned into the prey - but Lindsay just muddled it with the supernatural crap.

It is rare when I like the television version of a series, but I have to admit that in this case, I do.

Reviewed: "Belladonna" by Anne Bishop

This was a sequel to the Sebastian book about Ephemera.

I liked how Ms. Bishop introduced more Landscapers who are like her. Like the first book, I just skimmed over the "Eater of the Light" chapters. They all read the same.

I didn't like how directionless this book seemed. The characters just kept wandering around and the Eater was just as directionless.

The book also seems to have wrapped up the Ephemera series. I can anticipate a Caitlynn book or a Michael book, but really don't know where the series could go other than have conflict with the existing Dark wizards.

Entertaining, but I give Belladonna an "meh".

Thursday, November 08, 2007

WIP: Arwen-hood!

I did the three needle bind off for the hood last night!

I picked up stitches along one of the arms and am knitting the sleeve in the round.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

FO - Calorimetry

Pattern: Calorimetry from
Yarn: Debbie Mumm, Pine Needle Green
Needles: US 8
Thoughts: Finished this over the weekend. Quick knit. I CO only 96 stitches and it worked out great. Love the yarn the way it striped.