Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I have so many pictures stored up it's not funny. If I can load them, I must warn you that this will be a pretty Gus-intense post. But I'm not sure Blogger has gotten over its hissy fit about me posting them. Testing, testing......Aaaaahhhh..... Thank you, Blogger. Here is the finished Gansey on my fisherlad:

I love how it turned out, if I do say so myself. Yankee Knitter Fisherlad Guernsey, Encore Worsted yarn. The end.

Now. It's all-Halloween-all-the-time chez Momogus. I don't believe any kid in the history of kids is as jazzed about trick-or-treating as my kid. This morning, I went to wake him up. He was snoring deeply and comfortably. I whispered to him, in the tiniest whisper you can imagine, "Gus, it's Halloween...." His eyes immediately flew open, he sat bolt upright in bed, and screamed, "IT'S HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEN!!!!!!" and leapt out of bed.


So they had a Halloween Parade at his school this morning. All the first-graders were skeletons, which was a pretty cool costume. Guess which skeleton is Gus - could it be the one totally commited to his spooky skeletonosity??

Yes, I think you probably guessed right.

I browbeat the skeleton's grandfather into witnessing the mighty Halloween Parade. Dad was duly impressed, and I caught this adorable picture of the two of them. Indulge a loving mom and daughter please:

Don't worry - I will document every single moment and subtlety of this evening's costume and impose all that on you tomorrow or whenever I recover from this day.

In the meantime, a few palate-cleansing cultural thoughts:

1. Matthew informs me that it is "Ironside", not "Ironsides". Oops. We watched the pilot episode last night. Now I know all.

2. I rented "Love Actually" from Netflix and watched it yesterday. As I wrote in my Netflix review, if I could give a movie a billion stars, this one would get it. I was so enthralled at its corny mood of happiness and love that I just adored it. Then I was on the phone with my sister. I said, "You should rent 'Love Actually'" and she said, "Oh I despised that movie!" Which made me laugh. I guess not everyone appreciates its corny mood of happiness and love. Give it a try anyway.

3. I read that Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Philippe are splitting up. This makes me sad. They seemed like a nice couple. I would recommend that they watch "Love Actually" together, but it might make them despise each other. But maybe they already despise each other, and it would bring them back together!!


Saturday, October 28, 2006

(Please pardon no pix today. Blogger is freaking out on me and not letting me load them.)

Another great sighting at the Tangled Web last week: The fabulous (and too elusive!) Francesca of here and here stopped by the store. How great was it to see her!! In the weird bloggy world that we live in, we had both been reading each other's blogs and so were all caught up on kids and knitting and all the other (less-important) stuff of life without having seen each other in person in months, but still! It was great to see her lovely friendly face when she walked in, and we gossiped madly about intarsia (ew), and fingerless gloves (yay!), and Star Trek (yay), and new Battlestar Gallactica (probably the next obsession coming down the pike for MM.)

Okay, so I had some free time yesterday, so I finally finished Gus's Halloween costume.

Gus was a little circumspect about the tights. I only referred to them as "leggings", which he heard first as "hikings" and then told me about "guys who hike" and how they wear "hikings" to keep their legs warm. I came back with many instances of football players and hockey players and baseball players and general all-around tough guys who wear "leggings". Once he had them on, Gus started calling them "heels" [huh?] and started talking about how embarrassing they were. I told him that they were very manly. We looked up a picture of Beast Boy on the internet; yes, indeed, he wears "leggings".

So anyway, we tried on the whole costume. I sewed up the shorts. I applied velcro all over the place with great abandon. We even tried the green hairspray and green facepaint. I have to say that when it was all done, I was OFF MY HEAD with happiness!!! HE LOOKED AWESOME!!! Of course, I made Gus run upstairs to show Matthew, and then peppered him with questions, thus:

Me: "Doesn't it look great??"
Matthew: "Yeah!"
Me: "Can you believe I made it all myself??!"
Matthew: "Yes!"
Me: "Doesn't it look GREAT???!!"
Matthew (very politely) "Yes, it looks great. It looks storebought."
Me (demented): "YESSIRREE!!!!"
Me: "Guess how much it cost???"
Matthew (resignedly): "I don't know."
Me (dementedly AND triumphantly): "IT ONLY COST $4.99!!!"
Matthew (edging away from me): "That's great, sweetie."

Gus wore it all afternoon. I love him.

Woo - okay, I'm all calmed down now. [not really, but I don't want to scare you away] I'm so thrilled with myself that no one has perhaps been more insufferably full of oneself than I am at this moment.
It's raining buckets this morning. I got to sleep until 7:00 am and so when I woke up I snuggled under the blankets and listened to the rain. How ding-dang cozy is that??

And last night, when I came home from work, Matthew and Gus had made a fire in the fireplace. More cozy!

Why am I telling you all this? Because I don't have much news, knitting or otherwise.

The Dark Time is officially here. No more baseball until February. The Cardinals won the World Series last night, which was disappointing personally, but thrilling in a general aesthetic baseball sense. The Tigers were enormous favorites, but they are a young team and made many young mistakes, and the Cardinals, who were steamrolled by the Red Sox in 2004, simply played like a mature team of destiny. The experts say that playoff experience is over-rated, but this Series proved them wrong. I read "Three Nights in August", Buzz Bissinger's book about Tony LaRussa, a few months ago, and he really grew in my estimation.

Scott Rolen, however, is eternally in the MM Doghouse with his buddy Burrell, who emerges and then goes back in in a continual frustrating cycle. But that's another story.

What else? I had two wonderful visitors at work this past week. The first was my dear erstwhile Old City roommate, Dianne. She and I have know each other for TWENTY-ONE years. This is impossible, since we are both around 25, but true. Oh the HI-larious-but-not-appropriate-for-the-blog memories we could dredge up!!! It was wonderful to look up from the counter and see her standing there. The other visitor was my dear Aunt Jane. She is a crocheter and knitter; we house- and pet-sit for her every winter out at the end of Long Island. She had come down for a visit and wanted to see the store. She doesn't get down to these here parts that often, so it was great to be able to show her around and introduce her to everyone.

I finished one sleeve of the Fisherlad Guernsey. It was a surprisingly pleasant experience. The patterning at the top of the sleeve is entertaining to knit and by the time you've finished it, you're halfway done the sleeve! I hope to have it finished by tomorrow, so the Fisherlad can wear it to the annual Tangled Web Punkin Party.

Matthew won tapes of 19 episodes of "Ironsides" this week on ebay, so we have been working our way through them.

I had never watched "Ironsides" before. Matthew says that it is his favorite show of all-time. I found it engaging, but it was no "Kojak", for sure. I just can't cozy up to Raymond Burr. He's a weird screen presence - is he acting or is he really that humorless? I think I liked him better as "Perry Mason", but the settings of "Ironsides" are extremely cool early 1970s so that sells it for me. Also I think I am a little in love with Don Galloway, who plays Ironsides's earnest sidekick, Detective Ed Brown.

But still I am breathlessly awaiting the next shipment of "Kojak" episodes from Netflix.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

This morning, as Gus and I were getting out of the car at his school, he said to me, "You know what I'd like to get for Christmas this year?" And I, in blissful ignorance, said, "What, sweetie?" And he said, "A costume of Odd from 'Code Lyoko', my favorite show."

Notice he carefully asked for this for Christmas. I think even he can grasp the fact that if he had asked for it for Halloween, his mother would never have recovered. As it is, I am still trying to stop my eye from twitching. I'm going to pretend that conversation never happened.

Then, as if my nerves weren't shot already, I run down to the basement to change the batteries in my camera and something runs by my head! I nearly expired on the spot. I made a weird half-shrieky noise that is better left unexplored. When I finally gathered my wits again, here is what I saw:

Why is my cat running around on the ceiling pipes in my basement, scaring the bejeezuz out of me? Because she can.

In cheerier news, the store did not have suede slipper soles in the right size, so yesterday Gus and I applied fabric paint to the bottom of his felted slippers. I had chosen a somber boyish blue paint that would not offend or seem girly. However, when we started, Gus fished out the pink paint I had used on mine, so we could "combine them and make them purple." And then he found some gold glitter, which he insisted was the finishing touch. I couldn't agree more.

Matthew looked askance at the glitter and said, "Will that stick to the slippers?" and I said, "It will stick somewhat. However, we will have gold glitter on the floor all over the house for the next couple of years." He sighed and said, "That's what I thought." But good dad and husband that he is, he said no more.

I couldn't quite capture the totality of their magnificent sparkliness, but you get the idea:

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I can't help but notice that comments on the blog are down drastically. Was it the revelation of my possibly Star-Trek-themed dream? And my subsequent daydreaming about being the much-appreciated refit-overseeing Commander Elston Smith? Was it the revelation of my newfound love for Theo Kojak? Too much information? Are you all out there feeling uneasy and slowly backing away from the computer?

Here's where I am in the Fisherlad Guernsey:

Finished the front and back, sewed up shoulders (well, actually three-needle-bound-them-off), picked up and finished collar, picked up and now working down one of the sleeves. You know how I feel about sleeves, but I am just doing them. Just gritting my teeth and doing them. Soon they will be done, and I won't have to think about sleeves for a while. I think my next project will be a vest. I've never done a vest before - why?? Am I crazy? Vests have no sleeves!! Stay tuned...

And, in even more monumental news, look at this!!!!! Yes, it is the Beast Boy costume! I cut, I sewed!


Seamy Goodness

Here's the checklist I made earlier:

1. Cut side of fabric - CHECK!
2. Sew up sides, leaving space for armholes. - CHECK!
3. Hem armholes - CHECK!
4. Sew up shoulders, leaving space for head - CHECK!
5. Hem neckline - CHECK!
6. Cut center bottom panel out for "shorts"
7. Hem around "shorts"
8. Cut slit down the back for easy entry/egress - CHECK!
9. Hem said slit - CHECK!
10. Position velcro strips along back slit for custom fit

All I have to do is make the "shorts" and position the velcro. I must say I'm quite pleased with myself, sewing-wise. I was too scared to change the thread that was already on the machine from last year's stocking liners, so that is why the thread is red. But, c'mon, who cares? Now the question is, will Gus wear the tights?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My complicated relationship with Pat Burrell continues. He's back out of the doghouse, for now. He was one of the Phillies who went to Cory Lidle's funeral (also Chutley, Lieberthal and Wolf). Jeter, Giambi and Torre also went. Classy of all of them, since Cory threw the Phillies under the bus after he was traded and then also threw the Yankees under the bus after they were eliminated. That Torre's a good guy.

Here are finished slippers for Gus:

This was how I originally cropped the picture, because I figured I'd subjected you to enough Gus. But then I thought, hey, you can't really get enough Gus, now can you?? I know I can't!! Hence:

O how I love felting.

Last night I had a dream that I was walking down the aisle in a crowded auditorium, and the man at the podium said, "Here comes Commander Elston Smith. She's here to oversee the refit of the 'Excalibur'." and everyone applauded. Now THAT's the stuff my Star Trek-y dreams are made of!! No matter that it looked like a high school auditorium, and my "crew" looked like the girls from Gus's Field Day team. It was understood, in that kooky dream-logic way, that the "Excalibur" was a spaceship, and I was Commander Elston Smith! Thank God I was there to oversee the refit!! Even my name was super-cool!! Do I harbor delusions of grandeur? Why, yes, I think I do. Or maybe they're not delusions.....

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I Heart Theo!

From the Charlie-Manuel-Watch-Your-Back! Department:
The Phillies hired three former major league managers (Jimy Williams, Davey Lopes, Art Howe) yesterday as coaches for poor Charlie. Between the three of them, they have 2,183 games managed in the major leagues. Yikes.

[From Wikipedia's entry on Charlie Manuel: "If you got it you got it, if you dont go get it" - made in reference to Gavin Floyd's lack of mound poise..... Huh??]

Yesterday morning, I woke up at the crack of dawn, sort of blindly stuck my feet into my slippers and then proceded to skid precipitously down the entire staircase, wrenching my ankle and incurring a gigantic and ominous-looking bruise on my thigh in the process. I managed to get Gus to school and run some errands, then found while driving home that every time I pushed in the clutch, I'd get sweaty from the pain in my ankle. Not so good. So I when I got home I put my foot up and iced my ankle, and decided to knit these:

Interesting choice, eh, given the timing of my being laid up? Yes, I knit a pair of felted slippers for my beloved child, a mere two hours after I (in my felted slippers) skidded down the steps and nearly came to grievous bodily harm. Not to worry - his will have good grippy suede bottoms, unlike mine, which Momogus McLazypants only used fabric paint on.

My new favorite show of all-time? This:

Matthew and I do like a mid-1970's detective show ("Columbo" is my favorite), but I had never seen "Kojak" before. Telly Savalas seemed cartoonish to me and there was nothing that appealed to me. O, how wrong I was!!!! About halfway through the first episode we watched, I turned to him and said, "I am in love with Theo Kojak." It was true. He was so cool and so suave. He wore great suits and had that gorgeous deep voice. At this point in my Kojak experience (two episodes), he has not had a lollipop or said, "Who loves ya, baby?", but I have a feeling that when he does, I will be a goner.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I've been chugging away at the Fisherlad Guernsey for the boy. Here is a progress shot. [Please note that I took 15 shots of this ding-dang sweater with my ding-dang camera. For some reason (read: "user error") I could not get the beautiful ganseyness texture of the yoke to show up. Hrmph. Also several of the 15 shots included one or more cats, who, like frantic Hollywood ingenues, push themselves in front of the camera whenever I start taking pictures...] I am now working up the back. And as always, I've been second-guessing the pattern and my gauge madly and made some serious modifications, which you will hear me complaining about at length if I guessed wrong. Cross yer fingers. Anyway:

Also, on the train into the Reading Terminal Market for breakfast yesterday (a hallowed MM Family Tradition!), I started a sock. I had knit the first sock as a sample for the store, and then of course they discontinued the color, so Mary gave it to me. Since I feel winter coming on, I thought I'd whip out a second sock to make the pair. Even though the rest of my wardrobe is a symphony of greys and browns and blacks, I like wildly colorful socks. These are a typical choice. Here is exciting toe shot:

This is for sister CurlyGirl:

Sweet and dreamy Tyler Florence from the Food Network.

Seeing him recalled a story, which I will now share with you. Several years ago, I used to watch Food Network all the time. I loved Molto Mario and Paula Deen and Ming Tsai. For some reason, I loathed Bobby Flay. I got it into my head that he was really mean and used to refer to him as "that mean Bobby Flay". In contrast, I felt that Ming was really really kind. CG and I used to discuss this at length. We even incorporated them into the Sims game that we were playing at the time. We made a Food Network House populated with FN stars. Mean Bobby Flay used to go around the house picking fights and slapping people and making the other people cry. Ming was nice and would try to sooth wounded feelings. While I was poking around the web looking for pictures I came across this article. I'd quote the title here (which honestly made me laugh out loud), but this is a family-type blog. I believe the author picked up the same vibes that I was picking up.

I'm mean!!

I'm nice!!

I may be wrong and Bobby Flay may be the nicest guy on the planet and Ming may be the meanest, but I don't think I'm wrong.

One last note:

Former Phillie and MM fave Placido Polanco was named MVP of the ALCS for the Tigers. He's off to the World Series. Sing along with me (to the tune of "O La Paloma Blanco"): "OH MY PLACIDO POLANCO-OOOOOOO!!!!"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

So sad about Cory Lidle.

He was one of the nicest players at Photo Day.

He left a wife and a 6-year-old son (gulp).

Gus said, "I hope he has a good time in heaven. He can play baseball with Babe Ruth now."

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Halloween costume update. Things done:

1. Measured material against Gus - there's plenty there, plenty of material for "leeway" (a/k/a "mistakes")
2. Cut material lengthwise in order to make two identical front and back pieces. This was so unexpectedly thrilling that I almost made the whole costume then and there, but other activities interfered.

Knitting project report:

The Tangled Web has a new Knit-Along every two months. The September Knit-Along was the KP&S NeckDown cardigan I finished a few weeks ago (the greeny-browny one, remember?). The November one is the "KISS" purse from Sally Melville's Color book. This is sort of a fun, cheat-y Fair Isle purse. Here's a picture:

It's cheat-y because you can use one solid color and one self-striping yarn instead of a dozen single contrasting colors (the one pictured is done in true Fair-Isle style, with multiple yarns, but you get the idea.).

I bought yarn to start it a while ago - heather brown Lamb's Pride and self-striping Desert yarn in a browny-pinky colorway. That combination was a miserable failure. So I tried olive green Lamb's Pride and self-striping Taos yarn. Second miserable failure. Finally I bit the bullet and used some black Cascade 220 and the Taos - SCORE!!! I love love love how it's turning out! It doesn't exactly look Fair-Isle-y (I think the # of stitches is preventing the Taos from striping consistently), but more like an old tapestry bag (or so I tell myself). I'm about halfway through it. Here's a picture of mine:

TV/Movie Reviews:

I pre-screened "Pirates of the Caribbean" the other day. I thought Gus might like it, but WHOA - it was like the most super-violent movie ever made!! Corpses hanging, gross skeleton pirates, good men getting run through by swords, no delineation between good and bad. Maybe I'm just too much a delicate flower, but no way was the boy going to watch that.

Also watched "Shakespeare In Love" finally the other day, too. It was pleasant, but I kept thinking, hey, whatever happened to Joseph Fiennes? He was beauteous!!

I got a chance to watch "General Hospital" this afternoon. I have been watching GH off and on since the mid-70's (when I was a mere baby, of course). I don't think I've seen it for about 2 or 3 years - it was HI-larious!! Everyone was still on it, though some characters were played by different actors, which took me a while to figure out. Also, everyone had switched partners since the last time I saw it, and all the women had "secret" pregnancies. I kept laughing at every new scene. Oh, "General Hospital" how I love you....

Monday, October 09, 2006

Well I decided that the challenge was too much for me to resist. I'm gonna sew Gus's Halloween costume! Here's a window into my creative process:

First, one must make a detailed, to-scale, drawing of the proposed costume:

I went to the local sewing store and bought a yard of purple fabric. It's funny to go into a place like that and ask for help, because I'm usually on the other end; it's weird to be so completely clueless. The fabric was $4.99 for a yard.

Okay, so now I have to make a detailed, to-scale drawing of the proposed sewing action. Here is my highly-technical and complicated sewing diagram:

This is where my erstwhile carpentry experience comes in handy - you mark where you're going to cut with "X"s. Please also note professional-style sewing notations (the squiggly lines).

Then you make a detailed cutting/sewing plan:

1. Cut side of fabric
2. Sew up sides, leaving space for armholes.
3. Hem armholes
4. Sew up shoulders, leaving space for head
5. Hem neckline
6. Cut center bottom panel out for "shorts"
7. Hem around "shorts"
8. Cut slit down the back for easy entry/egress
9. Hem said slit
10. Position velcro strips along back slit for custom fit

I'm not sure it's called "hemming" to sew down the borders of everything. But you know what I mean. So that's not so hard, right?

The next step - take inventory of one's materials:

1. Black turtleneck - check - Gus already had one
2. Black tights - check - bought some at Payless for $1.99
3. Green hairspray - check - bought at CVS for $2.99
4. Green facepaint - check - bought at CVS for $1.99
5. Black boots - buying boots would probably blow my entire budget - will deal with later
6. Grey "power belt" - hmmm - I haven't addressed this issue - will deal with later

All I have to do is take some rough measurements of Gus vis-a-vis the material, and then make myself cut and sew. The latter I'm afraid is the biggest hurdle. I must think soothing sewing thoughts, like, 1) Okay, I know they have more purple material at the sewing store if I make a mistake! 2) People with no sewing experience make great Halloween costumes every day!

Even with the "soothing" thoughts, I must admit that I am filled with nerbousness and trepidation about this. I have to just jump in. Part of the problem is that there are three weeks until Halloween - I do my best work the night before or the day of. But if I delay too long and then it doesn't come out right, we'll be up a creek. Oh, hi - are you still here reading this?! I will halt the fretty stream-of-consciousness writing now.

Eagles won yesterday, beat Dallas, T.O. not a factor. Go Birds!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

So I finished this:

This was the Lisa Knits Braided Cable Pullover, in the V-neck option. I used Cascade 220 (100% wool) in a mossy green on size 6 needles to (sort of) get 5 stitches to the inch. I must rave a little about the Cascade - I think about it at work only for felting, but when this color came in I bought the whole bag of it. Knit at (sort of) 5 stitches to the inch, it is extremely soft and lovely. People at work kept fingering it and asking, "Is there alpaca in this?"

It turned out gigantic, which is okay, because in the last three days I've popped it on to drop off Gus at school, to go to work, to pick Gus up at school, to take a nap, to warm myself up in my chilly house, to take out the trash (over my pajamas), to visit my dad, to fetch the trashcans, hmmm, yes, I think that's just about everything I've done for the past three days. I have it on right now, over my pajamas! I took it off, begrudgingly, to take the picture of it. I took it off, begrudgingly, to do the dishes. I took it off, begrudgingly, to take showers. In short, I've worn it every single second I could since I finished it.

Mary, my boss, frowned upon it because it's biggish, and she's always getting after me to make less-gigantic sweaters. I understand and approve of this sentiment in general and I'm trying to comply, but this sweater was meant to do exactly what it's done - keep me warm and be thrown on constantly over whatever I'm wearing.

Now what's next? I'm continuing with the Totally Awesome Christmas Presents Which I Can't Show You.

I started the Fisherlad Guernsey for my wee fisherlad. A brief personal treatise on knitting for Gus: I always make his mittens and hats out of 100% wool for its insulating and warming properties, but so far I've made most of his sweaters out of Encore Worsted or Encore Chunky. This is a wool-acrylic blend that I dearly love. It's soft, comes in a wide variety of beautiful colors and is truly machine-washable and -dryable. His sweaters go through the wash with everything else and come out looking beautiful.

For you moms out there, I've also made sweaters for him out of machine-washable yarns Sirdar Denim Chunky (washed/dried great), KFI Cashmerino (cashmere-wool blend that washed/dried great), Wool-Ease (a Wonderful Wallaby that went through the washer ONCE and had to be thrown out it came out so horribly pilled and disgusting. I then sold all my Wool-Ease on ebay), Classic Elite Star (cotton-lycra blend, went through the washer and dryer ONCE and shrunk). I've also made him sweaters out of Lamb's Pride, which is totally NOT machine-washable, but turned out to be one of my favorite sweaters for him.

As you can tell, I am not a fiber snob, and I do not do handwash. If it does the job (i.e. is easy-care, feels and looks and wears great), I'll use it. I cannot overstate the comfort I get from watching him roll around the driveway/sandbox/backyard mud in a handknit sweater and thinking, "I sure am glad that's machine washable!" I would hate to fuss after him to keep his clothes clean. With a rowdy 6-yr-old boy that is going against all the laws of nature. He also has a core body temperature of approximately 175 degrees fahrenheit, so if I put him in a 100% wool sweater, he might spontaneously combust.

So anyway, I originally bought some Lana Grossa Merino Big (100% merino superwash wool) to make the sweater in, but ended up returning that and buying some Encore Worsted in a browny/grey-y heather. I still need the psychological comfort of knowing he's wearing something good-looking and extremely durable. I started the sweater last night - it's just 10 rows of stockinette and ribbing right now, so I will spare you the pointless progress shot.

I was going to talk about the Halloween Costume Debate, but this post is already so long, I will save it for tomorrow. Here's a tantalizing hint:

Last night I had a dream that I was married to Matthew McConaughey, but that we were having a trial separation because he told me, "You never listen when I'm talking." Huh? I also have had dreams in the past month or so that Brad Pitt "liked me" and also that Richard Gere "liked me". HEE HEE HEE. The weirdest things about these dreams is that I would rank these three guys at about the bottom of the Official Mighty Momogus Hollywood Hottie McHotHot Rankings (or OMMHHMcHHR). Why aren't I having dreams that George Clooney likes me?

One last thing (I PROMISE!!!): The Yankees, with their $220 million payroll, were eliminated from the playoffs by the Detroit Tigers yesterday. Whatever your feelings might be about the Yankees (and apologies to Lisa's nephew Eddie), I must say.....WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Friday, October 06, 2006

I have a big finished object to show you, some interesting knitting news and reviews, and some news on the Halloween costume front. HOWEVER, I don't have time to document everything properly today, so I am just going to post one picture to bridge the gap since I last posted [I don't feel like I'm that busy; how come I have no time??]

Yesterday was Field Day at Gus's school. They pair kindergartners with juniors and first graders with seniors and they all hang out together and do their Field Day races and activities together. It's a sweet tradition and they all seem to get a kick out of it.

Last year Gus's partner was a guy with curly hair and glasses. This year, Gus got two partners, pictured below. Take a gander at his hilarious expression - that's a six-year-old who knows he's a lucky man!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Journey Begins....

Are you all ready to go on a journey with me? A journey of hope, a journey of inspiration, a journey of challenge? For some time, I've felt something was missing in my life. I've felt that I've been taking a spiritual shortcut, but now I'm ready to put my feet on a path I've avoided, a path that admittedly I'm a little afraid of, but a path nonetheless I feel I need to take. Please, friends, come along with me as I.....


Yes, in my defense, I do have a great aversion to "bought" Halloween costumes, but I also don't really know how to sew (Okay, I don't know how to sew at all.) So that has resulted in some extremely lo-tech Halloween costumes for the lad in the past. There was Murray Wiggle from The Wiggles (red turtleneck and black pants)

[Oh my God - look how CUTE he is! He was 2 and a half. Hee hee hee - sooo cute.....Oops, sorry, I digress....]

Shaggy from Scooby Doo (big green t-shirt and baggy brown pants):

I refused to buy something that could only be worn once; hence my preference for practical costumes that were actually just regular clothing. I did glue facial hair on Gus's chin when he was Shaggy and last year I did buy a Robin vest and mask when he wanted to be Robin from Teen Titans.

This year Gus wants to be Beast Boy from Teen Titans:

He found a costume for $24.99 on the internet

Matthew said, why not buy it? But I am resistant. I think I could make it. He could wear a black turtleneck and black tights (yikes), green face makeup and green hairspray - I could do all that. It's the purple tunic-thing I'd have to sew. I think I could do it. I mean, all you do is buy the fabric and cut it close to the measurements you want and then sew it up, right? How hard could that be?

I bought a sewing machine last year because I wanted to make flannel linings for Christmas stockings I had knit for my niece and nephew. I ended up making five of them because I lined the ones for us too. So that counts as sewing experience, right? I had to trace the knitted stocking and then cut the flannel and then sew it together. That's sewing, yes? So I could do this Beast Boy tunic-thing no problem.

The main issue is, could I get all this myself (black turtleneck, black tights, purple material, belt) and make it for $24.99 or less? My feeling is no, but again, I am so resistant to buying a costume. Why? I think because we never had bought costumes when we were kids and it made us creative, though I know other people for whom this was a scarring experience. And I sort of feel like I should do it because I can do it. And maybe I want to make it because that's the kind of mindset I have - making stuff and figuring out stuff and learning new techniques for making stuff is really fun for me. But am I making a bigger deal out of this than it merits?

Last week a customer came into the store. It was a mom with a little girl who was about 3. The woman was making a unicorn costume for her daughter. She had a (very elaborate) sketch of the costume and fabric swatches for the costume with her. She wanted to buy pink sparkly yarn for the headpiece. I helped her, but inside I was thinking, "Wow, that's a lot of trouble to go to for a toddler's costume." I'm not even sure where my mindset is on this.

Should I just bite the bullet and buy the costume? Or should I make it myself? Please weigh in on this issue, readers. I need to know your thoughts.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Dark Time is Here

Around these here parts, when the baseball season is over we say it is the beginning of The Dark Time. When spring training rolls around every February we all call or email each other to say, "The Dark Time is ending! The Dark Time is ending!!" (Like we're sort of 21st-century electronically-up-to-date Druids.) The Phillies season ended yesterday - they were eliminated from wild card contention with 2 games to go.

They were a great team to watch, unlike in past seasons. Because of him:

And him:

And him:

And him:

And him:

And him:

And him:

Not him, unfortunately:

Okay, 2006 Phillies - have a restful Dark Time and come back and win the ding-dang division next year!!!

Tomorrow, back to knitting.