Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Knitting Update: I'm working on this for my brother-in-law's sister [query: is she my "sister-in-law" or are we too far removed?] who is expecting a boy in late summer. Lana Grossa Merino 2000 (one of my all-time fave yarns).

I also finished these this weekend. These will be Momogus Knits Basic Baby Caps once we get pictures taken. Rowan Cashsoft DK, which is so dreamy to work with it'll make you cry. These are muy cute, eh??

Baseball Update: My Phillies are going to give me a heart attack one of these days [that's actually not really an update, since this happens every single year]. First they win in dramatic fashion, then they lose in dramatic fashion, then they win in dramatic fashion, then they lose, etc etc. It doesn't help that their closer Tom Gordon got injured, then Opening Day starting pitcher Brett Myers declared he was the new closer and went gangbusters until he blew out his shoulder. So now the Phillies have no closer and are also minus one starting pitcher. Oy. The good news is that Ryan Howard is back and seems to have regained some of his MVP form.

Arts Update: I watched "Monsoon Wedding" this past week. It fed into my love of all things Indian and also was directed by Mira Nair, who directed "Mississippi Masala" which is one of my favorite favorite FAVORITE movies of all time. First I watched "Monsoon Wedding" twice, then I watched it with the director's commentary. I love watching movies with the director's commentary - does anyone else? I don't think I would like it with movies that I adore more than life because it would spoil it, but for movies that I liked I find it so interesting.

Bittersweet Update: This weekend we had the very last Memorial Day Picnic at our old house. This used to be a huge family tradition and involved many neighbors and friends and family and the Epic Peanut Hunt and hella Rice Krispie Marshmallow Treats and Mighty EsteeBall and was a great time. After about 25 years it became a little bit too much and was discontinued, but this year sister Laura decided that we would have one last blast at the dear old place because she is moving and my father is selling the house. I thought it might be too sad, but it ended up being a great day and a good send-off for the house, which my family has lived in for 40 years.

I tried to find the perfect, evocative image, but they were all too chaotic or required too much explanation. So here's one that made me smile. This is Gus with two pals enjoying a quiet moment AND some contraband ROOT BEER!!! God knows I am not anyone's model for feeding her child, but Gus does not drink soda. It's the one thing I put my foot down on. That and gum. But that wily guy took advantage of the chaos and enjoyed a delightful forbidden root beer. But now he is SO busted!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Big news in Momogus Knits Land! I met with Mary at The Tangled Web yesterday and she wants to bring my patterns into the store for sale! Yippppeeeeeeee!!! Here's the sample I've been working on recently (Basic Baby Pullover and Basic Baby Hat, in Plymouth Dreambaby DK):

A couple of years ago, I was fighting one of my chronic tendinitis funks. I couldn't knit, but I was desperate to do something "knit-y", and I believe that I was driving everyone around me batty. Matthew finally said, "Hey, why don't you make up your own patterns?" and this teeny-tiny kernel of an idea I had came to life.

I have neither the talent nor the inclination to come up with newfangled clever devastatingly beautiful patterns. I see those at the store and online every day and marvel at the designers' creativity. But what I also saw (and heard) were customers who came into the store every single day and said things like, "I want to make a basic baby sweater." or "I want to make a basic kid's hat." We had some patterns that we relied on, but there was no one place or series of basic patterns that we could turn to. So that's what I decided to come up with. Basic, well-written, clear patterns for nice basic pullovers, cardigans, hats, etc.

You can visit my website here, The patterns won't knock your socks off, but if you own a store or work in a store or like me, or want quick baby gifts to knit or mindless cozy sweaters to throw on your boy or girl, then these are the patterns for you. I've made four baby sweaters for gifts in the last year, and I pull out this pattern every time. C'mon, look how cute!

Anyway, there's not a strong entrepreneurial tradition in my family, so the idea of coming up with a product and selling it is pretty novel. And, I must say now, extremely rewarding. Having a graphic designer/web wizard for a husband helped enormously too - I had the ideas and the raw materials, but Matthew designed the look of everything and worked out all the e-commerce and printing and binders and business cards and all those things that make the difference between an idea and reality.

Happy Memorial Day!

Monday, May 21, 2007

hey the comments part is back! weird......

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mighty Momogus's Questionable Culinary Adventures!!

Gus's school had its First Grade Reading Breakfast on Friday. Each student read a poem they had written and then they each went over three books they had written (one fiction, one a fairy tale and one a group of poems - don't even get me started on these or I will start sobbing with maternal pride.) Anyway, each parent was asked to bring something in that had a literary connection. I volunteered to bring in Green Eggs and Ham. Gus and I had several discussions on whether adding blue food coloring was advisable or to go with the green food coloring. We agreed on green. Then we had to decide how many drops of coloring. It was quite the interesting problem. Here it is in uncooked form:

Yummy!!!! Here it is in cooked form, barely more palatable-looking:

Now the most shocking thing: There was nothing left after the breakfast. Nothing. I looked around the room and saw kids and parents and teachers all eating the green eggs and ham!!! I am the least picky eater on the planet, and I cooked those eggs, and I didn't want to eat them!! I was truly surprised!

Today Gus and I made a pilgrimage to our favorite place in the world, Michael's Arts and Crafts, to get candy sticks and meltable candy chocolate and made these to use up the dozens of bananas we had suddenly accumulated. This was our first try at this. Please do not laugh at the turdy-looking one on the right (though we did!):

Into the freezer they went to be enjoyed on a hot spring afternoon. Like maybe tomorrow.

(Blogger's doing something wonky about saving posts and it appears to have taken away comments. I'm sure it will sort itself out soon and you will be able to leave your usual pithy comments.)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Some random thoughts and observations:

1. Went down with my friend Carole to see my first Phillies game of the season last night. Adam Eaton pitched a superlative game, only to have his win disappear when Bret Myers gave up a game-tying home run in the 9th inning. Sigh - I thought, fine, another stupid blown game. BUT, before my bile could reach full curdle, didn't Carlos Ruiz hit a two-out-bottom-of-the-ninth-walk-off-home-run -WHIPPEEEEEEEEE!!!! I think that in 35-plus years of attending baseball games, this was the first walk-off home run I've seen in person. I love my Phillies.

2. I was re-reading some recent posts and realized that there really wasn't even a smidgeon of knitting. I am working on this:

It will be the Basic Baby Pullover from Momogus Knits - I'm just making a sample because I thought this yarn (Plymouth Dreambaby DK) would make for a cute sweater.

3. I also will make a public vow right now that I am going to finish the edging on my Cap Shawl this summer. Or maybe this week. My crazy friend Jen motored through the entire Cap Shawl in 10 days and is now starting the edging. If I don't have an edging competition with her (EVERYTHING's a competition!!!) I'll never finish it. Though I'm trying to concentrate on Momogus Knits patterns, I can't have that shawl hanging over my head, so to speak. I've already cast off 250 stitches - all I have are FIVE HUNDRED left.

4. Yesterday I was tailgated and then finally, roaringly, passed by a red Porsche Boxer with the following license plate: IPASSU2
Now you know I'm a gentle, peace-loving sort as a rule, but if I had had one of those Roslyn Kindness Rockets I would have blasted that damn car off the road.

5. I've always been a huge reader, but at this moment in my life, I find myself shying away from anything challenging or thought-provoking or even the smidgeoniest sad. I have to curl up each night with something cozy and completely and unequivocally unchallenging which I know will have a happy ending. Hence my obsession lately with Georgette Heyer. She was an English novelist who wrote Regency romances from the 1930s through the 1960s. I had dipped into them when I was a kid, and recently rediscovered them at our local library. I've been methodically ploughing through them ever since. By chance I read the back cover of one of them last night and had to laugh out loud.

There were two blurbs; one (from The Milwaukee Journal) said, "For sheer escape reading with no pretensions of any kind, this reviewer commends Georgette Heyer."

Now, I have to agree whole-heartedly, but isn't that really damning with faint praise? Why would you put that on your book? The other (from Publishers Weekly) said, "Reading Georgette Heyer is the next best thing to reading Jane Austen."

Again, I must agree - if only Jane Austen had written 50 novels like Georgette Heyer, what a better place this world would be. But Georgette Heyer's the next best thing.

6. The Phillies put Ryan Howard on the DL, which was bad, but that cloud had a silver lining as the team brought up someone to take his place on the roster. Here he is (the guy on the right):

Mighty and much-beloved Chris Coste. O how we love him!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Here's a little Mother's Day photo-essay for you:

At 4:30 AM we were awakened by a GIGANTIC crash and came downstairs to find this:

Which was from this:

Huh. We had no warning, no clue that this was going to happen. No crack - it just came crashing down. Now we are watching the ceiling warily.

So we cleaned it up and decided to take a emotionally-corrective trip to Valley Forge and do some Mother's Day freight-train watching. First we went here for sustenance. Then off we went to the park. We saw several freight trains:

We saw funny train directions:

Then we took a hike down the tracks to "see what we could see", which is our favorite thing to do. We saw much fauna, including deer, scampering across the tracks:

A snake, sunning itself:

A turtle, just hanging out (or in, I suppose):

Funny graffiti:

Mysterious stuff (what is this??):

A rock that I thought was interestingly covered in moss, but when I pointed this out to Matthew later, he said, "Hey, it looks like a butt!":

Cool rusty stuff (which I always feel compelled to gather up - you should see what I've accumulated at home) (or maybe not):

Signs that made me quite uneasy:

Interesting nature-y stuff:

Anyway, you get the point. It turned out to be a delightful Mother's Day. Now excuse me while I go stare warily at the living room ceiling......

PS - happy birthday to a dear old friend - you know who you are!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Where have I been? What have I been doing? Not much, but to give you an indication of the state of my mind lately, here is a picture I took of my feet yesterday. I noticed them only after I had taken Gus to school, chatted with his teacher, chatted with some friends, poked around Kmart [oh how I love me some Kmart], and then helped customers at the store for a couple of hours.

Huh. It is dark in my house when I get dressed... And these sandals look kinda alike.... But still......

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The mind of Mighty Momogus lies fallow. I'm limiting myself to MomogusKnits knitting right now, so I don't really have anything interesting to post about, knitting-wise. A post about gauge calculations and stitch counts would probably put you all to sleep. I had my annual spring yarn purge last week and yanked a lot of projects off the needles and sold a bunch of stuff on ebay. Aahhh, what a feeling! As someone whose livelihood depends on people wantonly buying yarn, I am a little reluctant to admit that I'd just like to knit out of my stash for a while.

We did have a nice weekend. The weather has been dementedly gorgeous - spring is relentlessly springing out all over. Gus had a baseball game on Saturday. The coach asked him last week if he'd like to catch and Gus said, "YES!!" He loved it. Apparently, it's hard to get kids to catch, because the coach asked him to catch on Saturday and Gus ended up catching the whole game. The coach kept asking him if he wanted to play out in the field and Gus kept saying no. He swaggered around in his gear between innings, yelling words of encouragement to teammates batting, a tiny adorable Bob Boone. Here he is, wielding the tools of ignorance with elan:

He also swatted a couple of sharp hits and scored twice.

After the game, we went to Gus's school fair where he sampled the various culinary delights:

(Please note even-handed-both-parent-pleasing-baseball-related attire)

Yeah, that's a good day.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Nature RULES!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Yesterday I was as busy as a bee. I had two projects to work on, one knitting and one painting. I shall start with the knitting one.

I finished the Noni bag; even though I used clips to block it like the author suggested, it didn't quite come out the cute shape that hers did. No matter, it was still okay. I knit and felted six roses and four leaves. May I just say that making flowers is the most fun knitting thing in the whole world?! It only took maybe a half hour to make a flower and maybe ten minutes to make a leaf, and they were FUN! I could have covered this whole bag in flowers!! Aren't they pretty?

Here is my little workstation, filled with sewing and beading stuff:

Here are the roses after felting and after beading:

Here is the whole shebang [for some reason, this was a most elusive photographic subject; the flowers are a much darker red than they look in the picture. I could not get one single good shot. Hrmph] - I was going to apply three more roses to the back as well, just to give it a completely over-the-top treatment, but I'm not sure I want to now. It does still need a strand of black beads wrapped around the handle, and I think I might cut the shorter loop to make it tighter. But those are little considerations. I highly recommend making millions of flowers and leaves to anyone who wants to have hours of knitting fun!!

Anyway, that was my morning. In the afternoon I turned my attention to my painting project. We have had, in recent years, a crisis in our dining room. We each have like 40 pairs of mittens and gloves and 30 hats and 30 scarves; in the winter they all live in unattractive blue plastic bins just inside the front door in the dining room. Please keep in mind that my house is literally (yes, literally!!) the size of a postage stamp, so things like blue plastic bins overflowing with winter detritus take on glaringly ugly proportions. So we've been on the lookout for a solution.

While poking around a local thrift store recently, I came across this sorry little cabinet. It looked like it had some potential, and it was only $5, so I said, "I'll take it!" and brought it home. Here it is, humbly awaiting a transformation:

After I slapped some paint on it yesterday and gold-waxed the handles, it looks rather semi-decent:

I am thrilled with its tidy little art deco-ish lines and also that I got to visit my favorite place in the whole world - the mighty Lewis Paints in Glenside. Oh how many happy hours have I spent there, speculating over paint chips and bristle brushes..... When we moved into our house, every wall was white, so I spent the next two years methodically covering every surface with paint. I was on a first name basis with Dave, the helpful guy at Lewis Paints. We'd have beautiful meaningful conversations about eggshell vs. semi-gloss and exactly how pumpkiny "Sweet Pumpkin" would look on the wall. Ahhhh, good times, good times.....