cute kids

How I made a Batman Costume

E3 decided at the last possible minute that he would really prefer to be Batman instead Darth Vader for Halloween this year. I searched the local costume shops for a little boy sized Batman costume to no avail, and eventually decided to haul out the ol’ Kenmore.

Three years or so ago, I made a bat costume for Isaac following instructions for a bog coat I found online. Isaac still wears the now infamous bat costume on occasion so I figured it would translate very well into a BatMAN costume for E3. Here’s my story.

Step 1: Gather Tools and Materials
Software: Anti-Pill fleece in yellow, black and aluminum (gray)

Hardware: Generic sewing accoutrement

(restorative beverage optional but highly recommended)

Step 2: Cut and sew the gray fleece according to the instructions found here.

Step 3: Break for lunch

(Leftover roast chicken, rice and root veggies (the 3 R’s!!) sprinkled with nutmeg and pecans. Not pictured: pumpkin bread for dessert. Yum.)

Step 4: Make a Batman Logo and render it in fleece.

Essentially, I made an applique.

Step 5: From the black fleece, cut out a cape and hood. Attach to collar of jacket.

Step 6: Torture your child by stuffing him into his Halloween costume against his will.

(a side note, the shiner is because E3 took a header into the footrest of our Poang chair)

Step 7: Scream (silently) and pray for the strength and patience to survive the remaining years of mothering very young children.

Whiskers on Wednesday

Whiskers on Wednesday

This picture has appeared here before, but Doozer’s expression is classic “I’m going to bite your face” so I couldn’t resist posting it again for this Halloween edition of Whiskers On Wednesday! Now, go humiliate dress up your pet!


New Blogs

I’ve been kind of sucked into the computer lately. Of course, I’m still cranking away on my knitting projects and am very nearly finished with the two I have on the needles right now–a pair of socks for Mr. Interrupted and a pair of fingerless mitts for the same. (And no, they’re not Dashing. I’m doing the Maine Morning Mitts [ravelry] in his size after giving up on a pair of self-designed mitts in the Doctor Who scarf colors.) I’m not excited about these projects, though (sorry, sweetie) so they don’t make for very interesting blogging, and I can’t stop obsessing about casting on a sweater. For myself. Would it be crazy to knit a sweater while also trying to write a novel? Anyway, over the last couple of weeks while I’ve been in this slump, I’ve found a few new blogs–and not all of them are knitting blogs!

The first new one is Uberstrickenfrau. She hasn’t posted in a while, which is a shame because she is really really funny. Really.

Margaret and Helen have known each other for 60 years and started a blog as a way to maintain their transcontinental friendship. Helen is the loud mouth who keeps the blog up. She is outspoken and old. I love that. Fair warning: she is an Obama supporter.

Some moms are helicopter moms. Some are the opposite. Can you guess which kind I am?

Lastly, I found a great crockpot recipe over at A Year of Crockpotting.

Anybody out there reading anything new? I love finding new blogs. :-)

3 am Epiphany · random

I got nuthin’

This week’s 3am Epiphany just never materialized for me. The exercise was to choose a list of 10 words (e.g., the top 10 words of 2004) and write a story fragment using them. I simply wasn’t inspired by it. My sister had a good one, though. Come to think of it, my sister has had a string of really amazing blog posts, you should go over and read the last week or so. Speaking of lessons learned, I’ve learned a couple of lessons myself this week:

1. It’s not a good idea to eat crystallized ginger by the handful.

2. It’s easier, by far, to spin BFL than a Merino/Silk blend.

cute kids


Yesterday was E’s 3rd birthday. It’s amazing how quickly we go from here:

to here:

a Year in the Life

Happy birthday, EZ-E!


Another one down

Another long suffering UFO [ravelry] is now off the needles.

Isaac is the model, but the scarf is not for him. Actually, I’m not sure who it’s for. The original intended recipient has since developed a need for other (baby-sized) knitted items so I decided to save this for someone else. Lesson: a lot can happen in 6 months.

sheep show · Spinning

Rhinebeck part 2, the Haul

So, over the last week or so, I decided that the only way I would learn how to spin and get good at it is to just jump right in and start doing it. I had purchased a Turkish drop spindle at the CT Sheep & Wool festival a couple of years ago, along with some fiber to go along with it, but never really picked it up. Then, I did that post about my Great Wheel and after much thought, decided that one day I would spin on that wheel. I joined a couple of spinning groups on ravelry. I watched some awesome videos on YouTube. Finally I had built up enough courage to do some spinning with my drop spindle. (More on that another time.) Fast forward to Rhinebeck, yesterday. Beforehand, I’d made a little mental shopping list:

1)BFL for spinning.



Check. (I am intensely embarrassed to say how much I spent on this single ounce of yarn, but it is definitely safe to assume that it is the reason I was unable to bring home my choice of fleece. The first thing Mr. Interrupted said when I showed it to him was, “yeah, but what are you going to do with it?” I have a few ideas. I would also add that I feel enormously lucky and blessed to be able to splurge on yarn this way.)

Not on the list: a doodad.


Knitting · sheep show

*Happy Sigh* or, Rhinebeck part 1

Today officially and completely made up for last year’s disappointment that was Rhinebeck. I really had a miserable time last year, due in part to the large, rude surge of humanity that was enormously unfriendly to children in general and strollers in particular. I spent a lot of time over the last year, trying to think what I could have done to make the trip better.

This morning I headed up to Rhinebeck with one kid (the other has been sick) and my TAS. It was just the three of us and we weren’t in any particular hurry to meet anyone there so we were able to enjoy a wonderful and leisurely drive with a stop at *bucks and the bank machine. And, since I’d decided not to bring it, there was no stroller to unload and pack we arrived. We all just hopped out of the car and made for the gates.

We hit the sheep barns first, did a little shopping, and had a light lunch. Then the thought occurred to me that the Yarn Harlot might be there, signing books. She was.

Stephanie is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Seriously. She remembered my name from a book signing she did two years ago. Who does that? Here’s what I wish I’d said this time: Hey, Stephanie! It’s so nice to see you again. Wow, I really love your scarf and sweater! They’re gorgeous. Would you mind holding my sock for a picture? Thank you so much. Are you going to be sitting here for a long time? I was just going to get a cup of coffee, would you like me to bring you one? Did I say that? No, I did the fangirl thing: “Duh, I really enjoy your work. Der.” Lame. And then my turn was over and the line moved me on. Oh well. Next time I’ll practice beforehand. Also, I wish I didn’t look so psychotic in this picture.

Then we got coffee and a hot chocolate (the best ever!), moseyed up to punkin’ chunkin’ and then back through the crowds for more shopping. I talked to the Merlin Tree guy (who, I must say, was looking very dapper in his aran sweater and kilt). E2 wanted to do the haunted hall. Then he changed his mind. Then he wanted to do it. Then he changed his mind again.

On the way out, I came dangerously close to buying a fleece but I remembered that I’d already splurged on something else (positively amazing) and decided to wait and get a fleece next year. Also, I don’t spin (well, not officially anyway). I will have to remedy that.

Traffic was extremely shitty on the way home. We found solace in a bag of kettle corn and a box of fudge, managing to make it through somehow.

I had a completely different mindset this time around. I was far less stressed and therefore had a much, much more enjoyable time. Now I can’t wait until next year.

Tomorrow, Rhinebeck part 2: the haul.


And so…

This concludes the holiday portion of our knitting program.

Tomorrow we shall return to our regularly scheduled knitting projects.

3 am Epiphany · nanowrimo


Here’s the second post in this series. This exercise was all about being able to summarize a story that takes place over several years. I have to say, at first I wasn’t inspired, but once I found the character’s voice the words flowed easily and I ended up really enjoying it. What a wonderful surprise. Don’t forget to check out the others who signed up to participate too:


I press the record button on the tape recorder as she takes a long draw from the cigarette she holds between the first and second fingers of her right hand. The cherry flares hot and red, crackling as the smoke irritates my nose. “Well,” she says, blowing out the smoke and trying to keep it away from my face, “I found the lump in my tit about seven years ago.” Chuckling, a low throaty laugh, she flicks the filter of the cigarette with her thumb so the ash flies away into the grass. “I guess you could say my husband found it.” Bright spots of color bloom on her cheeks. “Course I thought fer sure it’d be the tit cancer that got me.” Her chuckle turns briefly into a rough, junky cough and she takes another puff of her cigarette. The breeze pulls her hair, dirty blonde, into her eyes and she tucks it behind her ear with her other hand.

“Then they started me on the chemo, ya know, and my hair all fell out. Eventually they decided to cut ‘em off, both of ‘em.” She points to the center of her chest with the thumb of the hand holding the cigarette. “I was ok with it, though. I was done tit feedin’ my babies and I wasn’t havin’ any more, ya know.” She drags on the cigarette again and looks away, blowing the smoke through pursed lips, trying to blow it downwind. “But after that Mike didn’t want nuthin’ to do with me and he starts foolin’ around with Lisa down the block.” Tossing her head, she pauses and stuffs her free hand in a pocket before putting the cigarette to her lips again and taking another hard draw.

“They over at her place now. Him and the kids. Which is fine. I got shit to do anyway.”

Yeah, like write a will, I think wryly.

She’s looking at her feet, nudging the dirt beneath the brown grass with her toe. “I guess that’s life, though,” she goes on. “Life’s a bitch and then you die.” She laughs. “That’s what me and my girlfriends all used to say when we was in high school. Didn’t know how true it was until now, though.”

She takes a last draw on the cigarette and flicks it over into the weeds and then she rubs her hands on her thighs. “I wasn’t the same after Mike left, though. I had a hard time finding work since the paper mill shut down. Guess the whole town was shit out of luck after that, huh? I could’ve got a job back down at the strip club ‘cept I couldn’t afford me a pair of tits and Mike wouldn’t buy me none. Bastard. I did finally find me a job tendin’ bar. Shithole of a place, but I could pay rent most of th’ time at least. No health insurance, though. So when I started gettin’ bad sick I couldn’t go see a doctor. Hah,” she says, mirthlessly. “I never thought it’d be lung cancer that get me. I thought fer sure it’d be th’ tit cancer.” She sighs. “Not much t’ be done about that now, is there?”

I nod, trying to put an empathetic expression on my face. I doubt I’m successful.