Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Movie Meme

So here is a list of the Top 100 Films of Alltime. Bold the ones you've seen!

1. Citizen Kane (1941)
2. The Godfather
3. Casablanca (1942)
4. Raging Bull (1980)
5. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
6. Gone with the Wind (1939)
7. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
8. Schindler’s List (1993)
9. Vertigo (1958)
10. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
11. City Lights (1931)
12. The Searchers (1956)
13. Star Wars (1977)
14. Psycho (1960)
15. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
16. 2001 : A Space Odyssey (1968)
17. The Graduate (1967)
18. The General (1927)
19. On the Waterfront (1954)
20. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
21. Chinatown (1974)
22. Some Like It Hot (1959)
23. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
24. E.T. The Extraterrestrial (1982)
25. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
26. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
27. High Noon (1952)
28. All About Eve (1950)
29. Double Indemnity (1944)
30. Apocalypse Now (1979)
31. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
32. The Godfather Part II (1974)
33. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
34. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
35. Annie Hall (1977)
36. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
37. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
38. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
39. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
40. The Sound of Music (1965)
41. King Kong (1933)*
42. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
43. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
44. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
45. Shane (1953)
46. It Happened One Night (1934)
47.A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
48. Rear Window (1954)
49. Intolerance (1916)
50. Lord of the Rings : The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
51. West Side Story (1961)
52. Taxi Driver (1976)
53. Deer Hunter, The (1978)
54. M*A*S*H (1970)
55. North by Northwest (1959)
56. Jaws (1975)
57. Rocky (1976)
58. The Gold Rush (1925)
59. Nashville (1975)
60. Duck Soup (1933)
61. Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
62. American Graffiti (1973)
63. Cabaret (1972)
64. Network (1976)
65. The African Queen (1951)
66. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
67. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
68. Unforgiven (1992)
69. Tootsie (1982)
70. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
71. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
72. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
73. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
74. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
75. In the Heat of the Night (1967)
76. Forrest Gump (1994)
77. All the President’s Men (1976)
78. Modern Times (1936)
79. The Wild Bunch (1969)
80. The Apartment (1960)
81. Spartacus (1960)
82. Sunrise (1927)
83. Titanic (1997)
84. Easy Rider (1969)
85. A Night at the Opera (1935)
86. Platoon (1986)
87. 12 Angry Men (1957)
88. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
89. The Sixth Sense (1999)
90. Swing Time (1936)
91. Sophie’s Choice (1982)
92. Goodfellas (1990)
93. The French Connection (1971)
94. Pulp Fiction (1994)
95. The Last Picture Show (1971)
96. Do the Right Thing (1989)
97. Blade Runner (1982)*
98. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
99. Toy Story (1995)
100. Ben-Hur (1959)

Not too shabby! Looks like there are a few I need to make time for!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Stocking today!

Originally uploaded by Spiffy Knits
Lea, Lamar and I will be stocking our shop at 2PM today. Everything is up for previews, except for me -- the 10 o'clock scholar. I still have four skeins drying. I'm going to get pics up as soon as a certain one-year old is napping.

Our store:

Tiny Lady Cooperative


Monday, September 24, 2007

My First handspun FO!

Hat from Handspun
Originally uploaded by Spiffy Knits
Pictured here is my own little Bug, as I call her. I knitted this hat from my Pixie Batt handspun. What fun! It is just a basic hat, but I added a five-stitch butterfly design to it, which helped pop the handspun out a bit more and enhances the texture. The hat came out so soft and stretchy and lovely!

And of course, I received an email from Susan Sarabasha (AKA the Spinning Bunny) not an hour after I was done that she has more Pixie Batts ready for purchase. I bought three more. I am so weak. Honestly, though, they are a joy to work with and I got a colorway that should coordinate with one I already have, so that gives me eight ounces to work with! I can't wait to get them!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Originally uploaded by Spiffy Knits
In a moment of weakness, I offered to knit longies out of my hand-dyed yarn for a customer. I think I was overcome by the feeling that I must be the first person to put Surfer Dude, as this colorway is named, to needles before anyone else. Most days, I think I am nuts. Mr. Spiffy tells me that I am not alone!

Anyway, I need to weave in a few more loose ends, i-cord a tie and block and lanolinize these. So no time for blogging -- or spinning. I am feeling very deprived right now. My hands are getting itchy to get back to the superfine merino that I got from Zen String.

Next up for knitting: I'm making a hat for Anneke out of the pink handspun! This is my 1st time usig my own handspun -- I am giddy about using it! If that child of mine refuses to wear it when I am done, I think I will have a nervous breakdown. Ah, the fickleness that is an almost four-year old.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Invasion of the Pink Pixies!

Originally uploaded by Spiffy Knits
First off -- I know I suck at blogging. I would love to get to it every day, but I find it nearly impossible. Flickr might just be teh answer to my prayers -- the interface rocks!

And the fact that I got onto Ravelry
and started a business
both in the month of June might be largely to blame as well. Add two children and *poof!* there goes all my free time out the window! I suppose it is more fun to spin and knit that it is to write about spinning and knitting!

So the lovely skein of yarn pictured here: It is spun from The Spinning Bunny Pixie Batts. Light to medium pink, 190 yards, 108 g/3.75 oz, 12wpi. The contents are targhee, merino, along with some of the following: angora, alpaca, silk and angelina!

I tried to spin this woolen, and I think I did a pretty good job, but I am really not sure. The simple fact is, I think I would greatly benefit from a one-on-one class to learn the lingo and techniques. I think I am doing wonderfully on my own, but I know I will improve much faster with some instruction than fumbling along on my own.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I must be insane

As if my life is not busy enough, I've decided to embark on the craziest venture yet -- I'm going into business with a couple friends whom I have never met. Internet forums are funny things. They provide an intimacy with people who are in a similar place in life as you are, and it breeds an unique and powerful bond.

Come mid-July, Lea, Lamar and I will be opening up an internet shop called Tiny Lady Cooperative. We will be selling hand-painted and kettle-dyed yarn, roving and handspun. Lea has been spinning for nearly a year now and has gotten to be incredibly good in a remarkably short time. Lamar isn't spinning yet, but Lea and I vow to drag her kicking and screaming over to the Darker Side! I just recently purchased a Lendrum DT complete! I bought her from a gal in Maryland who is raising money for her honeymoon in France. I definitely feel that we transacted a good bit of business. She got a nice amount of money and I got a lovely, gently-used wheel and a buttload of fiber! I've decided to name my wheel Adelaide. It just came to me and I thought it fit beautifully. I will post pics soon, but the weather here in central Massachusetts has been less than ideal.

Back to the fiber biz -- we will be carrying a great selection of yarns -- BFL, Ramboulliet, an environmentally sustainable farm yarn (it is organic, but the farmer chose not to bother with the expense and hassle of being certified. His practices are actually more strict than the certified organic label requires, and it is mule-spun, so it is a delish, squishy, springy yarn. This is the yarn that will turn the so-called "wool-haters" (like my sister) into wool lovers! And it is soft enough for babies too), a 100% BFL sock yarn and a merino/tencel sock yarn. I've got lots of colorways -- mostly related to the colors of nature that are part of the New England landscape, but I will have some fun with bright and funky colorways inspired by my Lilly Pulitzer collection!

My first public display of sock yarn can be seen at Claudia's Blog -- I donated a skein of yarn and a set of Brittany DPNs for her MS Ride raffle.

Please email me if you would like to know when we officially open our virtual doors! All three of us are very excited about bringing fabulous fiber to the knitting community!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Does Anyone Know What 'Burgandy' Is?

I've had it.
If I read one more yarn description and the person mis(s)pells 'burgundy' I just might scream -- or at least send them an email and suggest they at least Google it! Ack!
Why does this bother me so? Truth be told, I am a writer, editor and proofreader by profession. I miss it terribly, but it is difficult work to do when you have two children under four conspiring against any concentration or deep thought. But once an editor, always an editor. I am sorry there is no red pen key or mouse click -- I'd slash and burn my way across the web!

Anyway, my hissy-fit is over and I feel better now! But I think the next time that egregiously wrong 'a' rears its ugly head, I will have to send the offending party a red pen email and ask that the offending letter be struck!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Glacial Potholes, or "And you thought 128 was bad?!"

On my way back to the car, I spied a sign on a side street:


Now, I ask you, who can resist that? It's almost not fair! I had to see it. And it was worth the trip. I'll let the sign do the talking here:

Potholes were ground out of granite during high water of the glacial age by whirlpool action of water and gyrating stones of varied sizes.
Some of the grinding millstones may still be seen in the smaller potholes.
Over 50 such potholes exist in this confined area known in Indian days as "Salmon Falls."
These potholes vary in size from 6 inches to 39 feet in diameter, the latter being the world's largest pothole of record.

And for your viewing pleasure:

Monday, June 04, 2007

Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Festival Part II

Well, it's been more than a day. Sorry about that, all my pretend readers!

After we looked at some sheep, I got to head into the craft barns!!!! Finally!

I've never been to anything like it before, so I really didn't know what to expect. Even at a smaller event, it is overwhelming to see so much yarn and fiber in one place. And I got to see spinning wheels in person, which was really, um, SPIFFY!

After walking through all the barns, I was ready to shop. I picked up a pair of size 0 Swallow casein DPNs -- bright green!, some dyed, carded Romney from Sojourner Sheep, as well as some Coopworth roving and locks. I also picked up some Jacquard acid dyes and have been having fun with those -- cooking yarn in an old crock-pot -- life doesn't get any better!

A little lunch, another trip to see the llamas and watch the dog trials for a little bit and we called it a day. I was praying the kids would sleep the whole way home!

Mr. Spiffy wanted a soda and to take a side trip through Shelburne Falls on the way back here. I was curious, too, but worried that Fritz would wake up. The whole Speed thing kicks in on car trips -- if the car speed slows down too much, the baby wakes up and cries. Jeez -- it's almost worth the tickets for running red lights to keep the baby asleep on a long car trip.

Shelburne Falls is famous for a couple things -- The Bridge of Flowers and glacier potholes. Huh? I have pictures!

The Bridge of Flowers caught my eye first -- it's a footbridge connecting one side of Shelburne Falls to the other over the North River. When we were there, wisteria was in bloom. The blue/lavender/white hue is a stunner even from a distance.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Festival Part I

It is a known fact that God laughs when we make plans.

So begins my wool fest saga.

4:30AM -- I am awake. I don't want to be. It is dark out -- the birds are silent. I hold my breath and then he starts chirping -- Fritz is awake. Since he is still in our room, this is problematic. We give him a little while to see if he will go back to sleep, but no luck. He is AWAKE.
Since we have a long drive to the fest, I decide to get up with The Boy and let Mr. Spiffy sleep in, since he will be driving.

7:15AM -- Mr. Spiffy gets up and we are on the road in an hour! We have lunch, diapers, Ergo, Stroller and a little spending money. Anneke is ready to go, but is a tad camera shy. Just call her Garbo!

My nod to Yarn Harlot -- here is my sock admiring the ride through Western Mass.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I hope Stephanie agrees!

10:30AM -- We arrive at the fairgrounds. All is well, except Fritzi slept a whopping 40 minutes on the ride out, when he should have slept the whole way. I am very afraid of what this means for my usually very good napper.

Off we go, heading into the animal barns first, to keep Anneke, our firstborn, happy. She is very much in love! By the end of the day, her favorites are the llamas and we go back to see them three or four times. I'm sure she will be trying to convince me we need a llama or two in a few years.

Now, what did I see? Too much. It is not a very large fest, but it was still big enough to see lots of spindles, wheels, sheep and enough yarn, roving and fleece to last me a long time. The colors I saw were wonderful. In particular, some beautiful blue BFL that I am now sorry I didn't snag.

While I was there, I did get to try out a Louët S10, which was very nice, but at $465 for an intro model, when I can get a double treadle Lendrum that I will be ablr to upgrade so much more easily? I am sure I could teach myself in a snap on it, but think I will hold out for a bigger, better wheel that I might get frustrated with in the short run, but will be able to keep for a long time.

More tomorrow

Friday, May 25, 2007

Eye Candy Friday

Ok, so I am completely and utterly unoriginal. I have no idea where ECF started, but I love looking at other people's pics, so here is mine!

While we do not have blue bonnets here in central New England (growing zone 4-5), we do have False Indigo (Baptisia australis), which I love.

False indigo is a stunner, it attracts butterflies, naturalizes, gets funky-looking seed pods and is a native to the eastern US. What more could a gardener ask for?


Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Spinning Bee

A new online friend, Lea, has drawn me further over to the Dark Side. I've decided I want to spin my own yarn. Quite frankly, the coup de grâce was Yarn Harlot's recent post about spinning. The pictures overwhelmed my senses and I thought, "Must.Spin.Yarn. So.Pretty."

Actually, I think I want to eat that skein!

So, I joined the local spinning guild, which I do not have the time for and can't go to the meetings, since I am still nursing Fritz down to bed at night. A member posted about a colonial spinning bee nearby in Chelmsford, so I decided to go.

I barely made it into the door and was put behind a Majacraft Suzie and forced to spin! It wasn't easy, as the ratio was 12:1 and she was using merino; imagine trying to pat your head, rub your belly and pedal a bike on the lowest gear all at the same time. I haven't felt that inept in a looooooong time.

The nice ladies were excited to sink their spinning hooks into me and show a newbie the ropes. They sent me home with 2.5 oz of Kool-aid dyed carded roving and a CD spindle. It is a crude tool, but it is good enough for now. Of course, I already want a better spindle, and I am trying to figure out what wheel to buy! I am thinking a Fricke or Lendrum will suit my purposes best, and after looking at a million sites, I am leaning a liitle more toward the Lendrum. Now I just need to find one to try out!

It's been a while since I posted pics, so here are some shots of my first handspun. It is admittedly very crude, but I'm please that I am figuring it out.

here is the spindle and roving

and the handspun close up

And just because -- here is the Yarn Pirate yarn I bought recently. This is the Apple colorway, which I adore.

Georgia has stopped reskeining her skeins, which is a little disappointing, but I figure I can glean a lesson when I wind it up -- a sneak peek at how a pro makes such yummy yarn.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Wool Gathering

I often feel like my life is spinning out of control.

Between two babies, a dog that sheds enough for an entire pack, a husband who commutes three hours a day, plus my compulsive desire to have a home that Martha would approve of, I frequently fantasize about not sleeping and getting a full 24 hours to do EVERYTHING THAT I NEED TO AND WANT TO. I think want is the key word there.

The fact is that I can't and I shouldn't, but it doesn't help me get everything done. Life is just like that.

I stumbled on another blog today -- Dogs Steal Yarn -- the May 19 post -- and got the karmic thump on the head. I do believe that there is some Higher Power out there. My term for it is The Infinite Yes. I am a semi-practicing Very Bad Catholic. That whole free will thing often puts me at odds with the human construct that is the Church. But Mass is a meditative, slightly rote experience for me that I find allows me to slip into myself. I think I would enjoy it so much more if Vatican II hadn't ruined everything. I miss the old hymns, but that is another story.

A dear friend, YB, will chide me when I start to get out of control. "Give it to God," she reminds. And the post I read this morning reminded me again. Most things are beyond my control for a reason. Control is not what life is about, experience is. Love is. Learning is. Teaching is.

So I put my thanks out there -- into the ether -- and hope that this post inspires a sense of peace in others the way another's post did me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sock Progress

I am really excited! I've finished the flap, turned the heel, finished the gusset and now I just need to chug away on finishing the foot before I get to the toe decreases. It is looking very nice, but I won't be posting pics until I have "sock!" I have hideous feet. They are truly an abomination and will only post a pic of my foot when appropriately swathed in wool!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

This will be a quick post, as I have one of my progeny using me as a jungle gym at the moment, begging me to go play Chutes and Ladders with her!

I wanted to post a couple pics of my Mother's Day gift -- or part of it.


And not just any chocolate, but LA Burdick chocolate! These are the best chocolates I've ever eaten. A close second would be Unlimited Delicious in Amsterdam, but that is another post!

This place is in Harvard Square and Mr. Spiffy picked them up on Friday on his way home from work. I will come back later and post more, but I had to get these pics taken and up before I devour these! *Slurp!*

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Yarn Pirate ROCKS!

I don't have a pic yet -- the weather here was depressingly cruddy, so no good natural light for Eye Candy Friday, but anyway, I got my skein of Yarn Pirate sock yarn!!!! Woo hoo! First, Georgia must be a saint. Her shop cart oversold and she dyed up more yarn for those customers. I thought that was an incredibly classy thing to do. Really going above and beyond.

When she contacted me, I mentioned that I was buying the Sweet Magnolia, after Apple was swiped out of my cart mid-checkout. I expressed that I would be happy with either, and I ended up with a skein of Apple! It is stunning! I suppose I'm easy, though -- put pink and green together on yarn and I'm pretty darn tickled.

OK -- must get back to my knitting. I am working on my first pair of "real" socks -- AKA for an adult foot. I'm using Mountain Colors Bearfoot in the Mountain Tango colorway. It is looking really, really pretty. And I am about to start the heel flap. Progress!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Pics of FO's

I've been meaning to post some FOs and haven't had the time. After getting started, I realized that I don't have all the pics on this computer, but enough good stuff to make it worth posting.

First up is the Everlasting Wonder Soaker I made for The Boy.. I knitted it up in Zenstring Nirvana Worsted in the Mateo colorway. It is a real stunner, but the colorway has been discontinued. *Sniff.*

Next is some super-yummy yarn that my mom got for me. She bought it in Ushuaia, which is in Tierra del Fuego, Patagonia, Agentina. It's the city closest to Antarctica! It's merino handspun and so luscious! I put the phone in the pic to show scale.

And another pic to show the yumminess upclose!

OK -- that is all I have time for -- gotta go get dinner started. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Still Life with Dishpan Hands

I've been wanting to get this photo I took up for a long time. I took it shortly after Valentine's Day -- the flowers were from Mr. Spiffy. I learned a trick from my mom -- when you get a mixed bouquet, cull the dead and dying and get a smaller vase! The tulip arrangement is the result of following my mom's advise. Nice to know that at some point you are old enough to listen to your mother!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

OK, I have no self-control

I just got caught up in the frenzy. Yarn Pirate -- AKA Georgia -- finally has some yarn to sell. I came this close to getting a skein of Apple, which is downright stunning. I ended up with a skein of Sweet Magnolia instead. Really, really pretty!

Is It Safe To Come Out of The Cave???

OMG, what a totally sucky winter this has been. Mr. Spiffy brought home the flu last month and spent four days shuffling from bed to sofa to bed and back again. I finally got really impatient with him and ended up getting my cummupance -- I came down with it myself a week later and was laid flat. I had an acute appedicitis about 12 years ago. Scary stuff. And I would gladly have my appendix out again than ever get the flu. Sickest I've been in my entire life.

So, needless to say, the knitting was on the backburner for a while. I was cranking before I got sick -- I made booties for The Boy, a hat, sweater, socks and a bib for Mimi's baby -- who decided to show up a month early! It was scary for the 1st few days, but William Sebastian is doing fine now! I also made a bib for The Boy. Good thing, as he is a bottomless pit. I need to make a few more! Getting pics up is my biggest prob now. I need to find a quicker, easier way to do it.

The latest WIP is an Everlasting Wonder Soaker for The Boy. Since he is so huge (21 pounds at 7 months!), I need all the room for him to grow that I can get. I am hoping that it will fit this summer and next. We'll see.

OK -- gonna post this and get back to knitting. I promise some pics soon -- FO's, yarn pr0n, and more!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Boy, do I suck at this, or what?

I can't believe that it's been over a month since I posted. I had such high hopes for myself. Take two kids, a DH who works more than an hour from home, add some winter illness, mix well, and voila! How To Not Have Any Free Time! Please dish up hot and serve with chips! Sheesh.

OK, enough complaining. I came here to blog, not mope.

I have been busy since the last time I posted. I made a pair of longies for Fritz from the Peace Fleece I bought this summer! I wanted stripes, so I did an ascending/descending Fibonacci Sequence on the legs. It made counting rows so much easier, so I know the lengths are the same, and it made the tedium of getting from the 75% done mark to the 100% done mark really fast. Why I need that push is beyond me.

I screwed these up a bit...I have a hell of a time with short rows, and there are a lot in the pattern I used. I ended up picking up erroneous stitches, so the pants are a lot fuller than I meant them to be. Bad news is that they are really baggy on him right now. Good news is that he is growing at such an alarming rate that he will be filling them out before I know it. And if they are still too big, I can felt them and use them for nighttime diapering.

After the longies, I couldn't resist the urge to knit with the Zenstring yarn I got from another mama on Diaper Pin. I got this yarn specifically to make a few things for Mimi's baby, who is due at the end of April. I'm hoping she is one day late and has her baby on DH's birthday -- May 1!

And since I was cruising on the knitting, and feeling guilty every time Anneke asked me if I was making something for her (oh, the guilt!), I decided to make her a felted purse. I swear, she is my grandmother come back to me in tiny, tyrannical form -- she can't do anything without a purse!

Meanwhile, she is really being a pill these days. Three going on thirteen. I have no idea how I will survive her teen years with my sanity intact, but there is no point in going there already -- I've got the next nine-and-a-half years to get through first!

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Well, It's about to happen. Miss A starts preschool tomorrow. My stomach is in a ball, as I consider the whole thing. I could never sleep on the night before school starting. That jumble of excitement, nervousness and fear of what the year would be like. Here I am, experiencing it for my daughter, since she is oblivious. I hope it goes well.

Anneke will likely be fine. There's a girl who jumps in with both feet, no peering over the edge to see how big the dropoff is -- just run and Geronimo! God love her!

I hate to admit this, but a big chunk of the reason we are starting her in preschool is that I'm at wit's end with her. She needs to be way more social than me, and I can't be dragging Fritz all over God's green acre to keep her busy. Plus, we need me to earn money. For that, I need some quiet time at home. I'm hoping that preschool/AM nap and both kids napping in the afternoon will allow me some time to work for money without having to give up on sleep altogether. Fingers are crossed.

OK -- gotta wrap this up. I've got to go check on my diapers. I've got a load in the wash and I need to pull out my Fuzzi Bunz (FB) before the prefolds go in the dryer. I'm nearly out of Charlie's Soap and hope my order arrives by Wednesday at the latest, or I will literally be up sh*t's Creek. Unwashed diapers that sit for too long are not pretty.Trust me.