Thursday, December 27, 2007


There's this ranch just up the street from our development. They have a big, life-sized cow sculpture in their front pasture. It's a lovely thing, painted in swirls of sherbet colors. Every time we'd pass it the whole family would say, "Colorful Cow, Colorful Cow".

The owners put up lights around it so you could see it when you drove by at night. Last Xmas, they put colorful lights all around it. At Easter time, they put a bunny mask on it's face, a HUGE basket of colorful eggs and some enormous single eggs around it.

A few months ago, I was driving into town and was horrified to see that some asshole had graffiti'd it. Not just a little bit, either - the entire side facing away from the owner's home was black. It was devastating. This simple thing that brought so much happiness to my little boys and to many others in this community was thoughtlessly, maliciously defaced for no discernible reason.

There was a general uproar in the community and even one of the Denver news stations came out and did a story on it. (You can see the before pic's and the story here.)

It's my understanding that many people offered to help fix our town's cow. The owners often found money had been left anonymously in their mailbox. People loved that cow.

Well, on Saturday, the boys and I went to this...

About 30 people turned out initially, with a few more trickling in here and there. Here's a picture of the mayor (in the hat) and to his left are Mark and Rachel H. (of me7of11)...

They served grilled hot dogs, cookies, soda, cider, chips, and other goodies. You could see the owner's humor in this iron art over their porch swing...
Their open house was from 2-4p. At about 2:30, we all made our way out to the cow for the grand unveiling. As we all walked over to the front pasture, cars passing by were honking and waving and cheering.

The owner gave a little speech about the community and the outpouring of generosity and support and offers to help out and how touched they were about it all. The original artist was there as well (pictured here, artist in white jacket with the owners to her left)...

The artist works part-time at Home Depot and asked the manager for help. Home Depot donated the paint to fix it. The cow was hauled there, where they color matched the paint on the good side. Later, there was a party where many of the local children got to help paint it. The owner said what a wonderful thing it was to have some Parker children help fix what some other Parker children had tried to destroy.

The mayor said a few words as well, then they had the unveiling and everyone got to go in for touching and looking and pictures.

Later I took the boys out there alone to get some pic's with them and the cow.
Here you can see where there's still some graffiti remnants on the base...
I love this town. I don't think I've ever lived in a place that would pull together and help out like I've seen here.
Parker, Colorado. Come for the cow, stay for the community.
Happy Holidays Everyone, Ruth!

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Is anyone else childish enough to giggle whenever they hear that word?

In this post, there will be many balls. [snigger]

I hung out at the new yarn store yesterday. I helped Jen rearrange some balls of yarn. [tee hee] And, yes, of course I bought a skein. It's this lovely alpaca. Nachaele hit it right when she had some in her hand and said, "This feels like it will melt if I touch it too long." I also worked on one of the skull-n-crossbones hats for the boys. (As of last night, all I have left to do with those is seam up the second one. I'll take pic's, on xmas day, with them wearing the hats.) I also got to hang out with Sam and Nachaele. Lovely women all!

We have a few Xmas balls [ha ha ha] that don't have ornament hooks. The boys keep insisting they can fit them on the tree without them. They stick the tiny circle meant for said hooks (or, as in our house, bent paper clips) onto the tiniest ends of pine tree branches. So every morning, I come downstairs to a shiny floor filled with red or silver balls [hee hee].

My inlaws come over on Friday evenings for pizza and movie night. Last Friday, they came over with a big plate of Sausage Balls [AHAHAHAHAHA]. Here's the recipe for this delightful appetizer:

Sausage Balls
1 lb. chub of Jimmy Dean sausage
2 cups of biscuit mix (a la Bisquick)
4 cups of shredded cheese - cheese must be taken out of fridge and let rest to room temperature

Mix all together thoroughly in a bowl. Make meatballs [snicker] and put in 350 degree oven on cookie sheet until cooked through. Serve and smile!

My MIL was saying how they cook up so nice and there's not even any grease in the pan. In her mind, this makes them healthy. In my mind, it's just all that Bisquick soaking it in!

Happy Holiday everyone!

I said BALLS, Ruth!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Another Fine Example

of someone I would like to shake and I've never met him...

Seriously, why????

sigh, Ruth!

People I've Never Met, Yet Despise

In the spirit of the season....

OK, in the anti-spirit of the season, I'm going to mention some people whom I've never met, yet I so. Hate. Them.

The woman I trade massages with opened a spa on Mainstreet in November 2006. I saw her putting up the Grand Opening banner shortly after we moved here. I thought, at the time, it was a bold move considering you could stand in front of her place, turn 360 degrees and see at least 5 other places you could get massage. Well, a year later, she shut her doors and moved her spa back to her home basement (which is lovely!). There were many factors and I'm proud of her for having no fear and taking her shot.

OK, so there's this other day spa 2 blocks away. It's set up in this old Victorian home and routinely wins Best Day Spa in Parker. I've never met the owner, but I hate that bitch! She has this HUGE black SUV with one of those big, magnetic, "Here's my business" signs on the side of it. She would always park right in front of this brand, new, just startin' out business of my friend's. That's so weak. If you're spa is getting "Best Of" ranking all the time, why do you need to try to steal business from a new place. Never mind the fact that you have completely different goals and styles (Best of Bitch is very upscale and has hair and nails available, too. My friend is very homeopathically inclined and more health oriented rather then pampery), it was twice as bad because my friend had an awning that said Health Spa, but didn't' say the name of her place. So people would get the number off the SUV and when they'd call to book, the desk was instructed not to tell the caller of their mistake. B.I.T.C.H.

And the guy at the restaurant, last week. We were seated and then they seated the table next to us with a couple who were obviously on a date. I say this because they sat next to each other, rather then across from. Sir. Take out your stupid cell phone ear thingy!! How F'in rude! And the lady with him should've said something. Aren't' you worth it to have an hour or two of his undivided attention? Are his phone calls more important then his time with you?? Sister, stand up and yank that thing out of his ear. Throw it into his drink, then toss his drink into his face and then go hang out with people who aren't looking over your shoulder to see if someone cooler's going to show up (or call).

Hate that guy.

And you! Yeah, you. The guy I saw at the post office yesterday. You know who you are. My friends haven't met you so I'll just tell them about you.

This guy walks into the post office as I'm about to leave. He's got short, spiky hair with frosted tips. He's got those super-baggy jeans and big Chanel, men's sunglasses. He's wearing a big, puffy white jacket with all those emblems all over it (a la Gucci handbags). Then he takes of his enormous shades and.... no. way. He's like 45. Years old.

I seriously couldn't help myself. I walked up to him and took him by his big, puffy, emblemized jacket front and shook him, "Dude. You. Look. Ridiculous!!"

In my head.

Seriously, though. It's bad enough when people dress like that anyway. But if you're going to do it, the time to do it is when you're young and stupid and have the excuse of being young and stupid. Once you hit - I don't know what the cut-off age should be but definitely before your in your 40's - you should stop. Just stop.

Also, the woman at Target yesterday who's mini-skirt was so mini we could see the bottom of your butt...
Well, there's just no good age for that. That should just. Not. Be.

She was in line ahead of me and the kid who was checking her out was a kid I used to work with all the time. He's a sweet, skate-rat and this lady had Mount Cleavage and kept reaching over the card swipe thing to show the kid stuff. Every time she'd reach, Mount Cleavage threatened to give this 16 year old boy a black eye! And he was clearly uncomfortable about it - he was looking everywhere he could to avoid looking at her.

When I was young and in high school, I used to dress all mod and punk and crazy. My personal theory was if I couldn't be pretty, I could at least be interesting. I know, I know, I'm pretty. It was that whole teen angst silliness. This lady ahead of me was pretty and there's never any reason to dress or act like that.

When she'd left and it was my turn for checkout, I said, "Man, she nearly put out your eye!" The sweet kid said, "Yeah, that was brutal. Nobody wants to see that. I'm a 16 year old guy who loves chicks and I don't even want to see that!"

How about you guys, anyone you've seen, never met 'em, but still want to just shake them?

Constantly perplexed by human nature, Ruth!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Holiday Madness!

I had a crazy week last week! It's such a blur, that I can't even remember what I did Mon. and Tues. This is going to be a long post - get a snack. BUT there will be knitting pic's and yarn pic's and a recipe!

I was supposed to get a massage on Wed but the therapist I trade with called to say she had vertigo really bad and couldn't do it. I was so bummed! I've had this spot in my right shoulder for 2 weeks now. The kind that when it showed up, I couldn't turn my head properly.

On Wed, I do remember going to brave the post office. I usually use their automated machines - those things are awesome! If there is a line for them, the people using them move much faster then the people behind the counters. But I was sending some books to my friend stationed in Afghanistan and to send to an APO AE address, you can't use the automated stuff. sigh.

I worked on this while I was in line...

It's the Chevron scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I'm using these 2 balls of Koigu that I got on sale years ago...

I never knew what to do with 2 such differently colored, smallish skeins! This scarf is perfect for that.

While waiting in line, I got about an inch done. May not seem like much but it's small yarn smallish needles! When I got to the front of the line, the postal guy who helped me said, "Wow, I wish everyone would bring their knitting! Or a book or something. They get here and see the line and then get all pissed!" Now this particular postal guy is the slowest thing in creation. He's a sweet, much older man and he chats up everyone he deals with. He's got his pants pulled up to his nipples and wears these HUGE rimmed glasses. Every time I'm in line and he's at the counter, all I can think is, "Less talking, more postaling!"

Anyway, when I left, I saw the massage place across the street. One of my goals that day was to buy some Biotone - the preferred massage lotion of most therapists I know. You'd think with the something like 20 massage places in this city of about 40,000 people, I could find some for sale. Not so, my friends. I called a bunch of them to no avail. As I was leaving the post office, I drove across the street, the phone number was on their window, so I just called.
Me: Do you sell Biotone?
Her: No, we don't.
Me (sounding, perhaps a bit desperate): Do you know anyone in town that does??
Her: No, sorry. Why, are you a massage therapist?
Me (pitifully): Yeah.
Her: Do you need topping off?
Me (pitifully-er): Yeah.
Her: Come on up!
Me: Splee!

Her is Sandy. And we scheduled a trade for me for that Friday! YAY!

On Thursday, I had to work on (massage, that is) our accountant. We'd worked out a trade, we'd pay him $200 and trade the other $200 worth! The guy's like 6'4" - a huge juxtaposition from the tiny 14 year old I worked on the prior Monday (someone's daugher - another trade). When we were finished, he tried to tip me. I told him, "There's no tipping with trades!" but he insisted and wouldn't take no for an answer. He said he was going to schedule weekly massages during tax season next year and asked how much I charged. I told him $65 and hour and then he tipped me $30! I told him that was way too much, but again, he was very insistent.

Good thing I took it! I had my hair cut and colored that afternoon and that evening, I took the boys and Rachel's daughter to Disney on Ice with the tickets I'd won. They were great seats! We had a fantastic time and the three children were spectacularly well-behaved. I was so proud of all of them! The show was so much fun.

I was worried, since it was called Princess Wishes that it would be too girly for the boys but they had a tone of stuff for boys, too. The 7 dwarves did a number and Goofy and Mickey came out between every number. As did Tinkerbell. I think Tinkerbell was drunk. Every turn she did and every leap she made had a very wobbly landing! Davis kept calling her Princess Wishes because of her wand that she'd wave around and it would fling fairy dust everywhere. There was even a fire-breathing dragon and at the end, they shot off fireworks! (At which point, Rachel's girl leaned over to me and said, "I thought they weren't supposed to do that inside!" I agreed as I was having my own Great White flashbacks.)

Only one of the skaters fell from a leap. Towards the audience end of the rink, there was a big puddle of water and he landed in it and bit it. It was really cute to see all the little audience girls dressed in their Disney princess costumes. And one strange thing - when we walked through the parking lot towards the coliseum, at the end of it, there were 2 semi-trucks without trailers. I figured they were there to haul the equipment for the show. When we left, I saw a whole family get into the white one and drive away! It was Mom, Dad and 2 little daughters in their Disney costumes. Kind of strange, no? Like they were driving through town after a big haul, saw the sign for the show and just pulled in!

On Friday, I worked on Nate (he's the mechanic we use for Dave's truck and I work on him every Friday morning, building up trade), had my massage (Sandy is AMAZING!!), and that evening Rachel and I attended the PTO dinner. It was so much fun! We were at the house of one of the chairmoms and in the basement, they had copious food and alcohol. We played a game where you put a little known fact (at least to the people in the room) into a bucket. They read the facts and you have to guess who it's about. I told about my kidneys. I also learned that our PTO president won 2 wet t-shirt contests when she was in her 20's and that our Vice Principal Bob was a child model!

Saturday I went for a little shopping and visited the new yarn store in Parker. Dave told me about it (he had to deliver a ton of stuff there!). It's called Purls of Wisdom and it's near the movie theater on 20 Mile Road. The owner is fantastic and the place is beautiful! I know the owner of YarnArts is worried but I don't think she needs to be. This town is growing like CRAZY and there's more then enough business for everyone. Besides, they carry different yarns! There's some really good pictures here.

Saturday afternoon, the boys got to go to a birthday party for the 2 year old across the street. He's a sweet little boy and the parents had a some other boys (ages 13-15) come play. Their band is called First Installment and they play alternative rock. It was lots of fun!

Saturday night, we had the HOA party. It was freezing! Last year, the woman who "organized" it scheduled it for 1-3p. Prime nap time for the kids. This year, she scheduled it for 5:30-7:30p. Dinnertime?? 4 or 5 of us volunteered to make crockpot soups. I made my Zesty Vegetable Beef. Like most of the things I cook, it's stupid easy...

Zesty Vegetable Beef Soup
1 lb. ground beef, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2 cloves garlic, minced.

2 cups pre-shredded coleslaw mix, 1- 10 oz. pkg frozen corn, 1- 9 oz. pkg frozen green beans, 4 cups hot-style V8 juice, 1 - 14.5 oz. can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 Tsp. dried basil, 1/4 Tsp pepper.

Brown the meat with the onion and garlic. Drain well. Combine meat mixture and remaining ingredients in crockpot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Eat!

Oh, and Saturday night, we had our first sleepover! My friend Kathy's husband's business had their holiday party that night. It was in Denver. I said we'd watch her boys and then when I thought about it, I said, "It's such a long drive to the party and back, why not just let the boys spend the night? That way, you guys don't have to worry about leaving at a certain time and you can relax and have a nice night like adults." So their 3 year old and 4th grade boys came over right before we left for the HOA party. Kathy gave us $20 to get some Happy Meals and we had a great time! Dave dropped me, the soup, and the boys off and went to go get the food. As I said, it was freezing but the kids seemed to have a great time. There was sledding (the 3 yr old got creamed by someone on a sled, riding down the hill, but he was OK) and hot chocolate and cookies and Santa showed up! Also, there was a horse drawn carriage ride. I told the 4th grader he could go on it and he did - without us. He must not have heard me say to wait so we could all go together! I lost Kathy's first born! For about 15 minutes!

When we got home, we fed them and I'd rented Shrek the Third. They watched it, and all went to bed after! Easy, peasy, rice and cheesy! I guess the key to a quiet, successful sleep-over is to freeze them half to death, wear them out with snow and then keep them up until 9p watching a movie!

On Sunday, we fed them all breakfast and let them play video games until their dad picked them up at about 10a. Then I took the boys to see Santa (again!) at the Black Bear Golf Course Clubhouse. They got to do a coupla crafts and get a balloon animal and see Santa. Then Dave and I took them to the grandparents and went out on our own. We had a nice lunch and did some final shopping for the boys.

Whew! 3 or 4 things a day for 5 days straight! Glad that's over! I'm done shopping. I've finished (except for seaming) one of the 2 hats I'm making for the boys for Xmas (they are getting the same hat). Here it is...

I got the chart off Ravelry and the yarn is Paton's Classic Merino. The recipe came with the chart and is just CO 82, rib for awhile, knit 3 rows, knit the chart - then I changed the end of the pattern to the basic hat pattern from the Yarn Harlot - k1, *k6, k2tog*, rep to last st, k1; next row (and all WS rows) purl; next row, k1, *k5, k2tog* rep to last st, k1. Keep decreasing one stitch before the k2tog's (k4, k2tog, then k3, k2tog, etc.) until your knitting 2 together all the way across. Then I purled one row, then k2tog all the way across again (keeping the k1 selvedge edge at beginning and end of each row) then bound off. Now the seaming and the making of the second hat.

This was my first fair isle. It's a bit lumpy and imperfect but I'm making 2 more (one for me!) and I'll give the boys the two best looking ones.

Holy cow, Ruth!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday Meme

Got this from Rachel...

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, Just copy this entire blog and paste into a new blog. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. If you play along leave me a comment and a link to your blog I'd love to see what you have to say!

1. Wrapping Paper or Gift Bags?
wrapping paper

2. Real tree or artificial?
real tree (but Uberstrickenfrau has made me rethink this..who knows what will happen next year).

3. When do you put up the tree?
Usually a week (or day) before xmas - this year we're ahead of the game!

4. When do you take down the tree?
Depends on how dry it is--First weekend in January.

5. Do you like Egg Nog?
Oh yea! But not with the alcohol it's supposed to have - it's one of the few drinks I prefer virgin.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
A whole set of children's classic books (Heidi, Robin Hood, Black Beauty, etc.) . There's 34 (with 2 that never came with the original set) and I still have them all. (I know about the missing ones because each book has a list of the set on the back.)

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
No - we don't practice any religion. Our xmas is strictly about family. And commerce. (haha)

8. Hardest person to buy for?
My husband - he never wants anything!

9. Easiest person to buy for?
My kids. Trevor's third xmas (he was 2 1/2 years old), we were at the grandparents' house and he was opening a gift from his uncle. He pulled the wrapping off and said, "It's a BOX!! Look mommy, I got a BOX!!!" We were laughing so hard, we could barely tell him the gift was inside the box! I wish we'd thought to bring the video camera!

10. Weirdest Christmas gift you ever received? (I changed this--it used to say the "worst")
Can't think of any I wasn't completely excited to have. (I'd be happy with a box, too!)

11. Mail or email Christmas Cards?
We've resorted to Happy New Year cards - snail mail.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
A Wonderful Life. Rudolph. I like them all.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
All year.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Absolutely. I've got no problem receiving or giving re-gifts. I figure it's better to pass it on then to stuff it in a closet. Sometimes I tell people it's a re-gift. Sometimes, not. Depends on the recipient.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Sugar Cookies - my mom sends them every year. Her Persimmon cookies rock, too!

16. Clear lights or coloured?
Coloured, hands down.

17. Favorite Christmas Song?
Jingle Bells and Silent Night. My mom used to start cranking the holiday tunes the day after Thanksgiving! Sometimes ad nauseum. I do miss the Burl Ives singalong record, though.

18. Travel or stay home at Christmas?
Stay home!! (meaning in town)

19. Can you name all of Santa’s Reindeer?
No, but it's fun to make some up!

20. Angel or Star on the top of the tree?

21. Open Christmas Eve or Morning?
Christmas Eve at the grandparents, Christmas morning with Dave and the boys and me.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
The holiday music on my favorite radio stations. If I want it, I'll play it.

23. What’s the corniest family tradition you do or miss doing?
Dave and I try to put each other's presents out secretly. We pass in the middle of the night sometimes!

24. What’s the worst thing you’ve seen related to Christmas?
My MIL is never very gracious about receiving gifts from her husband. She always seems mad that he got her anything. It's weird and uncomfortable for me.

25. Which looks best, theme trees or homey trees?
Homey trees.

26. Gingerbread or Sugar Cookies?
Can't choose.

27. Do you like fruitcake?

Can't wait to rip some wrap, Ruth!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Things You Can Do When You're 4

I went into the basement and when I came upstairs, my entertainment center was giggling...


Look how tall he actually is...

Here's your Tippa Tuesday...

I bought the KnitPicks Options (the metal ones). I can't recommend these needles enough! They rule, addi turbo's drool. Just kidding, I wouldn't give up my addi's but only because I have too many WIP's to get rid of good needles! The Options are sooooo deliciously pointy! Love. Them. If anyone hates theirs - I'll buy them immediately! There's this little tiny key to help you tighten you needles to your cables. Now if you're like me and the whole set-up outsmarts you (sigh), you can call the nice people at KnitPicks and they'll explain it without laughing. You're supposed to turn the needle not the key. Turning the key doesn't do anything - who'd've thought!

Anyway, my tip is this: I keep a small square of bubble wrap (the kind with small bubbles) in the zip pocket with the key. Those metal needles are slippery and trying to turn them without something to help your grip is another exercise in futility. I use the plastic bubble wrap to grip the needle - easy, peasy, rice and cheesy.

Wishing I was 4 today, Ruth!

Monday, December 10, 2007

7 Weird Things

I was tagged by Romi and when I told my husband I had to write 7 weird things about me, he, or course, said, "Only 7?? How will you narrow it down?"

Anyway, here's the rules...

1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird things about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 Weird Things...

I figure I'll stick to my physical anomalies (ewwww):

1. I'm incredibly bendy. I always have been. Even now, when I'm 37, I can put both feet behind my head.

2. My finger tips hyper-extend (bend backwards) at least 90 degrees. My thumb tips, when I press them together, look like an uppercase M (or W, depending on how I'm holding my hands).

3. I have to blow my nose at least 3 or 4 times a day. I used to have really bad hay-fever allergies when I was a kid. This also means I have a terrible sense of smell. (I never knew what a blessing that was until I got pregnant the first time and my sense of smell improved.) I don't think I've ever breathed out of both nostrils at the same time. Ever.

4. I had a 1966 Mustang for the first 13 years of my driving life. No power brakes for 13 years has made my right calf visibly bigger then my left.

5. I'm fairly ambidextrous. Although I write better with my right hand, I am quite legible with my left. I actually started out left-handed but in preschool, I had one of those old woman teachers who thought it was a sign of the devil or retardation or something and she'd smack the hell out of my arm when she "caught" me using my left hand for anything (which, I believe, makes her the retarded one).

6. I have a small mole under my left eye. My older boy has the exact same mole. Same location and (proportionally to his size/age) same size.

7. I have 3 full-sized, fully functional kidneys.

I tag Rachel, Faith, Wanda, Marly, Olga, Becky, KMKat, Nicole, and anyone else who wants to play!

I'm a sucker for the meme's, Ruth!

P.S. Congratulations to Romi (who tagged me) for making the cover!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

My Left Or Yours?

I'm still pluggin' along on the Bed Jacket from Romantic Style. I'm actually flyin' through if you consider how fast/slow I knit. I'm stuck on this bit of pattern instruction and really need some help. Here' s my question....

I'm to the point where your supposed to go back to the stitches you put on a holder (read: length of cheap-ass acrylic) and put them back on the needle. This is to be done, first on the left front and then on the other a-waitin' stitches for the right front. I've done the first 2 rows, in pattern as established, then put it down as the directions have that horrifying "do this every 4 rows and at the same time do this other business EOR". sigh.

Even more frightening is my apparent lack of knowledge as to what constitutes the left or right front! I'm supposed to start with the left front. Now - is that the piece that will be the left when I'm wearing it (but when it's laid out is on the my right as I'm looking at it)? Or the piece that, when laid out and I'm looking at it, is on the left side but will actually be the right when I am wearing it??

We used to have this drill sgt., while I was in Basic Training, that liked to mess with us about left and right. I've always had trouble with it as it is (looking to see which hand makes the proper 'L'). He'd tell us HIS left, but the next day (or whenever there was another drill sgt. around) it'd be OUR left. He'd also tell us that our hats were to be off inside and on outside at all times (which is true) - but when it was just him, he'd fuck with us by saying if you were inside and 5 feet from the door, going outside, the hat should be on and vice versa for coming in. He was a funny guy. ha. ha. ha.

I think he wrote this knitting pattern.

Left, right, mutha-fuckin' left, Ruth!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Here's a preview of what will not be in the December issue. Rejected again...
Here's a copy of my very kind, gentle rejection email:
Hi, Ruth!Thanks so much for your submission. It's very clever! I think you've done a great job. We receive many more submissions than we are able to publish at Knitty, and that means we must make some hard choices. Unfortunately, that means we won't be able to use your submission this time. But I really like your style! Thank you for taking the time to prepare it and send it in and hope we'll see something from you again in the future! Best, Amy

No biggee. It just means you guys get a free pattern! In the pattern I sent to knitty, I used horns instead of ears. I'd been given permission from the author of Dominknits to use her horns (she had the best ones of all the horns I looked at/for). I don't feel comfortable using them here, so if you want the horns, go buy her book (buy it anyway, it's really cool!). When you get to that part, I put the yarn on the DPNs and increased/decreased until I had the right number of stitches to start her horns (I think it was 23 or 24) and then went off her instructions from there. In the version I'm giving here (for free!), I just did hat decreases to make some ears.
I'm opening an Etsy store (shocker, I know) and I'll be putting some Muggle-Warmer kits in there. It'll be yarn, the pattern and a finished warming bag!

Here they are - Muggle-Warmers....

It was a dark and stormy night…
Cold as a witches tit with monsters in the closet. Those closet monsters and their cold witch are no match for….

MUGGLE-WARMERS!!! (cue hero music)

I thought of these monstery folks when I was contemplating the chilly winter we had last year. I remembered those microwaveable warming bags. They are filled with feed corn, rice or buckwheat . (I’m including a super quick pattern for these, too. It’s 10X cheaper to make your own.)

The Muggles are a great thing to use to pre-warm the bed for little ones. They are snuggly and warm and just the right size for sleepy hugging. They can be made with any worsted weight yarn, but I highly recommend using something soft and washable - kitchen cotton would be a nice choice, too, all those crazy colors, y'know! (You can also put the bag in the fridge for awhile in the summer. Makes the sheets nice and cool.)

There’s a felted version and a knitted version. You can use up some of your leftover yarns (novelty or otherwise) for more decoration.
I searched far and wide for the perfect horns. I found them in the book Domiknitrix by Jennifer Stafford. She has graciously allowed me to use them in this pattern. She is a wonderful human being and her book is perfect. Go buy it!

Materials :

Mr. Muggle:
Yarn: Cascade 220 (100% Peruvian highland wool; 100gr / 220yds)
MC - Heather Blue; CC - Heather Green, one each
1 pair - US 9 (5.5mm), 32” circular
4 - US 9 (5.5mm) DPN

Mrs. Muggle:
Yarn: Cascade 220 (100% Peruvian highland wool; 100gr / 220yds)
MC - 9478 Pink; CC - 4192 Pale Pink, two each
1 pair - US 10.5 (6.5mm), 32” circular
4 US 10.5 (6.5mm) DPN
Microwave Warming Bag (see instructions below to make your own)
Scrap yarn for face (preferably in similar fiber content to finished piece)
Novelty yarn (for hair) (optional)
Three buttons

Mr. Muggle - 20 sts = 4” on US size 9
Mrs. Muggle - 16 sts = 4" on US size 10.5

Seed Stitch:
Odd number of stitches:
Row 1: *k1, p1*, rep ** across. Repeat for every row.
Even number of stitches:
Row 1: *k1, p1*, rep ** across.
Row 2: *p1, k1*, rep ** across.

Mr. Muggle:

Using CC, CO 75. Seed Stitch 6 rows.
Row 7: BO 10, knit across.
Row 8: BO 10 stitches, purl across.
Row 9: (RS) knit across
Row 10: (WS) k2, purl to last 2, k2
Repeat rows 9 and 10 until piece measures 6 inches.
Garter stitch for 1 ½ inches.
Place Marker. Pick up 7 stitches from garter stitch rows. Place Marker. Cable CO 56 stitches. Place Marker. Pick up 7 stitches from garter stitch rows on other side.

Begin knitting in the round (initially, you will knit back towards the cast-on stitches).
First Round: Slip marker (sm), Seed Stitch the 7 stitches on the side, sm, k2tog, knit 54, sm, seed stitch 7 stitches, sm, knit 55.

Body Knitting:

Knit in the round, keeping seed stitch sides, [(Knit 55, Seed Stitch 7) twice] until piece measures 6 inches from beginning of circular knitting.
Knit 6 rounds of seed stitch (There will be a stitch at the end of each round that will be extra. Just knit it and start seed stitch pattern over. This is the “belt“.)
Using MC, continue Body Knitting until piece measures 8” from seed stitch rounds.
Final round: Knit 47, put 24 stitches on waste yarn. Turn piece inside out and using 3-needle bind-off, BO 47. Turn piece right side out and put final 24 stitches on waste yarn.

Left Horn:
Transfer stitches from waste yarn to DPN’s. Knit the two stitches closest to the BO center together - 23 stitches. Knit St st for 8 rounds. (If you find you have more or less then 23 stitches, then use the 8 rounds to increase/decrease as needed.)
Begin left ear:
Using CC:
Knit in the round. Decrease 2 stitches on either side of ear EOR. When you have 4 sts left, thread the yarn through the stitches and pull tight. Using darning needle, pull hanging thread into the ear.

(I left a long tail to pull through. I used it to sew shut any holes I’d made. This is no mistake of the horn pattern, just my own relatively amateur knitting.)

Right Horn:
Transfer stitches from waste yarn to DPN’s. Knit the two stitches closest to the BO center together - 23 stitches. Knit St st for 4 rounds. (If you find you have more or less then 23 stitches, then use the 8 rounds to increase/decrease as needed.)

Begin Right Ear:
Using MC:
Knit in the round. Decrease 2 stitches on either side of ear EOR. When you have 4 sts left, thread the yarn through the stitches and pull tight. Using darning needle, pull hanging thread into the ear.

Block your monster. After it’s completely blocked, and using bits of colored yarn (for washing purposes, you want to use yarn similar in content to the yarn used to knit the piece), sew on a face. Using novelty yarns, you can add hair, a mohawk, whatever).

Using CC, single crochet around open edges of the Muggles. At the ends of the tabs, crochet 5 chain stitches, slip stitch to other side of tab. This makes your button loop. Wrap bottom around the back of piece and, matching up the seed stitch “belt” with your tabs, sew your buttons on the front.

Look at the back of your Muggle. Sew a button to the center of the “belt” in the back. Make another crochet chain loop on the bottom edge of the piece that will correspond with the back button.

(If this Muggle-Warmer is going to a child under 3 years old, take extra care in securing the buttons. The Muggle-Warmer should never be used in a crib with a child under 18 months old.)

Mrs. Muggle:

Using larger needle, knit the same as for Mr. Muggle until you get to the seed stitch belt.
Knit 6 rounds of seed stitch.
Using a darning needle and waste yarn, thread all stitches onto waste yarn. Do not remove knitting needle.

Mrs. Muggle’s skirt:
Switch to CC.
Next 4 rounds: Purl every stitch.
Round 5: Knit into front and back of every stitch.
Round 6-10: Knit.
Round 11: Rep round 5.
Round 12-15: Knit.
BO loosely.

Go back to waste yarn. Thread knitting needle along waste yarn (I used a smaller needle for this). Using CC, begin knitting in the round again. Continue on as for Mr. Muggles.

I made Mrs. Muggle’s face before I felted her. Bad idea. I ended up using some other felting projects I had that had gone awry. I cut out eyes an lips and sewed them on to make her face. A perfect use for those felting projects gone wrong and stuffed in a closet.

(If this Muggle-Warmer is going to a child under 3 years old, take extra care in securing the buttons. The Muggle-Warmer should never be used in a crib with a child under 18 months old.)

Microwave Warming Bag:
Measure your finished monster. Get some muslin (or any scrap cotton fabric) and fold it in half, right sides together. Using the measurements from you finished monster, measure the same onto the fabric. You can draw the lines right onto the fabric. Cut the three sides of the fabric (don’t cut the folded side). Pin the front to the back on the three open side and sew these three sides together about a half inch from the edges, leaving a two inch opening at the top. Pull fabric right side out through the opening. Fill with your filler of choice. You want to fill it enough to be full and puffy but not enough so it’s hard and unhuggable. Sew opening shut.


Rice, Feed Corn, Buckwheat, Flaxseed, Lavender. I use a combination of Feed Corn and Lavender. It makes a lovely scent when warmed.
You can hand sew or machine sew, just make sure the stitches are small enough that the filling can’t come out.



Here’s a link to a very comprehensive tutorial on Microwave Warming Bags:
Domiknitrix by Jennifer Stafford
So there you have it!
Not giving up, Ruth!