Monday, August 27, 2007

Bionicle Thermopylae

So my baby brother and his family came to visit recently, and the discussion inevitably came round to movies. Since four of us were parents of Kindergarten-aged children, most of the films we see are on DVD. I mentioned that I had really liked "300" and my sister-in-law showed great concern that the film was horrifically violent.

Actually, I found "Braveheart" to be infinitely more violent. "300" is set up like its origin--the graphic novel--and although it is about a brutal, ancient battle, I didn't find it too violent at all... don't get me wrong, there is a fair amount of heads flying, but it's so thrillingly beautiful to watch, so visually amazing that it didn't prevent me from watching the film, utterly engrossed, to the very end. Of course, it could have been the buff abs of Gerard Butler and the tiny leather skivvies, too. Totally worth it.

We continued our discussion of films, moving on to H's most recent epic Bionicle battle. One of the plusses of having a daddy who's a videographer is that your childhood games can be caught forever on the miracle of DVD. H went into detail of the most recent battle, how Hewki did this and Jaller did that and who got limbs removed with a flying laser crossbow... My brother, who is in as difficult a position as I am, only in reverse--he has a 5-year-old daughter who would most like not appreciate his collection of Star Wars action figures in the same way H doesn't appreciate my Barbie collection-- asked if we yet had enough Bionicles in the house to do a re-creation of the battle of Thermopylae.

Hmmm. I thought. Interesting idea.

Unfortunately, H doesn't follow ancient, documented battle plans. But I must admit that some of his battles do resemble Thermopylae in some respects. A large army facing down a much smaller one, underdogs who fight like the odds weren't against them... in one of these pictures, you can see that even Harris the Bear has joined in, and yes, he was armed with both a squid launcher and a sword in addition to his usual superpowers--the laser beams that shoot from his eyes, his ability to control insects, and his newest superpower, the Baldness Ray (more on that another day).

Sadly, Bionicles don't have abs like Gerard Butler.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Baby Caps By The Dozen!

Okay, so, I love babies. Big babies, little babies, brand new babies, ugly babies, cute babies. Doesn't matter. Something my boy has inherited from me. Now that I'm working in the local hospital (albeit in a purely clerical sense) I walk by the birthing center twice a day on my way in and out of work.

Unfortunately, they don't let you just walk in and make goo-goo eyes at the babies anymore, something about security, blah blah. So, in my own way, to show my love of little ones, I've been making baby caps by the dozens and just dropping them off at the birthing center. That way the new parents can take the cap home, I use up little bits of leftover yarn (baby yarn, that is) and I get the satisfaction of occasionally seeing one of my caps bobbing along the hallway in one of those bucket carriers, on the way to a doctor's visit. It just kills me, though, to know those poor babes are about to get dozens of shots. Necessary, I know, but it drove me mental when they were doing it to my own little peanut... oh, to hear him cry! But, truly, it is way better than having to watch your kid suffer with whooping cough or diptheria.

Anyway, in the interest passing on my love of babies and their cute little heads, ears, fingers, bellies, and tootsies, here's my baby cap by the dozens pattern. It's sized for newborns, and CROCHETED. Go down a hook size for preemie, up a hook size for a jumbo (I made one for a coworker's sister--then she had a baby in excess of 9 1/2 pounds, so I re-did it with a G hook and it fit fine).

SOFT acrylic baby/sport yarn (not fingering) I like Bernat's Softee Baby or Red Heart Soft Baby, because they're fairly nice to work with and washable. Sirdar Snuggly DK is also really, really super nice if you can find it.
Size F crochet hook

Round 1: Chain 2. Work 6 half-double crochets (hdc) in the second chain from hook, join with a slip stitch.
Round 2: Chain 2 (counts as first hdc). 3 hdc in first hdc. 4 hdc in each stitch around. Join with a slip stitch.
Round 3: Chain 2 (counts as first hdc). 2 hdc in each stitch around.
Round 4: Chain 2 (counts as first hdc). Work 1 hdc in each stitch around.

Repeat Round 4 until hat measures 6" from beginning. Fasten off. Weave in beginning tail. Fold up edge about 1". Voila! A super-cute baby cap! Model on nearest newborn and make endless googy noises (or, if you're from Maine or NH, cluck your tongue and state, "Oh, gorrie, ain't that cunnin'!").


Please check out some of the new links, my crazy, super-creative, talented family has been hard at work. I'm so proud of them all!