Thursday, December 30, 2004

Knitting Karma Baby!!

Buddy of mine, Craig, has a sister named Juliet. She came to visit him in Germany this summer and when I met her, she was sitting on a barstool at Finnegan's downtown knitting a sock. I was so excited; I jumped up next to her and whipped out my current sock project. There were loads of comments and much rolling-of-eyes from her brother and my boyfriend, but we had a cute little knitterly moment that day. We talked about price of wool, KIPping and how her major hobby is making glass beads. Couple of weeks later, Craig was over one Saturday night to play cards and drink beer (a typical crazy night at Casa la Treanor LOL) and mentioned that he was heading home in a couple of days to surprise Juliet for her birthday. I immediately gathered a couple of balls of sock wool and sent him home with a very warm birthday present for his sister. Juliet was so happy with her socky present that she sent me something for Christmas. Look (and turn green with envy) at my beautiful new bracelet - a Juliet Page original:

And now some overdue Christmas photos:

Cian before dumping the contents of his stocking - I think he's just a little delighted with his sled.
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Dave is carving the turkey (and I use that term loosely) ;)

Better picture of everyone else:

Thursday, December 23, 2004

'Twas the Christmas Disaster (Averted)

It was two days 'til Christmas and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring 'cause I kicked them all out!
You! Time for bed and you! to the pub!
I've got gifts to knit here and I won't be slowed up!

I curled up on the couch with a red bucket hat
Only a few rows more and that would be that.
Then what to my wondering eyes did appear,
My Denise cord snapped and my eyes they did tear.

What horrible luck, what a bad end to the year,
To destroy a knitting notion that I held so dear!
And what of the hat that was due the next day?
Must my friend warm her head some other way?

With a few tips and tricks I finagled a plan,
Thread in another cord and all will be grand.
It took some hard work since the yarn it was doubled,
But the motiviation inside continuously bubbled.

A couple of naughty words and many minutes later,
My hat was ready to finish and would be all the greater.
Woolly and fluffly with eyelash on the trim,
Sits the end product on my head while I pet the brim

Now my friend knows how to knit and respects the time put in,
All of my gifts to her are received with a grin,
And it's not like knitted gifts ever break my back,
But will she ever know this gift nearly gave me a heart attack?!

Now the excitement is over and I'm ready for bed,
While visions of LYS Gift Certificates dance in my head.
And I wish to you all, lacking more time to write,
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!

And, Santa, can you please amend my list to add one replacement cord for my Denise set? I promise to take better care of it this time and not subject it to the rigors of doubled and tripled yarn - no matter how cute the hat ;)

p.s. This is dedicated to Steph (you know who you are) who inspired me to challenge myself with LOTS of Christmas gift knitting - I've shocked myself with how many of the projects I was able to complete :) Thanks for that!

p.p.s Here's the hat, teddy was kind enough to model it for me and do his best Paddington Bear impression. Really, he's great with impressions - you should see him do Zsa Zsa Gabor with a scarf! LOL

Oh yeah - Cian says hi. He went to the salon to get his hair cut today and she added some spray-in hair colour. He wasn't too happy when she mentioned it would wash right out with shampoo. Any volunteers to try and get him into his next bath???

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Currently knitting the Flower Basket Shawl from Fall 2004 Interweave Knits. Found soft, soft mohair/acrylic mix called Hair by Schachenmayr. I never thought I would be this excited by lacey girly stuff, but it's really cool to knit and, as long as I keep the lifelines in (the white lines of wool you see after every repeat-just in case I really screw up) I don't freak out when I have to rip out a row or two. Have to admit, I really like the colour, too. It looks less purply and more periwinkle off-camera. Hopefully, all the holds between the stitches will make sense after blocking - the pattern writer said so :)

Christmas decorations are coming along nicely. I'll spare you the job I did on the roof window - had to be all cutesy and fashion the multi-coloured lights into a Christmas tree shape. Hope the neighbors are impressed - the Irishman sure isn't. LOL So I present the garland-wrapped banister (kid friendly as the garland is wrapped around the bottom and not the top) complete with intertwined lights :)

If you're looking closely, you'll see the jacket my sister quilted for me last year (from Mary Engelbreit fabrics, thank you!) and underneath it the quilt Mum gave me for my 21st (great for nursing hangovers - talk about good timing) and Goonies playing on the computer monitor. I can't remember the last time I saw Goonies - I forgot how much fun it was to watch. Think I'll make some popcorn to watch the rest with. Goodnight World :)

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Trimming the Tree

Note to self: buy more ornaments - with SOME colour in them.
The straw/wood ornament thing is quite quaint, but gets old after you cover your tree with it. Kids had enough fun hanging stuff on the tree today, I'll just save the rest of the job for them to do next weekend - at the very least, it'll keep them quiet/busy for at least an afternoon ;)
Funny thing is Germans traditionally put up their tree on Christmas Eve. Tree stays up for a week, maybe for the full 12 days of Christmas (until Epiphany). Moral of the story, our brand new, super sturdy, better than the best tree stand is about 1.5 inches deep and 6 inches wide, at the most. Tree is standing next to the heater for the next 5 weeks and right in front of the smoking window. I plan on checking the water everyday. Am also thinking of moving most-precious things to the cellar so that they don't burn down with the apartment...
At least with all the straw ornaments it'll burn clean and hopefully not release any noxious fumes.

Snowy View from Apartment

Snowy View from our apartment this past Monday. The next morning everything was covered and then all gone by noon. Still pretty :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Say Chiiiiic!

My big Christmas idea was to knit hats for everyone. Patterned hats, fuzzy hats, chic hats dorky hats and everything in-between. At a shopping spree this weekend I went a little nutty at the local Idee (German Michael's) and got a couple of pairs of really cool stripey wool from Gedifra and a handful of colours of Schachenmeyer Merino and Extra for a patterned hat for the Irishman (who, it turns out, is quite the colour picker).
Long story short, I found this pattern through Google yesterday and decided that would just be the coolest thing for the lady friends instead of hats. To knit a full 14 inches, I think it'll take more than my two balls.
Need to get an extra ball of wool tonight to finish this. But it is mega soft and silky feeling am thinking I might need one of these this winter, too. :)

Big Fat Update and man-am-I-late-to-read-this! WTF????
Pharamacists are refusing to fill birth control prescriptions because of their religious beliefs.
Great Response here.

And we thought history never repeats.....nah, we just kind of regress.

Saturday, November 20, 2004


Look Ma! I finished one of your socks. Mum sent me the book and I loaned her my Knitting on the Road - Nancy Bush junkies, that's us :) Anywho - she sent me the book with not-so-subtle post-it notes commenting on which designs she thought particularly pretty. And I'm so proud to have the done the extra repeats on the foot part thus proving that I didn't lift this picture from the book AND that I can in fact knit a two-stranded sock that can be pulled on to a live human foot (very vague referrence to my third ever sock-knitting attempt, wherein I thought Fair Isle looked pretty but then couldn't get the freakin sock over my ankle).

Monday, November 08, 2004


See? I wasn't lying - I did do more than party this weekend. Did I mention that we found Ben & Jerry's ice cream in Germany this weekend? That's right baby - Ben AND Jerry's ice CREAM in a pint in many flavors and even some flavors mixed together. Friday evening, I was cooking Italian in the kitchen (you know, just minding my own business, baking some garlic bread) and Neal walks in with a plastic bag from the gas station. He starts pulling stuff out and setting it on the counter on the other side of the bag and me, in full-garlic-bread-focus; caught a glimpse of something pint-ish and frozen out of the corner of my eye. Poor Neal jumped about a foot when I turned on him and squealed "What the f*** was that?!!" His meek answer of "ice cream?" No, I'm serious, what was that? And then he showed me the pint. One beautiful, lonely pint of Half-Baked. God bless me father - civilization has finally found Germany. It's okay, I told the Irishman, you don't have to worry about me running off home anymore. Family I can call on the phone, but Cookie Dough Ice Cream from Vermont just never answers.... Now we have found each other again - girl and ice cream; we are one.
If you think I'm being dramatic about some frozen dairy in a paper can, you should have seen the reaction at the dinner table that evening. 5 Adults and 2 kids, each with one spoon fighting over a pint of ice cream that was frozen solid. All of us hacking away at the solid block of creamy goodness until the kids fought over who was going to lick the lid. And to make things even better - Neal and Iveira came over again Saturday night.....and brought 2 pints of Ben & Jerry's for dessert :)

This doily felt like knitting dental floss and man did I knit the floss out of it. Knit, knit, knit - yarn over and k2togs all over the place and it did cross my mind at one point that someone had once suggested to carry a piece of string through lace knitting every 10 rows or so. It was about that time that I realized my count was off a little, by one stitch and I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out where or what happened. But that's okay, that's why we do test pieces. This was a swatch really - I mean it was wool, what was I going to do? Actually rest a wet glass on 100% wool? I knew all along, it was just an exercise in yarn-overs and k2togs; now that I've got'em mastered, I'm ready to begin my real lace knitting.
Behold: the Dog-Eared Doily (pre-rip).

There Was Something About Yarn and Needles

Oh yeah, I remember : knitting.
It's not all about Canadian Immigration these days. I did loads of knitting over the weekend.
Well, not loads, but I got in a lot considering I entertained Friday and Saturday night - did shopping on Saturday and brunch on Sunday.
I started and finished another Christmas sock on Saturday night from this link and worked on a doily with a star from this link .
I've done some yarn-over's and picot edgings before, but never really concentrated oh-my-god-these-needles-are-freakin-tiny lace knitting. I only screwed up one section and the Irishman couldn't even see it. :)
I finished the heel and gusset on the Jaggedy-arsed socks - mere minutes remain until we start making sacrifices to the evil god Kitchener.
And I started a lovely little hat (from the Fall Interweave) should be made with Manos del Uruguay but I have some hand-spun alpaca from the Appalachains and I thought I might just make a little something for She Who Likes Alpaca for Christmas. If her royal Alpacaness can't remember making this request like over a year ago (yeah, I know, takes me a while to catch a hint) then I certainly hope she likes surprises :) @[smiley: Surprise: [13/13_1_14]]

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Because I just can't get enough.... Posted by Hello


The above two were found at Almost Felted.

This reminds me of a bumper sticker my sister saw: Republicans for Voldemort!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Please make it stop hurting!!!

The Irishman asked if he could get me anything, a glass maybe - I asked for a straw.
I'll search the internet tonight - I'm sure somewhere there's a 12-step program for ex-pats from a facist regime. Don't tell anyone, but I'm thinking about defecting to Canada...."just 'cross the border and into the city/won't have to drive too far/finally see what it means to be living" not sure if those lyrics were in the right order - might be the Smirnoff typing at this point.
Have to admit, I was surprised at my reaction. I was the one spouting last week "oh, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets elected again - he's got the country scared stiff with color-coded terror alerts" and when I read that Kerry conceded to Butthead this morning, I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me. I finished my last two hours at work somehow and traveled home in a daze (bouts of don't-cry-at-work were followed with don't-cry-on-the-ubahn) and made it to the front door. By the time I reached the bedroom, I couldn't see anymore, my eyes filled with tears and I blubbered like a 13 year old girl who just learned that Mom and Dad did not, in fact, take MommaKitty away to live her days out on a farm.... Embarrassed that I was, at 29, still filled with school-girl hope that the country would see the light and elect an advanced life-form to office, I cried until my eyes were empty, throbbing and sore. Then I found the Smirnoff Ice that Sandrine gave me for my birthday and now I'm starting to feel a bit better. In fact, I might feel this damn good for the next four years. Let's just hope there's enough Smirnoff to support me.

Ooooh - I almost forgot the knitting content (I mean, this is a knitting blog). Do you suppose I could three-needle-bind Bush's lips together?

Monday, November 01, 2004

How cute is this??!!!!

I give you sweetness herself, my niece Erika Anne:

Honestly, I ask you - could anyone else wear this sweater?

Not that anyone in Florida is in need of sweaters just yet - here's Mum and David enjoying the 84 degree Autumn weather in Barefoot Bay. Rough life, I tell ya, rough life....

When I grow up, I want to be my mother :)

Okay, so this is turning into Gratuitous Family Photo Day. What the hey. There's even knitting content in the next one. The Pipsqueaks book strikes again. Erika is above in Imp and below is Kerry and her Granny sitting next to her new Lucky cardigan. Mum put the button on for me. For some reason, I can knit like the wind, but sewing doesn't come quite as naturally...

This was Kerry's first visit to Nova Scotia - lucky girl :)

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Something Sugary This Way Comes

It all started so innocently.

Ciara's eyes were this big when I started this poncho yesterday afternoon and they were really big when I tied off the fringe this afternoon. What can I say - it was a big gauge. Luckily, the weather is still mild so she could give the poncho a nice autumny trial on the way home today. Pictured on a quaint German street, the Harlot poncho out of Schachenmayr Sportic is draped elegantly over a very scary witch costume. Below is the completed witch:

Didja catch the orange hair on that one? It gets better.

Normally a mild, charming (and very disarming) young man, Cian has just finished his makeover and is on tippy-toes for a view in the hall mirror.

After getting into character, he was unstoppable and insisted on pretending to bite and eat anyone he could find - while making the appropriate biting and hissing noises. He chased me for 10 minutes straight around benches and tables in the Biergarten.

If I didn't know better, I'd think someone gave this child sugar......
Honestly, I'm quite glad that I'm not putting him to sleep after he does Trick or Treating tonight :) He won't be saying that, though. The Germans say "Suess or sonst gibts Saures" which roughly translates to "give us something sweet or you'll get something sour".
No knocks on our door tonight yet - which means my Dove chocolate miniatures are safe for the time being. I might just eat a couple to make sure they're safe for children and all - can't be too careful these days.
Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Jaggedy-arse Wool

After deciding not to inflict any of my family or friends with a hat out of this stuff, I let it sulk in a corner of my knitting basket for the past two months. Just long enough for it to forget how angry I was when I realized my first spinning attempt didn't produce Lorna's Laces skin-friendly silky yarn. Wasn't there an old quote about a sow's ear.........

The Irishman is trying to hide his emotion about this wool and look cute (but I see right through him). It's the first wool I spun and plied on my new spinning wheel (or in my life, for that matter!) and it' not the softest wool you've ever run into. I started knitting a hat out of it immediately after plying and quickly came to the conclusion that no sane person would want to wear this on their head. Irishboy here likes Billy Connolly and his stand-up and copied his unfair comments about knitted items - he calls my beautifully spun, dark brown and light grey-plied romney "jaggedy-arse wool" - the kind that is so scratchy it could only have come from the arse-end of a sheep.
So I've decided that I will knit Briggs & Little Heavy Hand Knit Socks. The best socks to have between your softly-socked feet and boots that have just sunk into 2 feet of snow. Now, who in the family, in a cold climate, is sweet enough to not hurt my feelings when I give them jaggedy-arsed socks for Christmas?
Note to self: chat more to sister-in-Maine's boyfriend, because he probably wants to be liked by family and just needs a pair of socks to prove himself......

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Queen of the Sky

Ellen Simonetti

Queen of the Sky
- grounded by her airline for putting this and similar pics on her website. Check out the link and read her story. I can't imagine how anything could be controversial enough to cost a job. A warning, maybe, but a suspension?
Makes me think I should never type about how much knitting I get done at work ;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

More Irish Pictures and Spinning Hopes

In the kitchen, getting all spiffied up. Owen, Pat (Dad) and Mark (Bridegroom)

Before the ceremony trying to shake off the nerves in front of the church. Pat, Mark, Owen, Jonny and Cian is up front.

In recent news, I got an email yesterday that the Franken Spinning Group is meeting up again Nov 13. It's a regional German spinning group I found online that meets bi-monthly. I have to bring a buffet item, wool to occupy myself and good humour. Starts at 10 in the morning and ends officially "whenever" - I wonder if there's alcohol involved? Think I'll pack away a bottle of rum and a liter of Coke just in case. Right next to the carding combs. Oh and I'm cooking up a pot o' my famous chili and cornbread. Hope it's not too spicy for them.
Can't wait for this meetup! I did a bit on the drop spindle one afternoon in Yarmouth this July and haven't seen another human being spin since then. The first couple of spindles off of my Ashford Traveler (€150 off of EBay!!) were pretty pathetic and not wearable. I hope I can spin something skin-worthy come November 14th. Here's hoping.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Pictures from Ireland - Part 1

Just Married...

Anne and Mark with Page Boy Cian - starting the procession out of the beautiful stone church. Can you see the stones in the background? Seriously, it was like one of those Four Wedding and a Funeral churches - an old monastery with loads of little chapels and flagstone floor.

Cian in the Back Garden of Grandma Janie's House - guarding the laundry on the very cool, very red tractor.
Can you spot the knitting content in this picture?
Nah, me either.

Friday, October 08, 2004

3, 2, 1.....Liftoff

Cian's got a brand new "pulli" to wear in Ireland. We leave tomorrow morning and fly from Munich to Dublin for two weeks to stay with Dave's family and celebrate the wedding of his brother Mark to a lovely girl named Anne. I can't tell you how excited I am about this trip!!

Knit from Lena Stengard's Nursery Knitting. It's a book that intimidated me the first time I saw it, but I ended up making my 2nd sweater ever from her "Cricket Knits" section. And now that I've knocked this out, it's becoming on of my favorites.
Cian looooves trying new clothes on - he prefers when they are red, pink or yellow, but this blue was nice enough to get his approval. Talk about a lucky kid, this Gedifra Merino De Luxe is oh-so-soft and will keep him nice and cozy in the land of rain and cool temps. If HRH Harlot thinks her house is cold, the Irish could give her a run for her money. I made sure both kids had new full-length flannel 'jammies and I am trying to figure out why I didn't think to knit some slippers.

My sister asked for everyday pictures from Ireland - kitchens, kids, chip shops and everything - so I hope to be posting while away. But this will all depend on scattered internet access and hangover severity. If you hear nothing, I'll be full of craic and photos in two weeks ("craic" is said like crack but means news or info - instead of "what's up?" the Irish ask "any craic?" or "anyting strange?" - phone calls to the Old Country always crack me up!)
Wish me fun - Slainté!!!

Pretty Day

This is my answer to all the people who have been posting pictures of the sky in their neighborhood.

This was the view out of my office window yesterday for all of 5 minutes. I took the photo quickly before the clouds and rain and mist and fog and general greyness of Autumn returned. One of these days, I'm going to learn how to post pictures so that they show up nicely. You can't see it here, but the shorter building in the middle of the picture has red, red leaves climbing up the top of the triangle. Very cool.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Mitten, Interrupted

This may look like the mitten picture I posted a couple of days ago. But it's really a new, revised, re-knit, re-sized and ribbed-for-her-pleasure thrum mitten. I found that, even thought I have extremely small hands, my paws couldn't barely squeeze through the adult small size with all that blasted roving in the way. So I swam a lap around the frog pond, ripped the entire thing and restarted with ribbing and thrums that last up to two stitches. We are much happier now, isn't we precious?

And, in case you missed the background of the picture, here it is again:

My sister, who unlike me, knows how to turn her sewing machine on, used Mary Engelbreit fabric to make me a book jacket and bookmarker. How awesome is that??? I absolutely adore this fabric. If the Irishman would let me, I'd probably cover the walls in the stuff. Which is really weird, cause ME is the only girly and cute stuff I like. If it weren't for her, I'd think my hiking boots were the height of fashion (because they are the coolest things this side of Patagonia!).
And finally a view out my window last night. The Michaelis Kirchweih has started in town and they have one of those towers of terror. We hardly get any noise from the fest, except every ten minutes the tower of terror is in operation and we hear screams until the people drop back below the rooftops. It had us wondering for a while there....
p.s. don't mind the blur on the picture - the camera has got a bit of a drinking problem - we're working on it

And you thought it was us drinking the beer in the photos from last weekend. Darn Ricoh just can't say no.
Now I want to figure out how to make Mary Engelbreit mittens.......

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Mon Cherie c'est finis - or something like that!

I cast off during the party and was surprised at how incredibly long this thing became. It grew and grew and grew and grew. I held the middle up to my forehead and both ends touched the ground!
Here is Sandrine all wrapped up in her new chic-ness!


I had a chili dinner Friday night for my birthday and we had lots of guests, lots of beer and lots of kids. There was also lots of music.

Craig was playing his fiddle so Cian (3) decided he needed to bring out the kids guitar and accompany him. Cian carrying the guitar is like a knight's first day wearing a sword - any slight turn left or right and the guitar clears everything in its path - like beer. From the kitchen I heard a crash and when I got to the living room to see what the story was, Ciara (8, very clever!) turns around to me and says:

Don't worry - it didn't get any of the wool!

Later that evening when I was telling this to a couple of people, Ciara overheard me, looks kind of sheepish and says: well, it didn't get any of the good wool.

I could kiss her, just literally kiss her!

Thursday, September 30, 2004

There's a good reason I haven't knitted today :)

Can't concentrate long enough to write anything tonight. But who cares about wool right now (I can't believe those words just came out of my mouth!) when there's a brand new sparkly on my hand!! The Irishman came through :) Resizing will be done tomorrow, but more importantly, I's gettin' married!!!

Mitten is as tight as the ring - I think I hear frogs in the distance......

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Troll: Knock Knock!

Me: Who's there?
Troll: Troll
Me: Troll Who
Troll: Does it matter?
Me: Not really - just go away. My mittens look freakish enough as it is.

Notice how the top of the mitt isn't as ...umm...poofy as the beginning. I started using my roving twice in a twist. That's right. Cheating girl, right here. Pull off one tuft, knit it once and then, three stitches later, knit it again. Then I called Mum for mitten support - she's a seasoned thrummer - and she said, she double dips as well with the Fleece Artist roving. Thank God! See? It must be in my blood.
Unfortunately, algae from the frog pond is starting to infect my blood as well. Now that I'm past the thumb and all-over that thrumming thing, I really don't like the ribless cuff. It's going to be all puffy and some poor soul will have to try and stuff it in the sleeve of a winter jacket. I might end up calling this a trial mitten and run screaming for the safety of K1P1.
The upshot is, I could probably knit and reknit these mittens for a year without complaining. This is by far the nicest wool I've ever knit with - I mean like really nice, not just soft or with pretty colours. But with all of those things and something else I can't describe. I have to repeat the recipients name over and over in my head because with every stitch, I convince myself more that she doesn't need mittens or wouldn't appreciate the work or probably wouldn't like the colours.
Or maybe I just need more sleep....

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The Troll Mitten Lives!!

Knit, knit, knit - thrum, thrum, thrum. This is moving a lot faster than I thought it would - consdering the 48 free minutes I have to work on it every night (well, some nights it's 49). God willing and the creek don't rise, I'll actually have these done before the first snow falls. Not so sure about its mate, though.

The beginning of Grover's Hussy Neckwarmer. Also known as: how much alcohol can we fit in one photo. There were other people attending, I promise!

(Mum will be so proud that I remembered to lift my chin for the photo. You can't tell, but I'm sucking my stomach in as well.)

Alcohol? What alcohol? All I see is lots of satly snacks and Neal's mum sneaking a peek at Iveira's cards.

We're going to have to do this one again - it was quite possibly the most confusing game of rummy I've ever played in my life. How can rummy be confusing? Easy, just change the rules with every new hand. Like: okay, this time around you need to have 2 three-of-a-kinds and one straight-of-four and the next hand is 1 three-of-a-kind and 1 straight of seven cards. I think I've found the ultimate drinking game - if only I could handle more than 2 drinks in one evening...we'd have us a proper UGA Saturday Night :)

Monday, September 27, 2004

Thrum Thrum Thrum Your Mitt

Here's a pretty little picture of my pretty little thrum world.
I decided not to sit in the corner but to try and start the mittens tonight - give it the ol' college try. The Fleece Artist directions scared the bejesus out of me at first, but after the first thrum row I found it to make a lot more sense in person than on paper.
Turns out the tought part is getting the roving off of the roving roll. "Simply pull a 4 inch lock of roving off and...." turns out to be on par with "to build a house, simply pull a board of wood off of this tree and ..." I figure I'll get the Irishman to pull off the roving for me (a couple of well-placed "oh my, what big muscles" comments and this house will be floating in roving tufts).
Speaking of tufts. Is it me or does my mitten look like one of those troll dolls that use to be all over the place?

Merrily, merrily, merrily merrily....