June 30, 2005

Sock's big adventure

Matty came home to me and the sock, Citrus2. We (yes, the sock and I) met him at the airport and flung, well... made our way to greet him with a warm embrace. (No, you do not need to know more than that. And no, the sock really wasn't involved in this part. But I'm just lettin' y'all know that Bonez was more-than-warmly welcomed home. 'nuf said.)

But like most socks, waiting for planes to arrive, people to deplane, and luggage to arrive makes for a lot of waiting. And waiting. How do you keep a sock from being bored? Ah, the adventures of a young sock.

I tried to keep Citrus2 occupied by actually knitting on it. But soon enough I had moved past the hastily written pattern notes* that I brought and found myself in limbo land.

Citrus2 was too excited to meet Matt to lie calmly in the ziplock bag. (The sibling sock, Citrus1, was mid-foot when Matty left. Citrus2 had heard so much about this swell guy.) Out and about, the sock was. Zooming through the illogical, loitering traffic. (Why must people mill about and stand zombie-like in all the passage areas? My g*d, folks, there's a large, pasture-sized space just a few feet away where you won't be interrupted and asked to move every 37 seconds! And then when the luggage DOES start up, one of you from your party can easily glide in, grab bags [not ass], and slide back out again. No one wants your crap luggage anyways, freak!)

A-hem. Sorry 'bout that.

Citrus2 lurves the shiny rides!

Anyways, Citrus2 found a bit of fun on an empty baggage carousel. There was a close call when the cast one string got mighty close to being pinched in this metal circle o' death. But luckily quick thinking and quick reflexes saved Citrus2 from a horrible fate.

We're all happy and safe back home. Both Matty and Citrus2 enjoyed their outings, but are glad to return to my warm embrace. (The term "embrace" here is used with two widely different meanings and contexts. Leave it at that.) Matty is bubbling up with all bits of info and stories from Flint-town, while the sock is nearing its completion. Good times.

* Typically, I don't copy a pattern, but simply keep the book with me. It's small and not usually an issue. But I wanted to bring very little with me to the airport - the baggage is already a mess, why add to it? So I wrote notes on a slip of paper to get me through the heel and gusset. Obviously that wasn't enough to occupy all the waiting involved.

Posted by Nanc at 08:08 AM | Comments (4)

June 23, 2005

New PEZ for June

In addition to the normal basic PEZ that you normally see in my updates, I can promise that you will see PEZ that you've never seen before. Another visit to my favorite brick-n-mortar PEZ store.

Interested? look inside...

lazy photographers take crummy pictures and don't have safety shots.

Let me get the housekeeping out of the way first. I haven't picked up any new PEZ in a while, so these are pretty basic. I'm on vacation (and lazy), so they are all in the slightly blurry picture on the right.

They include the three new PEZ from Madagascar, golden Jack from the Incredibles (given out at the movie premiere in Europe). Next is a package of small, plastic cars also made by PEZ. On the bottom are the unmasked Incredibles --not sold in the US.

Small Town Coins in Davison, Mi and part of my crummy rental car.

Off topic, if you ever have to get a rental car, don't ever pick a Chevrolet Classic, the driving experience leaves much to be desired and they suck gas like a mofo.

Whew, with that done, let's get on to it. I am up in Michigan right now, visiting my sister, Lisa. She lives in Davison --a suburb of Flint. Less than a mile away is Small Town Coins, run by Dave Hall. In the early nineties, Dave sold me my first PEZ dispenser (A silver glow, if you must know).

While visiting, we got to talking and Dave showed me a box of his latest acquisitions, sure to make any PEZ collector drool. (Sorry 'bout the pool I left on the counter, Dave!)

Here's the story on these rare and one-of-a-kind items. At ye olde PEZ factory, when a run is complete, the workers will flush the lines and molds with whatever colored plastic is handy. This can lead to oddly colored and marbelized plastic pieces, made in actual molds, but far different than would ever be sold. These pieces are garbage, and aren't *supposed* to leave the factory. Of course, some of the color combinations that I saw were a little too nice to be "whatever plastic was laying around." It's my guess that somebody may have done a little extra work on the weekend for these.

While PEZ has made some oddly colored dispensers for molds that they hold the copyright to (like their 'orginal' Misfits line, stolen inspired by the Glew versions), there is no way that they could ever produce wacky colors of licensed characters. Copyright holders are very protective of their licenses and would rarely if ever allow that sort of 'abuse' of their property. That makes these items, very very rare.

The prices on these items reflect their rarity, so I left with only photos.

Take a look below. And if you ever find yourself in Michigan, stop by and see Dave and his amazing store. I really wish that I had thought to take a picture of the inside, since I can only describe it as a PEZ heaven. Then stop for an olive burger at Haloburger, or a coney at any of the approximately 3700 coney shops that have popped up since i've been gone.

All the colors of the rainbow
On preview, no idea why the Donald is in middle, but look at the nice two-tone Mrs Incredible.
The Lavender Knight - the eye detail is hand-painted.
More great dispensers. Ignore the cool cats in the bottom of the pic. No idea why I included those either.
Notice the marbling on the Squidwards.
The 'incredible hulk' Lucy and the WW are great.

Posted by Matty at 09:20 PM | Comments (4)

June 13, 2005


Isn't it just swell? I mean, gosh-golly, the Clapotis was finished weeks ago and I'm just now getting around to posting pix. Sheesh - I can be so square sometimes.

So here's a pick of my Clapotis in my neighbor's peach tree. Why a peach tree? Well, despite my dislike of peaches (prior to the recent mowing over of ripe fruit that has fallen to the ground - eww), the color was too sweet (yes - that's a pun) to pass up. I don't believe that the neighbors saw us. Phew.

Don't taint my knitting with YOUR dirty mind!

This is the Clapotis wrap from Knitty. It was knit with a mystery yarn purchased from eBay about 1 1/2 years ago of unknown fiber. (Sometimes it takes a while for the yarn to find its matched pattern. Don't question it.) The yarn is a great orangey color with a brassy kind of sheen.

As it sat marinating in my stash, I knew that I needed to make something for my cousin AnnMarie with this yarn. I looked at scarves and shrugs and all the typical patterns, but none of it seemed right. And then the Clapotis was everywhere! Everyone was making it and they were all gorgeous. Although I didn't have the required yardage, I knew I wanted to make it. So it's a bit shorter than other Claps, but I don't think it minds.

So I finally finished the Clapotis. And I took a purty picture. Now if only I could mail it off to my "cuz'n"... Oh sweet procrastination. You're not so keen, my friend. Not so peachy-keen at all.

Posted by Nanc at 01:04 PM | Comments (5)

June 12, 2005

Sock Aquatic

This weekend provided me with gobs of time to work on my socks. (I'm certain that "gob" is the accurate and scientific unit of measurement for time, although I'm unclear how many 'gobs' I had/used/spent.) My mood was anything but pleasant on Saturday, so I took myself out of the populous (for their own good) and only tortured Bonez. That, and it was too hot to even consider looking outside, let alone baring my pale flesh to the sun's scorching rays.

No, not the most exciting or adventurous weekend we've had, but no sunburn or deaths, so life is good. Happy TV time (Buffy, AOTS, and a movie) provided me with hours of knittin' time and I made good use of it.

hello fishies!

Of course, I've got two socks on the needles right now so there's not one single item done, but progress was achieved. I've turned the heel, worked the gusset, and am nearing the toe decreases on my first Citrus sock. Yay! Never mind that it's an anklet and therefore there's nearly nothing but the foot. Unless you're going to start knitting me socks I don't care to hear it.

The pattern I'm using for my Citrus Socks is Straight-Laced from Knit Socks!, but I didn't add the novelty, fur yarn and (as noted previously) I'm making them as anklets. Bonez's socks are also from this book and are the Classy Slip-Up pattern. I'm currently shin-deep in the leg of the sock and enjoying the pattern and the striping.

blurry IN the tank = fish; blurry OUTSIDE the tank = sock

My sock knitting may have improved this weekend, but apparently my ability to take a good photo has left me. I sincerely apologize for these poor pix: I thought I was being clever - posing the socks in front of our two aquariums and fishies, but I was not. And where a sane person may retake the pix and make use of the 'macro' feature on the camera... um, yeah. So I cropped what I could in Photoshop and promise that there will be more-better fotos to come.

Posted by Nanc at 09:38 PM | Comments (2)

June 09, 2005

Socks. No, really!

It may be an omen of things to come or simply an auspicious sign of my knitting future, but after this post I started not one, but TWO socks! What was that? Did some start chanting "the sky is falling, the sky is falling?"

The day after that post where I proclaimed to all of the interweb that I seem incapable of starting and knitting socks, I started my Citrus Sox. What? Haven't you heard this term before, or anything about the Citrus Socks-Along? Well, that might be because some of us with these blog things just haven't been talkin' it up (or working on said socks as planned). A-hem.

The plan was that in order to gear up for super sunshine bright happiness that is summer, we (a happy group of knitters here in the big D) were starting a Citrus Socks knit-along. Simply put: knit a pair of summery socks in fruity colors. If you could see the color in a pitcher of icy Kool-Aid or in a bowl of cool fruit salad, it was an okay color.

The dates for this KAL took a wild ride along the calendar. I believe it settled somewhere around May 1, but I could be wrong. Especially since I didn't start until, um... last week. A few of the girls started their socks on time, but I don't believe that anyone has completed them yet. Tsk, tsk.

Anywho, so my belated but still summery Citrus socks yarn is Regia cotton Surf Colors in melon-y colors (#5413 Nixie). Mmmm, refreshing. I'm using a sock pattern from the Knit Socks! book (I'll post the actual pattern name when I post about the socks - with pix - next). I'm working on 5 size US #2 dpns.

Oh - and those second socks? Well... (cough, cough) I started them last night when I picked up my citrus socks and couldn't remember where I was in the pattern. See my eyes were tired and dry and didn't want to work too much, so instead of squinting and figuring it all out (which I still need to do, thank you v. much) I simply started a pair of socks for Bonez.

Now these are socks that I have started before when I was trying to learn the magic loop method (one gigantar circular needle). But I left them alone too long and had to ripppp! Now I've started it again on 5 size US #1 dpns. Ooh, so tiny! Again, I'm following a pattern from Knit Socks!, and I'm almost positive that the yarn is Regia of some sort (variegated grays).

There will be more knitting with the gals tonight, so hopefully I can get a little help with my citrus sock. Otherwise there may be a stand down. And let me tell you, I have the sock yarn to pass quite a bit of time. Think on that, my melon-y friend.

Posted by Nanc at 01:53 PM | Comments (6)

June 02, 2005

Do I know you?

Or perhaps you know me?

I've joined in on the fun that is Secret Pal 5 and have recently been "introduced" to my pal. It's a bit spooky to think of a complete stranger lurking about your site for the sole purpose of knowing you better. Sniffing in the garbage articles and investigating into the sultry archives. And you worry: Did she understand the underlying humor of that one post? Will she read too much into that one joke? Will I be penalized (he he) for any of Matty's posts?!

To satisfy my secret pal's need for information and, well honestly - because it's a required part of the whole SP5 rules, the Read More portion of this post is brought to you by the letter "I."

Secret Pal 5 Personal Survey
Alternative title: Vague and indirect quips as answers for general questions as a way to try to quickly know me better

  1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
    Not a snob at all, I heartedly enjoy it all. Sure, who doesn't enjoy the nicer things in life, but I appreciate and like Lion Brand and the other "common" brands. But Red Heart? Not so much.
  2. Do you spin? Crochet?
    No and nope. My attempts at crochet scare the children and make the animals cry (or vice versa).
  3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
    No, although some people make me break out in biatch.
  4. How long have you been knitting?
    Two glorious, fiber-filled years. (Really - it's amazing the quantities that can accumulate in a relative short period of time.)
  5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
    Yes. (Pretty straight forward, eh?)
  6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
    Clean scents, typically water-related: rain, ocean, sea... Also like vanilla, but not too sweet and cloying. Not big on the floral scents.
  7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
    Uh... Yeah?! Except for licorice and peach, I'm a huge (pun intended) fan of sweet, sugary goodness. Especially dark chocolate. Mmmmm... (oops, I may have drooled on my keyboard.)
  8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
    At some point or another, I've probably done it (or have plans to). I sew and quilt, although I've let the dust settle on my Singer lately. Next big project plans are to play with silk screen printing - fun!
  9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
    Yes, I am iPod and MP3 active. As for what music I listen to? A broad range of most everything, except heavy metal and hard-core rap. I bit of shame goes into my enjoyment of obscure/bizarre musicals. (A trait I picked up from Bonez, I'm sure.)
  10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
    As much as I love citrusy colors (lemon, lime, and tangerine), they make me look dead or jaundiced and can only be used sparingly. I like bright, saturated colors; dislike muddy, murky colors.
  11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
    I am married to my best friend, and we share three fat cats and two aquariums, freshwater community and cichlids.
  12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
    To raise a happy and healthy family, possibly on a small personal farm-like land, and be able to supplement our groceries with gardening. Oh, and there'll be a hammock! And perhaps I'll figure out how to grow Swiss Cake Rolls on trees!
  13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
    There are always those brands that make great yarn, like Rowan, Debbie Bliss, and Lorna Laces. I also like yarn with character, like homespun. Big into good cotton and cotton-blends here in TX.
  14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
    Scatchy wool. And it's not that I'm anti-novelty yarn, but let's just say that I could entertain a party of 9-yr old girls, a collective of clowns, and a band of raccoons (shiny baubles) and still have novelty yarn for years to come.
  15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
    If you can have an obsession without actually knitting any of the item, then socks would be it. Perhaps I'll actually finish more than one some day.
  16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
    Socks, but again I have yet to get some on the needles. And I really like sweaters and tanks. Sure, it's more work, but the magic (not that kind of magic, Chris) that occurs when the flat, bland pieces are seamed into something wonderful is, well... wonderful.
  17. What are you knitting right now?
    White Lies Design Shapely Tank, Haiku baby sweater, and I've been carrying around two unstarted pairs of socks. (Sad, no?)
  18. What do you think about ponchos?
    I don't. If you force me to think about them, I believe they're good for little girls. I'm an old-fashion cardigan girl, myself.
  19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
    No pref. I like and use them both. I have more straight needles from an eBay windfall early in my knitting life.
  20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
    Yes, yes, and yes. Again, I like and use 'em all. Usually it depends on what I'm knitting and what yarn I'm using. The right tool for the right job, as it's been know.
  21. Are you a sock knitter?
    Huh... tricky question. I've got the yarn. I've got some patterns. I've got the know-how. Nothing to explain why I don't have some socks on the needles or done. Easy answer is "yes", unless you ask me for proof.
  22. How did you learn to knit?
    From a friend and her book. Then I picked up a children's learn-to-knit book, and then some more books. And then learned from friends, and books, and so on and so on. I am still learning.
  23. How old is your oldest UFO?
    About 1 1/2 yrs old. Pretty much since I started knitting with good results. And then there's all those projects and yarns bought specifically for a project that got bumped by other projects, etc. Just because they never physically got ON the needles...
  24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
    If you haven't guessed yet, I'm really sucky at naming favorites. Um.. Smurfs, Chococat, and anything amusing and kewl.
  25. What is your favorite holiday?
    Halloween - the costumes, the candy, the debauchery! Oh, my!
  26. Is there anything that you collect?
    Smurfs. Bonez is really the collector in the family: PEZ, lunchboxes, computers.
  27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
    No knitting subscriptions... yet. I only have subscriptions to ReadyMade and Make (both DIY zines).
  28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?
    Man, that seems kind of drastic. If there was a book that I wanted this badly, I'd probably just go and buy it. I'm instant-gratificationy like that. There are some that I'm interested in, but haven't bought cause, well, I obviously wasn't dying, was I?

Phew - that was a lot of work and a lot of text. If you're not my secret pal and you've made it this far... get a life!! Sheesh!

No really. Thanks for reading and the interest. Hope you learned your lesson. Knit those socks already.

Posted by Nanc at 01:02 PM | Comments (6)