September 27, 2005


jams_2.jpg Part of this healthy breakfast!

Can you say "YUM?" Just imagine... (but don't close your eyes, 'cause then you couldn't read this next bit)... warm toasted English muffins, a light schmear of butter (yes, REAL butter!), it's nooks and crannies filled with 'Purple Raspberry and Peach' or 'Cantaloupe and Apricot' jams. The burst of flavor! The contrast of crunchy muffin and liquid sweet! As your teeth sink into the warm jam... er, ...

Sorry. I think that if I kept going we'd get the wrong kind of crowds here, and nobody wants that. Sticky jam indeed!

These two tasty jams were homemade by Miriam, my Secret Pal (5) and gifted to lil' ol' me some time ago. Yeah, I need to post about it, but I'm too busy sinking teeth into jam! They are OMG-tasty. And really quite beautiful - the colors.

Damn. And now I'm hungry. You don't suppose... naw, I'd end up trying to lick tasty jam goodness off the keyboard, and that's never the impression you wanna make at work!

Posted by Nanc at 10:09 AM | Comments (6)

September 26, 2005

Rip! I was reading Schopenhauer last night.

Rip! And I think that Schopenhauer was right.

Man, I lurve me some Pal Joey. This is one of those good films/musicals which my father and I share a joy of. As I sat ripping unfinished objects (UFOs) last night, I kept singing this Rita Hayworth song in my head.

Weep... Netflix doesn't have "Pal Joey" to rent! And I'm sure that I've thrown out my Rita Hayworth music tape ('member those?!). Well, damn.

Rip_yarn.jpg Returned to tasty lil' yarn cakes again.

Updates to WIPs and UFOs mentioned in previous articles (here and here). Yep, folks. You heard right. Rip. RIP! Rrrrrrrippp! Let me quickly run down the list for ya'...

  • Liam's Cable Sweater: Rip! Less than half of the right front was done. He's nearly two years older. Ain't no way.
  • Monkey Scarf: The pattern really wasn't doing it for me. Perhaps instead of wasting my time on the scarf, I'll just go ahead and try to conquer the cardigan first. Heh?
  • Shapely Tank: Gone. The front? Knit two summers ago and in a tighter gauge than the back, which was knit this spring. Ain't gonna work, no matter what blocking. Better to rip it all out!
  • Oh... and the purple-y and lime-y yarn cakes in the pic? That would be a to-be-felted bag I started a while ago (perhaps even 2003). The plans for this yarn is still the same, I just need to find the *right* pattern.

In some happier news... I finished Matty's Manly Sox. I just need to block them and he's good to go. (He's been waiting v. patiently for these. Such a good boy.) I need to make some sock blockers, and I'll have a story to go along with this, too. Patience, young jedi.

I've also started another sock project - Gryffindor Sox! I'm working a toe-up pattern on one circular needle. The toe and heel are contrasting gold and there will be some stripes on the leg as well. I'll be attempting some intarsia in the heel, too. (Crazy, I know.) I will try to get pix up as soon as possible (or when there's something to show).

Posted by Nanc at 02:05 PM | Comments (5)

September 14, 2005

Bits and pieces

Although a picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words, I'm not gonna press my luck. I've got three pix for y'all!

cuteshoes.jpg don't comment on that color brown in the green grass, I know what else is like that

First, this is for Bot-Gurl. You want it, bay-be? You got it! The shoes that almost crippled me yesterday. (Thanks be to Imelda, my feet still work.)

And why? (WHY?!) I am not a slave to fashions. I follow no trends (nor make any, I'm certain). So what prompted me to stick my larger-than-these-shoes feet into those small-than-my-feet shoes? Cute. There is a cute factor that not even mean ol' me can withstand.

cuteshoes2.jpg see the cute?

And you wanna know what makes this comic gold? The fact that I did not throw out the shoes when I got home. I did not kick them off my "barking dogs" and out of my life forever. No. I put them back into the closet knowing that in 3-4 months I will go through this all again. Because of cute. [sigh]

pileOdangle.jpg Mr. Dangly DNA

In other, not so obsesive news, do you know what that pile of bits is? (That pile there... on the left.) The pile of orange and cream bits? If you guessed a Mr. Dangly clone, that grab yourself a gold star and stick it on your forehead- you're right! (If you guessed socks, a sweater, or any of my current WIPs, UFOs, or planned projects - silly rabbit. The corner and dunce cap for you! Or is it the "naughty spot" now?)

Yep, I stared on a Mr. Dangly of my own. I'm thinking about knittin' up a Bubby as well. But I may have to get me some minions. (Just don't tell Vannakin.)

Posted by Nanc at 01:32 PM | Comments (10)

September 07, 2005

Ack! *update*

Rrripppp! Until we meet again.

You commenters were right. Ripping the purse was the right thing to do. So here, my friends, is the remains of the bag. I knit-picked (ha!) at it most of today to figure out all those end and wound the balls. NOW I'll let it sit and ponder it's existence before I rework the pattern.

Also in news today: 'Beef & Lentils" - not tasty. Ucky, in fact. This will become fodder for the humor of our future. They will use the term "Beef & Lentils" in a way that our children's children (and yours, too) will know that it wasn't good.

In an effort to save money and time (mostly time) and to use my kitchen gadgets on a regular basis, I've decided to try a new crock-pot/slow cooker recipe once a week. The tasty bits will make it into our online recipe collection. The losers will be publicly mocked. (I was really hoping to slide past any losers. Oh, well.) This doesn't seem to be a good start.

Beef & Lentils. What was I thinking?!

Posted by Nanc at 08:24 PM | Comments (5)

September 06, 2005


For the love of all that good and holey*, WHY?!

Let me state for the record that I am not a pattern-reader. Oh sure, I know how to read a pattern and follow directions just fine. But I do not possess the talent to simply read some knitting gibberish and innately understand how each stitch works with the others to create the final product. I cannot fathom that finished object without a clever picture or sketch.

And while we're at it, I really like my instructions to ... well, instruct. Give me directions. Tell me when to do what and how. If a certain method of casting on, binding off, or seaming gave you the style shown (IF SHOWN!), then for monkeys' sake tell us!

All that? Just to prepare you for a sad realization that knocked me for a loop this afternoon.

*In the knitting world, it seems that "holey" would have more influence than "holy" (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Picture this: I am feeling happy and good and I'm at a LYS. (No naming names now.) (Damn, I'm not even entertained by that alliteration.) I'm purchasing my last gift for the pal I'm spoiling in SP5, and wow - is it a doozy. In a good way. IMHO, it's a total spoil gift. So I'm feeling good enough that I decide to spoil myself!

See - I've been eyeballing this purse that is knitted up as a sample in this LYS. It looks simple enough: not felted or odd angles or anything. A basic square-bottom, one strap bag in yummy cotton. Araucania Patagonia Nature Cotton in #206 - a lovely, cushy multi-colored, thick n' thin cotton in purples. Just dreamy. And bonus: the pattern is free!

And I'm chatting up my friendly LYS pal. Oh, yes - she's made this bag. In fact, she knit the store sample plus two for her own closet. And her mom is working on one for herself right now! Well, super. I'm assured that three skeins (105 yds each) is enough to knit this bag up, which is perfect 'cause that's the last of their purple batch! Yay. She gets me the pattern as I pay the cashier and out I go.

And although the sun was bright and I guarantee you that it was hot that day, there must have been a foreboding chill in the air as I stepped out those doors.

At home, I glance over this one page, front and back pattern and think to myself, "I'll have me a new bag by this weekend, no doubt!" (Actually, I probably debated the guilt of knitting this instead of Bonez's ManSocks.) That first hank o' yarn gave me a fit winding it up, but no problem. I have patience for good yarns. And I start a-knittin'.

Hmmm... this seems a bit loose/open to my untrained eye. So I check the pattern. Well, the pattern is written for a different yarn and it mentions (only in passing) that this other yarn is carried with two strands together. So I go online and lookup the gauge/size of the original yarn. Oh. It's about the same as the Patagonia cotton. No prob! I wasn't that far in that ripping back and starting over is not an issue.

Another funny thing with this pattern is that it states to use circs and to knit all stitches to create stockinette stitch. Okay, I follow that it just fine. But then it has you knit each side (front, back, and two sides) separate, which means flat. So... ?

I just shake my head a bit and continue on, knitting each piece flat but following the instructions otherwise to the "T." Until... well, once each side is knit (and the stitches on holders), you join them all in the round and knit four rows. Which worked out fine (I thought) until it gets to the part about shaping for the straps. Unless I knit inside-out (or outside-in) and I went the in the wrong direction when I joined them together, the straps are misplaced. They're not centered in the front and back of the bag, but offset into the sides.

Now here's the thing about my trust in patterns. I continue to follow this just fine. I'm okay with offset straps. Don't bother me none. I don't need items to be even or in twos or the same distance from each other. So I keep on a-knittin'.

By now, I've taken this out with me to a knit nite so that all my gal pals could ogle and fondle and laugh with me at the silly, poorly written pattern. At this point the errors on knitting the straps were just fodder for the follies. Oh, what fun. What a good time. Ha ha ha.

But this is where the fun ends. Back when I realized that I would need to carry two strands together while knitting, I double-checked the required yardage: short (420 yds). I would need one more skein. And it just so happened that I stopped by another LYS the day before (didn't buy anything, I swear) and saw that they had just gotten some of this yarn in. And in the purples, ta' boot! Yay. A few hours were spent this Labor(less) Day in the company of fine women and luscious yarns (not necessarily in that order). These girls helped me affirm that I would need two skeins more, not just one, to finish the bag straps. And that's okay with me.

So yesterday I worked hard to finish the straps and seam up all the sides (er, this was not even mentioned in the pattern!) And seaming I did! Two strands carried at once? On four separate pieces? Oh-my, the sewing in of ends. [sigh] While seaming and sewing and whatnot, I watched some TV. And I day dreamed of the next step: finding a fetching fabric to line the insides. Something that would match both the purples and browns in this yarn.

Well, I don't necessary use a bright light (or pay much attention apparently) while knitting and watching TV. (Don't want a glare on the screen.) So this didn't come to my attention until this afternoon. What's "this" you ask? THIS.

The two skeins picked up at the second LYS were more lilac-y, bluesy purple as compared to the pinky purpley of the first three skeins. And it is totally noticeable! And if that weren't enough, now that I got the sides and bottom of the bag seamed up, the wonky, off-kilter straps annoy the heck outta me! They're skewed in a way that makes the purse a burden to use or secure. ARGHHH

Vannakin wanted nothing to do with this.

I'll let the picture speak for itself. I've used Harry Potter books #3 & 4 to show the bag's shaping. I didn't get ALL of the ends sewn in, there's still a mess at the bottom. So let me ask you: should I rip this out? If yes (which is what I'm thinking, but cringing 'cause of all those sewed in ends), then do I rip to just the straps and realign them with the front and back, or rip it all? Mix the different shades together (a-hem, "blending" the colors) and redo the whole thing. And if I do the later, I'm totally rewriting the pattern TO MAKE FRIGGIN' SENSE! In the mean while, I'll be working on my penance, er... Matty's socks.

Posted by Nanc at 05:05 PM | Comments (5)


Although this post is really giving you nothing (and asking nothing in return, thank you v. much!), it is saying a lot. I've got plenty to say, but nothing right now. We've been having fun (yay!), been sick (yuck.), been busy, and been all around town. Yet, still I say nothing.

Corn-fused? Yeah, me too. The 'read more' section just goes on to talk about more nothing, and when my nothing will change to something for all you dear readers out there.


I've been getting some knitting (and ripping) done, so I'll show you that soon. OH! And my not-so-secret-anymore Secret Pal's final giftie and reveal has been happily gobbled up - and I'm working on that post.

Plus who's your favorite Lab Monkey? ME! Nan spends a day-in-the-life of Skittermagoo.

All this and more once I get some writing done. Pppthhtt

Posted by Nanc at 03:00 PM | Comments (2)

September 02, 2005

PEZ and liquor

Two great tastes that taste great together... or not.

For all you know, this could just be a clever way to show you the new PEZ that I've gotten lately.

August means many things to many people. To me, it means, hotter than heck temperatures and four different 20-mph schools zones on my way to work. Of course, August also is when I've been told that I was born, though my own memory of such events are a bit fuzzy. That being said, there is a strong correlation between birthdays and calvacades of new PEZ! Woot!

Don't ask why they're in the liquor cabinet, because I'm not really sure. Perhaps they like the drink.

New PEZ include: the new coach whistles, the FX um... globe in hands (?), Bratz, Walgreens trucks, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Heffalump.

Posted by Matty at 08:37 PM | Comments (2)