November 30, 2005

Quoth the raven, "Baltimore"

Once upon Thanksgiving woe,
We wanted to go to the house of Poe.
Tho it was in a bit of a ghetto,
Luckily, we were in um.. well... Baltimo'
For more info, just click "read more".

We had some time to kill while in Baltimore for Thanksgiving this year, and one of our daytrips was to the (Edgar Allan) Poe House and Museum. Conveniently, his grave was mere blocks away, so we took a look at that too.

A 'Poe'-trait

Poe, as you know, was an author and poet in the 1800's. While his works are now appreciated, he led a life of poverty. Being broke (Poe was po'), he moved around a lot and one of these moves was to the small row house of his aunt in Baltimore.

Rapping on the door

The house is now owned by the City of Baltimore, and operates as a museum with very limited hours. It doesn't actually take that long to get through, since the house is really, really small. In fact, it may have actually taken us more time to find it, since it's a very nondescript house in the middle of the ghetto. Due to the neigborhood, the museum is locked, and you have to knock for entrance. Weird.

While interesting, the museum is a bit of an oddity. In many cases the exhibits raised more questions than they resolved. On a positive note, this is probably the first time I've ever left a museum thinking, "boy, I would really like to learn more about this." It is also odd, since this seemed to be a minor residence for Poe. He may have lived in the house for a few years, and an exhaustive search was made of city registers, deeds and maps to actually prove that he did in fact live there. None of the original items from the house exist.

Poe's laptop. Ink different.

As you should expect, the museum contains some unusual and macabre artifacts from Poe's life. Unfortunately for us, the pieces of his coffin and his hair were not on display, since they were being retrofitted into a new display case during our visit. But there were some other interesting items, such as the death portrait of his wife (and cousin) Virginia. Yep..., it was painted after she was dead. of consumption. If you look at the picture for more than oh, a second, you can tell that the subject was quite deceased. I wonder if Sears Portrait Studio will do death portraits?

He's done kissin' this cousin.

Poe lived for about two more years, then died while passing through Baltimore. He's buried about 8 blocks away, in a small graveyard in the middle of the busy downtown area. The graveyard is separated from the traffic with a wrought iron and brick wall. It's hard to describe, but when you are in there, you almost forget that you are in the middle of a bustling city.

Last stop

Posted by Matty at 09:02 PM | Comments (3)

November 27, 2005

Manos Manly Mitts

You know that saying, "cold hands, warm heart?" So what is the opposite of that? Warm hands, cold heart? No heart? Freakishly-hot, furnance heart? Without insinuating that Matty Bonez is heartless or even the slightest bit mean, he does have warm hands. Or at least he does now.

There's been a bit of knitting this past week. And in case you didn't know, there's some difference in tempuratures between Dallas and Baltimore. Yes, indeed. Learn something new every day, eh?

As I stated, TX and MD are in different climes. These two places are not radically different, but different enough that Bonez needed some hand covering. Mittens are good for warmth and long walks by the snow drifts, but are useless when you need to be useful. Gloves are great for this, but may be a bit much when we return home (to 70°s). A happy middle ground? Fingerless mitts. (fingerless gloves, hobo mitts, armwarmers, wristwarmers, or manly mitts - whatever you want to call them.)

hand cozies

I knit these cozy mitts for my man in a few days. (Probably a few hours, but was happily interrupted by family, food, and festivities.) I based it on these fingerless mitts, which has a great worksheet to make perfect fitting mitts for anyone using any yarn. I worked up K2, P1 ribbing, and lessened the calculated numbers (a result of dubious swatching).

two for the price of one

These mitts are knit up in Manos de Uruguay in Moss (112 - browns). I was happily surprised to find a LYS treasure in Cloverhill Yarn Shop, which is just a hop, skip, and a jump from our base of operations. (The 'hop, skip, and jump' is literally less than 1 mile, and our 'home base' this week is my brother & family's beautiful home.)

manos y Manos manos

And for the curious, we took these fotos in a surprise bout of November sunshine for Baltimore at the Westminster Burying Grounds and Catacombs. What, you ask, is at the WBG&C? Why Edgar Allen Poe's (and others) gravesite. More about that to come.

Also, those non-Manos hands are my mitts sporting my new wrist warmers gifted to me by my knitting buddy, Kathy. And they are loverly!

Posted by Nanc at 01:17 PM | Comments (4)

November 24, 2005

Catonsville PEZ

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are in Catonsville (Baltimore) spending Thanksgiving with Nanc's family. While here, I took a minute to investigate a nearby Wal*Mart. Needless to say, PEZ ensued...

So, the Wal*Mart was a little different than most that I've visited for a few reasons:

  • It wasn't a megalo-super-gigantar mart. By Wal*Mart standards, the store was almost petite, and reminded me of an old Kmart.
  • The store held a cornucopia of PEZ, with a box of dispensers in almost every checkout aisle.
PEZ house

So, here's the score... I was able to pick up most of the Nascar dispensers. I also picked up a Roo from the Winnie the Pooh series.

The Nascar PEZ look great. I'm not a fan or anything, but um.. they look cool. There are eight of them all together, and I was able to pick up seven of them.

I had also been looking for a Roo for a while. I received Heffalump for my birthday, and it is good that I was finally able to complete my Pooh dynasty -- which sounds kind of bad.

BTW, the doll house is courtesy of my niece, Julia.

Posted by Matty at 12:03 PM | Comments (3)

November 17, 2005

Can you say SOX?

Well, it seems to be all socks all the time around here. I have a lot of sock-irons in the knitting-fire, or so it seems. And ya' know... I'm good with that. (Despite having non-sock projects crying for attention!)

I am to the toe of the SSS sock and then it will be winging it's way to IL to my pard'ner. (Yeah. That's how we say/write it here in TX. Crazy, eh?) And it's a good thing that I'm nearly done, because... my SSS sock is here!

Actually, I feel a bit shameful. My sock (plus goodies) arrived a week ago. (Is there medication for this procrastination disease? Besides a good, swift kick you know where.)

But I ordered lo-mein?!

Here my knitted-for-me first sock reclines on one of our many web appliances (don't ask). As you can see, Toni included yarn for the second sock plus goodies: two candles from her store. They are mullberry, which is nice and mellow, and Green Apple, which I love. It is such a bright, clean and yummy smell! And it comes in a sweet'tastic jar! wo0t!

Toni packaged my sock in the Chinese take-out container - how fun - and added a fortune cookie, ta' boot. Not pictured, she included a copy of the pattern (that helps) and the extra yarn from the first sock, which is in that take-out container. Also, it's difficult to tell from the photo, but it's a lace pattern on the leg of the sock. Awesome. Thanks, Toni!

Another fun sock update? Check this happy lil' man out!


Yep - that's my nephew, Benny, wearing the frog hunting socks I made for him. Mmmmm, that's one classy look you got going for you, Ben-a-men. The ladies (aka yer mom) must go for that diaper + socks look. [he he] Sources tell me that despite his not feeling too well, the lil' dude enjoys a bit of pre-bed nakked(ish) silly time. From the look on his face, I guess so!

You can see a couple more Nanc-made sock-wearing, happy Ben pix here.

Posted by Nanc at 01:34 PM | Comments (2)

November 10, 2005

Have I banished all knits?

It may appear that from the lack of posting and perhaps because of my latest project that I haven't been knitting. Or worse, fell off the earth! (Eep.) But those assumptions would be wrong.

Not only am I firmly ensconced on this here planet, but I have indeed been knitting. But low, not on the project I *should* be knitting. Oh, woe.

STR_SSS.JPG can you feel it?

I joined up with a group of other sock knitters and am working on my Second Sock Syndrome (SSS) partner's sock. The way this works is I knit a sock for Toni, my partner, and she knits one sock for me. We then exchange these socks and the corresponding yarn, pattern, etc. Then, within knitting one sock, I'll have a pair! This eradicates the second sock syndrome! Yay!

Lately I've heard a lot of praise (and a lot of hoarding of) the Socks That Rock (STR) yarn from The Fold. Tempted, I ordered some up (for my pal and myself), and away we go!

Because I want to leave something as a surprise, I've cleared the color from my SSS sock pic. Sorry, Toni - you'll just have to wait! Tee hee. But I will say that I lovelovelove the colors. Yum! And the pattern? Perfect.

In a hank,
by the skein,
and as a cake, it's all good!

As for *my* STR yarn (purrrrr), I can show you in full frontal color. This yarn is amazing to me because it looks so different in a hank vs. skein vs. wound into a cake vs. knitted up. All of it amazingly beautiful. (Not a drop of "meh" in the bunch.) Take a look and tell me what you think. Loverly, no?


And then there's this loverly pink cake. I wish I would've grabbed a pic of it in the hank; it was like a pink cloud. I'm making myself a scarf to go with my new fall jacket (if fall ever gets here). I'm following the Fuzzy Scarf pattern in the Stitch n' Bitch Nation book, which is a mock cable. This yarn reminds me of cotton candy, what with the colors and the halo, so that is what I'm calling it. And between Good Girl Purl and I, we're sure to give y'all a sugar high!

Sshhh.. be vewy, vewy quiet

Oh, and as a bonus (and 'cause I know that's what you're really here for): a cutesy pic of Walter. Which is becoming harder and harder to get. Oh, he's still really cute and he'll cuddle. But mostly he is a Waltersaurus Rex out to destroy the world (aka our house).

As an aside: The picture in the background of most of these pix is of myself and a few family members on the beach of Newfound Lake, NH. This was taken a few years ago, but we vacation up there together most summers. We skipped this year and I miss it terribly. But even looking at the pic brings me a bit of it's calm.

Posted by Nanc at 02:37 PM | Comments (5)

November 08, 2005

Kahlua Mud

Can you believe that I can still mine fantastic articles from the old site? Maybe one day, I will write something fer real. That would be fantastic, huh?

btw, happy voting day!

This one is gonna be pretty quick, because this Stupida goes way above and beyond anything that I could ever think of.

The item this time around is Kahlua Mud. Unless you grew up in a cave, you probably recognize the container shape as that of Playdoh.

Kahlua Mud

So let's add this up, shall we? Kahlua is a type of.... Anyone? Yes, you in the back...right, alcohol. And Playdoh is generally played with by?...Kids.   Right again!

This really doesn't make any sense to me. The only solution that I could come up with is that marketing execs were trying to reach that elusive 4-10 year old market segment.

I bought a bag of this (12 canisters) at a thrift store up in Denton.   There are three exciting colors: Dead-Liver Black, Puking-up-Blood Red, and Jaundiced Yellow.

This article is from v1.0, which you could probably still peruse if you wanted to see questionable web design, bad graphics, and criminal use of Javascript. Yep...

Posted by Matty at 04:48 PM | Comments (1)