November 29, 2006

shark infested waters

Okay, the title may be a bit of a stumper at first, but it boils down to the fact that despite all the glorious knitting that was going on in last night's episode, 'Gilmore Girls' has jumped the shark. Actually, it did this a while ago (imho), but others disagree.

But I digress. This is not what I came here to talk about. (Obviously I still watch the show in the dear hope that the writers find their sweet spot again. They haven't.) Last night's episode featured knitting. A LOT of knitting! And that's what I'm gonna blather on about...

In this episode, Knit, People, Knit, the town is hosting a knit-a-thon to save the Old Muddy River Bridge. (whatever) Despite the plot lines and sinkholes going on in the show, I was eager to see my beloved hobby shown in popular TV culture. (I was cringing a bit, too, as this typically doesn't go well or becomes a punch line.)

And I whole heartedly admit that one becomes a critic when the subjects they know are held up in the TV's eerie glow. Especially me. That being said, I did like all the knitting and knitters and yarn shown. It was like candy for the eyes, and I frequently paused the show for a better look.

And really, this must've been impressive: teaching a large cast to knit and supplying their wardrobes with tons of "hand knit" items. And it WAS impressive. Everyone in the town square was garbed in knit hats, scarves, mittens and fingerless gloves, sweaters, wraps, and all sorts of items. (Perhaps a little over the top, since none of these items or any signs of knitting has ever shown its lovely face on previous episodes.)

I'm sad to say that I couldn't find a screencap of my favorite knit item, which was a neck wrap/scarf worn by a unknown man (one line). But I did like Kirk's scarf and hat and Miss Patty's wrap. Taylor Doose looked even more like a buffoon in his over-the-top, unflattering blue... crap (for lack of a better term). There were some missing characters, Lane and Mrs. Kim, which seemed odd. But really a fantastic turn out for any town. (There was an awesome banner and props!)

Some things caught my eye, though. Like the fact that everyone was using straight needles. Okay, okay. I realize that straight needles are the most recognizable knitting icon to the general public. But really - no circs, no dpns? Huh. Also, everyone was knitting the American or Thrown method. And although it looked like most of the actors learned from their lessons and were believable knitters, a few (Sookie) failed miserably.

As a knitter myself, I was desperately trying to figure out what yarns were being used. In a battle of logic and reality versus sitcom actuality, TV won out and there were no labels on any of the yarn. But there was a nice scene where Lorelai was using a swift (although to untangle a ball of yarn - which she'll have to hand wind later, hmmm...) and wearing a darling "Knit or Go Home" t-shirt.

As for the storyline, meh... I still watch the show for any last dregs of witty conversation or humor and a hope that they can recover. But those sharks are ruthless and mean, just not quick enough to put everyone out of their misery.

All screencaps copied from the site.

Posted by Nanc at 10:37 AM | Comments (4)

November 13, 2006

Kid 'N Ewe and knitters, too!

Sweet cheese and corn tamales, Mabel! Kid 'n Ewe was a whole lotta fun!

Chris and I left Friday afternoon for Boerne, TX. (Pronounced "Bernie", if'n you can believe that.) Our giddy little hearts could barely stand all the excitement so we got on the road!

First stop? West, TX (which is located more central-east, if you ask me) for kolaches at the Czech Stop. Yum!

Traffic, construction, and what-not was not conducive to our mood, so we slipped off the interstate at Temple and took a couple state routes instead. The views were beautiful, the small towns were entertaining (Ding Dong - ha ha ha), and the travel was relatively quick. I [heart] back roads.

Our lodging was awesome; one room of a two-room building, with a large front porch and handsomely decorated. That porch came in handy later that night when Chris and I sat out until the wee hours knitting, chatting, and drinking hard cider. We should've just kept that up instead of attempting sleep (uh... not so much).

Sustenance and refreshments were obtained at The Dodging Duck. Their menu offered a wide assortment of tasty vittles, and we ended up getting quite a few of them. And some beers.

I would love to return to Boerne for another, non-fiber related weekend. The Main Street is rampant with interesting stores and buildings, and they were having their Market Days, a flea market/bazaar like event. Too bad we didn't have the time, but there were alpacas and fiber waiting for us.

There were four buildings set up for the event, but it was tricky figuring out which was which. Spinning, workshops, and angora bunnies were in the first building; yarn and many of the vendors were in the second; the alpaca ranchers were stationed in building 3 (along with some cute fellas outside); and lastly, the cashmere goats were being kept and judged in the fourth building. (And man, were those goats MEAN! I think one may still be stalking me.)

As for vendors, Brooks Farm takes the cake (and my credit card, too). I wasn't exclusive, though, and will show my purchases and list those vendors in another post (once I have pictures).

The knitters/knitbloggers potluck lunch was great! And tempting to many a passer-by. (Mostly for the food, but how could anyone pass by that many fun & lively knitters and not want to join in?) Julia and Christine did an awesome job corralling the knitters and setting up the food. They even had fun prizes to give away, of which I won one of Caro's awesome blogcard holders!

Overly stimulated and tired, Chris and I headed home. We took the back roads again, enjoying the scenery and lack of congestion. A stop for Red Bulls and later for more kolache goodness, and then we were home. If you are ever lucky enough to ride with Chris, there are somethings you should know: her music and iPod shuffle selections are greatness ("It's a rave!") and you should spot those classic VW bugs before she does (ouch!).

Posted by Nanc at 12:38 PM | Comments (10)

November 09, 2006

A high-speed pursuit... of fiber!

The wise and oft silly Stalker Angie came up with a knitters version of East Bound and Down from Smokey & The Bandit.

Couldn't you just imagine that convoy? Kid 'N Ewe 'n knitters, too - here we come!

Yarn's bound and wound, we're loadin' up and truckin',
We gonna drive past San Antonio.
We've got a long way to go, and a short time to get there.
We're West bound just watch ol' Stalker run.

Keep your foot hard on the pedal. Jo, never mind them brakes.
Let the yarn hang out cuz we got a run to make.
The girls are twitchy up in Dallas and there's wool to get in Boerne,
And we'll bring it back no matter what it takes.

Yarn's bound and wound, we're loadin' up and truckin',
We gonna drive past San Antonio.
We've got a long way to go, and a short time to get there.
We're West bound just watch ol' Skitter run.

Yarn's bound and wound, we're loadin' up and truckin',
We gonna drive past San Antonio.
We've got a long way to go, and a short time to get there.
We're West bound just watch ol' NanC run.

Ol' Smokey's got them ears on, he's hot on your trail.
He's gonna take your wool and lock you in jail.
So you got to dodge 'im and you got to duck 'im,
You got to keep that spinning wheel truckin'.
Just put that hammer down and give it hell.

Yarn's bound and wound, we're loadin' up and truckin',
We gonna drive past San Antonio.
We've got a long way to go, and a short time to get there.
We're West bound just watch these knitters run.

Posted by Nanc at 09:15 AM | Comments (1)

November 06, 2006

Moved, and still moving (barely)

The frantic days full of packing are over. On Saturday, the movers transported all of our belongings approximately 10 miles east to our new home.

Even moving the cats went (relatively) smoothly.

Of course, we won't be unpacked for a while. Looking for items (such as work shoes) becomes a crazy morning scavenger hunt. I'll be honest. It's all a bit overwhelming. Every room looks similar to what you see in the pix.

And on a side note, I went to Froggie's a few weeks ago and picked up some new PEZ, including a PEZ first. The first living people to be honored by PEZ dispensers are --- um... well... the three guys from the Orange County Chopper show. Oh, well. Also, there is a new Hello Kitty tin that I snagged at a local Walgreen's and a set of Nascar helmets/trucks that had escaped me when they came out earlier this year.

Posted by Matty at 10:34 AM | Comments (5)

November 02, 2006

Goodbye SOCKtoBEER; Hello NOROvember!

This past month has sped by at an alarming rate, and I'm not quite sure if I remember all of it. There were ups and downs, changes in logic, and gob-smacked moments. I'm happy for where we have ended up, but- my-lands -that was a bumpy ride!

So we finish up SOCKtoBEER with not a single completed pair of socks, and look forward to better knitting juju in NOROvember.

Part of the pressure of this last month was SOCKtober and a SSSS swap. (No definitive name was set and I've seen variations all over the board.)

Oh, sure. We really had two months (plenty of time) to work on one sock, but somewhere along the way it jumped the track. Knitting a single sock for one of my favorite knitgrrls from stash yarn was plain tricky. First, I had to narrow the yarn options down from the many possibilities, then decide on a pattern. This is where it gets tricky. The over-achiever in me forced me to obey her and modify a good pattern. No, there was nothing wrong with the pattern as it was written. (Stoopid me.)

Then to up the ante, me decides to knit complimentary kiddle socks for the Squid. (Figured out my secret pal now, right?) I work up the first Squid sock to test out the pattern and secure that I would have enough of the main color for the mini pair. Eh - the bind off needs to be redone, but it was successful enough that I got started with the adult sock.

My second assurance for yarn quantity was to knit it toe-up. Which is fine. Heck, I even "unvent" a new toe-up method that adds a cute lil' purl ridge on the top of the foot. I knit up the foot, short-row the heel, and start up the leg. I'm doing great time wise (it's still September), when I decide to admire my progress.


This ain't gonna fit. Aye, carumba. Rip... riiippp... RRRRrrrrip! [sigh]

I get started right away, changing the stitch count and working from the cuff-down.

And I work, and work, and work. But my progress is slow. In my non-knit world, Bonez and I are finalizing last little bits on buying a house. And if that isn't distracting enough, most of my knitting time is while I'm social with my knitgrrls or hanging out with Stalker Angie. Neither of which are conducive to knitting secretive socks for possible recipients.

I press on and was able to finish to finish this one sock in the F'in' nick of time. (Honestly, we were late to the party because I was weaving in ends all panic-like.) Don't even ask about the second Squid sock (or fixing that bind-off edge).

But I think my pal likes her sock (all both of the single socks). And I really, really like mine knit by the awesome BotGurl. (Plus, I was gifted with felted slippers that say "Knitting" and "Lover", perfect for the new home and no-shoes-in-the-house policy.)

Also during SOCKtober, I was publicly working on my Dye-O-Rama yarn socks. Unfortunately, this, too, fell wayside while life got all jiggy with my shite. Ah, but at least the beers were good!

But hope (stoopid hope) springs again with the flip of the calendar as we start into NOROvember. Although I've only ever knit with Silk Garden, I love Noro and all it's crazy color shifts and dances. I was recently gifted with four skeins of Silk Garden, and will attempt to knit the Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket.

The best part? This one project will count for so much (if I can only get it done): the pattern gets me credit in Zimmermania!, the yarn for NOROvember, and once completed I will donate it as part of The Dulaan Project. (Shazam - a hat trick!)

Posted by Nanc at 02:01 PM | Comments (4)