Monday, October 30, 2006

What I did on my October vacation... blogging obviously. Oddly enough very little knitting either, but I still owe you some shots of what I scored in Rhinebeck. First up the haul from Brooks Farm:

What you have here are 3 skeins of my beloved Four Play. I'm going to use it for hats for teachers at the kids' schools. I normally go a bit cheaper for teacher gifts but I really wanted an excuse to buy Four Play and I wanted a few colors. It's the first year for both kids in their schools so I'll go the whole way this time.

The fourth ball (top right) is Acero. It's a lightweight yarn that I may use for Swallowtail but I'm not decided yet. I just know it is something for me!

Here we have the sock yarn haul:

The orange colorway I was ordered to get by Godmother extraordinaire Maribel for Avery. She loves him in orange and it's also his favorite color so I of course had to oblige. This meant I needed some for Ian since he wants to wear the red socks I made him every damn day so the next two are some Regia in a nice bold mix for my bold baby. Last but not least is some Lorna's Laces sock yarn for, you guessed it me, see a trend here?

What did I do last week? Well we celebrated Ian's fifth birthday:

Ian enjoyed his gifts and the cupcakes we brought for his class. We also had a little party on Saturday which means I actually cleaned the house from top to bottom. Otherwise I was still kind of under the weather last week. I can't shake the cough that I picked up and I kept trying to rest so it would go away. I was never really in the mood to knit, although I did mostly finish Gyrid. I need to block it, pick up stitches for the neck and seam it so we'll see how quickly I get around to that. I also did not have the brain power to try the two socks at one time thing. Even the cast on caused me too much drama so I am currently just doing a plain vanilla pair for my mother in law. I will try it again when my head is less fuzzy.

While I was laying around coughing up a lung or two, the husband was playing Bob Vila...

...he insulated most of the windows and the door to the roof...

... carved some cool pumpkins...

...but his proudest moment was the plexiglass insets he made for the backdoor:

Home improvement is so hot;)

Happy Monday...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Knit Bloggers in the Wild

This weekend was of course the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival at Rhinebeck. While the festival itself left a bit to be desired it did offer a wonderful opporunity to see knit bloggers in their natural habitat.

First up was Risa (who I was supposed to be providing support to on Saturday with her twins but is just so damn good at the mom thing that I was only holding her back):
You could always spot her in the middle of it all with her twins hanging with friends.

Next up, the amazing Margene, even at 10PM on Saturday she was able to make spinning with a drop spindle look so easy:

Of course Ann was there sharing her thoughts and opinions with all who would listen (and those who wouldn't;)):

Cara was there already working and planning the next bigger and better Spin Out:

Here is Vicki laughing which is what I saw her doing most often and behind her my blogger BFF Kathleen listening intently while someone is showing their latest project:

It should be noted that Maribel deleted the only picture I had of her:P

Nothing at the festival itself excited me all that much. The Socks That Rock was all gone even though we arrived at 11:30 on Saturday morning. Even Spirit Trail was a bit threadbare at that point. I hit Brooks Farm pretty hard but otherwise it was less than thrilling. The company was great though. Kathleen and her mom were kind enough to pick us up and take us home, I think the car rides were the most fun;)

I did add a family member on Friday and he's too beautiful to keep to myself. Ladies and gentlemen meet Hiro:

Isn't he lovely? I'll tell you about how he came to live with us and I'll show off my yarn next time. Right now it's time for my nap...I love Mondays when I'm on vacation...

Friday, October 20, 2006

There is no joy in mudville...

So it's Friday, in 24 hours I will be on my way to Rhinebeck, let's see where my projects stand:

Ian's mittens are done:
It turns out I simply missed 6 rows of straight stockinette in the middle in between the decreasing and the increasing so all went just fine once I ripped back to the cuff and started over. They are still slightly different in size but it's barely noticible. Of course Ian is mortally offended at the warm weather since that means he hasn't been able to wear them yet.

The Magic Stripe socks are done:

...although I may have changed my mind about who I'm giving them to. I started them for a friend in California but they kept telling me they should go to someone else who I can't name since she reads the blog. I'll decide shortly. You may notice these are also not exactly the same size (although they are not as bad as the picture makes them look), the striping worked really well until the end where there was white at the end of the first sock there was only blue on the second, I sped up my decreases a bit on the toe and managed to finish the sock with an inch or two of yarn to spare.

As for Gyrid, here is where we stand as of 7 this morning:'s not looking good. I may finish the knitting tonight but I don't see how I can get it seamed. I came down with a horrible cold late Wednesday causing me to go to bed at around 9 that night. That means I lost an entire night of knitting. Oh well, maybe next year...

...the mighty Nancy has struck out.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

...can someone please tell me if I've offended Bloglines in some way? It's not updating me at all today, and I thought we were friends...

A meme is a wish your heart makes...

...because I really wanted to post today (mostly to show Chante that I can post on a day other than Thursday;) here is another annoying meme that Cara stole from Bonne Marie (I'm kidding it's actually kind of fun):

48 Things You Could Care Less About

1. FIRST NAME? Nancy

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Technically no but my mother and father did get the idea from a former mistress of my of my uncle's, Nancy Joyce (Joyce is my middle name).

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? I'm not really sure oddly enough. I came close a few times this weekend but it never really came to fruition. I think it was when Avery and I watched the movie Paperclips (which totally rocked by the way). I cry for movies, TV, books you name it, but I cry much less for real life, go figure.

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? When I'm taking my time yes, otherwise its a freakin' mess.


6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Oh yeah I think I'm pretty cool - oops should I be more modest?;)



9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No way in hell.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Captain Crunch but I try not to eat it very often.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No, I try to avoid buying shoes with ties at all.



14. SHOE SIZE? 8

5. RED OR PINK? Red, I could never stand pink.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I have a nasty habit of babbling, it's really annoying and I don't know why people put up with it.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My friend Leslie who moved home to San Diego a few years back. She was the sidekick to my superhero and days are simply not as much fun without her.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Nah, if you want to sure, or use it for blog fodder on a day when you have nothing to say...

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? dark blue jeans, blue blouse and black shoes

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Weight Watchers blueberry muffin with coffee



23. FAVORITE SMELL? pumpkin pie


25. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? eyes, it's always about the eyes for me...

26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? yup.

27. FAVORITE DRINK? Root beer.

28. FAVORITE SPORT? hockey

29. EYE COLOR? Hazel

30. HAT SIZE? medium, mostly because of my penchant for ponytails, I have a fairly small head (physiologically at least)

31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Glasses. I absolutely love contacts and I always want to get them again (I wore them in my late teens, early twenties) but I am really lazy and they require so much upkeep.

32. FAVORITE FOOD? White Castle cheeseburgers.


35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Winter but Fall is really my favorite.

36. HUGS OR KISSES? kisses

37. FAVORITE DESSERT? brownie sundaes

38. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? I have no idea...

39. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Bron, she never feels a need to follow (a trait I greatly admire her for).

40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Ordinary Heroes by Scott Turow, I really love Scott Turow, he's the only one of the legal authors who all exploded around the same time that I still read everytime a new book comes out.

41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? I have a trackball so no mousepad.

42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? An old Crossing Jordan which I am suddenly addicted to, Heroes (on the DVR) and of course my girl, Veronica Mars.

43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Gurgling water, like fountains or brooks.



46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? I don't really know, I guess my straightforwardness, many of my friends say it is they're favorite thing about me. Although in another vein I do love to sing and I harbor secret dreams of being a lounge singer one day since my rock star aspirations never came through.

47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Bronx, NY (of course)

48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Stolen from Cara.

Monday, October 16, 2006

A tale of three mittens...

I decided to make this the weekend of finishing. I have a mitten, a sock and Gyrid to finish. They are all fairly close to completion. I should have been able to get at least one done, right? Wrong.

I decided to focus on the mitten since really these can be done in about a day or a day and a half if you're me. Now you may recall the first of the target wave mittens did not work out as well as I liked. I made some adjustments. I didn't use a smaller needle on the cuff, I eliminated a decrease and an increase in the body and I eliminated about 4 rows of the thumb target. It's still wasn't great but it's recipient was pleased with the result:

Ok, I wrote notes on what I changed and got to work on the third mitten. There was a problem however. I finished the body of the mitten on Friday and it was noticibly smaller than the second mitten (the first was never ripped out and of course is way larger than the second). I decided that frankly I didn't care and Ian wouldn't either. So Saturday night I stayed up to finish the mitten off. I went to sleep around 3 AM (I had quite a few ERs to catch up on) and guess what? I still have no finished third mitten. The damn thumb target was not working at all since the mitten is so much smaller. I finally decided to give up. I will have to start from scratch again. I hate these freakin' mittens!!!. If Ian didn't love them so much I would just make a different pair but he loved the picture in the magazine and was thrilled with the completed one. I also have some ideas for a matching hat so I just need to finish the damn things.

The whole deal with the mittens really put me off my feed as it were so I worked on the sock a bit, turned the heel and all that but I didn't get anything to speak of done on either it or Gyrid. It was a weird weekend I was horribly depressed and moody and I couldn't really figure out why until I realized that yesterday was the second anniversary of my mother's death, yup that will do it. Knowing there was a reason actually improved my mood though so I'm doing better today.

Risa already outed me for the insane move I did last week. I agreed to co-host the Knitting Blogs web ring. I've always wanted to host a ring although I had something smaller in mind. I doubt I would have volunteered if Risa hadn't already. At least I have a partner who I know, like and respect. Thanks to Julie for taking care of it all these years as it grew to such amazing proportions!

The universe showed me this weekend that this was a good decision in some very odd ways:

Hey Risa you seem to be pretty busy, are you sure you have time for the webring;)

Happy Monday all...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

S is for Soccer

I'm the sports fan in my house, for the most part. My favorite sport is of course hockey. I've talked about my deep and abiding Ranger love before. I also like to watch tennis but there's been no players of late that really get me watching regularly. When it came time for Avery to do some type of sport I decided he should try Soccer. There is a league in Riverdale that has a Pee Wee instructional division that you can start at 6. The first few years were just drills and games within the team. That' s how the Pee Wee league teaches them the fundamentals. A few years ago Avery was old enough to graduate out of the Pee Wee division and into the Younger Division. Once he started playing actual games against other teams he really took to it and so did I.
I don't watch any of the MLS league here in the States, although I always mean too. I started watching the Premiership League (go Man U!!!)on cable. Ostensibly it was to get Avery to see what a real game looks like but I'm the one who got hooked.
As Avery got older he really started to get into it. He loves it so much now that I sent him to a Soccer Camp over the Summer (just daycamp he's not really up to the sleepaway camp thing yet).
He's a much stronger player this year than he has ever been and I really enjoy the games myself. Soccer has become an integral part of my life and I really love watching Avery gain in skill and strength as well as enjoyment.

Next September it's Ian's turn...

sadly we lost the game where I took the pictures, 4-1 that's why they all look so depressed...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Lolly put up some questions for Socktoberfest. Since I am always in need of a blog post here they are:

* When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?

I attempted socks a number of years ago and only finished one, badly I may add. I gave up until 2004. I taught myself.

* What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?

They were a pair of Regia Jaquard. They were a bit too small so I gave them to Avery. They have held up very well and are much softer and more comfortable now than they were then.

* What would you have done differently?

I would have started making them more regularly after that first pair. It seemed to take so long that I took a long time before I did another pair. Now that I make them more regularly they go so much faster.

* What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?

I love Socks That Rock but I really haven't used a sock yarn that I disliked, at least so far.

* Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?


* Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)

Flap at the moment but I've done a short row heel and I think I could really like it when I get better at it. I definitely prefer short rows for a heel in a contrasting color.

* How many pairs have you made?

6 pairs.

Where am I on my Socktoberfest knitting? Well I am just past the cuff on the second Magic Stripes sock. I just found out that the conference I usually attend where I get to hang out with my friend isn't being held this year so there is no need to rush. I have decided that Soctoberfest is a good excuse to try new things however. The next pair I cast on will be for my mother in law, mostly because she has teeny tiny feet. I am going to try knitting two socks at once as discussed in this Knitty article. I've done a couple of projects in double knitting so I think it shouldn't be too difficult. The question is will I actually enjoy doing it that way. We'll see.

I also signed up for the My First Toe Ups knitalong since Baudelaire is on my list as well. Of course the two socks at once will have to really work for me to even dream about starting another pair before the month is out.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

R is for Rinaldo

I met my husband Rinaldo 15 years ago. He worked with my best friend and we would occasionally ride home together when I picked her up. About a year after I first met him I invited him to my Christmas party. The rest as they say is history.

There's no denying we were a fairly odd couple at first glance. I had a reputation at the store he worked at (as I had worked there before he started). I dressed all in black, listened to heavy metal and (cough) had an active social life (cough). The fact that I liked to date guys younger than myself didn't help at all (he's three years younger than me so he fit the bill;)). He was in fact warned that I would break his heart. Yet it hasn't worked out that way.

We fit together in an amazing way. We're not as opposite as we initially appear. We both have a wicked, sarcastic sense of humor. We both enjoy comic books and feel no embarassment about that. Our taste in books, television and films are fairly in synch. We don't agree on everything but that's good too, keeps it interesting.

There were more basic differences. I had no interest in marriage or children. I thought (and to some extent still do) that a marriage certificate was just a piece of paper. True commitment comes from waking up everyday and still finding that person waking up next to you, even without any legal obligation. As for children I never had an urge and didn't view myself as particularly maternal. These things were very important to Rinaldo. In fact he proposed about two weeks after we started dating although it was two years before we actually did it.

He made my life so much better that it was no sacrifice to give in to his ideas of marriage and family. Granted Avery was a surprise but once he was on his way it seemed a perfectly natural progression of our life together.

Ian came by choice to complete our family.

He still doesn't always know what to make of me. This wild woman he married who at 36 went to see Motley Crue in concert twice in a six month period, but oddly enough he loves me and I love him so that makes everything else easier to work out.

The one complaint I do have is having your husband be your friend as well. It's really hard to stay pissed off at him. If I want to sulk and not speak to him I can never last because sooner rather than later something comes up that I'm dying to tell him or talk to him about. That is annoying as hell;) I should be able to keep a good cold shoulder going for awhile don't you think?

So for putting up with me for 12 years of married life and 14 years together, Rinaldo is of course my favorite "R".

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Q is for "Quack"

I like to think I'm not a cutesy kind of person. I'm not fond of pink, hell I was Goth before Goth was Goth but occasionally things slip through my dark demeanor.

A little while before we bought our house I decided I wanted to decorate the bathroom. Not just make it look nice but actually give it a theme. I took inspiration from Ernie:

Ducks, yup quack quack and all that. I kept the theme in the new house as you can see. Here's the funny thing. When I went to Iceland to visit my cousin and her family I was somewhat suprised when I entered her bathroom and saw this:

Great minds think alike...quack, quack...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

P is for Permit

Hi my name is Nancy, I am 37 years old and I still have a learner's permit:

doesn't it look like it should be a mug shot?

This means that I can only be a passenger or a pedestrian and frankly its also means I am just the tiniest bit pathetic.

When Avery was born I took lessons to learn to drive. I had a learner's permit years before but I never did anything with it and it had expired. I decided that having a child meant I needed to drive (at the time Rinaldo didn't know how to drive either, damn NYC kids that we were). I took lessons. I did ok. I first took the exam on the Monday after I had returned from my first trip to Florida. While I was gone my cat had gotten very ill and he had to be put to sleep that weekend. At the same time my mother's cat had also taken ill and had to be put to sleep, same weekend, same day as a matter of fact. Yeah it sucked. I was in no shape to take the exam but I had no choice. I failed miserably.

I continued with my lessons and took another shot at it. I did my parallel parking fine, my broken U was decent but I had huge issues with turning corners. I was either too wide or too tight. Since I was taking the exam in Yonkers, not NYC it was right on red and my hesitance totally screwed me. Strike two.

I tried to take lessons again. I even changed schools but the impulse was gone. I said that since I had no access to a car to practice on there was no way I could pass. So I gave up.

When Ian was born Rinaldo decided to try. He took to it like a duck to water. By this point we had friends who were willing to rent a car so he could practice. Rinaldo got his license. I figured, "cool now we have a car it will be easier to learn" but I still haven't. At first Rinaldo freaked me out about the insurance rates. He was paying very high rates on our first car since he was such a new driver and he kept joking that we wouldn't be able to afford it if I got my license (at that point my learner's permit had expired yet again). Then I just got lazy. Then last year we had the accident. It wasn't bad but it's made me very nervous in the car since I was the only one who could see the other car coming. Now I'm just fucking freaked out about the whole thing. I'm afraid my nerves would make me a horrible driver.

Now another expiration date looms, will I make another attempt this winter so at least I can say I tried or is it over and I will never be a driver? My only comfort is the fact that I'm not the only Bronx Girl who can't drive...