Janice in The Loopy Limelight!

IMG_5007_2Sliding right in under the wire, the Monday Loopy Limelight blog post! We were still a little busy here today. And I swear that I’m going to get to all of the emails in my in-box, and all of the Loopy Groupie Ravelry posts that I’m behind on. Susan theawesomeassistant who’sinthedoghousefortakingsuch alongtwoweekvacationtoItalyFPS will be back on Wednesday and then maybe things will normalize a bit. Just in time for me to go on a little jaunt out of town! Final college visits with Knitting Daughter. But more on that later. Right now, I want you to meet my friend Janice. 🙂 For those of you attending the Spring Fling, she’ll be here helping out all weekend, so you can meet her in person!

Loopy: You’re one of the famous “Loopy Legends”, so we’re glad to talk with you today! I also hear that you’re one of The Loopy Lady’s good friends. How did you meet and how long have you two known each other?
Janice: It is such an honor to be named among the Loopy Legends! The Loopy Lady and I have been friends for MANY years. I can remember when we first met very clearly. It was the Fall of 1981 and I drove down to Iowa State University to visit my boyfriend (now husband) for the first time and Sheri (who had been his friend since 7th grade) offered to let me stay with her in her dorm room. Well, I was quite nervous, but Sheri made me feel quite at home. We realized very quickly that we had many things in common, especially the fact that we were both avid cross-stitchers and could both talk DMC. Over the years we have remained very close.

Loopy: So, you probably have some good stories to tell. We’ll have to talk later. But in the meantime, any interesting tidbits you want to tell us about her?
Janice: Well, she is a ‘collector’. She collects baskets; bags; snowmen; Christmas elves; Brighton; single socks etc.. and she is VERY persuasive at getting her friends to follow suit! Now confess… How many of you are now knitting a sweater out of Dream In Color Classy because Sheri thought it would be fun?? She is good!!!

Loopy: I do see evidence of some of those collections from time to time. And she is quick to point out that you are responsible for talking her into some of those obsessions interests. You’re very persuasive, too. How long have you been knitting?
Janice: Well, Sheri is the one that taught my daughter and I how to knit back in June of 2005. My daughter was a natural and took off right away, but I decided it really wasn’t for me. (GASP!) I finished my scarf (only because my daughter refused to finish it for me!) and called it good. But Sheri does not give up easily!! She knew I LOVED felted bags, and convinced me that I could do it. So on our next vacation together she helped me knit and felt my first bag! THEN I was hooked!!!! She told me, however, that I really needed to learn how to knit socks because she had a dream of starting up an online sock yarn store………..

What is your favorite thing to knit and what do you do with most of the things you knit?
Janice: Well, I would have to say my very favorite thing to knit is felted bags. I am a bag lady at heart, and it was after I made my first felted bag that I knew I would be a knitter for life! Of course, one can only use so many bags, so I have teamed up with a friend who also makes felted bags and created ‘Purses with a Purpose’. We sell our bags and use the profits to support a woman in Russia who works with orphaned teen girls who have been placed in a woman’s prison (the orphanages only go to age 14) to teach them the living skills they will need once they are released from the prison. I also enjoy knitting socks; fingerless mitts and hope to tackle a sweater this year! (Because Sheri thinks that would be a good thing to do…..)

Loopy: The DC Sweater KAL – good idea! You need to join in on the fun, for sure. We hear that you’re also a wonderful cook. Do you have a favorite recipe you’d like to share with us?
Janice: Well, I don’t know about wonderful, but I do LOVE to cook! It’s hard to choose just one recipe, but this is one of my favorites to have in the fridge for snacking on. I did start a recipe blog where I have been sharing our family’s favorites. http://jarladysrecipes.blogspot.com

IMG_5472Calico Bean Dip
1 can Black Beans
1 can Blackeye Peas
1 can whole kernel White corn
2 cans petite diced tomatoes

1. Drain and rinse all. Mix together.
2. Cut up 1-2 bunches of green onions. Add to bean mixture.
3. Chop up about 1/2 bunch of cilantro. Add to bean mixture.
4. Pour in about 8 oz. of fat free Italian dressing. (I like Wishbone Fat Free Italian)
5. Mix all together and marinate overnight (or at least 4 hours.)
7. Serve with Tostito Scoop chips.

I’m not sure sheep eat beans. But I know that everyone else will love that recipe. On to another subject – What is the best and worst job you ever had?
Janice: My worst job was a telemarketer for a water-proofing company in Minnesota when I was 14 years old. I still can recite most of the speech I had to make when the unsuspecting person on the other end of the phone line picked up!! And I only worked there for 2 weeks!! My best job was teaching conversational English to a group of Japanese ladies while we lived in Japan. A VERY interesting and wonderful experience! Of course my DREAM job would be a full-time elf at Loopy Central!!!

I have it on good authority that you’d be hired in an instant! What is your idea of a perfect day?
Janice: Well, to start out it would be sunny and 80-85 degrees. I would be spending the day with family and friends playing games, going on hikes, ordering take out and ending the day knitting and watching a movie. I would laugh until my sides hurt. There would be chocolate and a quick trip through Starbucks drive through. Oh, and I would win all of the games I played!!

Loopy: It’s a wonder that you and The Loopy Lady are friends. You know that she likes cold weather, and doesn’t like to play games, right? But I think she’d be right there with you on the chocolate, Starbucks, knitting, movies and laughing part of the day! Any weird habits that you have that you’d like to share with us?
Janice: Let’s see. I love to microwave my M&M’s. Some people think that’s weird. I also put my Diet Pepsi cans in the freezer to make them really cold, often with disastrous and messy results!! I raise tomatoes just for my favorite tomato-potato chip sandwich. And my favorite pizza is onion. Other than that, I think I’m quite normal.

Loopy: Onions on pizza? That one I don’t get. But I do M&M’s. Any book or movie recommendations?
Janice: Well, since one of my favorite things to do is to watch a movie and knit, there are several that are my all time favorites. ‘Miss Potter’, ‘The Italian Job’, ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, BBC’ Pride and Prejudice’ to name a few. I also LOVE the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the Bourne series. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a good book, as it is hard to read while one knits or spins!! I think I’ll have to look into books on tape!!

Loopy: Any thing else you’d like to add??
Janice: Yes. You still owe me a pair of socks. Two non-matching singles will do!
Sheri: They’ll be ready for you any time you want to come down here and get them!!

Sheri shereallydoeshavellamas-isn’tthatonecute?


  1. Microwaved M&M’s? That sounds downright decadent. I’m forever trying to hold ’em in my mouth long enough to get ’em to *squish* when I bite into them.

  2. Oooh, the bean dip sounds wonderful! Will definitely have to try that recipe…and microwaving M&M’s? Yum! When I was growing up, we had a fireplace with gas jets, and we sometimes used to burn the fire without wood…I would line up Kisses on the fireplace grate until they were melted and a little toasty on the bottom…Yummy!

  3. Nice to meet you, Janice! And even if Loopy doesn’t get it, you might like to know that onion pizza is one of the classics over here. It’s usually found on the menu as a “pizza pugliese” (pronounced pull-YAY-zee). So you’re in good company—it’s one of my favorites, too!

  4. Thanks everyone! I am very excited to meet many of you at the Fling as well! (We’ll miss all of you that can’t attend this time around, but I’m sure there will be more Flings in the future!!) Maybe I can do a mini-lesson on microwaving M&M’s… it’s a bit of an art!! And Theresa, maybe you and I can order an onion pizza!

  5. With all the Knitting Celebs that are gonna be there I am wishing more and more we could afford the sprig fling 🙁 Oh Well, I guess I’ll have to look up all the ones wha are goin’s blogs and live through them:-) Nice to meet ya Janicem btw slightly melted m&m”s are scrumptious!

  6. It was nice to read the interview between you and Loopy. I check your blog
    everyday. Since you didn’t feel like you had an afinity to become knitter, you
    sure have become very accomplished. I am always amazed at how much knitting
    you all get done so quickly. I love your felted bags, especially the Lucy Bag. Maybe
    I will try one in my next lifetime. I live in a senior center and it’s very difficult to
    felt here. I’m sure you will have a good time at the Spring Fling. It’s always nice
    to see Sumo too. I might try your m&m’s. I do eat my share of chocolate.

  7. Reading along, then saw the microwaved M&M part, and now, well, all I can think about is that ooey, gooey crispy yet soft and warm fresh from the microwave M&M experience. It’s been ages.

    If anyone needs me I’ll be at the store. Just stepping out for some, uh, air…honest.

  8. Janice I can’t wait to meet you at the Fling! If you like onion pizza, you might like pasta with carmelized onions and blue cheese – a favorite of mine. I never thought of microwaving M&M’s but I will try it – sort of like melty chocolate chips in cookies out of the oven, I imagine. And I like all kinds of beans so will definitely try your dip. I also taught English in Japan but my students were kids and not as motivated as adults would be!

  9. oooo I have some M & Ms here in my office. How long can I resist microwaving them? It was nice to meet a Loopy Legend:-) It’s great to have friends that knew you “when.”

  10. Yeah Janice. Janice is the reason I found the Loopy Ewe and I am so glad I did. I think you need to get that pair of socks done Sheri because I know you already have the bag.

  11. I never thought of microwaving M&Ms! Actually, my office gets so warm, (80 in here when it’s 55 outside!) I think I could set a bag on the windowsill for a half hour and get the same affect. The bean dip recipe looks great and I’m going to copy that one out for my recipe book tonight. Thanks for such a great interview Loopy & Janice!

  12. Hey Janice… we make our own homemade pizzas here. My favorite is onions, and capers… mmmmmmm
    Thinks Rhinebeck and pizza in October…
    And may I suggest a nice movie? The Ultimate Gift. Such a nice movie. I’m still thinking about it a few weeks later.

  13. I love your bags…especially the Lucy Bag…you have inspired (ummmm enabled) me to make one…I just ordered the pattern…….Hope the weather improves…and lucky for you and Sheri to have such a long time friendship…..


  14. So Sheri, you’re an Iowa Stater! i went to iowa State my freshman year (but I pre-dated you by a few years–1975-1976) and lived in Oak Hall (4th floor–Sims)! Small world! What dorm did you live in (and Janice visit?) And I see that Janice lives in Iowa! I spent 39 years living in Iowa until i moved to Seattle! 🙂 And you know, my husband spent several years living in St. Louis as a kid! No wonder I adore Loopy Ewe!

  15. Llove the llama! I’m llooking forward to meeting Janice at the Flling, too. Onions on pizza are the best, allong with black ollives and mushrooms. Do you call llama hair flleece?

  16. I think the Loopy Elves need a super size bag of M&Ms for the microwave with another sneak-up this morning (Tuesday)! 🙂

  17. Here’s a delicious topping for pizza that involves onions. Top your dough with caramelized onions, provolone cheese (not the smoky kind), very thinly sliced russet potatoes and a little rosemary.

  18. Hi to Janice and her llamas! I’ll have to try that dip. Sounds healthy and tasty! And I may have to try popping my M&Ms in the microwave — Good idea!

  19. I remember last May finding out that your son and my daughter share the same birthday. In the parallel universe department, now it sounds like your daughter is preparing for college next year, and so is my son. Too funny.

  20. Love the article! Sheri, did you go to ISU? I went there and might have been attending about the same time. How strange is that? Well then again, maybe not!

  21. Very cool interview! (And now I’m sure that I’m not the only person who’s been tempted to describe a yarn color by using the closest DMC floss equivalent.)

  22. Hi, Janice!!! You left out the matching suitcase collections! Which of you was first with that?
    I have photographic proof I’ll swap for an onion pizza!

  23. Hi Janice
    I’m so happy that Sheri has you and your dear family in her life.. Sheri’s extended family feels blessed to call you friends, as well.

  24. Gee Loopy must really be in love with you, because he was actually cautuous with his questions. Or does he have a crush on one of your llamas?

    Isnt it cool to have friends who go way back and whose little habits rub off on each other? HMMM melted m&m s is that like putting peanutbutter and a piece of chocolate inbetween buttered sandwich in a sandwich maker? ymmm. And i do like onion pizza, homemade or otherwise. It guarantees me most of the pizza. finally something 2 of 3 DD dont like. Your bean dip sounds really good. Must try it out some time. Gives me a good excuse to grow beans in the garden this summer. too

    SHeri is very persusavie isnt she. I had to join the KAL even if it meant finding a 2-3 skein project to fit my budget. So i found something on my long list of sweaters to be and now just ned the yarn. ANd the sock yarn and the…. it is addicting.

    I have added your blog to my list of bookmarks, I love your bags, they are gorgeous. Love your beautiful dog as well. He/she has charcter. I havent had tie to really read your blog just look at the pictures. I love your intro to yourself.

    SO SHeriwhomustbetotallyexhaustedfromthesecondsneakupwithoutbigelfsue and whocantwaitforthelittlevacationtoseeuniversitywithknittingdaughter. I love your good taste in colors, My wishlist grows by the day.


  25. I worked with Janice years ago at Red Willow in ND. Great to see her on your blog!
    (And Janice, you look exactly the same!)

  26. Kristie,
    Then you also worked with my husband Steve because we met at Red Willow that summer!! That was before I even met Sheri!! WOW! You should send us an email!!

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