30 April 2006

Picasso and the bag

I thought I was making this Cascade Pastaza bag for myself. I like the contrast of the strap against the body, don't you?

I am told by Picasso that I am sadly mistaken. This bag is not for me, and he has no idea what gave me the impression that it was.

He has taken to hugging and sleeping and snuggling with the bag. I do not know why, and baba doesn't know what the big deal is, but I do know that Picasso's love is true and his claws are entrenched.

He would prefer that I ceded control of it to him, I imagine. Given I am merely the catstaff. The catstaff with a mysterious, entrancing, and neverending wool buffet.

A napping Picasso is the cutest thing ever. Even if I sort of need the bag to keep knitting at it.

29 April 2006

Saturdays are for book signings and yarn

Wendy Knits! There was a book signing scheduled for this afternoon at Knit Happens. Would I go? Was there ever any question of that? This was the third of three birthday knit books. Woohoo!

Sign me up! And with green ink yet, perfect for May's Project Spectrum. Wonder what the significance of green ink was? I didn't ask. I should.

What is this?, you ask. Doesn't she have enough yarn?, you think. It's not fair she has a cooler stash than I do when she's been knitting for so little time, thinks Verde. (hee)

Actually this wasn't a yarn shop accident. Or if it was, it was the best kind: free!

I think every knitter's dream is to walk to a yarn shop and be told they have store credit! MmmmMMMmmmMMMmmm store credit. Just possibly the only thing better than yarn yarn yarn molest molest molest yarn yarn. Remember that sock class that never materialized? That's okay. Look at that bowl of yarn!

That is a grey-blue-aqua Lorna's Laces.

The large aqua thingie is a couple skeins of the new Ella Rae classic yarn, which was priced lower than Cascade 220 and is supposed to work just as well. It had a nice hand to it, although its color palette was quite different from 220's.

Koigu! Because um, just because I've not yet made any of my Koigu socks doesn't mean that I don't need really really pretty Koigu. This one is blues, aquas, purples, pinks, and whatever else.
That bright pink blob? Cherry Tree Hill supersock in (gasp!) pink. Shocking hot bright pink. Yum! I'm thinking something fancy, with twisted stitches or cables or lace, to use this yarn to advantage.

The grey blobs you're seeing here and there in the pictures are Rowan 4 ply soft, for the Hedera socks from Knitty. KH didn't have a great selection of colors, and it was a tossup between these and brown. I did think heavily about getting brown, but let's just say that no matter which color I got, I was going to sort of feel like I should have gotten the other color. Which is just another way of saying that Rowan 4 ply soft (which really is yummy) in brown? Will probably accidentally join my yarn family at some point.

Hey, this is the metro platform at Rhode Island Ave. This was taken today. Look carefully. What's wrong with the platform? I, personally, can't believe I never noticed it until today. And no, it's not that weird black blob.

28 April 2006

Of Catchen and Fraros

Poor Matisse. I made the mistake of noticing this new thingie on his gum and I ruined his life. A black spot on his gum! A new one! Eeeeek! It's a huge bump! Nobody knew what that was, or if it was okay, or if it was the harbinger of the giant fur-eating monster. It's not possible to be overdramatic when it's your own catchen, yes?

So I took him to the vet. But first, I stuffed him in a rolling backpack (he is too big for all of my carriers, especially if you're trying to walk around with his flooftastic self), he got out, I stuffed him back in, it was the Wild! Animate! Backpack! I laughed a laugh of nervousness, uncomfortableness, and just plain feeling bad for doing that to my cat.

But he settled into the I Am the World's Saddest Matisse role quite quickly. There he is, in the above picture, in a half open backpack on top of a newspaper dispenser thingmabob, as we waited for the bus to come. You might be wondering (or not) just why I would take a bus with a cat, instead of a cab. The reason is simple. It just so happens that the vet's office is door-to-door from my apartment, on several bus routes. No waiting for a cab (which can take forever, especially if they make you tell them you have a cat with you), no exhorbiant cab fare, and hey, door to door. This does require a relatively inanimate bag, and Matisse fulfilled this part of the bargain rather well.

We sat at the vet's office, where everyone cooed and remarked on How Giant That Cat Is. Matisse sat quietly in my arms, furring my jacket so bad it ended up being mostly Matisse, and crammed his big head into my elbow. He was such a good boy! And of course, was the bump a bad awful thing? Apparently ragdoll cat's gums can turn black later in life. OY. Well now I know for next time. And he has rabies shots. And he's indeed giant, being 15.5 pounds. And I am a lot poorer.

Matisse, in his best catchenal fashion, says in this picture: "I was a good boy. You gave me your jacket to drool on. Can we go home now?"

And thus ends an expensive if relatively (and happily!) anticlimatic day.

27 April 2006


No pictures, no ability to work, no knitting, no food, nothing anywhere in my digestive tract.

That kind of a day.

On the bright side, Kahlo was super-nice to me when I got home last night, again this morning, and even when I got home early in a miasma of grodyness.

Back when I remember how to be human.

26 April 2006

Wednesdays are for Wish Lists

Kahlo, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

She already has a Kahlo, you're thinking. Why is this picture in this post, other than the oo! cat! pretty! factor?

It's because I wish Kahlo would make up her mind.

Is she ILikeYou Kahlo, insatiably attached to me, rubbing all over my legs every possible moment, parking herself under my chin, mrrphing and making weird squeaky noises as I hold her in my arms, skritch her neck, rub her head until she purrrrrrs?

Or is she IHateYou Kahlo, swatting my hand with a clawed paw if I invade her terrority (it's not a territory at this point, catstaff, I TERROR you and the zone around me is my TERRORity. Get with the program), resulting in manymanymanymanymanymany and did I say? manymanymanymany itchy itchy scratches? I so love it when I need something that happens to be in close proximity to her, like the remote control or a needle, and it becomes a battle of the scratches. Kahlo: 14, hapless stupid terrorfied catstaff: 0.

This morning I woke up to ILOVESYOUCATSTAFF Kahlo, who was lolling all over my feet and loving on them and many other things I really wanted to know as little as possible about.

What will I come home to?

25 April 2006

Tuesdays are for Self Portraits

A girl and her human.

24 April 2006

Cascade Pastaza

Still Life: Cascade Pastaza, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Today is another faceplanty day. Of a rather bad sort, since I overslept and woke up at precisely the time I was supposed to be at work. That's painful. I did show up a hour later, and then I worked through my "break" and managed to be caught up on my tutorial time enough that I could leave early. That's quite exciting. I think.

It's the time of the year when students are in the panicky glomtastic state of I AM IN DANGER OF FAILING AND YOU WILL BE MY SAVIOR AT THE END OF OUR FIFTY MINUTES!

I love it! Except not really.

Finals time, ooh lala. Two more weeks of work, and I'm all done here. That sounds exciting, except for the faceplanting.

O! Cascade Pastaza. I started the bag last night, if by "started" you mean "sleepily cast on 39 stitches because I hate casting on at work". And then I knit the base during the day today, a row here, a row there, lots of rows on the Metro, and finished the base, so I could excitingly pick up stitches! Now I'm all in the round.

Pattern? It's sort of a commingling of the basic Booga bag rectangle shape, except I'm doing it with 39 stitches of width and 39 rows of length. And then that of course gives me 39x20x39x20 for a total of ooh! 118 stitches all the way around. Now, because I want to do something different this time, I will be making it unshaped, just a simple rectangle, with the two lighter colors on the bottom and the darker color on top. No stripedyness. And then? Using my Heidi pattern as a reference, I am going to make a strap for it that goes all the way around the bottom of the bag, for more stability, an added design element, and just, you know, SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

I'm really loving the Pastaza. It's a single ply, AKA the ultimate in Happy Knitting, and it's incredibly soft. It's not as rustic as Manos, but it's got just enough unevenness in its spin that I'm enjoying it!

23 April 2006


I'm all done! I'm all done! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. They fit me, and seem to have plenty of ease to fit my sockpal, who has slightly larger fit than I do.

Here you can see the colors in more natural lighting.

Wheeeee. Now? I'm deathly curious what my socks are like! Not long yet to wait...

22 April 2006

Saturdays are for SockapalOOOza!

This was my progress as of this morning. Were baba and Matisse impressed? no, they were not.

I, however was impressed by the sheer amount of knittage I got done today... up to just about the toe decreases. Anyone who knits socks knows that's a crazy amount to get done in one day. But I'm glad because the sooner done the sooner I get to do other things! Not that I don't want to make Sockapaloooza socks... oh never mind. You know what I meant.

21 April 2006

Fridays are for Being a Lemming

Or not. Actually, I saw Chris's blog and thought, HEY! I can do that! Apologies in advance for the crappy quality of pictures, I only have Benkei the Sidekick here with me at work.

Photo 314.jpg, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Here's the full shot.

Photo 317.jpg, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

And a couple of closeups.

Photo 316.jpg, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

I like how different my cursive is compared to my print.

In other news, I'm mildly depressed that yet again someone thought I was hearing. Today's entrant said that she'd told her husband that she was amazed that I had such perfect ASL, better than she did, and she was a third generation deaf person. You know, since I was hearing and all. Except not. This sort of thing happens all the time and I'm sick of it, because 1) deaf people do not, by law, dress differently from hearing people 2) deaf people do not, by law, act differently in a highly identifiable way and 3) deaf people do knit.

Reason number squintillion-million why this job? I will not miss.

20 April 2006

Emergency sock surgery!

Emergency sock surgery!, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

I had big plans for posting my G in the ABC Along that I am terribly frightfully totally behind for, but the truth is I feel totally faceplanty today, and the only thing I can do that's halfway coherent is to talk about, in great pride, the emergency sock surgery I MacGyvered with two paperclips. I realized that I'd messed up the ribbing at some point and a simple dropdown would not work because the problem was to do with some of the yummy shreddy shreddy shreddy SHREDDY yarn having shredded itself into an incoherent mess at some point. Rip rip rip! Two rows gone. But I knew I couldn't pick up the stitches with the needle, because there lay shredhell. So I asked for two paperclips from the nice front desk guy, mutilated the clips, and did not lose a single stitch! I am so proud of myself.

It's the little things sometimes.

19 April 2006

Wednesdays are for a Large Assortment of Pictures

Also: RANDOMNESS. Let us begin!

In an apparently ongoing effort to ensure the worst possible pictures of me are displayed for posterity, here we are. This was me just before I went to the book signing. I am glad that I am quite recovered now, so that we can all live without my massive amounts of whining.

Manos Manos Manos, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

One of the things Huggiebear and I did last weekend was to go to Woolwinders, which is in Rockville, not far from the Shady Grove metro stop. Not that we used the metro, I'm just saying. Anyway, we had what the Yarn Harlot would call a nasty accident. . . the kind of accident. . . where you slip and fall in a yarn shop and accidentally swipe your mastercard on the way to the floor. That kind of accident.

One of the things we got, or I suppose he got, with the evilly enabling shopstaff who gave a discount based on half of my age due to it being for my birthday, a small pile of Manos.

Mmmmmm Manos, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Just a small pile of all the same color, 04, which is supposedly turquoise. I think it's more akin a lovely blue with hints of other shades of blue, some darker, some lighter, but definitely blue.

Why would I need a huge pile of Manos? Am I making the world's biggest bag? Amazingly, no! I'm going to be making this:

Manos Sweater I'll make, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

It's a cute cardigan, I think, and it was actually specifically written to be made with Manos. I absolutely love the handfeel and texture of Manos, so you know, hey! Perfect first sweater project! I wish I could make it noooooooooooooow.

Manos Sweater Book, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

I got this sweater from a relatively unknown book called Knitting the Easy Way which has several great patterns in it. It was the first knitting book I got for myself, and it had some tips in the front part of the book that largely convinced me to buy it from the cheap book area at the B. Dalton's at Union Station just before Thanksgiving. Plus, of course, the sweater, which I liked from the first time I saw it.

Proposed Crystal Vase cover, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

This is the legwarmer crystal vase warmer. I think it would look nicer once I felted it and the mohair was more evident and the top of the vase would show the contours of the vase itself. Yes? No? Too crazy for words?

Second Heel Flap, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Second sock! Conspicious lack of progress compared to First Sock's progress, timewise! Not panicing! Oh well. But look at the stripeage! Isn't that cool? I like this sock's patterning better, I think.

Because you've all gotten this far with my pictureathon, I thought I would share my catchenage's favorite pastime, bowling.

No, not the bowling pin thing.


Oh let me just show you what I mean:

The Matisse bowls, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Matisse fills up the bowl pretty well.

baba bowls, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

baba is not sure about this whole bowling thing.

Picasso bowls, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

And as Maia said, Picasso "fits better than Baba because he doesn't have to get his tail in there."

18 April 2006

Tuesdays are for Self Portraits

Ann, Kay, and the sick Fraro, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

I'm forever honored that Kay degined to touch me, even though I Had Cooties.

And also relieved that my skirt didn't fall down during the picture. It was that sort of day, when you realize too late that you've lost enough weight that your hips are not capable of preventing the skirt from being pulled past them, even though it's a zipup skirt. Oops.

17 April 2006

Sockly progress!

Take my word for it, because a picture belongs here, but I forgot to take one, never mind upload it: The heel has been turned and I'm working on the gusset decreases on Sock Two! It's of course the same yarn as the first sock, but I didn't bother to try to match the stripes because well, I'm not hung up on that and I wanted to see what would happen! To me, that seems like a good way to avoid Second Sock Syndrome, to keep myself interested in what new sockly looks the yarn comes up with. Possibly I am easily amused that way.

I believe I have come up with a use for the Single Legwarmer that I fear will never be paired with a mate. I, for some reason, had the bright idea of slipping it over my lead crystal vase that I love the weight/heft of and its general shape, but not the cutwork on it, too fussy and busy for me. It actually looks good! I'm now thinking of felting it and slipping it over the vase to make it less improvised and more intentional. One can never have too much pink in one's life.

Tell me if I'm completely insane. It's okay.

16 April 2006

Kay and Ann

Kay and Ann, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

I finally downloaded some of the pictures from the book signing last Thursday. I can't say I was a great photographer and all, but these were pretty good. Kay and Ann talked a lot lot lot lot lot for a hour. And a lot. Showing and telling, making jokes, showing bad knitting projects as well as stuff they made that's in the book. All very cool!

And here they are, reading the pathetic handwritten letter I gave them in lieu of fawning over them with, you know, my voice, like sane people who are not sick would.

15 April 2006

Saturdays are for SockapalOOOza

Nonfooted view, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

All done! All done! As of 11pmish tonight I am allllllllllll done with the First Sock. One week of knitting, much of it while I was sick, is a Good Thing. Not the sick. The relatively quick progress, and the learning curve and all.

Side view. ooh!, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

The more important question is: does the sock I spent a week on fit?

SockapalOOOza sock: done!, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

I'm happy to report that it does! And there's plenty of room for a larger foot, which my sockpal has.

14 April 2006

Friday Friday Friday!

I forgot to upload pictures. I forgot to take any of happy rather healthy feeling me. I forgot pictures of the sock, which is now ready for the st st part of the toe. Yay!

But I did remember to watch Dean Cain for 2 hours. And spend 2 hours on the sofa with catchen catchen catchen catchen whilst knitting said sock.

Man, I feel *so* much better it's insane. It's like maybe I really had never gotten fully cured the last time, and I had been walking around for the last 2 months with some infecton in the sinuses. I'm not kidding. The difference after 4 days of antibiotics is crazy.

I'm only sorry that I could not see Kay and Ann today... I still don't have much of a voice but does it matter?

It's all in the little things.

13 April 2006

Dear Ann and Kay

Dear Ann and Kay:

I must apologize for my tragic wardrobe malfunction. I had meant to put on my "Rebecca is an obsessed knitter outfit" but apparently I dressed in the dark because I grabbed the "Rebecca is the red nosed victim of a sinus infection" getup instead. So I would understand if you would rather just wave at me and use someone else's pen.

Still and all, I did remember to pack in my handknit bag, next to the 50 pound sinuses and a sock in progress, the most important thing: the feverent (not feverish) desire to see the two of you. So here I am. Not even my sinus infection will prevent me from showing my undying (less dying, more antibiotics) desire to meet y'all and have the honor of your signatures in my book!

Please forgive me.



12 April 2006

Wednesdays are for Wish Lists

And for a small nation's worth of something something something in the sinuses. I'm just saying. Go sinus infections!

I did make progress on the sock, though:

The new Knitty came out just now, and I already picked out yarn from The Stash:

Hedera, in the skein, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

in order to make Hedera socks!

I think they'll be really cute. And soft. And cushy. And I feel brave enough to try them, after learning I can really make socks! And it's fun! I just hope my sockpal likes the socks I'm making for her. They're not frilly and fancy because Sockpal is not a frilly or fancy person... But still, overall, quite glad I joined SockapalOOOza because of the whole if I'd never had joined, I would not be making Hedera socks! Because I would still be afraid of socks. So.

O! Wish list! Right. I know Jamesey was designed for a boy but I like this a lot, and my second favorite sweater is similar to design to this. My only problem, of course, is what size to make it, because um, the chest measurement in my favorite sweater is a 40, but my waist is a 28 and my hips are 38, so I don't need a SACK.

I think that the horizonal stitch line should be removed, and it'd be perfect.

I also would like to wish that you know, my sinuses were populated with nothing more exciting than whatever normally resides in sinuses.

11 April 2006

Tuesdays are for Self Portraits

Frarochvia, sick, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Exciting! That off my feed bit yesterday? I woke up this morning and it was a full blown sinus infection, complete with infunktion bits. Yum yum. Except not. I am glad, at least that my brazen last-minute plan of okay, the doctor's office opens at 9, it's what, 820, I should just show up at the doctor's office and ask to be seen, it's not going to be any faster to try any other plan, worked. I got seen and got yummy antibiotics and decongestants and should hopefully being right as rain sometime this century.

What's that whole "right as rain" come from anyway.

I did make sure that the doctor didn't give me Biaxin, because I sort of don't want to lose a week of my life again, and she set me up with good old Amoxcillin.

No knitting pictures as of this moment, but at least I did do several rows this morning... Antibiotics, a few stitches, mostly worth missing work this morning.

Exciting life.

10 April 2006

Mondays are for... Mondays

This morning, I woke up late, well, I wake up early every morning, I mean I got up late for the 728th time this year. I was holding Picasso in my arms, and I was just savoring his firm compact plrt plrt purr purr squish wedge presence. There is little in this world more wonderful than having a catchen in your arms and having at least one more on you, and this morning Matisse and babochka were sleeping on my lower half. I figured, Picasso isn't usually big with the snuggles, but he'd walked into my arms and I was going to drink up all that I could. So I figured, five minutes. Ten. Okay, fifeen. Twenty? Picasso wasn't bored with it yet. Neither was I. At twenty five minutes, however, I had to admit defeat and ruin my poor abused catchen's lives by doing the unthinkable.

I got up.

I threw things on and managed to get to work just on time. Go me! But I felt rather off my feed, even if my knee was finally feeling better and only twinged when I'd been walking a lot on hard pavement, and even then, it wasn't a Nancy Kerrigan twinge. Not normal, not unworrisome given its two previous operations, but a knee I could cohabit with.

Exciting exciting.

All day I was overwhelmed with the need to ingest this deep dish sundae. So I went to Pizzeria Uno's (who cares what it's called now? Its ASL name is PIZZA UNO and forevermore it shall be known.) and ate a small quantity of sugar-laden yummiliciousness. MmmmMMmmmMMMmmmMMMMmm. I had company in the form of a work friend, and that was quite nice.

Knitting content! You came for that. Well, I knit a whole whopping (I hate that word. Hence, here, I'm using it ironically) half row! Exciting! So this is what I have, as of now, with Sunday's progress and all.

Sockly progress!, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

09 April 2006

Project Spectrum

I don't know about others, but I've been having a lot of fun with this month's colors, orange and yellow! More than I expected to. Up there is Picasso trying to help me take pictures of my rug, which has gold in it. Maybe next weekend I can do better pictures, if um, I lock him into the bathroom first! He's a bit... helpful today. You know how that goes, right?

With a bit of my birthday money I got these boxes. They were $5 at Marshall's. Just goes to show you find the weirdest things there... I had initially been attracted to the size and the fact that it had a psuedo-latch, the better to discourage catchen from opening them. The bigger box fits the Addi Turbos in their plastic sleeves and the smaller one fit the DPNS, which is good because those have been a high-theft item thanks to Matisse and Picasso and Kahlo. Mostly Picasso.

While I had thought about repainting them in the future, the truth is the colors and the pattern (I LOVE CIRCLES! Ahem.) have grown on me. And they clash delightfully. So for so long as they amuse me, they will stay as is!

Flowers! I don't know if anyone else has flowers blooming, but we do here! These are pretty! I have no idea what they're called, other than, you know, daffodils. But it seemed rather cool that there's actually a flower with both yellow and orange.

The socks continue to grow, my case of Knitter's Thumb (where the right thumb is all exofliated and purple, not because it hurts, but because that's what happens when a left needle hits against the right thumb 3,000 times a day) is well set in, and the kitties are annoyed with me because I won't let them fur on the newly laundered clothing. All in all, a wonderful Sunday!