31 May 2006

Casting On

The day began inauspiciously, with my being so exhausted I never felt my alarm clock, which had bizzed continuously for 24 minutes. My mother woke us up, and they had the energy of a small nation while I was a black hole, sucking energy in but having none for myself.

Loading up the pickup truck with my few new old possessions was uneventful, as far as I knew, but loading the catchen in their carriers wasn't. They became agitated and completely freaked out, and even placid mellow Matisse got into the action, bashing his head into the metal door of the carrier enough that his nose became swollen and gashed, with blood everywhere. It was almost as though they'd decided, while I laid there slack-jawed and comatose, that they should band together and surely if they put up enough of a fight they couldn't be taken anywhere. This was their last trip of course, but they don't know this, and it's hard to blame them for their freakout.

I received sixteen of my boxes that I shipped today, all of them boxes I mailed on Saturday. How does that work? I don't know. But I was glad to have a few things, at least, and put it all away and broke down the boxes tonight.

I did no knittage today, but did pick up a pound of Peaches and Creme yarn in white to make dishcloths with. As Verde said, did I ever think a year ago I'd be knitting dishcloths now? Um. No. But does it matter?

The catchen nestled with me in bed in a catchenpile as only they can, and it was good. If sparse and empty.

30 May 2006

The Time Now

I woke up before my alarm clock went off at 5:30 AM, despite going to bed very late. This, to me, is auspicious. I don't believe in signs or portents, yet little things, things like having someone buy and cart away all my remaining outstanding possessions seven hours before I was due to depart, were a great comfort to me, and I felt released. Feel complete, somehow. Is this what is meant by "less is more"? I made someone's life better. I didn't get as much as I wanted, but got more than I expected, and in life, I think that is perhaps the best thing possible.

Little Saran Wrap's borrowed carrier is full of his toys and balls. Of all the catchen I have known, Saran Wrap is the most, I suppose, playful. During my emptying of the apartment I found a great many things he'd say he'd borrowed and accidentally lost. It makes me smile, and reminds me you just never know what you will find.

We are in the Supershuttle together just around 7 AM, and while I feel quite calm, if a little dazed and tired, poor Saran Wrap is not taking things with such enquamity. But I am not worried, because I know what frightens him is the newness of the experience, and the enormity of his losses thus far. I talk to him, but I know he doesn't yet have the context to believe me (please don't think I'm nuts for talking about talking to catchen, they are family members and I try to communicate what I can to them, I know they understand the concept of communication, for they have developed their own sign language with me so I can understand who wants what perfectly even when asleep at 3 am). For him, this process thus far has been nothing but a series of frightening losses, and I hope he will soon see it as a process of gains. In a way, I am glad he was the one not certified for cargo travel, for he of the three has never yet met my mother. In a few hours he will know his world is not lost, but for now, all I can do is sit by him, respond to his need for comfort, and be there as the one familiar thing left in his world.

I remember the last time I felt this auspicious. Oddly enough, it also involved a trip and Illinois and even the Dulles airport. Seven years ago, about now, actually, I flew into Dulles from Budapest and knew my entire world was changed. Everything was known and yet looked unfamiliar and felt awkward. The key difference between then and now is that then, I was not ready to return to America, and to Illinois, not really, and the adjustment to my new self took years. Now, I feel a sense of completion, of having had enough and not wanting seconds, with living in the DC area. It was beautiful and wonderful in many ways but I know it is not the be all end all, and no one place is. That is only found within myself.

It's now 9 pm local time and I've had a long day. Saran Wrap, who's also been named Captain Thrashpants and Thrashy McMeatpants (an inside joke) didn't tolerate the trip over well and he, well, thrashed around a lot. Fortunately, though, as soon as he saw Matisse and baba, he settled down and is acting as well as the others, which is to say that there's a heavy demand on my attentions.

I love the catchen.

I'm tired and I must confess I feel rather as fish out of water, but not in a horrific way, just all of this will take getting used to. I have furniture I want to modify and to paint, to take ownership of in my own way. I don't want a slapdash good enough apartment, even if the items are gathered inexpensively and are not meant to be forever.

I think I know pretty well by now just what "not forever" means.

And yet I wish to take ownership and to love what I have, because a home full of things I love is worth the pain.

Tomorrow morning I will walk into my home for the first time. It's unreal, almost, and despite how familiar the floorplan is, I'm just not quite sure what will go where. But that's okay. Tomorrow night I will have 3 catchen and a bed in my own one bedroom apartment and that's something. That's a start.

29 May 2006


The wonderful thing about knitting is that if you don't like what you are making, you can frog it. Start over. Make something new, better, something that pleases your eye and that you love every moment of creating.

I think you can do that in life, with the same raw material, yourself.

You're still the same person. The same yarn. Nothing can change that. But the miracle of knitting, of life, is that you change a few things and everything changes.

I'm still Rebecca. I'm still catchen equipped. I still have a knitting obsession. I still wear glasses and have a bad jaw and recurrent sinus infections and a bad hand. I still love interior design, color, and furniture. I still have a crazy obsession with desserts. I still love white towels and neckscarves. I still love light, art, and hot bubble baths. I still love snuggling, good food, and my friends. I definitely still love Benkei the Sidekick. And my love for Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland will never die.

I am still me.

But my surroundings will change tomorrow, and this time now, is very soon to be the time before. What I did, how I felt, the work I did, the things I possessed, is gone. Are gone. Will be gone. All of it. And my friends mourn, are sad, and are angry for me, and that is their right, their job even. For me the task, the outlook is different. Must be different. I feel excitement about the new apartment, feel a goodness in knowing I will see my grandmother more often, and hold before me the possibility of a new and better and better paying job soon. My yarn, knit into a new life.

I don't know what exactly it'll all be like, or what I will feel or experience, but I have hope, and in the end, that, a few catchen, Benkei the Sidekick, a little yarn, and friends to walk to my side, are all that I need.

28 May 2006

Up the hill both ways in the snow

Rereading the blog because I could not remember the context in which people were making comments (it felt like reading someone else's blog. Weird. Guess I have been in a haze lately, wonder why.) I noticed I talked about calling my mother, I don't know if you wondered how I do that? A lot of people do. Nowadays you can use a relay service in a variety of ways, there's the traditional tty machine, but I haven't used mine in years and just got rid of it. You can use a relay service on several different websites, www.sprintrelayonline.com or www.ip-relay.com, which is quite useful since computers? Far more common than public ttys.

But ever since I got Benkei the Sidekick I haven't used these sites either. On Benkei the Sidekick, I have the option of using specific (free!) programs you can download to it that behave a lot like the "traditional" web interface relay sites, but I don't like that option, and no longer use these sites online or on Benkei the Sidekick. The newest option is to simply use the relay on AIM! IM chatting is of course easy and painfree and that's even more common nowadays than computers are because lots of cellphones have AIM. So I just use AIM to place telephone phone calls. The strange thrill of placing my very first phone call for a cab while I wasn't umblically attached to a computer, man! I never thought I'd do that.

And just think, 10 years ago interstate relay calls on TTYs were a newfangled concept. I used to be forced, when I was in uni, to call my mother through a tty and she had to have one on the other end too because it used to be that relay would only work intrastate. And trying to place calls "blind" sucked, because my only option was to dial and hope someone (was home and) picked up the phone, heard the tty announcement I maniacally keyed over and over, and knew where the tty was. Ttys were expensive and only my mother had one, I never called my grandmother or anyone else.

Yes, I'm one of those "old fogey" deafies who remember real well just how bad communication used to be.

The newest relay innovation? You can sign up for a free phone number assigned solely to you, and give that number to people, who think it's a normal phone number. Because it is. But instead of having to explain to people until you are blue in the face that you have to dial relay and then call me through that, (or giving people a number and telling them never to call because I'm not gonna pick up and talk on a phone, because it's a fax machine and thus you know, please fax, and for the love of g-d don't tell me, when I asked why you didn't fax, that you called repeatedly but the fax machine kept picking up because that plume of steam? Not boiling water. I'm just saying.) because does that ever work and do people do it, noooooooo, plus the hassle of a phone lamp signaller and yadda, you give this normal number that's all! yours! And people call it and a relay operator picks up and then talks to me through AIM.

Omg. Being *called*. Even when I'm on the go! Any computer anywhere when I'm signed in. I plotzed.

Especially when the first time someone called, it was the airline telling me my flight had been cancelled and they wanted to help me pick out an alternate flight. And I was on the bus to Chicago at the time. In the era of Before Equal Acess, they would have called my mother, which would have done me a lot of good because I haven't yet honed this telepathy thing.

I know, people take communication for granted. But you will not rip Benkei the Sidekick from my hands for all the tea in China.

In knittage news, I wish I hadn't knit last night (gasp! Shock!) because knitting lace when on codeine? Bad bad idea. I have to somehow insert a lifeline and frog five rows. I don't know what I was thinking. Wait. I wasn't. That's the problem. I don't normally have 2 projects going but I am thinking I need to cast on for a simple bag so you know, things like that won't happen again because I do have to lug every last blessed box to the new apartment from the apartment office.

Although I am trying not to think about that right now.

After nearly 15 hours on the sofa (I no longer have a mattress....) my legs are finally just sore. I'm a big time walker and it's sort of shocking to learn, yes, you really can walk too much. I also may or may not have eaten a lot of chocolate last night on top of the codeine. Which I know contributed to making me feel better.

Saran Wrap is better this morning, he woke me up to play fetch. Yay! Boo for the 6 am wakeup thing but yay for happier Picasso. And thus why I'm blogging so early. I'm awake. But not up. Nuh huh. No way. Not gonna putter around just yet. I think I'll read a few knittage blogs and go back to sleep....

Especially now that Saran Wrap is on my chest and purring loudly.

27 May 2006

16,000 feet, or why I'm going to hell

I know, the picture quality sucks and I'm blurry and I'm not sure whether that's the camera or me. Probably me, because all the pictures looked like that.

From now on, the tag on the posts may or may not say Frarochvia, but it'll always be me unless the postee says otherwise. I sold my computer this morning and uploading pictures to the blog through Benkei the Sidekick requires machinations. Meh.

But I promise to persevere with the blog nonetheless because I love you guys and I love blogging and I hope you like reading what I have to say, even if it isn't all that exciting or knittastic.

As of 2:37 pm this afternoon, I fulfilled my goal: I mailed every last box to the post office. Which was good because I was wearing out my welcome there. Sighs became eyerolls and comments on the size and quantity of my visits. Ok and the boxes. But more importantly, I was thrilled to meet my goal because the post office closes at 3 pm! And I could not mail any boxes between 3 pm Saturday and 7 am Tuesday, of course. I had nightmares of being forced to play Survior with my boxes.

The walk home from the post office, well. My elatement quickly morphed into a grim march stagger as my foot became feet became feet feet feet feet and feet and suddenly I had 16,000 feet. And every last one of them hurt. O how they all screamed and sobbed as I lifted them, as I stepped down, as I -horrors- lifted again. I felt like the little mermaid, lurchingly waddling as I cursed myself for the usage of these feet. A posse of motorcycles passed by, and I wanted to get on one of them, just to go home that much faster. My eyes gazed upon each taxicab that passed by longingly as my lower back burned and my calves became overcooked meatloaf, tough yet crumbly at the same time. People stared at me as I staggered by grimply. By which I mean gimpily and grimly.

I stopped by Panera because I realized I was starving and had nothing to eat at home and the odds of my surviving a trip to the Whole Foods grocery store was nil. Then I walked out, and walked past a girl who'd just had one leg amputated below the knee and the other one in pins. And I should have felt grateful for my 16,000 feet and their choir, but the truth is I just wanted her wheelchair. I'm going to hell for having thought that.

Somehow I made it home, in a haze of pain and longing for anything with wheels. I took pills that may or may not be Canadian and the 16,000 seem to have thinned their ranks some.

That terrible picture above? That's me and saran wrap. I mean, Picasso. I keep calling him my saran wrap because ever since baba and Matisse left yesterday, he's been hyperclingy and superneedy, and I realized yesterday morning was the first time in his life he'd been totally alone. He was born in a kitty foster home and I adopted him into a pre-existing 2 catchen home 2 years ago, so. It was very strange for me to see a normally 100% happy and cheerful catchen be sad, clingy, and crying. Poor little guy... Poor saran wrap.

I wish I could post progress pictures of the oceanic scarf but I have done, you know, maybe 10 rows since Wednesday? Definitely time for a knitbreak tonight.

26 May 2006

twenty hours

I have been up 20 hours straight and it's time for zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzcrashthunkow.

But first.

I got up at 4:30 am to herd catchen stuff baba and Matisse into carriers, get myself into a reasonable fascimisle of a clean calm collected well slept person. Then I went downstairs and met the Supershuttle guy and got in, at 5:30 am. MYOI. The catchen were in individual carriers in the luggage section and I was so shocked the driver was going to stack baba's carrier on top of Matisse's without any securements that I yelped. And no stacking took place. We rode along for a hour as he drove from place to place way too fast, always my favorite way to start a morning. It was a good thing I was too comatose to be deeply frightened by his driving. We finally arrived to Dulles, and he managed to get me to the cargo shipment area, which was as far from the airport proper as to pratically be in another state. And I honestly wondered just how they thought I was gonna do that Tuesday!?!? But ah well. I did get there about 6:30 and was met by helpful people who carted the catchen up the stairs and and were kind to them as their paperwork and labelpalooooooza was processed. I think the lady put no less than five stickers on each carrier, my favorite was LIVE ANIMAL with a picture of a fish.

I was thrilled baba hadn't soiled herself this morning, I'd honestly been worried. I confess I did put baba in the litter box just before I stuffed her into her carrier, and for once she did what I asked her to do. I held her in my arms until it was time for the courier peeps to take them to their plane, and she was calm and cooperative, which is to say, not her usual inclination when in Strange Places, especially if Her Human is going to leave her and she knows it. But she didn't want to be put back down that much I can tell you.....

Anyway, because the cargo building was so far away from the airport proper I successfully begged for someone to drive me to the terminal, because um, walking there? Might have taken 30 years? I got to the terminal just in time to barely catch the 5A metrobus back, and I did this strange thing called "knitting" while I rode along and pretended I wasn't worried about the catchen.

I got home at 9 am, and felt like it was 11 pm. Or something. So tired. So tired. I cooked turkey sausage and had eggs with hats, and finally at 1030 am I could call my mother, tell her the catchen were on the way and I was for some reason still awake, and o by the way, do I have an apartment!?!? Because I still hadn't heard from the apartment peeps and it was Friday and I was flying in Tuesday and I most assuredly wasn't having nightmare visions of being denied an apartment, nope nope. I don't know what you're talking about, that must have been someone else with those visions. Yeah.

But finally, yes, I was told I had an apartment. A large one bedroom hardwood floor apartment with 3 bigass closets on an upper floor, with the laundry room right next door, which is a bonus not a drawback given it's not like I could hear them to be bothered by their running...

More importantly? AN ADDRESS. Strange concept, to want to know where to mail your boxes..... Ahhhhhhhh! Thus began the endless trips to the post office, to the apartment, to the post office, to the apartment, to the post office, to the apartment......the post office clerks sighed visibly when I came up to their counter because there was box, and box, and box, and box, and box, and also? Box.

I confess at this point I lost count of how many boxes I shipped and how many trips I took, and was more concerned with how my calves began to feel like a nation unto themselves.

Then, because I have had perfect timing thus far and have had nary a mishap nor a last minute plan change, the moment I stepped out of the post office at 5 pm, the skies opened up and poured so hard that if the water had been a bit warmer, it'd have felt rather like a refreshing massage shower. I giggled and sloshed along in the rain as I became completely soaked from top to bottom, except for the area of my tshirt directly below my chest, which amused me far beyond which such things should be amusing.

And then I came home. And ate. Called my mother and learned that babachen and Matisse had arrived safely and were calm. Yay! And took the longest bath I'd taken since this whole thing began, which, ahhhhhh! Much needed! And did laundry, because stinky bedlinens are just too depressing to open up. And I tried to knit, despite the fact that at this point it was getting past 11 and I was getting more incoherent by the minute.

And then I piled the stuff on the laundry cart, wrote, and now? The heck to bed. I am so tired. I have to get up early tomorrow too.

25 May 2006

Dear g-d it's Thursday.

And that meant this morning I had to take catchen catchen catchen to the vet. This was greeted with great excitement and enthusiasm. O wait. Except not. The appointment was for 10 am and I was sooooo tired after all the working on the apartment and stress and lalala, but I managed to wake up at 9:28 and cram the catchen into one large carrier, and go across the street to the bus stop. I was proud of myself for not giving the bus driver the finger for refusing to fold down the handicapped ramp thingie so I could just pull the catchen on, I could barely even lift the #*#82^3! carrier. Ugh.

Arrived at the vet, and lets just say it's not generally my favorite thing to realize that babachen had soiled herself and got urine all over the carrier, herself, and the boys. Ugh!!! So you know, no pictures of the vet visit or anything. Blech. Baba got a shampoo and dry and the boys... cleaned themselves. I'd prefer not to think too hard about that.

They all had to be certified for flight because of the flying them thing, and baba and Matisse got certified for cargo shipping, but the vet required that Picasso be flown coach with me because she found that he had a heart murmur. While I did feel some level of concern about the murmur I must be honest and say I was more concerned about the suddenly changed kittyflight logistics, which presented no hassles at all whatsoever. Except not. 57 emails later, my mother booked a coach ticket for Picasso. And I managed to find someone who would loan me a soft carrier because the odds of finding a shop that would gurantee delivery of a soft sided carrier by Saturday looked increasingly dismal the more I looked for one. Because, of course, for the last 2 weeks I had planned on flying all three cargo and had 3 hard sided carriers. Sigh.

Then my mother emailed me and said that babachen and Matisse had to be flown cargo Friday morning, not Tuesday, because of the heat that was anticipated, and if it was too hot, they would not be allowed to fly, which would slightly ruin my transport plans. Sigh. Okay. What time do I need them there by? 630 am? Well... Okay. I'm running on fumes here, but... Okay.

I just wish I could have knit today. I am so sick of boxes and tape and the mess and you know what I mean. But I must persevere. I only have Friday and Saturday to ship everything....

24 May 2006

Wednesdays are for wish lists

If anyone sees my sanity, please pick it up and carry it home? It got out and ran off on me! I'm not sure what it looks like exactly, but picture a plied yarn that's got its plies all snagged and yucky looking, and it's stiff from being stained with the soda it spilled onto itself. Sexy!

This week I only really want one thing, because I sold my desktop computer. A laptop computer. Yessssssss. I wants.

23 May 2006

Tuesdays are for Self Portraits

This picture was taken three and a half years ago, on a beach in South Carolina, in the middle of January. Still and all, it's hard to capture something that makes you feel like you really are sharing a part of yourself with others in a picture, and I think this picture is my favorite. It's nice to be captured, just once, in an unguarded moment when I'm laughing, to just show another dimension of myself that's there all the while, but that I, or others, can never see in a carefully posed picture.

22 May 2006

It's a Verdeful Monday

Yarn shopping with the best Verde ever is a hoot and a half. For some reason, she was on a mission to find the worst possible yarns out there. I think you'll agree that she did a bangup job.

At Knit n Stitch = Bliss in Bethesda, Verde found this concotion we could only describe as cat hair mixed with kitty hork composed of Fruity Pebbles. No? Come up with a better description of this frightening... thing.

Stuck on a scavenger hunt? Marooned on an island with 15 other poorly-dressed castaways? You should have Verde with you. Look! She found a guinea pig at Bliss! Wait. That's yarn???

Don't shop at AC Moore if you don't want to support a store that doesn't stop at muppet yarns, but actually sells dead muppet pelts!

Meet Yarnivore, the newest catchen of the household! Wait, that's just a bunch of yarn.... in a cat carrier. O the joys of riding the Metro home with a carrier and people seemingly being unable to understand there was nothing in the stupid carrier.

21 May 2006

It's the process, right?

Perhaps I am not fated to have utterly simple projects that require no fits and starts and frogging and whatnot, at least not for the nonce. Exhibit A : Oceanic scarf. When we last visited the specimen, it was a little scarfling. Pretty! But I hated the caston edge. Then for some strange reason I had the "brilliant" idea of frogging just the caston edge and casting off more swelegantly.

Did this work? Well... It was a looser edge at least, but please, it looked even lamer, if that was possible and it most assuredly was.

Bleck! Ptui!

But let's admire the beautiful texture of the scarf itself, before it met an inauspicious death:


I did a cable caston this time. And? It's so pretty! It's perfect! Now I despair of having a castoff half this good.

And I managed to get this much done today (apologies for the crappy picture):

Will the castoff line suck? How big will this scarf be? Stay tuned.

20 May 2006


It's starting. The move's starting. This afternoon I shipped 13 boxes totaling 70 pounds for a total of $88.11. Only one box was for me, which means total shipped for me: ONE. The rest were items I sold.

Still, that one for me box? Funny, and I'm sure it'll be weird to my mother (who's recieving the boxes for me) that THAT was sent priority when it holds onyx tealight holders, not very important. But, it was the best way to do it. See, I shipped a 18.5 pound box for $8. Why? Because I'd crammed these onyx tealight holders into one of those flat rate boxes. That was a brilliant decision, because it would have been $24 otherwise. I know that that's probably not what the post office peeps had intended, but the flat rate box is helpful in situations like that. To me. Anyway.

I also started this scarf, which is a pattern from my a pattern a day knittage calendar. Slanted eyelet scarf, actually written for bamboo yarn, bonus. I'm doing it on 5 mm needles instead of the 5.5 called for because I like the look of this better. Did you notice the little stitch markers? These are Project Spectrum stitch markers from Straying Power. I was signed up for the stitch marker club for my birthday, and those sheepies are sooooooooooooooo cute. And quite useful, because knowing which color is on the right tells me which of the two rows I'm supposed to knit in my two-row pattern.

19 May 2006


Verde is here on the right coast for a few days. She's off with her family for a bit, but she will be back on Sunday and we'll hang out for a few days. Woot! It's wonderful to see her. Unalike me, she works on 47 things at one time. Hee. But like me, she has a love for yarn. She, you see, was the one who Taught Me the Way of the Knittage. And recently, she was in Hawaii. And thought of me! And got me yarn! I'm special.

You know Verde is a real knitter if, you know, she went to a yarn shop in Hawaii. Twice.

I tried to take a picture of the yarn. This worked out really well, as you can see. There was the Picasso, sniff sniff sniff sniff what's this? I think this gets the Manx sniff of approval!

Okay, so I'll stand behind the yarn. This yarn is fully backed by Manx Catchen International!

Eh. How about the full back, Mamochka? Full backing! No?

Oh look! I finally get to take a Picasso-free picture. Pretty shiny stuff isn't it? It's bamboo yarn. Plymouth Yarn Royal Bamboo yarn, to be precise. Color 20. Exciting colorway name here.

Verde said that it reminded her a lot of the ocean and the sky surrounding her in Hawaii. My little piece of Hawaii! I think I'll make a bias eyelet scarf out of this....

18 May 2006

Getting Things Out

Look! I finally finished the warshrag. Jeez. Being so sick sort of crimps your style, I'm learning. Today sucked monkey rocks. I'd never had a sinus cavity so full of gunk that I couldn't move that side of my face before, and I hope never to again, because, you know, EW. And painful.

But the warshrag is off my needles, and the gunk is finally leaving my sinuses, and maybe we can all move on to better things.

17 May 2006

Wednesdays are for Wish Lists

DYEORAMA! Did you know I'd signed up? Apparently not, because I never got around to announcing it... I am a terrible blogger. Or something.

Hm. If you read through this, I might put an insanely cute picture of a wee little Picasso at the end. Think that'll be worth it? I think so too.

Your favorite colors?

Honestly? Everyone dies a little death when I say this, but white. But yes, I love how it counterpoints to every other color in creation. Other favorites are hot pink, cobalt blue, aqua, deep crimson, lavender, grey, almost any blue.

That being said, I don't like yellow. I don't like orange. I only knit with them for other people. The end.

Preferred yarn weight (Fingering, Sport, DK, maybe even Worsted)?

I don't mind, really, any weight. Every weight, every yarn has its own surprises and challenges, and I like that. If you need specifics, something I can use with my US 2s would be greatly appreciated.

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn?

Anything! Somewhat solid, solid, multicolored, variegated, striped, yadda yadda.

If your buddy is able to do so, would you like a variegated, self-striping, or self-patterning yarn?

Surprise me!

Would you be interested in a wool blend sock yarn (nylon, tencel, silk, acrylic, alpaca, etc.)?

I am violently allergic to latex, so nothing with elastic or lycra in it please. I cannot touch the stuff even for five seconds, so knitting it is not an option, either. Other than that, hey, whatever.

Imagine the perfect colorway. What would you name it?

The pressure! The pressure!

White/cobalt blue/grey/the faintest hint of aqua or teal = bellamoden

leaf green/purple/hot pink = Verde

brown/grey/purple/white = Picasso's Hippo

red/brown/cream = Matisse's Bowl

aqua/lavender/white/grey = baba

hot pink/white/brown/a hint of denim = Peppermint Patty

aloe green/denim blue/cream/white/lavender/crimson = Spring Street

Can you tell I really like color combinations?

What was the biggest appeal to you for joining this dye-along?

Forcing me to embrace an experience I would otherwise only think about.

Have you dyed yarn/fiber before?


Do you spin?

No. I'm not sure I really need to go down that rabbit hole.

Have you knit socks before?

I sure have!

Do you use sock yarn for just socks or in other patterns too?

I haven't yet, but I am strongly considering making some shawls or scarves with sock yarn.

What are some of your favorite yarns?

Manos del Uruguay. Cascade Pastaza. Koigu. I am highly partial to single-stranded yarns, or those with variegated thicknessess. Or both. Or amazing colors. Or sproinginess.

What yarn do you totally covet?

Sundara Yarn, Sunshine Yarns, Black Bunny, Cabin Cove, Scout's Knitted Swag, Brooklyn Handspun (chocolate covered cherries! YES!)

Favorite patterns?

How to narrow this down?!? I basically love anything Wendy Bernard, Alison Hansel, or Wendy D. Johnson make. I also love Anna Bell's designs, and would love her Bridie. Since I have none of Wendy Bernard's patterns, I would say I would love to make Something Red, Essential Stripe, or Fad Classic. In that order. I also love Bonne Marie Burns's patterns. I love many of Rowan's more classic designs, and am currently tempted by Crinkle.

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object?

A Koigu shawl or sweater, especially the Koigu sweater in Wendy Knits. Or a Manos full sized blanket, complete with pillow shams. Or a Rowan design. Any of the sweaters I listed.

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)?

For socks? Definitely Addi Turbo two circs. For other things, it depends. I love Addi and use them for a lot of things, but I also have Boye straights which I like just for the tactileness, and wish I could find Addi straights for the same reason. I also have Lantern Moon straights in ebony and rosewood, which are utterly delicious.

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be?

Manos. Manos. Manos.

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack?

I love chocolate. Any chocolate, pretty much.

What’s your favorite animal?

Gee, I wonder.

Do you have pets? What are their species/names/ages?

Cat cat cat cat cat cat cat! Okay. Only cat cat cat. baba, who is 16, Matisse, who is 4, and Picasso who is 2.

If you were a color what color would you be?

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh. White? Cobalt blue? White? Cobalt blue?

Describe your favorite shirt (yours or someone else’s)..

A crisp cotton buttondown blouse, with perfectly pressed collar and cuffs, 3/4 sleeved, with a neckscarf accompanying it.

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature?

Any picture of catchenage is always a winner with me. I also love pictures of flowers, and just anything that focuses on texture. For myself, as a photographer, my photographs are of memorials or other manmade things against things in nature, and looking at how the two interact. I should post some of those pictures later.

Tell me the best quote you’ve ever heard or read.

Wenn du dein ganzes Leben lang glucklich sein willst, musst du guten Freunden haben.

Do you have a wishlist?

Every Wednesday I list some here, hee. And yes, I do definitely have an Amazon wishlist.

Anything else you’d like to share with the group today?

I am a voracious reader of design books, and love interior design very much. Aesthetics and porportions mean a lot to me, and part of me would really like very much to go to design school.

And here's baby! Picasso!

baby! picasso!, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

16 May 2006

Tuesdays are for Self Portraits

The first rule is that it hurts.
The second rule is that it hurts.
The third rule is that it's a question of how much it hurts, not whether it hurts.

The fourth rule is that doing things like packing makes it hurt. A lot more.
The fifth rule is that picking up things is painful.
The sixth rule is to be ridiculously grateful for people like Verde, who will unscrew things for me.

The seventh rule is that it's incurable.
The eighth rule is to accept that, somehow.
The ninth rule is that when it hurts, it hurts. And if I can't knit, I can't knit.

The tenth rule is to look forward to all the knitting I will be able to do once I no longer have to deal with boxes.

15 May 2006

Requiem for an Apartment

It wasn't my first apartment.

It won't be the last.

But I think this was the first one where I could really be proud of how beautiful it was.

The first decorated apartment.

It was small, no doubt.

But all the furniture was chosen with care.

14 May 2006

The Plan

I am hyper organized. I wasn't always, but I sure am these days. I have decided how I will approach the move: I have four types of containers I like and would like to keep, as they make life much more organized and manageable. I have ordered boxes that precisely fit each of the four types of containers from Paper Mart, and will simply pack things into each container, plop the container in a box, mail it, and when I get to the new apartment, I will open the box, put the container away, and that's it. Done. Sounds lovely doesn't it?

With this in mind, I am limiting myself to these containers. What doesn't fit, I don't need. It's that simple. In the interests of making things as light as possible for me to schlep to the post office, each item will be in its own box. It may not be great to see 20 million boxes all individual-like, but I think this will be best for efficiency and cost containment, especially since I have compared the cost of larger boxes that would fit 2 or more items, as opposed to individual ones. The simple truth is that buying larger boxes requires shipping equal to or more than the cost of the boxes themselves, and local sources net me boxes that are $9 each. I don't think so! I have looked for used boxes, and whatnot, but the quality I've seen is poor. I need boxes that will survive a simple plopping of the container and shipping. Plus I need more than 5, so you know.

Overthinking? Probably. But that is how one gains a sense of control and A Plan. At least if your name is Frarochvia and you are known to your friends as the hyper-organized person. That pile in the corner? That's my mother. She has fainted in shock. I don't think she ever thought I would see the day that I was an organized minimalist. Hey!

It would have been nice to simply show up with three catchen and a suitcase, but that's not going to work out exactly; there are some things that simply cost much less to ship than to replace, like shoes or a suit (for interviews!) or my yarn, or what have you. Paying for the shipment of those things will be no problem; the eBaying (sell! sell! sell!) I have done in the past week will pay for it easily.

The smaller Branas basket is 9x9x9.875. I have purchased 10x10x10 boxes that should contain these perfectly. The larger Branas baskets are 13x14x13 and I got 14x14x14 boxes for these. The colorful units are large and small tinted drawer units from The Container Store. These are excellent and high quality drawers that have stood up to abuse for two years and still look new. The smaller drawer units are just under 16x9x6, and I have boxes sized 16x10x6 for these. The larger drawer units are a bit smaller than 20x16x9, and the boxes for these are 20x16x12.

I hope I haven't put you to sleep, but I feel good and feel on track, just seeing all that typed out.

13 May 2006

It's been a bad knitting week

Sinus infunktion number three? Check.

Panicking? Check.

Packing? Check.

Selling stuff on ebay? Check.

Selling stuff through Craigslist? Check.

Listing stuff on Amazon? Check.

Looking frantically for an apartment 1000 miles away with 3 weeks notice? Check.

Waiting for my last (huge) paycheck? Check.

Wondering just exactly how this move will work out? Check.

With any luck, regular blogging will resume today. I am SO sorry, and am thankful for all the emails I have recieved.

Let's see our knitting progress for the week:

That's a really gorgeous looking sock isn't it! Hm. 68 stitches weren't enough, as it turned out. I am going to do the toeup sock ala Chris this time, And It Will Work. Grrrrrrrr. But not right this minute.

This week I've been working on this warshrag in between mad bouts of sneezing, packing, photographing, listing, etc etc. It's a pathetic amount of progress, but it's something.

PS: Dyearama pal, my address will be changing. Please give me a way to let you know the new address. Thank you!

09 May 2006

Tuesdays are for Self Portraits

06 May 2006

I is for Indian handblock tapestries

I own quite a few Indian handblock tapestries that I've collected over the years.

These pictures are of only a few of them.

I am a visual minimalist, but for handblocked tapestries from India, I definitely make an exception!

Usually they are the only printed materials in a room, which makes for a lovely focal point, if you ask me.

I find their imperfections utterly charming, and appreciate the reminder that each piece is unique and that every motif was hand stamped.

I think they're art. Don't you?

05 May 2006

Is it Friday? Please oh please oh please.

First of all, I've never crocheted in my life yet. I just have a few crochet hooks, a single crochet book, a pile of yarn, and delusions aspirations thereof. So why is THIS linking a post from my blog? Never mind why it was clicked. Heh.

The things you learn with a site meter.... yow.

You may or may not have noticed there have been no progress shots on the Picasso Bag. That would be because while I have lots of yarn for the double icord, I need one more skein of the main yarn for the bag itself. Oops! I finally admitted this small fact to myself this morning and sent an email to my mother begging for another skein in the same dyelot, since it was purchased as part of the Birthday Yarn Allotment at the yarn shop near her. I will halfassedly diligently work on the double icord in the meantime. So you see, it is not an abandoned project and I don't have project ADD. Really. My love for projects is true, but once one runs out of yarn, one runs out, and all the love of the Picasso does not net one more yarn. Strange, but nonetheless apparently true.

Here's a crappy picture of the purple Koigu sock as of this morning. Really, last night, since I haven't knit on it yet today. I'm heartily sick of the rib pattern but I am diligently continuing because I liked the look of a 2" long rib in the first attempt and dangit I will achieve it even if it takes me 14 more rows with my tiny gauge. I will be measuring every row just in case, of course.

I bent my wookie :(, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

And because I always wanted to say it: I BENT MY WOOKIE! Boo. I apologize for the super-crappy picture above, but the top needle is bent. Can you see it? Is there any way to fix it short of going to the yarn store and buying a new one? I mean, the needle still works, but it's rather annoying.

Man I am lucky!, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Look what was waiting for me when I got home last night! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Socks! Book! A postcard! One ball each of Knit Picks Palette in hycanith and fog!I had been wanting to try out this yarn in socks, so that's perfect. I'll make striped socks based on (appropriately!) the Yarn Harlot's tulip socks, well, minus the multicolor and probably minus the tulips too, but the stripe numbering order and the basic idea of contrasting ribbed cuff, heel flap, and toe. So almost, but not quite exactly unalike these socks.

SockapalOOOza socks with flash, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

These are made of two strands of the Palette carried together, with the "dominant" yarn, or the one being held on top, randomly changing places. Interesting method! I never thought of doing this... and it really creates a neat variegated-like effect. I love the two colors together because they'll be perfect in winter, since I have lavender sweaters and sweaters in this sort of greeny color. I'm guessing it's mint, but it looks nothing like the color in the sock. Sockpal, would you please let me know what this is?

EDITED TO ADD: You're kidding, Sockpal! Color me gobsmacked. The "green" in the socks is actually grey! I'll have to take them outside tomorrow to look again because I would *swear* they were green. Wow. That's fascinating, actually.

Where's my sockpal from?, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Here's where she's from! She's Perpetual Blonde and I absolutely love the design of her website! But I might have a small liking for black/white/pink combinations. See? Here's a bad picture of the umbrella I took to work with me today:

bad picture of good umbrella, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Where was I? Oh yeah. Socks.

Squish squish, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Forgive the lack of beautiful styling and outside poses and other fancy things. It was eighty degrees and those socks, which perfectly fit, comfortable, squishy, pretty, etc etc etc, were also REALLY WARM and I WAS GETTING AWFULLY HOT. Ahem.

But not, apparently, AWFULLY HOT quick enough to not go ahead and try them in my clogs! Perfect fit in the Dansko 39s that I wear with thicker socks. See, even Picasso liked them and gave them the Manx sniff of approval. That means something, I'm sure.

I was going to say more today but that's a lot of words and a lot of pictures and it's already noon and um, I took 3 hours to do this post in between clients and eating processed foods and oh yeah, working, with nary a stitch of knittage, so you know, there's always tomorrow! WHEE.