Thursday, March 31, 2005

First things first, this is the picture I forgot yesterday. It's a very well loved Stephen, Trevor's favorite toy, caught between games last night. Trevor thanks you for all the kind wishes (which were read to him last night as he sat on my lap) and also celebrated turning the big oh-five by killing a catnip pillow, picking on Aslan and Oscar mercilessly, and nearly giving me a heart-attack when he actually stuck his head INSIDE the pitbull's mouth. The now-nominated-for-sainthood-dog Oscar just rolled his eyes at me, and I separated them immediately.

And once again, you cannot have my husband. The story I didn't tell you about him buying me all those books Monday, but not Stephanie's book, was a little more complicated. I ordered it, as I said, from Amazon, back in 2004. Amazon was claiming it hadn't been released yet, and I was hearing stories of folks having in in their possession. Now, as dearly as we all love our Harlot, I doubt that there were Harry-Potter-like stolen copies about, so I suspected that the book actually had been released. However, GB put our name on the list to be called when it was "released" -- and then went back and got it without telling me! Okay, so he's not perfect (not liking vinegar and Old Bay on his fries, for example) but I think I'll keep him. Because here it is!
Aslan is so excited!!!

Here are the buttons I told you about for the baby sweater - I think they work, don't you?

But now for my heartache.
For weeks, my "work project" has been Shedir, that gorgeous pattern from Knitty's Cancer issue. (remember this? That's what it was, and is a much better representation of the color) The hat with all these gorgeous cables:

Doing it at work, I could only grab a row or two on occasional days, so I've been working on this for some time. It is the very first project I've ever followed to the tee- no changes of my own, even using the recommended yarn. It was going to be a special surprise for a new friend - do you know her? You should, she ROCKS. In addition, I could use it as a stash buster, since I had this one ball of a discontinued color of Calmer, and the pattern called for one ball. There are (I think) 83 rows of this pattern, and this is what I had left after row 64:

That's right, I'm out of yarn. The star shows where I ran out. I think you can guess what the frowny face means.

It seems to me that's an awful lot of pattern left there to run out of yarn. I suspect my ball may have been a bit short on the yardage.

I love the pattern, and I have a ball of a light icy blue (although Sarah prefers jewel-tones, so the darker color would have been perfect) so I may try it again... when I've recovered.

I was so pissed last night at this damn hat... I cast on for a cotton top, for myself, my own design, which I'm winging.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Story of Trevor

Years ago, when my precious Misha was an only child, people started telling me she was getting old. Now, this is a horrible thing to say, especially to someone as close to her as I was. Would you go to someone and say "wow, your mom's getting old. Bet she keels over at any minute!" Nevertheless, everyone mentioned how old she was (at NINE!). More and more I was thinking about her leaving me, which I knew would kill me. And I knew if I didn't have another cat in my life when Misha passed, I never would. If I had one to keep caring for, I'd get by, but if all I had was memories of her, no one else would live up to it. So I started thinking about getting a kitten.

Just then, GB announced that Elvira was pregnant by Meathead. This is not the scandel it could be, since Elvira and Meathead were the names the soldiers on the Naval base where GB worked had given to two stray cats who were seen 'round and about together.

So it was decided that I would have one of Elvira's kits - my pick. I had heard that alternating genders makes cat integration easier, so I'd decided to get one of the boys. Since Misha was named after a male dancer (Mikhail Baryshnikov) I had decided that my little boy kitten would be named after a female actress - Antoinette Perry, the only woman to have an Academy Award named after her (the Tonys).

About a week after the kittens were born, in early April of 2000, I went to visit GB and see a movie with him and with his son. During the entire movie, I heard a mother talking to her son. I never heard her son. I never saw her son. But throughout the entire movie I heard a contstant stream of

And people think the cosmos doesn't give warnings.

We went to see the kittens after that, and they all looked almost identical. There was one of the boys who had the tiniest white fluff on the tip of his tail - maybe 15 little hairs. He was running around, slapping the other kittens around, jumping on them, bossing them around....
and as soon as I picked him up, he fell asleep in my arms.

Yep, this was my little guy.

A string was tied around his neck so no one else would take him (eventually all the kittens found homes, and Elvira was fixed) and when he was old enough, he came home with me. For a while, he was Trevor Perry, but on visiting my parents, my mother decided that "Trevor Miguel" had much more "yellability" - and he knows the middle name means trouble!

Misha hated him. She didn't want a kitten (she might have liked a puppy). And he was fearless. Lungs like you'd never believe something his size could have. He was sick a lot when he was tiny. The vet told me he was small for his age, and that his inners hadn't caught up to his outers in growth, so things weren't processing as smoothly as they could be. He outgrew it, and hasn't had a problem since. He jumped on everyone and everything - the world was his playground (the picture above is him spelunking through a pair of my father's pants at about 6 months old. He'd started at the cuff).

When he was eight months old, I came home from work to find uncooked spaghetti all over my apartment. The box was still in the cabinet, which was above my head. He had climbed up, opened the cabinet and the box, and knocked it over, to pour noodles down to play with. He could turn on and off lightswitches by jumping up and hitting the toggles (I'm sure my neighbors thought I had some sort of freaky disco going on most nights.) He turned on the air conditioning once doing the same thing. I had to have GB raise the chandelier in my dining room on one of his visits, because Trevor would take a running leap at it, catch it with his front legs, and swing like George of the Jungle. He still plays fetch with the little plastic rings from milk jugs, or his favorite toy, a little green and white stuffed chicken, which he knows by name (Stephen - I'll try to post a picture of him later, I forgot to take one).

He's five today. Any minute now he'll outgrow that kitten behavior, right? I'll cry that day.

He is everything a cat should be. Ferocious, and curious, and fearless, and loving. He will get into trouble where you think there is none. And then he will want to cuddle until the fear goes away. No mouse stands a chance with him around. And strangers better be ware, as well - I'm his mom, don't bother to try to steal my love (it took him years to accept GB!). He is by far the most affectionate cat I've ever lived with, though no one (myself included) would say he's the sweetest in temperment. He is my Spud. Spuderball. Trev. Monkey.

Happy Birthday, Trevor Miguel.
I love you.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

You Can't Have Him

I asked GB to swing by the bookstore on the way home and pick up the Harlot's bookbookbookbookbook. I had ordered it on Amazon months ago, but they kept stalling on sending it out, and while patience may be a virtue, it is not one of mine. I got a call from him, standing in the bookstore. He said, and I quote, "I don't see Stephanie's book, but I see some other knitting books I don't think you have. Do you want them?" Um. Let me think.

These are now mine.

Here's the shot of the wool/silk/angora blend from my benevolant benefactor. It's lovely to spin, though I'm taking my time with it and only spinning tiny amounts at a time. The full bag is two ounces, I spun maybe an eighth of an ounce (maybe less) and that took me about forty-five minutes.

Another shot, so you can see a little better the gauge of the single. I had to put a black folder underneath so it would be visable at all. I'd guess it's about 60 wpi or so, maybe less. I'll try to measure next time I work on it.

And here's the very unblocked baby sweater in progress. It's a cardigan, knit from the bottom of the back, then up, adding on for the sleeves, binding off for the neck and working the front right and the front left in turn. That's nearly the whole right sleeve, just a few rows left, and then I'll continue on the front right. Right now it just looks bizarre, and I'm a little nervous at how narrow the back seems to be, though it's tough to tell with all the curling in. I bought some little buttons that have yellow ducks wearing blue bonnets on them this morning, so I imagine those are what I'll use.

And does anyone else think their animals spend all day in front of a mirror, practicing the woe-is-me face? Oscar has added the prop of a jail cell. This is not an unhappy dog in general, he was just working the "oh, poor me I have to sit home and sleep while Mom gets to go to work in a crappy job all day" face. Any guesses if he got extra pity?

Monday, March 28, 2005

I think something's wrong with my little ball winder. This is two balls in a row of handspun that it's obliterated.

And this was gorgeous silk. So this time, it's personal.

There's nothing I could do with this. The tangle was HUGE, and everytime I'd get the tiniest section worked the slightest bit out, another tangle would come out from the center. The silk has gone on to a better (okay, worse) place now.

I did spin a teeny bit of a gorgeous white wool/silk/angora blend from my benevolant benefactor, a smeency fraction of an ouce. Of course, I didn't think to take pictures of it. Maybe I'll remember that tonight. I'm thinking of a very fine weight lace for that. I have two ounces over all, and it spins beautifully, so we'll see what gets made of that. I will NOT let it near my little ball winder. From now on, ALL homespun gets Big Bertha.

I also worked more on the baby sweater. I got about a quarter down the right front, decided I wasn't happy with a change I'd made in the pattern, so ripped way back, and then discovered that I'd done the measurements wrong for that section anyway, so it was a good think I ripped back. But I'm back up to where I stopped last time, and it's going well. I'll try to get more pictures of that tonight, too.

For now, you just get a Lucy-Cam update:

Houston, we have a lemon!!!

BTW, Lucy had a sister who didn't survive the move from the snowbelt of New York. Her sister was a Key Lime tree named Ethel. What can I say, I lived in the birthplace of Lucille Ball.....

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Just for fun. I am a Fried Fruit Pie (which is sadly quite appropriate) and married to a Bridge Mix. Both descriptions are eerily accurate.

We had date night last night and went to see Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. It was a fun movie, and I love that the women don't need men to rescue them at all. GB even said it was better than the first (though, come to think of it, I don't know how he feels about the first movie, so maybe that's not terribly high praise.) I knew I was the nerdiest member of the audience when I was the only one who chuckled at a Shakespeare joke (William Shatner's character says "I've done lots of theatre, I even played Iago in Twelfth Night") but I discovered who the dumbest member of the audience was as well, when we discover a character's allergies (dogs, cats, dairy, dust) and Sandra Bullock says "it must have been hard growing up, not being able to have a dog, or cat, or ice cream... or dust" and someone in the audience said "why would you want dust?"

I just hope she woke up at three this morning and said "OOOOOHHHHHH".

Knitting class was good this morning. I had a new student who was so blindly trusting I would almost believe she was a ringer. She came in struggling with a cast on, and able to knit, never having purled. I talked her through a variety of things, and by the end of the class she'd made garter, st-st, ribbing, two different lace patterns (using YO and K2tog) and a small cable. It was great fun to see her stop a row, look at what she'd done, and just swell with pride.

And because of Date Night, I didn't knit last night, so here's a closer look at the yarn I dyed as it becomes the baby sweater - look ma, no pooling!

Easter CrossEgg PaintingBunnyBunny FaceHappy Easter
Do you realize that six weeks from today I will be sitting in my spinning class at MD S&W???? Yeah, the chomping at the proverbial bit has commenced. This does not bode well for my productivity at work over the next month and a half.

Meanwhile, this little guy

came into the world via two amazing parents, who are dear dear dear friends of mine from my miserable days in southwestern NY (where even the sun hates to be). He was born Saint Patrick's Day, but no, his name isn't Patrick. (that's right, that pic was taken with him less than a week old and he's got more hair than both his parents combined) I toyed briefly with a baby blanket or layette set with shamrocks on it, and he might still get that down the road. But yesterday morning it occurred to me that I still have those 8 oz of superwash that I dyed at the KR Retreat last fall. For some reason, I chose bright blue and yellow (no green or copper, which shocked the heck out of me). I don't care for pastels on babies - I don't dislike it, I just much prefer fun colors. And this sure will make a fun sweater, don't you think?

Using my modification of the Easy Peasy Cardigan pattern from Little Turtle Knits, we have this. The yarn is closer to sport weight than the worsted that the pattern calls for, and I didn't want the look of garter stitch, so I've adapted things slightly for that, choosing instead to go with a half inch garter border, then st-st the rest of the way. In any event, right now it's ten inches across when it's not curling, and I knit about 5.5 inches up last night watching Lost & Alias. It was my first time watching Lost, and I'm not as impressed as most of the world seems to be, but I guess it's just too far along to pick up. The colors look amazing, if I do say so myself, and it's Jen's yarn, so it's supersoft and gorgeous and knits beautifully. I'll have to look for buttons some this weekend, I'm thinking four or five different buttons, with blues and yellows, but not matching. Depending on how much yarn is left I'd like to make a hat and booties too. Because of the finer gauge, I'm knitting the pattern to the largest size (3T), with minor changes for my garter borders, but it's coming out to the six months measurements. That's what I was shooting for, since it means he'll be able to wear it for a while. The pattern says the 6 month size takes 4 oz of yarn, but I don't know if using the finer weight - and therefore doing a lot more stitches - will take up more yarn or not. I think he'll at least get a hat.

And the headache is still here, although it's not really migraine stage, it's now just that dull throb that comes with recovering from a migraine. But thanks for the well-wishes.

Now, can we all agree to just skip April and go straight to MD S&W??????

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

My life is utterly and completely blah today. At about three o'clock in the morning, I was mentally composing a top ten list of how to tell if you've got a migraine. It went something like this:
10. The moon, which is not as bright as, say, this computer monitor, is blinding you.
9. Your pillows are making you nauseaus.
8. If that damn cat doesn't stop purring so loudly you'll give him something to purr about!
7. The gentle rain falling on the roof makes you cry for everyone who ever suffered from Chinese Water Torture

and then I got lost.

I'm feeling slightly better now. For breakfast I had this

and I even managed to gaze thoughtfully at this little set up (both of these point at a new cheap tv I just bought so I can spin and workout to my own shows, without taking up living room space, or having to watch what the boys are watching. The space thing was bothering some of my husbands)

I did say "gaze thoughtfully" and I hope no one thought that was an implication that I actually considered using either of those things, both of which are far too noisy for my mental status right now.

and here is the toe/foot of the guy safe sock I'm working on right now. Another two inches or so and I'll start the gussets and heel, but that'll have to wait until My Stuff Weekend.

Oh, and many thanks to all the book selections last weekend. I managed to get out of work only slightly late last night, and picked up the David Sedaris that was the most popular comedy selection. I also on a whim grabbed the second Ellen DeGeneres book. I flipped through both, and settled on a selection from Ellen that made GB laugh out loud no fewer than three times when I read it to him. And for the knitterly book, I went with a selection from Knitting for Anarchists, so thanks go to whomever reminded me of that one. I hope to be able to provide more details on my use of these items within a month, so cross body parts, light candles, say prayers and chant that good things come of it!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A Conversation in My House

Cat 10 RAOW!




Prince What's wrong?

Cat 10 RAOW!

Prince What's wrong?

Cat 10 RAOW!

Princess Honey, does he have food in his bowl?

Cat 10 RAOW!

Prince Is that it?

Cat 10 RAOW!

Prince You need food?

Cat 10 RAOW!

Prince You ate it all, huh?

Cat 10

Prince Oh, you aren't going to answer that, are you? Did Trevor eat all the food?

Cat 10 mmmmmeeewwww

Prince Okay, I'll get you more food.

Cat 10 RAOW!

And anyone who doesn't think that was verbatim, doesn't live with cats.


Agnes asked yesterday why my blog is RoseByAny.... The simple answer is that my e-mails and log-ins at various websites are all RoseByAny...

But why do things simply, when you could tell a story?

I grew up loving theatre - particularly musical theatre, but theatre of any kind. As I've said before, I used to tell myself bedtime stories and say lines over and over until I got the emphasis just right. I'd sing every part of every show at the top of my lungs in my room. I had a fantastic fantasy life (so much so that even that line is a quote from a musical! three points if you know which one!)

I never did homework when I was in school. I even had a (mean, obnoxious, witchy) teacher call home and tell my mother she thought that I was illiterate because I didn't do any assignments. My mother's response was something more polite than the teacher deserved, but it was something along the lines of "when she's done reading that Shakespeare play I'll take her to a therapist" - and I was in fact reading Shakespeare for fun in fifth grade and after. The language, the characters... I was entranced.

Fast forward fifteen years, and people are starting to set up e-mail accounts regularly. Nothing like we have now, but it was now more common for folks to have e-mail then not. My father set up an AOL account, using our names as the base of our addresses. And being as I was then single, and have always been female, it was rare for me to EVER sign online without getting some truly obscene propositions from people, offering to meet me at some slum in Baltimore and do all kinds of hideous things to me. I decided I really didn't want my name - or any way of tracking me - in my e-mail address.

And so there I sat, trying to pick a name. I wanted something that would show my love for theatre, and literature, but I couldn't think of anything that felt "just right".... a name is so important, and yet so unimportant....

So what's the name... what's in a name... what's in...

Light Bulb 2

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.... (Romeo and Juliet)

Monday, March 21, 2005

I'm still in awe of those roses GB got me last week - here they are yesterday, a week old now, each bloom easily the size of my (not particularly small) hands.

I had a very busy day Saturday - spent four hours demoing (is that a word? Eh. It is now.) the Sweater Machine at AC Moore. There's a learning curve, as there is with most things, and I discovered that the curve is made far steeper when folks are bumping into your chair and rudely shoving papers under your nose without saying a word to you, expecting you to hole-punch the papers as proof that the rude people had visited your booth and were therefore elligible for the prize. Once I got past the early troubles, it was okay. I had been allowed to try any of the yarns I wanted, and I really liked what I chose. That's right. A Caron yarn. Go ahead and mock, but God help me I liked it. I discovered the pink and black look amazing together, as do the lime-y green (they call it "Apple") and the bright blue. I did random stripes in scarves, and I tell you, I might even make myself a saucy little top out of this stuff... although it is relatively expensive (particularly for Caron). But it looks like it would be scratchy, and it isn't at all. It's quite nice. But it was still four hours on the knitting machine, which I suspect is a lot more like weaving. It's not really knitting at all, though the finished product is exactly like knitting. The set up is fairly tedious, though not difficult, and then you simply move the shuttle back and forth, stopping to replace the dropped stitches that occurred when people grabbed at things. It claims to be able to do lace and cables as well, though I haven't gotten that far yet, and I suspect that the task might proove more trouble than it's worth on the machine.

Directly after doing the demos, I taught a class of five, where everyone was on a slightly different level. The class was friendly, and nice, so it was okay, though by that time I had the starts of a migraine, and spent every quiet moment trying to decide if I had enough of a migraine that I'd have to take meds the second I got home, or if I could get pleasantly drunk first. Plain meds won out.

For "My Stuff" weekend, I only knit a small amount. I did wash the St. Patricks Socks (by "I did wash," I mean "I said 'yup' when my husband asked if they could go into the washer while he was doing laundry") and they came out even softer than they went in. Go buy Jen's yarn - you'll be so happy. I also got started on a pair of socks for GB, but they're a bland "guy safe" color, so I won't take any pictures until I'm at least up to the heel or something slightly more interesting. I think that I'll also do the round heel from - I've been using the Reverse Dutch Heel, and I like it a lot, but I think I just want to try the other version for this pair. And someday I want to do an afterthought heel, but the lack of gussets makes my very high-arched self nervous...

But I did make a discovery.

This is Lucy. She's my three year old Pink Lemonade tree. Her leaves don't look particularly citrus-y (citrus tends to have rounder, smooth dark green leaves, whereas hers are two-toned and ruffled) and she's a bit short on the trunk section and long on the branch parts, as trees go. She'll supposedly reach about seven feet in the size pot she's in, and she's about 3 feet tall now. She also blossoms at random (little white flowers) but has yet to bear fruit. I try not to take this personally, as a citrus girl raised in the snowbelt of New York state for the first year of her life, I suspect she might be a bit developmentally challenged. Citrus trees start bearing fruit usually after about two years...

And this weekend, I saw this:

Is that a baby lemon??????

Marriage is love.