Ever since I got my Rockin Girl Blogger button, I've been singing Michelle Shocked's Anchorage:
Leroy says send a picture
Leroy says hello
Leroy says awwwww keep on rockin, girl
Where is she now? I saw her several times in the early-90s - one concert was amazing, another torture. The torturous one was at the new and amazingly acoustically perfect George Mason U's music hall, and Taj Mahal was her opening act. Well, some great snafu prevented a large number of band members to be MIA, from both bands - can't remember the details anymore. Taj handled it amazingly well and pulled off a terrific set - one that made me rush out to buy his music and to play Take One Step a thousand times. Michelle, on the other hand, flaked out and instead of singing, spent most of the show blathering into the microphone about her problems. Yuck.
Today Leroy says I figured out short rows all by myself for the long-forgotten sweater-copying exercise I started ages ago. I've been puzzling over the back neck and shoulders, and one night last week as I was knitting a garter stitch project, an image of the way short rows might work popped up, uninvited really, in my brain. I let it mull around for a bit, and then did some googling and studied a few short row tutorials. Feeling aaaalmost ready to attempt this great feat, I found a Knitty pattern that had the directions written out so I could see how it all came down - and I felt ready to give it a try. I had, in fact, pictured it in my head pretty well, and amazingly, even in seed stitch, it WORKED! I've never picked up those wraps better I tell you! I always tried to maneuver through the wrap and into the stitch it was wrapped around without moving it at all - very squidgy work. Slipping the wrapped stitch to my right needle, putting the wrap up on the left, slipping the stitch back from the right to the left, and knitting those two stitches together made for a great result!
This short row victory is particularly important since I consider myself challenged in the visual-spatial area. I can't imagine furniture in an empty room, and though I love maps - I have to put myself "in them" to find my way around. I'm the person who has to draw the outline of my face in the mirror to figure out if it's oval or square or round. So to have a short row solution, something I've barely wrapped my brain around even after having taken a class, pop up in my head out of nowhere is just plain REMARKABLE. To have let that solution stay and grow and then to have made it work - my god - spectacular! I'm well into the front piece now, and am happy to report that my note-taking so far has been good enough to make a matching piece. So far.
Leroy also says that Leroy shall hereforth be the name of the monster guarding my tomatoes this year:
Leroy has been with me and the vines from the beginning, and I've watched him grow from a little teeny tiny thing to this humongous creature - what I call a zipper spider. You should know that I'm terrified of spiders, that I leap and scream like a girl when they appear - and they seem to seek me out everywhere. I've come to a point of acceptance with them when they stay in their own natural environment, like the tomatoes. If they're in the house, or they make a web across the back steps I'm sorry, that's my turf and they have to die. I tried early on to convince Leroy that he'd be happier elsewhere, but he seemed to think otherwise. I really messed with him when he was little - twanging the super-strong support threads on his web, blowing on him, spraying him with the hose while watering, throwing things into the web to see if he'd think they were a bug - you name it. He shakes his web when he's threatened, and I wonder what he knows of me - he seems to know I'm there when I get up and off to his side - he starts rocking like crazy. I can't stop watching him - he's truly as large as he looks and he seems to still be growing. Note the tomatoes in the background of this picture - they're the size of large plums, and he's easily as long:
His girlfriend has been around this week - a very plain brown spider of the same general body type only about 1/8th of his size. I've spied her hanging on the web directly behind him but I haven't seen them actually interact. I'm off to google zipper spider reproduction so I can be prepared.