Saturday, July 29, 2006

Mr. E

Here's an update on Mr. E. A trip to the vet brought good news: blood tests confirmed that the new medicine is working well to contain his Cushing's Disease .

He's looking much better. Honestly! Check this out from a month ago.

The bad news: Now they tell us he also has Diabetes. In addition to two pills he must endure every morning, I must now give Mr. E an insulin shot. He doesn't mind the shot too much, but he is definitely less than thrilled with prescription cat food. Neither am I - it's expensive!

When Mr. E showed up on our doorstep about two months ago, he was a very sick kitty. In addition to (and because of) the Cushing's, he was ravenous, weak and shaky. He had blood in his urine, an eye infection, mange, a bloody and infected front paw, and weighed just over 5 pounds. A lot of his hair had fallen out. He could barely step into a litter box.

But he's a very happy cat these days. He's put on a little weight, some of his hair is growing back, his eye has improved, most of the infections are taken care of, and he has some spring in his step. He's even jumping onto DD's bed! He's getting lots of food and attention (to the dismay of the other cats). I think Mr. E is quite aware that without all the indignities, of the vet and the shots and the pills, he wouldn't be on the planet.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Mystery Stole, Clue 3

Yikes! Time is flying! Clue 4 was posted this morning, (looking much like the last two). I hadn't even taken a picture of the MS2 with clue 3 finished yet, so here's another hasty photo taken this morning. I really like how it is turning out.

Melanie has done a wonderful job of designing this shawl, and I believe she could be elevated to sainthood for being the list mom...

From my grumpy self this morning: It seems that a lot of people who are absolute beginners at lace knitting signed up for this KAL project, and to be fair, many of them are cooking right along. First off, they are more brave than me - if I am going to learn a brand new technique, I usually like to see what I'm getting into first. Is it a gentle day hike, or is it Everest? I'm not too far from being a beginning lace knitter myself, and I appreciate the learning curve.

A few of these folks, however, are definitely not intrepid knitters, and the same questions, whining, wailing, and gnashing of teeth appear over and over and OVER again. Aaarrrgggghhhhh! It's gotten so that I seldom read the posts; I just log in and and get the clue. I love to share what I have learned so far to anyone who wants to know. It is an honor to give to someone else what I have received from other knitters: we preserve and enhance our craft. However, I also think folks need to read directions, look it up, and make some reasonable attempt to figure things out for themselves. If you can't knit two together and make a yarn over and no amount of list help seems to make you understand, FIND ANOTHER PROJECT, ALREADY!!

I'm just saying.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Stitch Markers

A few weeks ago, I bought three sets of great stitch markers from Beadmarkers. They are especially great for lace, because the rings don't distort the knitting, and they don't sneak under YO's.
Karen makes all kinds of different styles, and you'll find it's hard to choose. She ships quickly, too. Mine are mixed fimo sets, and I plan to order more. Here's a closer look at them:

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Convergence Loot

Well, it's about time I got around to showing this great haul! It's been weeks since I've returned from Covergence - a day trip to Grand Rapids with three great fellow guild members, Vicki, Suzanne and Birgit. I managed to walk miles to buy all this lovely stuff, despite the fact that I was still hobbling around in one of those fabulous orthopedic shoes (three weeks after foot surgery). I figured scotch and ice in the two obvious places would resolve any residual pain from all that hoofing. (I was right, too!)

I've already filed the the two pattenrs away, but here's the other loot.
From Lisa Souza's booth, from left:
Two skeins of merino sock yarn, the first color is "Mardi Gras" and the second is "Wild Things"; and
beautiful "Fatima", two skeins in "Oil Slick".
There is a shawl stick pin in there, too, from Lisa's booth.

From Habu, six tiny skeins of silk/mohair and a bag of gold cocoons for spinning. That shimmery gold is the natural color for those puppies! They probably won't get spun so soon, because I'm enjoying looking at them so much in their current state.

From Oak Grove Studio, a giant skein of boucle' for a sideways-knit sweater...

which is clearly Garbo's fave. It's going to be a cat bed if I don't stash it post-haste.

This is "Rick Rack II" from Interlacements, which - IMO - is gorgeous, and the only thing I bought without a potential project in mind. It's over 1400 yards - a cinch for yet another shawl. Like the cocoons, though, I'm getting a lot of pleasure in just looking at it, for now.

And the teeny skein below is 20/2 silk, 450 yards, from Redfish, which is slated for a smoke ring.

Quite a haul, dont you think? Cranking up the needles...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Mystery Stole progress

Before I get into clue three of the Mystery Stole, which was posted this morning - I thought I'd share how clues one and two came out for me. This shawl is knit from the middle out - clue one back to back with a provisional cast-on down the middle, and then clue two added to the ends of clue one, and so forth.

This isn't stretched or even smoothed out - just flung on the kitchen floor for a quick shot.

Most people are using Zephyr or Knit Picks lace weight yarn. I'm using Kidsilk Haze in the color "Night" (a deep navy) on 4's . A fool rushes in! Just writing about almost-black mohair and lace in the same sentence ought to have me hollering for smelling salts, or maybe a scotch. Also, my stole is coming out GIGANTIC compared to the MS2 shawls of two friends, whose versions I got to take a peek at during Monday's knitting get-together. It feels big and lumbering and gangly next to its two dainty cousins. I *think* I really like it very much, though, but I suppose I won't know for sure until after the blocking.

I have the impression from the MS2 group site that there will be no edging on this stole, but I think that if I have yarn enough, and I'm not sick-sick-sick of it by the time I get that far, that I'll add a small edging to it. It might need a little something.

This shawl is one I'd knit again. Eventually. After the fifty others waiting in the queue!

Also, Mr. E, our new cat with Cushing's disease, is getting stronger. He's jumping on and off of DD's bed, which would have been impossible two weeks ago - he could hardly stand up then. Plus, he's growing a little hair on his face, so he looks more like a cat and less like a monkey. He's really a very handsome guy. New pictures soon.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Hat trick!

Dear Daughter was a few rows into the brim of her new felted hat pattern when we went to a gathering of knitters yesterday. Well, she hasn't stopped since! She knit and knit today, learning how to make one, ssk, and use doublepoints in the process. How far did she get?

Look at this!

The entire hat, unfelted!

She used Plymouth Galway (Fiber Trends pattern), with some eyelash trim for the hatband.

Was it enough that she knitted nearly the entire hat in one day?

She also felted it, another skill she learned today. I'm so proud of her!

Now she's casting on for matching fingerless mittens...

I also scored big at the knitting gathering of friends yesterday. I had long admired the work of Birgit, a wonderous knitter, spinner and teacher in our community.

I had also long regretted not buying a hat and scarf set that Birgit had made for sale. "I'm a knitter", I thought to myself. "I should be able to make a set of my own pretty much like that ." Months went by, and I kept thinking about that set.

It began to dawn on me that it's perfectly okay to buy the work of another artist, even though one dabbles in paint oneself. Lesson learned.

Then recently I found out that Birgit's beautiful set was still for sale! Lucky me - something that I long admired and missed was meant to be mine after all! Hats off to you, Birgit, and thank you.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

It's a(nother) wrap!

It's been quite a while since I last jotted something down - where has the time gone?!?

Well, here: We have somethat unexpectedly acquired a wonderful new foster daughter, and she has required lots of TLC during the past two weeks.

Here she is with the newly blocked and named-by-me "Healdsburg" shawl, which is the "Diamond Fantasy" pattern by Sivia Harding.
I began it on June 17, but had only little snatches of time for knitting.

It's made from a two-ply merino/silk blend spun my moi on Inez (my Lendrum).

Here's a close-up of the pattern.

Mr. E's diagnosis of Cushing's Disease was confirmed on Thursday. The disease is very, very rare in cats, and they had to do a lot of testing to make sure. We are told it is treatable. He seems to be quickly improving with the new medication, which we began on Friday. He doesn't look so good yet (blame part of this on the lousy shot because camera batteries were fading), but his energy is returning. Plus, some of his hair is beginning to grow back - peach-fuzz, but I'm sure he is feeling a bit more handsome.
He's a very cool cat, patient, tolerant, and a fighter.

I need to take pics of Convergence spoils to share, too.