Thursday, February 07, 2008

Roadblocks Still Holding

First of all, it isn't as though I've been having a truly bad year -- others I know have been dealing with roll over accidents, floods, house fires, illness, wrongful arrests and chipped teeth. I know quarreling cats and bad knitting don't measure up, but it is my blog so I'm going to go ahead and whine.

The cats are still at it. We got anti-anxiety drugs for Judy, but we can't get her to take the pills. The first night I stuck one in some wet food and she ate it, but she's gotten wise to that trick. She either won't eat the food at all or eats around the pill, breaking it up does no good because she can taste or smell the medicine. She acts as though we are trying to poison her. I'd be more willing to let Judy's anger play itself out, but there are two issues. One is that Judy was a little anxious and shy as a kitten, but rather than getting better she has gotten worse, so I have no reason to think she will eventually accept Fred since she doesn't now. The other big problem is that because Judy attacks her, Fred seems to have given up on the litter boxes altogether. I'm concerned if this continues much longer, Fred won't ever use the box.

Our next step is to try the Happy Kitty Pheromone Diffuser (I don't think this is the official name). This isn't an inexpensive solution (and will affect all of the cats), but maybe it will chill Judy out enough that we can give her the pills. If it doesn't work? Does anyone want a massive, foul-tempered calico? She comes with a bottle of anti-anxiety drugs and a bunch of diffusers. You'll need them.

Knitting is a mixed bag. I've restarted the Fair Isle Cardigan. The only reference I can find to this is from April, obviously I have derelict in my blogging duties since I've just started the gusset and haven't been giving you a stitch by stitch update. I don't even have a picture. You will have to trust me when I say it is pretty and I haven't (so far) screwed it up, despite my best efforts.

The Frost Flowers and Leaves continues to be problematic. I thought I fixed the problem in row 51 (missing decrease), but I can't get row 52 to work correctly. I looked at the 6th printing of Gathering of Lace to see if I could figure it out (I have the first, error-riddled, printing), but it doesn't look like the publishers (insert swearing) fixed row 51? I will need to take that row out and re-do it, I haven't worked up the energy yet.

Equinox. Betty, a reader who kindly sent an e-mail when she couldn't comment, remembered Alice Starmore's technique of sewing or tacking steeks down, and that may be a reasonable way to deal with these. I don't have the particular book in which Starmore explores this technique, but last night I was reading Handknitting with Meg Swanson (oh c'mon, you read knitting books in bed, too!), and she also discusses a couple of ways to tack down steek stitches.

But I have another problem: leaving the steek stitches aside, the number of stitches I have on the needle doesn't seem to bear any relation to the number of stitches I should have, it looks right now like I have about 10 too many for the Large and 12 too few for the XL. {sigh} I've decided to knit the sleeves to the point that they get added in and see what happens. I should be ok if I have (or can get to) a multiple of 8 (that of the color chart for that section). I think.

My head hurts. I think I'm going to crawl under my desk and take a nap.


MICHmash said...

The cats: I suggest building some kind of wall/fence, it works in Israel right?? If that doesn't work go for the biological warfare: Happy Kitty nerve gas. You too can pick up these helpful hits by watching fox news :) or is it :(

Valerie said...

giving cats medicine.....that's a punishment no one should have to endure.

Then again, litter box refusal ain't much better!

You have good reason to whine....or at least to break into the wine!

Hope things smooth out soon,

Sharon said...

I was strongly in favor of a second cat as companion for Charlie and Ian was equally strongly opposed. I think I'm glad I listened to Ian. That sounds no fun~