Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Winter Eggs

Teeny Egg

It is a teeny egg.

Winter Eggs

Pecked Egg

With a hole pecked in it.

A Knitting Break

Thank you, everyone, for your comments about Gwen. She's doing ok for now, eating more, looking better, and loony as ever (bless her wee little heart).

Anyway. As promised, I have knitting for you, with pictures. Very exciting.


Are these not the prettiest mittens you have ever seen? Not because I'm such a great knitter, but the design is so irresistable (and free). I used Jo Sharp's Alpaca Silk Georgette (Devon, Woodland and Pond, to be exact).


Should you decide to make a pair of these of your very own (and of course you should), I have a couple of suggestions: buy an extra ball of the main color. And there is a round of increases in the flower band, mark that on your chart before you start knitting or you will end up having to go back to do it, twice (then again, I am a bit dim).


They are nice and warm, a little big, but they do fit perfectly over my gloves, which is how I tend to wear mittens anyway. I'm in love with them, but will gladly give them up for warm weather.

Traveling Stitch Leg Warmers

I have started the Traveling Stitch Leg Warmers (yes, leg warmers. Shut up.). They are in the Knit So Fine book, but also appeared in the Spring 2008 issue of Interweave.

Traveling Stitch Leg Warmers

The back lozenge is what seduced me. I figure, under boots, no one will know they are footless. The yarn is Louet Gems sportweight.

Underneath all this knitted goodness is the beginnings of a skirt which did not work out. At all. Suffice to say, when measuring yourself for a straight skirt, take into account your hips, especially if, like mine, they are ample. Moving on.

Monday, January 26, 2009



On December 24, Len took Gwen to the vet because she had lost a couple of pounds, rarely a good sign. They did blood work and checked her kidneys, all of which were normal. The vet didn't think it was serious at that time since she seemed to be eating and drinking, and her weight was not dangerously low. I took her back two weeks later, hoping she had at least maintained her weight, but instead she had lost 4 more ounces. At that time we got an appetite stimulant and a prediction that a liver ultrasound was next, since that was were her last major illness was.

Well, I took her in for another re-check on Friday. The problem is not in her liver. There are masses in the lymph nodes around her intestines, too many to be surgically removed. The two options are chemotherapy, which might give her a year, or bi-weekly steroid injections, which should give her a few months of decent quality of life. We were not expecting this and I am still in shock.


I took these yesterday. They are unusual, in that you can see her eyes. Her pupils are usually much more dilated.

Knitting tomorrow..really. I have pictures!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Look What We Did

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Diving Board

One of the best pictures I took last year was of two lawn chairs in some friend's backyard. I think they thought it was photographic evidence of laziness. I thought it was pretty.

My favorite picture so far this year is evidence of our laziness:

Diving Board

Come on in! The water's fine!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Sick Animals: With so many of them, it shouldn't be a big surprise when several are sick at once. Lizzy had some sort of stomach thing and she made messes too disgusting to report. She'll put anything in her mouth, so who knows what caused it, but it is over now. Thank god.

Judy, bless her heart, developed an eye infection. I managed to corral her into a crate (with no injuries!) and got her up to our vet, only to find out I would have to put goo into her nasty, weepy, red, swollen eye. Which was awesome, since I happen to have a phobia about eyes (I don't wear contacts for a reason) and Judy has a phobia of humans. I was supposed to do this goo thing 2 - 3 times a day. I've managed to get it into her eye three times in the last week. Luckily that was enough and her eye is looking a lot better since I can't get near her anymore. Plus the dog ate the eye medicine (like I said, she'll eat anything).

And Gwen. On Christmas Eve, Len had taken her to the vet because she had lost a couple of pounds (at which time we found out she is blind, and don't think I haven't tried to poke her in the eye, "yep! Still blind!") I thought she was looking better and maybe had gained a little weight, or at least not lost more, but when I took her for a re-check on Saturday (between blizzards), it turned out she had lost 4 ounces. Also she has an ear infection (not unusual for her). So we were sent home with an appetite stimulant, ear goo and more eye goo for Judy. If she doesn't improve we will need to do a liver ultrasound, because she has had liver problems in the past.

At least Simon and Fred are healthy. For now.

Vanpool: I tried to do the right thing, I really did. In November I joined a van pool, on December 19 I dropped out. To make a long, gruesome story short, the driver is reckless and I got very tired of wondering what would happen next. Pulling out in traffic, merging before it was her turn (into the lane the semi in front of us would have merged into), she had some serious Right of Way issues. Two other people had already dropped out because of her driving, but used other excuses, and the remaining members of the pool don't seem to have a problem with her, I am the crazy bitch whose standards are beyond high. I was a bit, um, blunt when I told her why I was leaving. I'm not usually confrontational, but I thought she needed to know. We had a big e-mail argument about it, and I don't think it did much good for her driving, but I feel much better. And now I am back to being an evil, single driver, gas guzzling* American.

*Not really, my tiny Ford Escort still gets 31-34 miles per gallon.

Oh look, here is Lizzy:


"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to do gross things in my kennel!"

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Teeny Mittens

Wee Mitten

The wee mittens were based on Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (and it is, indeed, handy), tweaked to get the right proportions:

I used sock yarn for most of them, sport weight will make a somewhat larger mitten and #2 double point needles:
Cast on 22 stitches and divide onto 3 or 4 needles
Knit 7 rounds of K1 P1 ribbing
Change to stockinette and increase 1 stitch at the end of round (23)
Shape thumb gusset:
Knit 11 stitches, place marker, M1, k1, M1, place marker, knit to end (25).
Increase 2 stitches every 3rd round two more times for 7 gusset stitches.
On the next round, place gusset stitches on a length of yarn, cast on one stitch with backward loop and knit to end of round (23 stitches).
Knit 3 rounds.
On next round, decrease 3 stitches evenly. (20 stitches)

Shape top:
Round 1: K3, K2tog
Round 2: Knit

Decrease 4 stitches, working one less knit stitch between decrease in this manner until 12 stitches remain.
Decrease ever round until 8 stitches remain. Thread tail through remaining stitch and pull tight.

Place held stitches on needles, pick up one stitch over gap (10)
Work 3 rounds
Decrease round 1: (k2tog, k1) 2x, k2tog, k2
Decrease round 2: (k2tog) 2x, k1

Thread tail through remaining stitches and pull tight. Use tails to close up any gaps with weaving in.

I connected the pairs using a crochet chain. Easy peasy and very cute.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Back in the Land of High Speed

I am back in the land of high speed internet (otherwise known as "work"). Remind to tell you about the time Len drunkenly answered a sales call offering high speed for only $5.00 more a month and chatted with the guy for 10 minutes. Or not.

Anyway. We did as little as possible, including watching a 12 hour marathon of Bones (and really, by about 8:00 pm, it became a point of pride to make it through the whole thing). I am happy to report I did not have nightmares, surprising since it can be pretty gruesome.

Holiday knitting and crafting: I have tried in the last few years not to participate in the Christmas knitting frenzy. Christmas tends to be stressful enough without adding knitting deadlines. I don't know what happened this year, I had a sudden need to make stuff, and happily the knitting, sewing and gluing was much more fun than frantic.

Wee Mittens

Some number of years ago (7?) I started giving each of my nieces and nephews Christmas ornaments, my goal being that they would each have a small collection of ornaments when they move out and have their own Christmas trees. I don't know what possessed me (I have never made the ornaments before), but I had a sudden urge to knit teeny mittens for them all. All 8 of them (4 on my side, 4 on Len's). They knitted up really fast and I didn't get bored with them until the very last pair. I will post the pattern tomorrow, in case you would like to knit a pair of your very own (or someone else).