Knitting the Light Fantastic

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Archive for the ‘animals’ Category

Merino Dreams and Snausages for All

Posted by notthatkat on December 28, 2007


Hope you all had a very Merry. I had a good one hanging out with Lucy and the rest of the family. The hand knit gifts got a very good reception. I think the biggest hits were the sweater for Lucy and Patrick’ s pirate hat.

Lucy Sweater Back

Lucy wore her sweater all day, and seemed to like it rather well. (If she doesn’t like a sweater, she will rub and roll and pull until she gets someone to take it off.) Patrick wore his hat for a while during the day as well, but it was too hot to wear indoors for very long. While I think it could have been a tad longer, Lucy didn’t seem to mind its slightly cropped nature one bit.

Lucy Sweater Side

Isn’t she a character? My sister keeps talking about maybe getting a second dog, but I’m not sure how Lucy would feel about that. She is used to her pampered lifestyle and tends not to play well with others (dogs). So far, Marie has resisted the urge, but I think every time she goes to the local pet store and sees the adoption dogs, she is tempted.

Merino Lace Socks

I finished my Merino Lace Socks on Wednesday night, then stupidly forgot my camera to do a lunchtime (daylight) photo session at work yesterday. The joke was on me, because it rained buckets today, so I had to do indoor photos anyway. Not that I’m complaining. We so desperately need the rain, it can rain as much as it wants to.

Merino Lace Heel

My favorite feature is (still) the heel, with the lace patterning extending down the flap. I’m not sure how it will do in shoes with backs, though, so these might need to be reserved for clogs and other backless shoes. These were fun to knit, and not hard at all once the lace patterning was established. These will almost certainly be my last FO of the year, as I don’t see completing any of my other OTN projects in the next few days.

Colortweed Socks

I cast on these socks once I finished grafting the others. This is Meilenweit Colortweed – the yarn was a gift. This is my first time using it. The colors are not my typical colors, but they are working up nicely. I did a picot hem at the top à la Claudia. Otherwise I am doing a simple stockinette stitch sock. Will probably do the usual heel and toes, but I’ve been wanting to try a band heel for a while, so maybe I’ll do that instead.

Thermal Sleeves

Thermal is back in rotation, with the sleeves growing a fair bit early in the week. I’ve done 11 increase rounds of 17, so maybe about 2/3 of the way to the underarm divide. The tape measure agrees, as I’ve got ~13 inches out of a recommended 19.5. I think my modifications for row gauge are working out swimmingly so far. I think the real test will be the sleeve cap shaping, though, so I’m not celebrating too much yet.

I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to jump back into this project at this stage after being dormant so long, but thanks to good notes and markers (note the safety pins up the side of one sleeve) it didn’t take long at all to find my way again.

Alas, my poor Bee Fields hasn’t had a stitch worked in recent memory. Maybe this weekend, or New Year’s Day. I’m off to Atlanta to visit friends this weekend. See you all on the other side!


Posted in animals, Christmas, Merino Lace Socks, socks, Thermal | 1 Comment »

The Story of Bear

Posted by notthatkat on December 19, 2007


Bear 4 weeks

Shortly before Thanksgiving of last year, an older couple brought a young puppy into my office because they were concerned that his eyes had not opened.  He was 4 weeks old at the time and not much more than a little ball of fluff.  When I checked him out, I could tell that while his eyelids had opened, he did not have anything resembling normal eyes behind those lids.  He was blind, and would be for life.  The couple immediately wanted to put him to sleep, but I convinced them to let us have the puppy and try to find him a home.

Bear 8 weeks

As the weeks went on, he grew as puppies are prone to do.  We (I) named him Bear and showered him with love.  While he occasionally bumped into things, he got really good at finding his way around.  He could be a bit clumsy, but so are a lot of sighted puppies at that age.  Since he was blind from birth, he knew no different.  (Dogs that lose sight later in life adapt very well also.)  He went home with one client for a week, only to be returned when she decided that raising him was more of a challange than she wanted to take on.

Bear 12 weeks

He was vaccinated at the appropriate times and made as ready as possible for placement.  As time went on, I began to think that we wouldn’t find a home for him, and he would probably come home with me.  (The local rescue organization I work with was no help.)  I am generally particular about the homes I place animals in, but in Bear’s case, I was especially so.  Since he is blind, he needed to be an inside dog, and when outside on a leash or in a fence.  But I didn’t want him to be a yard dog, even in a fenced yard.

Shortly after Valentine’s Day, a couple came in our office, asking if we knew of any kittens for adoption.  We gave them a couple contacts for kittens.  Then as our usual, we let them know that we were looking for a home for this blind puppy (the more people knew about him, the more likely someone would know someone that would give him a good home).  It turns out they had recently (6 months earlier) lost a dog of similar bloodlines to Bear (we suspect he comes from German Shepherd and Collie).  They immediately fell in love with him, and took him home.  He came back for neutering and has been in a couple times for boarding.  They take him to work with them on a daily basis and shower him with love.  I could not have imagined a better home for him.

Bear 14 months

He is staying with us this week while his owners are out of town.  At just over a year, Bear is a normal happy dog.  He is still totally blind, although his “eyes” don’t appear abnormal unless you look really close.  He is able to navigate our yard with ease, including a fairly steep set of steps out the back door, and rarely bumps into anything.  He feels with his nose and also throws forward his front feet if he is unsure about his environment.  He loves to have his  neck and chest scratched.

Bear will always have a special place in my heart.  I could wax lyrical about animals not needing to be perfect to be good pets, or being more accepting of deformities and physical problems than people.   But instead, I think I’ll leave you with my all time favorite picture of Bear, taken by his owners at about 6 months of age.

Bear Chillin'

Posted in animals, work | 4 Comments »

Foreign body is not another term for immigrant corpse

Posted by notthatkat on July 27, 2007


My Pehuén shell is off the needles, blocked and ready for seaming. I found some perle cotton that I think will work out great for seaming:

Seaming Yarn

Now I just have to sit down and seam it and crochet the edgings. This weekend, for sure.


I will admit to being sidetracked by a practice run for Dish Rag Tag which starts on Wednesday. I’ve decided not to try anything fancy, just a simple bias knit garter dishcloth. This has the advantages of being quick and simple to knit and looking good with most any yarn that is sent to me.

My Jaywalkers are a bit longer, but 4 inches of leg doesn’t look much different than 2 1/2, so I’m not posting a picture.

Work: (skip if you’re not interested)

This morning a chihuahua came into my office with vomiting and the possibility that she might have swallowed something indigestible. After a thorough exam, we decided to take some x-rays.

Chihuahua X-ray

Do you see what’s wrong with this picture?

Chihuahua X-ray

How ’bout now?

Chihuahua X-ray

This is the same view with the problem area marked. After an unsuccessful attempt to make her vomit it up (longshot, but worth a try), I tried to get her seen at the referral center in town for endoscopy (flexible fiber optic instrument would be passed down into her stomach to retrieve visible foreign body without surgery), only to find out that both internists are out of town; the other vet in town with an endoscope was out of the office; and the referral surgeons couldn’t do the procedure I wanted. We were left with no good options but to go to surgery. Since the foreign body was still in her stomach, I could go in through a relatively small incision and get in and out fairly easily.

Suction Cup

This is what I removed from her stomach (quarter included for scale). The owners had found the metal piece from this suction cup on the floor, but were unable to find the rubber/plastic part. Found it!

I have a little file cabinet in the back of my brain full of stories and anecdotes entitled “If I ever write a book”. Sometimes I get a patient in and think almost immediately, “this is one for the book.” I think I’ve got a full chapter and then some worth of things I have removed from dog and cat (and occasional goose) digestive systems. This is not the oddest or funniest by far.

My patient is recovering well so far – she can only have water until mid-day tomorrow. If all goes well, I’ll send her home tomorrow evening or Sunday.


In the midst of all this, and my two other (routine) surgeries of the morning, one of the guys from the boat place next door brought this guy they found under a boat. The theory is that there was a momma cat who moved her babies and this little guy got left behind. I estimate him at about 3-4 weeks old. He’s eating diluted canned food from a syringe and learning to eat from a plastic can lid (the bowl was a bit much for him). Anybody want a kitten? He is feline leukemia and FIV free and I’ll neuter him for you when he’s old enough.

Posted in animals, Dish Rag Tag, Pehuen Shell, socks, work | 1 Comment »

Plumbing issues

Posted by notthatkat on July 16, 2007

There are no photos of pretty, pretty knitting this evening because I was dealing with a major plumbing issue in the office until after I had lost all possible natural light.  This was the scene a couple hours ago:


The toilet was and still is residing outside:


This is what my bathroom looks like now:


The plumber wants to dig up the concrete and replace the faulty pipes (the way they were put in 40+ years ago is now illegal according to him).  The property owner (the retired veterinarian we bought the practice from) is reluctant to say the least.  He wants to do the same kind of slip shod patch-it-up repair that got us in this situation to begin with.  I’m just hoping this situation will hasten plans to get us in a new building.

There was knitting over the weekend.  And spinning.  Spindle spinning.  There was not time for spindling lessons, however.  Sorry, DJ; hopefully next time we’re gathered together we can make that happen.  There are not, however any pictures.   Tomorrow, if at all possible.

Instead I’ll leave you with a picture of one of my newest patients:


Posted in animals, work | Leave a Comment »

FO – Messenger Bag

Posted by notthatkat on June 13, 2007

Fetled Messenger Bag

This bag is very loosely based on the striped satchel in this pattern book(scroll down to the bottom), but by the time I was done, about the only things I kept were the colors (mostly) and the stitch pattern. I made the front/bottom/back/flap as a single piece, increased the size, picked up and integrated the stitches for the sides, changed the strap, added applied I-cord to the edge of the flap, added pockets to the inside… basically I would describe it as more inspired by than based on the original.

Yarn: Patons Classic Merino Wool

Colors: Old Gold, Leaf Gree, That’s Pink, That’s Blue, Too Teal, and Bright Red

Inside pocket

It has pockets on the inside on both the front and back sides. (this one’s the front)

This has been a back burner project for a very long time. As best I can remember, I started working on it in January 2006. Initially, I worked on it in fits and starts around other projects. Then I had to figure out how to integrate the sides and strap. Later, it sat in the UFO pile until I decided to resurrect it this spring. It was still back burner, and I kept coming up with new ideas to incorporate. Finally a couple weeks ago, I decided I was ready to felt it. Since then, I’ve been poking around on the finishing. I finished the final touches on Saturday.  Wanna see?


I love these buttons I found to go on it. They’re just too perfect.

I finished not one bit too soon, because on Sunday, I got an FO of a different sort:

My new laptop

This is my brand new laptop, my first ever.  I’ve been socking away money for it for a couple years now, and my very good friend and computer guru Vic helped me with the selection process as well as getting me a really good deal.  I’ve barely had time to play, but I love it already.

Laptop in bag

Will you look at that?  Perfect fit.  I couldn’t have planned it any better.

In other news, I needed something to spin while I wait for my high speed flyer to come in.  Besides the fact that I don’t like to go too long without spinning, I had my fiber guild meeting this weekend.  I dug through my fiber stash and came up with one of those near legendary Grafton Fibers batts:

Grafton Fiber Batt

I ordered this from the website shortly before they stopped retail sales.  They now do only wholesale orders, but have a list of retailers on their site.  I’m not sure if they are still doing fiber fairs and events, but as they never came down my way, seeing them as such venues was not an option for me.  This batt is squishy and complex, and spins like a dream.  I have one more I got at the same time, but I’ll probably hoard save it for a while.

The second curtain is off the needles, and I am working on finishing them.

The socks have two pattern repeats, with a half repeat to go before they get heels.

For your cute animal fix of the day:


Posted in animals, felt, FO | 1 Comment »