Knitting the Light Fantastic

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Archive for the ‘work’ Category

Blog Hiatus

Posted by notthatkat on January 21, 2008


My new sweater has continued to grow. After the fine gauge of Thermal (no, I still haven’t seamed Thermal), this one is flying off the needles. I don’t think I mentioned before, but it is the Elizabeth Bennet Cardigan (Ravelry link) from Fitted Knits. I saw this pattern and knew I had to make it.  Atypically, for me, I am making it in the yarn called for in the pattern, albeit in a different color.  I found this yarn deeply discounted in closeout colors from Webs.  It looks like I am going to need much less yarn than the pattern calls for, though.  From what I can determine, this has been a common experience with this sweater.

Waist Cables

Here you can see the start of the waist cables.  I am knitting this pattern with much less ease than is my usual, and if I have gone too small, the problem will be in the waist.  I think it will be fine once the button bands have been added, but I am a bit nervous about the fit on this one….


My Lenore socks have grown bit by bit.  This yarn is hard to photograph well, but this picture does the best job of capturing the colors of any I’ve taken so far.  It is very dark red and black.  I was a bit concerned about the different sized eyelets before and after the double decreases, until I looked back at the pattern and saw the same thing in Stephanie’s sample socks.  I think this is just the nature of this arrangement of stitches.  It still bothers me a little (the perfectionist in me wants to make them match!) but I  can accept that this is just the way it is and move on.

I am getting close to the heel, and will need to decide soon whether to do the flap and gusset heel in the pattern or do my usual short row heel substitution.  Up until now, I have been knitting the Rockin’ Sock Club patterns as written, in part to stretch my skills and explore new techniques.  But this heel is a simple flap and gusset heel, nothing unusual.  My short row heel tend to fit me much better.  I probably won’t decide until I get there.

Now for my big and exciting news: I’m changing jobs and moving in the near future! I have been increasingly unhappy in my current job lately and started sending out resumes several months ago. For a while it looked like I wasn’t going to turn anything up that suited, but I’ve found a clinic in the Atlanta area that looks like it will be a good fit for me. The main reason I haven’t been posting very regularly the last several is that I’ve been running up and down the road for interviews and making arrangements.

So, now I have to get my house packed up and ready to move. This means I will have even less time for blogging. Also less time for knitting. So until I am moved and somewhat settled, I am planning to put the blog on hiatus. I will be back, probably in about a month, give or take.  I will miss you all, but hope to have lots of exciting stuff to share with you when I return.


Posted in Elizabeth Bennet Cardigan, Fitted Knits, Lenore, work | 3 Comments »

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 »

Five and a half inches

Posted by notthatkat on November 4, 2007


That’s how much length I added to my Thermal over 20 hours of Continuing Education (in 2 ½ days). My brain is now officially full. In many ways, I find CE more tiring than working in the clinic. After so many hours in lecture, I’m exhausted. It will take me a while to process everything from this week, but the lectures I attended were very good. I did some urinary tract and upper respiratory topics, a couple hours on dentistry, and lots of wound care. Little of it was what I’d call revolutionary (although the information on lower urinary tract disease in cats was a fair shift in a direction the research has been headed for a while now) but much of it is very relevant to my practice. In years past, I’ve sometimes finished CE saying to myself, this is all very interesting, but not very applicable in a private practice situation.

Thermal Placket

I added a couple inches to Thermal on the ride home (once again, I didn’t have to drive, and made use of the rare occasion to knit on the road) and last night, I divided for the neck placket. I am raising the neck so I can wear mine without another shirt under it and not be “on display” I raised the start of the placket by about half an inch, but I am also lengthening the placket. I think I’ve got it all figured out, but we’ll see when I get there. I have about half an inch to go, then I divide for the armholes and work in sections, starting with the back. This is the first test of my “adapting for a very different row gauge.” Wish me luck.


I got home and found a package waiting for me from Anne. She told me she was going to send me something good for test knitting (which I didn’t expect). She does not disappoint. In the package was a lovely skein of Briar Rose Fibers Grace. This yarn is not on the website at present, but it is a superwash merino/bamboo/nylon blend The colors are fabulous and perfect for me, and it is soft and squishy, and I might just keep it around for a while just to pet it. Thank you Anne. (Gift yarn has no calories and doesn’t count as cheating on the yarn diet!)

I finished the first bobbin of the Merino/Silk singles I started spinning at SAFF, but the pictures I took came out horribly. I have two more ounces to spin, then I can ply. Then back to the lace weight. Probably.

Posted in spinning, test knitting, Thermal, work | 3 Comments »

On The Road Again

Posted by notthatkat on October 31, 2007

… Like a band of Gypsies we go down the highway.

Linda, my office manager, and I drove up to Raleigh today for half a week of continuing education.  We left town about 1 in the afternoon and arrived at the hotel  about 4:30.  We settled in and hung out until we were able to pick up our registration packets at 6.  After a not very good dinner, which I complained about and got half off, we went in search for a Walmart or similar type store, because Linda left her phone charger behind last weekend and needs to get a replacement.  We were unsuccessful in locating a suitable source, and returned to the hotel.  We were almost there when I realized that we should have looked it up before we left.  A store has been located and directions have been printed, so we might make another attempt tomorrow.  Or she might just leave the phone on her car charger for a while.

While I mostly spun at SAFF, some knitting progress has been made.

Maine Morning Mitt 2

I finished the first Maine Morning Mitt except for the thumb, and decided to knit the the main part of the second one before adding thumbs to both.  The yarn has a bit more random VM than  I would like, but the colors are fabulous and they are looking great.

Bee Fields

The Bee Fields (which needs a better backdrop to show up the pattern) is enjoying a short time out as of this afternoon.  I got through the hive section and everything looked good.  I tried twice to work the first row of the swarm section and suddenly things have gotten wonky.  Either I inadvertently messed up the end of the hive section or I’m not doing the first row of the next section right.  In either case, I wasn’t accomplishing anything but raising my own frustration level.  I tinked back (again) to the start of the first row, and will try to figure out where I went wrong when I’m in a better mindset.  And preferably not in a moving car.


For the rest of the ride (I had the rare, for me, occasion of being a passenger and therefore able to knit on the road) I worked on my Thermal.  I’ve got about 7 inches of the body, and come to the conclusion that my row gauge is even more off than I had thought.  Since I’m working even at the moment, all I have to do is work to length, but I will have to modify my shaping pretty significantly.  I’ve still got another 6 inches of working even, and I’m crunching the numbers a little at a time.

Now it’s off to bed so I’m fresh to sit through lectures and talks all day tomorrow.  Thermal will be my mindless knitting project to work on if I don’t have to take notes (most of the speakers provide very complete lecture notes).

Posted in Bee Fields, Maine Morning Mitts, Thermal, work | 3 Comments »

I Blame the Drugs

Posted by notthatkat on September 7, 2007

I discovered today that all the photos I uploaded to Flickr were marked as private.  I’m not sure how that happened unless the default was changed while I was away, but I’ve changed them all to public and they should be accessible at this link now.

I started with a head cold on Monday night/Tuesday morning last week, just before I left town.  I arrived in Atlanta loaded up with cold medicine, vitamin C, zinc and assorted other medicines and natural remedies.  It seemed like a normal head cold, and I was good to go with over-the-counter treatments despite the fact that my voice was pretty much gone by midday Friday.  But then by Saturday evening, I started developing a cough.  Not just any cough, but the deep, non-productive, heavy in the chest type of cough that indicates the start of BIG trouble for me.  I had a bad case of bronchitis as a teenager, and ever since then, any cold that moves into my chest is going to turn into bronchitis if not caught early.  I managed to get myself to the urgent care center my insurance company referred me to (one in the Greater Atlanta area!) Sunday afternoon (Thanks, Bo!).  I explained the situation to the nice doctor and left with prescriptions for antibiotics and two different cough suppressants – one for daytime, and a heavy duty one for night time.  I am now the proud custodian of a full fledged Traveling Pharmacy™.  I am feeling much better now, have gotten my voice back (mostly, I’m still a bit hoarse, but no longer cracking and croaking) and the cough is going away.  One of my very best and oldest Con friends called to check on me today, which meant so much for such a small thing.

Good thing I’m feeling better, since work has been kicking me in the fanny since I got back.  Yesterday was busy, but not too bad, but all Hades broke loose today.  Is there a full moon tonight?  On top of three scheduled surgeries, I had two patients with fairly immediate need of stitches – one minor (clipper wound) and one semi-major (dog attack).  I worked through our two hour lunch break – I generally take an hour on a good day, but use the other hour or so to catch up on paperwork, client communication, etc.  Today, I got maybe twenty minutes to bolt down some food and catch my breath before the afternoon rush started.  Tomorrow morning looks crazy as well, but at least it’s only a half day, then I have my local knit group (three out of four of us are planning to be there) and my Augusta fiber guild meeting on Sunday.  And somewhere in there I will have to find time to do laundry if I’m to have anything to wear next week.

And somewhere in there, I’m still hoping to catch up on a bit of sleep.

Posted in Dragon*Con, work | Leave a Comment »