Friday, January 28, 2011

Max was hit by a car last night

Meet my cat Max:

Last year a local stray black kitten adopted our family. We left our window open to let our boys have free rein on a nice fall day. My daughter’s boyfriend asked a strange question about one of the kitties eating vs. one of the kitties at his feet. I named the kitties and then he asked the strangest question, “then who is this over here?,” about another cat at his feet. So I looked and realized that we had a stranger in the house. Within a week we had adopted him, named him Max and took him to the vet for a proper visit (shots and neuter).

Fast forward to last night: My daughter and I had gone to the local book store for coffee and a little hang-out time. We were there maybe 15 minutes when I received a phone call from my husband that Max was hurt. He told me that my son found him dragging himself across the street toward our house. We got home as quickly as possible and I called the vet emergency line. It appeared that Max had his hindquarters paralyzed. There are no external bleeding wounds. Max never once showed any sign of pain or discomfort despite the fact that we had to pick him up to take him to the vet. We supported him as well as we could to reduce further damage as we didn’t know how seriously bad off he was. We got Max to the vet. While there, Max did move his legs and tail but….

Max has little to no feeling in both legs, and at least one broken leg. X-rays revealed that his right leg is dislocated from the pelvis, his pelvis is broken and the vertebra above his pelvis is broken. There is also bruising on his abdomen around the hip area. Doc is worried that he does have internal injuries but since his gums are still pink, at least he appears to not have catastrophic internal bleeding. Doc said he won’t know until tomorrow.

Doc gave him steroids and an antibiotic last night. He can’t even attempt to get his hip back into place due to the pelvis break and swelling. He says to reseat the ball he needs to put pressure on the pelvis. This is a seriously not-good thing. Now, even though his back is broken, doc says that some animals recover from this kind of break (broken but the spinal cord is not severed) especially since Max can still move his legs and tail but his hip joint will never be the same. Doc says the tendon that holds the hip joint together is snapped so there’s a chance he will have to amputate the leg. His concerns now are whether he gets any feeling back in his other leg and the abdominal bruising. If he doesn’t get feeling back, his quality of life will be minimal; the bruising may indicate more severe internal injuries. I am supposed to wait until noon before I call to find out how Max is faring. He said he needed 24 hours to see if Max has a chance and since 24 hours would be 7:30pm tonight, he said I can call at noon. As we were leaving the vet’s office last night, he said he would be administering pain meds. The thing is, last night Max showed no pain. Discomfort, yes. Pain, no. Not good.

I can’t cry right now. I almost broke down but I didn’t cry last night. My daughter needed me to be strong because she was crying. I’m numb. I have more thoughts but they feel callous under the circumstances. My pragmatism is keeping me from losing my mind while I wait to see what the doc says.

My husband and I talked last night. We have already decided that if Max doesn’t make it we will be adopting another kitten. Our reason for this is that Buddha, Max’s age, will miss his playmate. Old Man “Racoon” doesn’t like any of the other cats and could care less. He still hates that his domain was invaded by all the other furkind. Junior, whose real name is Midnight, could care less. He thinks the twins (Buddha and Max act like they are littermates) are annoying. But Buddha, poor Buddha, would not have anyone to play with. I know he will be missing Max if that is what it comes down to but a kitten would definitely go a long way toward helping him (and us.)

Please keep Max in your thoughts today. Waiting to find out what his chances are is a difficult thing.

Writing this is giving me a feeling of a vacuum in my gut. I feel like throwing up.

PS: Doc says the damage could only have happened by Max being hit by a car. We live in a quiet neighborhood. This means someone was speeding through the neighborhood. I’d like to throttle the ass who did this!

PPS: Doc says the fact that he was found so quickly does improve his chances.

Addendum: The breaks are the points where his hips join his spine. It turns out that his spine is not broken but his pelvis is broken in several places as well as the dislocated hip. We have him home now and he will go back in two weeks for the ball-removal once all the swelling goes down. He's home primarily so we can monitor him over the weekend. After that it's just a matter of keeping him from trying to run around.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bigger (AND Smaller) Is Better

I ended up ripping back my first attempt with making the Elk Watch Cap. I somehow or other managed to have an extra stitch picked up at the end of the round. I followed the stitch down and found a yarn-over that I had picked up and purled on the 10th round. Well, crap! I pulled out the needle and before ripping it, I test fit on my own head. Nice fit. My head is 23-1/4" (59 cm) and my son's is larger than mine. I do believe a few more stitches will fit him better.

In addition to the above mistake, I wasn't happy with how holey the fabric appeared when stretched so I chose to cast on using a smaller circular needle and increased the cast-on total to 208 stitches (a quick swatch on size 1 (2.50 mm) circulars gave me 8.5 sts to the inch.) My actual cast-on is on a size 1 (2.25 mm). I have about 1-3/4" (4.5 cm) so far. I keep being distracted by reading blogs.

Oh, and for those who question long tail cast-ons, I measured 104" and threw in an additional 4" of yarn for good measure. Here's how much was left after I finished the (2 needles together) cast-on.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Mist

Beautiful misty morning outside my window. Just thought I'd share:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Next Stop: The Elk

I'm knitting a watchcap for The Viking. The circumference of his head is 24" (I think. This is a surprise gift and I measured a well-worn cap) so I will be knitting the cap at 23". The yarn I will be using for the cap is Regia Sock Wool in a cream (Farbe 00017) and black (Farbe 02066). It's superwash so I will be machine-washing AND -drying to verify gauge before I start. I've cast on the swatch using US2/2.75mm circular needle. The pattern one I made from a picture I found on the internet. It is an Elk on a hillside in silhouette. To make sure I have enough yarn, I bought 300 grams (I know, a bit overkill but I can always use the rest to make ankle socks!) The Viking has a huge head!

Warm Fuzzies

The Knee High Toe Socks are DONE! This means that all the ends are woven in and they've been delivered to their recipient, my baby girl, The Artist. The Artist is peachy pleased. The Viking commented that the socks "look cosy" and The Husband said they "look toesy". I chuckled a little.
Out of 100 grams of yarn, I have 24 grams remaining (25 grams if you include all the little cuttings.)
I think they would be even better if I use painted yarns next time...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Son The Viking turns 25!

Yesterday, our son turned 25. We treated him to the restaurant of his choice. He loved it.

My husband, on the other hand, suffered sticker shock.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's a Long Way There

It's a Long Way There

I feel like I've been knitting on these socks for an eternity! Started on the 9th and with a few small breaks (I needed to make a square to be included in a friendship quilt) I have been adding a few stitches, sometimes a few inches, each and every day. It took me all day to turn the heels yesterday. I haven't knit enough socks, or for that matter enough short rows, to get the hang of turning the heel in short time. I ripped back the first heel three times before I managed to wrangle the damn thing into shape! Today I've managed to add 3" to each sock. A total of 6". Me. Six inches. Whoa! If this were a single NORMAL, PLAIN sock, I would have finished them three or four days ago. I still believe I knit slow but put in the above perspective.... whoa!
By tomorrow afternoon, I should be starting the individual toes. I’ve never done toes, or fingers, before so this is new territory for me.

You Know You Knit Too Much When...

See the grooves?

Monday, January 17, 2011

For Those Who Are Looking

Free plans to build your own spinning wheel:

Time Passes... Inching Along

I thought I would share an image of my eldest furbaby. He's 17 years old. He spends most of his time sleeping and being totally pissy with the other furkind in the household. His extreme slenderness is due to hyperthyroidism. He's been suffering from hyperthyroidism for many years and has not lost any more weight than what he lost initially. My other three furbabies are black and extremely hard to photograph but I will try to introduce them later. It's hard to capture them 'on film'.

Project In Hand:
Five days later: Yes, I've said it before. I am a slow knitter. But I do make progress. I am checking in with the Toe Socks. They are KNEE HIGH Toe Socks! So I feel better. Because if these were regular socks, they would already be done. In keeping with other blogs, my materials list: I am using Patons Kroy Socks FX that I purchased from the Hobby Lobby in Shreveport, LA (Clay Colors 57044 and Cadet Colors 57110; 50g per skein, I started with 4 full skeins...) knitted on US Size 2 (2.75mm) 47" circular knitting needle (KnitPicks Harmony). The pattern is from The Big Book of Socks. The pattern name is "Knees and Toes". I modified the pattern to fit my daughter's 19-1/2" calves. (I'm able to test-fit as I have sizeable calves as well. It sucks but that's life.)

P.S. The socks are being knitted as a pair using the Magic Loop method.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee 5-29-2009

Yeah, I probably should have posted this then. But, um, I'm not very faithful to this poor blog. I'm working on it. So, why have I posted the photo I have of her? Because I want to. Nyaaah!

Welcome to my home, Minerva!

Minerva arrived in the mail today. How does one convey the beautiful sheen that this wool has? Hopefully your monitor does justice to the images below. Drool.
(PS: No flash was used to capture the following images.)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

And Then There Were Two

Well, I had to frog the black socks. They were too big! I will try again after I finish my daughter's socks.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Patient Zero and The Fleece

I've been reading old entries from the Yarn Harlot. She's seriously infectious! I mean, SERIOUSLY! I liken her to Patient Zero. It's totally her fault! I am again infected! Because of her, I have been on my current sock-knitting jag. And spinning. And totally loving it!

I learned how to spin December 2008. I spun most of the meager supply gifted to me by the lovely Sharon. I also plied it. It has all been languishing since January 2009. Well, I dug out my meager fiber stash and worked on refining my old-new skill with spinning. Why? Because I finally broke down and purchased 15 ounces of Minerva's fleece from High Castle Crafts. I really hope it feels as beautiful as it appears. I want long fibers to play with. I want long fibers to see if I can spin a wool that will allow me to experiment with making firm fabrics like the old sailor's Ganseys.

We shall see...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Two by Two

I finished the green socks Saturday morning and started my daughter's toe socks in the afternoon. It took a little while to set up because I tried toe-up. It's a little hard to reverse engineer the toes for now so I opted to make them top-down. Now, she wanted a tube at the top for elastic so I did a provisional cast-on so I could make the tube with a slit to feed it in. Once I closed the tube today, I then also cast on my husband's socks onto the same circular needle. His socks are toe up! So I'm knitting TWO PAIRS of socks at the same time. Gotta love magic loop!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Happy Couple

9:10 PM 1/4/2011 - Heels are turned! My thumbs are aching. The next phase is to rib until I run out of yarn. They're a pretty happy pair at this moment!


12:06 PM 1/4/2011 - I've been working on this hibiscus baby blanket since, um..., about the 24th of October. You can see my notes for it located on my project's page at Ravelry. I had a beautiful backing selected and prepared. Somehow during the preparation the backing ended up smaller than the blanket. ARGH! It was perfect! On December 31st, I picked up more fabric but not the one I had previously chosen. The bolt did not have enough left! And 'cut/paste' was out of the question. I am considering quilting but NOT YET! I preshrunk the replacement fabric and checked it for fit. It was extremely close! I bought 1-1/4 yards and the blanket is 38". The fabric shrunk so much that it nearly failed to be large enough as well. For the last two days, I have been hand-stitching the backing onto the blanket, gently cajoling the stitches to fit without puckering too badly. Today, I was able to show the in-progress blanket to the prospective parents and, despite my trials, they are thrilled with it. So, effort not wasted.
Took a break and continued with "A Good, Plain Sock" (which had been started on the 31st of December when I needed a break from working on the blanket) using the Yarn Harlot's recipe on page 131 from Knitting Rules!. But, I'm knitting it toe-up and using a short-row heel instead of a flap (I forgot to calculate my starting point for the flap and opted not to rip back the necessary rows, live and learn.)
Later in the day on 1/3: Well, I put the socks down and finished the blanket. I spent the rest of the day working on the socks. I have most of the foot done. I'm sure I will be turning the heel tomorrow (1/4).
Today (1/4), I was going to snap a shot when I found my camera dead. I think the battery is beginning to fade. I don't even get 'Low Battery' warnings any more. Once I get the photos done, the blanket will be boxed up and shipped to its' new home. I'll add it later.
I also need to mail off a fat quarter. I lost the monthly weight loss challenge. I'm still playing even though I know my chances of winning are slim to none. I'm still losing weight, just not a lot in a short time. In the meantime I'm using the challenge as a way to build my growing stash of fabric for quilting. If I ever win, it will be a windfall of FQs!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Just because it is the first day of the New Year, I figured I'd throw this in :D


Today, my daughter surprised the daylights out of me! She wants to learn how to crochet so she can make what she calls "plushies". In the world of crochet, they're know as amigurumi but I'm okay with plushies. Her desire is not to use classic acrylic worsted weight. She wants to use "sock" weight yarns. Right now, she is looking for a source of solids as she does not want any of the self-striping yarns.

The big surprise about my daughter wanting to learn crochet is she long ago expressed annoyance at the idea of learning how to do anything with sticks or hooks. She does enjoy receiving knitted and crocheted gifts so I can only believe it was inevitable. She comes from a long line of talented individuals.

I totally look forward to seeing her talents develop!