Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Slow Progress

Sorry - didn't mean to drop off the blog-planet for so long. First - thank you all for your kind thoughts about Vinnie. It's amazing how attached I got to him in just a year.

PIle o' Larkin

I've been knitting, but have no pictures to prove it. That's the same photo of Larkin that I showed you 6 weeks ago, but I do have progress.* I've reached the edging, which right now seems less boring than the lace, although I'm pretty sure I won't feel that way after a few evenings of "k2tog, k14, turn, k15, turn" and repeat, around and around!

However, since I had reached the edging, I decided I would let myself cast on for Myrtle, a cardigan by Larkin's designer, Snowden Becker. I cast on Saturday night. By the time I finished the bottom edging on Sunday evening, I suspected it might be too big. Monday evening, I had finished the first pattern repeat, so I kind of finger-blocked it and measured. Oh, yeah -- waaaay bigger than it was supposed to be! So I frogged it all. I will be casting on again, going down both a needle size and a sweater size. But for now, I think I'll work on that blanket some more. Blankets are always the right size!

* Despite the fact that I know that blanket knitting is not my thing, this is the third blanket I've knit in just over a year. I'm pretty sure this one will be the last for a while!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sad News

Just a quick post to let you know that my fears about Vinnie came true - he passed away sometime early Sunday morning. I stayed up with him until about 1:00 a.m., because I knew he was doing really badly. I considered taking him to the emergency vet, but I knew that would be traumatic for him, and I was fairly certain that there wasn't much that could be done. When I got up at 7:30, he was gone, laying near where he was when I went to bed. Harley was sitting a few feet away, waiting for me.

The posts about how Vinnie came to live with me last summer are here. In the time since, he went from grouchy old man -- I was warned that he was a scaredy cat and not terribly friendly to most people -- to one of the sweetest cats I've owned. If I was in the room, he was usually in my lap, even though I've heard that he wasn't a lap cat in the past. Although he and my other cats weren't exactly friends, they all tolerated each other. He had even become fairly social -- if he heard me talking to someone, he would come see who it was. He would even model my knitting.

I miss him a lot, and feel lucky that I got to have him for the last year.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Brief Update

Two weeks ago, I spent the weekend at my Mom's. I had a nice weekend, include a quick trip to Champaign with my 14-year-old niece to the new Sephora there. And we ate lunch at the Chick-Fil-A in the nearly-deserted Illini Union. (I'm beginning the "you must go to Illinois" indoctrination!)

Waiting for lunch

It was a nice weekend and when I got home Sunday evening, all the kitties rushed to the kitchen to greet me. I looked straight down at Vinnie and realized that he had suddenly gotten very skinny. Actually, I'm sure it wasn't really sudden; I just didn't notice it until I had been away for a couple of days.

As the week progressed Vinnie ate less, and stopped coming to the kitchen to eat. In mid-week, he started peeing on the floor and stopped going downstairs to the living room. He camped out under the sideboard in the dining room, so I moved food and water and a littler box there for him.

Friday afternoon, I took him to the vet, and my fears were validated -- he has advanced kidney disease. For the last week, he's been getting subcutaneous fluids, an antibiotic, and special kidney disease soft catfood. The sub-Q fluid administration hasn't been too bad, although he hates the antibiotic. I kind of see his point - the antibiotic smells like a pina colada gone bad.

For a couple days he rallied. He loved the food and the fluids helped. Tuesday evening, he even came out to greet one of my co-workers who stopped by to borrow a cooler. But now he seems to be declining, not eating much at all. So I don't know how long it will be. He's a sweet old boy, and seeing him this sick is hard.

Vinnie in better days

Monday, August 02, 2010

Sweaters and Me

You may remember how, in September 2009, I finished my first adult-sized sweater, the February Lady Sweater.

October Lady Sweater

One thing I haven't mentioned is that last spring, I accidentally felted it a little. It still fits, but is too short for my liking. :-(

I've been thinking for months about making myself Snowden Becker's Myrtle Cardigan. I even have the yarn and the pattern. But, in addition to all those WIPs I've shown you, I've been nagged by the fact that I actually have two sweaters hibernating.

Back in March 2007, I cast on for A Cardigan for Arwen, a hooded cabled cardigan that was very popular at the time. I finished the back and over half of the left front. The yarn is a beautiful sort of nubbly wool from Beaverslide, the Fisherman Weight, in Wood Violet.

Then, a year later, in April 2008, I cast on for Tussie Mussie, a more spring-like cardi with bobble bouquets, in Knit Picks Swish DK in asparagus.

Sooo..... despite the fact that I love, love, love the yarn I'm using for Arwen, I think my excitement for knitting a hooded cardi has passed. I've decided to frog it and save the yarn for another use. That way, I can begin Myrtle without increasing the number of sweaters on the needles. I believe I will be getting out the swift and winder this evening!