Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Growing Buttercup

My Buttercup is moving right along. This picture was taken over the weekend, just after I separated the sleeves. It looks like it fits perfectly. I think it will "bloom" a bit after it's finished and washed, so I'm leaving it as it is right now. I knitted a bit more on it on Monday night, got to where I start the body increases. This is one of the things I love about knitting top down - it's so easy to check fit as I go along. Much less ripping this way.

Jon came home from three weeks in Europe last night. Unfortunately, there was a suicide on the train tracks at one of the stations near us, which threw the entire train schedule into turmoil, as the investigation progressed through the night. One of my other sons was also trying to get home from work, and running into a lot of misinformation. NJ transit seemed to have it's wires crossed on information. Depending on who you talked to, it varied wildly. When I finally picked Jon up at 10:15 last night, there were hundreds of people who had just gotten off trains that were finally allowed to stop at our station. In the end everyone got home safely. My heart goes out to the person who felt this was their only option, and their family.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Another Year Older And Deeper In Debt...

Well, not deeper in debt - I keep a close eye on that, but certainly another year older this weekend.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I broke one of my cardinal rules the other night - "Never Knit While You're Sick", subtitled to add "you will regret it". So, last night I was feeling somewhat better, so decided to get some more work done on it. After all, how much could I screw it up? Just a few more rows of lace, and separate the sleeves from the body, and then an increase row. Since I wasn't feeling well, and I know my track record from f**king up projects when I Knit While Sick, I was very vigilant.

Or, so I thought.

Knit the last few rows of lace very carefully - check, all stitches are there ,and lace looks fine.

Slip sleeve stitches on waste yarn - check, all stitches accounted for; didn't even drop one!

Cast on stitches for sleeve underarms. Whoops, this one threw me a bit. Had to do it twice, and still wasn't happy with it. Doesn't matter, because, read on:

Knit 16, then m1,k2 16 times. To my sleep-and-02-deprived mind, I just read this as "knit 16, m1 16 times". Which is exactly what I did. For both the front and the back. So, when I get to the end of the row, I count stitches. "You should have 118 stitches on both front and back sections".


Why do I only have 97 stitches for the front? Uh, oh. Pick up the instructions, which I reread (should have done THAT before I started!). Crap. Now I have to frog that whole row.

Frogging goes well until I get to the newly-cast-on stitches for the sleeves. Can't tink them without dropping them, so I just drop them, and continue on. Carefully tinking all those stitches takes me the better part of an hour. At this point, I should have just gone to bed, and not gambled on dropping any stitches. Thankfully, all I wasted was time. Didn't drop any stitches I really needed. I'll work on it again tonight, this time reading carefully, and using a different cast on for the armhole stitches.

I really like this sweater. Already I'm perusing Ravelry, looking for yarn ideas to pilfer for my next Buttercup.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Don't I Make A Cute Vampire??

Gremlin, trying to fit in with the current vampire craze. He turned 11 years old last month, and he's scheduled for a vet appointment soon.

Since June of 2009, we lost 6 of our cats, and our Golden Retriever, Dusty. Two of the cats we lost just to old age, 17 and 18 years old, but Dusty and the other four cats were lost to cancer. My sweet hand-raised 9 year old kitty, Megan, was diagnosed and died of a brain tumor on one horrible weekend in June 2009. Had no idea anything was wrong with her, until she jumped off the desk one Friday night, landed on her face on the floor, and then just could not get up - her front legs didn't work. Bundled her up in a carrier, and made the 70 mile round trip to an emergency vet. At that point, no one knew what was wrong with her; by that time, everything was in working order. On Saturday, she seemed a bit better, but by Sunday morning, it was apparent that something was terribly wrong. Her eyes were not focused, and her front paws were crossed. Back to the carrier and the emergency vet. She was failing before my eyes, and I had to say goodbye to her, which was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I got her when she was 3 days old, along with a brother and two sisters. The other two girls didn't make it, but Meg and her brother Cal survived. Cal had surgery for a cancerous eye nearly six years ago, but is still going strong.

In September, we noticed that our beautiful big Tuxedo cat had a swelling in his back leg. Diagnosis: sarcoma. Surgery the next day; survived the surgery, died from shock shortly after. He was 8; a wonderful cat, the official family "greeter". Always had to say hello to anyone who came in the house. And, if that wasn't bad enough, Jon's 17-year old kitty died 24 hours later.

We lost one of the other cats in January, and in March we lost our 18 year old kitty, Fuzzybuns. He had been deaf and blind for a few years, but was still going strong until the beginning of March. He became very frail very quickly, and I knew it was time to say goodbye to him.

IN early April, Dusty took a turn for the worse. He had started having seizures in the late fall, just occasionally. Even with meds, they became stronger and more often , until it was a daily occurence. Dusty was living with my son Dave for the last six months, so I spent a Sunday with them, just hanging out with Dusty. He was on his dog bed, and I was laying next to him petting him, and talking to him. He was breathing so hard, and it was hard for him to get up and move around. Again, we knew it was time for him to go, just a month before his 10th birthday.

In May, I got another nasty surprise. My sweetie cowkitty, Alex, suddenly started losing weight and refusing to eat. He'd had surgery in January for a large nasal polyp, but had recovered nicely and gained weight, and the lab reports indicated it was non-cancerous. A trip to the vet revealed he had a desperately low red cell count, beyond anything that could be done, and I lost him a week later.

It's been such a rough year for us. Our pet s are such an important part of our lives. The only bright spot in this is Murdoch, one of our other cowkitties. He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his mouth in January, and given 3-5 months to live. So far, so good. We're seven months past diagnosis, he's still eating well and doing well; no weight loss or loss of energy, and I have not seen any more episodes of bleeding. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for him.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I'm Back, I Think

I haven't knitted in quite a while. That's not to say I haven't done anything. I've done a fair amount of crocheting during my hiatus. I'll post pictures when I get a minute. Oh, wait, I'm wrong - I did knit some thing. There seems to be a baby boom where I work (among my coworkers - we already know about the patients), so I've knitted a baby sweater and hat or two. I was happy to be working on baby clothes again. It's been 23 years since my last child was born, so there hasn't been too much of that going on. I love the baby yarns that are out there now. I used a lovely self striping yarn to make an adorable "fair isle" sweater and hat.

Right now, I'm working on a sweater pattern - "Buttercup" _I found on Ravelry. I loved the pictures I saw of other peoples Buttercups. Alas, when I downloaded the pattern, I found that there are no longer two sleeve options, and the one option that's left is for puffed sleeves. Ugh. I am so not a puffed sleeve person. But, optimist that I am, I'm knitting this anyway. I'll rip it back and figure out something else if I have to. But so far, I like the pattern, and I love the yarn. It's Wool Cotton by Rowan. It's been in my stash for a while, originally meant for something else. It's a nice blue-greeny color. I"m about 15 rows in so far, and I noticed a problem tonight when I was on row 8. Seems that I split the yarn on row 4 on the back side. Not terribly noticeable, and i thought I could ignore it. I should have known better. On Row 13, I knitted up to that stitch, dropped it down, and hitched it back up with a crochet hook. I'm so much happier now.