Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kitten Report - Sad News

I phoned London Animal Care Center today to get an update on the kitten. There was much searching on the other end of the line which should have given me a clue. But I was still shocked to hear that the rescued kitten had been euthanized. Apparently, there were two puncture wounds in its neck and the veterinarian felt that the animal was suffering.

I'm sad. It's good that there's a place to take a rescued animal, but I wish they could have done more for the kitten.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Tug on the Heartstrings

Monday morning I rose early and leashed up Dexter for a walk. We hadn't gone far when I spied an animal, huddled against a wall. It was a kitten, and I could tell right away that something was wrong. At first I thought it had an e-collar on. But when I looked closer I realized I was wrong.

I tied Dexter up tight to a metal rail and told him to stay while I went to scoop up the kitten. It didn't make a fuss or move a bit. The poor thing had a plastic lid around its neck from a McDonald's McFlurry. I wrapped the kitten in the bottom of my shirt, untied Dexter and took the poor beast home.

With Dexter in the crate, we took a closer look at the kitten. It was crawling with ants, had raw open wounds and feces matted its fur. But oh! It was still such a sweet little animal with lovely tortoiseshell coloring and a pretty little face. I took a couple of pictures which I will post at the bottom of this message. Please don't look if you are squeamish.

So we cut off the nasty plastic lid, and I managed to get a bit of milk in the kitten. I had to dab the milk into its mouth until it swallowed. Once it got that first taste it licked the milk off my fingers and then took some from turkey baster. I was so pleased to hear that gulping sound of a baby drinking milk.

My heart just went out to the little critter and I would have loved nothing more than to keep it and nurse it back to health. But, as I wrote yesterday, we live in a loud and busy house which I didn't think would be a good environment for a convalescent kitten. Plus, there is the dog. Would you trust this face with a sick kitten?

I called up London Animal Care Center and Jim brought the kitten in first thing this morning. I'll be calling back in a few days to see how my little friend is doing. I have just two appeals. Please, if you are thinking of getting a pet, please consider if a rescued animal would be right for you. And second, please, please! dispose of your garbage. I'm seriously thinking of sending this kitten's pictures to McDonalds.

And now the kitten pictures. Don't go further if you don't like the sight of blood or open wounds.


This little one has such a sweet face.

My best guess is that the kitten stuck its head into the cup to lick up the ice cream, but couldn't get its head out again.

In an effort to remove the lid, the kitten scraped the inside of its neck raw. This picture was taken between milk feedings. Just look at those trusting eyes!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Home is a Frat House

A dog, two teen-aged sons and their friends have turned my home into a haven of video games, thumps and yells, endless snacks and clutter. Patrolling this chaos is my husband Jim, who greatly deserved his modest Father's day celebrations. Jim has always done laundry and week day cooking, but since being out of work he has also taken on extra chores, he helps me with the grocery shopping and has even learned how to bake. This past week he made bagels! And they were very yummy.

I'm so proud of him: of the great role model he is, of how he has grown since I have known him and how he still can surprise me after almost twenty years together.

Happy Father's Day honey!

As a Father's day gift for both Jim and my dad, I knit the ubiquitous Fiber Trends felted clog:

Sort of looks like I was knitting for the dog...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tag Team Works in Progress

The Kauni progresses. I'm now at 13 inches of body.

Dave, you were right, the color progressions are working out fine on their own. Though I'm seeing even more slip as I progress. This could be because I've found very subtle knots twice now. These knots matched up the colors, but changed the length of the color progression. Sneaky! I've decided to let it go. Call it an artistic feature and roll with it.

This is a very intense knit, having so many stitches and such bright colors. While I do have the pattern of the leaves memorized for the most part, I still have to pay attention or I'll pay the price in mistakes. Ripping is not fun, and don't relish trying to duplicate stitch with this yarn.

Plus, there is further intensity from the fact that I'm designing this on the needles. I'm getting to the point where I will have to decide where to put the steaks for the arm holes. I've pretty much decided to make this a pullover, even though I have no idea how I will finish the edgings for the neck, hem and cuffs. Did you see the provisional cast on in the picture? I couldn't decide when I started either.

To take a get away from all that intensity, I'm giving myself a break with this soothing, simpler knit:

The pattern is V is for Violet, from Knitter's Fall 2006. The design has really grown on me, I think the stitch patterns are perfectly executed. I have plans to modify the sleeves to a three-quarter length because I think it will look more stylish. The yarn is Rowan Cashcotton from last week's sale and it is just gorgeous. Together the pattern and yarn are a perfect match.

I want to savour this knit, so when it starts to feel like a slog, I just tag Kauni back into the ring.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Story of a Yarn Sale

Whoo, boy! did I have fun this week. My mom and I went to the Needle Emporium's annual tent sale. Here's what we bought:

Three of those are mine and the one on the right is my moms. Hey! I stayed within my budget so it's all good.

There were lots of knitters there, but I didn't remember to take any pictures until we were checking out and my mom took this one:

Looks busy, right. Well, this is after it had calmed down. Here's a busier shot over on Flickr.

This year the pricing scheme was new. In past years you paid by the bag and stuffed it as full as you could. This year, the prices were $3 for a 50g ball of yarn, $6 for 100g and there was a section of $1 odd balls.

Going into such a huge sale, a knitter has to have a strategy. Mine is to grab everything I like, and then cull. Oh, and I warned my mother before we arrived, every woman for herself. She was totally on board with that (love ya mom!). Things I culled were some alpaca in a sport weight because it's so warm and almost too drapey and some manos that I thought I'd make into a scarf. I also culled a couple skiens of Rowan Chunky Tweed because they were 100g skiens and I only wanted them for a hat.

What I bought was (with links to Ravelry):

20 skeins of Baruffa Merinos Otto
14 skiens of Rowan RYC Cashcotton DK
6 skeins of Regia Silk

The culled alpaca was replaced by these beauties:

5 huge skeins of JJ's Specialty Yarns montage collection. Should be enough for a sweater for Jim.

At this point, my mom started asking me if I wanted to leave. I think the long lines were making her nervous. Or maybe she was scared she'd buy more yarn if she stayed too long. But I said I waited all year for this I wasn't leaving yet! I wandered over to the $1 section and found a great collection of odd balls. Can't go wrong for a buck!

You had to stand in one line to be counted and then in another line to pay debit or Visa. What do you think knitters do, standing in line at a yarn sale? Grab more yarn! I found a beauty of a skein of laceweight while I was waiting:

The white is another $1 oddball and it's Kauni laceweight. I also checked out what the knitters were wearing while in line. There was a great lace cardigan made from Noro Silk Garden sock yarn. And a totally unique design of Kauni. You can glipse another cool design in this pic. I wish I'd taken pictures! But no, I was totally focused on the sale.

Mom caught a snap of me during the moment of purchase.

And after all that, you know what we did? Head over to the Needle Emporium yarn shop! I'd stayed well under budget and had enough money to buy another ball of Kauni for my sweater in progress.

So happy.... Can you tell I had fun? Oh good. Cause I did. Loads.