Spooky knits!

I heart knitting. And zombies. And zombies who knit. With entrails. Or yarn.

A girl’s best friend. December 11, 2008

Filed under: Sharing — Spooky @ 2:05 am

Disclaimer: There is no knitting content here.

Yesterday I almost lost my dog. This is the dog I’ve had since 1999 — I brought her home in February, she had been born in December. She was the tiniest thing with a huge belly and little stumpy tail; she was so tiny she liked to sleep behind the toilet. Through the years she has been with me through thick and thin; through multiple lovers, through apartments and houses, through cancer treatment and recovery.

Jessie is now 10. Last night she developed bloat and a 360 degree torsion of her stomach. This is a life-threatening emergency that requires surgical intervention. Without it, it is usually fatal. Here is a short primer on bloat, for any readers who are both unfamiliar and curious. I didn’t understand immediately what was happening — she began retching but wasn’t bringing anything up. She was panting, lethargic, and her abdomen became very enlarged and rigid. Jessie is barrel-chested but skinny, with slim hips and an hourglass shape. Last night she looked like she swallowed a beach ball. It was amazing how large her abdomen was. I called the emergency vet, carried Jessie to the car, and took her there. They immediately did x-rays and took her into surgery.

I went to the bar.

The surgery went well. They found that she has a splenic tumor, so they removed her spleen (I found out today that the bloat was a lucky thing for us as dogs with splenic tumors generally bleed to death with little warning). There was also a tumor floating in the omentum (this is the mesh covering over your guts) so that was removed as well. They have both been sent to pathology and we’ll have those results in a few days.

She’s home now, after spending the day at our usual animal hospital, getting IV hydration and other post-operative care. She has a Fentanyl patch and a large incision closed with staples. She is getting several small, home-cooked meals per day in addition to sucralfate (to coat and soothe her post-operative stomach) and an antibiotic. The patch will stay on for 5 days. She goes back to the vet in 7 for staple removal.

I feel immensely fortunate that I was home when this happened, that I recognized something was wrong and how serious it was, and that she received surgical intervention right away. It was not cheap. Our emergency office has no payment plans; you have to pay for service when it is rendered. Which means if we didn’t have the $2600 it cost to have the surgery my dog would probably be dead. I suppose they can’t do payment plans or charity care because of the large number of people who have pets and may not be able to pay the bill but it still doesn’t sit well with me. It doesn’t seem like your economic status should be the deciding factor of whether your animal lives or dies but I guess it is.

Jessie is home and is currently snoozing on her bed. We’re camping out in the living room tonight because she is restricted from stairs.

Extreme sleepy pup close up:


Generic top-down, wedge-toe sock. December 9, 2008

Filed under: Knitting — Spooky @ 11:40 pm
Tags: , , ,

Ok, so the title above may not inspire most of you (except, of course, to inspire yawns of boredom). However, I’m a newer knitter and to me sock knitting was mystical and intimidating — all of those needles sticking out at precarious angles, heels and toes and kitchenering (oh my)! For the longest time I avoided it. Actually for a long time I avoided anything that had anything to do with DPNs. Then I used them to close a few hats, and it wasn’t too bad, but I avoided anything that involved casting on and beginning to knit in the round on DPNs. Then, for a reason I can’t recall now, I decided just to try and see if I could do it.
And the result is this sock.
The pattern is basic and simple (which I love): CO 64 stitches, knit cuff in 2×2 rib, knit leg in stockinette. Standard slip stitch heel and wedge toe with kitchenering. I used DPNs in size 2 (these are the smallest needles I have, they are Brittany 8″ needles I received in a swap) and a sock yarn I can’t identify, although I’m almost positive it’s Cherry Tree Hill supersock (I received it wound into a cake and there is certainly a lot of it).
I made a few mistakes. I was happily knitting along on the ribbing before I discovered I was only supposed to do it for 2 inches. Oops. It’s more like 3. There’s a tiny hole on one side where I picked up stitches along the gusset (barely noticeable to anyone but me, really). I’m pleased with my grafting. That was another first for me.
So the first sock is complete, if unblocked. I’m working on the second one and have completed the leg portion and am up to the heel flap. A few teaser pics (please ignore my rumpled IF AWESOME flannel penguins — it’s been so cold in here lately I’ve been spending most of my time upstairs). Better pics to follow after second is completed and the pair are blocked.

And here’s a side view where you can sort of see the heel portion and the toe decreases (you can also sort of see my martinis in space pajama pants):

Socks are cool.


Traveling roses scarf. December 5, 2008

Filed under: Knitting — Spooky @ 9:21 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Here’s an FO a long time in coming: the traveling roses lace scarf. I started this way back in October as part of a beginning lace KAL on Ravelry. The pattern was nice enough, it was just slow going (it took me approximately 3 hours to complete one repeat) and I was bored after the first few repeats.

I persevered, though, and finished. You can find the pattern here.
Yarn: Handmaiden seasilk, colorway ‘Indian Summer’
Needles: Harmony circs, size 4
Mods: None. I knit this as written, with a lifeline threaded through the start of each repeat. I only managed 9 repeats out of my yarn. I had a little left, but certainly not enough for a full repeat.
After blocking, this scarf measured 9 in x 64 in.
A few pics:

And ignore the mickey mouse t-shirt (hey, it was early!):

EXTREME close up:

So that is done. It’s not really my style, although the yarn is beautiful and has fantastic drape, so I’ll probably send it along to my sister for the holiday. I’m pretty sure my webs shipment is coming today (I’m planning to knit this for my other sister) but for right now I’m working on a sock (made from a basic sock recipe courtesy of the Yarn Harlot). Here’s a pic I snapped this morning although I’m a bit farther along now:

I knit a fair amount of this while sitting at a bar, drinking egg nog spiked with southern comfort. Who says knitting is limited to coffeeshops and bakeries?