Saturday, July 24, 2010

We've Got Rats!

Meet Mocha:

And Chai:

They are 3 month old brothers that Eldest got for her birthday yesterday. Chai is adventurous and bold, Mocha is a little bit more shy and reserved. Both are friendly, though and take well to being handled by an excited (but responsible) 10 year old. So far Mr. Cat is not amused and Tango seems to think they are some sort of new moving snack for him. Needless to say all ratties are safely ensconced in their large, well outfitted condo and only brought out when the dog is locked out of the room. Both girls are in love and spend all their time offering treats and trying to "train" their new friends. I'm sure the ratties think they are in heaven with a huge multi-level cage all to themselves with loads of toys to play with and yummy foods to nosh...big change from the cramped basic quarters of the pet store!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Things have been progressing slowly but steadily around here lately.

Tango is recovering from his surgery and will get his stitches out tomorrow. He has not been enjoying being confined to the house at all but it was necessary to keep his activity to a minimum in order for his knee to properly heal. Starting this weekend he will be allowed small walks around our complex, slowly building up to longer walks around the neighborhood. Hopefully it will help out his stir-craziness and improve his mood somewhat, lol!

I have been working ever so diligently on my Garnstudio sweater:
It has been slow going since the summer heat settled in on us. It has also been slow to progress due to being knit in very fine sport weight on 3.25mm needles. But the fabric is luxurious and drapey and the cable design really "pops". I am almost finished the front and then I have just one more sleeve to go.

Now on to the inspiration part of this blog post! A couple of weeks ago K. and I visited Mt. Vernon, WA on a little day trip and discovered a delightful yarn shop called Wild Fibers. It is a beautiful, well stocked and airy shop filled with all sorts of knitterly treasures. K. and I quickly scooped up some Hazel Knits Artisan sock yarn that we had never seen before:

I find the colors so rich and intense. Just the thing to revive mid-summer knitting blahs! Just before we were leaving I spotted a shop sample of this design by Knit Whits. The body is made up of Noro Kureyon and the ruffles of matching Kureyon sock. I tried it on and fell hard. I grabbed the pattern and spent pretty much the whole drive home contemplating which of my stashed Noro yarns to use for it. I finally settled on #255 - a fall blend of browns, oranges, golds and maroon. I didn't quite have enough skeins, but I managed (luckily) to find more in the same dye lot at couple of LYS's. By the time the matching sock yarn that I ordered on line arrives I should be finished with the Garnstudio pullover and ready to cast on. I can hardly was that awesome!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tango Gets A Leg Up

I've been absent from blogging for the last week due to a little drama going on at the home front. Our dog, Tango, was diagnosed with Luxating Patellas in both back legs. Basically his kneecaps are genetically deformed and require surgery to correct. Tango is only a year and a half old and otherwise quite healthy and active. We suspected there might be a problem when we moved because he started randomly favoring one of his legs on and off. We were hoping it was just an injury due to running around on new-to-him slippery floors. Then when the other knee started acting up as well we knew there was trouble. I did some checking on the internet and found that this condition is quite common for small purebred dogs, especially his breed: Papillons. I also found out that the prospects are good for a full recovery but the surgery itself can be quite costly just for one leg, let alone two. So we had the talk that every pet owner facing expensive surgery for their pet faces. Its brutal and heartbreaking to put a price tag on your furry companion but, unless you are independently wealthy, a sad necessity. Then I took him to the vet for an assessment and quote, knowing full well that we might have to make a horrible choice. When the vet showed me the list of everything needed and the total cost for the first surgery I almost was less than half of what I was fearfully expecting! With the green light fully on, the vet did some x-rays and blood tests and we booked him in for surgery on Tuesday.

Leaving him at the vet on surgery day was probably the hardest thing I've done in a long time. He was so scared and there was no way I could comfort him. I found out the next day when we picked him up that he barked and tried to dig his way out of the cage basically the whole time he was there. When we got him back he was so sad looking with his bandaged up leg and his cone of shame. He didn't want to be left alone for a second even though he was obviously tired and stressed. Today he looks better even though he is still not eating as much as he should. He has meds for pain and antibiotics and we are only keeping the cone on him at night. He has the bandage on his leg for a week and the stitches stay in for another week after that. In 6-8 weeks, if all is well, he has to repeat the whole process with the other leg.

There is no way to tell how successful the surgery is until he is walking properly again. We can only hope that because he is such a young dog that it will be 100% and he will be back to running around in no time.

Monday, July 5, 2010

What's New

We are finally starting to relax into "summer mode" here. Staying up late, sleeping in and eating lots of fresh local fruit and veggies. The girls and I are reading "Percy Jackson: The Lightening Thief" together (we will watch the movie once we are done) and they have swim lessons at the local rec center twice a week. The weather has not been very summery and cloudy..but rumor has it that hot sunny days are due to roll in next week. In the meantime we are getting in lots of walks on the local trails and putting in a few flowers in the garden.

I have been puttering on the knitting front. I visited my local yarn store, 88 Stitches, and picked up this lovely little treat:

It is a skein of Silk Cashmere Fingering, hand dyed by Melissa from Yarn Candy-Sweet Fiber. The colors are rich and moody and the yarn is oh, so very soft and delightful.

I started the Garnstudio sweater out of some yarn I had sitting in my stash forever:

It is a positively decadent blend of extra-fine merino, silk and cashmere. It is fine sport weight so it will be slow knitting but the finished product will be more than worth it. I had actually started this sweater out of a different yarn but after a couple of inches I ruthlessly tore it out and restarted because everything about it was off...wrong color, texture, etc. Why work so hard and so long on something that I ultimately won't love? This yarn, on the other hand, is a clear winner and has been waiting patiently in my stash for the right project to come along.

I have been analyzing what type of sweaters I actually wear lately and realized that I don't knit things that I really enjoy wearing very often. My standard garment in the wintertime is definitely thin, clingy v-neck sweaters in basic colors yet I knit a lot of worsted-weight outerwear cardigans and jackets. I have to remember this whenever I'm picking out a new project to work on, lol, or I will forever be wearing crappy store-bought sweaters while my beautiful, carefully knitted items sit in the cupboard all winter!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

What a great country to live in. Love ya, Canada!