Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hey, baby...

Since I made the first vine lace baby hat, I've made a couple more of them,and finished the little preemie blanket/burp cloth I've had on the needles for a while. That got me into making some more baby hats for the guild's Hospital Stash, finishing up the yarn I made the blankets with, and digging into some other rescued yarn from my community knitting stash.

Last night I started a coupl of baby mitts/socks. Apparently, I need a refresher course in gauge, or need to alter the pattern I'm using to make things a bit wider and shorter...

Mike, always the willing model, here shows off one of the baby hats. I first knit a garter stitch strip about 8-9 inches long, then did a sort of 3 needle bind off to graft the cast-on edge so that a smooth seam resulted. I picked up sts around one edge, and knit in the round for an inch or two before decreasing for a couple of rows. I then drew the yarn tail through the remaining stitches, secured the tails, and made and added the pom pom.

What a handsome boy! Okay, so he looks like a total doofus with that hat on, but I ain't gonna tell him that!

Labels: , ,

Monday, May 14, 2007


The problem that arises when you live with pets who are an integral part of the family is that it hurts so damn much when they die.

Sidney is slowing down, his muzzle whiter every time I see him. I'd been thinking about what Karen and Jim would go through when he eventually goes the way of all life, and decided they should get a puppy before then. I'd already found a dobie rescue in Northern California and tucked it away.

Coincidental to my musings on this matter, Karen and Jim had been talking about it, too, and had pretty much decided to get a puppy, too.

It isn't that getting another dog will make it okay when Sidney goes, but maybe it will hurt just a weensy bit less. Maybe. God, I hate to think about it and Sid isn't even my dog!

Knowing how busy Karen always is, I decided to help her out, so I went to and started searching for dobies with natural ears in the region. I emailed several to her, those who get along well with children, other dogs, and cats. (Funny how "duly respectful of large lizards" wasn't one of the traits the various rescues and shelters listed...)

There was a pair of pups, littermates, a black and a red dobie, five months old. They had been through several homes in their short lives. Karen and the rescue folks emailed back and forth at some length over the period of a week or two.

Last week, the red female was brought to the Vacaville branch of the rescue last Monday, spayed and microchipped on Tuesday, and coming home with us (well, of course Sidney and I had to go, too, to check out the pup and let her check us out) by week's end.

Originally named Gretel, which suited her not at all, she is friendly, great with kids, great with adults, great with car rides, learning to feel comfortable and explore the back yard (she apparently wasn't let out very much), a little nervous at the airport yet, and totally knows what the toy box is all about!

Here is the newly renamed Ginger and Sidney at a nearby park. Karen linked their leashes together so that she wouldn't be able to run off without dragging Sidney with her. Since Sidney outweighs her by 60 pounds, that so ain't gonna happen. Sidney can always be brought back to us by our uttering the magic word (c-o-o-k-i-e), so we weren't worried at all.

In fact, the only time of concern was when she leapt up onto the picnic table and grabbed a bone-in chicken thigh off my plate. Karen held her jaws agape (er, that would be Karen holding Ginger's jaws agape) while I reached own her throat and removed the thigh.

(Not wanting to reward her, but hating to throw it away, I, uhm, pulled the meat off the bone and gave it to Sidney.)

Here is a shot of Ginger in her favorite place: in someone's lap! Yes, yes, we know, bad idea to encourage behaviors that are cute at 50 pounds, but downright uncomfortable at 110 pounds.

Karen & Jim are using a crate to work on potty training. The report I got last night was that Sunday was an accident free day. I'm awaiting a report about today.

A closing shot of Sidney and Ginger with a couple of kids were enjoying the dogs far more than they were the adults milling around talking about graffiti abatement.

Oh! Yes, Ginger has met Mikey, though I can't say the opposite is true.

Karen and Ginger drove me home the night Ginger came home with us. We let Ginger out into my backyard to explore and hopefully pee. Karen and I were in my side yard when he heard a huffing and whining. Neighbordog Georgia was on the other side of the fence, scenting Ginger and trying to get a look at her in the slivers of space between the fence slats. Eventually, we migrated down towards the front yard where Georgia and Ginger were finally able to see one another by climbing things on either side of the fence. Ginger bopped her paw on Georgia's head, something that didn't seem to bother Georgia at all (though Georgia did hold me up for leftover chicken and a tennis ball the next day, so what they say about payback being a bitch is apparently true).

Anyway, Mike was asleep when Karen and Ginger brought me home. After meeting Georgia and chatting with her owners, Karen and I went into Mike's room and sat down, talking while he slept. Ginger was nervous at first about poking her way through the plastic drop cloth that I have hanging from the ceiling between the ig/breakfast room and kitchen to keep the heat in the ig room, but her curiosity overcame her trepidation, and in she came. When she finally saw Mikey, she gave his snout a lick, bounced back to Karen, and bounced out of the room back into the kitchen, there just being too much far more interesting stuff to see and smell and taste and maybe there's a ball! or a cookie!

Okay, enough of the puppy stuff for now, other than to say, if you are looking to get a dog or cat that needs a home, go check out the rescues and shelters. If you are looking for a doberman or greyhound, contact DogWorks Canine Rescue in the Central and Northern California area, and the far too many other dobies, greyhounds and every other purebred and mutt imaginable listed on

Here's a great photo of both dogs, taken by Karen a couple of weeks ago:

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

When he's not in my bed...

...he's in his own. Usually. Last night I came home from a meeting to find him sound asleep under my dresser. He crept out from under this morning just enough for me to be able to easily pick him up and put him in his nice warm bath. Spoiled? Nah.

Anyway, here's some pics from Monday night...

An ant's eye view:

A (low flying) bird's eye view:

Look at that manly jowl!

With a ruler, for perspective:

Change of Pace....

While I have been knitting squares for the SonomaBlanket Project and preemie blankets for the knitting guild's hospital stash, I've stayed away from other baby stuff. I did knit a little hat to match the last preemie blanket, but that's about it.

A couple of people (well, women) I know are expecting babies in the next several months. I was going to knit my usual hooded bath blanket, but then decided to try something different. Not sure what, but different.

I signed up for the new Knitting Daily e-newsletter from Interweave Press, and came across a pattern for Sandi Wiseheart's Vine Lace Baby Hat. I don't know why it attracted me, but it did, so I did. Here's my first one, being modeled by a naval orange since it wouldn't fit Mike's head:

The increases in the pattern rows, which are balanced by an equal number of decreases, makes a lovely scalloped edge. My brain just doesn't do lace, and while the last 8 even numbered rows are each different and so it requires a bit of concentration as you shape the crown, I find the first three inches to be rather rhythmic and relaxing, as I do the Midwest Moonlight scarf.

So, along with making some of these baby hats for the women I know, thought I'd make some for the hospital stash, too.

If you want to get the pattern, hurry up and sign up for Knitting Daily. The e-newsletter is free, as is this pattern.

Off to cast on #2!

Labels: , , ,