Saturday, October 27, 2012

Meet-and-Greet Queen

Silver has been enjoying SEGA's weekly meet and greets in the Marietta Square. This weekend, she patiently wore her Halloween costume.



The blue toenails are because she's a mascot for the Pope High School Greyhounds. Our greyhounds run down the field with cheerleaders before the game. Pope lost its first two games, I painted Silver's nails (the school's colors are blue and gray), and Pope has won the six games since then, including all their regional games. I guess we're stuck with blue toenails through the playoffs.

Pregame at Pope
18 October 2012 game against Sprayberry

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The blog post from hell... which I catch up on nearly 18 months of craft blogging.

Okay. I've got a lot of knitting posts to catch up on. I'm going to post lots of little pictures. If you want to see something more clearly, click on the photo and you'll be taken to the photo on Flickr. If you want the crafty details (pattern, yarn, etc.), click on the link in the description to go to my page on Ravelry.


I managed not to get a good final photo of this. It's a ruffly neck scarf I made for my sister's birthday (August 2011). I had intended it to be for Christmas 2010, but I didn't get it done. Then there was a shawl I was going to make for my sister's birthday (2011). Didn't get that done on time either, so she got the scarf for her birthday in 2011 and the shawl for the 2012 birthday .


It's actually a very richly colored yarn:



The beaded lace shawl that was supposed to be for my sister's 2011 birthday was done in time for August 2012, along with a copper-colored shawl pin (by Twisted Sisters Jewelry):




There were two of these. I made one in Cascade Yarns Cotton Rich DK which is not, surprisingly, an all-cotton yarn; the yarn has 36 percent nylon, which can be too scratchy for a baby. Thus, I made a second version, using Tahki Yarns Cotton Classic (100% cotton). The mom wound up with one frameable, one usable. (Too tiny to see here: the design is owls, which was going to be a theme in Leena's pink room.)

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The two washcloths and this Baby Surprise Jacket went to coworker Jessica, who was expecting baby Leena Rosemary.



One charity project I knitted for was Hats for Sailors (that's the Facebook page), knitting hats in machine-washable natural fibers (wool preferred, cotton okay, synthetics like nylon or acrylic not allowed). These hats to go U.S. sailors on ships posted in colder climates. Since the sailors are at sea rather than on land, camouflage is not a requirement. I can't remember how many hats we had in 2011; in 2012, we're trying for 600 hats. This was my first hat, for the 2011 season.

Hat for a Sailor

This year, I've knitted two hats for the 2012 season. They both use the same easy pattern; each hat takes about 110 yards of worsted weight wool (in this case, Cascade 220 Superwash).

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I also knitted a hat as a 2011 Secret Santa project at work. My coworker specified the yarn color.



I've been knitting snoods, mostly for charity auctions. A snood, in this instance, is a long tube of fabric designed to cover a greyhound's thin ears when the dog is outside in colder climates than usually seen in North Georgia. So far, though, I've kept my first snood; it matches a special collar:


Other snoods have made it to auctions and brought in funds for greyhound rescue groups this year. Snood one ($64—two bidders got into a bidding war in this auction, and the price doubled in the last few minutes), two ($30), three ($30), and four ($40—a much richer color than the photograph shows).

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A friend at work needed an emergency baby present for a friend. I had a Baby Surprise Jacket I'd started eons earlier. It was all done except the seaming and buttons. I finished that and gave Trina the sweater for her friend in return for a donation to PetSmart's Pet Charities fund.



That was the last Baby Surprise Jacket I've knitted (to date). I've found a new baby sweater pattern that I really like, and I've made four this year: Ruby's, Ryan's, Stormy's, and Sydney's, which had a matching baby afghan.





The afghan is one of only two crocheted projects I've made this year. No photos of the whole thing, but it measured 31" x 44" (79cm x 112cm):



The other crocheted project was a doily—just keeping my hand in:



I knitted a few cotton dishcloths. I want to get a batch of them that I can package together and donate to an auction. Maybe there'll be two bundles: one houndish, one Whovian.

Blue Greyhound Dishcloth


Leaf Lace Washcloth (much prettier than it photographs)


Tardis Dishcloth (You'll have to take my word for this one until I get a better photograph)



And a friend's parents lost everything they owned in a March fire. A bunch of us wanted the parents to have something handmade, with a little love in it, so we volunteered to knit them an afghan, with each person knitting one square. Some of the volunteers eventually ran into trouble getting their squares done, so I filled in on a couple of extra. I think I've done enough cables to last me for a while.


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I have six projects in the works (photos and info at another time): five are shawls, and one is another greyhound snood (it's my mindless knitting). I've also bought yarn to make myself a sweater and a shawl (You didn't think these five shawls were for me, did you?) and yarn to make a sweater for Silver.

And now that I've caught up on nearly 18 months of craft blogging and no longer have the blog-post-from-hell hanging over my head, maybe I can keep up with sensible posts.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Long Time, No Blog (Part II)

When we last heard from Sam, he was sick. Nasty spots had shown up on an x-ray of his lungs, and things seemed dire.

That was nearly a year ago, and Sam's still here--and he'll be twelve-and-a-half next month.

Yes, there's clearly something wrong with his lungs. Despite antibiotics and antihistamines last year (even before the x-rays), he still coughs. Sometimes he coughs worse than other times--harder and more frequently. But he's not gasping for breath, he's not choking. When the vet listens to Sam's lungs, things sound "all right."

Sam clearly has days when his spinal arthritis is bothering him. Even though cold weather hasn't set in here (it's 74°F outside right now), he's been in more pain lately, and we've gone back to his winter drug schedule (a last round of pills just before bedtime, to supplement the usual breakfast and dinner pills). With the extra pills, he's been sleeping better (typically, the sign of Sam-in-pain is Sam-awake). Since Silver's taking pills at twice-a-day and thrice-a-day intervals, pill-juggling around here is becoming quite a skill. (I programmed it all on my Google calendar with pop-up reminders. My Google calendar is synced with my phone's calendar, so a message like "2 doxycycline" will pop up on my phone and my laptop at the right time. Sam's messages are a different color than Silver's.)

Sam still plays with stuffies--throws them around the living room and pounces on them. He likes his walks, although we keep them short because his back legs want to give out: down to the corner and back, with pauses for petting from whatever neighbors are out. And Sam still likes to eat. He raids the kitchen trash can at least once a day. (It's a new can, but Sam mastered it within the first 24 hours; fortunately, it holds less than the old one, needing to be emptied more often, which gets the goodies out of Sam's reach.)

Today is a special day: it's Sam's tenth Gotcha Day. He first came home with me on 5 October 2002.


It's hard to remember when his face was that color. These days, it's this:


This afternoon, he'll get vanilla ice cream with whipped topping. (He already had whipped topping on his breakfast kibble.)

Enough time blogging, for now. It's getting late (after 12), and Sam wants my lunch.

Long Time, No Blog (Part I)

I'm back in the blogging world.

Quick health updates--Silver first: Silver was spayed in March. (Note: She handles post-anesthesia nausea very poorly. And she screams when they give her a shot of cerenia. That's my girl!)

She's still having trouble with that leg after more than a year. It was better for a while, but it flared up again in June. The "veterinary dermatologist" (vet-speak for "expensive specialist") took biopsies and had them checked at a lab and one specimen cultured. Turns out, she has a bacterial infection and a fungal infection, probably triggered by an allergic reaction to a bug bite. Bacteria, fungus, allergy: the triple threat. Having recently seen how her leg swelled after a yellow jacket sting, I can confirm that she really reacts to a bug bite.


The vet is still trying to figure out what to do about the fungal infection (waiting for lab results), but Silver's on doxycycline (200mg, twice daily) and pentoxyfilline (400mg every 8 hours). There hasn't been any improvement after a week on the meds, and I don't really think there will be until we nail the fungal infection. In the meantime, Silver's muzzled to keep her from chewing the leg. You can imagine how much she loves that. (P.S. The yellow jacket sting was to her bad leg. Of course.)

Pope High School's mascot is the greyhound. Our local rescue group takes greyhounds to the school's home games. The dogs get lots of petting from the crowd before the game, and they run down the field with the cheerleaders before the game. Silver enjoys the petting stuff, actually behaved well for the run down the field, and only wishes they'd eliminate the "bombs bursting in air" line from the Star-Spangled Banner (or at least do away with the accompanying fireworks—although she's starting to calm down faster, these days). Pope lost their first two games. For a lark, I painted Silver's toenails blue (school colors are blue and gray/silver), and the Greyhounds have won every game since then. I think we might be stuck with the nail polish for a while—at least until the end of football season. But we might try Silver polish, next time. (Polish on the front nails only; if I polish the back nails, she's liable to lie down with her feet under her and get polish everywhere.)

Silver says: