Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hot August

I finally got a little knitting done this week--for the first time in three weeks. It's been nice to have a couple of clear evenings to work on the latest shawl.

I had knitted all but the last four rows of a shawl in Malabrigo. Malabrigo is a lovely, super-soft wool made in South America. I love the stuff, and it comes in some terrific colors. But those folks really, really can't get two skeins to come out the same color, even when the skeins are dyed in the same dyelot.


I let that shawl sit in a time-out for several days while I decided whether I was going to be able to live with the color change. On a different pattern, where the design changed in a nice straight line, I might have tolerated it. But this pattern has all these zigzags, and the color change cuts across the peaks and valleys of the pattern. I decided I really couldn't stand it and ripped it all out. I'll reuse the two skeins of yarn--for different projects that don't have to match each other (say, a hat and some gloves). Sometimes you can disguise mismatched skeins by knitting two rows from one skein, two rows from the other. That's okay for a sweater, where the unused yarn would be hidden in the seams, but that's not very practical for a shawl.

Meanwhile, I've started the shawl again in a lovely solid color from a yarn company that gets its colors right:


This is Cascade 220 (Pacific Heather). It's going well. Of course, the shawl was going to be a birthday present for a family friend whose birthday was 17 August. Oops.

After this, I'm going to make a shawl for my sister's birthday (or something--her birthday is 20 August, so this will be late). Iris is a redhead, and I got a very nice warm brown (Chocolate Heather--no photos yet). It'll be a small shawl--a "shawlette" (I hate that word, but it conveys the idea--triangular, bigger than a scarf, smaller than a big shawl). You know how stylish folks in movies used to tie the arms of a sweater around their neck and let the sweater hang over their shoulders--leaving the impression the weather was too warm to wear the sweater, but too cool to go with nothing on their shoulders? A shawlette provides about as much coverage as that tied sweater, but isn't intended to be worn in any other way than just wrapped around the shoulders or neck, often secured with a decorative pin.

The dogs and I are fine. There's some sort of bug going around, and I'd like to get just enough of it to justify staying home sick. I've got more than 150 hours of sick leave saved up, and I'd probably get paid more for a sick day than I'm earning by working. But I hate to call at the last minute and make them juggle schedules when I'm not really ill, and I can't very well schedule a sick day a week or so in advance.

And the weather? We won't even discuss it. I just scheduled my vacation days for October, when the weather should be nicer.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Third Time's a Charm

I took another urine sample to Sam's vet. This time, Sam's water bowl was empty for nearly 12 hours before I collected the sample.

The verdict?


Perfect. Perfect concentration--exactly in the midrange, neither too concentrated nor too dilute. And no protein. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

The boy is peeing like a champ...and I'm breathing much easier.