Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Morning (late--I slept in)

My day off. I'll be knitting a lot, and watching Doctor Who on On-Demand.

Although the photos don't really show it, there's been lots of progress.


That's the shawl from the local LYS. This is through the first chart; two more lace charts to go, then a knitted-on border chart. This shawl gets longer with each row, so it won't be moving fast.


The tobacco-colored shawl, through chart 2. Chart 3 is next: 24 rows repeated four times. The cheering part is that each pair of rows is shorter than the rows before it.


The apple-green shawl, also through chart 2.

Some of the people who have done extra repeats on the pattern (to make the shawl longer/wider) have started running out of yarn. I've done extra repeats on my shawls, so I may run into trouble on the green one. (I'll be fine on the brown--plenty of yarn for that one.) But the apple green yarn was purchased more than a year ago, and the company no longer makes that color. If I run out, I may have to invent a new ending for that shawl (or scavenge around on Ravelry to find more--or frog the shawl and reknit with no extra repeats). I'm going to work on it now; if there's going to be a problem, I want to know asap since I'm trying to get a shawl finished for an auction if I can but I also need a shawl for my sister's birthday. (If I can finish the apple green shawl, it will go to the auction and the brown will go to Iris; if I can't finish the apple green shawl, the brown still will go to Iris, but I won't have a shawl for the auction, which is in mid-June.)

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Sam's having a bad day. When his back is bothering him, he frequently tries to shake, as if he had a coat full of water. That shaking hurts, and he stops the shake quickly...until he tries again a minute or two later. That's been going on today. So he had a muscle relaxer about 3pm and a meloxicam at dinner. He can have another muscle relaxer at bedtime.

This morning, I finished the first five chapters of the novel I'm proofing, and sent them back to the author. Since then, I've been knitting. I've got the apple-green shawl through Chart B; the brown shawl is now half-through Chart B. Chart C has been released, and it's going to be a bear: 24 rows on each repeat of the chart, and I need to work it four times (I think). The one consolation is that each pair of rows is 4 stitches shorter than the previous pair of rows. (Pictures Monday or Tuesday...I hope.) Chart D (the last one) is due out on Thursday.

On the other shawl, I haven't even started the third clue; the fourth (final) clue was released today. I'm planning to work on that shawl later tonight, I think, even if I haven't finished Chart B on the brown.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Catching up

I'm going to try to keep up with some regular posts, even if I don't post much. But this will be a wordy catch-up post...

Birthday Bath
Baths on Sam's birthday

The Dogs

Sam's 11, now. Jacey's 8. Sam got back the weight he lost over the winter and he looks great (he's back to 64.9 pounds after a scary 58 pounds in February). He had a bad back spell last week, though. I'm not running to the chiropractor with him: this new pain came only a couple of weeks after his last visit (and he's sore in the same area she treated), and getting an appointment and getting him there is not something that can be done on short notice. (He was fine when I left for work that day; in obvious pain when I got home...and it was Friday night, with me working the next day and unable to get him to the vet or the chiropractor.) Anyway, now we have a standing prescription for meloxicam (anti-inflammatory) and methocarbemol (muscle relaxer), and I can get the prescriptions refilled when necessary at the Walgreen's around the corner. The meloxicam is scary (the drug sheet is an entire page of tiny print with dire warnings; he can't have more than half a pill in 24 hours--and I've already cut all the pills in half so I don't get confused). The methocarbemol is less terrifying and works quickly and he can have more, more often. I think methocarbemol will be our friend--and will mean I don't wind up sleeping in the floor with him. (After he took the methocarbemol the first night, he still wouldn't get into my bed so I laid down in the floor with him. I woke up a few hours later and looked for him. He was sprawled in the middle of my bed. I made him move over so I could sleep there, too.)

Jacey looks great, but she's had a few more of those Spacey-Jacey events where she doesn't respond to her name and doesn't seem to know where she is or what she's doing. The vet thinks she's too young for doggie Alzheimer's (I agree), so we're figuring it may be absence seizures. She's a bit old to be developing epilepsy. Other possibilities include a brain tumor, but that's not something we'd be able to treat, so there's no sense in spending a fortune on an MRI to diagnose the problem. The events only happen for a few minutes, and then she's fine. She's miserable while it's happening (her tail is tucked), and it's a bit alarming to see a dog that can't figure out what to do with food. (If you put it in her mouth, she opens her mouth to chew and the food falls out. Then she just stares at it.) There's no logic to when the events happen: it's not low blood sugar or anything else predictable. Happily, Sam leaves her alone when it happens; sometimes a dog will attack another dog that's suffering a seizure.

Freelance Work

There's been a lot of it lately, which is all good. I get to do it at home,* on the sofa, with a ball game on the television and the dogs at my side. (I just watched the Braves right-fielder leave a full-body divot in the ground in Pittsburgh when he dove for a catch...and caught it.)

I've also acquired a new client, a novelist. I'm not editing her writing; I'm just proofreading and catching words misused.


I've been doing lots of baby stuff lately, including a test-knit on a baby sweater pattern. The pattern isn't difficult, but I've had nothing but trouble, including major gauge issues. (For those of you who knit: my gauge knitting flat is massively different from my gauge knitting in the round. The sweater body is knitted flat, and the sleeves are knitted in the round. So far I've knitted four sleeves--and this is not a sweater for an alien child.) So, to get the taste of failed baby projects out of my mouth for a while, I've started three shawls--two of one pattern and one of another. The patterns are all Mystery Shawl KAL patterns: (KAL = knit-along). The designers tell you what weight of yarn to buy and how much, what size needles, and what size the finished shawl should be. Then they release the pattern, a few rows at a time. One pattern has more than 700 people working on it at once. The clues (the charts) released so far cover the first 26 rows; I've knitted through 14 rows on each shawl, and I need to get going so I can catch up. (The next chart comes out on Thursday, and it's 76 rows. The designer is trying to provide enough to keep knitters busy over the Memorial Day holiday, but I don't get any extra time off.) I'm knitting one version in a lovely tobacco-colored yarn, the other in an apple-green yarn.


The other mystery shawl pattern, which has an unusual set-up, now has three more charts released. There aren't as many people knitting that one--the designer is fairly unknown and just works and designs for a local yarn shop. But these patterns are scratching my itch for lace-knitting and breaking the baby-knitting curse...or at least postponing my next baby project long enough that the curse may evaporate.


*My most recent cable outage was not Comcast's fault. AT&T ran a line to a neighbor's condo. When they buried their line, they cut mine. (And they left a trail of little orange flags that said "ATT/D" on them.) Anyway, my cable signal is back--at least until Comcast comes to bury my new line and accidentally cuts AT&T's line and AT&T retaliates. Meanwhile, I know a nearby McDonald's and a Chick-fil-A that have wireless in their dining rooms, so I can get freelancing back to my clients from there.