Your favorite knitter/foster parent/blogger/insane do-it-yourself-er is finally back. The whole floor, trim, and most of the touch up painting is done, done, done. I feel so much better now.
I had a serious case of start-itis near the end of the flooring project. I think the stress and chaos of living in a construction zone made me want to escape, so I just kept starting new yarn projects. I even obsessed about plans to make a crocheted sock – my mind was racing with thoughts about how to construct the thing and how exactly I wanted to do the ribbing – to the point that I had to get out of bed one night and start crocheting. I guess when a muse takes notice of one of my ideas, she won’t let it go until we get into action. I think it would be most helpful if we took inventory of what is on the hooks and needles again.
1. Crocheted Sock – I am going to turn this one into a class. Unlike knit socks, I consider crochet socks to be an advanced beginner project. Yes, the hook is small (but you could make a worsted weight sock with a slightly bigger hook), but you only really need to know how to single crochet to start a sock. In my class I am going to teach skills like increasing, decreasing, and even how to crochet to fit. Socks are really great for teaching technique.
2. Mr. Greenjeans Cardigan – I really need to start layering now that I live somewhere it snows. It seems like a cardigan is the easiest way to get started.
(All of the following will be Ravelry links)
3. Two-in-one socks – I tried this technique, but it was so slow going that I had to admit I hated it. I separated the socks and began knitting them separately. I am much happier now, but I did learn that my gauge is much tighter when I knit double-stranded.
4. Robert’s Boot Socks – These are going to be much like kilt hose, but at the same time more plain. Robert is my brother in the Marines. He wanted a good pair of thick socks for hiking, and he really liked the pictures of some kilt hose I made in the past, so he asked for some. The thing is, I started it using Cascade 220. Somewhere after I made the first 20% or so of the first sock, I realized that I should have used a superwash yarn because the hiking will most likely felt the things. Does anyone know if Cascade Superwash comes in khaki?
5. Cat Couch – I started working on this project for the cats again when I started teaching classes. I really owe them something nice, and I now I’m starting to owe them lots of nice things for neglecting them. I am such a bad mom.
6. Beaded Deep Space – This is a Christmas project for a friend. I do hope to finish it for this Christmas, but it may have to wait for next. The long floor project robbed me of quite a bit of time.
7. Colorado Gloves – I am actually thinking of turning these into mittens or fingerless gloves. I realized that the fingers make it way too slippery to wear the gloves while knitting or driving, and they wouldn’t be nearly as warm as mittens.
I also took something out of my project list recently – the Earl Grey socks. I know now, without a shred of doubt, that I am allergic to alpaca. Sometimes when I help a client at the store, my throat starts to itch and then swell up. Every single time I ask the client what fiber she is using, it turns out to be alpaca. I was seriously crushed to learn this because alpaca fiber is incredibly soft and warm – as a matter of fact, it would make a great winter blanket. In the end, I rehomed this project and some unspun alpaca fiber to my friend, Julie. I know she’ll take good care of it.
In the time when I was absent, the kittens continued to grow and change. Goose made weight, and I had to return her earlier than I expected. She is incredibly friendly. Too friendly. Every night since I got the Twilight kittens, she got to sleep with us. In the middle of the night Goosie would wake up so happy, purring and rubbing her face against mine and Michael’s. While it was perhaps the sweetest way to wake up, it was still waking up. Multiple times a night. I was a wreck.
I was completely flattered that Goose loved us so much.
Lambie is still with me. She had a lesion on her muzzle that looked suspiciously like ringworm. Since the shelter I currently volunteer for puts kittens with ringworm down (they are working to change that policy, just slowly), I had Lamb’s spot checked. What a mistake. She is still with me because the test came back positive even though the lesion cleared up within 3 days. As anyone who reads my blog regularly should know by now, no ringworm has ever cleared up that fast. Ever. While the vet agrees with me that it is probably a false positive due to cross-contamination, they have to wait until Lamb has a negative test to release her for adoption. The test takes 2 weeks for a negative result. I am leaving for a trip before that test comes back, so I was distressed. Fortunately, the shelter vet has a plan – they’ll treat her with lyme-sulfur and put her up for adoption with a note that she was possibly exposed to ringworm. It means she will be in a cage by herself, which makes me really sad. However, she is a black kitten. Nice as she is, people are superstitious about black cats, and the older she gets, the less adoptable Lamb will be. I cannot stand the thought that my baby will be overlooked because her coat is the “wrong” color. You could do a lot worse than Lamb. Lambie loves to give kisses, and she really loves yarn-based cat toys. And face it – she’s beautiful.
That Duck character – well, where do I begin. I’ve loved other foster kittens. I loved Carrot, who found a perfect home right before I left San Francisco. I knew when her new mother started to speak to me that Carrot was meant for her, the only person good enough for my baby. I loved Margo, a black momcat whom I fostered long before I started this blog. She has bright orange eyes, and she used to pull your face to hers with her paw so she would kiss you. She also had this pure joy that you couldn’t help catching. I loved Roman, the first foster kitten that I really had to fight to keep alive. He died in the end, but I thought if he lived that I might not be able to let go. I also loved Gareth, who survived Panleuk with some brain damage. He didn’t seem to have a good flight instinct when a situation was dangerous. He also couldn’t figure out simple obstacles like glass doors. He got into my entertainment center once, through an open glass door. The other door was closed. As Gareth tried to get out of the closed glass door, he started to panic. He threw himself against the glass, not noticing that there was a way to freedom just inches away. He also panicked if he was alone. It was heartbreaking to realize what he was going through. I would have kept him, too, if a woman hadn’t come along who inquired about him, left the adoption center to really think through what she was getting into, and came back completely prepared to love him the way he needed.
Duck is like the others I’ve loved. He’s handsome. He has a very gentle personality, and nothing really bothers him. He has the innate joy that Margo had. I went through a lot to save him. On October 1, Michael took Duck to the shelter. At 4:00 that afternoon, after his neuter surgery, I adopted him. That’s right, I adopted my first foster kitten. I managed to resist the charms of 183 kittens, only to be suckered in by Duck. Save for a fight he started in his carrier the moment I signed the papers and handed over the adoption fee (Duck was recovering from the anesthesia, and we think he’s a mean drunk), Duck has continued to be the same, wonderful baby cat he always was. And now he’s mine.
The Twilight kittens are all still alive. I truly thought that Renee, at 197g and at least 3-4 weeks of age was going to die, but she is still alive. She’s still tiny, but she is bright and friendly and gaining weight, just a little at a time. Edward and Bella are alive and thriving, as are Jacob, Emmett, and Rosalie. Alice is struggling, but I think even she might survive. She looks awful, but she gains just a little weight most mornings. There will be more photos of them in the future, but they won’t be with me much longer. When we leave town, the kittens are going to other foster homes. They are off the bottle, so the healthier ones can go to any foster home. The little ones will need special care, though. These poor kittens came to me with giardia (I know, what a surprise). When the meds didn’t clear up the infection, the doctors found clostridium in their stool. This is another disease that people can catch, but not as easily as they can catch giardia. You might know other forms of clostridium: botulism, food poisoning, and tetanus. It is also responsible for lethal hospital infections, under the name of clostridium dificile. I think this may be what killed so many of my bottle-feeders in San Francisco. Luckily, there is a treatment – an antibiotic called Amphoral. I think I like that drug, given that it seems to save lives.
So, I believe that you are now caught up. If there is something I missed, please mention it in the comments so that I can be sure to update everyone. Feel free to raise your expectations to the previous level 🙂