Tuesday, April 28, 2009

February Baby Sweater # 2 ...

Yes, another one ... I'm loving this pattern! Made with 'Donna' by Scheepjes, a lovely merino/acrylic blend that has a little sheen to it and washes up beautifully.

See specs. in previous post, if interested. One modification that I should have mentioned in the previous post, is that I omitted the decreases at the bottom of the cardi and just knit it straight down, instead. I much prefer it this way.

Life has been tres hectic at our house over the past month. We had to have hubby's parent's place cleared out by the end of April, so his sister, brother-in-law and great niece came out for a week over Easter to help out.

The day prior to their arrival, our dog was scheduled for surgery. See the lump on his back, right hip? Larger than a softball! That's him begging for a bit of hubby's lunch -- he's such a mooch!

Head's up ... if you don't do post surgery pics, skip the rest of this post and I'll see ya next time :)

Look at the poor thing! A six inch incision, complete with a drain, where the largest lump site was, and a 3 inch incision on the top of his spine, at the back of his neck. Nearly broke my heart! The drain was a real nuisance and after needing to mop up the floor every time the dog shook, I got smart.

I jury rigged an XL men's t-shirt for him to wear and it absorbed the drippings from the drain, for the next 7 days. Pretty clever, huh? He had a wardrobe of at least 3, so that when one was in the wash, he had a fresh one on, plus a back up.

He was confined to the kitchen, as it's tiled and easy to clean. We came home with one of those 'dog lampshades' that they're supposed to wear, to ensure that they don't chew on anything, or heaven forbid, pull the drain out. That would just cause him more stress, so we decided to 'pass' on the lampshade. Instead, we put on the t-shirt and decided that I'd sleep in the kitchen with him, so I could monitor if any attempts at chewing were made. Not the comfiest sleep, but the peace of mind was worth it.

The next night the company arrived and the bed was required elsewhere, so I spent that night on the couch in the family room adjacent. What we don't do for our pets, huh?

I used to work at our vet's, so they let me bring him home the same day -- I was confident that I could cope, plus it was the long weekend and the thought of leaving him there wasn't appealing.

Sometimes the tough part about having worked at the vet's is that I know too much ...

The pathology report came back and told us that along with the fatty tissue we already knew about from the needle biopsy, there was also a soft tissue sarcoma underneath it all. Knife through the heart! On the plus side, it was completely encapsulated, so it hadn't spread and they took a whack of tissue out surrounding it, just in case. The vet tells me that there's a 10% chance that it will grow back, but for now, he's healing well and back to his perky, lovable self!

Friday, April 3, 2009

February Baby Sweater

Pattern: February Baby Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Yarn: Lana Grossa 'Big' 100% Merino - 3 balls in stash
Needles: I used 4mm 24" circulars
Buttons: 3 , 1/2" mother of pearl
Size: I'm guessing, but I would say it would fit a 0-3+ month old
Adjust: I chose to only do 3 button holes

This is my first shot at an "EZ" pattern ... can you say 'vague'??? There was an awful lot 'assumed' which left me feeling like I wished someone would fill in the blanks for me.

After a couple of false starts (including nearly finishing the yoke when suddenly it told me I should have been putting in buttonholes) everything finally 'clicked'.

I loved that it's knit 'top down', as you know that I detest the sewing up at the end. All I had to sew was 5" up each sleeve and then of course, the buttons.

It's really quite an ingenious construction, however, it does require concentration and some sorting out in your mind. Until now, I've been mindlessly following patterns, with adjustments to suit my taste, but this one blew me away! I finished this one and immediately cast on for a second, so I could cement the construction of it in my brain.