Hard decision to make….

Phinney (left) sharing a nap with Zephyr.

It’s come time to think really hard about my dear 20-year old cat, Phinney. At this point, her future is looking really short, and as her mom, I have to make the awful decision of when to put her to sleep. How does one come to make such a decision? Playing God? This is really hard. The poor dear used to be an absurd weight of 16 pounds, and now she is down to just over 7 pounds, practically skin and bones.  She has advanced kidney disease, and according the call from the vet today, she now has bad liver readings. Furthermore, I have finally come the realization that her quality of life sucks right now, and the meowing that she does as I go about my day busy with two small kids, is a sign that she doesn’t feel well and that she wants me to comfort her.  My husband Alex and I have recently started scheduling Phinney Time into our day, in which after our youngest is put to bed we sit in the living room where Phinney lives and she comes to sit on my lap and I pet and brush her, but it seems to be a small consolation for her.  On top of that, she is the only one of the three cats in our house that the kids are actually able to pet, because Olivia, the other 20-year old only lets me pet her, and Zephyr the semi-feral cat pretty much won’t let anyone pet him.  The last time I was involved in a decision like this was 25 years ago.  I’ve had Phinney and Olivia for all of their lives, and they and I have been through a lot together, most notably the death of my father.  But I can’t continue to keep Phinney surviving for our own comfort over hers, and I’m afraid that I have to look at this from her point of view, which is not a pleasant one now.

Knitter’s Dilemma

Abrazo has been properly wet-blocked on my blocking squares and as you can see, it’s a vast improvement.

When I finished this Abrazo and wore it, I was faced with the dilemma that so many other handcrafters find themselves in, and that is that someone asked me to make one for her for payment.  Thankfully, I told her that due to copyright (whew!) I can’t receive payment for knitting things from other people’s patterns (other than the cost of the yarn).   I say “thankfully” because in theory, if I were to make it for payment, I would then have others asking me in short order, as this friend is part of a vast network in my church.  I would prefer to not become a knitting machine for people, cranking-out all the knitterly goods they request, but the fact is that if not kept in check, I could end-up doing just that.  Ugh!  The thought gives me chills.  I figure it’s easier to ask someone to make something for payment, than it is to ask for cost.  No, I will let the subject drop, and hopefully, she won’t pursue it further.  However, I will consider making one as a gift for her using some yarn in my stash at some point.  That should be okay, don’t you think?  I think that it’s less likely that others would follow suit and ask me to make something as a gift, since I think it’s even harder to ask someone to knit something as an out-and-out gift.  Right?  In the meantime, unfortunately it has caused me to think twice before wearing anything knitted out of the house.  I guess I’d just better get over it, because I like knitting things I can wear, and with the very typical cold, wet spring weather we’re having around here, knitted wear is a must.

It came from the black lagoon…

No, actually, the yarn is Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18 in black and it came from the deep dark reaches of the bottom of my stash.

A couple of weeks ago, there I was, happily knitting Rose Diamonds when my thoughts kept returning to the Abrazo I’d made for my mother and gave her for the trip to Turkey and I began to wonder how the little shawl was making out. Was it enjoying it’s trip to Turkey? Was it enjoying my mother’s social calender? Then I began to think how I’d really like an Abrazo for myself, and in an astonishing flick of an eye, I’d dropped Rose Diamonds and cast on for my very own Abrazo.

Everything was going really well on it, I’d begun the short rows, and I thought I was almost done when I discovered that I’d inadvertently added 28 yarnovers where there shouldn’t have been in the final row of lace. This is the final row before starting the stockinette short rows; I had thought finishing was a few hours away. With the extra yarnovers, the placement (or centering) of the short rows was way off, and I had no other option than to fix the whole thing. So I ripped-out all of the stockinette, then the row containing the offending yarnovers, and resumed from there.

All’s well that ends well, as they say, and I’m fairly pleased.  Of course, as with the one I made for my mother, I had to steam block it because I still couldn’t find my handy blocking squares.*

Pattern: Abrazo by Susanna IC
Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr Merino-Silk 2/18 in black
Needles: 5.0 mm/US 8.0
Additional Supplies: silver-lined purple seed beads, size 8/0

*My husband has since found the missing interlocking carpet squares, and although he won’t admit it, it seems he stowed them away someplace high and out of the way during one of his organizing frenzies.  Hey, I’m just glad to have them back!