taking things in stride

Posted on Posted in Bare Naked Wools, designing, home and family, projects

thank you all so very much for your enthusiastic response to my latest design publication—bottoms up booties; i’m so glad you like them. our scholarship fund total was up to $4294.20 last tuesday and i’m pretty sure that with this publication we went over 5K!! i am thrilled beyond measure; we’ve had a tough couple of weeks around here and we needed some good news.

right now, i’m working on the bootie number two with the button top cuff option; i’ve knit this pair all in kent worsted (driftwood shade) and i just love them—this yarn has so much depth and cushiness, mmm. if i don’t end up needing these for a gift, i might keep them for me.

today i looked at various button possibilities from the selection we carry in our online shop—all of these are natural bone and horn, but they vary in color and shading, depending on the source. the only ones i’m not entirely crazy about with this yarn color are the ones on the lower left, above.

while i do like the ones in the upper right, i think they might get lost in the fabric a bit. that leaves the black buffalo horn ones (left) and the red horn ones (right). i’m leaning toward the red ones, just as i did when i knit my herringweave cardigan in the driftwood color last year. the black ones tho are also classy and i might go with those just to change things up a bit for myself. which ones do you like?

i was stitching up the bottom seam of my button top bootie when realized that this option would also be cute without buttons or buttonholes—just the vented cuff which creates a split. it looks so cute, both turned up and folded down. when there’s better light tomorrow i’ll take some photos to show you what i mean . . .

once the second button cuff one is finished, i’m almost done with bootie knitting for the time being. i’d like to make a second slipper to match this prototype, which i knit using a sample skein of patchwork in worsted weight. that was when we thought we were going to get a whole shipment of the heavier weight yarn in. but our mill never sent it, so all we had were the sample skeins, which i’ve nearly used up knitting hats and these booties.

i just love this yarn, but i’m afraid it’s not to be, at least for now. i do have enough to knit a mate for this slipper tho . . . it’s a taller one with an extended leg and SOOooo toasty. it looks like it fits me here, but actually, it’s a bit big, being a large size. if it fits david, i’ll give them to him.

several people have asked me about resizing these slippers to fit even larger feet—i have to hand it to the knitters who regularly knit for men with size 13 feet and up; that’s real love. anyway, if i can, i’ll make some time this week to edit the pattern with two more sizes. i can’t promise because we have a lot going on this week, but i will try!

i love this photo, taken the saturday after thanksgiving when cardigan and i were hanging out and taking things easy.

i was working on my design, getting the fit right, while testing out cable options and she was watching me, haha. so peaceful.

little did we know what the rest of the day had in store for us! this flop for instance—the cable was too large and not pronounced enough; i just wasn’t sold on it, even after investing several tries into slippers that were “almost done”. ah well, re-doing is still knitting, right?

finally in the late afternoon i said, “enough of us sitting around on our patooties, cardigan; let’s get outside!”. it was a lovely late fall day and we headed up to the college nearby to walk in the fields. we watched the sun set and were just heading off the grounds toward the street when a large german shepherd came out of nowhere and attacked cardigan, going right for her throat.

the owner had been letting his dogs run free in the field, not realizing we were there. he threw himself on his dog and after several tries managed to pry its jaws apart, but not after a lot of damage had been done. poor cardigan’s jaw had been snapped in two and was hanging loosely, having sunk into the loose folds of her neck; it was horrific, but even more so because in the near dark, i thought it was torn away completely. i got her to the street and called david and my friend ramona; she told us where to take the dog for emergency care. our ER couldn’t take care of this injury, so we spent the rest of the night in a more distant vet ER.

thankfully, they were able to stabilize and sedate her, concluding that if she rested with them in the ICU, she could wait til monday for surgery. they decided to put her jaw back together with pins and an external fixator, which she will wear for at least eight weeks; it’s a little like the kind of scaffold they build for a smashed hand or wrist.

we picked her up on tuesday; she slept on my lap most of the way home (she had a morphine patch working in her favor).

she also has some nasty abrasions, bite wounds, and deep punctures all over her body; one on her neck is quite bad. when she came into the house, she hid under david’s desk until she figured out what’s what—she was extremely happy to be home, but pretty disoriented and distressed at first.

the hospital staff was quite concerned about her lack of appetite, but we assured them it was normal for her not to eat when fed by others. sure enough, as soon as i offered her some food, she wolfed it down and was hungry again a couple of hours later. she was eating so eagerly in fact, that we worried that it might be bad for her, haha. but we were told that she should return to her regular rations as soon as possible. no problem there; she’s eating quite well, as you can see in this youTube video david made the day after she got home.

unfortunately, she can’t feed herself, at least not yet; she has to keep from bumping or putting any pressure on the fixator and it’s right in the way of reaching food on her own. plus she can only have soft foods, which tend to smear all over the device before reaching her mouth—very frustrating.

we’ve been playing with an adapted bowl (my inner designer is just running away with this little bone to play with) and have come up with this jerry-rigged prototype, a little feeding shelf. in the process, we stumbled upon her first game—she just loves getting the food off the paddle and then hearing me cheer for her in my muppet voice! she will do it again and again, as long as the whole thing stays upright. if it tumbles down, she runs away and is hesitant to try again (that doesn’t last long when peanut butter or salmon is on offer).

but now that we know it will work, we can make something much more stable and permanent. while the macaroni boxes are endearing, they aren’t really cutting the mustard, structurally. and the plastic bowl scraper is too stiff; we need to get a silicone one. most of the time it’s easier and cleaner to hand feed her, but since she enjoys this contraption, we’ll use it sometimes; it’s the first toy she’s ever shown any interest in!

even while extremely high on pain meds (or maybe because of them), she was ready to get outside right away. she isn’t allowed a lot of activity but going outside to do her business is fine and gradually, i’ve been letting her walk a few blocks to satisfy her lust for new horizons. i’m hoping that after her two-week followup visit this wednesday, they will say she can go on slightly longer walks. keeping her indoors is killing both of us.

meanwhile, we’ve also had to make concessions for the cold; she is shaved over her whole front and the rest of her body clipped close. of course she developed a cough almost instantly, so she needs to be bundled for going out. our neighbor connie was kind enough to give us this red sweater, but it doesn’t fit right and cardigan won’t walk in it, haha; i think it feels like it’s falling off all the time.

i found something else that works great which we all like—a gray puffy vest.

once cardigan realized how cozy it is, i think she actually enjoys wearing it—she often keeps it on after coming back indoors.

on top of that i add a fleece cowl that i bought for running but rarely need to use; she didn’t like this as much at first, but now that the temps often fall below 25 degrees, she’s sold on it.

it’ll be a while before we see this cute lil nose again in its entirety and it might not look exactly the same afterward, so i’m crushing on this photo right now! i think they may have corrected her jaw alignment a bit, so her front lips don’t drape over as much as they used to, but it’s hard to tell; it could just be hardware and swelling that i’m seeing. but she’s being a real trooper about everything, taking all these changes right in stride. she even runs right up to other dogs still when we’re out on our walks; she’s not at all afraid. if anything, she’s finally become a bit more comfortable with people now, allowing small head pets from many friends.

to be honest, it’s pretty amazing how much she seems to have recovered already, bone mending aside. david and i were just wondering how dogs really experience pain and whether it hurts her as it would us. or as a street dog, did she learn early that pain is just part of life and dismisses it? she is lively and interested in everything that goes on around the house (especially food preparation); she sits very close by to watch everything i do.

sometimes i ask her to count for me, just to give her something to work on when i have to be away from my knitting chair for a while. she says my lacunae hat is right on track and that she loves the yarn, too (briar rose fourth of july). i’ve been working on this during our meetings and not paying much attention, since it’s at that “nothing but straight knitting for a while ” stage. and suddenly i realize i should measure it to see where i’m at (or have the dog do it).

i’m going to have lots of yarn left over; i think i may knit myself a matching headband since i use those a lot when the weather is a bit warmer. there might even be enough for a second pair of mitts . . . as insurance.

i’ve been swatching with festivus 4.0 sport weight and holy cow is this yarn lovely to knit with; it’s so lush. yeah, out of the blue, david said he’d like a sweater knit with it so i jumped right on that. i’ll have more to show you in a few days about this project, but it’s a simple design; just enough knit/purl texture to keep me from falling asleep.

it will be knit in the round in one piece to make the most of the gradient fade; these skeins have very subtle color changes that don’t show up well in this photo, but i will still take care to use them in an order that takes advantage of the color graduation. i’ll be starting with darker and more subtle shade changes near the bottom hems and working toward brighter and more noticeable banding near the top of the yoke.

if you are interested in a set of skeins for sweater making, please do feel free to email us  with your idea (jeevesATknitspotDOTcom). we can put together a mostly matching set or one that is more gradient—just let us know your preference.

well, i think someone needs to go for a quick walk before bed and since it takes a bit of time to get dressed for the cold now, i better shove off—see you soon!


63 thoughts on “taking things in stride

  1. Oh No! Poor Cardigan! I hope the other dog’s owner offered to pay at least some of the costs. It’s amazing what vets can do these days. Cardigan is very cute in those vests and the cowl. Hope she has a speedy and full recovery!

  2. Oh Anne, I am so sorry to hear about Cardigan’s injuries. Your heart must have been aching for her. It sounds like the vets did a wonderful job. With their help and your love I am sure she will make a full recovery. hugs for you both!

  3. This sounds so awful, you must have been scared to death…sorry for all involved. Cardigan is blessed to have your love and attention. I hope she makes a full recovery.

  4. How awful for all of you! Poor Cardigan. I can’t imagine the owner of a dog that aggressive ever letting the dog off a leash, even if he didn’t think anyone was around; who can see in the dark? I hope he’s paying the vet bills; it’s the least he can do. Happy healing wishes to Cardigan, and restful knitting for you.

  5. Poor Cardigan and family! what a horrible assault! I send healing thoughts for all of you.
    and those booties are going into my queue.
    Marry Holidays 🙂

  6. Oh that poor girl, what she has been through! What a trooper! She is so lucky to have you and David as parents. Sending you all healing and restful thoughts. I’ve started a Mayberry Cap and also purchased the booties, I’m glad your campaign has been so successful this year.

  7. Oh poor Cardigan and you! I’m so distressed for you! (Which I know is not helpful to them; we lost our poor Bear earlier this year after he broke his leg and it was so hard to stay calm for him.) I’ve had numerous incidents with dogs off leash, and I just think it’s not appropriate in a city at all. Even in the dog’s own yard. I do hope everyone gets back to “regular” life soon!

  8. How upsetting! This is every dog lover’s nightmare. At least that shepherd didn’t go after you as well. Why do people take dogs that prone to fighting off their own fenced property? I am glad to hear that Cardigan is recovering and hope that the other dog’s owner at least helped with the vet bills, which must be huge. Best wishes.
    The Festivus yarn is a wonderful color and the Lacunae hat really shows off the varied colors of its yarn. And congratulations for meeting your goal for the scholarship fund.

  9. So sorry to hear about Cardigan’s encounter with that vicious dog. Cardigan is in such good hands. She s so lucky to have found the two of you.

  10. I have loved reading about Cardigan ever since she became a part of your family. But I am so very sorry to read about her latest experience. How blessed she is to have a family who loves and cares for her as you and David have. I hope her recovery is perfect!

  11. Oh my goodness, my heart is hurting for all of you. What a terrible, horrific ordeal you all went through. My eyes started to tear up as I was reading about Cardigan, so awful. I’m glad the vet was able to fix her up, many blessing being sent your way. XO

  12. Oh, I am so sorry to hear about Cardigan’s injuries! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for quick, smooth healing for all of you – what a horrible thing to witness!

  13. Oh no, poor Miss Cardigan! What a scary experience. I’m so glad she is (relatively) OK and recovering. Sounds like is was more traumatic for you and David! Again, she is so lucky she found you guys!!!

  14. What a little trooper! Such a horrific thing to happen, and she didn’t need any more trauma in her life. I’m happy to hear that she is on the mend. Sending heartfelt cyber hugs to help her heal.

  15. So, so sorry to hear about the attack on you, Cardigan; you are a BRAVE DOG! My mom always picks me up when a German Shepherd comes near (but then I am quite small although very loud). It is wonderful to know you have excellent doctors and loving and caring humans. I know your sweet nature and adventurous spirit will keep you strong though your recovery. David’s video of dinner time is precious! I am partial to pureed food myself. Love ya, Cardie! Get better soon! Maya the Doxie

  16. Poor Cardi! And poor you, that had to be horrifying. I’m very glad she survived and is getting such great care. I hope she mends quickly. I do believe animals are tougher than we are, and have better pain tolerance. I sure hope so. Bless her furry little heart. She’s lucky to have you and David.

  17. I gasped & started crying! Oh Anne, I’m so sorry about this, poor Cardigan! I calmed down after reading further & see that she is healing quite nicely. Please let me know if you need anything, I’m going to Ramona’s site to make a donation on behalf of Cardigan. Love & hugs to all!

  18. Ben (our dachshund) and I are sending wishes for a quick recovery for Cardigan. The yarn goodies are awesome!

  19. Dear Cardigan, I have heard of your horrible, terrible, simply awful encounter and I am so very, very sorry for your experience. The pain and the fear you must have felt! It positively makes my fur stand on end… look! My tail is thrice it’s normal size! I needed a sniff of catnip to keep from fainting. I wish you much health and a strong recovery and… (what… can’t you see I’m writing someone?… Oh. Oh, of course.) Cardigan, do permit me to introduce my MUCH younger housemate Miles…
    Hi Cardigan! Hi! Hi! I was wondering why the lady feeder was crying and I asked Ol’ Puffball here and he told me about your accident. I just wanted to say don’t you worry! You’ll heal strong and quick and be better in no time! Heck, last summer when I fell out of the tree and I broke my hip and they had to do this weird operation where they cut off bone and sew muscles together and I had to stay in a cage for 8 weeks (!) and I couldn’t walk or nothing… and I got better! I can jump really far now! And I could climb trees again… I just don’t want to. Right. So you stay strong and be good for your peoples and I know you’ll be all better real soon! And then no one will cry… very much. I’m gonna go chase nothing frantically up and down the hall now. Bye!
    Uhm, yes. That was Miles. So sorry. But he’s right. Your people love you very much and they’ll take care of you quite well, extremely well even. And, of course, you love them back so I’m sure you’ll do your best to heal nicely and be a good dog (normally an oxymoron, but I make an exception in your case).
    With all good wishes, most respectfully yours,
    Simon (an extremely good kitty and excellent typist)

  20. Poor, sweet Cardigan! I’m so sorry that happened and so thankful that you were able to get him the medical attention he needed. I hope he heals quickly and completely.

  21. Oh poor Cardigan–so awful, but your mom and dad are taking good care of you. I am so sorry this happened–certainly hope the other dog’s owner is taking care of all Cardigan’s medical bills. Doesn’t ease everyone’s suffering, but it seems the least he/she can do for you. Please keep us updated on Cardigan’s recovery. My black lab is sending Cardigan a healing woof.

  22. Oh no, poor Cardigan. Hope she is getting some extra hugs and scritches. I’m so glad that the vet was able to work on her jaw. I hope the other dog’s owner is responsible and taking care of Cardigan’s bills.

  23. It was upsetting to read about Cardigan. She knows how lucky she is to have you for parents. Boy, if you weren’t bonded before, you are now. Hope your Christmas is ‘quiet’.

  24. Heavens! I was not expecting that at all! I am so terribly sorry. Poor Cardigan! It’s amazing how she seems to be taking everything in stride. You have such strength, Anne. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to handle it.
    Hugs to you all!

  25. Aw! Poor Cardigan. I hope she heals up well and doesn’t have any lasting issues. I also hope the Shepherd’s owner is handling all of your vet bills. She’s a trooper and looks smart in her vest. 🙂

  26. Poor little pup dog! How traumatic for you all! I wish the swiftest of recoveries and best of outcomes for Cardigan.
    Love the slipper socks!

  27. Oh dear God, this is so sad to read. And she’s been working so hard at trusting other creatures. Poor sweet baby. Prayers to St. Francis for her quick recovery and bless you for being there for her.

  28. Hugs and kisses to Cardigan! We LOVE her at our house and always look forward to Cardigan posts. We’ve been avidly following her story since day one. Love to that sweet girl.

  29. Oh, NO! That is absolutely horrific. I am so glad that they were able to put her back together again, and that she is recovering so well. How are you doing? I can’t imagine having to see that (nor that an owner would allow a dog likely to do that off-leash EVER). Give cardigan a kiss on the head from the west coast.

  30. Oh my word, I am so sorry about the stress! Hopefully Cardigan will continue to mend soon. Not being a dog owner, I do wonder if it’s usual for dogs to run free in the area where you were? Not that it changes anything; I’m just curious.

  31. Oh Cardigan- poor baby! She is a brave soul, and it’s great to see her thriving with your care. Clearly, love is helping her to heal and deal with this horrific injury.
    I love seeing the sweater project idea- have really enjoyed knitting with the Festivus 4.0- the color depth is very pleasing, and I’d love to knit a sweater with it.

  32. Oh, poor Cardigan! Poor you! What a traumatic experience for all. How lucky you were able to get her to a vet hospital right away. I’m amazed at how she seems to take it all in stride. She is a trooper, for sure. Best wishes for fast and continued healing!

  33. Poor Cardigan. I’ve got tears in my eyes reading this. I’m glad she’s a good patient, though. That must ease your minds a bit.

  34. Oh, poor Cardigan! I feel like I know her from all of your posts, and am so sorry she was hurt. Irresponsible dog owners! But it looks like she is cozying right down on the sofa.

  35. Poor cardigan. Poor you. This is just dreadful. I cannot comprehend of some dog owners who are so irresponsible. (I’m a dog owner too, btw. George sends furry hugs to cardigan.)
    Thank goodness for a great vet and lots of love. She’ll be back to health in no time…paws crossed.

  36. oh dear. I’m so sorry that this happened, it’s awful to see our pets hurt or distressed. Cardigan is quite a little survivor. Looks like she found the right family. Many good thoughts being sent your way.

  37. Poor, Lucky, Cardigan: no dog should have to go through that, but dogs living on their own in the wild often do. Had you not rescued her, something like this might have happened anyway, and she would have lacked a loving family to care for her and see that she recovered. She looks like she has taken this in stride, and its obvious that she trusts you to do the right things for her. She picked just the right people!

  38. I was just horrified to read about Cardigan’s latest ordeal, but relieved to hear that she’s on the mend and taking it in her stride. It looks like she’s realized that you and David are her forever family now, and she trusts you completely that she’ll be taken care of. We’ve got a rescue dog and it’s so rewarding to gain that trust (we had a much shorter road than you!)
    Just a thought, would you consider a dog sweater design sometime in the future? I know I’d be on board for purchasing it for the scholarship fund, or a Cardigan/rescue fund 🙂
    Many healing thoughts coming Cardigan’s way and hoping you all have a restful peaceful holiday.

  39. So frightening…but it’s good to read that Cardigan is recovering so well. I hope your holidays are quieter from now on!

  40. So awful for Cardigan to have to go through. But it’s so good that she has you and David. She is a strong little girl who knows she’s loved and safe with you. We’re sending hugs for you all and prayers for her recovery.

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