Friday, July 27, 2007

Secret Yarn Enablers' Business

I've been hard at work behind the scenes ;)

Working feverishly, and most other times frustratingly, on installing a decent shopfront on my website Now I know why I'm a yarn enabler and not a website designer! All that code just spins my head around. I think I've come up with the perfect solution for now so that I don't need to hurry through building my own PHP store. Now that I keep finding so many fantastic products to stock in the store, I need more control about how everything is categorised. I'll still be selling out of Ozebaby of course!

But that's pretty boring stuff compared to what I have arranged to stock in my store. First, a completely unique source of luscious BFL, different to what is currently on the Aussie market. I can't wait to get my hands on, and nose into, that 13kg of wool! I've tried this yarn hand-dyed by another WAHM in Canada before and it is to die for BFL.

Secondly, "a yarn for your new obsession" and that's all I'll say about it! ;) ;) ;)

Another product flying its way to Perth soon is something that I've stocked in my store before. Naturally Luxe 50% organic lanolin woolwash! The hardest part was choosing the fragrances, and I have a HUGE box coming my way.

Lastly, there's another instalment coming up in the "Year of the Pig" series :P
"Pigs in Mud", medium/large CurlyPickyPants in Aphrodite ("Cuppacino" colourway)

And oh yeah there will be plenty more in the store when it's built! In the meantime check back and you might see a random knitting tip or two ;P


The past week

We said "goodbye, see you later OK monkey" to Lulu this week -- she is now frolicking on all fours with Althalus, a cat she knew her puppyhood who eventually ran away and was never seen of again. Hope she had a good journey over that Rainbow Bridge! xoxo

My feelings are still really raw and well, private, so I've turned the other blog into a private diary.

They say that hard work chases away the grief even temporarily, so I've been trying to throw myself into it. Sometimes it just doesn't work and I just have to deal with it, spend some time with Matilda and Roy and come back to it later. The hard work bit comes in the next blog post.

I've been doing a lot of reading lately, nothing non-fiction no way (even when I've read everything in the house and am way overdue for a library visit, and desperate for a book to read while knitting). The aim here is to escape, so I've been getting stuck into some fantasy novels. Most are from the Junior/Young Adult section. Right now it's a book by Terry Prachett about some nomes (gnomes) who live entirely within an old department store and do not believe there is an Outside until the store is demolished.

It's quite a nice read, but pales in comparison to the one I read before that -- Magyk: Book 1 Septimus Heap trilogy by Angie Sage. It was the perfect size, about 15x15cm square and oh such a pleasure to read. I was really really sad when it ended-- as you get when you finish a great book -- but I'm very much looking forward to the sequel, Flyte.

Nothing compares with knitting while reading at the same time. Sometimes if there's a mindless show on TV that gets done too. I feel like I'm wasting my time if I just watch TV, or just read (unless it's a fantastic book like Magyk), or just knit.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Back to knitting

For this blog, at any rate. I am finding that blogging about Lulu is quite helpful in sorting out feelings and documenting accomplishments (two last night, yay!), so I've started another blog called "Adventures with Lulu" if you would like to follow the amazing monkey's courageous journey!

Back to knitting...

I haven't really done much "work" knitting lately, I tend to take comfort in knitting things for my family when life is a bit tough. Marihone is progressing along nicely. I knit about seven rounds of fair-isle before deciding that yes I am a tight knitter and yes I do have to go up a needle size! So I started again with 2.50mm and 3.00mm needles. Will have to work on it a bit more before showing pics of Marihone. My Jaywalker socks (two posts back) are almost to the toe. Magic looping two at a time rocks!

This is a FO I will be embellishing tonight:Toddler (extra large) size CurlyPickyPants in Athena BFL, "Kokoda" colourway. Really reminds me of colours of the Aussie bush so I have an Australian animal (no other clues yet) charted out and ready to go. The tangle of yarn you see next to the pants are handdyed 12ply for the embellishment. Looking from the colours there (various shades of grey, very light tan, tanbark brown and a touch of blush pink... I also have some green but it doesn't contrast enough with the pants so I'm going to have to dye up some more) you might guess a koala, but nope it's not a koala! This will be an instock on Ozebaby.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Nappies for Lulu?

Well, it looks like Lulu is not going to regain use of her hind legs. She has even lost the deep pain sensation that she had before the surgery, a result of an irreversible cascading effect from the spinal cord trauma.

We received this devastating news on Monday, more than 72 hours after the surgery. And were given the advice to euthanise her. Lots of crying ensued as you can imagine.

But, we wanted to bring her home to say goodbye, so she came home with us on Tuesday, 8 days after the MVA. Once she got home she was quite depressed, because she had to be isolated in order that she doesn't catch her "type II biplanar external skeletal fixator" (eight pins going into the vertebrae surrounding the fractured one to reduce and stabilise it) on anything. We bought a playpen for this purpose.

It soon became obvious that with supervision she was much happier being out of the playpen, ie. lying with Missy the greyhound and resuming her licking duties. And OMG can she move (scoot) when she wants to!!! We were amazed at how fast she can pull herself along with her front legs, dragging the back knees and trailing the dwelling urinary catheter bag behind her.

The catheter was left in because the vet wanted a few quality days with us, and did not think we would react very well to urine dribbling everywhere. Lulu also doesn't have control of her bowels so we were told that poos would be quite unpredictable. But, a couple of times we've taken her out for a walk and drink (she refuses to drink out of her "sickbay" bowl and wants to go outside to drink from her normal bowl), that was when the poos came. And due to her dry food diet, the stools were firm and easy-peasy to deal with.

She has physiotherapy at least twice a day, involving moving the back legs through their natural range of motion, like bicycling them etc. We also take her out with a stretchy bandage slung around her belly to support the back legs and she can move quite fast that way, although she gets confused that the "lead" is behind her instead of at her collar... she was very well trained to heel pre-paralysis. We are yet to try hydrotherapy but because she's such a small dog a bathtub would work well for this. Must try this tomorrow! It's a shame she hasn't really been exposed to much water before this except for baths. So I don't know how she will react to it but it's really good for her.

Within a couple days of her being home she is now a lot brighter... and we realised that euthanasia is no longer an option. We are of course terrified that we won't be good enough parents but want to try our best. There are lots of paraplegic dog information sites on the internet and we are slowly reading through them. A "doggie wheelchair" (cart) for her would run about $450 but that is small peanuts compared to what we've already had to pay (almost $4500). So we won't have funds for central heating in the house for a couple more years.

Right now she is not eating very much and refuses to eat unless the food is hand-fed to her. Hoping this will change. We are trying to get things "back to normal" and instead of making her eat in her playpen, feeding the two dogs outside like we used to. Since we adopted this attitude instead of isolating Lulu she seems much happier. She goes in the playpen at sleep time (after a few quality hours with us as we sit in bed, watch TV and knit etc -- haha she's always wanted to chill on the bed with us) and when we have to go out and can't supervise her, so that she doesn't injure herself by catching the plate on something.

I think the vet is expecting us to bring her in for euthanasia this week so I will have to call him on Monday and discuss our decision. The doggie wheelchairs are all made in the US so we would like to order soon as they can take a few weeks. I think she will positively love having the mobility and we won't be able to catch her!

Anyway, I just tried one of Matilda's outgrown small Bummis SWW on her with a booster pad inside, and here is Lulu wearing it -- her back knees are tucked into the cover and I'm not sure if I have to design something that would prevent that but for now it helps protect the knees when she drags along. I think this sort of thing would work well and am looking forward to the trailing catheter bag going! We will have to express her bladder three times a day to prevent infections and the nappy is to catch drips etc.

So much to learn! And lots of care to give, but seeing as I used to be a vet nurse in my previous life I think we will cope OK. That's the easy part TBH. Emotionally is another story but we can't give up on her now.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

When life gets you down...

Buy a book

And knit some socks

Needless to say, I'm not getting much "work" done. Oh well.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


It seems I spoke too soon :(

That first vet got our hopes up so high only to send them crashing down again. She was referred to Murdoch yesterday; basically there's a severe fracture on her T12 vertebra which is on the most mobile part of the back. Don't ask me how the first vet missed the fracture, but the orthopaedic vet was pretty pessimistic as soon as he saw her radiographs.

So yesterday evening they did a CT scan to determine whether there were bone chips etc in the spinal column itself, in order to plan the way forward with the surgery. Thankfully there wasn't, so last night Lulu underwent surgery and had pins and plates inserted into her back. She has lost three of the four responses in the back legs, with only deep pain response left (thank god). There's a 50/50 chance of her recovering function in the back legs or being paralysed.

So now it's just wait and see. Apparently the first few days is really critical to see how well the healing is going.

It's all a bit of a tragic week here and the waiting is the hardest part.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Yesterday turned out to be a bittersweet day. You know how I was so happy with the parcel? Well something bad happened because of it's delivery.

Lulu, our little 2yo Brussels Griffon bitch, got out without my noticing and was hit by a car. The driver didn't stop but others did and a vet happened by and also stopped and took her to a vet hospital. Luckily she was microchipped because Roy had picked yesterday of all days to leave his phone at home (that's whose number was on her tag). So they eventually reached me and broke the news.

I feel like shit! I thought I had heard her yelp but assumed it was our other dog stepping on her or something, this happens quite a bit, Missy is a very old blind greyhound and Lulu gets under her feet. And then I thought they were just hanging out in the back yard.

Anyway, when we visited her last night she was panting with pain and shock. She'd had pain relief but not too much. The vet couldn't tell us the extent of her injuries because she was still in shock (no outward bleeding or anything) and wanted her to stabilise before doing x-rays etc. So we spent last night worrying and praying. Lulu is a PITA sometimes, but in a good way. She loves to be involved in everything and was just starting to interact with Matilda so the thought of losing her made me sick.

She pulled through. And the most amazing thing?? There are NO broken bones or spinal injuries whatsoever!!! The vet thinks it's just a lot of tissue bruising etc. Another day in the hospital for observations and home to cage rest. I think we'll get one big enough for Missy to get in too, she doesn't move much anyway and Lulu will get a lot of comfort from Missy. She licks her incessantly as a pacifier type action I think.

I'm amazed and so is the vet, and we are so very very lucky this time. Roy's last dog (also a Griffon) was hit by a car at his old house and didn't survive. Griffons are toy dogs so it's amazing that little monkey went up against a ton of metal and made it.

We are so thankful...

Monday, July 02, 2007

I'm in Marr Haven HEAVEN!!

After spending the last few days in bed with the flu, I was so cheered up by today's postie delivery!!

4 cones and 6 skeins of the most luscious, elastic, minimally processed, chemical-free mule-spun Merino-Rambouillet wool. NO carbonising, no bleaching, and only water, soap and salt used in scouring (cleaning) the wool. Results in softer yarn and plenty of lanolin retained (smells so divinely sheepish too). They don't pay for organic certification but the wool and processes are 100% chemical free... Read about all this here: National Organic Program

I could go on and on but you can read about it here: Marr Haven

And here's a review of the yarn on Knitter's Review.

This is something I've been keeping a shhh-ecret since I tried a sample skein a few months ago. But now the shipment is here I can shout it to the rooftops LOL!!

I know what I'll be doing tonight -- petting wool! I am so very very happy and will be doing my happy wool dance for a while yet ;) Baa! Baaaaaa!!!!

Available soon on Ozebaby (once I take out the "Matilda tax" and some for my own personal stash LMAO). This yarn is fantastic for soakers. And AFAIK it's not available anywhere else in Australia.

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