Tuesday, January 08, 2013

In Which Yet A Further Furry Paw Is Pleadingly Extended

Strewth, has it been raining here.  I think I may have said it before, but one is certainly grateful for the fact that Ireland - or at least West Cork - is nothing but a gigantic sponge.  Torrents pour down upon it on a daily basis, and it still manages to absorb the lot and push it somewhere down the thousands of streams which gurgle happily to the coast and swell the sea.

I was calculating this morning that it was either last March or last June that I last hung out a load of laundry under a clear blowy sky at morn and brought it all back in, nicely dried, at evening.   Oh for spring, I moaned, wandering sadly out into the soggy brown disaster that was the garden.  And then I saw something unexpected poking out of a tired mass of wet foliage in a flowerpot.

 It couldn't have been a more dreary January day, but this little iris had poked its way through last summer's dead leaves and pushed up its bright little head, all covered with jewelled raindrops.  Well done little iris!  Cheered me up considerably, it did.

Of course dark winter days and nights are ideal for craftwork, and there has been plenty of that.  I had promised to show you that little Norwegian Angel crochet cape on its recipient and here it is.  Doesn't she look cute in it?

Once the festive gifts had been got out of the way, and still maintaining my vow of Knit From Stash, I remembered a whole pack of extremely expensive Karabella merino/yak chunky that really needed to be used up, so started the Wave Hello Knit Cardi by Melissa Monday.

Here is Wave Hello to a Yak in progress.  I decided to continue two strips of the cabling up from the hem along the back, to give what would otherwise be plain stockinet fabric a bit of texture.  It's a really quick knit so hopefully I'll get it done before something shinier beckons.

 Like the Michael Kors cabled tunic, for example.  Lusted after this as soon as I saw it in Vogue Knitting some years back, but hadn't got round to it until I discovered a huge pack of Sublime cashmere/merino/silk in pure white in the stash.  What possessed me to buy so much of something so expensive in the first place I cannot now recall, but clearly it can't be left there to slumber in peace.  Will adapt of course.  The Kors design is very large and loose, and I'd prefer a fitting polo neck.  Also Aran designs should really be done with a raglan sleeve.  It looks so much neater than a drop shoulder.  Plenty of ancient pattern leaflets to hand, and I can just follow one of them for the shaping.  Suspect this will be a long-term project.  After that, the legendary St Brigid beckons yet again.  Never did find exactly the right colourway and fibre to use for that baby.  Maybe 2013 will do it?

But there have been other matters to occupy the mind (and indeed the hands) over the past week.  Oh there have indeed!  Why did nobody warn me that reaching out to lift a little frightened fur person to safety and love was extremely addictive?

Of all the auspicious times in the calendar it was New Year's Day when a friend who runs a rescue centre rang me.  As is unfortunately always the case after the festive season, she was full to overflowing with dumped, unwanted, rejected dogs.  Could I possibly consider fostering a little Shi Tzu for a few weeks, to get her back to some sense of normality and security?  For two seconds I wondered frantically what DH would say to yet another arrival, but then did the only possible thing and said, 'I'll be round in ten minutes.'  DH, bless him, rolled his eyes, laughed, and said, 'Why am I not surprised?'  That man's a keeper.

One terrified, bewildered little bundle to be wrapped up warm and held snugly.

Look at that expression.  Fear, mistrust, a beating heart.

Hated upsetting her further, but she really really needed a gentle warm bath to remove at least some of the signs of serious neglect.  Before that she had had a small but nutritious meal to get started on putting some flesh on that skinny ribcage.  She would have eaten an entire pack of food if she had got the chance, and the bowl too, but you mustn't rush these things.

Then it was a stroll on nice green grass with Sophy Wackles, who accepted her with surprising equanimity.  Even when it meant having drops of water shaken all over you.

In fact everybody has accepted little Tamzin (or Tamsin, can't decide which spelling I prefer) extremely well. Here is a snatched picture of one corner of my small study at this precise moment.  On the chair, Pollywog and Podge.  On the floor, Tamzsie and Sophy.  Barely enough room for me!

It's going to take time.  (Fostering, fostering?  What nonsense is that?  She ain't goin' nowhere, isn't Tamsie!)  She still won't come readily to your hand, and tends to cringe if you stoop down to her unexpectedly from above.  Sudden noises or raised voices send her into a huddled terrified heap.  The contrast with Madam Sophy, spoiled and petted from birth, is distressing.  But we're getting there.  And DH is enjoying every moment of photographing her gradual dawning confidence, as she explores the garden on her own, discovers how to get down stairs (bounding up was no problem, but oh help, what do I do next?) and, just now and again, a very rare lick to a friendly hand that she is learning to trust.

So very very glad we were there at the right moment, Tamsin.  Already we can't imagine life without your whiskery little face.  And when the spring comes, you won't believe what a wonderful wide world there is out there to enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Oh, the pure joy in that last picture! She seems a good match for Sophie. I hope you all have fine walking weather to enjoy soon.

steel breeze said...

Aw, she's a sweetie. You are getting quite a menagerie there! :)

Kathe Lewis said...

I think little Tamsie has fallen into a honeypot, so to speak - she is adorable, like the rest of your furry family!
Kathe in wet, cold and dark Denmark, where irises won't DREAM of sticking their heads up for another three months....

lilymarlene said...

Love the name.....love the photos!!!!

snood knitter said...

lovely little dog!
The picture where she is shaking looks like a rather strange 2 headed creature!!
The last pic is great, looking so happy and relaxed!!

Ruth said...

She is adorable! I think you have your own menagerie here.

Corvi said...

Oh, such a lucky dog, and such a lucky family to get her. Enjoy your little fur children!

Mary Beth said...

Perfect! I am not sure that you really had any other options than to welcome her home. Seriously a darling (lucky, lucky) dog.

Sally said...

Miss Tamsie is obviously in pure canine heaven on earth. That last photo is amazing - Tamsie flying across the grass! Good job, Richard, on the photos. And good job, Jo, on making the decision to shelter her...you all ended up with a good deal in the bargain!

Anonymous said...

Tamzin looks like a flying dragon in that last picture! (I'm going with a "z" spelling, to echo the z in shih tzu). I think she'll soon blossom in the company of all her new companions, canine, feline, and human.
-- stashdragon

Anonymous said...

PS: I'm now signing comments with my Rav name, as there are a few other Gretchens around the knitting blogiverse.
-- stashdragon

Anonymous said...

It's a happy day in my house when you have a new post up.
All 4 of us love your adventures - and your pictures!
Thank you!!
Woohoo (on Ravelry)

kitten said...

That little beast knew you had an open spot and came along to fill it just so.

JoAnn said...

My Word, what a camera in the right hands can do! Never realized that dogs run with both feet parallel. Do they all? Or just the little bitty ones?

Seriously, is it possible to purchase a copy of mad-dancing Podge from your precious posting?

Angeluna said...

It's been raining here for a couple of days, just like Ireland. Only here its weird and rare. And if we cover them on the very coldest nights, we can grow pansies and cyclamen all winter long. And did I mention ornamental cabbage?

Ah Tamsin, the flying ShiTsu. Is that you or Richard holding the camera. Delightful photo. Love the puppy. And I totally "get" the desire to help such a little bundle along in life. Your heart is big enough to manage it. But perhaps slow down for a little bit.

Anonymous said...

I'm sobbing like a fool, what a great post.

KiniaCat Crafts said...

Congratulations on your current knitting adventures (I hopped away to add the Wave Hello Cardi to my Rav-favs) and also congrats on your expanding critter-kin family (welcome Tamsin)!!
Excellent pictures! Thank You!!

sprite said...

Adorable! And, goodness, what a different a bath makes!

Anonymous said...

The shawl is really cute, as is the recipient, and of course, so is the puppy!

bfree2read said...

Delightful post with much to cheer up a winter's day: an unexpected flower, a sweet child in a warm wrap, and introduction to Tamsin.

Tamsin looks like a wonderful addition to the family. Sophie will have someone new to coddle and teach as well as curl up together. Wonderful to see Tamsin's confidence growing as she flies across in the last photo.

bfree2read (on Ravelry)

Katy Widger said...

I'm not a knitter, but a good friend of mine is, and she sent me the link to this blog post. We both have several Lhasa Apsos, and do so appreciate those who are willing to rescue and love these delightful little dogs and all their kin! God bless you richly for taking Tamzin to your heart and giving her a new life!
That last picture displays all her new-found joy!
Katy in dry and arid New Mexico, USA!
Fine Art Dog Portraits
PS Would your husband possibly give me permission to use the last photograph of Tamzin in a painting?

Dez Crawford said...

I, too am sniffling at this. How lucky they all are to have you. Our January weather is strangely so similar to yours -- rainy, chilly (but still above freezing at night), and this year, rather more fog than usual. Give all the fur children a snuggle for me, dear Jo.

Audrey said...

You are such a love!!

Roggey said...

Bless you and DH for giving a poor soul a safe home to foster in! I love that last photo :)