So somehow it’s another month or more since I last wrote.. So much for my previous good intentions. My initial delay was that I’ve been unable to upload photos to my laptop directly and I lost my motivation. Then a whole host of other things happened to further derail my blogging mojo…:
The demise of Sam. My cat of 15 years (I inherited him and his sister Sable when they were 3) became ill in early december and by the end of the month it was clear that it was the beginning of the end. I took him to the vet on NY eve and they didn’t have much good to say. He’d lost a lot of weight (down to 8 lbs from 10 lbs back in Feb and down from his original kitty weight of 18 lbs). He was having heart trouble, was weak in his back legs which also made him somewhat incontinent. The hardest part was that he was falling apart so quickly, which made me feel like it was an infection of some kind and that he would be “fixable”. Every day was a roller coaster, he would be better one day, worse the next, it was a lot of one step forward, two steps back. It got harder and harder to watch and became clear that I was soon to be left with no alternative but to put him down. My vet was endlessly patient with my phone calls and new ideas of what Sam could be suffering from. At the same time, I was trying to prep for TNNA in early January and hope that Sam would either hold on a few weeks for me to do the show and be back home to care for him some more, or, hard as it was to face, for him to get to the point where I would have no choice but to put him down before I went away for those few days. Three days before I was due to leave he seemed to be holding steady and I decided that I couldn’t let that I was going away be the deciding factor in putting him down or not. Of course what I wanted was for him to tell me when it was time, but he couldn’t, anymore than I could make that decision when he was still aware, purring and loving.
My neighbors next door were wonderful. They had just gone through the same sad experience with their 21 year old cat. While I was away, they tenderly cared for Sam, keeping him warm, fed and clean, giving him love and pets. I knew he was in good hands. Then, the day I got home I could immediately see that in only the few days that I was away, he had continued to go downhill and I really had only one possible thing to do. He had almost no strength, eating was exhausting for him, and walking was almost out of the question, though he heroically tried to show me that he was really OK.
That last month I cried so many tears, just when I thought I could cry no more, they would come again. I begged Sam to help me decide what to do, or get well, or tell me what was the right thing, but what can a cat do? I held him, cared for him, cleaned him, talked to him and loved him endlessly, but ultimately life does come to an end and death is unavoidable.
Putting him down was so very very hard, but watching him fade away and start to suffer in the end was far more painful, as that was day in, day out, every minute, watching him, with him watching me work. Putting him down became the kindest thing to do, and the only thing no matter how painful it would seem to be.
My vet was truly wonderful, kind, sympathetic, respectful and understanding, and so very gentle with him (and me). This was the first time that I’ve had to put down a pet, and though it can never be a happy thing, she made it as easy as something like this could possibly be.
TNNA. The big show of the year. A lot of other wholesalers say that the Columbus (June) show is the big one, but looking at my numbers, this one in January has traditionally been the big one. I had high hopes for this show, things have been humming along at Knitwhits, been busy filling orders, and I’d come up with some new designs that I was really excited about. A few days before heading for LA I had Mia (my ex-assistant) stop by to say goodbye to Sam, and unfortunately she still had the tail end of a cold. I think my immune system was already compromised from my emotional rollercoaster with the cat, so when she stopped by I picked up her cold. By the time the show started my bug was full blown, leaving me with a cough that was completely incapacitating.. All things considered, the show ended up being unusually slow the first day, which made it easier for me in my sick state, but was also disappointing. The only good thing was that it was clear to me that it was not exclusive to Knitwhits, I had some of the biggest companies as my booth neighbors and we were all slow. It did eventually begin to pick up, with the last day feeling the busiest.
I saw the usual cast of characters (designer Melissa Leapman, Vogue editor Adina Klein, Gina and Austin Wilde from Alchemy, Clara Parkes of Knitter’s Review, Suzanne from Hill Country Weavers to name but a very few), and some new
ones knitting community rock stars (Jess and Casey from Ravelry). I wish I hadn’t been so sick, but the show was as always, exhausting but fun, with networking, gossipping, schmoozing, chatting and laughing. I had wonderful help once more from Erin (owner of Bobbin’s Nest Studio in Santa Clara). Erin – you’re the best!
Here we are (Erin and I) trying out the Sample It at TNNA.. it was a success.. almost completely sold out of my new easter egg kits (coming soon..), everyone went for the large kits which surprised me – I thought they’d snap up more of the smaller ones, but you never know.. Also, you can see us here in the new snappy Knitwhits T-shirts soon to also be available on the Knitwhits site.. You can almost see my new “do” – My friend Heather has been calling me “Britney” but Erin calls me “punk rock Barbie”.. think I prefer the latter.. when people did actually recognize me at the show, they all loved the hair.. others would sort of give me a confused look before going “hey!!! great hair!” I’d show you a better picture if I had one, but I don’t..
Xmas and New Years. Christmas with relatives. That’s all I’m going to say on that one. You fill in the blanks. The best part of Christmas was spending the following day with my mother, just hanging out and working on some crafty knitting stuff together.
On the other hand, New Year’s was really great. A friend and I went to a local restaurant/bar for a drink and a snack and ended up hanging out there the entire night. We met two local guys who ended up being really interesting. One of them is building a car that goes on the water and he’s working to break the land/water speed record with this crazy contraption. He may well do it.
Other odd things. On the way to LA I drove off the road.. full on Dukes of Hazzard, crazy.. I was aiming for the exit, but missed.. woops.. fortunately I have a 4wd Volvo.. it was not a good moment, and sure gave me one heck of an adrenaline rush.. but i did a mental inventory once I was back on a road, suspension .. check, brakes… check, acceleration .. check, tires.. check.. I pulled into the gas station gave the car a visual once over and got back on the road.. swearing to never again drink Theraflu while driving.. and this wasn’t even the night-time kind, but apparently enough chemicals to clearly mess with my clarity of thought.. let this be a warning to anyone reading this.. cold meds and driving really don’t mix, even the non-narcotic ones..
To add to it all.. I managed to leave my passport and green card at the hotel in LA.. I had driven back from LA and went straight to Sam, leaving my suitcases to be unpacked the next day. Later as I went to bed I realised that I didn’t recall packing the passport or Green Card.. (I’d accidentally brought them with me to LA in my bag). I got out of bed and unpacked the bags, didn’t find them of course.. called the hotel (1am now) and the desk clerk checked the room but also couldn’t find them.. Anyway.. this went on for another two days.. I must have spoken to every desk clerk and person on the housekeeping staff at the hotel. It eventually ended well, the housekeeping manager had found the items and locked them safely away till she came back from her days off.. Replacing those would have been a major pain, so that was a really good phone message when she called…
So that’s been the most dramatic/traumatic events of the past few weeks.. My world has been off kilter for what feels like forever and just now I am beginning to feel balanced again.