Freia and the Knitwhit

A Blog about a Dog with some Knitting thrown in here and there

Wow.. it’s been a while April 17, 2009


Freia finally got her freedom and for two months was the happiest, sweetest, happy-go-lucky pup. No more sneering at other dogs, just play play play. Made me realize how much the injury has affected her this last year.

Sad to say though, about 3 weeks ago she injured the other knee. Though till then she never showed any signs even under sedation, the additional stresses can and often do take out the good knee. The ratio of dogs is some 50% go on to require surgery on the other leg, so I’m bummed out, but not entirely shocked.

She is bummed out too. We still go to the park and I let her run about, but if she does more than an hour and a half of intense play then she’s out for the count and very limpy the remainder of the day, though right as rain the following morning. Though I’ve not had confirmation from the dr. yet, I recognize the signs. The soreness and limping after exercise, and toe-touching the rest of the time. And of course, out at the park, running about, you’d never know there was anything wrong with her.

Such a drag.

I have a call into the doctor today and I guess I will take her in next week for confirmation and schedule the surgery for the following week. It’s a bit tricky as I go to Ohio for TNNA in June, this would put her 6 weeks post op when I have to go, but her doggie day care can do the job of walking her at that point. She will be mobile and the hardest part will be keeping her calm more than anything. The timing of the surgery is tricky as I have a series of shows from June on, so I really have no 8 week stretch when I will be here.  At least if I do it now, even if it seems early, then it’s done and she will be able to enjoy the summer. I have to keep in mind, though this injury is not (yet) as severe as the first one, it won’t get any better, short of keeping her on a leash, which only disguises the injury, it is no cure. And I certainly don’t want to keep a 3 year old, high energy dog on a leash for months on end again. I promised myself that if the 2nd knee went, I wouldn’t wait.

The rest of my life has been quite a ride too. I’m referring to it all as a series of unfortunate events. Nothing major, but an endless river of annoyances.

  • Garbage disposal broke, replaced, new one broke.
  • Computer crashed beyond repair and wasn’t backed up for 3 months, but that wasn’t the worst of it, I also lost over a year of data for my company’s accounting. Fortunately taxes had been done, and I have everything printed out, but I will be spending the next few months re-entering it all.. this time I’m backing it up.. lesson learned.
  • Car needs a service.. again
  • When doing the data entry for the new laptop I accidentally deleted a day’s worth of work.. luckily this time I had it backed up, but still.. sheesh.
  • Oh, and the new laptop? (paid for with my tax refund – in one door, out the next) The new laptop that I received just a week ago needs to have the keyboard replaced. Luckily I have on-site service and though they tried to tell me that it was easy and I could do it myself, I figure the way things are going right now.. bad idea.
  • Spent $20 on new bulbs for my under cabinet lights in my kitchen, still didn’t work. Bought a new set of under cabinet lights. Did, at best, a mediocre job of installing them, the wiring is sort of funky. Had a friend come over to help me pull the fridge out so I could remove the last of the wiring of the “broken” lights only to find that the plug had simply become dislodged and my old, nicely installed lights actually worked just fine.. Guess what I’ll be doing this weekend.. replacing the new ones with the old ones… sigh..
  • Wrote a list of 10 goals for Knitwhits, been already shot down on 2 of them.. ouch. (but I’m not giving up on that.. I’m stubborn that way and will pursue these ideas further) I’d give you more specifics on them but they aren’t really things I can talk about in a public forum. Still stings  though!

So.. see what I mean? nothing life-shattering, but just sort of tedious and endless.. at least I haven’t stubbed my toe lately – that’s always an eye opener.


Dana The Intern – Week 6 – Whatever happened to Baseball? July 28, 2008

Can I Come Too?

Can I Come Too?

Week 6 at the Knitwhits studio was spent organizing and packing for the Northwest Needle Market in Seattle.  It was difficult deciding what to take, and what not to take.  We only had so much room, and we wanted to make the most of it.  Tina put me in charge of merchandising the room, therefore I had to plan what samples to bring, what props I would need to set the kits up with and what tools I needed in order to display visuals properly.  I was completely stressed out by the time Friday rolled around; I could barely function and pack my personal belongings.  I realized when going through security that my carryon bag contained all of my toiletries.  What an idiot I was thinking I could carry on more than 3 ounces worth of liquid on the plane with me.  Next thing I know I was running through the airport trying to check in my carryon bag, make through security again, in order to catch my flight in 20 minutes.  Needless to say I made it, and I was never so happy to be on that airplane.

Eggs Get Cornered

Eggs Get Cornered

This year the tradeshow was slower than we would have liked it to be. 

(ETA – yes, a lot of the bigger and the regular accounts from that area went to TNNA or are waiting till the season really kicks in to place their orders – we didn’t see the stores from Alaska, Canada and US states further a field such as Utah and Montana that have attended this show in previous years.)
The number of retail shops visiting was just slightly down from the previous year. Customers were definitely there for the cash & carry aspect of the show, so saving themselves some money and were less interested in placing any orders.  I have to wonder if the current price of gas had anything to do with it!  However, we did get some complements on our displays, which leads me to believe I did something right.  One interesting fact regarding this show was that it was all new customers that made the purchases. That speaks volumes for Tina, because interest in her designs continues to generate new accounts.  

Tina and I took some time to do a little exploring while in Seattle, so we journeyed to the Grand Re-opening of the Westfield Mall in Tukwila.  I was amazed to see the number of people shopping, and the line to check out in some of these stores was unreal.  It makes it hard to believe that the recession we are experiencing with our economy is having any negative effect on the consumers in this area.  My favorite discovery was a store called Gilly Hicks.  This is a collection of intimates and loungewear for girls and boys.  It is owned by Abercrombie & Fitch, and I assume they are trying to target males and females in their teens and early 20’s.  As of right now they are 1 of 8 stores to make it into the malls, so they are trying to test the market right now.
(ETA – My favorite was “Buckle” (how cool are these T-shirts?? – I need to get out more.. – and I’m also now in love with Ed Hardy Shirts – but yowza.. pricey…. )

Light the Night Walk

Light the Night Walk

I am extremely excited about our latest promotion we are doing with the Purl Packs.  I am a team captain for the Light the Night Walk in Cleveland in honor of my Mother.  It is a fundraiser that The Leukemia Lymphoma Society puts on for cancer research.  Tina is donating $5 for every Purl Pack that is purchased by retail stores now until the day of the walk on September 27th.  This is a great opportunity to raise money for a great organization, and to reflect on the importance of finding a cure cancer.  I am a huge advocate for promoting this, after seeing what my Mother has gone through being diagnosed with Lymphoma.  If there is one thing I would love to see, it is people not having to suffer from invasive cancer treatments.

My favorite excursion this week in San Francisco was a trip to AT&T Park to watch a Giants game.  Aaron and I spent Thursday at the stadium, and then took a long walk to North Beach.  Of course I was exhausted after the long trudge through the city, when reached a local park we took a much needed nap in the sun.  I have to say was not impressed with the Giant’s stadium.  I felt as if I was at a carnival with all of the commercialized interruptions throughout the game.  It seemed as though the fans were more entertained by the trivia games played between innings, and all of the Giants paraphernalia they could buy.  Whatever happened to going to a baseball game and cheering for your home team, or actually watching the game?!?

PacBell Park

PacBell Park


Trials and Dinners – Dana The Intern – Week 4 July 15, 2008

Filed under: Dana The Intern,House and Home,Knitting,knitwhits — knitwhits @ 8:08 pm

I cannot believe my internship excursion is half done, and that I will be leaving the Bay area in a few weeks! Week 4 was a week of sharing dinners with friends, being told I look like “Jessica Simpson” by annoying people in a bar, and having Dell tech support employees tell me I need a new operating system for a notebook that is 3 months old!

Believe it or not last week was the first time I spent Monday through Friday at the Knitwhits studio. Between all the traveling I was able to do the past few weeks I never spent a full week here. I was concerned by the end of the week I would run out of work to do, or that Tina and I would be sick of each other, but neither of those happened. This week I spent a lot of time perfecting the Kit Guide Book I was working on from last week. I began organizing the products into categories, downloading the pictures for each kit, and then inputting the items that belong in each kit. I also continued to work on the Pattern of the Week emails. They seem to be generating business and bumping up her web traffic, which is excellent. The theory is that the more people start browsing her website the more likely they will buy products off of it!



My goal before I leave Knitwhits is to boost her web traffic by 10% from last year! Hopefully this will be reflected in an increase in sales too. (Tina here.. hmm .. seeing an increase and lots of jumping around from last month.. something’s going on that’s for sure! 🙂 )

We started talking more about reorganizing the studio and went to several stores to get ideas on how to make the studio more effective. We are trying techniques to reduce time on making kits, and being able to see what yarn needs to be reordered instantly. Overall if we can find a solution this will save time and money in the end. And now Tina is introducing me to power tools. Never did I imagine I would be working with those during a Fiber Arts internship! She came up with this great idea to make peg shelves to hang her yarn for easy accessibility. Being the creative person she is, she decided we are going to build them ourselves. (Err.. we are? Nah, you’re the intern.. that’s what you’re here for!) If it were me I would just go to IKEA, and buy something that would do the trick, however Tina told me “In order to get exactly what you want, you create exactly what you want!” We went to Home Depot bought some 2×3 wood, screws, and a saw – we will soon be on our way.

The end of my week became a disaster when my computer crashed. Unfortunately Tina had to see my impatient side, a side of me I hoped she would not have to experience. My computer decided it was not going to connect to internet explorer, because of a family safety feature malfunction. At first I was calm about the situation, however by the end of the day when Dell told me I needed a new operating system I was outraged. Turns out they were too incompetent to research the problem, and decided not to call me back after we got disconnected. Tina took a lot of time trying to help me find a solution; but ultimately my amazing Father was able to figure out the problem (long distance from home!) and walked me through how to fix it. By that night my hair was sticking straight up from me pulling on it all day, but the computer was fixed and I was happy.  

3 gals at Rudy's

3 gals at Rudy's

Later on that week I met a friend of hers, Mia, and the three of us went to dinner at Rudy’s Cant Fail Café. Mia used to work for Tina at the Knitwhits studio, so we swapped stories all evening about living in the Bay area and working for Tina. The food was excellent of course; I have yet to eat a bad meal here. It is a great place to go if you are looking for a casual place to eat, and food on the menu that will please anyone’s appetite.

I spent my free time this week learning how to research information on Ravelry. I joined the PiPN group, and I am hoping to talk with other students about what they have learned so far on their internship. I want to share my experiences as well, and get some ideas of other things we can do before I leave. I think Ravelry is an awesome site to share your interests with others, and promote your products for your business as well.

Mark, Allegra, Aaron and I at Tamarindo

Mark, Allegra, Aaron and I at Tamarindo

Saturday night was another great night of dining and great company. Aaron and I went to dinner with some friends of his, Mark and Allegra, who are two people I always look forward to seeing when I come to the Bay area. We went to a place called The Trappist before dinner for some drinks, and then we had dinner at Tamarindo. This restaurant serves excellent Mexican food along with great margaritas! Poor Mark happened to eat a habanero pepper by accident, and was in some pain throughout dinner, but he did manage to recover from it. I always tell Aaron it is hard to come across great people, and I am fortunate that I have met Mark and Allegra.

I find it fascinating being able to meet all of the people that I have. The Bay area is a great place to talk to people who have a variety of interests and hobbies. One thing I know is not to judge a book by its cover, you can always find something good in everyone. I hope I can pass that trait on to others.


Welcome to E’ville! – Dana the Intern – Week 1 June 24, 2008

Filed under: House and Home,Knitting,knitwhits,Uncategorized — knitwhits @ 12:50 pm

the winding tableMy first week at the Knitwhits studio has been an exciting experience.  When I first arrived at the apartment complex that I would be living in I discovered that I was close to the “hood”.  What a great way to start out a two month adventure 2500 miles away from home.  I was concerned as to how I was going to know what was a good area to be in and what was not. Tina was a tremendous help by showing me around the city of Emeryville and explaining the in’s and out’s of the Bay area.  She took me to a fantastic fabric store called Stone Mountain and we went to the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles.  Both of those places are a must see if anyone visits the Bay area.  After the tour my nerves were much calmer and I knew I would be okay for the duration of my stay.
more yarn The most fascinating thing I learned so far is all the hard work that goes into making these kits.  Tina does this all by herself, making sure each skein of yarn is spun to perfection and the right amounts are given in order to complete her kits.  She is cautious and wants to make sure every customer is 100% satisfied with their finished product!  She spends hours of her time perfecting her patterns.  Several people will test them before she considers having them purchased by her customers. kits I am fascinated by how she comes up with her designs and how she converts them into patterns.  She told me I could come up with a design of my own and then we can translate it into a pattern!  Do not worry though it will not be one that we will try to market!

yarnsTina came up with some projects for me to complete while I am here.  One project that I have completed was the email list update.  We also put together a Summer newsletter where I was able to introduce myself and tell where I came from.  I had a great time learning how to put that newsletter together.  In fact I was so excited I emailed it to my family for them to see.  Soon to come is a “Pattern of the Week” newsletter sent out weekly, and I get to choose some of my favorite patterns to include in the email.  This will highlight the pattern and tell a little story behind it. 

The biggest project I am looking forward to is reorganizing the studio.  With my label maker and organization skills in hand I am going to transform her studio.  Take a look at some of the before pictures and stay tuned for the after.

ETA – Tina here: In my defence, I’ve put up some yarn pictures of nicely wound balls of yarn! My studio has it’s own familiar chaos, which is I think a family trait.. My father has the same “organized chaos” method in his own office and he too gets a bunch of grief from all of us as well.. think of it as an endearing quality..


Stupid, stupid, stupid June 1, 2008

I think Freia has a torn ACL. Why did I take her out today???????

She’s been limping a bit for about a month now, I think she initially hurt herself jumping out of the car one day. I’ve been giving her Rimadyl, resting her for a few days, and progressively increased her rest as she’s continued to not improve.

Basically really limited her for the last 3 days and she seemed better, so I took her out to Pt. Pinole.. She was running and having a great time with Rufus, no limping, happy as a clam. But as has happened before, once she stops moving, the pain begins. And today is probably the worst I’ve seen it.

And I’m going away to TNNA on Thursday so I can’t really do anything about it till I get back the following Tuesday. I’m just kicking myself right now, and I feel so very bad for her. And she was really fine this morning.

Damn it.

Of course to top it off, if it is a torn ACL and requires surgery, it’s 8 weeks of severe restrictions in movement – guess I”ll be sleeping with her in the studio since she won’t be allowed up the stairs, and won’t do well without me around, and the surgery runs from $2-4K. Great.


The best place to hide a bone May 7, 2008

Filed under: cats and dogs,Chesapeake Bay Retriever,House and Home — knitwhits @ 5:26 pm

Freia has always believed that the best place to hide a bone..

bone somewhere in the middle of the living room floor

where no one can possibly ever find it…


Doing my part for the economy April 19, 2008

tax reliefThis came in the mail the other day. Gave me a really good chuckle, I mean really, what’s the point? It probably cost them four times as much to cut and mail me the check. I’ll do my best to not spend it all at once.. Actually, I think this one is going on the wall, it’s a keeper..

Some good news.. My fears of Freia’s bump are assuaged. It’s not cancer. But it in all likelyhood is my/her other nemesis – the foxtail. It sure is early in the season for her to pick one up, but they are out in full force at Cesar Chavez Park where we go about 4 times a week.

The vet put her on Amoxycillin (again..) which we get for her from Costco. I checked the pills at the pharmacy to make sure they were correct, but when I got home I realised it was the wrong dosage. Called the Pharmacy and asked if it would be OK for me to just double up the dose until I could get back in to exchange the rest. It was rush hour and I wasn’t about to sit in it for an hour for what is otherwise a 5 minute drive. Instead, the pharmacist went way above and beyond the call of duty and actually drove to my house with the correct prescription, and a full refund!!! I was really floored. It was very nice of her to do that, sure it was her error in the beginning, but that was really outstanding. And she left she said: “Take care of your dog!”. I guess she must be a pet owner too.

I’ve also figured out that Amoxy makes Freia really grumpy, she’s become really bossy at the dog park, and snapped at Pancho, her little Shitzu friend cos she thought he was after her (imaginary) treats. So.. as usual, until we’re through with the meds she gets no dog park time. And that way I get to have an angelic dog on long leash walks, instead of the stress of constant monitoring her rotten behaviour in the wilds of the offleash dog park. Bossy little so-and-so she is.

knitting undoneAs for the other bump, undoing ALL that knitting.. I went to my knitting group held at a friend’s house for a 2nd and 3rd opinion and they agreed – it was too wide, so I ripped it all out.. Took 2 hours or so, then cast on again and got two rows done before it was time to head home. I think if you have to undo something all the way, it’s the last few rows that are the worst, as that when it really sinks in that all that work you did is truly gone. It’s a drag, but it is rare that I rip out quite that much knitting.. C’est la vie.

Two nights later I hooked up with another knitting group hosted by Knit-One-One at Rudy’s in E’ville twice a month. I got there an hour late, delayed by work, only to realise that I didn’t have one of the two sets of needles I needed for this project, so I could only do another 4 rows.. blech.. annoying. So I had a veggie burger instead.

I love eating out at restaurants. Lately though there has been a string of takeover robberies at restaurants in the East Bay, which has put me a bit off. A friend’s son was at one restaurant when it was held up last weekend, and then a local restaurant here in l’il ole E’ville was held up a couple of nights ago. Bummer. So far, no one’s gotten hurt, but it’s only a matter of time I think.. Stupid people.