Completed knitting project – chunky cardigan

I don’t usually knit for myself. Now that I think about it, that’s a little strange – who else but the maker can truly appreciate the sweat and (often) tears that go into a hand knit?

So after a recent spate of large scale projects for others were finally completed, and with a wee bit more time on my hands these days, I decided to break into the wool stash (which let’s face is, is substantial) to make something that has been on my ‘knit list’ for a while – a chunky cardigan.

I have been wanting something that is hard wearing enough to be worn around the dogs, and to warm me up while I study (since I am prone to wearing fingerless gloves during writing marathons – yes, it is that cold in my study!).





Wool used: Patons Inca – Black

Pattern: ‘Jacket Wrap’ from Patons Inca – Contemporary Fashion, Book 1231

This was marked ‘Easy’ and was quite a simple knit on large (7mm) needles which I really appreciated – particularly after a stack of recent projects on 3-4mm needles which seemed to take an eternity to finish! I am a lover of (somewhat) instant gratification. The body was all knit in one piece which added another layer of convenience, so there was not much sewing up, which I do find a bit of a chore. My only caution with this knit is that even after steam blocking with the iron, the arm holes were a bit big for the completed sleeve edge join, so mine looks a little ‘rustic’ when on the hanger. When it is being worn it isn’t really a problem. The sleeves could have done with being a little longer, but I hoping they may stretch a little with wear.

Here is how it looks being worn – hopefully you can not see the small flaws I just mentioned:


I added the kilt pins (the largest one is a stitch holder which I am using to fasten it ) – I love kilt pins, and I think they add a bit of a military type edge to the cardigan – but it would definitely lend itself to using something ‘prettier’ to fasten it, or you can leave it open.

After wearing it for the first time today, I think this cardigan will do the trick nicely. Warm and cosy, thick and quite heavy; the weight is not felt whilst wearing it, and most importantly, soft and not at all itchy around my neck. I’m particularly happy with the high neck band which sits right up to the bottom of my hair, which is especially great if you have forgotten your scarf (as I did today).

So yes, one happy wearer:


Final update on furry son

For those of you who have asked – thank you so much for your well wishes!

I finally received the results of Rusty’s pathology sample this afternoon and he has been given the all clear!!! PHEW!!!

This is such a huge relief to myself and hubby Mr. A.! We are so thrilled and will cherish our time with him even more (if that’s possible – our dogs are pretty spoiled 😉

Thanks again everyone!

Renee xxx

Update on my furry son

Firstly, thank you so much to all of you who have asked after my furry boy Rusty… 

It’s been quite a week, but the good news is that we brought him home last Friday! 🙂

He spent much of last week at the vet. Last Monday, the day of my last post, after his x-ray revealed the ‘large mass’ in his abdomen, Mr A. and I had a night of pure anxiety, thinking that he may have been at the end of the road… after all, Rusty is due to turn 12 in 2 weeks, so having to put him through surgery (which we weren’t even sure was an option) is not ideal.

However, come Tuesday, an ultrasound was done which revealed that his spleen was severely enlarged, and that surgery *was* an option. Of course we were extremely heartened by this news and signed off on the surgery for Wednesday. On Tuesday afternoon I was allowed to go and visit with my boy – he was very woozy and so I spent three hours with him asleep on my foot:



Wednesday was pretty awful, just waiting around for the call to say he was out of surgery and that (we hoped) it had gone well. Trying to work on my thesis was near impossible, but I was proud of myself for getting some work done under the circumstances. He did indeed come through the surgery well, and not only was his spleen removed, but also part of his small intestine. They sent these extra ‘bits’ to the lab, and we are *still* waiting for the results…. but the impression I get from the vets is that if the ‘mass’ was more sinister, it would have burst long before we even had the chance to take him in. Still – *fingers crossed* we should have the results tomorrow.



This was Rusty after the surgery when we visited on Thursday. Poor little fella, he was all wrapped up like a bandaged bear (the leg bandage was to stop him chewing out his drip, as he did on the first night of his stay) – his stubborn nature on full display 🙂 He made quite a name for himself with the vet nurses with his wicked ways (soiling his bed, and ‘chatting’ to them) – everyone up there is on a first name basis with Rusty now 🙂

Thankfully we were able to bring our boy home last Friday – and within literally, 5 seconds of entering the house, he had marked his territory on the kitchen floor, as if to say “I’m Back!!!”. It was a real laugh out loud moment 🙂

He seems to be back to his normal self the last few days, hoovering down the cooked chicken, trying to steal food off our other dog, and sleeping in his bed in the sun. His checkup today went well and he had his bandage removed. The vet who performed the surgery gave me a truly disgusting picture of what they took out of him, it is fascinating how large the spleen had become (and also, really gross). I won’t be posting those here, don’t worry!

I must also say a huge thank you to Greencross Vets in Petersham, for being so kind, loving and skilled at looking after Rusty – highly recommended if you need someone to attend to your furry kids!

Here he is, back on the couch where he belongs:




So now I just have everything crossed that his test results come back clear and we can get on with the business of cuddles on the couch, afternoon walks and plenty of treats. Thanks again to all of you for asking after my boy!

Renee x





Paralysed with fear this afternoon, my beautiful old staffy boy Rusty is at the vet, and has to stay over night. They have found a big ‘mass’ in his abdomen. Waiting for the ultrasound in the morning to reveal more. 

I just wish humans and animals could communicate at times like these! (actually, most times!) Beating myself up – could we have got to it sooner? Have we been so self absorbed we didn’t notice some small sign?

I know with all the problems in the world this might be insignificant, but he’s my furry son and I love him. 

*Fingers crossed*