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Obsession Thursday: Bunny behavior

photo of my hand with healing rabbit bite marks

I got bit.

So this happened. —>

My first reaction, as Tully clamped down on my hand intentionally and angrily, was to be angry back. I didn’t lash out; I just removed him from my flesh.

As I treated the wounds, it changed to sadness. This is the 2nd time he’s done this.

The next morning, I remembered what I learned the last time he did this.

Flash back to the two days before the bite: I’m trying to deal with the disaster that was Tully’s corral. A cage that he liked because it gave him a 2nd level to hide in (bunnies like to feel safe), and a big enclosure so he can run about when I’m not around to supervise. Except he was peeing all over the place, no matter what I did.

So I stripped it down to the bare essentials. I dismantled the cage and cleaned the whole area. I replaced his body-sized litterbox with one 3x his size with high walls. And because I’d found him shredding his foam-square floor, I covered the whole area with a plastic floor protector (like you use in offices under rolling chairs). I gave him several places to hide (a cardboard box with holes at two different places), an area to cuddle on that used the same fuzzy mats as he’d always had, and then I introduced him to it. He seemed fine. He liked it. He hid in the hiding places and lounged in the lounging places. He didn’t pee anywhere but the litterbox. Success, right?

That night, because his water bottle’s bracket had broken in the changeover, I used his food dish for water instead. I reached in to deposit a scoop of pellets (his favorite) on the floor in front of him, and he lunged for my hand and bit down hard and wouldn’t let go. WTF?

See, I had made an agreement with him, and I’d broken it. Previously, I picked up his bowl, filled it with pellets, and he lunged for the bowl when it hit the floor. That last change was one change too many in such a short time, and he had had enough.

I told my boyfriend that Tully speaks English, and got a stare back like “why am I dating this nutjob?” Except this is what I mean: Tully tells me what he wants. When he follows me to the kitchen, he wants food. When he jumps on the couch, without exception, it means “pet me”. He is a clear communicator. This bite, then, was a clear message that he’d had enough changes for one day. It was a harder bite than was necessary (or than another non-rescue bun would give), but I understand it.

(I have no idea how he was treated in his first 10 weeks before he was rescued, but based on his aggressive food-motivated behavior, I expect he was starved. Frequently.)

Here’s some good reading I’ve done since bringing Tully home. I’m so grateful for the internet and how people are willing to share their experience.

Prove that you love me (lots more on that site about behavior!) | Aggressive rabbits

 

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Obsession Thursday: current obsessions roundup

Oh, SO MANY THINGS are happening in my world. Here are two:

Something you didn’t know about me: I learned to code HTML in the late ’90s. In the early ’00s, I switched to Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver can make you a lazy coder. It made me a lazy coder. It is easy to look at the pretty WYSIWYG page result and think you’re done. At the same time, my ex taught himself to be a heavy-duty coder in Javascript, PHP and other such stuff. He bumped up Knitty’s back end, creating a database of all the Knitty content, an advertising system, printer-friendly pages. Lots more.

my new friends.

Meanwhile, I started noticing that I had a significant deficit in understanding how HTML had changed over the years. The word “deprecated” slapped me hard a few times. I looked at online tutorials, tried to absorb what I found at  and none of it sunk in. I resigned myself to being a words and pictures girl. But I wasn’t happy with myself. I felt lesser. So I signed up for an HTML/CSS class at the board of ed. The only good thing that came of that lame class was my meeting online, after a few frustrated tweets about its lameness.  The glorious is the person who made our site bottleneck-free (among other magical things). So I’ll never regret that class. Later, I was surfing HTML5/CSS training, bemoaning the $2500(ish) price tags. But I read the reviews and found one that seemed right for me (that link is just for your info — no compensation is provided to me for the link). And all of a sudden $2500 seemed cheap. Because at the end of the course, I would be qualified to be one of those people I had envied. So I signed up. I’m finding that I knew much more than I thought (yay me!). But there is still so much to learn. And I am LOVING IT. Now when I need to debug code, I paste it into a text/development editor. Because Dreamweaver now seems like a hindrance to making good code.

I am probably the oldest person in the course. I don’t give a crap. It’s working, and I’m so happy I did it. So what is the message? The Hollywood message is that you’re never too old to learn, as long as you WANT to learn. But the bigger message is this. Being focused on the dollars allowed me to avoid making the decision to do what I’d wanted to for years. In fact, the course tuition is ridiculously cheap when you consider that, at the end of 12 weeks, one would be qualified for a WHOLE NEW CAREER (entry level, but still).

No, I’m not quitting Knitty. This knowledge will make me a better editor, and already has made me a better coder. And it’s made me proud of myself. Excited about a new challenge, which infuses everything ELSE I do with new energy. So that’s all. I wanted to share this with y’all. It reminds me of the first time I turned a toe in a sock. I feel unstoppable.

Ok, one more thing. I had bought a very well-reviewed HTML5/CSS book back in the lame-class era. I got nowhere with it. I went back to it last weekend, and realized why. The course I’m taking teaches much more logically, laying down basic skills then adding a new layer on top. The book grouped like with like, with no consideration to giving the reader a base understanding first. If I were to write a new knitting book now, I’d make sure I followed this type of educational path. Not all cables are the same, you know? (ps: I just had to go into the code and debug this post. SUPASTAHHHH!)


I broke a molar a month ago. I needed a new dentist. Saw an ad for Opencare, waving a $50 gift card to businesses I frequent in front of my nose, offering to help me find one that worked for me. Put in my requirements in their search engine: near me, good with chickeny patients, accessible online, good reviews. Found one, booked and went yesterday. She seems just as great as the reviews said, and as a bonus, is respectful of my lack of dental insurance so she doesn’t order any procedures that are not necessary! And now I’ll get a $50 gc to Starbucks, which doesn’t hurt. If you want to try out their service to find a new dentist, use this link and we both will get a $50 gc once you go. www.opencare.com/invite/as217067 Because free is nice. And a service that works? That’s even nicer.

 

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Obsession Thursday: The knitting ecosystem

It’s like this:

Knitters consume yarn (hallelujah for yarn!).

Yarn is created by mills (both big and small), and dyed commercially or by independent artisans, for knitters to consume. At the same time, other fabulous things that knitters love, like stitch markers, needles, bags, inventive accessories and other things we don’t even know about yet are created by other entrepreneurs and established businesses.

Designers, whether professional or amateur, established or brand new, create patterns that allow knitters to use yarn and the goods that go with it, in order to create exciting handknitted items that would not otherwise exist.

Magazines (like Knitty) and books offer patterns and instruction to help knitters find the next thing they want to knit, and to knit it with less stress and frustration. When a project is bound off (and often before!), the cycle starts over and over again.

It’s the knitting ecosystem, and Knitty is very proud to be a part of it.

Thanks to our Patrons, Knitty continues to be a financially viable company who can pay its staff and contributors properly. And because we now are able to, we’re reaching out to help another branch of the knitting ecosystem by cutting ad prices for the first time in our history. This means more companies and creators have access to our readership for less money. Our ad prices now start at $60/issue.

Since sharing fiber-related products and services with our readership is a big part of why we exist, we’re thrilled to be able to do this. Would you help us spread the word? Just tell someone (or even someoneS) you know who might be interested in advertising with Knitty about our low rates. Send them to this page for all the details.

Thank you for being part of the knitting ecosystem. We send our gratitude and love.

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Obsession Thursday: Continuing to breathe normally

This post is for my fellow hoseheads (CPAP users, or beloved of those who use CPAPs). It’ll bore the crap out of the rest of you.

this behemoth sits in my nightstand and has to be lugged wherever I want to sleep away from home. Feh.

This behemoth sits in my nightstand and has to be lugged wherever I want to sleep away from home. Feh.

I was diagnosed with Hypopnea (a form of sleep apnea) in April 2014, and have used a CPAP machine ever since. Still on my first machine, a ResMed S9 Elite ->. It’s what the sleep consultant recommended so I bought it. It cost something like $1600, of which my provincial health insurance covered a big chunk ($600, I believe) and my private health insurance covered most of the rest. Still, that’s a hell of a lot of money for this thing.

Especially when you do a google for CPAP machines, and find out that those in the US can get the same machine for $1000CDN or less.

My main complaint, though, is that it’s huge and heavy and I have to take it with me whenever I go anywhere that requires an overnight stay. I started looking into travel machines, and found a few, but none have humidifiers. But a recent search came up with this little bundle of joy: the Apex XT line.

thanks to esnoreandsleep.com for this image

thanks to esnoreandsleep.com for this image

Based on my needs, the base model (XT Fit) would have done just fine, but the place I ordered from (1800cpap.com) was out of stock, and looking at that Amazon link, it seems they’re out, too. Anyway, they upgraded me to the XT Auto at no charge, and preset the machine to my Rx. The whole thing, unit, heated humidifier, base, case and hose, came to me for $300USD plus $40USD shipping and $44CAD tax (charged on this end). Delivered in a day by FedEx.

The case is about half the size of the ResMed’s case, and weighs just under 6lbs. The power is contained within the main unit, which helps reduce the total weight. (My ResMed uses a huge, heavy power brick.)

I slept with it last night and found that, unlike the ResMed heated hose (it heats the moisture on its way to my nose), the Apex’s heated reservoir seems to do a better job…in that I didn’t notice it at all and slept very comfortably. I’m going to try it without the humidifier next. If I can travel with just the main unit, it’ll reduce the storage space needed (and weight!) by half, which is pretty cool. But I did choose it because it had a humidifier, so even if I need to bring it, I’ve lightened my load by at least a third, and space requirements by a half.

Because I didn’t go through a sleep clinic, I’m unsure about who will be able to check my numbers. I called my sleep doc and hopefully he’ll be able to compare the ResMed with the Apex and make sure I’m getting the therapy I need.

Note that these are anecdotal observations from a non-medical person, and you should always contact your doctor before you do anything that involves your health.

*The first link is an Amazon link, which gives us a little financial reward if you buy from there; the 2nd reward is just a plain ole’ link to the place I bought from.

 

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Obsession Thursday: Reorganizing for the new year

Not Knitty…reorganizing my apartment! It is rather small as 2-bdr apts go, but I do love it so, and it’s what I can afford, so I’ve gotta make it work.

Over the holidays, I started another wave of tidying and purging. My office started out like this:

mid-purge/tidy: notice the large quantity of Ikea bags, now empty after putting their contents in their proper places (sometimes that was the garbage). big black monolith is my desk chair. 

…and then I made it better. Took a few days and cleared away tons of crap, and properly put away tons of NOTcrap. There was more clear floor space in here than there has been since I moved in in Sept 2014 once I was done.

Of course, that meant that I had to fill it up again.

Tully has been living in the living room. He’s young (not even a year old yet) and he can’t be fully free range until he chills a bit. So he needed more space than he had in just his cage when he’s tucked in for the night.

Squeeze, having vacated the office for her new home on Toronto Island with her daddy (my ex), left more than enough room for Tully to move in. Today, he moved in.

The exercise pen around his cage came from a Facebook trading site called Bunz.

The exercise pen around his cage came from a Facebook trading site called Bunz (only in Canada, I believe). I traded two bags of dog treats for this baby.

The cage is his security, so I kept it. On the top right, that huge black thing is a Sterilite plastic bin which holds — get this — a half bale of hay. And it’s full. That’s how much hay this guy eats. It cost almost nothing to buy it from a hay farmer, which is much better than the $14/wee bag I was paying before. (Each bag lasted a week.)

Anyway, He’s been exploring this new room and finding out how it connects to the rest of the world he knows already. He seems quite happy. Has eaten, groomed himself and is now drinking from his water bottle. This indicates a relaxed bunny.

Job well done, I say! Woot me!

Intrepid explorer Tully susses out his new digs. Yes, there’s a lot of crap on my desk. That’s the next task.

 

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2016: Well, that was something, eh?

Challenging in ways many of us didn’t expect, 2016 has been a hell of a year. We’re starting to lose our cultural heroes, often unexpectedly, and we’re a bit raw with the changing political climate in the US, and crazy people with weapons worldwide. Yeah, 2016 has sucked.

But it’s also been joyous, surprising and a wonderful year for knitting and knitters.

Here are some things that happened:

    • Knitty didn’t close in Spring 2016. We would have had to without the financial support of our Patrons. We launched this new funding model in September 2015, and by March of 2016, Knitty Patrons had stepped up and were carrying 2/3 of the cost of producing the magazine. We are grateful on a daily basis for their support. Thanks to them and our fiercely loyal Advertisers, we…
    • Rewrote our website code, making our pages responsive, so that they’re much easier to view on mobile devices of all sizes. This was a big project and we completed it on time so that the First Fall 2016 issue launched when it was supposed to, and the cool auto-resizable pages worked from the get go.
    • Published four great issues, full of patterns like these:
Laurel, by Amy Christoffers, from the Deep Fall 2016 issue

Laurel, by Amy Christoffers, from the DF16

 

Anyadell by Senja Jarva from our DF16 issue

Anyadell by Senja Jarva from the DF16 issue

 

Pincha by Pinpilan Wangsai from our First Fall 2016 Issue

Pincha by Pinpilan Wangsai from the FF16 issue

 

Gocce by Paola Albergamo from the SS16 issue

Gocce by Paola Albergamo from the SS16 issue

 

Ennui by Justyna Lorkowska from our FF16 issue

Ennui by Justyna Lorkowska from our FF16 issue

And my favorite meta-meta crazypants pattern of the year:

Toilet Paper Toilet Paper Cozy by Christine Olea from the W16 issue

Toilet Paper Toilet Paper Cozy by Christine Olea from the W16 issue

On the personal side:

O Canada!

O Canada!

I became a Canadian (after living in Canada since I was 8), and took a train across the country to celebrate! I welcomed a new rabbit, Tully, into my family, got rid of my misbehaving uterus, and had both my Carpal Tunnelly hands surgically fixed. I stepped back from teaching and concentrated on healing and taking care of myself. Rather lovely.

 

Jillian and Gwen Steege from Storey Publishing, celebrating Yarnitecture!

Jillian continued her crazy busy and successful year of travelling and teaching at legendary venues, while (at the same time, mind you) finishing her brilliant book about spinning the yarns you want to knit: Yarnitecture. And continued to raise her kids, along with her hubby, with love and compassion. She’s on the road in 2017, too…will you be lucky enough to be able to catch a class with her?

 

Kate and her groundbreaking book!

Kate was on the move too! She taught all over the US and Canada, and popped over to her homeland, hitting Bath, Manchester and Oxford in the UK in spring, as well as taping several new online classes. She’s added video columnist to her resume, as Knitty’s newest columnist on the subject of techniques. She wrote the book all knitwear designers need to read. And just for fun, she and her darling husband and nutso dog Dexter moved house, too. She’s already got a busy schedule lined up for 2017. Go Kate, go!

 

So that’s a lot of good stuff that happened in 2016. I’m glad to be able to celebrate it with you, and I’m honored to work with such great people as Jillian, Kate, Chris (Sysadmin gift from above), Ashley and Rachel (our gloriously wonderful Tech Editors). Thank you for being here, too.

Here’s to a happier, more joyous 2017!

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Obsession Thursday: Getting back to cooking

This is an Instant Pot.

This is an Instant Pot.

You’ve probably seen these things everywhere on social media. I sure had. It’s an Instant Pot, aka an electronic pressure cooker. Everyone I know has one (or one like it) or wants one. There was (unsurprisingly) a sale on Black Friday where it was about half the regular price. So I jumped.

Why do you want one of these? Here’s why I did:

  1. Unlike a slow cooker, it keeps smells in the pot, not all over your house/apartment
  2. You can cook delicious dishes from frozen ingredients in just a short time…some as fast as 3 minutes, once the machine reaches pressure (remember, it’s a pressure cooker)
  3. It also does the functions of a rice cooker, slow cooker and even a saute pan

It was number 2 that did it for me. I keep forgetting to cook actual FOOD until it’s too close to dinner to do anything but defrost something I’ve precooked (I do batches of stuff from time to time, but not always) or order pizza. That is not healthy. And doesn’t feel very adult.

It arrived yesterday. Like others before me, I’m a bit intimidated by this large pot with a fancy lid and lots of buttons. I read the manual. I joined this Facebook group (it’s VERY helpful and encouraging). I started saving appealing recipes to my Pocket (I prefer Pocket to Pinterest, but that’s just me. There are TONS of recipes on Pinterest). And tonight, after I do my first water test, I’m going to cook some frozen chicken thighs into something delicious. I’ve been told that, once I get the hang of it, I’ll want to use it for almost every meal. You can even make cheesecake in this thing.

Do you have one of these? Share your tips and favorite recipes with me in the comments, will you?

*The link above takes you to Amazon, where Knitty will get a small fee if you purchase one of these things. Keep an eye out for sales…they pop up all the time.

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Introducing our newest columnist!

It’s kind of funny to be introducing Kate Atherley, because if you read this blog, you know her quite well already. Kate is our Lead Tech Editor, as well as being a very experienced teacher with a massive portfolio of classes. She may not know it all, but she knows a whole lot, has written four books (and counting), and she’s been a valued part of the Knitty team for so long, it’s hard to imagine Knitty without her.

We had a vacancy in our Techniques column, and I asked Kate if she’d be willing to take this on. Because we live in the same town, I’m able to be her Producer* (ooh! My Radio + TV degree finally becomes useful!), which frees her up to concentrate on content. And as Kate’s already created 12 online classes, she knows how to do this stuff really well.

Kate’s first video column went live in the most recent issue, Winter 2016. She decided she wanted to see what was in the issue, find a common thread (in this case, it’s a bulky one), and provide solid knitting knowledge and handy tips that could be used right away. Take a look and let us know what you think!

Going forward, Kate will continue to scan each issue and choose a theme (how Ira Glass of her!), then share her knowledge with you in detailed, helpful video tutorials. Her column is called Wiseknit™, a tip of the hat to her original online persona, Wisehilda. And, we think, an apt description of what she’ll be sharing with our readers!

*Our first video was a bit of a learning experience for me. Expect improved production values (better audio, for example) in future columns.

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Obsession Thursday: All Tully, all the time…

Not really. But at home, it kind of is. He’s such a different bunny from any I’ve ever cared for before.

Last few nights, he’s decided he enjoys jumping on me when I’m on the couch and demanding to be petted. This, as you can imagine, is not a hardship for me. Except when I stop. And he decides I need to be back at it. So he tells me with a not-gentle nip. He’s still a baby, and only 3 weeks since his neuter, so testosterone is still in him. He gets the high-pitched bunny squeal of pain in return, which is a language he understands. Eventually, the nipping will stop. Or get gentler, anyway.

Meanwhile, I’ve been posting these videos the last few nights. People tell me it’s very soothing to watch. So here you go.

Should you want to see more of these, you can follow me on Instagram. That’s where I post them.

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Obsession Thursday: A new rabbit in the Knitty household

Some of you may remember that one of the two mini-rex sisters who lived with me, Boeing, died in October 2015. Since then, it’s been just me and her sister, Squeezle.

Squeezle is 11 and then some, and that’s pretty senior for a bunny. She’s been happy as a solo bunny. I guess she always had secret desires of being top bun than now can be realized. Me, though…I wanted a puppy. Someone furry to hang out with me on the couch, go on road trips with.

Baby Tully won my heart with this picture. Look at those ears!

Baby Tully won my heart with this picture. Look at those ears!

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a dog person, however. I’m a rabbit person. So when I found a listing for a Flemish Giant mix rabbit (mixed with what? Beagle?) whose foster mom said was “like a dog”, I decided I was ready.

Meet Tully —>. 10 weeks old in this picture, after being rescued from an open field in a large plastic tub with his two brothers. They’ve been adopted to other loving homes.

Tully was neutered just before I brought him home. He has some mellowing to do as the hormones leave his system, but basically he is the biggest, love-loving bunny I’ve ever met. Maybe even more than little grey mini rex Newton (1993-2005), and that’s saying something.

See, mini rexes are notoriously high strung, but I love them anyway. However, there are a few breeds of rabbit that are mellower. Flemish Giants are one of them. Tully ain’t scared of much except sudden noises. Driving in the car? No biggie. And now that he’s explored the living room/kitchen area where he roams, he’ll sit at my feet forever for pets. One day, he might even make it up on the couch next to me.

Tully would like me to pet him. All the time.

Tully would like me to pet him. All the time.

Purebred FGs can grow to 22 lbs. He’s about 7 lbs right now, which is as big as Boeing was at her largest.  The vet thinks he won’t get much bigger. Those may be famous last words, but I don’t care. I love having a big bunny again.

I have a harness waiting for Tully, when I feel he’s calm enough to handle it.  It’ll probably take a while to get him used to it. I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to taking him on road trips with me, or on overnights to friends’ houses.

As for Squeezle, she and Tully will never meet. Bonding bunnies is stressful for both of them (and for the human, honestly) and even if it was successful, then Tully would lose his mate sooner than is fair. So they live in different zones of the apartment for now.

Tully came home with me the day before my birthday. Best birthday present ever.

 

Here he is. Home at last.

A side view of my big bunnydude.

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