Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Second Shelf Rat Rugs

Filed under: Knitting,Rats!,Sewing — folkcat at 12:39 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2007

This weekend was Re-Think and Re-Organize time again when it comes to my crafting. Both Gryphon and I have had lots of ideas recently for “things I could be making for the house,” but they’ve all just been floating around in my head making me crazy. You know how it is – I’ve actually been excited about all the projects, and want to see each and every one of them finished now. But how do I choose where to begin?

So we sat down together, made a list on actual paper so we could look at it, and chose a priority. Which is why I’m once again knitting Rat Rugs!

WIP: Second Shelf Rat Rugs

Q. Didn’t you knit a bunch of Rat Rugs before?

A. Yes, but they fit what we refer to as the Top Shelf of the cage. The cage is three levels – the Floor, the Top Shelf, and then a shelf in the middle we usually call the Second Shelf. The two shelves are the same width – the full width of the cage – but the Second Shelf is narrower than the Top Shelf.

Q. These don’t look like the Rat Rugs you made last time!

A. They aren’t the same pattern. Because the dimensions of the two shelves are different – but not by much – I wanted a visible difference in the rugs for each shelf. The Top Shelf rugs were knitted with the waffle/brick pattern found on ball bands for Peaches & Creme yarn (and in the Mason-Dixon Knitting book). Second Shelf rugs are being created in straight garter stitch.

Q. What’s that yarn? It makes a crazy pattern!

A. Simple Sugar ‘n Cream cotton yarn. The pattern comes from alternating solid colors and variegated colors. Knit 2 rows of solid, knit 2 rows of variegated. Whenever a color runs out, I grab another solid if it’s a solid, or a variegated if it’s a variegated. Russian Join to add in the new yarn, and just keep knitting.

Quilting Updates

I’m expecting a new set of quilting tools to arrive in the mail today. At least, according to the tracking information I looked at this morning. They’ll give me some exciting new options for hand pieced designs with hexagons. More on that tomorrow, I think – if they’re actually in today’s mail, I’ll certainly have a QIP to show by then!

Rattie Updates

Not much to report here, as they don’t see the new vet until Thursday morning. But Sable’s back does seem to be a little less scabby, suggesting that she’s not scratching at it quite as badly. The first ivermectin shot she got at the old vet last week may be doing its job.

More news later this week, I promise!



Comment by FemaleWriter

June 19, 2007 @ 3:15 pm

I’m sorry to hear about the rattie sisters. Lice sucks, I know. We had to deal with it twice….once when we had three rats and again when we had seven rats. Luckily we have a good vet (not a rat expert, but still a wonderful vet) and great people on the forums and groups.

One thing we learned from treating the rats for lice…it’s difficult to trick them into taking their medication. They might gobble up the baby food one day and then refuse it the next. Applesauce worked for a day before our boys refused even that. We tried a lot of different things.

When giving our one rat a different antibiotic once (for another problem), we tried soaking it in a small piece of multigrain bread and putting a bit of honey on it. The bread has to be small enough that the rat will get all the medication and not fill up on the bread. 1” square is good. Sometimes we alternated that with carrot cake, banana cake, or some other yummy goody that the medication is absorbed into. It seemed to work.

In one of the forums, I read that some people pinch the scruff of the rat’s neck, quickly squirt the medication down, and then give them lots of love and treats. It’s kind of like grabbing a cat by the scruff of the neck. They say it works for rats too…or at least reduces the rat’s chances of fighting back. If you do it fast enough, “they won’t know what hit them”.

I’m also worried that Star might have a mammary tumor, depending on where on the abdomen the bulge is. Is it soft or hard? How fast is it growing? If it’s soft, small and barely growing, then its not too bad. But if it’s hard and growing fast, then that’s when you worry. If its worrisome, then you might want to talk to the vet about removing the tumor; which will mean anesthesia, surgery, and recovery.

Anyway, I hope Star and Sable get well soon. 🙂

Take Care!


I don’t know the last time I commented on your blog, but I just wanted to let you know that we’re now down to two rats. We started with three, then five, and finally seven. Then our “old trio” got sick and died between May 25 and June 15, 2006. We were down to four. Then BlackJack likely had a pituitary tumor and was helped across the bridge on April 7,2007. Then we had three. John Lee, our sickly and most expensive rat, likely died from cancer on June 2 (it was a heartbreaking day that took me over a week to feel better). Hubby wants to take a break after these rats (because of John Lee).

BushBaby is our oldest boy at 26 months (2 years, 2 months). He has a small mammary tumor that hasn’t grown much since the vet first discovered it over a month ago. He also has a bit of a respiratory thing, but it’s not bad enough to see the vet yet. And he’s old, the oldest rat we’ve ever had, so he’s definitely showing his age more and more. He’s my favorite and I’m happy he’s still with us. I think both his parents died at 2.5 years, so I’m hoping that we have at least 4 more months with him.

Ray is BushBaby’s son. He’s 18 months and 19 days. He seems pretty healthy and is probably the last of his litter. It seems, from what I’ve heard, that many of his siblings have died mysteriously or from illnesses, including John Lee. If nothing bad happens, then he’ll likely be our final rat for a while.

PPS: Your rat rugs look cool.


Comment by sarebearq

June 19, 2007 @ 3:22 pm

Rattie Rugs, that’s a neat idea! I bet they really like them. I like the colors you are doing them in; also, two rows solid, two variegated alternating, I like how that looks.

Glad to hear Sable might be a little improved.

I just rec’d (yesterday and today) some knitting books (one has some crochet too) that, except for one, were all DIRT CHEAP on Amazon (Felt It, Knit 2 Together, Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation, and Knitting for Peace) one was $5.50 or so, the others were all under $4 each. $3 for some of them!! the one that was the usual Amazon prices, I added as it’s one I’ve been wanting, as well as to bump things to free shipping, which helped defray the price of that book. Go check ’em out on Amazon.

I’d never have paid near full price for the S&B Nation one, as the wearables do not have plus sizes. But for $3 (one of the books might have been under $3), I was happy to get it for the other patterns in there I like. Anyway, it’s fun anticipating and getting crafty mail; I love it!

I need to make a list of projects too; at least for knitting, the queue and favorites in Ravelry has been a big help, but that doesn’t work for those not in yet. Plus, of course, I put in some work there reporting bugs, editing some patterns, and maintaining a few. (woops, sorry to go on so long!)

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