Farewell to Sharkbait

It with great sadness that our family informs you of the passing of our fish, Sharkbait.


(Sharkbait is here seen in happier times.)

It is with even greater regret that I tell you that it turns out that my husband may be too “sensitive” to own fish. The last four days, during which Sharkbait endured the indignities of old age, have been difficult for all of us, but poor Joe has been beside himself. While I knit by Sharkbaits deathbowl, accepting that the grim reaper comes to all of us when our time is up, Joe railed against the truth. He alternately insisted that we take Sharkbait to the vet (or “something”) or at the very, very least, got some (and I quote) “medicine”.

Medicine? Vet? Now, I know that we cannot possibly assign value to life. I know the fact that Sharkbait cost $1.55 (plus tax) should not figure into his worthiness as a pet. I know too that the the fact that our relationship with Sharkbait has been a little one-sided and shallow (he swims and we feed him) should also not contribute to my reluctance to take a pet to the vet…but seriously?

Joe has been upset for days. “He doesn’t look good” Joe will say, leaning over the bowl with a worried expression. “Maybe we should change the water again, maybe we need more of that conditioner stuff in the bowl. Did you read the instructions? Did he eat? Steph, Do you think he’s going to be ok?”

Over and over I have said the same thing. “No. No, Joe. I do not think the fish is going to be ok.”

Joe and I have actually argued over my lack of concern and heartless unfeeling for the fish. I am not completely horrible. I did speak on the phone to a fish person and ask them what they thought. We ruled out fungus and something called “ick” and in the end it was determined by said fish person that Sharkbait was old. Old and dying of natural causes. This was sad, but it happens to all of us, and I can accept that.

Joe, can’t accept it at all. The fish has been lying on the bottom of the bowl for four days. He has not swum, eaten or moved. It does not take a fish person to see that the fish is not good. I’ve been trying to prepare Joe. “The fish looks bad honey. I don’t think he’s going to be ok. I think he is going to die”. Then Joe looks at me with horror. “You don’t know that. He could just have “a thing”, he could get better. Tomorrow he could be fine.” Then he rubs his finger on the bowl by Sharkbaits head and feeds him. Even as the food drifts untouched by the fish’s head, Joe is hopeful. “We should do something” he says.

This morning, Sharkbait has gone. Since it was Sam’s fish and Sam is 10, she’d like to go get another one after school. Joe isn’t sure about that. He doesn’t know if he can take it.

I sympathize with my soft hearted husband, but have to tell you…I am not giving Joe my power of attorney for personal care. Can you see him at my deathbed? No way. He’d have me ending up here.

(note: we did indeed use the funeral flushing technique. No-one has been traumatized, but we would ask you not to mention this to Hank.)

The new Clapotis is coming along,


and for the record, I didn’t finish the other one. I just, er…wandered off. (A brief, but torrid affair…) It was yanked off the needles when I decided to drop all the stitches to confirm my border theory.


It turns out that there’s nothing wrong with the border, at least not in this stretchy merino, but that because it is merino it’s pretty clingy. So clingy, in fact that it didn’t release the dropped stitches, but needed me to tease each and every one of the little weasels free. This was fine for the wee bit of Clapotis I had knit, but when I thought about convincing a whole wraps worth of stitches to run….Well. The new Clap is quite pretty. It’s Blue Heron Cotton, and the dropped stitches unzip quite satisfyingly. I’ve decided to add a little length to the border by elongating the stitches (by wrapping twice round the needle, then dropping the extra wrap the next time by) each time that I add a dropped stitch.

The flower basket shawl is still coming along, though I am seriously fighting the urge to rip it back. I think it needs a larger needle. In true Harlot form, I am continuing to knit while I decide. Apparently I like my losses to be crushing.


This photo illustrates one of the things I like best about knitted lace. I like how it looks like you are knitting a worthless pile of crap until it gets blocked. (We will not discuss how many things I trashed off the needles for looking like a worthless pile of crap until I learned this.)

As promised, The parade of presents continues!

Duranee, (aka our lady “perclexed”of the comments) Has an 800 yard hank of silver grey Laceweight cashmere/silk to give away. (I don’t even want to talk about how unable I would be to give that away. I’m a horrible person. I would keep it forever. Like, as a pet. I would wrap it in tissue paper and make a little shrine for it and pat it softly in the morning when I woke up, and put candles near it at night… but I digress) Duranee is a better person than me, because she is mailing it to Jenny B.

Michelene is somehow parting with this (which I also deeply covet, but can say nothing about because I have already shamed myself with the above item.)


It’s a beautiful kit to make a lace smoke ring, and she’s mailing it to Marissa W.

Marylee is mailing handmade beaded stitch markers (no picture, when you imagine them make them really good, ’cause they are) to Diane M.

Mia, (of whom I am quite fond because she mails me chocolate) has two really wonderful gifts to give. The first is this lovely kit for a beaded hat and scarf.


Kara D., when you get this done, tell me how it was eh?

Secondly, Mia has three skeins of Noro Kureyon to give, there is a choice of colours, so Veronica M. drop me a line and I’ll hook you up with Mia.

Lori G. has two skeins of laceweight (90% wool, 10% silk) to give away. Each one has 1400m, which is plenty for a shawl.


Laurie O. (yeah, that Laurie) and Jeni, what will you make?

Lene C. in Denmark will be sending a skein of her very own handspun mohair/wool to Sibylle! (Handspun is such magic.)

and finally,

Susan knit these beautiful Estonian mittens,


Susan and I agreed that these beautiful child sized mittens should go out to the only child who is a member of Tricoteuses Sans Frontiers. Timothy sent his Christmas money to MSF, and these mittens will be arriving at his house shortly.

92 thoughts on “Farewell to Sharkbait

  1. Poor Sharkbait. The Blue Heron for the Clapotis looks amazing. I’d be jealous except that I won a bit of something today. I never win anything and it’s the first day of Stitches West for me! I guess I’d better watch out for falling anvils today, eh?

  2. I love the fact that the estonian mittens are going to the child who sent his christmas money. A friend of mine who has 3 kids (5, 6 and 8) talked with them about how they can cut back a bit themselves and take some of their “special holiday money” to help the kids who have lost their parents, and parents who have lost thier kids. witnessing the conversation… i wondered how well i would do with such a conversation. Thanks to Timothy!!! and to timothy’s parents/guardians/whoever brought up and/or supported the idea of sharing his money with those that need it.

  3. So sorry to hear about Sharkbait. Send my condolences to Joe, since he seems to need them most. Yet on a much happier note, those presents are just breathtaking. And kudos to Timothy-what a kid. Not only does he get some beautiful mittens, but a wonderful story to go along with them. Damn you Stephanie for pulling my emotions all over the map-fish named “Sharkbait”, sensitive men, cyrogenics, and all the giving, especially by a child.
    And the sun is shining today! :o)

  4. So um…. this is waaaay off topic, but if I get a copy of your book, if I send it with Chocolate (of course) would you sign it for me? I’ll send money for return shipping too.

  5. mg does NOT have my medical power of attorney. Two of my girlfriends who mg trusts have it. All of them know my horror of life support – and Mary will crush mg if he ever tries to put me on it. And Suzanne (his closest friend in the world other than me) would keep him from it and then heal him.
    I think people have to be nuts to give members of their family the medical power of attorney. We had it for mg’s mom for awhile – but she now has a court appointed guardian and we gave it to him.

  6. Sorry to hear about Sharkbait. I lost my wee Betta fishie, Agador Spartacus, about 6 months ago. I havent had the heart to get a new one yet.

  7. Tell Joe to get over it. It was just a fish.
    I wouldn’t want to be in your house when the cat passes…

  8. No one can do “Ode to a Fish” better than you. And twice in one month as well! Enjoy your fling with Clapotis – I am quite sure that it will only grow the MSF money pile, so it’s the best kind of “affair”. xox

  9. We down in VA will be observing a solemn moment of silence for poor Sharkbait. We won’t even mention the coincidence of a fish passing during lent. (oops!)

  10. All my condolences for the lost of Ratbait… Er! Sharkbait! I hope Joe will not refuse to use the toilet…
    I told you that Clapotis was “tr๏ฟฝs plaisant” to knit, didn’t I?! I love the Blue Heron yarn you choose!

  11. The delicate question which you did not answer but I, of course, will ask: “Is Joe peeing in the upstairs toilet?”

  12. I am convinced, that, children aside, there are no men in your random way of pulling names for prizes. I totally deserve a prize!
    Um yeah, it is for a good cause too…
    Good idea on your clap… dropped stitches and all…

  13. Aww, poor Joe. Maybe you should knit him a pet, and let Sam get herself a new fish. ๐Ÿ™‚
    The presents, once again are fabulous. I want that smoke ring too! That laceweight Merinosilk is wonderful, by the way, my LYS carries it and I’ve knit a couple of things of it… Doubled or tripled, though, as my attempts on using just one strand ended somewhat badly. (Laurie and Jeni, be _very_ careful when winding the skein into a ball, I accidentally twisted one somehow when putting it on a winder, and it took two people some four hours to untangle the thing.)
    On another note, I’m with Mim here. If I send you some Finnish chocolate along with my copy of the bookbookbook, will you sign it for me? ๐Ÿ™‚ If you really want, I might even be able to get my hands on some Belgian or Swiss chocolate, the real chocolate countries. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. It has been incredible fun to watch you knit the MSF mittens, to read your merry adventures and to see the doling out of thank-you gifts from one knitter to another. But Timothy sending his Christmas money is pretty much breaking my heart. This is tremendous and wonderful.

  15. Your fish story was a delight. Laughed out loud at the link to the cryonics joint. Ordered some cotton to try a clap-whatever from the other link (I couldn’t resist) but in a different color (Iris).
    Hey, if I send you chocolate (how about some Peet’s?) along with my copy of bookbookbook will you inscribe it? The book, not the chocolate.

  16. I’m so pleased to have won something! Many thanks to Mia for the donation and Stephanie for organizing such a wonderful event. The amount of giving to tsunami relief was impressive in itself, but I’m amazed that all you good knitters continue to give MORE to others who have donated. I promise to send a picture when I’ve completed the kit – this may be the justification that finally tips me over the edge to get a digital camera. Thanks!

  17. Your Blue Heron Clapotis looks beautiful and I watching it with particular interest because I’m about to cast on one of my own, in the same yarn (and it appears, the same colorway. Rainforest?)
    Also, having grown up in a farmy-house, I felt the same way as Joe at my $1.55 fish; my mother built a macbre sort of graveyard for burials and other purposes. And then put a swingset over it when I was older. Sigh.

  18. Thanks for letting us in on the little secret of the Clap yarn, and also for the heads up about the sticky, sticky merino.
    Good for Timothy, I hope those faboo mittens keep his hands warm to match his warm heart.

  19. My deepest sympathies on the loss of Sharkbait. May he swim in infinite waters in that great big fishbowl in the sky. We lost 3 – *three!!* Bettas in about 2 months time… to the dreaded “ick” disease. NOT PRETTY.
    Clapotis, while not *my* cup of ’tis, is coming along beautifully.

  20. Oh, poor Sharkbait. At least you did better than I did when our fish ended up sucking pond scum – I showed up with a box of “Shake ‘n Bake” for fish, shook it over the bowl and asked if I could have first dibs. The child was not amused (low humor development at the age of 10 for her apparently).
    Console Joe with Gansey.

  21. I can’t be first can I? I now want to knit my own clapotis. I don’t have yarn or time, but I want one! I think Timothy is awesome for donating his Christmas money and it’s great he’s getting such beautiful mittens. Condolences on Sharkbait; it’s always hard to lose a pet, furry or scaley.

  22. Oh, dear… it’s a fish pandemic. Who will be next? Is there a vaccine? HAS SOMEONE ALERTED THE CDC???
    (there’s clearly something deeply wrong with me. The idea of Bruce being “patient zero” makes me laugh and laugh and laugh…)

  23. That’s just great. My smartass comment, right after Kat’s. Way to go looking like a total bitch.
    My condolences, Kat. And Joe.

  24. Um.. Am I the only one who hears “Sharkbate ooh ha ha” in my head the ever time I read that word? That’s sad knowing the rest of my life will be me editing things in my head to make me laugh.
    My friend bought a beta fish for her daugter, and the first time they changed the water, she had it too cold, and the fish “died” quite suddenly. After appologising to her daugher (who was the calm one “it’s ok mom”), she called PetsMart, where the guy on the other end of the phone exclamed “It’s not dead yet! Add warm water!”
    And so she did, and so the fish lived. I’m so sorry the same couldn’t be done for Sharkbait (ooh ha ha). I hope Joe gets over the loss quickly. Or doesn’t get too attached to the next fish.

  25. I got completely sucked into the cryonics site…that is the weirdest shit I have ever read, bar none. I am morbidly fascinated…
    I am giving into Clapotis as well…just got the yarn today…but it’s so gorgeous I can’t make up my mind quite if that is REALLY what I want to do with it…
    They just freeze your head, did you read that??? Am I the only one who thinks that is the most bizarre thing ever?…

  26. Holy Cats on bicycles!
    I came for the knitting, but I’m staying for the comedy.
    Come to think of it, I’m staying for the knitting, also.

  27. My condolences for the loss of Sharkbait.
    RE: yesterday’s post. I just sent passport forms for our whole family and I am scared, now, that I did something wrong and they will get mailed back a week before we’re supposed to leave. Crap. Now I’m going to be worrying.

  28. Hmm….I guess I tend to be like Joe… I once paid $54 to take a sick hamster to the vet. The poor Dr. never had a hamster patient previously, but gave it a valiant try…….

  29. Sorry, Steph. Love ya’ but I’m with Joe on this one.
    A coupla years ago, I fish-sat for a co-worker and took the fish-in-a-vase home with me. Whereupon the fish promptly got sick and listless and wouldn’t eat. Oh, the horror! Oh, the panic! I was *traumatized* by the fish’s ill-health, even though the owner had clearly stated, “It’s just a fish. If it dies while I’m gone, I don’t care.” I ended up dragging poor fishy all around to town to all of the fish shops I could find in the Yellow Pages but they weren’t much help. In fact, the store owners pretty much echoed what my co-worker had said: “It’s just a fish.” They were heartless, I tell you, heartless!!
    My story has (sort of) a happy ending, though, since fishy recovered before the owner came home–and promptly died a few weeks later, at which time I was equally traumatized.
    Hugs to ya’, Joe; you rock.

  30. I agree with the previous poster who said you should knit Joe a new pet to compensate for the demise of Brother Sharkbait (ooh ha ha). Perhaps you could knit a shark, and name it “Chum.” ๐Ÿ˜€
    Your new case of the Clap is quite lovely.

  31. If you are interested in the flared lace smoke ring pattern, I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby, the Wal-Mart of big craft stores. I couldn’t believe I found this pattern there, the knitting section of the store is pretty much acrylic and novelty yarn.

  32. Perhaps Joe should try raising guppies. I too once felt catastrophic loss at the death of my pet fish. However, over time I have purchased 4 guppies, watched 14 guppies die, and seen 19 come into the world. I am net 9 guppies and have learned a lot about life and death…

  33. I feel Joe’s pain…I cannot commit piscecide. I was given a populated tank that included a zebra dannio I have since named “Osteo” because of his humped back (he’s over 5 years old). I’m certain Osteo has had at least two strokes because he’s blind in his right eye and his lower fin on the right side doesn’t work, and he has his bad days where it’s all he can do to just breathe the water being released by the filter. But as soon as I get my net, believing him dead, he high-tails it and escapes the impending doom. Today he’s having a good day, swimming in fundamentally left-circles, chasing the other dannios who come to pester him. But, having dealt with fish-loss in the past, I know it’s best to get a new one, not as a replacement, but as a filler of the gaping hole left by the last pet (can you believe I was a farm kid?!?).
    Your Clapoti(ses? How would one pluralise Clapotis?) are lovely, as is all of your work.
    And I, like everyone else, have felt the warm fuzzies for the generosity of Timothy. Kids are cooler than we often give them credit for.

  34. I have to say that I am hopelessly in love with your husband. I’m the big softy in my family and hearing about his troubles just makes me want to cry! Any real man that can love a fish that much surely can’t be bad.

  35. TrickyTricot — sorry, I know that at least one man has won something. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Your fish story combined with cryonics is reminding me of a funny/disturbing thing I overheard in a restaurant the other day. Apparently there was an office fish that was dying, and someone decided to put it out of its misery by freezing it (as I said, disturbing). Later another person encountered the frozen fish and said, “Hey, so-and-so, can you get your fish out of the freezer?” And the person replied, “It’s not _my_ fish. I’m the one who killed it.”
    So, you can tell Joe that things could have been much worse.

  36. Stephanie,
    I find that if you are true to your lace – treating it with the admiration it deserves – it will respond in kind.
    Snowdrop Rose – my dusty rose version of your Snowdrop Shawl, returned today (after almost 2 months) from her trip to Cuba. Cudos to the folks at Sunwing, who brought her home.
    So – speak nicely to your Flower Basket Lace. You never know when she may have to decide if it’s to be you a life with you, or the beach!!
    A big hug for Joe.

  37. I feel your pain of being in the fish crisis. on Sunday, my fish Arthur Dent passed away to the Great Tank in the Sky, after lying on his side for several days at the bottom of his tank, refusing to eat or move. Arthur had been a good friend and companion for several months. My friend, Alex, who owns another betta fish called SeaWolf because he truly is a Wolf of the Sea in his eating voracity, repeatly tried to get me to purchase $15 fish medicine. Arthur himself cost roughly $5 after tax. Because I would not spend the money to buy this medicine (I am, alas, a poor college student and Arthur himself was a splurge), which probably wouldn’t have helped anyway, I was called a cruel and terrible human being. There was an analogy drawn, a hurtful analogy between the plight of Arthur and possible plight of future children.
    Good luck with Joe; I’m building up the resources to buy Ford Prefect next, I can only hope he’ll be hardier ๐Ÿ™‚ We too had a lovely toilet bowl ceremony for Arthur, complete with an offering of dried shrimp.

  38. So sorry about the loss of sharkbait. Our dear fish Meredith – who had been dragged across the US at least twice and was part of our family for seven years – was finally euthanized by my distraught DH last fall. It was a difficult task, but he didn’t want to see her in pain. She’s now buried under an aspen tree in our yard.
    p.s. the clapotis is lovely.

  39. My condolences to Joe. I just lost my Betta, Max. It was my first fish, and I thought I’d just find him floating one day. Instead, the poor thing lingered on the bottom of his bowl for over a week, while I was as bad as Joe, at a loss as to what to do. Max finally passed on Friday, and we had a beautiful springlike day Saturday when he was laid to rest with my lilies. Rest in peace, Max and Sharkbait.

  40. I feel for Joe. I took a turtle to the vet once because he didn’t look too good. He was about the size of a potato chip. The funny thing was, the vet had done some work with turtles before coming to small animals and recognized that he had a Vitamin A deficiency. We changed his diet and he got special Vitamin A eyedrops, but it was too late for him, he died anyway. Our Golden Retriever took it the hardest.
    Love the Clapotis. If they freeze your head, is there room in there for yarn? Just asking.

  41. Poor Joe. Poor Sharkbait. Too bad we just can’t fool men the same as we can with small children by getting a new fish the looks the same and swapping their places … Give Joe my condolances. ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Steph, if I were you, I’d be keeping a very close eye on that hamster. I can’t imagine how inconsolable Joe would be if it were to fall ill.
    I want to give Tim a big ole hug for showing us all that charitible thinking knows no age.

  43. Susan, my sympathies on the loss of the Betta, Max. Just a thought, though: how old does it make me that I get the pun in his name?

  44. Stephanie,
    I liked colors of the first Clap better. I made mine with slubby rayon and it was a wee bit of a challenge to get the dropped stitches to run. All it took was the insertion of a knitting needle at the point it stopped and then it was off and running again.
    I preordered the book book book can it be remailed to you for the author’s signiture? What kind of chocolate or coffee is your favorite????
    Holly in CT

  45. The gansey would help him get over Sharkbait’s passing. I’m sure of it. Just ask him. Even just a little progess on the gansey.
    And the Clap just doesn’t suit Joe. He might not forgive you if you gave it to him.

  46. Condolences.
    You can’t tell – but I’m snickering. I was in a proper mood to offer my sympathies at your (OK. Joe’s) grief. Then, your comments happened, and I can no longer think of anything but Sharkbait – ooh ah ah.
    Oh – and the grand blog conspiracy to show neat things to everyone to get them to knit more cool things is NOT WORKING on me today. Not starting new things until current things are done. (If I keep telling myself this, I won’t start things, right?)

  47. Poor Fishie
    Yay Timothy
    Good thing you bought that Crunch Fitness video I think you have lots of chocolate coming your way soon.

  48. Ah, sit us sit and talk about the deaths of fish … My best to Joe. I feel his pain. We do not have fish anymore. Enough is enough.
    I cannot, however, wallow in grief since I am, for once, a WINNER. What will I make? Who knows. But I will wind it very, very carefully. Maybe a Fiddlesticks pattern!! I adore Blue Heron Yarns. It was a sad day when they stopped listing their yarns on e-bay. EVen sadder the day I realized that they were NEVER going to do wool again — after all they are based in Maryland. I horde in my stash several skeins of Blue Heron wool in the Eggplant colorway which is my absolute favorite. SOMEDAY I will make something out of it.
    Hey, do you think the Clapotis would work with a rayon chenille? I have some BH rayon chenille as well but could not knit it without instant worms but maybe dropping stitches would help!

  49. Poor Joe. I had to take a minute just to imagine a man being so torn up over a fish. At least Same has moved on. I’ve never actually knit lace, but I do love that it looks like tangles and mess and then it gets blocked and kazaaam! It’s beautiful.

  50. After reading your blog earlier today, my ears perked up when I was listening to NPR while making dinner. It seems that there are, indeed, people who will spend insane amounts of money on surgeries for their goldfish:
    One woman spent over $400 on medical intervention for her $5 goldfish. Now…I know that money is never a true measure of worth, and a $5 fish could mean the world to someone…but heck, $400 would buy me a lot of yarn.
    (Not to mention how ridiculous it is that “we” can pay for surgeries for our fish when millions of people in our world lack basic health care. Sigh.)

  51. oh no! i am just listening to NPR. they are doing surgery on a goldfish! a specialist in fish medicine in north carolina. $100-500 per fish. but Stephanie, think of the airfare to have sent Joe and Sharkbait there. Altho’ I guess that Sharkbait wouldn’t actually require a ticket for his bowl. But he certainly couldn’t go baggage. This woman paid $400 for her goldfish, “dragonboy” Don’t tell Joe. I can’t believe that I am telling you this much less than I heard it on the radio!

  52. I was writing to tell you about the NPR goldfish surgery story, but someone beat me to it. I agree w/her parenthetical at the end. Very funny, if warped, story (NPR, not you).
    I will add terrific for Timothy! And, in a similar vein, my 7 year old son attends the Friends (Quaker) School here in SF and they had an assembly a few weeks ago at which the children decided to give the contents of the school “penny jar” to the Red Cross for tsunami relief. My son came home and decided to donate almost all of his saved allowance/tooth fairy/gift money to the Red Cross. He donated $28.01! (My 5 1/2 year old daughter, on the other hand, had to be begged by my husband to give $3.)
    Can’t wait to see the completed Clapotis.

  53. I do not, unfortunately, give a rat’s ramsom about poor Sharkbait, who no doubt lived a fish’s Valhalla while alive. Joe, on the other hand, is killing me.
    Still. You couldn’t protect him from The Passing of the Sharkbait — but please, please, don’t let him read today’s comments. He’ll give one “Aw, Steph,” and disappear to Newfoundland, only to be recalled by massive choruses of Donkey Riding — or Squid-jigging Ground, or Lukey, or…And we’d sing, we’d sing.

  54. I feel Joe’s pain–I hate losing something that I’m supposed to be responsible for . . . however, that pain cannot be compared to standing at my office mate’s desk at 11 am this morning and having her scream, point at her computer and say “LOOK!!!” She had an e-mail from Steph–she was a winner! To which I responded with a big, fat raspberry (I’m so jealous)! The funny thing is that she has sworn she would probably never try knitting lace, and now she is the winner of the smoke ring pattern and the alpaca! She changed her tune so fast you could see the skid marks . . . .
    I wonder what the odds would be for both of us to win something . . . .

  55. SOmehow just knowing that the Harlot has succombed to the lure of clapotis makes the fact that I started one last night seem so much less pathetic and hanger-on. And man, a kid who will send his christmas money to MSF – that kid deserves the mittens and so much more. Whoever parent’s that child deserves a medal, or chocolate, or something!

  56. Hello Steph – have surreptisiously enjoyed your blog. My other half comments that your “sharkbait” entry is “sick, just sick”, but he then just doesn’t understand us fiber-folk. Personally it harkens me back to my own “Sparky” the beta… and the now “n-o-n-a-m-e” beta we have had survive TWO (yes, 2!) years in the minuscule glass bowl. God I wish he would die – I feel so bad for the poor critter. Keep on knitting!

  57. Ah, someone (a few someones) beat me to the NPR story on fish medicine! Condolences on the loss of Sharkbait…and, a question: how come you are dropping your stitches already on your clapotis? What do you know that I don’t know? Wait, don’t answer that–you are the goddess of knitting and I am a mere apprentice. But can I start unraveling before the pattern says I can? Will I have more fun if I do?

  58. Stephanie,
    Sorry to hear about the fish. I remember when our own ‘Prince Phillip’ left us.
    .. oh, and tag.. you’re it. You get to do the ‘music quiz’ now. I’m sure you’re as thrilled as i was. ๐Ÿ™‚ sorry in advance… but I am looking forward to your song selections.

  59. I’m sorry. My first pet was a beta I purchased with Christmas money sent by my grandma when I was little. We had him for 3 or so years, and I remember very vividly his slow demise. It’s no fun. As heartless as it sounds, quickly replacing the old with a new does wonders and fills the void. Much quicker than it should.
    I myself am very much a fish person. We live in a very small house, and I have two tanks. Although my fish fancy is now fed by goldfish, not betas, tell your dear, sweet man that his concern is touching, and I understand.

  60. (ooh-ha ha ha OOH ha ha ha…)
    RAMS, you’re such a gentle soul. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But hey, anybody who knows the “Squid Jigging” song (and knits, AND has your wits) will just have to be forgiven for being crass.
    Alas, “Nimbus” the Beta travelled across NY state 3yrs running to and from college. I used to put him in his eensy-traveling bowl, cellophane the top with a rubberband, poke a few holes in the cellophane, and then put it in the toe of a gym sock and carry it in my coat on the Greyhound bus…for 6hours. People on the bus were HYSTERICAL when I’d take him out of my armpit, stick a finger in his bowl to make sure his water wasn;t getting cold (no germs there, eh?) etc.
    I don’t remember being upset when he died…but then again, I was in college and had bigger “fish” to fry, so to speak. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Rock ON Clapotii! I may attempt one yet.
    From one Frozen Head to the next…

  61. “Squid Jigging Ground” that is. (I can’t just leave that inaccuracy dangling out there…)

  62. Our last remaining gerbil died this morning. He had a long and happy life and, apparently, a peaceful passing. Since he ostensibly ‘belonged’ to our younger son (12), I foresee a visit to the pet store in short order…
    Stephanie, thank you for posting all the Clapotis references on Friday. Although I had seen the pattern in Knitty when it came out, I had failed to see the potential in the pattern until you posted all the pointers to so many variations. I don’t care whether or not it’s a net.trend, I decided I liked it, and have knitted one in fuschia/purple/blue Venezia cotton, and it has come out quite nicely. I, too, dispensed with stitch markers, but it didn’t occur to me to use purl stitches to mark the droppable stitches – you get into the rhythm pretty easily, and it’s not too hard to figure out where you are even if you lose the place. However, the purling seemed like a good idea to me, so I switched half-way through when you suggested it. My 12-year-old (former gerbil-owning) knitting assistant says to tell you that the knit stitches are *way* easier and *way* more fun to unravel than the purled ones. On his advice, it’ll be knit all the way if I do it a second time.

  63. Our last remaining gerbil died this morning. He had a long and happy life and, apparently, a peaceful passing. Since he ostensibly ‘belonged’ to our younger son (12), I foresee a visit to the pet store in short order…
    Stephanie, thank you for posting all the Clapotis references on Friday. Although I had seen the pattern in Knitty when it came out, I had failed to see the potential in the pattern until you posted all the pointers to so many variations. I don’t care whether or not it’s a net.trend, I decided I liked it, and have knitted one in fuschia/purple/blue Venezia cotton, and it has come out quite nicely. I, too, dispensed with stitch markers, but it didn’t occur to me to use purl stitches to mark the droppable stitches – you get into the rhythm pretty easily, and it’s not too hard to figure out where you are even if you lose the place. However, the purling seemed like a good idea to me, so I switched half-way through when you suggested it. My 12-year-old (former gerbil-owning) knitting assistant says to tell you that the knit stitches are *way* easier and *way* more fun to unravel than the purled ones. On his advice, it’ll be knit all the way if I do it a second time.

  64. I’m so sorry for Joe’s loss.
    Apart from that, I think it must be nature rebalancing. I have your part of the world down as the place in The Shipping News, i.e. a beautiful place, but no place for battle fish (that’s what we call them in Norway, anyway, the black goldfihslike creatures with big ruffly tails). Your place, in my head, is for cod, pollock and those kinds of fishes.

  65. My sympathies about Sharkbait. It seems to be in the air; we lost both guppies this week and I know the water quality was decent. Could my betta, Howard, or the new huge snail have harassed them to death? I hope the two catfish survive.
    Spring will bring Joe new hope.
    Or not.

  66. You know, it’s pretty bad when I can’t remember if I left a comment or not. I certainly commented in my head when I read this entry yesterday. You probably did not hear that though, did you?
    My sypmathies on the passing of Sharkbait.

  67. A tribute: “Sharkbait – whoo ha ha.”
    Our Beta – “Ace Tomato” – seemed to know we were going on vacation this summer and jumped out of his bowl the day before we left. I found him the next morning and HE WAS STILL MOVING… after what must have been hours. I totally freaked out and woke the whole house up screaming… then made my fortunately not quite so soft hearted husband deal with it while I fled for work.

  68. I had missed seeing your posts on the Knit list and somehow missed finding out that you had this blog site. I discovered it 2 weeks ago and have had a wonderful time catching up. I also ordered your book. Can’t get enough of your work. Wonderful!
    I said that before didn’t I?

  69. HA whu ah hee AH ho ho ho, HA whu ah hee AH ho ho ho… (sorry, couldn’t help it.)
    While I’m sorry that the fish died, I can’t help reminding myself that IMHO, fish, in general, are just high-maintenance decorations. Not exactly the most interesting choice of pet. But then again, my family has THREE dogs, who will start wreaking havoc when any two of them are in the same room. Not to mention Holly (our “Westie”) goes berserk whenever someone shines my dad’s laser level on the floor. Even after it’s been turned off, the dog continues to follow me around, as if to say “WHEREISITWHEREISITWHEREISIT?!”. Fun times.
    (P.S. I don’t knit (I might learn sometime, shame on me), but I enjoy reading the blog. I blame my mom. :P)

  70. Thanks so much for all the nice comments,but I don’t
    deserve it.My school was donating money to Manatee
    Elementry wich is in Florida and it got hit real bad by some huricans and it got me thinking about what I’d do next time something like that happend and when I heard about the tsunami I had to donate.
    Thanks again, Timothy

  71. Excuse me, Timothy, but you do deserve all the nice things that have been said about you. And you deserve the mittens, too, even though you won’t use them very much in Florida!

  72. Sorry to hear about Sharkbait; I, too, once had a beta fish, and remember how hard it was to watch him die. I’d been away (getting fish updates from the people watching him (he had a whole slew of names but “Killer” was the only one that really stuck)) and he waited until I returned to finally kick the bucket. He was my last beta fish and I can’t bring myself to get another one. (I’ve also been lucky enough to own the world’s best hampster, and after she died at the ripe old age of 2 1/2, vow never again to own another one. there’s just no way the new one could match the antics of Emma.)
    I’ve seen the felted Noro fish at several yarn stores and would love a reason to knit one up if you think it’d help Joe!

  73. Love your blog !
    As a fellow Montrealer I am always happy to find out about my neighbour knitters
    Keep your good job – I have entered your site in my favorites..

  74. I had a lovely fish ( a giant goldfish) in college that I named Creamsicle. Well, after a happy life of 1 1/2 years, Creamsicle became smitten with disease. He turned black and got “bloat” which basically means his intestines filled with air and he could only swim upside-down. I called my father, who has kept aquariums his whole life. When I told him that Creamsicle had turned black, he laughed and said, “I guess you should have named him Fudgesicle, huh?” Thanks Dad. Then, I told him he could only swim upside down and he told me, “Mar, don’t get attached to fish. Flush it and get a new one.” Problem was, my roommate and I were both vegetarians, she had been raised Buddhist, and we thought just throwing it in the trash, leaving it gasping for air was too cruel, and Creamsicle was way too big to be flushed down the toilet without risking clogging. So we called the pet shop and asked for the most humane way to kill a fish… which is: fill a ziplock baggie with water from the tank, put the fish in there, zip it closed, and freeze it. I could not believe the coincidence of having named my beloved fish Creamsicle only to put it to death by freezer, but there you go.

  75. Jenny B? Could you contact me please? I’d like to send you the cashmere/silk hank (though after Stephanie’s rapturous description I kinda with I could keep it! :D), but need your information. Email me please at perclexed at hotmail dot com? Thank you!

  76. As a knitter and aquarist i was sorry to hear about Sharkbait ๐Ÿ™ My daughters bettas are doing well, Indigo and Opalesence (both females) are lovely, colorful girls (yes pretty girls). I’ve considered getting them a boyfriend, but can’t choose a color.
    My own Sharkbait is a female platy and is doing well.
    Glad to hear that knitters are fishy people too.

  77. firstly of course, i’m so sorry to hear about sharkbait. i used to have a large aquarium, and some of the more, well, pet-like fish did actually get a burial, or wakes, or whatever was deemed necessary. many got the funeral flush. i’m now sticking with mammals which are ultimately easier and i find them more rewarding.
    but what i really wanted to say is you may have saved my knitting soul with the comment about how lace work looks like a big pile of poop (paraphrased due to short attention span) before blocking. i’m just starting ene’s scarf from scarf style – a big-ish lace wrap, my first lace, and i would certainly have been in tears by the time i got several inches done had i realized just how important blocking was. i thought it looked a bit more proper during the creation stages.
    it’s the small things. thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

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