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.