Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dog Show Weekend #2

Gunnar and I had our second-ever show weekend this past weekend.

I don't have a "before, before" picture but suffice it to say that he was a good, muddy, mess prior to going to the Groomer for a "professional" bath.

My friends at Taboo Tibetan Mastiffs helped me with his "show" grooming again.

Gunnar was looking pretty darn handsome by the time we were finished with him.

He won Winner's Dog and Best Opposite Best of Winners both days for two points toward his Championship.  On Saturday, he also won Best Puppy, which meant we got to compete in a puppy-version of the Working Group.

If you're unfamiliar with AKC dog shows... All of the entrants for each breed compete against each other for Best of Breed, then all of the Best of Breeds compete against each other in their respective groups.  For Tibetan Mastiffs this is the Working Group.  The dogs that win their Group compete against each other for Best in Show.

There are a lot of points and accolades available for the dogs that do well in the Groups or Best in Show competitions.  As Best Puppy, we competed in a puppy-version which is more just for the experience.

Our ring times were very early, so there was a lot of waiting around for the Group Competitions...

I did a little "show grooming" all by myself.  :-)

Yes, I was able to coax him onto the table all by my lonesome.  Which is a bit of a challenge since he is not allowed on the furniture at home and is now well beyond my weight-lifting capacity.  ;-)

Over the two days of the show, Gunnar made lots of friends... both human and canine.  I lost track of how many people came up to talk to him or to me about him.  They all commented about how neat it was that he is so easy going, mellow and friendly for such a big, impressive-looking dog.

Gunnar got to visit with his breeder again, who he adores, and got to see many of his puppy-friends from class.

I am so, very proud of him.  He handled the noise, attention, waiting around and many females in heat extremely well.  He also performed well, held his stack and stayed upright his entire time in the ring.  :-)

By the end of the weekend, were both good and tired.

The Fluffy Puppy is happy to be back with his alpacas and playing in the mud.  :-)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fiber Arts Friday: Fixing Mistakes

Something looks a little funny on my Palindrome Scarf.

My first thought was that I made a purl stitch when I should have made a knit stitch, but it doesn't exactly look like a purl.

So I worked up to the column with the strange stitch.

Removed the stitch from the left needle.

Dropped the column.

All the way down to the strange stitch, which is still looking strange.

Then dropped it one more stitch and found a big loop.  Hmmm... I wonder how I did that?

Then I replaced the dropped knit stitches using a similar sized crochet hook.

All the way back up the column.

Then returned the stitch to the left needle,

and finished working to the end of the row.

Then wove the strange loop into the fabric.

Almost unable to tell there was anything weird. ;-)

But I suppose I should check the gauge on my crochet hook.... the replaced stitches look a little small.  :-/

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fiber Arts Friday: Palindrome Scarf

Like many good knitters, I am not able to keep only one thing on the needles...  ;-)  and for some reason, scarf-like objects seem to have captured my fancy.

So even though I am primarily working on my Alpaca Cape, I did cast on the Palindrome Scarf almost as soon as I finished the Acadian Shawl.

I had started this pattern with my Donegal Wool a while back, but that yarn is too scratchy to use against the neck and I love the Yak-Merino I used for the Elevation Profile Scarf, Man Hat and Acadian Shawl.

Between the three colors I had 4 1/4 ounces left and since blocking adds a lot of length with this yarn, I think it will work out.  Although, one of the yarn shops nearby carries the same brand... if I find I really need one more skein.  I'm certain I could find one in a complimentary color... perhaps, red.  ;-)

In the meantime, love the three colors together and I love the simplicity of this pattern.

So this project is doing two things for me... 1. using up left over yarn and 2. allowing me to practice purling correctly.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Technical Difficulties

The video from yesterday's post is not viewable in Feedly (my Google Reader replacement), email or on the mobile version of this blog.  It just shows up as a big white space on those platforms.

It does show up on the blog, itself.

I guess, I'll be doing some research.  :-/

Monday, October 14, 2013

While We're on the Subject...

Hat Tip to Voie de Vie for pointing me to this Guinness Advertisement.

Hubba used to play basketball, so I can tell you this is the real deal.  :-)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Thoughts on Ironside

Hubba was very much looking forward to watching the new version of the TV Series, Ironside.  He was a big fan of the old series and is a fan of Blair Underwood.

I don't think I ever saw the old series and I'm generally not one for Cop Dramas... at least not the CSI/NCIS/Law&Order franchises.  I may be the only one who's not a fan of those shows... but I could never watch even one entire episode.... the dialog just drives me nuts.

But Hubba really wanted to watch Ironside.  So we did last week.  I'm not sure if it was the first or second episode.

I find it interesting because some of the people we know are very upset that an able-bodied person was cast in the role of a wheelchair user.  It's not something that either one of us thought about, and certainly don't see any issue with it.

We see it as a positive... a lead role uses a wheelchair, during prime time, on network TV, and is being played by a very, good actor.  The chair is part of the story, but it is not THE story.

Mr. Underwood's chair skills are very good.  He does not seem awkward... and as he says, the character "wears the chair" just like able-bodied folks wear shoes.

The dialog was better than I expected, the character development is still immature and in my opinion they left some of the cop stuff out in order to spend more time on the "life in and before the chair."

I'm optimistic.

My opinion is that if this show does well, then there will be (1) more awareness of people in chairs, (2) some understanding of the obstacles they face, (3) that most people who use chairs are not invalids or helpless and (4) they are productive members of society.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fiber Arts Friday: Alpaca Cape

I was trolling through Ravelry last month trying to decide if I really wanted to make Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitted Garter Stitch Blanket with the yarn I had set aside for it.

Hubba had given me ~1200 yards of a black baby alpaca yarn a while back.  I thought that I would either make a sweater or the blanket, but it's one of those things that never quite sat right with me, so I had not cast anything on.

Then I found this....

It's almost a blanket, but not really... I don't really need another blanket anyway.  It's one thing that we have plenty of.

I am very much a less-is-more kind of girl... and I enjoy cables.  So I think this cape/shawl is simple enough to work on while chatting but has just enough going on to keep it interesting and to add a little drama to the finished product.

I'm a little over half-way through ball 1 of 10, so this is going to be a long-term project.  ;-)

Happy Fiber Arts Friday.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fiber Arts Friday: Acadian Shawl, part 4

I finished up the Acadian Shawl over the weekend.

Wove in the ends, removed the Life Lines and Blocked it.

I was going back and forth about weather to severely block this shawl with blocking wires or just to stretch and flatten...  I opted for stretch and flatten.

Dimensions prior to blocking:  54.5 x 14.5 inches

Dimensions during blocking:  74.5 x 12.5 inches

It might seem strange that it's 2 inches narrower after blocking, but it is 20 inches longer.  ;-)

This fabric has a very nice drape, but I am seeing there might be a benefit to having a mannequin.  ;-)

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Slow Living: September 2013

Well, September has been quite an adventure.

We announced our planned litter, then decided to cancel it for this year, but we are planning the same match up for next year.

We came out relatively unscathed by the Colorado Floods.  We are very grateful that I have a mostly-work-remotely Day Job and exceedingly grateful for the location of our home.

View of our place after the Flood

September installment for the Slow Living Project.

NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch overpackaged, over-processed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead. Share favourite links/recipes/tips from the month here.

Hubba still does most of the cooking, but I've been feeling more inspired in this area.  With plenty of root vegetables available at the Farmer's Market now... beets and beans, especially have been on our plates.

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve. Freeze extra meals or excess garden/market produce. Bottle/can, dehydrate or pickle foods to enjoy when they are not in season. Aim to reduce dependency on store bought items especially those known to contain BPA and other suspect additives. Stocking up on dry goods when prices are low counts too.

We didn't do much for preparations this month, but were happy that our lifestyle means that most of our necessities were in stores when the flood came.

We were not expecting that much water and had a few other things in the works, so we were short on both hay and dog food.

Fortunately we were able to reach town and the Feed Store which got us over the bulk of the road closures and then were able to schedule a hay delivery for last week.

Now that the water has been absorbed, I've been able to begin garden preparations for winter.  Which is good since our first snow is forecasted for later this week.

REDUCE/Reuse/Re-purpose/Repair: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing. A ladder into a strawberry planter? A sheet into a dress? Share ideas and project links here, allowing others to be inspired.

Hubba has been dealing with a progressive suspension failure on his car for quite a long time.  We had been considering replacing it, because repairing the air suspension correctly would cost more than the car is worth.  However the car as a whole, is in good shape otherwise.  So a little research found us a retrofit package that would replace the air suspension with a more traditional suspension.  Still an expensive proposition but significantly less expensive than a new(er) car.

It took some time to get the parts and work coordinated, but it was completed yesterday!  

GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies. The options are endless, the savings huge and the health benefits enormous.

Not junking our current car for a newer car.

GROW: plant/harvest. What's growing this month? What's being eaten from the garden? Herbs in a pot, sprouts on a windowsill or and entire fruit/vegetable garden -opt for what fits space and time constraints. Don't have a backyard? Ask a friendly neighbour or relative for a small patch of theirs in return for some home grown produce, they may surprise you!

Our Puppy is getting huge.... He's 7 1/2 months old now, and can sit while drinking water from the alpaca's water tank.

CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others. Create something as simple as a handmade gift tag or something as extravagant as a fine knit shawl. Share project details and any new skills learnt here.

There's been some knitting... I'm nearly finished with this shawl.

DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests. Trawl libraries, second hand shops or local book shops to find titles that fill the need. Share titles/authors of what is being read this month.

ENHANCE: community: Possibilities include supporting local growers and producers, help out at a local school/kindergarten, barter or foodswap, joining a playgroup or forming a walking or craft group. Car pooling where possible and biking/walking instead of driving. Even start up a blog if you haven't already - online communities count too! Or maybe just help out someone trying to cross the street! The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold.

Helped the neighbor with his Hops Harvest

ENJOY: Life! Embrace moments with friends and family. Marking the seasons, celebrations and new arrivals are all cause for enjoyment. Share a moment to be remembered from the month here.

I managed a lunch out with a girl friend over the Labor Day Weekend while our Husbands did some guy stuff.  There was also a long overdue dinner with our nephew and a few days at the Farmer's Market and Knit Night.