Monday, February 23, 2009

We have set up a full website so this blog will be moved to there:

Please visit us there!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Show Results Pomona and 11/22/08

Before I get into my show results I wanted to post a link to the cutest baby pictures ever. These are baby Lionhead rabbits which I think end up being the cutest of all rabbits when they are babies. Here's the link: Even if you don't have a Lionhead you can appreciate the cuteness of the pictures.

Ok, back to the shows. We went to Pomona on November 22, 2008 as our first show that we were entered in. The first thing we did is traumatize this cute little bunny (above) by getting her ear tattoo. I had to make it worse by picking a long tattoo for a bun with very short ears. The problem is I research too much and had read an article about what info to put in the tattoo. It never occurred to me that the person who wrote the article could have something like a Flemish Giant or a Lop, not a breed with specific dq's for long ears. Oh well, she is fine now and it all fit.

Second thing we did is go get an ex-pen so that we could spring the poor babies from their bunny prison otherwise known as their transport cage. Here is Fluffy & then Milky Way in their lower security bunny prison:

It's funny when we have both of them together everyone stops and thinks they are mother and daughter because of their size difference. Milky has started getting territorial with everyone except Fluffy, so I think maybe they think so too. It's too funny to watch Fluffy cuddle up to Milky or Milky to go lay over Fluffy. You can't really distinguish who is who at that point.

Ok, so Milky was entered in both A & B show for English Angora Junior doe. Here is her second show:

Here she is being judged:This is her deciding between Milky and her sister with the cute tassels. Also my breeder, Denise Barnes, is the one clerking. She was the one who talked me into showing Milky when I was originally just buying her for wool.

I love this picture because this is where Milky got her second leg! She won 1st and Best of Breed in both shows. I'm not sure why I didn't take any pictures of the first one, but it was probably nerves.

This is Milky's sister who got second. I love her furnishings. She's got the cutest bangs and tassels. Hopefully Milky's will get as full as hers.

Now to the not so great news that Fluffy got dq'd in her show. I figured that was possible, but wanted to hear the judges comments so it was still worth it. We got some really good feedback on her so I can't wait until her mane is ready to show. I think she is possibly 2 weeks away judging by how it looks this week. I can totally see the difference in her mane and the rest of her fuzzy body, but I see her every day and can see her changes. Here are her show pics :

Talk about bunny prison!

There was a cavie show at the same time and as Mackenzie and I walked by we noticed something weird about one of these three:

Here is me after all is said and done spinning and waiting for the Best in Show judging.

I'll post more later. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cuddlebuns & Bunny Butts

There is nothing cuter than a bunny butt!

Here are tonights adventures:

Wake up!

Just kidding! I wasn't really sleeping.

Here's what happens when you mix dogs and bunnies (bunnies win btw):

This is Minnie Mouse. She goes by Mini because she is Mini Me to Dakota. We rescued her from the local pound. The mix of her two breeds (PINCHI = Chihuahua & Mini Pinscher) have created nearly the perfect dog for us. She is the smallest of our dogs & I always say she thinks she is a Rottweiler. The only thing is that she is terrified of cats (and therefore rabbits). She won't even look at a cat most of the time because if she doesn't acknowledge it's presence then it doesn't exist. She was this way before she came to us, but my husband's really old cat who hides around a corner and picks the dogs off as they come through didn't help. The other day I heard our 80 lb. Golden Retriever whining. When I went to investigate, the 6 lb. cat had her trapped in the bathroom.

Help Me!!! Get this evil little monkey away from me!!


Belle & the Bunny...

Belle thinks everyone is her puppy. She loves babies so much that puppies used to break into our yard just to play with her. That is actually how we got Dakota (that's a long story for another post).

One of the (only) good things about having bad air in Bakersfield is that the sky becomes a beautiful color on a regular basis. I took this the other day on my way home. My other passion is painting & I have been having a lot of fun with painting shadows up against a sunset.

Here is a similar one I did:

More later.

Baby girl & Shows

Another post on the bunnies: Here is a picture of Mackenzie and Fluffy.

Can you tell they love each other?! She got so mad at me that I groomed her bunny the other day that she took the brush back out and re-groomed her. She also made a point to tell me that Fluffy is much calmer about being groomed when she does it, not me. Since Fluffy is only 9 weeks old she isn't very calm when I groom her, but Mackenzie is right Fluffy sits still when she does it.

So, the whole rabbit project started over a year ago with me wanting an Angora for the wool because of my spinning obsession. At the time I couldn't find anything closer than 4 hours to me so I put it on hold due to the high gas prices. Then, my son raised a pig through FFA and showed it at the Kern County Fair this past summer. While we were watching him Mackenzie discovered the rabbit barn and fell in love. I told her that she will most likely have this rabbit until she is a teenager so she really needed to make a good decision. Both her (she googled a bunch of stuff on rabbits and found all kinds of information that I didn't even think she was capable of understanding at 7 years old) and I did a lot of research and took a couple of months to come to the point of purchasing her 4H rabbit. We decided she would get a smaller breed for easier handling. Then we went to a rabbit show in Lancaster, walked all the way around looking at what was available, and she ended up back at the first bunny she looked at.

It was at that show that we really started to understand the world of rabbit shows. I was under the impression that this was a once a year County Fair thing. Boy was I wrong! We talked about it and both want to show our bunnies on a regular basis. So, I looked at what shows are still happening in 2008 and the two I was really interested in are on the same weekend. This weekend we will be driving about 2 hours south to go to a show in Pomona, and then the next day about 2 hours (from home) north to Fresno. I guess what happens at those two shows will determine what we will be doing the rest of the year. Her bunny is still a little young to be showing, but I want to get our feet wet.

We definitely have bunny fever now! As anyone who knows me more than 5 minutes can tell I do everything about 110%. Now we are looking into breeding and also getting enough angoras to create and sell a line of angora sock yarn.

Not to be left out here is a picture of Milky Way resting after being groomed (you know it takes a lot out of a Diva to look so beautiful).

I'll post about the show and pictures afterward.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Reviving the blog!

I haven't been doing a lot of posting and kind of forgot about the blog. Now I have a totally new reason to be posting: Bunnies! My daughter and I entered the realm of show bunnies this month by purchasing an English Angora bunny and a Lion Head bunny. What else would a knitter and spinner do with the angora bunny but use it to spin?!

When we brought the bunnies home the kitten, Harley, (we had just rescued from being abandoned by it's momma outside our yard) was really upset at these things hopping around and on her. By the time the little Lion head, Fluffy, decided to take a nap in Harley's house she had given up. Within a few minutes Harley and Fluffy were cuddling:

My English Angora already had a name that I liked: Milky Way. She was born in July of this year and was in need of grooming. I got a great deal on her paying only a fraction of what I would expect for this type of bunny. Although, with all of the precious buns at the Lancaster show we went to I probably would have picked another one if the price was higher. I'm so glad it worked out the way it did. She is a beautiful girl now that she is groomed and will become more beautiful as her fur comes back in where I had to cut out the matts. Her personality is so cute! Most of the time she just lays on my lap, but she has what I think of as a teenager attitude. She gets upset at carrots and after taking a few munches she'll try to throw them away from her. She also gets upset at the baby keys I got for her. It's so funny when she throws them away from her & out of her crate if the door is open. Here is a pic of her cuteness sitting on my lap. If you look in the upper left hand corner of the picture you'll see my chihuahua (Daisy) pouting because the rabbit took her place on my lap:

I am so loving this bunny thing that I'm considering starting a breeding and wooler program with more English Angoras. When I started looking into this a year ago I was really interested in how everyone says these bunnies have a great personality and will basically sit still for grooming. If you haven't experienced this you can't imagine that it could possibly be true. Prior to getting these bunnies I only had experience with mixed, mostly meat, bunnies that are more on the wild side. These guys are nicer than my cat! They are so easy to handle they are a dream. I've read pros and cons to having Angoras as pets and read one dire post about how they take an hour a day to groom and aren't good pets because of the maintenance required. My experience so far is it takes about 5-10 minutes a night to get her coat in good shape after my initial grooming of her the day I brought her home. Most of the websites I've seen recommend grooming once a week. I agree that they take more grooming than the average rabbit, but they are so easy to handle I don't think it is a big deal for a responsible pet owner. I'm so addicted to cuddling with both of these bunnies I find myself wanting to go straight home just so that I can do that.
I have some cute videos but my computer is taking forever to upload them. I'll try again later from another computer. I'll post again soon... I promise... no really... I will...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

High School Colors Scarf

I have done this scarf/stitch pattern in many variations. A friend/coworker saw me doing a similar one in a slightly different pattern and she mentioned that her birthday is in November and she would love one done in the colors of the high school we both went to (which is called East High, so my daughter thinks we are really cool since the High School Musical movie is set in "East High").

With the advent of Ravelry I have finally been pushing myself to write down what I do so here it is. The first time I did this pattern it was a Scarf Club at a local yarn shop. I have taken the stitch pattern from that original scarf/shawl and put it in to this scarf to show off any School/Team colors. I like the way it makes little +'s. The stitch pattern is truly addictive, I have made several scarves, that original wrap and put it into a blanket pattern as well. The pattern also works really well with different weights of yarn. The wrap I did had a tape yarn and a strand of lace weight mohair. I have also seen it done with a chenille and a boucle that was georgeous. Once you get the original scarf done experiment with some swatches and pull a couple of skeins out of your stash. This is such an easy pattern you could make several by Christmas. I did one for my sons teacher and she emailed me a year later (after he was out of her class) with more thanks because she loved it so much.

Feel free to email with any questions:

High School Colors Scarf
Size 8 (5.00 mm) straight needles
Main Color: 1 skein of Dark Horse Fantasy Yarn Red
Contrast Color: 1 skein of Dark Horse Fantasy Yarn Royal Blue
Any hard cover book about 8" tall for fringe.
Crochet hook for adding fringe.

Because I wanted to knit to the end of my skeins without wondering if I had enough for fringe I cut my fringe before I started knitting. I like really long fringe and I wanted it to be long enough to be able to trim it to an even length so I wrapped around an 8" tall book and only cut one side of the wrap leaving an approximately 16" strand. I originally wrapped the two strands (one from each ball) of yarn 60 times, but that didn't look like enough so I ended up going to 90 wraps which leaves 45 strands of each color for each end. Once I started putting this on I realized that was a lot. I think you could probably get away with around 70 wraps. See tutorial link below for directions on how to do fringe.

With MC cast on 31 stitches.
Knit 2 rows.

Row 1: With MC knit 3,*sl 1 stitch, knit 3*, repeat from * to * to last 4 stitches: sl 1 stitch, knit 3. (first and last 3 stitches form garter stitch edge.)
Row 2: Knit 3, knit the knit stitches and slip the slip stitches (with yarn to the back to keep the yarn floats to the back of the work) to the last 3 stitches, Knit 3.
Row 3: Change to CC, knit 5, *sl 1 stitch, knit 3* repeat from * to * to last 5 stitches, knit 5. What you want to watch for in this row and each row you change colors is that the slip stitch from the previous row should be the middle stitch of your knit 3.
Row 4: Knit 5, knit the knit stitches and slip the slip stitches (with yarn to the back to keep the yarn floats to the back of the work) to the last 5 stitches, Knit 5.

In this picture you can see I'm half way through a MC row. I have just slipped the stitch from the previous row and the next three stitches will be knit. You will notice that the slip stitch from the CC row is the middle stitch in the three stitches to be knit. This is very important for the stitch pattern to work out.

Repeat these 4 rows until you have run out of yarn or the scarf is as long as you like without fringe.

The back of your scarf should look like this (with all of the floats to the back):

You will probably want to block this as it has a tendency to pull in at the middle like a waistline. I will be using a steam iron on mine when I am done knitting because I have dogs and cats and they think leaving knitting pinned out and wet is an invitation for them to come deposit their hair on my newly finished project.

Add fringe: Fold two strands of fringe (one of each color) in half. Insert crochet hook from back to front. Pull the loop through and knot the fringe by pulling the end of the strands through the loop you have just created. Clear as mud? There is a very good beginners tutorial here:


Saturday, September 29, 2007

We have a Winner!

As a follow up on the cursed yarn post I think we have a winner. I spent yesterday evening starting this cute little baby star afghan and it seems that the yarn curse may be broken!

The free pattern for this is:

I have to say the first portion went really fast. Since I've been mostly knitting I forgot how fast crochet goes (and how much yarn it takes, I'm already halfway through the first skein). It was so addicting with this yarn seeing what color each round would end up being and how it would look up against the previous rounds. I really am having a hard time putting the project down except for the fact that I have practically worn a blister on my finger that isn't used to crocheting as much anymore. Also, listening to Pride & Prejudice again was making it go fast as well. I start thinking that maybe I should go to bed and think "When this chapter is done." Then I finish the chapter, but the round isn't done, so I end up getting into another chapter and keep going until the end of a round and the end of a chapter coincide or I just practically fall asleep crocheting. I think I'll have to use this technique when I get down to the late night Christmas knitting/crocheting.

This pattern is so easy that you don't really have to keep the written pattern handy after the first couple of rows. Basically you are decreasing and increasing in the same places every round. I plan to do quite a few more rows than the pattern calls for to make a full size baby blanket. I have to give the author, Beth Parsons, props for her clear directions and well written pattern. There is nothing more annoying than getting an hour into a pattern and finding out that the directions aren't clear. I would highly recommend this pattern to anyone, especially if you have this Colorspun self striping yarn it's really perfect for this pattern.