September Fun

It’s been a great month so far! Lady Luck seems to have struck and I had the winning ticket in 2 raffles I entered recently. The first win was the 30% of the 50/30/20 raffle at the Central NJ Hound Club’s annual show last week. It was for a not-to-shabby $84.00! It revived me after sweating it out with Nikol in the show ring in 90 degree + 100% humidity. We went second again, understandable as my little girl was acting a little “pokey” because she came into season for the first time that morning…Oh, well…the best laid plans!

We had a family outing to DH’s company picnic. Mercedes-Benz held their fall fest at the Platzl Brau House in Pomona, NY. There was a food drive, and when you donated a food item you received free raffle tickets. The prize? One of 5 Ipod Classics with 160gb of storage space. Squeeeeeeeeeeeee! My number was unexpectedly called and I was the winner of Ipod #3. This will be a nice replacement for my little Ipod Shuffle. A few minutes later, Haley’s number was called. She had entered the children’s raffle for a big stuffed Dalmation. Too bad it wasn’t a beagle :o)

We had lots of fun and thankfully the rain held off. Here’s a photo of Haley and Daniel at the miniature golf course at the picnic:

I’m going to the Southern NY Beagle Specialty on Friday — I’m feeling lucky already!

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I’m Still Here…

After a long absence, I’m back to blogging! I’ve discovered a new fiber-related obsession, dyeing yarn. My most recent adventure is dyeing orange yarn to knit socks for 2 Ravelry groups: Sock Knitters Anonymous and Solid Socks. I found the perfect pattern to showcase the blazing citrus hues – Ariel Socks. This pattern is top-down and has a slightly different chart for the front and back leg and the sides are twisted rib. Here’s a shot of my cast-on and cuff, more photos of progress to come…

I’m using food-based colors for my dyeing right now but have discovered that the Wilton gel icing originally made for decorating cakes has it limitations for protein fiber dyeing.

All signs point to Jacquard Acid Dyes — I’m in the process of setting up an area in my basement to do this. So far I have an extra microwave, portable burner, some pots, tongs, measuring instruments, etc. There’s a huge double laundry sink (circa 1950) in between my washer and dryer that is already stained so I think it will look even better with some rainbow dye drops!

My other hobby is competing with this desired space… Showing dogs has enabled me to acquire lots of stuff that is also best suited to the basement, such as my well-used grooming table (circa 1997). In just five years or so I’ve accumulated every type of collar, leash and lead imaginable, grooming implements, powders, potions etc. designed to make my beagles gorgeous. Luckily I have old kitchen cabinets (circa 1950) hanging in the laundry room and some will become home to the acid dyes and other fiber implements. I’m sure the dog grooming items will still take over somehow…

Speaking of dog shows, tomorrow is the Central NJ Hound Club Association’s annual show in Somerset, NJ. I’ll be showing Nikol in the Bred-by-Exhibitor class. I would love to come home with the coveted “Best in Breed” ribbon but I’m pretty realistic about these things and know the best prize will be having fun being out there with my girl.

Nikol is also going to a photo shoot for the American Kennel Club on Friday. Wish there was some money involved but I’m a pushover for the 15 minutes or so of fame we get out of it…the shots will most likely be used in AKC literature and products. They are looking for good representatives of the breed and my little Nikol just loves to be photographed, as you can see here:

She’s wearing the first yarn I dyed in the crockpot using the Wilton gels. It came out a sickly camouflage that was the result of not using enough dye and not “cooking” it long enough. I overdyed it with some green and yellow dye, gradually adding different strength dyes to the crockpot and the yarn turned out a brilliant green that reminds me of a lawn during summer:

I haven’t decided what to knit with this yarn yet, so it’s marinating in the stash bin. There’s over 400 yards total so I can get a nice longer pair of socks out of it.
Next “dye job” is going to be overdyeing the Lamb’s Pride Bulky in pastel yellow that’s just screaming for some new color. Soon my kitchen will smell like wet, wooly lamb and vinegar again :o)