------------------------------- ------------------------------------ On and Off The Needles

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Seeing Blue

Tucker's winnings!
Tucker did pretty darn well for himself at these past three shows (as you can tell by the photo!) We did a lot of driving, and he was definitely tired at the end of a day (as was I), but I am very proud of him. The first ribbon was in Snooker at the USDAA trial - "Named after the billiards game popular in Great Britain, snooker is a point-basis class wherein a handler develops their strategy for accumulating as many points as possible during the allotted time by performing the obstacles in "Snooker" sequence, which is defined by color. The snooker class consists of an opening sequence immediately followed by a closing sequence, both of which must be performed in the overall performance time allotted by the judge." Put simply, you have to define your own course while also building up as many points as possible done in the fastest time without any faults or knocking any jumps. Tucker's time was not the fastest (the second place dog beat him by 2 seconds) but he had the most points by far (49 vs 36).

His other two blues came from both of his Open Jumper runs at the AKC trial. We just moved up a level in competition after our last trial, so these were his first two runs at this level! He did so well on tough courses. We have a little break this weekend, but then are back at it every weekend in October! A little time off to do some polishing and training.

The needles did see a little action this weekend. The front of smocking is chugging along. I have another inch to do before I can start the armhole shaping. I'm anxious to get it finished and put together as the weather has turned quite chilly these past few mornings! Plus, my next sweater will be that purple cabely number (in beige). Have you seen the new Fall Cable KAL? Lots of nice, cozy cables there! Both the sweater (must come up with a good name for it!) and my current socks qualify for that one.

Speaking of socks, I did start the Aran Sandal Socks. I then frogged them. Three times. Enough said. The pattern had 4 different cables as well as 2 twists in it. I could not keep track and it took me over an hour to do one row. Not good. I am now happily knitting socks of my own design using the DNA cable pattern. I'm working the cable down the back and heel of the sock, as well as one down the front of the foot. I figure since my sister will be working in the medical field, these would be perfect! The Kona is knitting up wonderfully. So squishy and soft. I forgot how much I loved it.

The color was an interesting experiment. We knew we wanted one skein of red and one of purple. We did the red first as it was a pure color right from the dye. After a little math, we calculated how much powder to water and started dying! We soaked the yarn first, then mixed the dyebath, and added it in. We simmered until the solution was clear and then drained.
Adding the Kona to the red dye
Draining/cooling the red dyed yarn

The finished product:
Brilliant Red Kona
The color matches the swatch on the color card exactly. I love love love it! I think it is destined to be a pair of Denmarks. After having great success with the red, we moved on to the purple. She wanted more of a blue purple, so we mixed accordingly. The first try ended up a little dark, but still a beautiful plum/eggplant color.
Adding the yarn to the violet
Deep Violet Kona
The third try (should be a charm, right?) we aimed for a less saturated solution of purple - I knew the cables wouldn't show up on that dark of a color, so we aimed lighter. I think we did pretty well!
Lighter Purple Kona
So pretty. The only issue we had was with the red mixing with the blue. We put the yarn in and it looked just light blue. We added more red solution and it never turned any redder - perplexed, we simmered and stirred. Turns out we forgot to read a little blurb in the instructions about the red tending to congeal when mixed. It was all in there, sitting in an icky slimy blob at the bottom of the pot. As the heat came up, the red dissolved and worked just fine. Lesson learned!

The socks are working up pretty quick thanks to the Kona yarn and the very nice DNA cable pattern. Simple, but enough to hold my interest!
DNA Cable sock
It doesn't look like much yet, but it's coming along! I definitely wont' make my September sock for SAM2. Oh well. There is always October and Socktoberfest!!! I participated last year, but not with the sock enthusiasm (erm...obsession) that I have now.