Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rock Hound

I'm a bit of a rock hound. I love rocks, even the ugly ones. Arthur has joined me in this and we are constantly finding interesting (and not-so-interesting) rocks to bring home and keep in pretty glass jars on the bookshelf. We went on a weekend getaway with my inlaws to Cleveland, Ga, and I was sure to bring up the gold and gemstone mine as an option of something fun to do. No one but Arthur shared my enthusiasm for it, but everyone ended up having fun.

I had done this before with loaded bags, where the mine actually set the stones and gold up to be found. I was extra excited to find that Gold 'n Gem Grubbin' is an actual working mine and these bags are not loaded... they are sorted by grade into piles, then just scooped into buckets available for purchase. There was also an option to pan the actual creek running by the mine, but with the kids we decided to just use the sluices set up out front.

It was so much fun! I came home with some awesome finds:

 Amethyst


Fluorite
 Green Aventurine, larger than my fist!

Moonstone, Jasper, Topaz, Citrine, Garnet, Rubies, Emeralds, Sapphires, Quartz, Tigers Eye, Calcite, and more. I have a lot more than this not shown. The lady was especially impressed by the very large garnet and sapphires. I plan on getting the garnet, sapphires, citrine, and a few of the rubies and emeralds cut and made into jewelry. The resit will either be left as-is for mantle pieces (like that giant piece of aventurine) or run through a tumbler. I'm excited to try some wire wrapping on some of them.

We also panned for gold and found quite a few nuggets:





It was great fun and I can't wait to do something like this again. I have been meaning to attend a Mid-Georgia Gem and Mineral Society meeting, and I think that this was the kick in the rear needed to actually go.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What A Show!

The Georgia State Convention rabbit and cavy show was this past Saturday in Perry, Ga. Arthur and I took a few rabbits and Pete the Cat...



Hannah's Hop Hops Pine Lake did it again! She took a double Best of Breed! I love this doe so much. She has earned 4 grand champion legs as a senior, but cannot be registered due to a partial pedigree. I plan on breeding her in a few weeks and really cannot wait to see those babies.


Arthur brought home his first major win! Pete the Cat took Best Opposite Sex of Breed in the second cavy show. We just couldn't believe it, and Arthur was over the moon. His 1st place ribbons and giant rosette are proudly hanging on his bookshelf. The judge, Frank Westley, was wonderful and was kind enough to get a picture taken with Arthur, Pete, and the ribbon.

It was a very successful weekend for us. We are looking forward to attending 3 shows next month.

I have decided to sell out my Himalayans, which have very very little competition down here. It's difficult to juggle multiple breeds, the cavies, and watching after Arthur by myself at shows, so something has to go. I decided to focus on my Jersey Woolies and Rex instead, and let Arthur keep his few Mini Lop rabbits. He is really into the cavies and is pursuing them bigtime, which is fine with me. We are going to the Specialty in April (it's the national cavy show) to pick up his real foundation animals, and also may be coming home with a start in Teddies for me. Anyway, my Himis are all sold to a friend's daughter. I know she will take good care of them and get good use out of them. I'm sad to see them go, but also feel relief to have one less thing to worry over at shows.

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In knitting news... I haven't really done a whole lot in the last week. I'm battling some sort of cold, plus am having major allergy issues right now. I just don't feel well. I did manage to finish up a last NB Vertebrae yesterday night, something that had been on the needles for way too long:






The yarn is KP Felici in Lost Lakes and KP Stroll in Sapphire Heather. I normally don't have much to complain about when it comes to KP yarns, but I was slightly disappointed in the stripe quality of this. The stripes appear more tonal than solid, and there is a lot of color transfer in the lighter stripes. I'm ok with the tonal look and even some mottling... if it's consistent. This isn't. It's not bad enough for it to look ruined, but it's also not clean like Felici usually is. Oh well. It's another ball out of stash and another project for the craft show box. A hat with the leftovers is in the works.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Knitting and Bunnies

I have been doing a lot of knitting and crocheting, but don't have anything to show yet. One is a test that I can't share until the designer releases the pattern. Though you can't see it yet, rest assured that it is adorable. The rest is just more progress on the Hue Shift afghan (it's getting boring, not gonna lie) and on yet another NB Vertebrae. FO pics coming soon on that one.

I do have some bunny pictures to share, though. I had a litter of 5 Rex born on the 13th, a litter of 5 Jersey Woolies born today (1 was stillborn, sadly), and have another Jersey Wooly building a nest right now! Lots of babies! I have 4 more due before the end of the month, and 1 more on March 2nd! It's babyland around here!



Thursday, February 9, 2017

CavySaurus Rex

Ok, maybe more Stegosaurus than T-Rex, but CavySaurus Rex sounds cute!




Arthur wanted Pete the Cat to have a dinosaur costume. I just couldn't resist! I did use a pattern from Ravelry as inspiration, but I changed everything to suit my needs. I used different cast on numbers, stitch pattern, construction, etc.

Pete the Cat actually doesn't mind wearing it. I thought that he would be frozen in place with it on, but he went about his usual piggy business. I used KP Stroll Tweed.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dyeing

I haven't dyed any yarn in a long time, close to a year. I got an itch to bring out the food coloring and kool-aid the other day, and this is what come of it:


KP Stroll Bare, dyed in the crockpot with food coloring. I absolutely love how it turned out.


2 hanks of KP WotA SW Bare, crockpot with food coloring.


1 hank of the WotA SW Bare, using kool-aid and a tiny bit of food coloring.

Overall, I'm pleased with the results. I need to start dyeing more often... I have a lot of bare yarn just waiting for color!

I also have a few WIPs and an FO to show off:


Newborn Vertebrae in KP Felici (Gummy Bear). This is turning out super cute. The cuffs and buttonband will be in Stroll (Rouge). I think I can get a hat out of the yarn, too.


The Hue Shift Afghan has been started! My plan is to do a square a day, then one round of border a day. That will make this take 120 days to complete, plenty of time before the October wedding without it being stressful. It's really fun and the squares go by quickly.


I finally got the woven scarf off the loom! It still needs a bath. This is 2 skeins gone from deep stash (KP Imagination).

For my stashdown challenges, I'm doing pretty well. I knit 525g this month (this is minus the 500g I purchased), 373g of which is fine yarn. I want to have 6000g gone by the end of the year, with 3000g of that being fine.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Bunny Show!

This weekend was the Augusta Masters of Rabbits and Cavies on the Green show in Grovetown, Georgia. It was a blast! My grandparents live in Augusta, right down the road from the show venue, so we got to stay with them for the weekend.

I showed 2 Jersey Woolies and a homebred Himalayan. Arthur took 2 Mini Lops and his cavy (guinea pig). We did well!





CCR's Perry, a ruby-eyed white senior buck, took Best of Breed in show A, and Best Opposite Sex of Breed in show C! I was so surprised by his wins. I knew he was a nice little buck, but WOW!



Hannah's Hop Hops Pine Lake, a ruby-eyed white senior doe, took Best Opposite Sex of Group in shows A and C, Best of Breed in show B! She's a gorgeous doe that I can't wait to show more over the next few months.



Arthur's cavy got good comments, and his Mini Lops did well. No big wins, but good comments in very competitive classes. It feels good when the judge says that there isn't an ugly rabbit on the table, he's just picking which is the prettiest. He likes the actual showing part, but not so much the waiting between breeds thing. He ate a lot of snacks, ha!


There was a costume contest. Of course, Sugar's Diggle, his Mini Lop buck, had to be Spiderman! Unfortunately, the judge didn't pick Diggle as the cutest, funniest, or the most original, but we had fun anyway. I personally think that he should've won something (the winners all had commercially made pet costumes; a duck, an energizer bunny, and a cowboy), but then again I am quite biased! There is another costume contest coming up in March so we will just have to try again!


My Himalayan doe, Knoll's Pink Lady, was the only Himi shown at all. They aren't very common down here, so there's usually just a few of us at most. I did get great comments on her, though! All 3 judges said that she's a great example of the breed, so at least I know that I'm going in the right direction with them.







We did come home with 3 new additions. Can't go to a show and not bring something new home! Arthur got a new little junior sow, which he named Daisy. She's an American Satin and such a cutie pie! She will be shown and eventually bred to Pete the Cat. Arthur really loves the cavies since they are so gentle and easy to handle. I have a feeling that he will eventually move away from his Mini Lops and get more focused on his cavies, which is fine by me. I'm letting his discover what he's truly interested in.






My new additions are Barron's Robbie (red) and GC Barron's Connie (castor). They are Rex, and are gorgeous. They are part of my foundation in this breed. Both have had major wins. Connie is now retired to the breeding pens and Robbie is still being shown.

Speaking of the breeding pens, I bred 6 does 2 weeks ago and I believe that all 6 are pregnant! There are 2 that I'm iffy on, but I'm leaning more yes than no. Another few days will tell, when the babies are bigger and easier felt.

Well, that was our weekend. It was full of fun, rabbits, and good friends. The next show is February 18th, so hopefully there will be more wins to report soon! Until then, we will be back to knitting news and updates :)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

FOs

 I've been cranking out the FOs lately. Since my momma and I do the craft show thing in fall, we really have to focus on knitting a lot during the rest of the year. I mostly do baby and kid knits, so have been working on them first:


Isn't this the cutest!? It's a Newborn Vertebrae with a matching hat. I used KP Stroll, the speckled being some that I dyed a few years ago. I had been hoarding it, but I'm trying to knit my too-precious-to-use yarn this year.


I went up a needle size to make it more 0-3 months. I added the stripes to add some visual interest and to break up the speckle yarn (I was afraid that it would look too muddy on its own). I'm really pleased with how it turned out.


Booties! I make a ton of these. They do well at the shows, and are the best shower gift so many go into the gift pile. I love using KP Chroma Fingering for these.


I recently made these, hoping that they are more masculine for little boys. I just kind of winged the leg portion and like how they came out.

I'm really trying to plow through the smaller quicker projects, so I have a lot more booties in my near future!