Archive for May, 2012

I did it!

Monday, May 28th, 2012

I took Zi and Blondie to a play day horse show on Saturday (May 19). It was my first time ever to haul to a horse show myself. In an attempt to keep my nerves calm, I had been planning for about 3 weeks – getting the new tires on the horse trailer, cleaning out the dressing room, packing essentials into the dressing room, double checking to be sure no bee or wasp nests have been built in or under the trailer, re-checking the floor, and lights. Also planning my route and considering how early to leave so I wouldn’t be stressed about parking at the show. Prior to all of this I had been working with the girls on loading and being patient, whether tied inside or outside the trailer.

Saturday I got up at my normal 5:15 am, had breakfast, and loaded the final items into the trailer. Richard gave the horses a snack for me so they wouldn’t be starving when I was ready to leave. At 6:30 I went out to get them. They loaded up just fine as I expected and started eating the rest of their breakfast. We hit the road. About 45 minutes later we pulled into the show grounds and found our parking/stalls. I had requested 2 stalls for the girls at the show. This was a blessing as it gets really old having to hold onto them all day and neither one would have done well with being tied to the trailer.

As it turned out, they were calm in the trailer and they were calm in the stalls. They could not be separated (as I expected) without huge fits. Blondie calling hysterically for Zi and Zi was just having a wonderful time with her eyes bugged out, looking at all the new things. She spooked at shadows, the port-a-potty (good thing she never saw anyone come or go from it), horse trailers with horses in them, other horses….she did get better as the day went on, but she never got a chance to really settle in the arena.

I intended to take her in 2 classes – trail and halter. I scratched trail, but still ended up in 2 classes because she got 3rd in western pleasure horse halter out of 8 horses, qualifying us for championship halter. She acted like a crazy rearing horse, but the judging for halter is on the horse’s conformation and movement – not behavior (and evidently not temperament! or is all this expression prized?). Honestly, I would have been fine if the judge didn’t place her because she was almost never standing still and she didn’t trot that well. She took 4th in the championship halter class. Crazy.

Thankfully my sister spent most of the day with us. She handled Blondie while I took Zi in her classes and also while we walked around the grounds. She also handled Zi in the afternoon so that was fun to see how Zi responds to someone else (she did well, “oh, I can’t get away with that with her either”). My mom and grandma also came and spent quite a few hours with us. It was a pretty nice day, near 70 degrees and sunny.

If that wasn’t enough of a support network, my friend Linda ended up next to us in the stalls (if you recall, she took Zi and I to our first show last year). It was really perfect as it gave me peace of mind and I was able to help her when she needed a hand. She has a gorgeous new Arabian gelding named PJ. Poor boy had to put up with Blondie’s dirty looks anytime she thought he was too close to Zi. He was not fazed by her at all though.

All in all, I’d say it was a successful day. I survived driving there and back. The horses were good in the trailer. They have lots of room for improvement at the show grounds, but I was happy with how Zi did improve as the day went on. Her stall was right next to the out gate so she watched a lot of horses come and go, as well as kids running by.

And guess what? The next time will be so much easier! Next show is June 30th. I’m already making plans for preparing Zi between now and then.

Kitsap Saddle Club, May 19, 2012

Kitsap Saddle Club, May 19, 2012

Kitsap Saddle Club, May 19, 2012

Kitsap Saddle Club, May 19, 2012

Kitsap Saddle Club, May 19, 2012

Kitsap Saddle Club, May 19, 2012

Kitsap Saddle Club, May 19, 2012

Kitsap Saddle Club, May 19, 2012

Kitsap Saddle Club, May 19, 2012

Kitsap Saddle Club, May 19, 2012

Kitsap Saddle Club, May 19, 2012

Kitsap Saddle Club, May 19, 2012

Kitsap Saddle Club, May 19, 2012

Kitsap Saddle Club, May 19, 2012

Thanks to my mom for all the photos and to my sister for handling Blondie while I took Zi in her classes!

WIP Wednesday, May 22, 2012

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Over a month since my last WIP post…I’ve been busy with the horses and studying for microbiology, not with test knitting this time. Microbiology ends in a couple of weeks, then I have a new test knit to start, a garden that needs to be planted, and horse training to continue. I’m really looking forward to the shift from studying to knitting/gardening/horses.

Anyway, here’s the Barton Cottage Shrug:

Barton Cottage Shrug

Barton Cottage Shrug

I did rip almost the whole thing out so I could go down a size. Sleeves are now on holders and I have entered the land of plain knitting for the next 11 inches. On my dress form it is restricted by the length of the needle and the length of the yarn holding the sleeve stitches. It does look like it will be plenty big enough – if anything I’ll probably have to be careful not to stretch it out when blocking.

Jane Austen Knits: Hessian Boot Socks

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

The second issue of Jane Austen Knits is now available for pre-order and download, and is showing up in stores. Judging from what I’ve seen so far, I think this issue surpasses the first issue (which I loved).

My friend Anne has a pattern in this issue and I asked her if I could test knit the small size. Of course, she said yes so now that the pattern is public I can reveal my version of her Hessian Boot Socks!

Hessian Boot Socks

Hessian Boot Socks

Hessian Boot Socks

Pattern: Hessian Boot Socks by Anne Podlesak
Yarn: Opal Uni-solid 4-ply in beige and dark brown.
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm) circulars
Notes: I was so curious to try the technique Anne uses in this sock of carrying a second color of yarn down the side of the sock that I just had to knit these. It was easy to do – all you need to do is take a little care with your tension on these stitches. For me it was better to keep the stitches a little tighter than I thought they needed to be, to keep them smoothly in line with my row gauge on the main color. I tend to knit tightly though so it could be that in my concern of knitting them too snugly I was erring a bit to loose.

If you want to knit these for a woman, the small size is a good match for women’s shoe size 8-10 US. If you want to knit them for a smaller size it would be easy to adjust the stitch count down.

Hessian Boot Socks