Well, we're learning how to get along without Doodlebug. We still miss him terribly. I find Chelsea in his crate frequently, and she's been pretty mopey sometimes. Because of that, I decided to buy us a puppy. This puppy needs to be a male and grow up smaller than her. A male usually won't challenge a female's alpha status -- I didn't want her "golden" years to be a constant battle for position. She's been the dominant dog for 13 years, and there's no point in messing with that. So I did a bunch of Internet research and book purchasing, and here's who is coming to live with us as soon as he's old enough: Meet Diego!
Diego is now 4 weeks old, and he's a long-hair Chihuahua who will mature at 4-5 pounds. He'll be with his mom and breeder until he's 10 weeks old, and will come live with us around the end of March, first part of April. His breeder is an hour and a bit north of here -- a nice spring drive for Chelsea and me. I've been trying to prepare her by talking about Diego, but of course she has no idea what's happening, and her little world is sure to be rocked hard by this little guy. I'm ultimately hoping that he'll bring some fun and activity into her life, and will watch them both closely to make sure she isn't freaked out by the whole thing. Here's the deal though, I have to get a new dog now, or soon. If something happens to Chelsea before I have another dog firmly planted in my heart, I'll be devasted at the loss of her and I'm afraid I'll never be able to love another dog. So this puppy is really for both of us. I'm not looking forward to puppy-proofing and housetraining, but it's all part of the process and we'll all get through it.
I know I preach rescue to everyone I know who is looking for a dog, and I've rescued my share of animals. This one time, though, I want to know what I'm getting. I needed to know that this puppy will be free of genetic health problems, and hopefully free of the allergies that have plagued Chelsea all of her life. I need to know that this puppy has a good personality from the get-go, and what size he'll be when he's full-grown. If I didn't have Chelsea's emotional well-being to be concerned with, I'd be the first one at the pound when it opened. But this one time, I'm getting a full-blooded breed.
California was great, and a blur. I got there on Thursday, and we started setting up our show booth early Friday afternoon. The weather was wonderful, and I have no photos besides booth set-up, and those are boring photos. Anaheim is always sunny and pleasant, and this trip was no exception. I got to have a great breakfast with my dear friend Margot, the Impatient Beader (and Blogger -- http://margotpotter.blogspot.com/ -- go check her out, I'll wait). And then I had dinner with my dear friend Tanya on Sunday and my dear friend Barb on Monday, both with DRG Publishing. I had about 10 minutes with Laura, and was sad that while we only live 3 hours from each other, we haven't been able to get together here in the two years we've both lived in NC. While I don't miss northeastern Indiana or my old job, I do miss my friends very much, and it was wonderful to have the chance to visit with them. I flew home on Tuesday, and was home in time to rescue Chelsea from prison, which is very unusual and both of us were thankful.
I was supposed to go to the Knit Out at the Mall of America in Minnesota this past weekend, but I brought a visitor back from California with me -- a flu bug, and it bit me hard on Thursday afternoon with a sore throat and earache. Friday morning brought chills and fever, along with a dry cough, aches and intense fatigue. I hated missing this show -- it was the first consumer show that I've been totally responsible for, but as Friday wore on, I knew I wouldn't be able to go. I gave my supervisor a long list of instructions, and hopefully everything was fine. I told him to call if they needed anything, and I didn't hear from anyone so I'm assuming all was well. I'll find out later this week, I'm sure. I'm home again today -- I'm still achy and tired, and now my head is all congested, but at least the fever, sore throat and earache have subsided. I'll go into work tomorrow, and possibly come home early if I get too tired. This stuff is nothing to mess with!
So I've been wanting for a very long time to hand dye my own yarn. Last month I ordered and received nine skeins of naked superwash merino/nylon sock yarn from Knit Picks (http://www.knitpicks.com/Bare+Superwash+Merino,+Nylon_YD5420145.html -- sorry, I don't know how to do hot links), and I have two books that I've been reading and rereading on dying yarn. I don't want to buy new pots to dedicate to harsh fabric dyes, so I'm going to be using food coloring and vinegar. I'm good to go with the technique, I think; now I just need to wind the yarn into 40-foot skeins so that I can start painting. And buy food coloring, but I'm pretty sure Michaels carries Wilton paste food coloring, and that's what I'm going to start out with. Maybe that will be my project for this weekend. Carmela (my youngest granddaughter) loves purple, and I can't find yarn in just the right color and print that I want for her, so I'm going to experiment with small amounts of yarn first. I can get a pair of socks for her out of a 50-gram ball of yarn. I'm very excited about this!
And on the finished object front, I have another pair of socks finished for Carmela, a single for her finished (with the second sock not yet cast on -- please pray for me, I have a textbook case of Second Sock Syndrome), a single for her almost finished (in a different color from previous single, of course), and a sock and a half finished for Lily, my oldest granddaughter. Getting the flu has been good for something -- I've had forced knitting time because I sure don't feel like doing anything else! I need batteries for my camera -- I'll post photos later this week. And hopefully I'll have an updated photo of Diego from the breeder later this week. Stay tuned!