Thursday, May 31, 2007

Katharine Hepburn Cardigan - Moral Support Needed!

After my last shawl was done, and packed away, there was a void in my knitting universe. Voids tend to get filled pretty quickly. I was just thinking what I would like to knit next, when the doorbell rang, I kid you not, and I got yarn delivery! I didn't expect anything. Imagine my surprise when I unpacked and this yarn was in it. Well, I did order it, of course, what did you think? But it was back in March, right after I got the book Lace Style. I wanted the same yarn as in the book, or I should say, Hannah choose this model and liked the cherry red as in the book. Since I was ordering anyway, why not. I do like the richness of this cherry red. Something I would never choose for myself, but it's nice to work with for a change. Work with it is the key word here. I'd rather clean house than sit and knit. Really! I told you I'm procrastinating on something. I've added another couple of pattern repeats on this back piece. I hate cables!!! I hate cables!! Whiny, whiny, whine here! I was ready to either poke myself with the cable needle or do some serious harm to the next person who approached me, when I remembered reading somewhere about "knitting cables without cable needle". Well, off I went to Google it. Needless to say I found a very nice tutorial from Wendy of Wendy Knits. She did even a Youtube video. I've never learned something that fast! Now I'm (almost) cruising along. It's slow going nevertheless. Knitting with sports weight yarn on 3.75mm (O.K. not that bad) can't possibly go fast. Hannah choose the long version of this model. Big Sigh!

Oh well, I've got until July to finish this cardigan, when she'll be back for a short time. Her B-day is in June, that would have been hard on me, but now I think I can do it by July. Still, I'm dreaming of knitting the second sleeve already. Don't think I'll ever get there. The instructions are pages and pages long. How can you guys knit one sweater, cardigan, vest after another??? - and still go back for more???

Now that's something to get enthusiastic about! I think I'm a tiny little bit obsessed with spinning right now, or is it just because it's new? My pinch fingers hurt. Something on my body always hurts, and that because of my hobbies?! That's just not right! ;o)

I'm having fun here. I'd like to ply this red with the green from a previous post. The samples as it turns out are different weights. The red would not have been enough (I still think there's not enough), so I added some blue, just because. Just looking at this picture makes me happy, and I have the real thing here too! Think of all the cool yarn I can make, given I get better with time. I can do whatever I want. The unfortunate thing right now is, that I've got only two more samples left to play with. I'm still looking for a good source of fiber. I'd like to buy local or from somewhere in Canada, but I've found nothing so far. The nice green lichen and glacial green roving I bought at Gemini fibers is available at an online shop from the U.S. as well. So I'm wondering where it originated. Anyway, today I've got a delivery with some Shetland roving in black, grey and natural white. I'll spin that for a shawl form the book "Folk Shawls", but that's far in the future. I don't want to mess up the fiber just yet. ;o)

Look here! That's the fiber samples I spun with my wheel last night. I plied it right away and set the twist. I hung it out to dry today. It's only 49.5 yds long, the samples where less than an ounce. But, the important thing is, that it is NOT very overtwisted. After plying it evened out a lot. I'm so happy, because it is knitable. Don't they look pretty, ready to get married? At least a nice hat, don't you think?

And yes, my yarn gets more pictures taken off than all the paparazzi can shoot pictures of Johnny Depp.

By the way, I'm one of them. I succumbed and bought this and this.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Hat From My First Spun Yarn!

Since spinning is now a new hobby of mine, in addition to knitting and sitting on the computer, I was thinking, that there must be some kind of compensation for all this added sitting around. I found Elinor's blog title amusing Exercises before Knitting. Well, that will be my new motto. Right after breakfast instead of spinning for half an hour, I swing myself on my Elliptical Trainer and have a go at it for 2.5 miles (for now). I had to start somewhere. I don't like sports, except swimming, I think I was a fish in another life. So, this commitment I made is for my health and very necessary. But I don't have to like it. ;o)

some apple blossoms, no heavenly smell there, but still gorgeous to look at

And here it is! The hat with my first spindle spun yarn. I didn't need all of it, which surprised me, but that's bulky yarn for you. I still have the granny apple green yarn and some bits and pieces. This hat is ugly, but I heart it! It fits my noggin perfectly, can't wait for cold weather! I don't like the hot pink color, but the yarn in the middle looks nice. On the top I used some of the red yarn, that's why I made a crochet border on the bottom. What can I say? It's an uplifting feeling to knit with your own yarn, even with all its imperfections and color ugliness.

I wound the yarn from last night on my niddy noddy - 51 yds, from 1 oz of each sample. I lost a few yards when it broke, but that's O.K. after I've set the twist and hung it out to dry, it still has too much twist in it, but it lost some with plying. I can use it for knitting. Probably for another hat, mixed together with yarn to come or even the green one, who knows?

I love this color. I used two samples of Spunky Eclectics sample bag, and I think together they turned out pretty. Still not even at all, not a balanced yarn, but at least I can use it, and it's not a total write off.

The wheel is still standing, in one piece, or as many as it should have. I've been lazying around today on the couch for a bit, and treadling on an empty wheel. It's so relaxing, it almost made me fall asleep in the middle of the day. We are good now. I'll give it another try tonight.

Happy, tired, good dog - Biko.
Sam watching closely in the background.
I'm procrastinating on my new project here. Can't seem to get going. Would do almost anything else before sitting down and knit a bit on it. Sigh. That's not a good start on a new project, is it?!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Knitting and spinning ... frustration!

I've been knitting. Square # 25-40 is done. One more to go for this week.

I'm tired and it's late. I just finished plying some singles I've spun tonight. But first have a look:
I've been playing with my wheel. At first I just sat there and had fun with treadling, without yarn involvement whatsoever. That was fun!
Then, I took two finished sock yarns, left overs from the pillow I made and black sock yarn from Hannah's last socks. I plied them together. What fun THAT was! And it even looked kind of nice.

The below sample took me the whole week to finish spinning. It's my early morning spinning, and it got pretty thin! I'm very pleased with that. Last night I finished the green one, and this morning my thumb and pointy finger still hurt. I think I pinch too hard. My fingers were blueish-green from the roving, but with a little soap it washed off easily. Oh, and I figured out, that I can spin thin with this "Little Si" spindle as well. That does not mean that it's even spun though. There are still thick and thin spots, but I'm getting a lot better.

Now, here we come to the reason for my frustration. My very first "yarn" spun on the wheel. My first reaction was to throw it away, and forget about it. But I'm brave and so I plied it together. It was a disaster from start to finish. If there was a cliff nearby, I would have jumped off it, spinning wheel and all. I can't describe my frustration with this new hobby of mine. Why didn't anybody warn me? Tell me how hard it is? After producing this shameful kinky tangled mess, I needed either chocolate or some nice spindle spinning. Guess what I choose?! Anyway, I made so many mistakes it's not funny any more. I took my books with me to bed and tried to find out what I was doing wrong. At first I discovered, that I used top and not roving. And you are not supposed to rip top in stripes like with the roving. First mistake. The Coopworth is so soft (not like Merino) and fluffy and I had a hell of a time with it. I'm not even talking about the overtwist, you can easily see that for yourselves. See how this skein twists, I did nothing, just threw it on the table. Still have no clue how to get rid of "overtwist". All the books and brochures can't help me there. I did all they said one can do, but had no success.
Second, the spun yarn wouldn't feed through the orifice and wind itself on the bobbin, I practically had to push it through. Pegging didn't help either. Cursing, crying, and yelling were equally unsuccessful actions. Although I got a grunt out of Sam, who tried to snooze beside me. I really didn't feel the love that night.
During the day, I made a wide circle around the wheel. Couldn't even look at it. Didn't even want to. I started another sample with my Forrester spindle. How nice, how comforting. But in the end I had to give spinning with the wheel another try. So I spun up two samples again. Well I say spinning, but it was the same disaster as last night. The only thing better was, that this time I used roving and it was not as fluffy, let itself handle better. I felt sorry for this gorgeous colores. My heart was bleeding, sweet little orange roving. Can you say overtwist really fast and several times in a row? I think my wheel made that kind of noise, overtwist - overtwist - overtwist - until the yarn broke, again and again. Boy spinning with a wheel is hard. Did I mention that? Well to make a long terrible story short. I got to ply the singles. Let me tell you, it was not pretty. My husband came by and wanted to help me hold the singles, or DO something. I was in the middle of a mess, everything was tangled up, before, behind and around me, my arms as far as they go outstretched into the air. But since I still had my feet to work with, I declined his offer to help. Thank you very much! Imagine my relieve, as the yarn broke once again (single was very thin in spots), and the bobbin was kind of full, even if there were some yards of the singles left, I called it a day. Here you can see my triumph over yarn. I'll let it rest over night before I wind it on my niddy noddy. I need some time to myself now, contemplating about life with or without spinning. I have to lick my bruised ego.

It does look pretty and innocent on the bobbin. I'm sure once I'll release it, it will jump off the bobbin on its own, because of the overtwist. Sigh. I feel like an old balloon right now, which got away, caught in a tree, hanging there for ages, all the air gone out. That's me.
It's not all frustration here. I've always fun with these two guys. That's as far as Sam goes when water is involved. I'll hose him down, when it's really, really hot. Biko in the background is wet of course. Had a little splish-splash, and is quite worn out. She threw her tennis ball into the pool and didn't get it. That's her way of saying, enough is enough, you can get it yourself.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

My painted Flower Buds Shawl!

all ready to be painted with Jacquared acid dye

still steaming, right out of the microwave oven

early morning sunshine

I knit the middle stitch in garter stitch, I like it better that way

Oh the smell! Heavenly!

I hope some of the pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Do you know how you feel after a very satisfying meal, eaten with nice company in a relaxed atmosphere? That's right! That's how I feel about this project now.

The idea of painting lace intrigued me, and now I want to do some more of it, lots more! I can't say that this one turned out the way I planned it, not quite, but the result surprised me.

The first try knitting this shawl, I had to rip out, it didn't work out at all, and I didn't like the stitch pattern anymore.

As I neared the end of knitting this shawl, I had severe doubts about doing this altogether. I had no real plan or pattern to follow. I took all the wisdom I had from knitting a few shawl, and incorporated it into this shawl. To get going I started out with garter stitch, which is comfort knitting. While doing that, I could think of what would be next. Leaving through my Knitting Stitches calendar I found this lovely "Flower Buds" stitch pattern, and liked it so much, that I used it next. I knit this until I got incredible bored with it, thinking of what to do next. Knitting a garter stitch ridge to separate the flower buds from whatever would follow seemed a good idea to me, and it gave me time to decide. It's hard to find stitch pattern which go well together, and I didn't want it to be totally different and make me look like a doofus. I found the fir cone pattern in "Traditional knitted lace shawls" by Martha Waterman. It seemed familiar to me. Later, after knitting two repeats, I remembered, that I've knit this pattern with the "Shetland Triangle Shawl" from the book Wrap Style. I loved that one the first time around, and still do.

Knitting without a pattern is very liberating, but risky too. How to now, when to stop? Will the proportions turn out right? The shawl looked kind of funny to me, all pulled together, and kind of small. That's when I had to trust in the magic power of blocking. I thought, I've gotten this far, now I have to finish it. Didn't feel the love at that moment.

Finished with a few rows of garter stitch once again, and bound off. Left it there in a heap, disgusted with my idea, and spying the mountain of knitting books in the corner! Why do I do that? There are perfectly good and wonderful patterns to knit after, with works from designers who know what they were doing.

Anyway, next day, early in the morning I mixed the colores, and AFTER that remembered to find something to protect the furniture and did I even have brushes? I didn't, but I knew where to find them. In Hannah's room. Sorry Hannah, they are dyed now, beautiful blue and yellow. I'll buy you new ones. ;o)

Well, the shawl was soaked in a vinegar/water bath and ready to go. It went well for a while, but once I thought my back was breaking because I had to lean over the d... thing for so long, that's when it happened. I spilled the blue color! Heart stopping moment, I can tell you. Sweat was tripping from my nose (it was hot that day, and still is, even in the morning). Naturally it spilled where I didn't want to have the color in the end. So I had to rethink and fast. As you can see, it turned out well. As I said, not quite like I wanted it, but I've learned to make it better the next time. A lot of learning going on around here these days, don't you think? ;o)

I'm pleased with it nevertheless. It's done, and joined all the others I made so far. Here's some more info, for those who are still with me:

yarn: Knit Picks Bare 70% Merino Wool, 30% Silk, 161g or 709 yds

needles: 4mm addi lace circulars (heavenly to knit with)

size after blocking: 39" x 65"

There was a void to be filled after completing this project. I didn't cast on right away for something new. Mainly because of the pain in my arm and fingers in both hands. But, right now I have knit some of my handspun, started my HAT! It's a cool feeling knitting with your own yarn, even if it's spun badly, but that doesn't matter right now. I'm improving every day now.

Besides this hat, I only have the squares to knit. Two a week. In between I'll spin and think of what to knit next. I'd like to spin yarn for a shawl as soon as I'm able to, meaning able to spin fine yarn, on the wheel or with the drop spindle. I'm still looking for a shawl pattern. I might think up my own again, but it all depends on how much yardage I'll get out of my lovely greenish roving. Hope it will be a lot! ;o)

Thanks everyone for your nice comments and advice on my spinning wheel. I need all the help I can get!

Have a wonderful weekend you all! Happy spinning and knitting!

Friday, May 25, 2007

My Ashford Traditional!

I've got an e-mail from Gemini Fibers that my spinning wheel has arrived, and would I like them to ship it to me, or would I come and pick it up? Would you wait for a few days more, and pay for shipping as well, when they are a half hour drive away? Not me! Well, this is Gemini Fibers ( picture below). It's mainly an online store, you can see why. But I like it. Through the right door you come to the office, so that's the wrong door to enter. Well, excuse me, didn't say , DO NOT Enter, did it?! To the left is the one room store room. Same as before, this time the Lady knew me by name, I still don't know hers.

Big sigh! Here it is - my Ashford Traditional from New Zealand! There was a Kiwi Bird on the box.
Thanks to my DS David it's assembled now. He asked to show you the next picture and ask, if he got the cable around the big wheel right. So, did he?

At least I touched it. I carried it outside to take pictures, and then I carried it inside. It's in the living room now (it's more like my fiber room now), looking at me looking at it. I keep respectfully my distance. What am I going to do with it now? Where do I begin??? Oh, and there was a lazy kate as well. "Why lazy kate?" asked David. "Don't know", said I. "What's that for?" asked David. "Don't know", said I.
Well, it's new, it's shiny and has movable pieces. Naturally I've ordered the Lace flyer kit as well. Haven't seen it yet, David is still assembling it. There was a little bag full of Merino Top (said so on the label), with a lace scarf pattern as well. How nice! From that little heap I'm supposed to make enough for a scarf (or handkerchief for that matter)??? I'm sure someone could.
Aaah! But look at this beautiful roving! I'm so in Love with this. It's merino/silk blend in the colores lichen and glacier. It's sooo soft and the darker (lichen) color is my absolute favorite ever! Even better than orange! I want to sleep on it! I want to wind it around me, but wait! I'm supposed to spin this into lace weight yarn or something, so I can knit a shawl. I could wrap myself in it! I'm afraid to spin it. I don't want to mess it up, or loose even a Gram of it. Have to wait until I get better at spinning, but having this before my eyes it spurns me on to get going. Not tonight though! Having the wheel in the house is close enough for now. Maybe tomorrow we'll have a chat, one on one.

Stay tuned for the painted shawl revelation! It's still blocking, hope it will be dry and ready for a photo shoot later today.
Is there an equivalent to Knit Picks for purchasing spinning fiber?

Also, hi to Dina in KC, MO! I guess I'm going to respond to people who can't be reached, because I don't know their e-mail or blog, in my posts from now on. Thanks for your comment, Dina, and you are lucky to have a spinning wheel from your grandfather! Go oil it and have a go at it! I know my great grandmother used to spin, she let me try it once, I can remember that, but after that I never saw her or anybody else in the family spin. There was a time where a spinning wheel in the corner of the living room, was all the rage. My parents had one too. I liked to push the treadle as a child and let the wheel go faster and faster. They had flax hanging on it, for decoration. Wow, the memories!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

55 yards!

I didn't know that I could get 55 yds out of 31g of roving! In case you are wondering why my face is distorted, it's because I'm smiling from one ear to the other! I've changed to my Forrester spindle and drafted the hell out of the roving before I started spinning, and all of a sudden it was not that hard to do. It turned out, all washed and plied and puffed up at 12 WPI. So what's that now? This sample is BFL, which I really like a lot. The color - not so much. I'm no pink lover, except when it comes to beautiful naturally blossoms like the above!

It's a dream to spin with the Forrester. The thing is, if I spin with it, I don't have it free for plying, which resulted in an unholy mess, once again. This time I was working with both hands and both feet and sometimes I had to use my teeth as well. I made the mistake of making a center pull ball from the pink single spun. All goes well for a while, but suddenly everything twisted up like mad. It's not funny, although I suddenly got the urge to laugh hysterically, but stopped myself, because I didn't want to frighten Sam. Sweat was tripping from my nose, and I was seriously thinking of burning it all. The darn phone rang again, same as before, forgot to take it with me, but I couldn't have cared less who the caller was. If it's important they call again or leave a message. At least the dogs didn't have to go, I made sure of that. In the end I made a heap of my single spun on the floor, thank god we don't have cats, and plying resumed quite well.

I must say, I can't stand looking at the lilac yarn I've used for plying any longer. I still like it for knitting something, but no more plying. I should have enough for the hat soon (I hope). Want to start trying out some new stuff. The next plying will be done with two single hand spun. I also have to learn how to Navajo ply. I like the professional look of it. Even singles please my eyes more than the 2-ply does right now.

Anyway, here it is. The last time I was complaining, but this time I'm happy. I'm not where I want to be, but it's a good feeling. My camera rather focused on the green stuff, the pink just hurts our sensitive lenses. ;o)
Wish this would grow on trees, but then again, it wouldn't be that much fun would it!

Look what I found under the apple tree! Sam hiding in the shade. You can see his gimpy front legs in this picture. He looks like a dancer.

I'm finished knitting the shawl. Now to figure out how to paint it and where to block it. I think after this one, I'll go back to knitting from my numerous books and magazines. No sign of my spinning wheel yet. Hope it gets here soon. I don't want to spin the yarn for my shawl for Spun Stitches KAL on my spindles. I want it all in one ball. Want, want, want. I know. But that's how it is. Doesn't matter, there's no hurry and I've got a lot to practise still.

The Amy Butler "Chelsea bags" sewing pattern came in the mail today. Don't know when I'll get the sewing machine unpacked again. Those bags do look cute though.
The heat is slowing me down as well, and the pain in my right arm as well. I think I have to limit my knitting time, but I'm not sure I can do that, as long as I can hold the needles.
Now I go to clear the table, so I can spread out the shawl. Have to find brushes and keep your fingers crossed, that it will turn out well. If not, I'll overdye it. You'll see how it went, when you see it! ;o)
edited: I'm exhausted. I was up early, painted the shawl and blocked it. Now I'm ready for a nap. (Did other stuff in between). The shawl turned out as a surprise!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I'm disappointed ...

I'm disappointed that the last sample spun, did not improve my spinning skills. This is the ultimate thick/thin yarn I so do NOT like. But... .... like this weed (for some), it's beautiful, isn't it? Dandelion is for some bothersome, for some it has some healthy properties, and to me it's just a beautiful flower, perfect even.

Now, I'm not saying my spun yarn is perfect, far from it! This time I made no progress in spinning at all, but there was still something to be learned. First, the "Little Si" spindle does not like to hold more than 1 oz, before it gets all wobbly and the whole beehive thingy starts to slide down. Second, I LOVE the Forrester spindle! It whirls, and whirls, until I have to stop it, because my arms are stretched out as far as they go. Third I've found a better way to ply the yarn. Third one's the best one so far. It's spindle to spindle, AND the big bonus today, I plied with the Forrester suspended and not supported anymore. I wish I could take that, and use it for spinning, since I still do the "sit and park" method. I'm sure every experienced spinner, who could see me do my thing, would snatch away the spindle from me in disgust. No matter, I love it, and with time I'll get better I'm sure. I think the "Little Si" can perform better, if I could spin finer yarn with it, but what do I know?

This ain't NO merino, this wool blend sample. It doesn't even say which wool was blended, but it's scratchy, not soft at all. You could use it to clean your pots and pans. I do like the color though. And I don't mind using as many different kinds of fibers as possible , at least all sheepy stuff at the moment. Didn't know that there are so many different breeds, with so many different coats? hair? fiber on their backs?!

I didn't even measure the skein this time. But I'm sure it's somewhere a little over 30 yards. Not important. I don't feel this was a waste of time, because it wasn't. At least the spindle never dropped, and the yarn never broke. That's progress! ;o)

I did my two squares a week, both on Monday: # 23 of 40.

# 24 0f 40.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Lilacs, and fiber, and stuff!

I love the smell of Lilacs and also how they look. They are just starting to bloom. I'm glad we have them in our garden.

You know what's coming don't you! ;o) I did me some spinning over the weekend, actually, I try do spin every day. I've got 14 samples, dyed by Amy/Spunky Eclectic, so don't blame me for the colors! I've introduced the neon green already. Here it is all spun up. All the samples are just about 1 oz. I've decided to ply the samples with the same yarn, so they have something in common, other than being spun poorly. At least the ones I'll use for the hat.

It's spun more evenly, but still so thick. Sigh.

Here it's plied with the merino yarn. I took off the coopworth from the Forrester spindle, so I could ply the yarn. I actually was working with hands and feet, well I held the "Little Si" with my toes. This time there was way less tangled mess to deal with, but several phone calls didn't get answered, and the dogs, ringing the door bell to get outside for THEIR important business, went unanswered as well! My first reaction was to throw everything on the table and run, but I came to my senses real fast. So be it. It didn't take that long anyway. A little wrestling with the Niddy-Noddy and - voila! Spun and plied yarn, ready to take a bath.

Actually, I just found out that I did the setting of the yarn wrong, what else is new? Priscilloa A. Gibson-Roberts told me so. That's what good books are for. Shall I tell you where, other than pumping you experienced spinners for information, I get my info? By the way, how DO you set the twist in YOUR yarn?

Here are my all new and shiny books listed, which will be my bed time lecture for a while:

1. "Spindle Spinning from Novice to Expert" by Connie Delaney

2."Spinning the old Way" by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts

3."Hands On Spinning" by Lee Raven

4. "Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning" by Judith MacKenzie McCuin

Neat - no?

They all come highly recommended and even though it's the same subject, I find interesting tips and tricks in all of them. Since I don't know anybody who could show me how to spin, these books will be my teachers.

All right then, here's my 3rd skein (sorry couldn't help myself). It's 37 yds! It's more than last time. Does this mean I'm spinning a little thinner yarn here?

And a shot with evening sun ...

I couldn't just do nothing with the little I've spun with the coopworth on the Forrester spindle. I plied it as well, 7 yds. Everything counts towards my hat (will look real funny, I'm sure).

click on pic to see this fuzzy little baby skein

And since nothing goes to waste here, I plied my first and second spun together. At least, the rest of the tangled mess of the second yarn. It looks nice, but oh so bulky. Just something nice to look at, if nothing else. And boy, do these yarns "bloom" after their bath or what?!

Sunday morning found me doing this: taking apart roving sample # 4 - red - woolen blend. I like this color sample, it's kind of raspberrish.

Naturally there's some knitting going on as well. Shawls do take longer, and I almost fall asleep every time I knit - that boring! But what keeps me going is the fun I'll have while painting it (or so I think). Second try knitting it. It's looking good, even after tinking back a row and a half because of a major mistake. Oh well! Maybe I could/should have used larger needles still, but addi lace don't come larger than 4mm, it's a pity! The yarn is Knit Picks Merino/Silk fingering weight. I've used up one skein already.

Several of you asked about the spinning wheel. I'll be posting about it, of course, as soon as I'll get it, hopefully this coming week. It's an Ashford! (Little kid in me couldn't keep her mouth shut, jumping up and down with thrilled anticipation.)

Midday sun, very hot. Biko is laughing at me as usual, and Sam, poor creature is resting. He's doing fine, when you think he had so many surgeries (7) in his life (he'll be 5 years on May 30th), but it just came to me, that running outside, all excited as he always is, is enough for him. After that he's looking for his big red ball, and for a place to ly down. While Biko is running after the tennis ball, and swimming, he's just watching most of the time. Sometimes he runs around as well, but never for long. But I'm glad he can do that. He's enjoying every minute of his life. Yesterday, we went outside, and he couldn't find his ball. We both forgot, that he brought it inside with him, the evening before. Frenzied searching, all over the backyard. Suddenly you could see a light bulb coming on over my head. I told him where the ball probably is, and we went inside. He was running around inside, yapping, not finding anything. The thing is, he's always "hiding" his toys. Well, we found it, ran outside again, and that's when I took this picture. Happy Sammy!