Friday, August 29, 2008

The Aran Island Mittens

I told you that I was knitting mittens, and that they didn't work out as well as they should. It's hard to see, but the yarn is a lovely heather, some elann Highland wool. It's not the yarn's fault at all, even though before I knit this half mitten, I've knit a hat with it, and ripped it too. It's not the yarn, really. The mittens are way too big, huge in fact. I've decided to rip them back to the cuff, use that and make up something else, without increases. In fact, there's only the cuff left right now, but I don't know when I will get back to them, since the Noro blanket is calling to me, and I still have two finish two more lace scarves.
This is the palm side, I don't like how it looks at all. I liked it well enough the way it looked in the book. The pattern is "Aran Islands" from the book "Folk Mittens" by Marcia Lewandowski.
SharonV asked in her comment if I thought Kauni would be good for the 10-stitch blanket. I would not use it myself, because a) the color changes are long ones, and b) the yarn is too thin for my liking, for a blanket.
Sam: My baby is not doing too well. He's not responding to the pain killers he's getting. He's clearly suffering, and I'm waiting for the Vet to return my call to discuss this further. We've started Cartrophen Vet injections, which he gets once for 4 weeks. This may help, but in the long run, or not at all. He's getting lots of glucosamine supplements as well. Metacam AND Tramadol for his pain, which clearly is NOT working. Last night, for the first time, I was thinking that my Sam might not be around as long as I thought he would. That's a terrible thought, a scary one. The most important thing right now is, that he'll not suffer. I hope we'll find a solution.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm a yarn junkie!

Ah, that's better!
You should have known, that it would not do, unless it's Noro yarn, right? (I will finish the SWS blanket as well, but later.)
As I was surfing the net for my fix, I stumbled upon this online store. My objective was to find some Noro Silk Garden in the color # 252, and in a certain quantity. Well I found it, and it went like this: Several e-mails to and fro (I found out that the online store has it's warehouse located just around the corner, and I wanted to save on shipping/handling/time by picking it up) later, I called ahead that I would come to pick up the yarn.

The house is located in a nice neighbourhood, but it looked abandoned. I double checked the address, and went to the door. I rang. Nothing. I rang again, with nothing I mean there was no ring tone or anything I could hear. Still ...

The door was opened a crack.

Y (yarn junkie): Hi, it's me.
D (yarn dealer): Hi. (wrestles with bag of yarn; wants to shove it in my hands)
Y: Let me just step inside. (don't want the neighbours to see exchange of money at the door)
D: You use a lot? (I'm pretty sure that's what he said, but he could have said "knit", I'm not certain.)
Y: Mmh. A l-o-t. ( with slightly shaking hands money/yarn was exchanged, premises left quickly. No need for niceties.)

Did I mention that I took a loan to buy my yarn? I'm not proud of myself.

Oh, well. Here's what's interesting to you. Some wanted to know how I did the ridge:

when you are at the point where you knit the pieces together:
* slip last stitch as if to KNIT
* knit one stitch from the bump of the to be attached piece
* knit those two stitches together
* turn
* slip first stitch as if to PURL
* knit to end of row

* repeat until you used up all the bumps on the piece to be attached.

There you go. Now you know my dark secret AND how to make a ridge in your knitting.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Spring Thaw Socks II

This is my variation on the Spring Thaw socks by Cat Bordhi. I left out the leaves, and made a plain stockinette stitch toe, but kept the ribbing for the gusset and onwards, as in the original socks. I also increased the number of stitches to fit my feet better. I loved knitting with this merino/bamboo blend sock yarn, and even think the pooling is very cool. I've already worn them, and the feeling of this blend is a slick one, and cool too. Granted it took my cold feet a little longer to get warmed up (it was around 15C at the time I finished them), but they are perfect for Spring/Fall socks. I love them.

pattern: Spring Thaw Socks, Knitter's Magazine Summer 2008, by Cat Bordhi
yarn: Sockpixie, Bambino, she changes the colorways frequently
needles: 2.5mm
size: 10 1/4 "
start-finish: July 31 - August 06

Even though I'm knitting socks with my Drachenwolle right now, my new passion is the 10 - stitch - blanket. Have a sneak peak. It's time for another blanket, and I'm loving it! I've got loads of Patons SWS in my stash (regrettable), but I think it's good enough to use for a blanket. I wish I'd had some Noro yarn for this, I still might do another one with Noro, that's how much I love this easy pattern. The original doesn't have this ridge, where you connect, but I tried different ways, and liked how this looked, so I stuck with it.

Right now, I've got so many projects I want to make, I don't know where to begin. So please don't tempt me with new and gorgeous patterns, O.K?

Spinning is a bit on the back burner right now, and just because I'm afraid, I don't get all the colors the same weight as I need them for my mittens. I should just get it over with and see how it goes.

No time to linger!

Edited: Before I have to answer everyone separately: Here's a ravelry link to a free shortrow-spiral pattern for this blanket, but I've used Frankie Browns pattern, which is pretty much the same.

None ravellers here's the link for you!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Vacation I Was Not On ...

... but still have some pictures to show you, if you are interested. They benefit of being looked at as large as possible, so go click them, and choose the largest possible setting on flickr.

My DH and DS visited Sydney, Melbourne, and Cairns. I selected a few of the over 300 pictures they took. The following are some of my favorites:

My creation


Even thought they saw many sheep while on a train ride, they did not find any yarn, but they found these wonderful note books and gorgeous greeting cards by Rachel Newling. I LOVE them! I have to share the note books and pencils though, but I get first pick.

Hm, I picked a bad picture, because the note books underneath are the special ones. They are individually made from bleeding heart leaves, coconut, Padang grass, and recycled paper. They look heavy, but are very light, with lots of pages to be filled with whatever. There was also some Australian tea, which I've already sampled.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Poor Sam

That sucks! We went to see the Vet today. Sam's been limping on and off the last week. Yesterday it was really bad, he didn't want to put weight on his left front leg. The Vet didn't even need to take an x-ray, we all kind of knew what's going on.
Arthritis finally caught up with Sam. Even though he's only six years old, but his elbows were bad from the beginning.
We've been giving him Synovi G3 Soft Chews for his joint health for six month or so. But now he'll need Metacam for his pain, I think on a long term basis. If that's not going to work in the future, there will be some injection available for him. It's too early for those as I understand it.

He also threw up in the early morning hours, and since we could not rush outside, on account of him limping like a champion, he did that in my bedroom! I almost added to it. Who knew that his food would stay that long in his stomach! He had dinner at 5PM and threw up at 1:30AM. I even found some red pepper, which he had much earlier, but he was never one for chewing much. Just catch and swallow. Anyway, it was disgusting, and smelly ....

Poor Sam!

And since that's not trouble enough, I just found out, that our pool is loosing water through the heater! Which I've never used. As I said before, that sucks! Just one of those days....

Look ...

what the dragon lady coughed up! It's Drachenwolle, and a beautiful skein at that! It was not a surprise to find this package in my mailbox, but it was a great surprise to be asked for my address by Christiane, the dragon lady. Usually you would expect fire and smoke coming out of a dragon, but Christiane is dealing with yarn. How was it, that I came to be able to give this merino/linen sock yarn a try? Well, one day I left a comment on Heike's post about her newest yarn purchase at Drachenwolle, where she mentioned this particular blend, which was new to me. That's what I said in my comment as well, and Christiane must have read it, and was so generous to send me this gorgeous sample! I got to select the colorway myself. I was thoroughly tempted to choose one of her wonderful orange colorways, but stopped myself. There's too much orange in my life already. I LOVE this colorway, and I'm looking forward to cast on some socks.
All I can say is, thank you, Christiane! I appreciate it very much.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Spring Thaw Socks

Thank you all, who left comments on my last post about my handspun yarn . It looks like this "sea" color is popular. :o)

As I mentioned before, I think Cat Bordhi is my favorite sock designer. She really brings a new direction to sock knitting. That's why, as soon as I saw her socks in Knitter's Magazine Summer 2008, I was looking for the magazine, and as soon as I had it, I cast on for the "Spring Thaw Socks".
Of course I managed to screw up the first sock, but managed to fake it through. I don't easily force myself to rip something out, when I see some way to get through it anyway. I was just wondering silently, when I will be able to knit something without a single mistake. That, of course, would be perfection, and who is that perfect? I made them for my DD, because 1. I have enough socks, and plan on knitting more for myself, and 2. I thought the cast on amount of stitches would be too tight for me (but I was wrong, this is a very stretchy sock!). She's got shorter feet, so that's why I couldn't change my mind halfway through.

Well, I didn't make the same mistakes with the second sock, but found new and other ones to make. Oh well. Who's going to look that closely? The yarn is also cotton stretch, and it was not too bad to knit with it, but it had three knots in it, and all of them in the second sock!

It was a little awkward to knit these, because I used 5 double point needles instead of circular needles, but it's doable.

I liked the way the ribbing started right from the beginning, and followed through for the gusset, up to the cast off. I did a different, and easier cast off as well. I trust Cat completely, that's why I followed the instructions blindly, even though it was not clear to me (after the gusset, before the heel), and it turned out well.

pattern: Spring Thaw socks, by Cat Bordhi, Knitter's Magazine Summer 2008

yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit Cotton Stretch, color red (8003), 41% cotton, 39% wool, 13% polyamid, 7% elite; machine washable

needles: 2.5mm % DP

size: 9"

start-finish: July 17-23

I've already made another pair, with slight variations, and to fit my feet.
My boys are home, and they brought over 300 photos with them and interesting stories to tell. I'd like to share some pictures I love most, but not today, have to get through them etc. Today I'll be ironing, since my DH is leaving for Europe tonight.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wellington South Sea Handspun Yarn

I'm back! Thanks for all your comments on my last post. Sometimes it helps to let it out, whine a little, and get on with it. So I did some knitting the last two days (made a pair of mittens, but not the ones I wanted to make last time). I've also baked on Saturday, and of course read more books. I went outside, did some gardening too, and just hung out in the shade. It all felt very good. I didn't spin however, don't know why, or didn't have time to do it too, with all the other stuff going on. I barely started on the first colored fiber for my mittens, but I'd spun this wool/mohair blend at the beginning of August.

My creation

I absolutely LOVED spinning this fiber. It was dyed by Donna of Wellington Fibers, but I bought the fiber at Gemini Fibers last year. Not that they have it in store, but I happen to be there, when they talked on the phone, and I ordered several colorways of wool/mohair blend sight unseen. This one was wonderful. I love the color. Even though there was a lot of veggie matter, it didn't matter to me. It still was easy to spin. I wanted a little thicker yarn, and it's light worsted weight yarn I'd say. Haven't done the WPI yet. Will do so, when I actually knit something with it. But for now I just like to squeeze it and look at it.

fiber: color : Wellington South Sea, 50/50 wool/mohair , a little less than 250g, (used some before for a knit hat)

navajo plied, big skein is 224yds, and smaller skein is 135yds, together 359yds.

I still have a couple of other colorways left, but I don't like them as much as I liked this one.

Today there's cleaning and stuff on the agenda. First I have to go outside and let the dogs run (as if they'd run in this heat). But they wont take my word for it. Tomorrow my guys will be back from their vacation. Which one will I hug first? Maybe my camera...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What's the opposite of "exultant"?

Oh, yeah, that's me!
I've been feeling very uninspired lately. The past week has been unproductive. I've knit and ripped a hat. I've worked on a mitten, half done, and it's going to be ripped as well. It's too big! Nothing's going right at the moment, and nothing is really calling to me.

I've been reading Brooklyntweed's blog post, and must admit to feel a little stir of envy. He's so talented, and every project of Jared's is wonderful, in color, yarn, and design. Sigh. I'm glad he's sharing his talent though.

I'm just not feeling the love right now. I want to knit, but it's more like going through the motions, not much fun really.

Might this be the lost "mojo" so many refer to? I miss my camera, I've had several nice moments, I wanted to photograph, but couldn't. I think I'm feeling sorry for myself.

Pictures are of Biko (from my archive), when she's ready to go to bed, out in the hallway. She's off on her own, away from us, but has the entrance in her sight, so she knows what's going on, so she'll not miss anything.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dutch Skies Socks

Reading a book a day for over a week now, is hazardess to my health! My bloodpressure is up, the last couple of days I woke up with a headache, and felt dizzy. I've got three more books to go, and than I'll be glad when my guys will be back from vacation, and everyday life will resume.

A while back I had a private swap with dear Hannah, where I've got this sock yarn called " Hollandse Luchten" - "Dutch Skies". It's been a while since I finished them, but here they are now:

Totally made for myself!

My creation


yarn: Storm in Wolhalla, color "Hollandse Luchten", 75% wool, 25% nylon, 100g/460yds - wonderful yarn to work with

needles: 2.25m DP

size: 10.25"

pattern: stitch pattern from a Japanese stitch pattern book, "Knitting Pattern Book 300" page 17 # 40

start-finish: July 1 - July 4

Hannah got some fiber to spin from me, unfortunately it was not much, but look what she did with it. Not only did she a fine job spinning it into gorgeous yarn, but she used all of it to make this cute Carolus.

Thanks for the gorgeous yarn, Hannah. I loved knitting with both skeins, and I've already worn this pair.

I'm off to see the doctor in a bit. Wish you all a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Where are my boys?

Do you know where my boys are?
Maybe you should look Down Under!?
(sorry couldn't help myself)
(cell phone picture taken by DH)

Yeah, while DH and DS are on vacation, I'm enjoying my time home alone. I've read 6 books so far, in addition to spinning and knitting, and playing with the dogs. Not doing much else, as I said, enjoying my time off too.

I took a picture before they left, of the fiber I'm planning on spinning. I'm still on the natural stuff. I found out that spinning for a specific project is not as easy, as spinning just for the heck of it. Getting the right yarn weight is harder than I thought. I wanted to do a 2-ply, but as it turned out, the singles were too thin, so I did a navajo plying with the first skein, and it looks like it's going to work. Now to achieve the same results with the colored fiber. If all goes well, these fibers will be mittens some day.

Since I don't have new and up to date pictures, I found this one. I got this for Mother's Day this year. O.K. I helped picking it out, this way I'm sure to love what I get. Isn't' this tea cup pouch adorable? It holds small stuff, which would otherwise disappear in my bags, never to be found again.

I saw a picture of a similar one on another blog and followed the link to here. There were some tea bags in the pouch as well as a hand made button. I love it!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Silk Shrug

O.K. I have to say this first: It's the second time in 13 years, that I killed our home phone. I forgot it outside, and it got drowned in a rain storm. I was amazed that it still kind of worked. I could dial out, but nobody could hear me. So I've got a brand new phone, which is almost as small as a cell phone, with lots of tricks. It's got a nicer ring tone as well. I choose some kind of Mozart piece. Now I don't want to pick it up right away, but listen to it, not like the last phone's ring, which was so annoying, that I could not get it to stop fast enough. The first phone I killed by the way, went into our pool. Why do electronics and water don't mix so well? ;o)

And now back to this posts main theme: Back in May I decided to send my DD Hannah a care package for her upcoming birthday in June. I collected many items of which I thought she would like. I also thought I should knit her something special, but small, because I didn't have that much time, considering the (none) speed of Canada Post etc.
I decided on the little silk shrug from "Lace Style". I liked the original in it's lovely blue color. Blue is not one of Hannah's favorite colors, so I ordered it in this burgundy:

Since it was for her birthday, it was supposed to be very special, that's why I ordered the original yarn used in the book. It's LaLana Phat Silk yarn. I've read about LaLana yarns, and was excited to be working with it soon. I did not care that it was on the expensive side, but had to swallow hard, when the shipping cost was US $ 16 for those two skeins (even though the real postage on the package was $ 3.81).
The day they package came I wound both skeins in yarn cakes and cast on. What a lovely, pleasurable knit it could have been, but as you can see in the following pictures the yarn was horrible. Thick and thin throughout the first yarn cake. I must admit I was seething, because usually I use yarn substitutes, and this was something special.

For the first time in my life I complained to the company. To my surprise I heard back the next day, which was a holiday in the US (can't remember which). I was offered to return the yarn in exchange for the same, but better quality. But I already had almost finished the shrug, and I was out of time. So I was offered to choose some yarn of my choice at no cost whatsoever to me.
It was customer service at it's best, and even though the shrug looked kind of pumpy, and not as wonderful as I thought it would, I was mollified.
I choose this lovely blue Phat Silk Fine. Still don't know what I'll knit with it. It has to be something special, because the yarn IS wonderful to work with.
One skein is 142yds.
The silk shrug pattern is by Pam Allen from "Lace Style". It's very well written (one size). It took 1 1/2 skeins to finish it. The second skein was fine, so the first one must have been the odd one out.

Unfortunately I don't think it was a success at all. I don't' think Hannah really liked it that much. It took her until now, to send me some pictures of her wearing it, and I had to ask repeatedly for it. I don't blame her, really, since it's hard to knit something for someone, if that someone didn't express total desire to get it in the first place. I LIKED it, which should have stopped me, because we don't have the same taste at all. :o)

There were also three fruit cozies in the care package, and it looks like Hannah liked those, because she sent me this picture as well. She's using them! Yeah! :o)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Geometric Scarf

The Geometric Scarf: originally made with three skeins (each skein is 176yds) of Koigu Premium Merino in pink (finished scarf 10" x 36", a little short for me), it had "decorative rose quartz beads" on each corner, and was blocked out, so the scarf was the same width throughout.
Mine, a tiny bit different: I liked the idea of the rose quartz beads, but when I thought about it, it seemed a bit dangerous to me. Imagine throwing one scarf end behind you, grazing everything within reach, and panging on your back. O.K. a little far fetched, but certainly possible. Besides, I don't have any suitable beads. So they are out. I don't even have enough yarn left for tassels. So for the time being I just leave it as is, but I will keep my eyes open for something I'd like to have tangling off the corners.
I also left ten stitches in the middle in stockinett stitch, just because.
I washed the scarf and kinda blocked it. This yarn is very pounce, it's like a rubber band, bounces back so easily, that I didn't even attempt to block them out.
And I have to say, I was quite wrong, in my assumption that one more ball of yarn (I used 4) would not make a difference in the overall length. Why did I think that?
Here are some more specifics about the geometric scarf:
pattern: from the book Vogue' Knitting Scarves, Vogue Knitting on the go! As seen here
pattern is on page 47
yarn: Corallina merino extra fine (made for Baby items, so soft and bouncy), one ball is 50g/187yds, color # 40, a beautiful grass green, machine washable 100% merino, I used 4 balls = 748yds
needles: 3.5mm
size after washing and lightly blocking: 6" x 74" (quite a bit longer than the original)
start-finish: July 28 - August 05
It was the most boring knit, but I like the beginning and the end of this scarf. It's probably the softest scarf I made so far, with zero itch factor. The only reason I finished it so quickly was, that I wanted to take pictures (very uninspired I might add), before my guys took my camera on vacation with them. So here it is, I even might knit another one someday, who knows?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Wet/Dry and Happy!

Last night we were watching Dr. Dolittle, the old one, with Rex Harrison. I was watching Sam, because he usually just sleeps somewhere in the room, but last night, he was in front of the TV, like a Sphinx, watching, occasionally barking, and during the songs, snoozing. It was fascinating to watch him. He LOVED it! Biko too, but she likes to watch TV most of the time, no matter what's on.

It's prime swimming time right now, and Biko does it as often as she can. She's so well now. I haven't heard her yelping in pain for quite some time now. She's recovered so nicely, it's wonderful! Biko fresh out of the pool. I like this picture, because Sam's got to be in it as well.

He's keeping a healthy distance from the pool. He's just heard the neighbours kids come out in the back yard. Here are some pictures of him playing tug-of-war with DS David.

My creation

I've finished the green scarf, one sockpixie sock, and two of my spinning projects. Just so you know what to look forward to. ;o)

I've already picked out my next spinning project, one where I'd like to knit with the yarn, as soon as it's done. BTW - I'm NOT spinning Sam's hair!

I better get going. We are having a thunder storm right now. I don't want to loose this post, just because we most likely will have a power outage in a few minutes, as always. So, bye for now.

Monday, August 04, 2008


Sometimes it's nice to be able to write a post in advance, no matter when you'll want to post it. I'm writing this on Sunday evening. I've just finished plying, which took hours (way longer then I anticipated). I had two finished projects to ply, and the one I'm showing today is NOT one of them. I still have to wind them on the niddy noddy, set the twist and let it dry, but I'm not going to do that tonight.

I do have this finished yarn to show you: "Fresh" pencil roving purchased at Dyed in the wool handmade fiber: colorway "Fresh", pencil roving, merino/sea cell blend, 8oz
yarn: 4-ply, 12 WPI, 2 skeins, one is 296yds, the other is 90yds. My first 4-ply yarn, and it's fun! This is a very rounded yarn, and it looks like I have to do 4-plies to get a thicker yarn around here.

It should not have happened, but it did. I had singles left over on one bobbin, so I navajo plied the rest and got 48yds. I like the 4-ply much better.

This was my last of three different colorways of pencil roving I bought from Maggie.

Pencil roving is a little bit boring to spin, too ready made, but sometimes it's just what you want, just to sit down and start spinning, without a lot of preparation. This roving had to be split in half, and it comes apart pretty easy. Nevertheless, I'm somewhat impatient with certain things, and after the first try, which entangled me from head to toes, because I'd started to part it from both ends, my son saved me, and proofed to be perfect for this job. I don't know where he gets the patience to do something like that. I was ready to shred it all. He wound everything in tidy balls, so I just had to sit down and spin. Nice service! ;o)

I know, don't say it, there's orange in it! I really just needed some easy spinning to relax. But I promise, both of next couple of colorways will not be in any kind of orange shade!!!

My creation

I really don't want to bore you with bunny stories, but last night we all got very distressed. At around two o'clock in the morning, there was a bunny being killed by a cat. This darn thing didn't do a good job of it, and the whole neighbourhood had to listen to the poor bunny's cries. It happened right outside my bedroom window in the front yard. The dogs barked like mad, and eventually started to howl. I had to leave my bedroom to go somewhere else because I could not listen to it any longer. I'm sorry but something like that gets to me. I know it has to happen, but if so, please be quick about it!
I returned to my bed, after the dogs where silent for quite some time. I also sent my son to listen, if it was over. Ah, it's just horrible!
The good news was, as we went outside in the morning (this time it was the back yard), I saw a bunny hurrying from the pool house under our winter garden. So there are still some around.
The next picture is for Michelle: This is one grocery bag full of Sam hair. This came out after his bubble bath with the first brush through. I did it two more times, with the same result, and yes, he's still got enough left, in fact it's time for him to be brushed again. He doesn't like it very much.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Hm - no title today, can't think of anything ...

Do you remember my poppy buds, I showed you this spring? I have to show you these pictures before the next winter comes. Right around the time they bloomed, we had a lot of thunderstorms, mostly during the night. One morning I found these, pattered, but gorgeously orange poppies. It's a pity they are so short lived! One day they pop open, the next day they are gone, especially with rainy weather. Did you hear, that we had the wettest July in a long time this year?
Before I forget again, there are people who leave comments asking me stuff, and I would love to reply, but if I don't have an e-mail address or blog link, I can't do that! So if you wanted to know something, and haven't heard back from me, that's probably why.
I've been knitting on my green geometric scarf, but let me tell you, it's boring! It's beyond mindless knitting, only the beginning and end of this scarf need some attention, so that's why I broke down and cast on for some socks! Yeah, I can't help myself. I love knitting socks. I had no idea what they will be like. I just knew I'm going to make them toe-up because I'm not so sure about the yardage of the yarn. I'm almost to the heel now, and I surprised myself by making it into a simple variation of Cat Bordhi's "Spring Thaw" socks, which I've finished, but have yet to show you. I'm quite please how they turned out so far.

I've got this yarn here, at Sockpixie's store. I like her colorways, but the shipping costs are too high for my liking. So this will be a one time purchase for me. When I first saw this skein, I knew it would be pooling, and it did, but it's kind of nice. The yarn is merino/bamboo blend, first time I'm knitting with something like that. It has not much give, but it has a cool feeling, a little shine, and it's soft.
I have three !!! spinning projects in the works, and want to finish at least two of them until Thursday next week. That's the day when my camera goes on vacation to Australia, without me. I need to have something to show you, during it's 2 weeks absence. I better get back to my wheel and work on that fiber some more.
I think I'll make the green shawl my outside project, for when I get interrupted by Sam and Biko. He's taken to play tug-of-war with his remnant of red ball. I get the handle, he gets the rest, and you know how it goes. I haven't managed to take a picture while doing this, but he's so cute, and he gets frustrated, and whines, when he can't get the ball free. But it's hard for me to hold on to, because I'm laughing so hard! He's soooo strong!