Friday, October 12, 2007

The 2007 Samoyed National Specialty: The Show

For six days the world of Samoyed show dogs congregated in Lancaster, PA for their national specialty show. This is a wonderful time to get together with friends that you only get to see once a year, see all the dogs, shop with the vendors, take classes, and generally have a good time.

For those of us who are vendors at the national, it means setting up a booth, getting with old friends and clients, and getting to work. For me this year, it meant showing my new designs, setting up my patterns and books for people to see, displaying my newly designed knitting bag that celebrated the dogs, displayed the bear kit designed for the show, unpacking all the beautiful yarn, especially the Samoyed/Marino blend that is so beautiful, and getting ready to teach my seminar.

This year I offered the class 'Knitting at the National" for those who wanted to learn the craft in hopes of eventually being able to knit some of the beautiful spun Samoyed hair that our dogs constantly donate to the cause. With the class and follow-up sessions during the week, 17 people learned to knit the Kanine Knits way. They varied in age from the young to the young at heart and it didn't matter the skill level, all went away with the knowledge of how to knit and purl and create a simple garment. The hardest part of teaching is to convince the students that they can do it. Once they got over the idea that it was hard, they cruised along and were knitting up a storm. It did my heart good when my youngest student Hogan was working away and her father called her to get ready for Jr. Showmanship competition. "I just have to finish this row," she answered in the tradition of all good knitters down through the centuries.

My friend Sandy McDonough's puppy bitch Flurry had fun spending time in the booth with all the knitters, but she also did well in the ring by winning Best of Opposite Sex in Puppy Sweepstakes and then, since at nine months she's already a champion, going on to win an Award of Merit in the Best of Breed competition.

My booth faced the obedience ring with breed not far away so I was able to visit with customers and watch the judging at the same time. I made many new friends, and talked with old ones. It was an exhausting week, but definitely worth the trip.

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