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Spotted Dog Farm Blog

Crochet Cowl Pattern

I’ve been working on making the perfect cowl pattern for the past few months.  According to my acupuncturist friend, keeping one’s neck warm in the winter is the key to happiness and fulfillment (or something like that), and so I started wearing cowls in the winter a few years ago and got in the habit.  Also I cut off all of my hair (like *all* of my hair), so my neck is cold without a scarf or cowl.

But, so far my cowl attempts have been not quite right.  The first crochet version  wasn’t substantial enough - pretty, but not so functional.  The enormous knit one was cool but kind of weird - the different stitches I chose (fluffy brioche, rib and giant cable) weren’t the same length so it kind of pulled - but it has promise and I’m going to revisit it.  The plain fluffy brioche knit in the round was kind of floppy and curled.  But like Goldilocks I kept on trying, and I’ve now I’ve got the one I was looking for all along.

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Crafts of Christmas Past

We decorated the house, which is always the best.  Partly because it's beautiful, and partly because Clark and Sam really love to put up Christmas decorations, so I get all of the reward with not too much effort.  But a few of the decorations did require a lot of effort on my part, and the funny thing is that I didn't even remember making some of them.

See this beeswax lantern?  Yeah, I made a few of them.  The beeswax part isn't surprising - I used to make a lot of beeswax lanterns with flowers on them.  But the carving part - that totally surprised me.  After searching the deepest recesses of my mind I came up with some vague memories of a stencil and an exacto knife.  The strange thing is, I really love them so you'd think I'd remember making them.  But this way they're like a great surprise, so I guess that worked out.

Also laborious - but much better remembered - Sam's Christmas stocking.  I made that in cross stitch for his first Christmas. It was one of those projects that seemed awesome and heirloomish when I bought the kit at Michael's, but seemed awesomely overwhelming and who cares about heirlooms when I was about 1/4 done on December 20.  But I persevered, and sure enough now it's one of Sam's favorite things.  So, much like actually gestating the child it was intended for, it turns out to be one of those time consuming things that's now looked back at with a rose-colored lens of cheerfulness.

And this I didn't make at all, but it's my favorite of our ornaments.  Santa riding a tiger.  Because seriously... who wouldn't want to ride a tiger if that was an option??

Did you know fruit wreathes are a thing?  I didn't, until I met a guy from Williamsburg, Virginia.  But Clark's love of Christmas decorations extends to the fruit wreath.  This year's version isn't too complicated - boxwood and lemons.  I'm a fan.

And lastly - we put a Christmas tree on the porch of the treehouse, and I love it.  It makes the best reflection over the pond at night, although I can't share that reflection with you because on my junky iphone it just looks like weird light squiggles.  But still - new favorite decoration.  And speaking of the treehouse, the renovation is coming along.  My lair now has new walls, paint and lights.  Floor is coming up this weekend, and I can't wait!  More on that, with pictures, coming soon.

Hope December is treating you well.  Much love to you and yours.  xx

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