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Spotted Dog Farm Blog

The Olympics Mean Knitting. And Steeks.

I love the Olympics.  Like, LOVE the Olympics.  Granted, it's not quite the same now that I can't stop my whole life and sit glued to the television like I did when I was a kid, but still, there's exponentially more television viewing every two years when the Olympics come to town.  But I'm also not very good at sitting still.  Enter, the perfect solution - a knitting marathon. 

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Weekly Roundup

Lots of things rolling along as we get closer to spring.  Not water in our pond - nope, that's still empty, but we have hope for the repairs to happen in the next week or two, and then we'll be back in action.  That's the thing about good dirt guys - ("dirt guys" being my nickname for guys who move dirt.  For obvious reasons.) - anyway, the thing about good dirt guys is that they're in high demand and completely at the mercy of the weather.  Which means you can never tell exactly when they're going to get to you.  Like many things with a farm, having earth moving work done is a real test of your equanimity.  Mine's still hanging in there for the time being.

Other things that require equanimity - farm trucks.  The brakes on ours completely went out this week (which sounds like a problem you'd have in 1965 rather than 2017), and so Clifford had to take a ride to the mechanic.  Bummer.

I did make some good progress on my knitted dress this week - kitting and baseball go together like peanut butter and jelly. 

Steve's first birthday party was a hit.  Sam made him a combination of his favorite foods - an apple stuffed with peanut butter and bacon, served with a side of dog biscuits.  Steve knows how to party.

Afterwards Steve had to sleep it off.  And just like lots of little kids, he was full of energy right until he fell asleep for his nap.  In this case, while chewing on his bone.

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The Knitter Returns (that's me)

So I've documented how I used to knit and crochet - a lot - and how I recently dipped my toe back in with a cowl, and of course that should lead you to be sure I'd sign up to test a full size dress pattern that needs to be finished in the next three weeks.  Oh wait - that wasn't your first thought?

To be perfectly honest I'm not entirely sure why it was my first thought either, but when I saw this post from Chantal (@knitatude on IG), I immediately thought "oh that sounds fun, I should totally do it."  And so I sent her an email, and she replied, and now I'm knitting a dress - for the first time in about 10 years.  And the strange thing is that while I maybe should be freaking out, I'm actually totally not.  Sure I still have more things to do than I have time in the day, but I also have been really wanting to get back to the yarn, and this gives me a great concrete reason to do it. ("But I committed that I'd have this dress finished, so it's kind of like work!")  Plus it's baseball season for the boy child, so that's always good knitting time.

I found a yarn I'm quite taken with - not 100% cotton, in that my previous experience with 100% cotton yarn is that it can sometimes get a little saggy in the posterior after being worn a few times, but close, since I like the feel of cotton.  It's Berroco Remix, which is a 100% recycled yarn - with cotton, acrylic, nylon, silk and linen - so that's fun.  Plus it feels like it has enough rebound to not give my dress a droopy ass, which would be preferred.

So, like a good pattern tester, I was very diligent with my gauge swatch (not always my strong suit), and now I am ACTUALLY KNITTING.  Pretty exciting.  Or pretty relaxing, whichever way you want to look at it.  I'll keep you posted on the progress.


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Back to the Yarn

You know it's cold out when I start pining for yarn.  Have I told you that I used to knit and crochet a lot?  Like, a LOT.   I made some pieces for sale, but hand knitting things to sell is like living in your own personal sweat shop.  It's impossible to sell hand knits for enough money to actually support yourself.  Except for some very clever people who knit small things with giant yarn, but that wasn't what I loved about playing with yarn.  

I was more like very intricate things with very tiny yarn.  

Or very colorful things with lots of different yarn.

I like the puzzle of it.  But sometimes you don't really have a lot of space in your life to spend hours figuring out puzzles, so I haven't been in the yarn nearly as much as I'd like in recent years.  (In fact that picture of the girl in the hat?  Yeah she's my niece, she's 19 now, and she's one of my studio assistants.  So it's been a while.)  

But the bug bit again around Thanksgiving, and I went digging through the yarn stash and came up with a project that seems doable.  A crochet cowl.  Cowl, because my pilates teacher/acupuncturist is insistent that keeping one's neck warm in the winter is next to godliness... or something like that... and also I like them.  And also I found a pattern that was pretty but kind of mindless.  Perfect for the amount of bandwidth I have right now.

And so, I'm back to a yarn project.  And I love it.  There's something meditative and satisfying, and also something that feels like a tie to the generations of people who have done this craft before me.  A grounding, and an understanding of other people.  It works for me.

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