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Dogography

olivequiltportrait.jpg
Dear Ann,
I’m learning a lot about dog photography. It goes slower than knitting photography. You never have to wait for knitting to stop licking itself.
If you’re trying to photograph a dog in a naturalistic setting of quilts or handknits, it’s good if the dog sleeps a lot and likes textiles. My dog really likes textiles, especially my personal pillow. Apparently my pillow is just THE BEST. If you had told me a year ago that a dog would be lounging on the pillow where I lay my head, and that I would be OK with that, I simply would not have believed you. This is the miracle of dogs.
Dog On Quilt

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This is Olive’s first quilt of her own, in tough linens, tea towels, and cut-up cloth shopping bags. The words on the border were applied with cardboard stencils and Crayola Fabric Markers. I followed the instructions for heat-setting, and they washed up just fine.
These words are pretty much the extent of Olive’s understood vocabulary (the word obscured by Olive is “Olive”). “Kitchen!” –roughly translated–means “You’re in trouble so you’d better get into the crate as fast as your toenails can skitter.” Understanding this word has saved Olive from many extended scoldings, which she feels are a waste of her time and mine. Nap over scolding is a good deal.
Dog And Handknit
Here we see Olive posing, quite spontaneously, with the color Courthouse Steps in progress.
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The plan was to do 9 “steps” on all 4 sides (9 plus 9 equaling my favorite number, 18). But that will make the blanket too long and skinny and a bit too big for a baby blanket. So I’m going to stop at 7 in each direction (7 also being propitious in my numerology), and then do some kind of border to keep the rectangle to nearly square proportions, and make the courthouse steps pop. I am liking it now, but I’ve learned all over again that when you are adding colors as you go like this, you can’t really predict how it’s going to look when all the colors get there. It’s a leap of faith.
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In theory, you could swatch. I prefer faith.
Love,
Kay

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52 Comments

52 Comments

  1. Awww….what a little cutie Olive is!

  2. Swatching is highly overrrated when it comes to afghans. You have a wonderful color sense so i say go with it! It looks great and Olive looks like she approves.

  3. I do love photos of Olive. I love the idea of her having her own quilt. Maybe I should put one together for my kitty.

  4. Aagh! I may have to start a courthouse steps blanket, now, even though I have nearly given up knitting (quilting is such a cruel, time-grubbing, mistress.) Love your doggy quilt, love your doggy!
    (My dog loves to lay on my pillow, as well. When I’m not there. So I come home and find a dog-shaped indent and a fine layer of black hair where I lay my head at night. I have become very fond of changing my pillowcase.)

  5. 1st – for the record one of my cats sleeps wrapped around the top of my head – and did I mention I was never going to own a cat??!!
    2nd – love the last picture of Olive longingly gazing at the new blanket you are making for her (well that’s what she thinks anyway :))

  6. Adorable photos – but I snarfed BADLY on the “You never have to wait for knitting to stop licking itself” line. (Must remember not to try to breathe soda when reading blogs!)

  7. Love seeing Olive, and the quilting and knitting are not bad either. I think the colors you’re putting together on the log cabin look fabulous.

  8. I will say it again, Olive is the most adoreable scruffy little dog on the Planet! I love my Labrador babies, but Olive is in a class all by herself!

  9. I want an Olive!

  10. Holy god, the EARS. The EARS on this dog. She may achieve world domination soon, very soon.

  11. That dog! She is the cutest thing ever! How can you stand it? The cutest is truly off the scales. She gives new meaning to the word. I know you must have mentioned the particulars a hundred times, but what kind is she? how old? how did you find her? How lucky you both are. Thanks for sharing!!

  12. Luckiest. Dog. Ever.

  13. My two favorite things: other people’s itty dogs, and totally not swatching!

  14. I think knitting related faith is highly underrated.
    ps. Olive is almost too much cuteness.

  15. … we have said it before … dogs rule … humans are in charge … thus … swatching for afghans, socks and hats is also overrated … happy days … ina and gumby … the dog that tante sophie has …

  16. Dogs are miraculous, aren’t they. It looks like Olive loves her quilt, she just doesn’t realize how lucky she is to have a mom who made her one.

  17. Love the quilt. Love the Olive.

  18. Now I am feeling really guilty that neither my dog or cat has their own quilt! However, not quite guilty enough to make them one. Love the quilt, afgans, and especially Olive.

  19. OK, I have your books. Love your knitting stuff. But, today I was going to say, “Olive photos, please..” Having Olive, the beautiful, and knitting and quilting is over the top. She is an unbelievable gift for you and all of us. I am smiling.

  20. OK, I have your books. Love your knitting stuff. But, today I was going to say, “Olive photos, please..” Having Olive, the beautiful, and knitting and quilting is over the top. She is an unbelievable gift for you and all of us. I am smiling.

  21. OK, lovely piece, but now I’m completely smitten by the blanket on your bed there. Love the white/light spaces framed by color. Will I find a better photo of this somewhere? You know, so I can shamelessly plagiarize it? Oh, and no need for dog hair on my pillow, my cat would hate to have to pick it off to make room for more of hers. (Yes, I was never ever going to have a cat either)

  22. Faith is all well and good. Quite necessary, in fact.
    Dogs have a lot of it. Maybe you’ve had a recent canine infusion thereof.

  23. Faith is my mantra, my keyword, my poetry and my practice these days.

  24. Yep, you gotta have faith.

  25. I was fixated on the blanket on the bed underneath the Olive + WIP Courthouse Steps picture. I really really really really like it and I don’t remember it from either of your 2 books. Darn.

  26. Olive all cuddled up on the bed reminds me so much of my favorite Andrew Wyeth painting “Master Bedroom”. If she were snoozing instead of posing it would be just perfect.

  27. Olive is so.danged.CUTE. Love her quilt. Mr. Jefferies has no quilt, but he has a space under my covers.

  28. Oh, Kay, just stop! Stop taking adorable pictures of Olive. I just can’t stand it.

  29. I’m a member of Team Faith myself…and frequently, I get burned.

  30. Oh my – now I need to make a quilt out of my old and well loved linen teatowels……. Love your photos of Olive, you enabler you :o)

  31. Brilliant post! I love the way it’s all come together. And Miss Olive is a natural infront of the camera; her pics warm the heart…
    LoveDiane

  32. I had flashbacks to 34th street yelling “Kitchen!” to the greatest dog to ever grace a North-O neighborhood. Some things live on in Olive…and Mom. XOXO

  33. I too subscribe to the “I’ll just” club. I get started, and when I find a problem I think, “I’ll just…” I love my mental picture of you sneaking up on Olive and sidestepping to get just the right angle on that last picture, without her running up to you and licking your face. Don’t tell me if it didn’t happen that way. It’s what would happen ’round here.

  34. wonderful quilt for a wonderful dog!

  35. lovely posting thank you

  36. Lucky Olive, scoring her own Echino quilt! I’m where you were on the *dog on my pillow* scenario but I can see how she might sway me in person since she’s radiating such doggy charm right through the computer screen.

  37. You’re really getting the hang of the dog photography! Lovely pics of Olive.
    I also have a dog who prefers my pillow. Though she’s also learned how to pull back the covers and get in bed!

  38. Olive is super adorable! I want to kiss her right between those funny little tufts on the top of her mug! hehehe.
    Our pup Bella loves to sit on my husband’s pillow and look out the window. Hub doesn’t really love it.

  39. she is such a pretty girl!

  40. I admit I like to see the knitting, but these days I stop by hoping to see more pics of Miss Olive. She’s just adorable.

  41. Dogs just bring out the . . . oh-what-the-heck . . . in all of us! It’s amazing how they steal our hearts (and maybe our common sense). I wouldn’t trade Dog Love for anything, though! Love Olive — she is adorable.

  42. I don’t know what it is about that dog. She is just unreasonably cute. Every angle is cuter than the last. It’s got to be something to do with the ears. The ears are extraordinary. Good thing you are not knitting her winter hats.
    I second, no, third the people who want to know more about the bedspread under the Courthouse Steps blanket (also lovely). Full frontal please?

  43. I once thought dogs in the bed (never mind right on my pillow) was just ugh — then we got a dog. ’nuff said.

  44. One of you is co-dependent (not that it’s a bad thing). Love the photos and really, really love both blankets!

  45. That Olive sure is cute! I want one! I like her quilt too. good idea with the stenciled words. I am ALMOST done with my first sampler quilt…and, after seeing the comfy photo of you “vacationing” and sewing the binding on, I believe I will be taking my little quilt with me to the Outer Banks in a few weeks and will apply the binding there! While simultaneous adding log cabin borders to some previously forgotten mosaic squares so I can knit a version of a Turning 20 quilt…didn’t know what to do with those squares until I saw some quilts I liked and then it all fell into place…
    thanks for the great pics!

  46. Dear Kay, while I love your knitting and all, I have to comment on Olive (much like many folks here). I used to have a dog that much looked like your Olive. My Breta was a dwarf German Shepherd. Not a mini, or something “cute”, but a dwarf with all the health issues that come with them. I was wondering if by any chance Olive is also a dwarf GSD?? They are not often seen or heard of, and it took me forever and a day to get any info on them. Just wondering. If Olive is a dwarf GSD, I’d love to hear from you to compare stories and also to maybe pass any info on to you if you want. Sincerely Annette

  47. Every morning I get up (to you know what) and come back to find my dog, Daisy, curled up on my pillow. Usually it’s not so early that she can just sleep in while I get my day started. Who would have thought that such things would occur in my world.
    Lovely photos, and as ever, most inspiring work. Thanks Kay.

  48. You need more pictures of OLIVE!!!! Yay OLIVE!

  49. I am not a Small Dog Person, but I am routinely felled by the sheer face-melting adorable that is Olive. More pics, please! With anything and everything! Let’s play the new and improved “Where’s Waldo?”

  50. Kay, I love your dog and the courthouse steps project but what got my eye is the blanket underneath. When did you make that, its gorgeous.

  51. 1) I am a dog lover, and your Olive is adorable
    2) We use “kitchen!” with our dogs, too!!! How funny is that? And it means exactly the same thing! I love it! C-

  52. I, too, love the blanket under the adorable Olive. Any chance of getting the source for that one?