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  • It’s 5:14 am and I’ve done enough laughing to start the day right. As an intarsia hater, if I had a hat on, I’d take it off and say, “Well done.” Now hurry up and write us some more.

  • Congratulations! A job well done on a very interesting project!

  • This read really started my day off in a great direction!! Congratulations to DG for his perseverance in completing this major project. I can hardly wait to read about his next Blue Ribbon attempt form the Tennessee State Fair!!

  • What a great writing style. More, please.

  • What a lovely blanket-and what a hilariously lovely read first thing this morning. Congrats to DG!!

  • Great story. Great writing. All a treat!

  • He can knit, he can draw, and WOW, can he write!

  • What a great story!! I loved reading this.

  • What an epic story, and just one chapter in a intarsia king-sized blanket of stories, I hope.

  • Hysterical!!! And extremely well done! CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS to DG! why is there not a blue ribbon emoji???

  • Fabulous‼️An inspiration to all of us who think we have modest skills at best. Congratulations!

  • Wonderful read! And an epic project for sure. I started following DG on Instagram for a few months and so I loved reading the backstory of his blanket.

  • Wow. Wow! Wow!! What a great story, and an amazing blanket!! Congratulations. I’m looking forward to the next installment in this… series? 😉

  • CONGRATULATIONS!!! If they hadn’t awarded you best in show, I was going to have to come down there and throttle someone! I look forward to 2019! Keep us posted!

  • Love it! Love the hilarious way the story is told and your stick-to-it-ness. Congratulations!

  • What a fun read, and great way to start the day! I look forward to your award winning 2019 blanket!

  • Congratulations DG on a beautiful ribbon-winning project. I totally agree with you about intarsia – not a fan.

  • Congratulations!!! I’ve seen the afghan in person & it’s way wonderful!!! I would have buried it in the backyard about 3 squares in!!!! I hope Clementine & the rat terrier enjoy it!!!

  • I loved reading the evolution and process of this project, made me laugh, thanks!

  • This is one of the most honest, brilliant and laugh-out-loud funny knitting articles I’ve read. Ever. I’ve felt these same growing pains when learning new knitting skills and had similar frustration tantrums. Just have to find the good humor in the process! Please lots more of DG Strong’s musings.

  • What impressive knitting, and the best thing I have read about knitting in a long time–laughed out loud about five times, but loved the thoughtful insight into why we create. Thank you!

  • Hilarious. Brilliant. Beautiful.

  • So, so funny! I love your story and your beautiful blanket! I have a love/hate relationship with intarsia but your knitting is amazing.

  • Love this article. I’m also working on this blanket. I’ve had all the frustrations experienced by the author. Can’t wait to be finished. Sue

    • Since I didn’t really knit them in precise order — I knit the easy ones first each month and then pushed a lot of more difficult ones to the end — I made sure to save a couple of beloved parks for the very end so that I would be a little bit sad about finishing instead of just relieved.

  • I LOVE THIS!!!! The story, the blanket … EVERYTHING!!!! Thanks for a really WONDERFUL start to my day!

  • Loved reading this knitting adventure almost as much as spending time celebrating quiet in our National Parks! I love that entered (&won a blue ribbon) the state fair, yet another treasured American institution.

  • Made my day!!

  • I look forward to the intarsia chronicle of the Barbara Stanwyk Series.

    • So do I!

    • Me too!!

  • I live outside of Montrose, CO and DG nailed the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, one of my favorite places to hike! Such an awesome blanket & very entertaining story!

  • Thanks so much. What a great article. I will think of this whenever I think of the National Parks and, of course, intarsia….

  • DG, that is a wonderful blanket. From one trail hiker to another: well done.

  • hilarious and true, all of it. Looking forward to your next dispatch!

  • THIS “… it definitely signals the presence of hand, and that’s something I really love.” Three cheers for your labor of love and lust for that blue ribbon, Mr. Strong <3

  • …can’t ever get enough of DG’s words and his knitting!

  • I am obsessed with this knitting journey.

  • DG, you are the boss of your knitting. That well-deserved blue ribbon is beautiful. It will look great next to the first one.

    I’m a trail hiker/knitter, too.

  • A very entertaining read and a very beautiful blanket!!!

  • That is an incredible piece of work, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about it. Thank you for sharing your magnificent blanket!

  • Last night I screamed at my dog “I can’t knit Fair Isle Christmas Ornaments on size 1 needles!!” Afterward I thought I’d really lost it, but now, after reading your story, I feel better. I shall pick up the needles again this morning and try not to yell at the dog. Your blanket is spectacular.

  • Good grief DG! That’s amazing! Well deserved my man! I’m happy to say I may DG at a knit night at the Farmer’s Market. I’d have asked for his autograph if only I’d known!

  • DG Strong is brilliant and inspiring. Thanks.

  • A great read on my way to work. I find myself thinking up NPS squares. Looking forward to more from Mr Strong.

  • Goodness, this is wonderful–the blanket, AND the story. I’m looking forward to seeing more!

  • Loved the blanket and the story! Hope to see more!

  • HA Ha Ha Ha. I wish I could post the dorky picture I have of myself with my blue winning sweater at the Amador county fair. I’m positively giddy with winning despite my certainty that mine was the only sweater entered. Not surprising since our fair always falls during a nice 104 degree july weekend. most people forget they even own, let alone ever knitted a sweater.

  • More charming knitting stories, please … they are what brought us here. I’d rather have a lovely story about knitting than self help advice any day. Much more uplifting, if that is what you are aiming for!

  • That is a monumental achievement – definitely deserving of a blue ribbon. I love the bold colors in the blanket. My experiments with intarsia have ended up in the frog pond, so I salute your determination! Beautiful blanket and story!

  • Loved the story. Blanket is awesome. Laughed out loud at dog’s new name.

  • Congratulations DG! You definitely earned that ribbon! I saw your beautiful blanket and Best of Show ribbon when I went to the fair on Monday to see what ribbons I had one. I’m glad to say our knits are neighbors. My Fox Paws scarf is hanging to the left of your blanket. Although, sadly it only won a second place ribbon due to some tough competition in the accessories category. I’m so glad to know the fascinating story behind your winning blanket.

    http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Francieos/fox-paws

    • Very nice also! Congrats.

    • I loved your fox paws!

    • Wow. Your Fox Paws is gorgeous. Congratulations! The notes you have on your project page are nice as well.

    • Francie! Your color sense is just amazing. That’s just a gorgeous scarf–congratulations on making what looks to me like one of the most challenging patterns out there. x0x0x00x0x

    • Francie that is a world-class Fox Paws!

  • Awesome job! I’ve got that one queued up as well 🙂 And congratulations on your two big wins!

  • DG, I went and read your blog, and you should resume writing it–or something else. And your drawings are fantastic. You should link up with Roz Chast and form a Mason Dixon cartoon blog. But seriously, you have a voice. Your writing needs a wider audience.

    • That’s such a nice bunch of things to say; I actually avoid looking at Chast for long stretches because I worry that I might steal from her!

  • If I were still working in magazines, which I’m not in part because it’s a dying field, I would be contacting you with an assignment on the basis of what I’ve seen.

  • I got to the fair late, only having time to come and read now, but well worth the trip! I loved the detailed account of how you won those ribbons. I felt as if I were there every step of the way; it was a great time on the trail..

  • Love the squares that are representations using just the perfect stitch pattern & D G S lol

  • Both blankets are such amazing achievements! They are beautiful and so deserving of those ribbons. We all appreciate the amount of hard work that goes into a project like that. I hope we hear more about your knitting adventures, DG. You are as entertaining a writer as you are an intrepid knitter. 🙂

  • Thank you for making me LOL! Beautiful blanket, I am inspired to try a few squares based on my favorite places.

  • Thank you for the laugh, the validation as I despise intarsia and a photo of the finished project. Also, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is one of my favorite places. It would be my dream to live in Crested Butte.

    • Black Canyon and Great Basin are – in my opinion — the two most underrated parks; I love them both. I’d be torn about choosing. BTW, there’s a wonderful knitter posting on Instagram (@knitlandscape) who works at Great Basin (she hikes for a living!) who’s doing a series of Icelandic intarsia landscapes based on her Great Basin hikes. They’re 100% magic and I covet them like crazy.

      • Thank you for telling us about Knitlandscape on Instagram. What a beautiful project!

  • Well, I laughed so hard I snorted coffee up my nose. This is the best post ever. Besides being hilarious, it is inspirational. I know I’ll go back and read it again and again during future projects when I’m doubting my sanity for even beginning.

    • Yes, here also. Please, MDK do not irresponsibly suggest one settle in with a beverage when DJ Strong publishes his next post!

  • A great, fun read.

  • I love this story! Congratulations, and thank you!

  • I love this! And since intarsia and blankets are two things I prefer not to do – although I just finished a baby blanket – I realIy admire your tenacity, too. I have a co-worker who, every summer, treks off by himself to a national park, camping and hiking alone for a week. In fact, he’s doing that right now, somewhere out west (I can’t remember where – I’m a terrible friend!) and I can’t wait for him to get back to show him this! He knows nothing about knitting, but I think he will appreciate it, too!

  • This was perfect and made me laugh and think about hikes in the mountains that I have loved and also how many times I’ve cursed at my knitting while hurling it to the floor. I loved this so much! I was remembering how, once I had knit and purl down, I ended up in a small knitting class with Alaisdar Post-Quinn on double knitting. My first ‘real’ project, I decided, would be his parallax scarf. Oh the cursing for those first several weeks… 🙂 I eventually finished it – I admit, no double knitting projects since!

  • DG – I have an unusual request – is there a key somewhere to what park goes with each square in your blanket? I shared this post with a good friend who is not a knitter but worked many years for the parks service and she was fascinated by the whole project! She was able to figure out several squares but was interested to find out about the rest. Thank you kindly!

    • I don’t have the key online — though I did submit one with the blanket at the fair…laminated (OF COURSE). If you click the Smart Knits link in the article, though (not the blanket link, but the Smart Knits one), you’ll see the patterns for each square and can figure them out that way. Except for the ones I re-charted myself: Carlsbad, Pinnacles and Black Canyon.

      • I’ll check that out – thank you so much!

  • I enjoyed this so much! Love the projects and congratulations on your win! Good luck for 2019!

  • What a delightful article and what a stunning, fantastic blanket!! Thanks for the belly laughs and the gorgeous photos –

  • Oh brilliant! Sums it all up.

  • Lordy me.. I can relate. Admire your sand. Beautifully written piece and you final blanket adds up to more than its amazing individual parts. Bravo. More!!

  • I loved this post! Laughed the whole way through. May inspire me to enter the fair as an adult, but that would be a lot of work…

  • Wonderful article and congratulations on the win! You really “pushed the boat out” on this one! Good knitting!

  • What a triumph! Lovely work – many congratulations on your well deserved win.

  • MORE MORE MORE D G STRONG

  • The blanket is just wonderful! and your finishing work to be envied. My Mom always taught me that the back of a project should be as beautiful as the front. You certainly achieved that! Please keep telling us your stories.

  • Fabulous blanket, fabulous story telling – best in show indeed! Thank you for sharing all of this

  • A knitting tale with a happy ending ! Love it.

  • Bravo that is one Fab-U-Lous blanket!

  • Laugh out loud. What a fun project. Happy Knitting everyone!

  • Man oh Man – you have a treasure here. Please ask DG Strong to write every other week and then put Franklin on every OTHER week. Wait. A reality show with DG AND Franklin! Knitting! (Why yes, I DID read his blog…and we need more!!) I’ve got dibs on that idea – at least executive producer credit. Thank you Ann and Kay for this little jewel.

  • Oh my gosh! DG, you are an inspiration!

  • This is SO fantastic, DG! Wonderful blanket, wonderful writing. I sure hope we get to hear more from you! Congratulations!

  • Beautiful blanket! I really enjoyed your story. Congratulations!

  • Oh, Well Done!! It’s a beautiful blanket, and some of those squares have such movement and charm. You’ve completely captured the otter and bison and goat… Beautiful seaming, too. Congratulations! And thank you for sharing your journey so humourously. Good luck with Ribbon No. 3!

  • One of the best posts I’ve read in a long time.

  • That was hilarious and I’m so glad it had a happy ending for everyone involved.

  • Congratulations!! man, that is gorgeous. And ribbon lust is real; I got a red ribbon years ago at the county fair –not even state–for a handspun scarf, and a feral beast was unleashed upon the world