Charity Colorway: Adventure Dog

One of the many reasons why I started Teton Knitting was a way for me to give back to Teton Valley. I fell in love with Teton Valley back when I was doing water right surveys for the State of Idaho in the early 2000’s. I rediscovered the valley when I returned to running and hiking in the 2010’s. I not only fell in love with the natural beauty of the Tetons, but the wonderful community of people that make up Teton Valley. I felt more at home in the Tetons that I had since leaving the Washington Cascades in the 80’s. Being in Teton Valley just felt right and my roots started going deep into this mountain valley. When things started working out between Mountain Man and me, I jumped to living in Teton Valley full time without looking back at my old life in Idaho Falls.

But mountain living is not as glamorous as the stunning Instagram photos make it out to be. It’s tough to live in the mountains; job opportunities are few and far between, housing shortages, mental illness, substance abuse, feeling alone and isolated from a support system. Thankfully, Teton Valley is full of amazing organizations and groups that make Teton Valley the amazing place it is to live and play.

To help these groups, each quarter of the year, I’m dyeing a limited edition colorway to support one of these groups. For Summer 2019, I’m supporting Teton Valley Community Animal Shelter with the colorway Adventure Dog.

Teton Valley Community Animal Shelter takes in over 500 animals every year. Sometimes they are able to return them to their families, others are placed into foster homes to help them find a forever home.

Adventure Dog on Mountain Sock.

We love our dogs here in the Tetons. It doesn’t matter if they are big or small, a pound puppy or pedigreed: we love them all. They are best buds that we take them with us everywhere; camping, skiing, mountain biking, running, rafting, fishing, parties, concerts…if we can figure out way to bring our dogs, we will. Dogs often outnumber humans at gatherings. Adopting a dog together is a sign you are in a serious relationship with someone in Teton Valley.

For the Adventure Dog colorway, I used was inspired by the colors of my two dogs and several of our friends with the contrast of their collars to add pop against the browns and blacks.

Between now and September 30, 2019, for every skein of Adventure Dog sold, $5 will be donated to the Teton Community Animal Shelter to help every animal find a loving home full of adventure. Find this yarn at in the Etsy Shop.

Thank you for supporting this organization.

From These Humble Beginnings

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It doesn’t look like much.  Really just an old garden shed that seen better days, odds n’ ends left in there when all the tools got transferred to the newer and bigger shop.  It’s home to a few rogue groups of yellow wasps and the occasional cat-faced spider.   Hard to think of being anything more than just a garden shed overlooking the orchard and garden.  It is easy for anyone to overlook to be something more than what it is.

But Mountain Man suggested it when I was musing outloud about where to set up a dye studio.  We live in a pretty small A-frame house where Mountain Man works from home, so an entire room is set up as his office, and a lot part of the downstairs is dedicated to all things outdoors: i.e. the Gear Room.  Setting up long term in the kitchen is a no-go for me for fear of contaminating food and cooking surfaces with dye powder and I’m not exactly the neatest dyer to ever walk this earth.  Not to mention the kitchen is in the midst of a three year remodeling project with no end in sight.

“The garden shed,” I said outloud after Mountain Man suggested it after I was running out of ideas.

“Yes, the garden shed,”  he responded, taking a long pull of his whiskey and coke.

“Let’s go see,” as we strolled out to the garden shed.

Md4FZ5ydSSmpy48S8d1qawPulling open the door to peer into the dimness, I ducked under the abandoned cat-faced spider web to look around.  With solid shelves in the corner, and a table just inside the door, I had worked with far less in my pursuit of dyeing yarn.  “Yes,” I said slowly, turning to look around.  “Yes, it will work.  Actually, it will work quite well.”

“Will it work? I’ll help you build table and shelves in there if you tell me what you want.”

I do not have many gifts or talents really when you look at it.  I’m not a gifted artist, my singing will make you wish you were deaf, my writing so-so, more people are far smarter than me and so forth.  But my one gift or knack, is taking what other people would overlook, discard, or ignore and make it mine.  My first horse was a “nag” that no one bid on at the local community college horse auction.  We went on to win the high point award for our regional horse club three years later.  My first bedroom was a corner in an unfinished basement where I stacked boxes to form walls in order to no longer share a bedroom with my sister.  My parents finally built the bedroom around me after they realized I was not going to move back upstairs to share a bedroom with my sister.  I scored a hardwall office of my very own at work after no one wanted to deal with an old store room chocked full of junk.  From classwork, to jobs no one else wanted at work, I took on what no one else wanted and made something of it because it was all I can get sometimes and that was better than nothing.

And now with this little garden shed, with its quirks, I am going to do it again.  It’s not my ideal, dream studio of easy clean stainless steel counter types, an endless supply of hot water at the touch of spout.  Sure, I’ll be limited to only being able to dye in warm weather and there will be work to do to get it ready for a dye studio.  I’ll have to use water from the hose and clean all the odds n’ ends out.  The wasps nests have already been evicted out the door and will have to be vigilant against them in the future.  I’ll make peace with the cat-faced spider when she returns in the spring as she will guard against insects and is lovely to look at.  I have had far worst roommates during my college days than a cat-faced spider.

It’s a far better dye space I’ve had before, dyeing in dark corners of unfinished basements or in the back of the garage, salvaging whatever equipment/work surfaces I could find from my family’s stockpiles of odds and ends.  The large window folds up, letting in abundance of natural light and plenty of fresh air.  With tables running down both sides, I’ll have far more work surfaces than I have ever had before.  As I work, I’ll be able to look out across our orchard and herb and vegetable garden.  The flowering plum tree and crabapple that my beloved Misty Moo and Captain Maxwell are buried under are right outside the door.

Friday was spent happily cleaning out the shed, music blaring on the bluetooth speaker, as I measured, debated, and planned.  The final layout is still in draft stages but the building supplies are on order and a plan of attack is in place to make this a reality.

To complete a journey of a thousand miles, I have to start somewhere after all.

 

Welcome to the Mountains

Welcome to The Teton Knitting Company!  I’m Sarah, an avid knitter, dyer, scientist, doggy momma, wife, skier, and trail runner living in the heart of the Grand Tetons!

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The Tetons are one of the most beautiful places in the United States to live and play.   I’m very lucky to get to call the Tetons home. The beauty and wonder of living here inspires my knitting designs and my dyeing everyday from the golden leaves of the aspen in the fall, to the granite spires of the Tetons with the season’s first dusting of snow.   I can be running up the Alaska Basin trail within 15 minutes of getting home, be skiing at Grand Targhee after work and have a family of moose living in my front yard most of the weekend.

Living here is not without its challenges; the winters are long, jobs are scarce, the cost of living higher, having to chop wood to keep your house heated through the winter, planning trips to visit the town for groceries and items (thank goodness for Amazon Prime!), a moose eating its way through your fruit orchard, to name just a few.  Mountain living is not for those who expect a Starbucks around every corner and a strip mall only 10 minutes away to get your shopping fix.  A sense of adventure, a strong sense of humor, being resourceful and a great can do attitude are essential to live in the mountains year round.

Teton Knitting

I started Teton Knitting Company to combine and share my passions of knitting and dyeing with living in the mountains.   The landmarks, wildlife, history, flora, people and way of life of the Tetons inspire me every single day in surprising new ways.  These elements inspire my knitting designs and yarn color ways.

So come join me in the Tetons!  For if you are lucky enough to knit and dye in the mountains, you are lucky enough!