Fiber Craft · How-To

Sometimes It Takes A Puppy

We occasionally watch my brother- and sister-in-law’s puppy – she’s a Jindo, almost a year old, and very, very cute. She is one of the only dogs I’ve seen actually wear out my 5 year-old-but-acts-like-he’s-2 Schnauzer mix. Usually when we host the puppy, I go through the backyard and do a general puppy-proofing: block off behind the chicken coop (the feather toys are VERY INTERESTING), put away all the plastic kid toys that I can find, put up barriers around the garden beds that I don’t want to be used as a doggie racetrack.

Curious puppy has a curious palate.

But I forgot about the sunshade.

We took it down during a recent windy day, as it’s alternate name of “sun sail” is pretty apt in a windstorm. I was worried the force of it catching the 45+ mph gusts was going to result in something breaking off of our deck or house. My partner and I unhooked it and stashed it on the deck under a table, like you do. Or at least we do, because we were going to put it up after the winds had died down.

Well. We were going to. But life and competing priorities, aka laziness, meant that we just didn’t get around to it.

Then the puppy came over. She lulled me into complacency and completely ignored the sunshade for the first day. But then the second day. The second day she decided it looked like it might be tasty and chewed a lovely hole right smack dab IN THE MIDDLE OF IT. *facepalm*

At least there’s only one hole?

No matter. This is fine. THIS IS FINE. The sunshade was a little too big for our deck anyway. I will FIX THIS.

On a day when the kids are at their grandparents, I lay the sunshade sun-side up on the deck. I try to get as flat as I can, and insist the dog lie down on a corner of it and not exactly where I’m trying to work. I take the material on either side of the hole and pin the two sides together across the entire width of the sunshade. Now, to sew it!

Dog as fabric weight. Someone’s got to do it, I guess.

Sewing it was actually much easier going once I got into the rhythm. I used my trusty bent-tip weaving needle and some durable thread. I quadrupled the thread because Mama isn’t messing around. I don’t need this sun shade busting a seam in a windstorm and wreaking havoc. With four threads on the needle, I knot the end so I don’t have any fussy tails to trip me up. I do a basic backstitch, because 1. it’s a pretty sturdy stitch and 2. I have been working on a backstitching project for a month and it was on my mind. Okay, so it was mostly #2, but hey, it’s a sturdy stitch!

Sewing with quadrupled thread is just as annoying as it looks.

It takes me the better part of the afternoon and two trips to my sewing box to get more thread, but I finish the darn thing. I don’t cut the fabric that is now sticking up on the top, and this is on purpose. Knowing my luck, the seam will last for years and then come apart when it’s truly unpleasant and maybe even slightly dangerous outside. I really really REALLY don’t want two pieces of fabric flailing around my deck like some half-caught cephalopod’s tentacles hell-bent on destruction.

With my classic mulishness (I like to tell myself my partner finds it endearing) I don’t ask for help putting the sun shade back up. Once all of the tension is adjusted to my liking, I sit in its shade and bask in the glory of a job well done. And silence. GLORIOUS.

You are safe from puppies now, sun shade.

2 thoughts on “Sometimes It Takes A Puppy

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