Hiya! It is I, Bruce. For weeks – nay months – pretty much all I have heard about is haps. Kate has been writing about them, and making a book about them, and apparently she now just can’t stop knitting them.

Wazz knits copy

Now, these haps are all well and good, but other exciting things have been happening around here too. For example, last weekend was Drymen Show, which is a Very Big Deal around these parts. Kate and Tom tell me they go to Drymen Show for the sheep, which I find mystifying. Much of Drymen show is mystifying, come to think of it, from a dogs-eye view anyway. From what I can tell, at Drymen Show, human and animal buddies compete to see who is the best, and if they are the best, they win a ribbon. Sometimes the humans and animals compete together . . .

Horse jump copy

Clydesdale1 copy

Clydesdale2 copy

. . . and sometimes on their own.

Baby coo copy

. . . though this interesting prize-winning exhibit cleverly involved human, animal, and vegetable.

Aubergine penguin copy

But it is the sheep-buddies that really seem to interest Kate and Tom.

Horns copy
Ears copy
Zwartbles1 copy
Valais Blacknose copy
two sheep

Kate and Tom often chat with these animals’ owners, and when they are doing so, I occasionally hear them making disturbing noises about “keeping a few sheep” and suchlike. At such worrying moments, it is relatively easy to distract them by pursuing the discarded morsel of a venison burger, or showing an over-eager interest in a child’s Darth Vader-shaped balloon.

balloons copy

For there is no need of sheep around here. Can a sheep leap boldly into the loch?


Can it successfully retrieve a Big Stick from the water?


Can it then shake itself joyously all over you?

shakeshake copy

Will a sheep sit at your feet all day while you knit away on your interminable hap?

Bruce and Wazz feet copy

I rest my case.


See you soon, love Bruce x

81 thoughts on “haps, sheep, and me

  1. Dear Kate. HELP! I just received my Hap book but do not know what my unique code is to download to Ravelry. No paperwork came with the book. Lovely book by the way!


  2. I have enjoyed following your blog for many years. However, I DO NOT LIKE the new format. Instead of ‘rolling’ I have to click and wait, and since I don’t keep up every day, moving from post to post is horrid. I wouldn’t post this as a public comment but I don’t see any other way to let you know.


    1. I agree with iknitinAL. I’ve been reading your blog for many years too. I love seeing your terrific photography and following your historic thoughts, literary muses and knitting adventures, but I find the new format tedious. I have to click in and out of posts and load times are slow in my corner of the world. Please consider a new format…


  3. Hey, Bruce! I was looking at the pictures of the sheep go by when I spied the Valais Black Nose Lamb. Shorter in stature than the average sheepie and (as I understand it) extremely friendly. I don’t think they would be any taller than you. Perhaps you would like sheep like this to share your abode with? After reading several Shepherd Blogs I feel that sheep are a lot of work and I’d rather just buy a fleece to spin!!


  4. I was wondering if any of your books are available for an e-reader. For example i have a Nook from Barnes and Noble. I have very limited space and would dearly love to purchase your books on my Nook.


    1. Hi Jean, yes – all of my books are available to purchase as PDF downloads via Ravelry. The Book of Haps will be available to purchase there once it is published (hopefully next week!) best wishes! Kate


  5. Bruce, you can come live with me in the Blue Ridge Mtns. of GA, and I promise to take you swimming everyday. Although, I do think your parents might miss you.


  6. You are lucky to have Bruce, but I think Bruce is the luckiest dog in the world to have you two as owners. ……with such a good sense of humour. I can well picture you taking him to that fair.


  7. Ah, dearest Bruce! Our silly humans must be allowed to indulge their little flights of fancy, mustn’t they, the darlings?…I’m only a little Shih Tzu, very short of leg, but I must tell you that I live just across the road from a rather large flock of sheep, and honestly? Better than television, hands down, any time! Those daft, wooly-headed creatures provide me with endless hours of amusement, and I’m sure you would find the same. Since neither of us has any inclination to ‘herd’ – you prefer to retrieve, for instance, and I – well I prefer to sit on pillows, frankly…Trust me, only mirth and entertainment can ensue from watching your humans try their hands at sheep-keeping. Encourage it, my fine friend! You will not regret it, I assure you. Fond regards, Zuzu, from the west of Ireland xx


  8. Ah Bruce, you braw laddie, my five doggies have to accept my three sheep since I want to spin.

    (Don’t tell them, but I think you are so bonny!).


  9. Bruce,

    We agree! These knitters need sheep for yarn but not in our home. We are far better than sheep and easier to travel with too. Not to mention sheep would have a hard time trying to keep up with the uprights during ski season.

    Sadie and Tally


    1. Bruce is just so DOG and georgeous, but could he tell me please what a hap is and maybe a CAL? I keep tripping over these new words and would love to know what they are


  10. Dear Bruce,

    First of all, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.
    I’m amazed that chasing sheep doesn’t seem to even cross your mind! Maybe you could have a word with my canines as one of them believes that sheep are just dog toys on the loose…

    I’m glad to see that you get a lot of outdoors fun and I hope that Kate will knit you a hap of your own very soon!

    Lots of love,



  11. Oh that Bruce…he’s so handsome and has such a way with words.
    Your sheepy pictures are so gorgeous, the ridges of those curly horns looked as gnarly as tree bark, though I must confess it was that pink nosed titan haired bovine beauty that fair captured my heart, I just want to scritch that orange mop of fringe and coase those soft looking ears…


  12. Hey Bruce – I’m right there with you on that sheep thing. There are no woolly creatures anywhere that can usurp us! Hang in there…. may the firth be with you. Much love, Ginny (black lab aged 6) xxx


  13. Bruce, you’re terrific, I love reading about your thoughts and adventures. I agree with another person’s comment you need a chapter in one of Kate’s books, better yet I think you need a book of your own!


  14. I think Bruce deserves his own chapter in the next book. There are chapters about how Kate comes up with, and executes, her ideas – there needs to be one from Bruce’s perspective: how he finds places for her to model, how he inspires her colourwork, how he causes serendipitous design changes …


  15. Bruce, you are a great writer, dare I consider maybe even slightly better than Kate? It’s good to hear from you again. My friends want to know if Tom knits, I want to know if you knit?


  16. Fantastique Bruce. I’m going to show your photos to my young grandchildren; they will be mesmerized.
    You hang out with a great gang and are such a good friend to them. i can assure you Kate would not enjoy her hap or any other knitting half so much if you weren’t there. e-talk soon, robin


  17. Jeez Bruce what we have to put up with eh! However, a big plus which you most probably know already is that fresh sheep poo is a very tasty snack on your morning walk. I also get to snatch a bite or two of roo poo with a chaser of rabbit. Anyways, all the best from yah mate Woody!


  18. Hello Bruce,

    It is good to see you! I agree that sheep are adorable, but you are somebody extra special. Not only are you cute, or rather handsome, you also express yourself very well. I am endlessly entertained by your witty posts about the world around you. I am such a fan of yours.

    Best regards,
    Deborah O{];-)


  19. Bruce, have you heard no mention of Kate knitting a Peerie Hap for you? Don’t you think it would be so nice to have one to wrap yourself in when you’ve just come out of the loch. Next time you see her knitting joost keep nudging her, or pinch her ball of yarn and wrap yourself up in it…..she will get the message. I don’t suppose you would worry about the colour of the aforementioned Hap, for after all, ANY colour suits a handsome fella. Let me know how you get on. Xx


  20. Hi Bruce,
    I know what you mean (from one black lab to another!) but I and my knitting ‘mum’ really enjoyed your post! Especially the jumping in the loch bit! As soon as that pre ordered hap book arrives I’ll be joining you in patience at my owners feet (whilst she knits)


  21. Above all, Bruce, you are a fine and noble friend. As a friend, we have to put up and go along with flights of fancy especially where they involve fleecy pursuits! My job is to sit on, and occasionally chew (but don’t tell) fleece when it is brought home. My human has talked about sheep too, but they are tiring and I have to sleep on that idea! It’s too perplexing.. I understand your plight Bruce! . Long suffering Magnus the cat – owner of a knitting and fleece obsessed human!


  22. Dear Bruce,

    A very good case too! But have you considered that sheep are stupid creatures, and that your superior intelligence would shine out even more with these woolly headed beasts around?


  23. It is so good to hear from Bruce again!!…What a patient, magnificent Bruce he is too….what is it about getting some sheep any way….and what fun that might be for Bruce. Has Bruce considered all of the possibilities that might mean for Bruce?


  24. You are a very handsome dog Bruce and that photo, fourth up from the bottom, is stunning.
    I am sure you will still be number one best friend for your humans if sheep do join your family so do not worry.


  25. But if sheep do come to live with Kate and Tom, you would be King over even more subjects. Maybe you could persuade Kate and a dog Hap would be a good thing to knit next. A lovely one suitable for a regal and handsome fellow like yourself.


  26. Bruce have you ever thought about writing a children’s book? I think you might want to discuss this effort with Kate (as she has already written many books and essays). I think your stories would make fine reading for young children 3-5 in a picture book format.


  27. Dear Bruce,

    Love your blogging.

    I wonder if you’ve ever had your hair spun. If so, how does it compare to that of a sheep?

    Happy knitting,
    Heidi Cohen

    aka Knitted Yarns


    1. I wonder, too, because my Duke is Bruce’s cousin and I know that there is plenty of that hair to be had. Alas, Duke doesn’t have a loch to swim in, which might help some with the excess of hair.
      Separately, I have never seen such fuzzy cattle! All of the breeds the local cattlemen run have shorter hair. And I love the punk look of the last sheep (on the right) proudly rocking his mohawk.


  28. Bruce, I think you need to suggest to the humans that you deserve ribbons for being the best dog blogger out there. So glad you are enjoying the loch, sticks and sunshine at full pelt again.


  29. Bruce, you are one incredibly handsome and loyal dude, even soaking wet. I will gladly take you home with me if you feel that the sheep are crowding you out.
    But I gotta say, both those stunning horses and gorgeous sheep are major eye candy, so I see why your mom and dad love going to see them. I’m sure that you’ll always be number one though!


  30. Bruce, your handsome demeanour is well matched with your wisdom. How fortunate Tom and Kate are to have your counsel.


  31. Oh Bruce! Of course a sheep couldn’t leap boldly — not anywhere! And if it did stray into the loch, wouldn’t its fleece shrink?! In your position, I too would be worried about the ‘keeping of a few sheep.’ Surely Kate & Tom wouldn’t expect a noble personage such as yourself to take on the responsibility of keeping unruly sheep under control?! Do your canine best to stabilize their flights of fancy as Alice says above.


  32. So hap-py to hear from you, Bruce. It is, alas, often up to the canine to stabilize these human flights of fancy. You are a wise and patient one.


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