A one-minute audio linguistics lesson: how New Orleanians pronounce “Chartres.”

Literal Snippets from Literal Mason-Dixon Mailbag


Dear Ann, A couple of weeks ago, reader Helen G emailed me a tantalizing image from a fashion article in that weekend’s T Magazine. I went digging in my pile of New York Times, but the magazine was not there. I was so excited by that glimpse of vintage Jean-Paul Gaultier sweater that I asked Helen G if she would mind sending me the magazine if she still had it. (It was worth the risk of Helen G thinking me a weirdo for needing to see this...

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Truly Scrumptious: A Giveaway

4 - Embargoed until 19th May - Essie 3

Dear Ann: Like many good giveaways, this one started with one of us seeing something smashing on the Internet and purring and cooing about it until the skies opened, the angels winked at us and a fantastic giveaway prize floated down into our lap. A few weeks ago I saw Ella Austin’s Venn cowl on Instagram. I mean, look at it: so imaginative. It looks like a mental tune-up to knit, and a beautiful thing to wear. Venn is one of nine...

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Gone Knittin’


Dear Ann and Everybody, Here’s wishing everyone in the United States, and everywhere there is a bank holiday or Monday off for any reason, a happy holiday. I know Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for soldiers and sailors, but in my family it has also been a day to take coffee cans full of peonies to the cemetery and decorate the graves of family members, many of whom are only known to us as names.  Our grandfather carved most of their...

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Summer Love


Dear Ann, Don’t get me started on the notion that knitting is seasonal and that its season is not summer. That’s crazy talk.  I don’t understand how a person who likes to knit could stop doing it for an entire season.  As a mammal, I understand that hot temperatures and cuddly-cozy animal fibers might not be compatible. Yesterday, when New York suddenly came over all muggy, I started to really feel the alpaca content as I...

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(Nearly Finished) Object Lesson


Dear Ann, Sometimes I ignore a rule for so long that I don’t even remember whether it’s a rule anymore, as I would imagine an astronaut living on a space station starts to wonder whether gravity was really that big of a deal. One thing that I know to be true is that if a knitter is faithful to a project, and knits on it daily, that project gets done. Even if it is a very big project, and the knitter is a medium to slow knitter, the...

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