Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

We Have….Poncho

Dear Ann, By 4:15, the second sleeve was on. Practice does make things speedier. It also helps not to watch YouTubes. I’m calling this a garment at this point. I am wearing it, therefore it’s a garment. ONWARD (dammit). Love, Kay

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One Down

Dear Ann, It’s 3:15. One sleeve is joined to the body of my Whitby. I know that seems like slow progress. But I had to work my way into the mood for mattress stitching row ends to stitches. A do-over was required when I realized that I was stretching the sleeve top by taking too many stitches in those tight 8-stitch cables. There was more doing-over when the yarn broke. Breaking the yarn is always a hazard with mattress stitch, which...

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Ready, Set, Sew

Dear Ann, OK so I’m liveblogging sewing up my Whitby. Here we go. Wheeeeee! 1 p.m. EST We have a pile of parts. The shoulders were joined earlier so that I could pick up stitches for the neck. May have to do that bit over, as the neckline is kind of floppy. But we forge ahead undaunted. Next step is to get the sleeve heads into the armholes. Mattress stitch, be kind today. See you later. Happy...

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The Second Sleeve and Other Thrills

Dear Ann, Oh jeez. What can I say. I have been away from here for far too long. I am well, I am knitting, the kids are back in school tomorrow, I am buying ever-lengthening pairs of men’s (men’s!) trousers and jeans at the Gap without managing to keep up, Day Job continues to keep me limber, and the Jewish Holidays are coming at us fast and furious. OK, so: knitting. Whitby’s front and back were finished by the end of June....

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Your Brain on Cables

Your Brain on Cables

Dear Ann, We got home on Saturday from our two weeks away. It was a two-part roots trip, to Croatia (home of Aunt Kathy’s maternal grandparents, both from the tiny island of Olib) and to our four kids’ literal fatherland, the town of Laupheim and the city of Ulm, in southern Germany. My travelog was in real time, on Instagram (where I am @kaygardiner and you are @annshayne, as God intended), but this picture is from the best...

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Let Us Now Praise Garter Stitch Blankets

Let Us Now Praise Garter Stitch Blankets

Dear Ann, For your weekend viewing pleasure, some beautiful blankets that have been giving me the yen to cast on and wing it. This one, Strips and Stripes, is the improvisation of Misa Erder, the designer behind Craftivore. I passed Misa at Rhinebeck last year and was too awed/shy to say hi. What really kills me here–well, a lot of things kill me here–is those bits of intarsia. The impulse to throw in a little intarsia when...

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Nice Day for White Knitting

Nice Day for White Knitting

Dear Ann, Ran out just before sundown to snap photos of my latest FOs, which are both white. I never knit white. A treat for the eyes. First up, Clapo-ktus. Which I call Clocktopus because that makes way more sense. I like Clapo-ktus. I feel kind of dumb, though, because I was quite a long way into it before I realized that, although the pattern is a mashup of Clapotis and Backtus, two great tastes that taste great together, it lacks one...

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Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Dear Everybody, Introducing: A Light in the Window. It’s a new blanket pattern by yours truly, inspired by Ann’s Nashville novel, Bowling Avenue. I started it last summer, finished knitting (and unknitting, and reknitting) it by the end of the year, and then I hemmed and hawed and got a Real Job Not That My Other Jobs Are Not Real Jobs But There Is Something Really Real About That Monday Through Friday Schedule, and finally wrote...

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Like a Really Great Wake

Like a Really Great Wake

Hello again friends, In case you’ve been away, this weekend we are celebrating the life of Kathreen Ricketson, founder of Whip Up and friend to many, and mourning her tragic death in a swimming accident that also took the life of her husband, Rob Shugg. It’s our hope that out of our grief comes some solid financial support for their two young children. It’s not much, but it’s something, and it feels good to do...

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Kathreen’s World

Kathreen’s World

Dear everybody, I didn’t know Kathreen in real life. We weren’t regular online correspondents, either. But I felt I knew her. Her voice was strong and clear. Her writing on the Whip Up blog was smart, fair, kind and open. She showcased others’ work with the best kind of generosity: offhand and matter-of-fact. She celebrated other crafters, writers, and photographers, and helped their work gain a wider audience. In the...

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