Aw look! One pattern, 364 versions of the MDK New Ancestral Christmas Stocking.

FO Friday: Grand Dame

FO Friday: Grand Dame

Dear Ann, Guess what! I get to visit another college (or 2 or 3) this weekend. Rhinebeck fades into the mist in the rearview mirror, and we proceed ONWARD. For about a year and a half, I had a ball of handpainted cashmere weighing heavily on my conscience. In a fit of I Don’t Know What, I had bought it at Vogue Knitting Live in January 2013, from String, a yarn shop in my own city that caters to the big-gauge cashmere crowd. There was...

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Finished Object Friday: Birch Leaf Shawl

Finished Object Friday: Birch Leaf Shawl

Dear Kay, Finished Object Friday. As if I have a finished object every Friday . . . I found this 95 percent complete shawl in a bag in the back of my closet, the source of so much mystery. It’s Susan Gutperl’s Birch Leaf Shawl, which is a frankly easier version of Sharon Miller’s all-time greatest thing ever, the timeless Rowan pattern, Birch. The yarn is Manos Lace, a baby alpaca/silk/cashmere blend that makes you glad...

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For Sale: Slightly Used Piece of Knitting

For Sale: Slightly Used Piece of Knitting

Dear all, I believe that this Birch edging issue generated the most rousing, undiluted unity of opinion in ten years of blogging about handknits. It’s unanimous! The border has been voted off the island, kicked offstage, yanked with a hook, booed and chucked to the ash heap of ignominious abandon. Thumbs down! DisLike! One star! Never has a border had such an unwelcome. Thank you all for your open and heartfelt opinions on this urgent...

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Keep the Border or Ditch It?

Keep the Border or Ditch It?

Dear Kay, This will be a five-minute note today. I am going to type as fast as I can. How are we feeling about the Olympics? Why do they feel so polluted? Have you noticed the posture of elite athletes? It is kind of spectacular. I have concluded that pairs skating is one of the most dangerous activities in the world. And all weekend long, every time I looked at Bob Costas’s runny left eye, I immediately got itchy in my own left...

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Deep Winter Knitting

Deep Winter Knitting

Dear Kay, Actually, I’d like to address this note to Canada. Dear Canada: WE’VE GOT YOUR WEATHER DOWN HERE. PLEASE COME GET IT. The only upside to it being 3 outside is, of course, the knitter’s paradise that comes with freakin’ cold-ass weather. Bring it on: I am wearing my most industrial gear, grateful for it all: Boreal, Laurel, Donegal, and that dense wonder, the Bubble Wrap Cowl. This morning I even took a...

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Throwback Thursday: Tamatori Backstage Edition

Dear Ann, I worry that people are insufficiently roused to knitting cowls. What they need is: more cow(l)bell. (Sorry.) More oddly styled season-inappropriate photos of winter neckwear! These shots were taken over Labor Day weekend. We had the cowls. We had the cowl models. (We had the terrier.  See under photographer’s arm.) We didn’t have the cowl weather.   We had to think fast. We had to be open to possibilities. What...

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Fair Isle That Won’t Break Your Spirit

Fair Isle That Won’t Break Your Spirit

Dear Kay, An interesting post from Karie Bookish: “On Devaluating Hand-knitting.” Perennially difficult subject: getting paid fairly for handknitting. Can anybody think of a way to improve this age-old problem? I’ve been motoring away on a cowl that threatens to become a piece of furniture. It’s the Pine Bough Cowl by Dianna-Potter-now-Dianna-Walla. It’s stranded, knit in the round, to be the sort of cowl you would...

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Knitting-Free Handknit Holidays

Knitting-Free Handknit Holidays

Dear Ann, [Is this thing on? I can't find the cupholder. Where is the Jack White button?] I love to knit. You know that. I know that. Most of the people reading this love to knit. But there is an aspect of knitting we don’t talk about much, which is The Specific Stuff We Don’t Like to Knit In Spite of Our Love of Knitting Generally. I think we don’t talk about it because we would quickly get into arguments about why a knitter...

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Shabbat Shalom, Baby Girl

Shabbat Shalom, Baby Girl

Dear Ann, So, yesterday I packed Carrie off to Israel with a bunch of other teenagers and a few brave and generous leadership-type souls. There she goes. They were rushing to get to Jerusalem by sundown for shabbat. Having never been in Jerusalem for shabbat, or even an ordinary sunset, I am a little envious. Stones are only stones, but as Reb Jack White and the Raconteurs have pointed out, some stones will shout. By more or less...

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Ready for the Soak Pot

Ready for the Soak Pot

Dear Ann, Here in Manhattan, last Friday/Saturday’s snowstorm was really just a very nice snowstorm. We enjoyed it a lot, while suffering none of the treacherousness endured by those to the north and east. Olive particularly enjoys a nice snowfall. She hates things that are cold and/or wet, but she loves snow. Our Olive contains multitudes. After a single walk in the snow, she sleeps for a minimum of 5 hours, out cold and snoring...

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