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Back to Rectangle One


Dear Ann, There is a spectrum of perfectionism in knitting. I’m at an extreme end of the scale. Once I know about a mistake, I have to fix it, even if it doesn’t really make a difference to the wear or the look of the garment. I do not subscribe to the “trotting horse school,” in which you don’t have to worry about a mistake unless it can be seen from a trotting horse. Or on a trotting horse. It has something to do...

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Postcard from TNNA


Dear Ann, As you know, because you’re here, we’re at TNNA in Washington, D.C., for the weekend. So far, it’s been a lot of hugging and kissing, meeting and greeting, and sitting and knitting. You meet the randomest people. Here are Clara Parkes and Franklin Habit, the filling in a Mason-Dixon Knitting sandwich of love. A milestone has been reached. (Note how the center strip perfectly matches the bricks of Ninth Street,...

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Handspun Finale


Dear Kay, The bifurcated Citron is now done. When it got down to the final bit of yarn, I pulled out my postal scale and ascertained that one row weighed 2 grams, and I had 38 grams of yarn left. This was good news, because I’d landed just at the point when the final ruffle would make sense. My sister-in-law Mary Neal feels there should be a ruffle tax. She’s pretty strongly anti-ruffle, and I get that. But a ruffle on the edge of...

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Bias: A Good Thing (For Shawls)


Dear Ann, All good things must come to an end, even if they are very, very long good things.  Today I bid a fond farewell to the knitting of my Tokyo Shawl, and a warm welcome to years and years of wearing it. On the train home from Boston on Saturday, I knit the last gently slanting rows, and wove in the ends. As soon as I dropped my grip in the front hall, I washed the shawl in the kitchen sink, squoze out as much water as I could, and...

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Go Toward the Light, Literally: The Knitter’s Life


Dear Kay, This time of year, the light through the kitchen window hits a peak of glory around 6 pm. I keep an eye on the kitchen sun schedule the way a fisherman knows the tides. This late afternoon light? It looks like Jesus will come striding out of the cedars any minute. Thomas Kinkade, the Painter of Light, wishes his light looked like this light. I had a slim window in which to get a picture of my latest sock-finishing effort. There was...

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Curiosities for the Curious Sock Knitter


Dear Kay, When you’re on a sock binge, you end up wandering the Internet in search of EVERYTHING SOCKULAR. The image that haunts me today? The oldest knitted item in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London happens to be: a pair of socks. Apparently humans two millennia ago had two toes! I did not know this. A sock binge also leads me to sock books. I keep thumbing through three that I have on hand. Sometimes a bracing bit of history...

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