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

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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The Rule of Knitting Fidelity: A Test


Dear Ann, Yesterday, I headed out on a 6-day, 3-state tour. First up: Providence, Rhode Island, for my second godchild’s graduation (from eighth grade), thence to TNNA in Washington, DC, thence to New Orleans for a wedding celebration. For these six days, I’m living out of one carry-on roller suitcase and one big-ass knitting bag. (Heaven! Life is so simple!) My project: a Fort Tryon Wrap. I’m going to see how far I can get...

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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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Beware the Handspun


Dear Kay, The other day, I asked for advice on a handspun shawl that was at a crossroads, and you guys really delivered. The question was whether to continue with a second ball of handspun in a different color from the rest of the Citron shawl. The tally: 25 said to bind off. 18 said to forge ahead. Also included were a range of suggestions including: remake it in Fibonacci stripes, overdye it, add some Fair Isle, add some lace, add a fancy bind...

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Handspun Yarn: Should I Keep Going?


Dear Kay, I’ve lost those red socks. They’ve got to be around here somewhere, but I’m going to have to wait until they ooze back up from the primordial muck that is the yarn situation around here these days. In searching for the red socks, I unearthed a project that has a tragic quality to it. It’s a Citron, that wonderful 2009 pattern by Hilary Smith Callis. It’s a handspun yarn the provenance of which I...

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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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