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Pulling Weeds with Photographer Rinne Allen

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Dear Kay, Went off the deep end yesterday at a workshop with Rinne Allen, the photographer I’ve admired ever since I saw her work in the Alabama Chanin books. Such fun to meet the woman who made the images I’ve studied over and over. She was talking cyanotypes, or what she calls light drawings. (Her light drawings are really beautiful, as you might guess.) The medium is paper treated with light-sensitive chemicals, onto which even...

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A Semi-Big Reveal: Fort Tryon Wrap Border


Dear Ann: Here’s the downside of asking for opinions on what color I should use for the last, outside stripe of my Fort Tryon Wrap: I have to decide whose advice to follow. People have strong opinions about color. Color makes us feel; it makes us react. And it’s hard to communicate color sense in words. I say, “I want it to have that Missoni clash of the unexpected, yet perfect.” Someone else says, “That yellowy...

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How Do You Wind Your Yarn?

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Dear Kay, This may sound like a really stupid question, but I actually wonder this: how do you wind your yarn? I’m sitting here looking at this cake of Plucky Knitter Primo, which came to me (like a pony from the sky, from La Plucky herself) wound into this little cylinder. I’m having a fine time pulling from the center, knowing that it will never roll across the floor, sturdy as a guardhouse. I haven’t knit from a cake of...

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We Hold These Truths


Dear Ann, Happy Fourth of July! Every year, after our hamburgers and hot dogs, we read the Declaration of Independence. We pass it around the table and everyone who can read, reads a bit. It’s been a while since we’ve had someone at the table who can’t read. I know this is probably silly, but having seen Hamilton and listened to the cast recording dozens of times this past year made reading the Declaration much more...

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Lazy Sunday: Peach Cake and Pink Cashmere


Dear Kay, Oh, we’re in it now, aren’t we? July 3 can only be described as summer. I’ve got two things on my mind—other than the decline and fall of civilization as we know it and also Smokey Robinson who’s really got a hold on me, what with the Motown playlist and all. Thing 1: Peaches I ate all the peaches I had around the house. I held out as long as I could stand it, waited for them to get loose in the skin and...

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Mooching Yarn from The Plucky Knitter


Dear Kay, The world is getting smaller by the minute, I tell you. The other day, I had an excellent chance encounter, meeting Sarah Dimond, who is known to many as The Plucky Knitter. I was in town from Monteagle to visit with our accountant. In the aftermath of a fairly excruciating conversation about Line Items, Betsy and I sought solace at our favorite duplex in Nashville, the building that houses a) CraftSouth and b) BarTaco. Next thing I...

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