Best news all day: Clif’s friend is out of ICU, so much better. Love to you all for such kind thoughts.

How to Knit Sweaters That Fit

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Dear Ann, “How to Knit Sweaters That Fit.”  I’ll be damned if I know! But as my Grandma Mabel used to say, once in a while even a blind pig finds water. This little piggy is taking a bath, because the sweater I knit for my friend Gael’s husband Stephen not only fits, it fits beautifully. So now I’m a leading expert on knitting sweaters that fit. Not really. If I had to make a list of all the things a person should...

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Drag Out a Sweater: A Mason-Dixon Knit-alone

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Dear Ann, Habemus Ranger. It took me three full months to knit this sweater. Started at Christmas, finished on Easter Sunday. I blame psychology. It is my nature to resist and delay doing things that I’m supposed to do, even if I’m doing them with a willing heart, and especially if it was my idea in the first place.  I think what was really going on with Ranger, though, was performance anxiety. I really wanted to get Ranger right....

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(Even) More on Evenly Spacing Button Bands

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Dear Ann, I am positively minty-blue with envy of your 1967 Singer Style-Mate 348. Please please please keep an eye out for another one. As the owner of not one, but two Perfectly Good plastic Janome machines (the Hello Kitty and the Jem Gold 660), I feel it might be time to step up to something a little more legendary. For one thing, neither of my machines smells of oil. They both sew a straight stitch, but they do not exactly inspire anyone to...

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About Schmirthdays

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Dear Ann, On this lovely spring Saturday, I’m in Omaha for an impromptu all-sibling rally to celebrate our dad’s 80th. The fact that my perpetually boyish pops is 80 (four score! 4/5 of a century!) is surreal, as is the notion that we wisps of children are well into middle age. Age and maturity are separate tracks, apparently. We’re having lots of laughs, and tacos, and wandering the landscape of malls, bars and highways that...

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Icelandic Spring Cardigan

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Dear Ann, Well, Ina got me (again). She emailed last night with a link to a new pattern by Beatrice Perron Dahlen: (Photo copyright © Tolt Yarn and Wool.) Blaer, a  cardigan in a feather-light Icelandic wool, Einband by Ístex. Blaer is knit top-down, but the yoke construction will be familiar to anyone who has knit a lopapeysa. (Hello, all you Stopover finishers! This might be your next sweater.) (Photo copyright © Tolt Yarn and Wool.) The...

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One Step Forward Two Steps Back

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Dear Ann, May I step into the confessional? My Ranger cardigan has not been behaving. Operator error seems to be the cause. Last weekend’s plan was to join up sleeves and body and git ‘r’ done. That didn’t happen. When I took a good look at Sleeve Number 1, I remembered (and verified) that the gauge had been too small by a quarter stitch per inch (yes, even after blocking), and that in response, I had changed up the...

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