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Washalong, Part 2: The Dampening

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Dear Kay, On my never-ending quest to be comprehensive, I bring you Washalong, Part 2: The Dampening. You didn’t seriously think I was going to embark on a Washalong without bringing you along for every thrilling step of the way, did you? For those just joining us, the other day I shared the humbling reality of my handknits: bedraggled, begrubby, beflabby. I pulled out six favorite sweaters, then realized that washing all six of these...

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It’s Time for a Sweater Washalong!

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Dear Kay, Two weeks away from the blog? I missed you all! I had to remember where the crank was on the back of this thing. As I type, Kermit has wedged himself between me and the keyboard in such a way that I can barely get to the keyboard. DONT DO IT FOODLADY DONT BLOG NO MORE I don’t have any fabulous trip photos to share. I’ve uttered the phrase “This is not a hotel” only once, though I think I did let out a...

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Checklist: How to Soak a Handknit in Your Own Backyard

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Dear Kay, Whenever you’re in the backyard on a spring day with a handknit just completed and in need of a good soak, there are a few things to remember in order to slam dunk the handknit-soaking process. Weather. Sunny day makes it more pleasant. After being indoors for four months straight, it is shocking to discover that an entire new season has shown up. What is with all these buds and shoots? Those fetching small birds dangling...

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The Fog of Wool

Dear Ann, It’s Wednesday and I’ve just finished hooking a small rug and I’m still floating on the fumes of my Saturday at Rhinebeck, aka the New York Sheep & Wool Festival, aka my annual renewal of my vows to knitting. I know that, for people who don’t (a) live in the Northeast and/or (b) organize their personal, family and religious calendars around knitting, Rhinebeck is a kind of Emerald City that they read about...

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Putting the Genie Back in the Bottle

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Dear Ann, You are the Prophet of Block-it in America, and I am your devoted acolyte. Blocking is the way to true handknit salvation. It makes the nicest, most even garter stitch plump up and look even nicer and more even. It takes the scratch out of Noro Silk Garden. It straightens all wobbly lines. It is a chiropractor for biased stockinette. But blocking wrecked my State Street Cowl. Here we see the State Street Cowl, pre-blocking. Note the...

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Settle Down Now

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Dear Ann, I seem to have caused some freaking out with my reference to putting the finished sample for the Mitered Crosses Blanket in my so-called foreign washing machine. I need to clear this up, stat, before the knitting police haul me away. 1. Why did I refer to my galley-kitchen-sized stacking washing machine as “foreign”? Longtime readers will remember an incident with my prior washing machine, the venerable Herr Miele. Like...

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