Great teachers. Teenage boys. The Gettysburg Address.  A box of Kleenex. Watch The Address, a new film by Ken Burns.

Keep the Border or Ditch It?

Keep the Border or Ditch It?

Dear Kay, This will be a five-minute note today. I am going to type as fast as I can. How are we feeling about the Olympics? Why do they feel so polluted? Have you noticed the posture of elite athletes? It is kind of spectacular. I have concluded that pairs skating is one of the most dangerous activities in the world. And all weekend long, every time I looked at Bob Costas’s runny left eye, I immediately got itchy in my own left...

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Comme des Grannies

  Dear Ann, Remember this post from Karen at Fringe Association? It sent me around the bend. I wanted that thing. Bad. But not bad enough to crank up my rickety granny square skills. I just wanted the THING. For once in my life, without all that fussing. Then I remembered, I know people who crochet. In fact I know one knitter who crochets a lot, and likes it. One thing led to another, and before long a swap had been arranged and yarn was...

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February Is Shake Your Bon-Bon Month

February Is Shake Your Bon-Bon Month

Dear Kay, January’s Get Rid of 50 Things a Day project was basically a success, in the sense that I feel better about 1,500 things not being inside my house anymore. It was not perfect, by any means–I never did go into the basement. I may never go into the basement. And the toy closet was a shattering reckoning I hope never to repeat. But I did discover that I have pretty much a lifetime supply of books I haven’t read. If we...

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More Thread Love

Dear Ann, I have been sitting here half the evening YouTubing up sad songs suggested in the comments. Whoa. There are a lot of sad songs out there. We may need to put together a Programme of Sad YouTubes and watch them together, while sipping absinthe and keening.  We will call this event, “Tuesday.” I have also activated the Random Drawer and can report that we have our 3 winners, and I have sent them all emails. (Congratulations,...

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She Learned to Love the Thread

Dear Ann, Breaking news:  ROSANNE CASH IS A KNITTER. Oh and also:  she has a new record coming out today. (Photo: Gael Towey.) I know that Rosanne is a knitter, because I taught her.  We met a few years ago, at a book signing for her memoir, Composed.  She wanted to learn how to knit, and asked me if I gave lessons.  I said, not really, but I’d be glad to teach you to knit.  It was one of the nicest surprises ever. We met up a...

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Thera-FO

Dear Ann, All kinds of heck has been busting loose at Casa Kay.  Mostly good, or at least To Be Expected In The Arc of a Fulfilling Life. Right now I have the flu-like symptoms, which is more pleasant to think of as Extra Knitting Time. The final 2013 FO that I have to show is this striped shawl/full-body stole from the book Wear With All.  I’ve been knitting on this since last summer, off and on.  I picked it as my WIP date for our...

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Oh, Bring Us a Figgy Pudding

Oh, Bring Us a Figgy Pudding

Dear Kay, I found this hat in Hubbo’s coat pocket last week. At first I thought, Good grief, what is this abomination in my husband’s pocket? And then I thought, Oh, I made this. I think this hat came into existence during a fairly low period last year when I was knitting hats in quantity. I apparently ran out of Cascade 220 up towards the top, though I can’t imagine how I could run out of Cascade 220 given that there are...

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Cowls: A Manifesto

Dear Ann, Today, reader Susan S. stood up on Instagram and called me a “cowl enabler.” [beams with pride] Back in oh-nine or twenty-ten, when cowls were The Latest Thing Since Fingerless Mitts, I believe I may have told you, in one of my more candid, low-blood-sugar moments, that “the only reason for cowls is that knitters like to make cowls.” (I know! As if that is not a more than sufficient reason! Low blood sugar!)...

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Two Words: Rag Balls

Two Words: Rag Balls

Dear Ann, In this season of gratefulness, I’ve been thinking about how I’ve wished for a knitting group, and how funny it is that when it finally arrived (like a pony from the sky), it was a sewing circle. A bunch of women I didn’t know a few years ago.  We are the unofficial New York City branch of the Alabama Chanin Sewing Society and Fan Club. Sometimes I knit at sewing circle. If the mutual support (aka gossip) is flying,...

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The Cobbler’s Dishrag Drawer

The Cobbler’s Dishrag Drawer

Dear Ann, It has come to this. My once-glorious dishrag drawer is faded and bedraggled. I first noticed the general lowering of the tone of my dishcloths quite a while ago, but I kept pushing aside such unthinkable thoughts. The fact is, I’ve not been in the dishcloth knitting mood for a while now. Then, recently, a visitor commented on the sad state of my also-once-glorious tea towels. I had to face it: I’ve let myself go. The tea...

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