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Dear Ann,
I had a wonderful time at La Casita last Tuesday night. My students were a magical mix: including a medical examiner, lawyers, students, moms, a sister of a judge I used to appear before, and a Norwegian-American who named one of her sons the name I tried to name Joseph. (Wouldn’t Joseph have made a great Nils?) (On the Danish branch of my family tree, the name Nils was compulsory. You had to get Nils out of the way, and have more sons if you wanted to move on to more American-sounding names, such Rasmus and Lars. The youngest of Grandma Mabel’s brothers finally scored big, with Harry.)
More about that later. Over the weekend, I had an epiphany. (Seemed appropriate to have an epiphany on a day predicted for the Rapture. The best Rapture-related comment in our household was by Joseph, who said, “Gus is going to be so annoyed that we don’t get out of the book report!” That is desperation about a book report, if you’d rather be gone.)
The epiphany was the sudden insight that all of my current WIPs are….big. Even for me, there are big things on the needles:
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This Old Thing? It’s just 2 gigantic miters that have been slumbering away in the shopping bag of despair for well over a year. Something about knitting the Mitered Crosses Blanket sample so quickly made this project seem viable again. Also, in the meantime, I had discovered my love of Sean Scully’s paintings. So instead of knitting more unwieldy miters, which would lead to an unwieldy blanket, I am doing a section of vertical stripes in ecru and black Rowan Denim. (“Black denim…..Texas tea.” It’s rare and valuable, and I’ve been hoarding it for almost a decade at this point.) I do a row whenever I’ve got an hour to kill. Not even kidding about that. It’s at least a half hour per row. I will count the stitches at some point, but I kind of don’t want to know. Four or five hundred I think.
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This Young Thing? Here’s a progress report on my Albers Shawl by Ms. Ann Weaver. I haven’t forgotten about it. It also has very long rows at this point. I’m closing in on the last section of the third color, which will leave me just one more color, but quite a lot of knitting to go.
(Speaking of Ann Weaver, we wrote a little love song to her in our column in The Knitter, the UK monthly magazine, in the issue that is currently on Barnes & Nobles shelves in the US. Ann gave us previously unpublished photos of her amazing knitting for the article. Run out and get a copy if you can!)
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And this is also big, but luckily, it’s finished. Once in a while I get the settings right on the Good Camera, and take a picture I really like. Now would be a good time to report that as of our most recent donation last week, we’ve sent a total of $14,000 to Mercy Corps for Japan relief, from sales of the Mitered Crosses Blanket pattern.
That amount is Big. It has, understandably, piqued the curiosity of the good people at Mercy Corps. A representative who was in New York even stopped by last week to visit That Knitting Lady.
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Here is Cully Lundgren from Mercy Corps. If Cully looks a bit stunned, it’s because he’s holding the Genuine Original Mitered Cross Blanket, of course, but also because he has just witnessed a tiny bird attack me, twice, to get my croissant. (Final score: Kay 0, Tiny Badass Bird With Creepy Strong Claws, .5 croissant; I’m calling it a tie because I had eaten half the croissant before the bird got there.)
Cully says thanks to all the generous knitters who have purchased the pattern, and who are assuring that it continues to sell by making such beautiful blankets. So do I.
Love,
Kay

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38 Comments

38 Comments

  1. $14K!!!!! Wow!
    I know what you mean about NYC sparrows. Seriously, they are thugs. I had one try to steal a Shake Shack burger as I was trying to take a bite. (He almost got it, too!)

  2. Dayum! Tiny Badass birds – New York is a tough town.

  3. Whoa! This Old Thing is a whopper of a knitting project. I wonder of Martha Stewart tried something like this during her guesthood at the Government Hospitality House. And that Ann Weaver, I took a class with her and she is just the best. Of course I sadly hadn’t gotten to La Casita during your class there so if I had, you two’s teaching skills might have been a tie.

  4. I had to do the math – that’s 2800 knitters at $5.00 per pattern. Thanks for the reminder that a lot of people doing a little adds up to a lot.

  5. “a sister of a judge I used to appear before”; does this mean you were a lawyer in a former life, or a tortfeasor?

  6. before whom I used to appear, surely.
    But whatev’. First I must say that all my WIPs are small, and that doesn’t really make things any easier!

  7. Beautiful blankets! I’m so impressed at the amount contributed. And Nils is a fine name. It deserves a revival.

  8. WOW!! I am so proud of the knitting community!!! Did you ever imagine such a response?!!!

  9. The things knitters can do when we get together! It’s awesome. You have a big heart and we are more than happy to help.
    BUT, did you have to go and show that quilt again? Gosh darn, I love that thing. (The Albers shawl is resting on it.) I think it’s from Crate & Barrel or something. I got a little excited for just a second when I saw the beginning of it as I was reading your post. I thought maybe you were knitting a replica!!!!

  10. Oh no! Just when I thought I might start a mitered cross blanket of my own,I am suddenly seized by the itch to cast on 500 stitches and garter-stitch my way through yet another log-cabin blanket.I need a seed stitch intervention or something.
    Bravo on the $14,000 total so far! that is some pattern.

  11. I love that giant miter so much. It’s like a humongous knitting joke. “What if I just made a huge miter?” You DID! So great.

  12. holy crap! that’s a big chunka change for a good cause. and all these blankets are just heavenly.

  13. Thank you so much for teaching the class, Kay. I had such a lovely time. I’m already on my third square and loving every minute of it!
    -Lydia

  14. Scary little bird, but I’m glad Cully go to visit you and the GOMCB.

  15. I know where that photo was taken… (creepy stalker voice). Was you-know-who with the fabby dog there or was it later in the day than that? And why did Olive not protect you and your croissant? Bad dog!
    Seriously, well done on the dosh. x x x

  16. Beautiful blankets! It’s awesome. You have a big heart!

  17. What kind of a bird would attack for a bite of a croissant? Clearly one that’s not dieting. Really, that rude creature. Anyhow, Big looks good, just don’t name it Mr. Big.

  18. I had to google Albers whom I had not heard of even though I was an art history major in a previous life. Great stuff! If you need inspiration for another gigantor blanket, try this Alber-esque thing: http://artistjeffcurtis.wgd-entertainment.com/Albers.htm

  19. Woo hoo! Yeah for $14k!!
    The first picture… I need that pattern… where did you find it? it’s BEAUTIFUL!!

  20. I giggled out loud about the BA bird. Love it and the beautiful projects. :)
    Here in TN we have our own BS birds, but the are bigger. Right now we are having a show-down in our backyard among our 2 90 lb dogs, a opossum carcass and a family of buzzards. A sight to behold…

  21. Big and Beautiful, Kay! Big and Beautiful! (And that IS one Tiny Badass Bird. . .)

  22. Kay thanks for making me laugh. Thanks for sharing a WIP that is a forever project or two. And really thanks for the blanket, the love, the donations, and the picture of Cully. Stormy days surround us from Alabama to Missouri. A laugh is a lovely gift for the day, and so is an inspiration to finish that double knit scarf of the Century project …..

  23. Go big or go home I always say.
    Great that Mercy Corps sent someone to meet you, bet he was surprised that the knitting lady is so young!

  24. Those are beautiful blankets.
    Beth
    bethquilts.blogspot.com

  25. After reading this post, I dug through my own shameful pile of Shopping Bags of Dispair and found the Blanket Moderne I started but did not finish at least three years ago. There are more blanket ideas swirling around in my brain, but I don’t want to start another one until this one is finished, so that has become one of my biggest goals for this summer. (I want to make a quiltier one with finer yarn and a more sophisticated color scheme.) Also, I have been sewing ecco bags and using them for my projects—they look allot better in some fancy bag made out of designer quilt fabrics than they do in a WalMart sack. (Just sayin’)
    I am also Danish on my dad’s side, and yes, there are many Nils/Nels in my family.

  26. Yay knitters! The donations are like stitches for a blanket. A hell of a lot of stitches over time equals something lovely, loved, and useful. I’m a perennial blanket knitter too. And yay Sean Scully. Pics of the the Scully blanket please?

  27. Every time someone sees me working on these squares they ask about them, and I make a big plug for buying the pattern and how much money has been raised. I love this pattern and hope to finish the blankie soon.

  28. “slumbering away in the shopping bag of despair.” Great description!
    I have so many projects napping in Shopping Bags of Despair of their own. I am about to put them—unexamined—into Totes of Hope, however, to await their move into the Craft Room of Extreme Awesomeness! ; )

  29. Concrats on raising a substantial amount for such a worthy cause. I’m happy to be a small part of the effort through the purchase of the pattern.
    Now, to find the right yarn! Next stop-ravelry-to see how others are coping with yarn subbing!

  30. Put a bird on it, literally?

  31. I’m massively in awe of your blankets…. Love the idea of a huge mitre. And I’m also feeling a little weedy at taking so long to knit a raglan sweater for a 7 year old – on this evidence a proper blanket will take decades!
    I also love your bed quilt – any plans to write a pattern for that? At least another 14 grand, surely ;-) I’d buy it for sure…

  32. tis a beauty

  33. I’m proud to be a contributor, and proud of the Mason Dixon Knitters for generously offering the pattern to such a worthwhile charity!

  34. My kids still talk about the time we were at the beach and a seagull ate my sandwich. I had been beating them off when a little boy with an Oreo wandered into the vicinity and became their next victim. Those suckers are pretty good sized, and he was petrified of their shrieking and flapping, and started to cry, so I held out my bologna sandwich. One of the birds snapped it up and flew off, and the others chased after him, presumably to beat him up for it, or whatever birds do.
    Your stripes against the dots look very snazzy, and as for the money raised ~ y’all are 10 pounds of awesome in a five pound bag!!

  35. Holy Cow! Great job knitters! I’m Danish also- and I have a Mabel in my family… IA/MN/WI relatives, Kay? No Nils, that I know of, but I do love it!

  36. WOW. Congratulations on raising $14,000! That is wonderful. Eventually people will stop underestimating the power of knitters!
    I love Ann Weaver, too, she is totally brilliant. I didn’t even know about The Knitter, but now I need to go check it out!

  37. I love Ann Weaver and I love your blanket pattern. It has been good company for me over the past couple of months (and I estimate at least 1 month of knitting left and then a lifetime of finishing).

  38. Your stripes against the dots look very snazzy, and as for the money raised ~ y’all are 10 pounds of awesome in a five pound bag!! Holy crap! That’s a big chunka change for a good cause. And all these blankets are just heavenly.