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So I’m Fickle

Dear Ann,
Been doing some thinking this weekend about the very serious matter of what we’re knitting for each other in the CurlsandPurlsNYC knitalong. Particularly what you’re knitting for me.
I took a look at my initial selection, a pattern in last year’s ‘Knit It!’ Mag for a cardi called ‘Hippy Chic’. To tell you the truth, it was just too damn easy. For starters, the button band was knit right on, which would deprive you of the existential angst of figuring out just how ‘slightly’ to ‘slightly stretch’ the separately knit-on buttonband as required by those demonic designers at Rowan. Also, it was 18 stitches over 4 inches in a well-behaved yarn (All Seasons Cotton), and in (yawn) stocking stitch. I know you like to use MUCH smaller needles, my fidgety little friend, and I remember how much you enjoyed getting used to Linen Drape in our last one-on-one exchange. (By ‘getting used to’, I mean ‘hating and cursing.’) Plus, I recently gave myself a stern talking-to about the urgent need for de-stashing before anybody (and by ‘anybody’, I mean a tall, cuddly and indulgent person known as the Big Adorable) discovers that Liberty bag in the closet–and I had no ASC in stash in the appropriate quantity.
All of which brings us to your mission, should you choose to accept it. I give you:
Before any freaking out occurs, let me tell you just a few of the reasons that Florence has a helluva lot going for her.
a. She’s ‘vintage’ Rowan. This pattern is from The Chenille Collection, which is hard to find anymore. We all know they’re going to discontinue this yarn any minute. So it’s an honor and a privilege to be entrusted with a bag of the stuff.
b. She’s in Fine Cotton Chenille, in a soothing navy blue that is probably called something not at all suggestive of navy blue.
Here’s what the Information Page says on the subject of “Knitting With Chenille”:
“Getting the tension correct when knitting with chenille can be difficult. Knitters often get a bar between each stitch [huh?] making the knitting too open. This is because the pile does not allow the yarn to re-adjust itself on the needles, so the stitch has to be created in a more precise way. [Uh-oh!] If you run your finger tips down a length of chenille you will feel the pile is smoother one way than the other, so when knitting you will find it much easier if the pile is going away from your knitting rather than towards it and also unlike knitting fairisle where you spread your stitches to keep the work elastic [who knew?], when knitting with chenille keep the stitch just knitted close to the tip of the right hand needle and then work the next stitch close up to it.”
Got that? As you would say, ‘Clip ‘N Save’.
c. She’s only rated 2 Rowan ‘skeins’, and therefore, as any fool knows, is ‘suitable for the average knitter’. I know you’re up to it! Although, looking at the instructions, I note that there is a ‘Left Back Panel’, a ‘Centre Back Panel’, and a ‘Right Back Panel’ which, I’m guessing, have to be joined in the correct formation. Whoo-ee!!
d. It’s in Moss Stitch. You love Moss Stitch.
e. I’m going to love it and wear it all the time and give you all the credit.
Let me know if there’s a problem.
Love, Kay
P.S. Florence was photographed on location at The Manor, Hemingford Grey, Huntingdon. It’s the oldest continuously inhabited house in Britain (which explains the stack of magazines behind Florence)! The upstairs hall echoes with nine centuries of family conversations! Does that make you feel better?



  1. Hi Kay (and Ann)!
    Thanks for the comment in my Danish blog! And thank you for the sweet words on my daughter. :o)
    I just wanted to say hi, actually, and thank you for letting me know that even though you cannot read Danish, you take a look and leave a sweet comment! :o)
    Your blog project here is great and I follow your friendly chit-chat and ideas eagerly.

  2. I’ve seen Florence ‘in the flesh’ and it’s really lovely.
    Hey Ann… you’re going to love this yarn, because if you make any mistakes, and try to frog it, it’s going to go bald (kind of like frogging KSH)…as for the hellish moss stitch … remember… no cursing on the blog ;@) (oh, how silly, I forgot, southern ladies don’t curse, they sip mint juleps when they’re annoyed!)

  3. Yes, Ann, that’s a good tip: self-medicate before starting Florence! Don’t even think about it until you’ve had a couple of Buffaritas.
    And Bettina, in case you haven’t been tuned in during one of the thousands of times I’ve mentioned this fact: My grandma Mabel Carlsen was a full-blooded Dane. She was strong as an ox and pretty as a picture, the eldest of 10 kids born to a couple who emigrated from Horsens sometime around 1895. She lived to 91 and was active almost to the very end. She was very proud to be Dane, and regretted forgetting the language after she grew up. Can’t believe I’ve never been to Denmark but I will rectify that one day. I tried to name my son ‘Dana’ but was rather (!) brusquely rebuffed. I will visit your blog again soon as it’s surprising how much one can pick up even without knowing Danish. The ‘shout outs’ for example! Go Dansk!!

  4. Hello Kay and Anne, this is just a friendly warning: the moss stitch fine chenille pattern you are attempting to do is lethal!
    It is the only thing I ever knitted that ended up at the Salvation Army after many months of knitting, frogging, knitting, frogging etc.
    My difficulties were: chenille is totally unforgiving and when you frog it it goes bald, as Polly said; decreases in moss stitch throw off the moss stitch sequence and i kept losing track; a dark color, (I was using a dark beautiful plum) makes it impossible to see what you are doing with this yarn!
    I’d rather do Spanish Combs by KF than attempt this again!
    just my humble opinion,
    Love, Ben
    PS: photo of demin skirt arriving soon, I promise!

  5. Dear Ann,
    Your Kay is a just and merciful Kay. All bets are off. We want only happy pix on our happy blog. Nothing even the teeniest bit ‘lethal’.
    Thank you Ben for just coming right out and saying it. Any suggestions as to what I should do with my Fine Cotton Chenille? Weave it or something? Send it to Ann’s kid to fingerknit a giant ball of it?? At times like these it’s great that I have an endless supply of projects to be knit for me, all for me. Love, Kay

  6. Hey y’all–So much to comment on in this comments thread:
    Bettina the Danish blogger! Welcome! Do you know Thomas? (And Kay–way to jump into that international knitting blog community. I didn’t know you have Danish roots; they don’t show.)
    Polly–Deeply insulted that you think I might make a mistake. I never frog. I never drop. I’m like Mozart, it just flows like a river.
    Benedetta–A chill falls over Mason-Dixon Knitting: the war-weary knitter shares her story. Such a sinister experience with Florence. It looks like such a simple, furry pattern. I quake in my boots.
    Kay–Despite Ben’s cautionary tale, I’ll give it a try. I actually have been wanting to try the devilish chenille (which is why I got the Catkin). But if you’re wanting to bail, some options are: Minnie Rowan 23; the very cute Anna Rowan 25 but don’t let me get in the way of Lis’s swapalong; Angel Rowan 21.
    xoxo Ann

  7. PS–I have decided the first annual Mason-Dixon Knitting World Conference on Fiber Issues needs to be held at The Manor, Hemingford Grey, Huntingdon.

  8. PSS–That’s not a stack of magazines behind the model. It’s the Magna Carta.

  9. Huhm, my first comment never arrived. I’ll try again, then:
    Hi again! So funny, Kay, that you’re part Danish! I bet your grandma Mabel was a great and inspirational woman. If you ever get a girl you could call her Dana…and a boy could be a Dan. ;o)
    Ann: No, I do not know Thomas, but I think I ran upon his name on the Rowan site because he’s hosting a Knitalong or something like that? I’m not a member of the Rowan community, so I guess I’ve just remembered his name because he’s Danish and a (young) guy…
    Hej igen!

  10. Hej igen back atcha Bettina!
    I’m inspired to post a photo of Grandma Mabel. Will get right on it. My new scanner is my second favorite possession, right behind the KayCam.
    The young Grandma Mabel had a rawboned look that today would assure her constant employment as a Rowan model. In Grandma’s heyday, Kate Moss would’ve looked plain and hungry. Everybody is a beauty in some era, if not the era they happen to live in.

  11. Hej Kay!
    It’d be great to see your grandma! I love these old pictures of the people who are the reason why we’re here and who may or may not have given us so much.
    You gave me an urge to scan the photo I have of my own grandma from when she was young…I think I’ll have to do that one of the next days.
    As for looks and “bone structure”, I’d have been a woooonderful model in the 40’s and 50’s. *giggle*
    Hej igen,


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