“I just want more of her.” A wonderful piece on the late lamented food writer, Laurie Colwin.

Sometimes The Yarn Crawls To You

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Dear Ann,
It’s always a thrilling moment every year when the Rowan Free Gift arrives. (For non-Rowanistas: if you subscribe to Rowan Magazine’s 2 issues per year, they send you a sweet little kit of yarn and instructions for a small project.) Well, almost always. Last year the gift was 6 skeins of Rowan Denim to make a little bag. To most people, this was probably awesome, but, you know, I’m kind of familiar with the Rowan Denim. Happy to have it! Newcastle is always accepting more coals! But I like it even better when the Rowan gift is something that I might not otherwise try. (Remember the Kaffe Tumbling Blocks Cushion? No WAY would I have made that beautiful thing without the kit landing in my lap.)
I have always, always been a sucker for the Free Gift With Purchase. Remember those awesome Lancome black patent bags in the 80s and 90s? The Clinique zippered makeup kits that never failed to include a tube of brown lipstick and a teeny bar of complexion soap? The glass tumbler that came in a box of Duz detergent? (OK, that’s too far back for me, but I remember hearing people remember it, and I completely get why they remember it.) And the Kraft pimiento cream cheese that came (and probably still comes) in little cut-glass juice glasses? (To this day, when I go to France, I come home with mustard packed in juice glasses. Once I got mustard in a goblet.)
But I digress. Last week I got my Rowan kit, just as I was digging around for something to amuse me during any lulls in last weekend’s double-mitzvah for niece Maggie and nephew Paul. (Here’s Joseph enjoying a moment of irreverence after a long day of Hebrew.)
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The good: There are 2 choices of project, and it was hard to decide which to make because both are good! I am going with the lace shawl (pictured up top), because it will suit Carrie, whose accessories need daily, if not more frequent, refreshing. Also, the Pure Wool 4 ply is really nice yarn, and a generous amount. (A full-size brown lipstick, for sure! None of those teeny Avon-lady sample lipsticks–much as we loved them as kids– for Rowanistas!)
The bad: Beigey peach has got to be one of my least favorite colors. It’s beige! It’s peach! It’s neither beige nor peach! It’s the color of that “flesh-toned” crayon that was not the color of anyone’s actual flesh. I’m going to be looking for an invitation to somebody’s walnut dye vat when this thing is knitted up. (Don’t go composting your fallen walnuts, Cristina! ) I must be in a good mood, though, because I think it’s a plus that at the end of the knitting, I’ll get to garment-dye my scarf.
Anyhoo. That’s been a highlight of my week.
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For Olive’s fan club, a photo of our darling girl. Don’t get me started on the list of things I would never do, that I am doing now. (Speaking baby talk to another species? Check.) She has won me over with her sweet kitten paws and her incredible ability to Appear Heartbroken.
Soon, I hope she will Appear Housebroken. I know that’s asking a lot.
Love,
Kay
P.S. RHINEBECK ALERT! Ann and I (and Special Sassy Guests) will be at Rhinebeck on Saturday and Sunday. Both afternoons, circa 2 p.m., you can find us at the picnic tables near the Artichoke French stand. (Pure coincidence! Just a landmark! Not really!) Stop by, say hi, show us what you bought, save us from buying a spinning wheel…..What if there is no Artichoke French stand this year? We’re going HOME.

103 Comments

103 Comments

  1. If subscribing to any thing maens free yarn Im definatley signing up, and good luck with house breking Olive none of our dogs ended up housebroken

  2. Miss Olive has the Best Ears Ever!

  3. I was in Sur La Table this week and they have ceramic bowls labeled “Olives” and I immediately thought, oh, dog bowls. Then I realized that some people actually like olives and might fill a bowl with them. If you’re looking for non-reflective non-scary bowls, they would work as food dishes for a small dog.

  4. Is a dog with big ears considered a good mouser? Do you need a good mouser? I’m ever so tempted to subscribe to Rowan.

  5. If you aren’t going to be wearing this new shawl why would you want to change the color? maybe Carrie likes that color.

  6. If you aren’t going to be wearing this new shawl why would you want to change the color? maybe Carrie likes that color.

  7. Portions of the adorable Miss Olive appear beigy-peach. Perhaps the shawl over-dying could include areas of color to match her muzzle? THAT would be sum shawl!

  8. You must REALLY love Olive. She is sitting on the Dotty Chair. ‘Nuff said. x x x

  9. AW, Olive! On the furniture, no less! A dog lady after my own heart. We replaced our relatively new microsuede couch with leather so the dogs could enjoy it without my having to spend hours de-furring. :)
    I love Olive. You should DogBook her. My dogs will totally friend her. :)

  10. holy cow is Olive one cute dog.

  11. Olive looks like she has control of the house, all is good. Wish I could see you at Rhinebeck this year. I really enjoyed meeting you and Ann last year, even if it did appear that I was stalking you. But, I have to be in Canada for a wedding. Now, who in their right mind would pick Rhinebeck weekend for a wedding? Have fun, buy lots of things, and if your thinking about a wheel, just let go and get one. I did at Sock Summit.

  12. Kay,
    Baby talk is FOR pets, not children, in our view. The dog (and the late, sort-of-lamented cat) get a full blast of baby talk all the time while the son was spoken to like he was a high performing college student from day one. Whether or not that will pay off is yet to be seen, although he has the best vocabulary of any surly adolescent we have ever met.

  13. I’m usually more of a big dog person, but Olive is absolutely adorable. What ears!! It’s amazing how the right dog can become an immediate member of the family (even when you least expect it!).

  14. The ears just kill me. She looks like she could fly away!

  15. Pinky beige is the color of my bathroom walls, where it looks great. The pinky beige socks I am knitting do not. My neighbor has a walnut tree, though….
    Oh, and since I am not buying a spinning wheel this year, you have my permission to get one for yourself.

  16. I grew up drinking my juice from *cut glass* footed tumblers that had originally held some brand of grape jelly. And to show that the apple doesn’t fall, etc., my husband and I are the proud owners of a full set of 12 short tumblers adorned with the logo of some brand of fake Irish Cream liqueur. Can you say “cheap”?
    So I just subscribed to the Rowan magazine, purely on the basis of the annual free gift. Thanks!

  17. Another one sad to be missing Rhinebeck this year – so Ann, when your phone rings it will not be me out of the blue trying to figure out where you are (“By the artichokes!” “Where?” “Wait, is that you? Are you waving?”), and Kay, I won’t be following your car fearlessly driving down dark NY country roads. I’ll be farther north in New Hampshire, may even seeing some moose. Enough of a consolation? Hmm. Can you knit with moose hair/fur? HAVE FUN!

  18. I just got myself a Rowan membership this very morning, and was just lecturing myself about my susceptibility to “free” gifts for which one has to pay 32 pounds…. However, our Canadian dollar is so high these days it *is* practically free. I’ve transferred my affections to Rowan from the publication known as Vague Knitting.

  19. PS, you know that on the Rowan Love group on Ravelry, there is a whole thread about swapping colours of this gift…

  20. Not able to go to Rhinebeck this year, but will miss the Artichoke French more than anything!!!!
    If only they did mail order!!!!

  21. Just wondering where you got Olive. Is she an SPCA dog?

  22. Oh, that Olive! She’s a tiny heartbreaker – how could anyone resist! Look how she’s growing!!
    I’m with you on the beige/peach Rowan yarn. Excellent idea to dye it, ASAP. Can’t wait to see the final results.

  23. Gosh, Olive (and her ears!) look right at home on the dotty chair! She is adorable. And. Now you’ve done it. I’m all over a free gift. Especially a High Quality free gift. How did I not know about this Rowan thing before?

  24. As I was growing up, my father called that pinky beige color Ladie’s Panties.

  25. Two words for you from an experienced Guide Dog puppy raiser: Nature’s Miracle. Sprayed on the Not Housebroken spots in your house, it will break up the odor that causes Olive to believe that her bathroom is in the middle of your living room. (Dogs are wired to return to the same spots where they’ve “gone” before.) Plus you don’t want your lovely home smelling like a kennel. Good luck!

  26. the little ceramic animals in the cartons of Red Rose Tea? somehow I have all of them.

  27. forgot to say – that beigey-pink should be called ‘knicker pink’. I know you just love the K word, so hopefully that will make you giggle. x x

  28. I am going right over to Rowan and getting me a subscription. I want people to send me a gift of yarn just for reading their magazine!
    I am totally not a pet person, but I love Olive and her Amazing Ears. I, too, would fall for the look of Utter Despair and let her sit on the dotty chair.
    Denise @ 1:11, I cracked up thinking of your dad calling that color Ladies’ Panties. I can see that I’ll be stealing that idea. Thanks for adding to my “colorful mom” rep.

  29. Shoot — just yesterday I bought a Clinique product before I needed it because I loved the color of the full-sized lipstick in the give-away. So it only stands to reason that I will scoot over to the Rowan site and order my subscription. Please be sure to let us see the finished project (preferably both before and after walnut dye).
    Olive is a precious puppy — I hope she knows what a good gig she has.

  30. Please keep the Olive pics and the kitty pics coming! I love them. It makes knitting seem more alive – pets, they move the yarn for you :)

  31. Those are some big ears.

  32. Is one of those things you would never do “let dogs on the furniture”?

  33. Oh, that Olive!The ears, they are killing me dead. Here’s wishing she Appears Housebroken soon, lest her appearances on the dotty chair turn disastrous.

  34. Zut alors! Zee ears have sproinged up and Olive is no longer the Flying Nun! My unsolicited advice for Housebreaking the Small Dog (besides patience, persistence, and consistency) is The Crate. Indispensable for this purpose and many others.

  35. Ahh… your Olive is such a cutie.
    I just got my Falling blocks kit out of the closet this summer and used part of it for a Turn a Square hat. I’ll probably make another one out of it. As my gram would say “the spirit never moved me” to make the blocks pillow!

  36. OK, just a warning about those spinning people. If they even get a WHIFF that you are curious about it, they will circle you and start working on you like a well-oiled team! It is scary! Fly in a web! (see how I kept the spinning reference there?)
    And I love Olive. With a passion. She must be the new model of everything Mason-Dixon. Love her. Not only would I talk baby talk (for the record, baby talk is recognized across species as “good boy” talk and will work on any dog) to her I would probably start referring to myself as her Mamma. And that is something I’ve always vowed I wouldn’t do.
    Come to Mamma Olive girl!

  37. I haven’t thought of those teeny-tiny Avon lipstick samples in years!
    Sample a little Artichokes French for me… or a chicken pot pie. I can’t pick a favorite.

  38. Ahhhh, Rhinebeck. This will be year # 3 for me. It has now become one of my scheduled holidays. So looking forward to seeing ewe2 there….and will urge you to just go and buy that spinning wheel. I have recently chosen to leap down the spinning rabbit hole and Julia (Louet) and I are fast becoming an item.
    I am remembering hockey players on plastic coins (can’t remember what they came in) when there were only 6 teams. That’s how old I am! Wouldn’t it be loverly if we could get teeny little Rowan kits in our Red Rose tea????

  39. Ahhhh, Rhinebeck. This will be year # 3 for me. It has now become one of my scheduled holidays. So looking forward to seeing ewe2 there….and will urge you to just go and buy that spinning wheel. I have recently chosen to leap down the spinning rabbit hole and Julia (Louet) and I are fast becoming an item.
    I am remembering hockey players on plastic coins (can’t remember what they came in) when there were only 6 teams. That’s how old I am! Wouldn’t it be loverly if we could get teeny little Rowan kits in our Red Rose tea????

  40. So I just emailed a friend that if I’m not too jetlagged, I may get to Rhinebeck on Sunday and if I do, I’ll look for you. If my Rowan gift is there when I get home I’ll see if I have that sage colour and would trade with you– green just isn’t good for me. I also second the nature’s miracle recommendation, and now that I am sadly petless, I may have some to spare, I’ll check.
    Who won the scavenger hunt?

  41. See you at Rain-beck Saturday!!
    Olive is ADORABLE- perhaps needs a Kaffe inspired jacket, just a thought.

  42. I can see why you’d wanna dye that colour.
    Knicker pink! Indeed! I love it!
    See you at Rhinebeck! Wish the weather forecast were better but there it is (actually, it’s snowing here in upper Westchester just north of NYC right now!!! Yep, you read right. Snowing.)

  43. Olive . . . on the dotty chair! The faith you have in puppy-kind is amazing! I’ve been regretting skipping the artichokes for the past year – what better way to enjoy them this weekend than with my two favorite knitters.

  44. You have one of the cutest dogs in the world, CUTEST, and if you saw my whippets and my sister’s little mix pup, you would know that I am in a good position to judge these things. Christ on a bike, your dog is adorable!!!

  45. joseph has a marvelously relaxed fashion sense! tres chic!

  46. Sis,
    I need some more Olive pics and that Pic of Joseph emailed to me. Those are great pics!

  47. I was so psyched for the free gift this year! I’m going for the wrap too. There is already an errata so look out for that. And Olive? Those ears! She must hear things for miles!

  48. I was so psyched for the free gift this year! I’m going for the wrap too. There is already an errata so look out for that. And Olive? Those ears! She must hear things for miles!

  49. Fuzzy puppy fur! Love it.

  50. Hmm… the Rowan thing is very tempting.
    And Olive is ridiculously cute.
    AND AND AND I am so stinkin excited about Rhinebeck!

  51. dixie cups take off the top
    lick off the ice creme low
    and behold a movie star
    my mom had all kinds glassware
    jellys and yes the cheese
    pickeled herring all were saved
    olive is a cutie

  52. You’ll be at the tables be the artichoke stand even if it’s snowing? SNOWING! (faints)

  53. Olive is just getting cuter by the day -
    ya know if you get a spinning wheel and happen to be out here the second Wed of the month there is now a spinning group forming in Riverhead :D I went the for the first time last night and it was fun – and I am just learning to spin :D

  54. Olive pictures! Olive pictures!! okay, it’s just one, but…YAY! Almost takes away the sting of jealousy for your awesome free rowan gift. dye job absolutely necessary. good call. kiss that most adorable puppy for me.

  55. Olive–Listen up
    Nature’s Miracle, trust me, it’s a good thing.
    (Also, OMG your ears are too cute!)

  56. Enjoying the Olive updates.
    Karen at 12:19–your son should (or maybe shouldn’t) meet my oh-so-eloquent, precisely-dictioned dramatic daughter, who accuses me of loving the dog more when I speak to him.

  57. Olive is just so cute, how could you not fall totally in love with her.How’s her sleeping doing? Is Mama Kay still sitting on the kitchen floor at 3 a.m.? When we had my daughters two Yorkies here a few weekends ago, I put them in their crate, said nite, and turned off the light. Martin who cries and sleeps in their bed, now sleeps in his crate. She wonders what I did, nothing actually.I pointed out,she learned to sleep in her bed, I just did the same with him. Enjoy, post more pictures we all love seeing them!

  58. Edward would like to know if Olive has an official fan club and, if so, can be become member. We are besotted with her. And what on earth is she??
    Love that shawl. Where would I find the pattern?

  59. aaaaw. sooooo cuuuuute. lookit them ears. Who could NOT love Olive? I am a cat person, but if you find an Olive clone, she would have a good home here and I bet even Ernie the Cat would love her.

  60. I was thinking, “Sweet wrap, tough color–wonder if I can get her to send it for a dip in something botanical?” when I kep readin’ and saw you were thinking along the same spectrum. Enjoy Rhinebeck! Remember to send Olive a postcard so you can check another thing off your list.

  61. so – do you think that Olive will eventually grow into her ears?
    Have (chilly) fun in Rhinebeck!

  62. Oh, I’m in love with Miss Olive. The heartbroken look is breaking my heart.

  63. Olive looks like a TOTALLY Different Doggie now!
    And THOSE EARS?! Does she fly away when the wind picks up?! Those are some Amazing Ears!!! She kinda looks like a baby dingo… SO CUTE!
    her wirey, furry coat with white and grey is just too much cuteness for such a little thing w/kitten paws… i hope the housebroken-ness occurs soon.

  64. you had me at the post’s title.
    have fun at rhinebeck, you crazy kids!!

  65. Oh my GOD – the TRIFECTA! Delicious quilt, cute puppy on top of THE CHAIR! Seriously, totally awesome beautifullness!

  66. We had a house in the town of Olive. Everything olive the time was olive you and olive olive you, no matter what.
    Already upstate in this cold cold autumn looking forward to Rhinebeck. Would you believe the only thing I forgot was my knitting bag?
    We’ll scoff at the wind and rain? and will soon be in barns near sheep buying beautiful fun things. Save me an artichoke – never wanted to wait on line but I will for you two. Expecting to see the grosgrain.

  67. Nice chair, nice cushion and Wow! look at the size of those ears! Will Olive grow into them?

  68. Nice chair, nice cushion and Wow! look at the size of those ears! Will Olive grow into them?

  69. Oh those ears! Those are where the mind control waves emanate from.

  70. Wait! Hold off on the spinning wheel until you frustrate the bajeevies out of yourself learning to use a drop spindle. I just did this last weekend and had visions of lendrums dancing in my head until the 6 hours was over with and I haven’t touched the spindle since. Wonderful experience. Went right for the wool stash and kissed it. Just give it some thought. ;]

  71. Hi Kay,
    Your post has uplifted my spirits on such a cloudy day.
    Hmmm…..Beige + Peach = “Beach”
    (Perhaps Joseph was thinking of the beach when he donned those “Joe Cool” sunglasses?).
    Aaand, Weather Miss Olive appears ‘heartbroken’ or ‘housebroken’, I, too, really like it that she appears.
    I hope you and Ann have a lot of fun at the festival.
    LoveDiane

  72. I still have some Archie juice glasses that my mom had bought in the 60s and 70s with jelly in them.
    Love that stuff.
    Oh, and Grandma was an Avon lady, so the samples of lipstick were for dress-up for my sister and I. Every year at Christmas we both received some kind of solid cream perfume from her also.

  73. I still have some Archie juice glasses that my mom had bought in the 60s and 70s with jelly in them.
    Love that stuff.
    Oh, and Grandma was an Avon lady, so the samples of lipstick were for dress-up for my sister and I. Every year at Christmas we both received some kind of solid cream perfume from her also.

  74. I still have some Archie juice glasses that my mom had bought in the 60s and 70s with jelly in them.
    Love that stuff.
    Oh, and Grandma was an Avon lady, so the samples of lipstick were for dress-up for my sister and I. Every year at Christmas we both received some kind of solid cream perfume from her also.

  75. Oh, Olive! I’m smitten, too! Don’t worry, she’s part terrier and all dog. She’ll get that “Housebroken” stuff down. (Just remember, “they” say it takes a year before the pups are totally trustworthy in this department. I think that’s true, and once I relaxed about this with our Rip, I did lots better.)
    Happy Knitting and Happy Dog!

  76. This photo is simply feeding my totally illicit dog lust. Must give ginger devil cat more scratches behind the ears.
    Oh yeah, join Rowan knitting club too.

  77. OMG Olive is so freaking ADORABLE!!!

  78. Are her ears actually getting BIGGER??!!?!!

  79. Wow. I might have to sign up for the Rowan pub. I am bad at buying them at the LYS, because when I am there buying yarn the price point just seems a little high for what I’m afraid will be mostly inspiration and little completion. A bit of yarn in the mail (and at the prices for some of these yarns) makes me that much more likely to take the plunge!

  80. Miss Olive DOES have the best ears ever! Keep the photos coming!

  81. BLACK WALNUTS, do I have black walnuts for you…I keep rolling my ankle on them when I take my Ridgeback out in the wee hours of the morning to do his business! I will be happy to share them with you (walnuts that is–not the “business”).

  82. I had a kitten several years ago with big ears like that. She grew into them. Olive will, too, I’m sure.

  83. Sigh! You know I’d be there if I could. All of my favorite things in one place- orange-red-gold leaves, yarn, knitters, fleeces, sheep, Ann and Kay… have fun. XOXO

  84. How many times have I visited just to see this picture of your sweet little doggie….?
    :):):)
    LoveDiane

  85. Hmm, I love freebies too but wonder if they will accommodate those of us with wool allergies? Got to look into that. Nothing quite like a free gift with purchase. Anyone remember the little china figurines in every box of Red Rose tea? Gosh, used to be so fun to buy tea.
    Your puppy is Soooo cute. Miss those days although everyone thinks our 3 year old Pap is still a puppy. But I loved that stage when, like yours, he hadn’t quite grown into his ears.

  86. Hope Rhinebeck has been fun, girls. Kay, if you love artichoke, the food, go to La Masseria on 48th somwhere on the West side and get the melted tellagio and artichoke which is amazing. Just saying as you might say.

  87. I’m up to my keister in black walnuts here – if you need dye material. I’ve got it and happy to send (i.e. unload) some of our bounty your way. Hope you’re having fabulous time at Rhinebeck!

  88. Dear ladies – I hope you are enjoying the Hudson Valley. Olive’s ears are positively triumphant. I was thinking you could subtitle your blog The Fluffy Olive (fluffy=cats, Olive=well, Olive). However, I’m really posting with dotty chair news from the field. Here in New Orleans, same dotty fabric was ‘spotted” on the chairs in the upstairs dining room of Commander’s Palace. Unbelievably, the top portion of the walls in the ladies room entry is decorated in a satin, enlarged, green version of the dots. Sorry, no photos, due to being a wuss.

  89. Very pretty shawl pattern. It is always nice to receive new yarn in the mail.

  90. As we are a multi German Shepard family I know a little bit about big ears, and pound for pound Olive wins out for her big earfurs… When you eventually teach her to fly make sure she knows
    how to reset the proper pitch on them big flappers for a smooth landing and don’t allow her to carry passengers until she is at least six months old!

  91. Hi Ann! It was nice meeting you in Rhinebeck (by accident…my friend with the baby sat down at your picnic table…) Love the blog, love the books…

  92. So nice meeting you both! Ann, I am the Met rest room woman. Thanks for asking about Rhinebeck; turns out my daughter wanted to go so I made it after all! Thank you Kay for allowing me to take a photo with you; so gracious.

  93. Here, once again, to see Miss Olive, and just noticed that, hosebroken or not, she was apparently a “tidy lady” while sitting on your polka-dot chair.
    BTW, I loved seeing your quilt in the background, and noticed how the “dots” on the binding sort of “picks up” the dots on your chair. Nice touch, Kay.
    Hope you guys are enjoying the festival and those artichokes!
    …and if you did happen to buy a spinning wheel, would it be SUCH a tragedy?
    LoveDiane

  94. I am in love with Olive. Truly.

  95. Olive… princess on a throne.

  96. I have just been smote by the cuteness of Olive. Yow! Sorry -Greek gods on the brain after reading The Lightning Thief to sick boys in bed. GREAT BOOK. Having done the housebreaking many times, some(hopefully not unwanted) words of advice. Small dogs take longer-small bladders. Enough said. The key-take her out A LOT. After every meal(immediately), every couple hours in between, lots of praise/dog treat. If she has a huge drink of water, run her outside.She will get there! Also-never knew about the free gift. Guess my next magazine is…Rowan.

  97. I am having a major wave of nostalgia for Flintstones glasses (Welch’s grape jelly?)
    Also, have you ever tried dying with KoolAide? The yarn smells fruity and GREAT afterwards!

  98. ps–Red Rose tea still puts the porcelain animals in the boxes–I have been collecting them for over 20 years–currently they have holiday figures!! There’s a jack-o-lantern for October!

  99. Well, crap. I did not get this memo before I went. So THAT’S where you were. Harumph. Sorry I didn’t run into you.

  100. Olive is incredibly adorable. Keep posting pictures!!!

  101. Olive is incredibly adorable. Keep posting pictures!!!

  102. Jeez Louise that is one cute little dog -what breed is that?
    and those ears – oh My lord – soooo cute…

  103. Jeez Louise that is one cute little dog -what breed is that?
    and those ears – oh My lord – soooo cute…