Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn Crawl is on through Sunday, September 25.

Sunday Sunny Sunday

Dear Ann,
Before knitting, my sport was running. Kay was to running what the garter-stitch blanket is to knitting: nothing flashy, and taking a good long while to finish.
Marathon Sunday always makes me wistful. The most recent of my two New York City Marathons was 1994. Ten years ago. I ran with two sturdy friends, who are still sturdy friends. Here we are that morning, pre-race as you can tell by how perky and well-groomed we look.
Only one of these three people does not have a knitting blog today. Coincidence? I think not.
In today’s women’s race, it was a glorious day for Britain. Paula Radcliffe was tough as nails, and she needed to be, for the competition was fierce.
It was also a glorious day for an Afghanalong Sew-up Bee! I can’t wait to read Stephanie’s report on the proceedings in Toronto, how they managed when half the squares failed to arrive, what they ate and drank, and whether Stephanie was hanging wallpaper and/or pouring concrete while her guests stitched. I was sorry not to be able to attend. Even sorrier after I learned that this was going to be a bra-optional event. My kind of gal, the Harlot.
In her honor, I got out the Number 13s and whipped up A Very Harlot Poncho (one of Stephanie’s Free Patterns) in slightly reduced format. It’s a fast, fun knit, and especially exotic if you rarely knit in the round. A chance to use my stitch markers? Stocking stitch without purling? Sign me up!
Here’s Carrie trying it on for size, with the circular cable still in, after two skeins of Noro Kureyon in Shade 52.
Double awww!
I finished it with the better part of a third skein. I purposely made it a bit short, for freedom of movement, and I’m not going to fringe it, for the same reason. (Harlot-watchers will note that I also tweaked the neck a little bit.) Due to my loosey-goosey gauge, I probably could have gone down to Size 11 or 10 1/2 needles without sacrificing drape. The fabric is a bit more open than I think is ideal for warmth. Do you think I could felt it ever so slightly to make the stitches a bit tighter and give it a bit of fuzz? Do you think I would run the risk of creating a poncho for an American Girl doll or even a Barbie, neither of which Ms. Diehard Feminist deigns to own?
I am ready to cast on an even teensier one, in Koigu, for Rosie. I have a feeling that A Very Harlot Poncho may be my new Mitered Square. By which I mean, I just might make 80 of them.
Love, Kay



  1. You have rather sexy legs,dear Kay !
    The poncho looks fab.The model gorgeous.
    See,I knew you’d get to grips with the circular needle. ;-] You can slightly full it.It will probably shrink a little in length.I’d do it by hand in lots of soapy water.

  2. I love the poncho in Kureyon! A tiny felting might not hurt; I bet it would look really great, too! Can’t wait to see one done in Koigu.

  3. If it weren’t for the nightmares your Uberwascher Sturm und Drang narratives have given me, I would say you could throw the poncho in there without worry. I machine washed and dried Silk Garden to good effect. But, when in doubt, harken unto Emma. Maybe just give it a spin in the washer to get most of the water out after the hand sudsing. It’ll fuzz up very nicely and when you lay it out to dry, you can give it the dimensions you like.
    Carrie looks so sweet. You…va va va voom!
    xo, c.

  4. I’m with you on the Poncho: I’ve made two for American Girl dolls (on purpose) and recently completed one for a one-year old (NOT substantially larger than the ones I made for the dolls!) and for her four-year-old sister.
    I see more in my future, too.
    I would suggest care with felting it, though, since you don’t want to risk the wear-ee not being able to raise her arms sufficiently to function…
    I’m impressed by ANYbody who has EVER run even a PART of a marathon! You go, girl!

  5. I’m just not into the felting thing, generally, but why would you want a felt poncho? Wouldn’t that pretty much kill the drape? I think it’s cute the way it is, and I love the model, who seems to be a natural!

  6. I love the poncho! I love the girl! I just made a sweater for my Dylan out of Kureyon 52. It is a wonderful colour.
    I was at Yarn Harlot’s yesterday. I am sorry to have to report that her house was very tidy.
    However, I met some lovely knitters, even a knitting classicist like myself (Hi Aven!). There were plenty of squares to keep us busy. I did not wear a bra.
    And the food!
    xoxo Aara

  7. LOL Aara about the absence of a certain undergarment!
    Poncho looks WONDERFUL on Our Girl, Kay, really pretty!! (Our Girl and Poncho)
    That ten years has passed since we ran in our last marathon has not been unnoticed by me. We looked pretty good that morning….the later pictures are just as fun. You know, covered in sweat, salt, gatorade, and for one of us, you know, the one who does not have a knitting blog, some stuff that is better not mentioned in company.
    Long may you run my friend…or should I say knit?

  8. We just have too much in common. I wonder how many runner-knitter-lawyers there are out there? I’m not a marathoner, but I do run anything under a half-marathon, on a semi-regular basis, with my knitting girlfriends. I discovered running and knitting about a decade and a half ago and have been hooked ever since. Do you still do an occasional race? If so, I may have to come up to NYC for a 5K followed by breakfast and knitting some weekend. (I’m slow, too!) xox

  9. I giggled when I read about Ms. Diehard Feminist. You just never know, I was so sure my girl, the daughter of two hockey players (!) would turn out like that, but a prissier, girlier girl would be tough to find. Nature or nurture, HA! Although now her aim is to restore a classic 70’s muscle-car with her Dad…so don’t be surprised if little Ms. Diehard Feminist grows up to be a fashion model, she IS doing a good job of it there! LOL, cheers!

  10. I love the poncho, once i get my stash down to a lower level I will treat myself to some Noro.
    I also already made two ponchos. I have to make for the American Girl before Xmas. I just spent the last five minutes combing her hair. At least she does not cry.My daughter pretends it is her little sister. After she, the daughter, came home from school she asked me what her doll had been doing all day?
    Happy knitting

  11. Running and knitting can coexist, though I have yet to try knitting while running …

  12. Having recently fulled a Booga Bag made out of Kureyon, I can say that in my hands (and zippered pillowcase) the yarn felts slowly and continues to drape nicely after felting (which makes for a damn floppy bag). I say go for it, and block it carefully afterwards to avoid losing too much length. It may be stiff for a few wearings, but it’ll break in just fine.

  13. …. do keep those family photos flowing…. sweet carrie looks so maturely model-esque…. watch out…you might need to beat those little boys off with a stick…. glad that you’re a runner!

  14. How did you go about downsizing the poncho for a child? It is too-too cute!

  15. I just wanted to say thanks again for sending those squares our way — we had a great time in T.O.! (And Aara’s right, the house was lovely, with barely any evidence of recent remodeling/construction/complete insanity). Oh, and hi, Aara!

  16. I’m trying to imagine what you must have been feeling like when that picture was taken. The anticipation must have been extreme! I admire so much the fact that you and Lis made it through two marathons, without driving, even.
    And that poncho! I like the length of it. Got no idea whether to felt it or not, but any way you slice it, that’s a fine piece of tubular knitting, girl.

  17. Alison–To make the poncho’s neck opening and shoulders a bit narrower, I cast on 8 sts fewer than Stephanie’s pattern called for. I also knit 6 rows before starting the increases, instead of only 2 (also to keep the neck from slipping off the shoulder). Then I just followed the pattern and stopped when I thought it was long enough for my girl. I’ve just started the truly ‘baby’ one, in a much finer gauge yarn (Koigu KPPM). For that little experiment, I’m casting on the proper number of stitches (64), but on smaller needles. If it is too big, I’ll go back to the drawing board, by which I mean I’ll email Stephanie for advice!
    A poncho is a very forgiving garment, I’m finding. It’s also the ‘It’ garment of the under-12 set. Gets a much better reaction than a cardigan! xoxo Kay


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