If you’re Rhinebeck bound, we would love to see you at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night. Details here.

Supermassive Black Hole of Nostalgia, and a Finished Object

Dear Kay,
The fellas started at a new school this week, and I am sentimental to the point of WEEPY every time I drop them off. Somehow dropping them off is more sentimental than picking them up, so I have to watch it in the early morning, when I haven’t had any coffee. I’m a WRECK.
See, this school is my alma mater, and Hubbo’s as well. In fact, we met there over 30 years ago. Just thinking about this leaves me awash in another wave of crushing nostalgia. It’s a total minefield to walk through the building. This banister! I grabbed this banister in fifth grade, just the way my fifth grader Clif is going to grab this banister. The auditorium! Scene of so much crushing on Hubbo. That curb! That’s where my mom’s Chevrolet Kingswood Estate station wagon was parked when she would wait to pick us up. I’m haunted even by the ghost of the Gray Building, the derelict house on the corner where I had at least ten classes, from the basement for French to the attic for mechanical drawing. (Mechanical drawing? Why did they teach this, and why did I take it?) The Gray Building gave way to a new middle school wing a while back, but I wish it were still there, so I could show the fellas.
I want them to like this school as much as I did, and they seem to be settling in. But I am trying hard to resist loading them up with every single memory I have of the place, where I spent eight very loaded years, mostly trying to avoid math. Only now do I realize how obvious it was that I was trying to avoid math, how clueless I was, and how many people at this school were helping me get through it all.
Finishing the Unfinishable
Before I forget, and I keep forgetting, I have to mention the new issue of Twist Collective. Yes, our Problem Ladies column is in there, which includes a shocking and appalling confession from one of us. But mostly, I think this issue really shows the way Twist has made a distinctive mark on the knitting world. It’s not that this issue is any more beautiful than its predecessors. It looks great, that’s all–patterns, photos, writing. Maybe it’s just that I am having fun knitting as a HOBBY right now, just making stuff as it occurs to me, with no deadlines or need to write down every stitch I make. Twist really gives a knitter a lot to chew on. Very proud to be a part of it.
Speaking of Chewing
I just finished something, the Cascata shawlette thingie, designed by Susanna IC from Twist. I’m calling it a scarf, because I can’t imagine the moment when I’m going to be going capelet with this.
I have to admit, at one point this summer, I absolutely was not going to finish this thing. One day, I almost yanked the needles out because I needed them for something else–I had so mucked up the lacework that I really didn’t ever want to deal with it again. And I was bummed that I’d gone with a stash laceweight that was a lot heavier than the spidery yarn that I ought to have used.
See? This is what I was looking at:
A lumpy, heavy mess. Not the pattern’s fault at all. But last week, after unpacking this almost-finished project, I sat down, ripped out four rows of messy messiness, and discovered that nothing was unfixable.
A sturdy blocking can transform pretty much anything. And the yarn, Blue Heron’s Egyptian Mercerized Cotton, became an OK yarn for this. It’s not as airy as it could be, but it is shiny, and it has a nice drape to it.
It looks really great as a chair capelet. And at the moment, it’s really dressing up my T shirt. Moral of the story: go dig up some unfinished object, and finish it. VERY satisfying!

Tags: ,



  1. It’s so pretty! It looks just like a waterfall…

  2. This is gorgeous, and I think I like it better in the heavier yarn!

  3. Beautiful scarf – love the color, the flow/movement of the pattern!

  4. You married someone from middle/high school?! Wow. I don’t think I realized you were a Nashville native. Did you attend different colleges? Also, what grades are your boys in? This year and last may be the only years my girls (4 years apart) attend the same school . . .
    And the Cascata, she is lovely!

  5. Blocking is magical. Now you just need something sexier than a T-shirt to wear with this gorgeous scarf, and the magic will be complete.

  6. That shawl is GORGEOUS.
    Also, I heart the Problem Ladies. Brave of Kay, to take one for the team like that.

  7. Very Beautiful – well done!!!

  8. My husband and I met in the eighth grade but went to different high schools – boys only/girls only. We met again in college and dated for three years before getting married thirty-seven years ago. It seems as if we have always known each other. Sometimes that’s a good thing and other times….well…maybe not so good! LOL

  9. My mother graduated from the same school as the four of us kids, and worked there for all of my junior- and senior-high years. I don’t know if she was nostalgic about it, but I know I would have been. We live out of state now, but whenever we are “home” and I get to drive by, those nostalgic feelings are almost uncontrollable. Enjoy them – that’s what memories are for. And I LOVE Cascata!

  10. Find AN UNfinished project and finish it??? For me, that is a tall order! Sometimes it seems that I have nothing BUT unfinished projects!
    It is beautiful, however. Makes me think about starting another shawl……..

  11. That. Is. Gorgeous.

  12. Ann–this is my favorite Twist issue so far, too. Thanks! And, your cascata is beeyouteefull! xo

  13. Thanks for the encouragement. I started a Cascata thanks to your original post. It’s going very slowly (I’m past the first decrease!) but I’ll keep plugging away and hope mine is as pretty as yours.

  14. What a joy to pop in here while procrastinating about actual work and see a lovely scarf AND get sucked down the rabbit hole of a whole new Twist edition!
    And words of encouragement for the knitter who fears finer yarns because she always has to go down needle sizes to get gauge. If you are knitting to gauge, you will knit the *same* number of stitches regardless of the needle size. 20 sts x 28 rows = 560 sts whether on toothpicks or treetrunks!

  15. LOVE your scarf(?) but I am really digging your blocking pad — where did you get it?

  16. Love the scarf, the drifting colors and the waves. Both versions, your and the one in Twist are beautiful.
    I grew up around the block from my husband. We went to the same three schools. We met and started dating when I was a jr in high school, he was in college. Married when I finished college. Married 39 years. We moved away just out of college, but going home is easy. All holidays in one place–maybe not exciting, but easy to plan.
    I so enjoy reading about the adventures of Ann and Kay!

  17. “Nothing is unfixable” is one of my favorite things about knitting!

  18. Beautiful FO! Now all the other chairs will want their own capelets…

  19. That’s just lovely! I’ve told myself that I’m going to try to wipe the slate clean of UFOs before the first of the year (which doesn’t bode well for any new holiday knitting). I have a host of them to choose from….

  20. Excellent rallying cry. Why, may I ask, is all but the neckband and minimal seaming all there has been left to do on my Erika Knight deep-v sweater for the past two years? Why?

  21. Love this post, Ann. What about the smells, were they the same, too? And the auditorium at the school- I love to see plays there because it’s like Everyman’s auditorium.
    Let’s go for a nabe walk soon.

  22. Mechanical drawing is surely a prerequisite for designing knitwear yes?
    Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous aqua thingy.

  23. I, too, took mechanical drawing while avoiding math. It pretty much worked. Pretty much. And speaking of pretty… that shawl! Just lovely. So like water. And I’ll bet it looks FAB over a t-shirt!

  24. I posted to your son’s FB page that there was no need for him to feel like the new guy because there was enough DNA in that building from all of us that all he had to do was rub up against a wall and he’d be set.
    For those of you who don’t know: I went to the same school, a few years ahead, and then married a classmate, Ann’s brother.

  25. Ann, I must absolutely d’aaww at the school-sweetheart-ness of you and Hubbo! And lovely shawl as well. Ann, I must absolutely d’aaww at the school-sweetheart-ness of you and Hubbo! And lovely shawl as well. <3

  26. That is really gorgeous! I love the color of the scarf/stole thingy.
    And lovely reading about your nostalgia. It was sweet.

  27. Really lovely!

  28. I have a sweater that I started 3 years ago with one sleeve left to go that has been on my mind. I’m planning to finish it this year!!! Your shawlette is fantastic – just beautiful – love the color! Thanks for the Twist Collective link. What an amazing online magazine. The pictures are so gorgeous.

  29. I am big on the UFO finishing this summer! Just finished a tank top I started last summer (put it away when I lost my annotated directions, but it wasn’t so hard to re-construct), and now working on last spring’s socks. Very satisfying.
    Yours is so lovely!

  30. very lovely. thanks for posting it.

  31. The shawlette/thingy is beautiful!

  32. I love that blocking block / pad. Would you please identify the manufacturer and or a retail outlet that carries it?


A bit of news from us, every now and again.

(Your email is safe with us.)