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

The Power of Collective Thinking About Square Shapes

Dear Ann,
I’m on the jitney bus to Southampton, soaking up the delicious free wifi. Our house out here is an Internet-free zone, which forces us into all kinds of involuntary wholesome activity not involving sitting on our butts staring at the screen. Not that sitting on our butts staring at the screen is a bad thing, mind you– I’m all for it! But for a few precious weeks and days of the year, we choose to spray water at each other, fill up balloons with water and throw them at each other, and engage in very, very slow, muliti-day, glacially paced games of Dogopoly, which is Monopoly, but with dogs. You try to buy the butcher shop, you get sent to the pound instead of jail. It’s fun if you don’t, you know, have the Internet or anything else to do.
Needless to say we are surviving on pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s rugged, all right. If it cannot be cooked in a Teflon pan, to hell with it. We ain’t eating it.
But here on the jitney bus, I wallow in the wifi waves, and come up with marvelous stuff. Like, remember my old Lobby Dishcloth? This past spring, I re-jiggered it into a wool square for the MacMillan Comfort Blanket project, a very worthy effort to knit blankets for a cancer charity in the UK. I’d been living with this little pattern, a tweak of Barbara Walker’s Parquet Squares, for several years. I liked it just fine the way it was.
But I never thought of doing this to it.
Isn’t that cool? How one person can take another person’s seed of an idea, and run with it?
The interwebs have brought me other news of good deed availability out there, which I am happy to pass on.
Afghans for Afghans is back in business with a new campaign for wool baby blankets. Wool? Baby blankets? Sign me up! I just finished one! It needs a home! In Afghanistan! The deadline will be sometime in October, so there is time. Check the a4A website for updates on the deadline and for the all-important requirements to knit to. (We only want to knit what they need, right, not just any old thing we feel like knitting.) (Right?)
Attention! I’ve just learned of a very cool project called Iraqi Bundles of Love, organized by a soldier in Iraq and his wife. It tickles me no end that in militaryspeak, “Iraqi Bundles of Love” turns into “IRBOLS”. The idea is to pack up a USPS Priority Mail flat rate box full of knitting or sewing supplies from your bulging stash, and send it to an APO box (in the US), which magically and militarily gets the box all the way to Iraq, where it will be distributed within a community that is short of knitting and sewing supplies. The deadline is SOON-September 8–and the details of what to do are here. As you were.
Am I still knitting? Why yes I am. I’m calling this the Summer of Denim. More later. I have to throw water at somebody.




  1. The Summer of Denim? Is that every summer for you? πŸ˜‰

  2. Janna beat me to it….okay – so I will say:
    “Summer of Denim? Isn’t that LIFE of Denim?”!

  3. Janna beat me to it….okay – so I will say:
    “Summer of Denim? Isn’t that LIFE of Denim?”!

  4. Denim? Did you say denim? I am longing for some denim knitting…bring it!

  5. Thank you so much for the IBOL shout out (gotta love an acronym)! I am absolutely amazed at how fluidly projects get passed around the interwebs and that my hubby’s little idea has grown into a huge campaign that made it’s way to Mason-Dixon country. In full circle fashion, knitting your Ball Band Dishcloths helped me through our move half way around the world last summer and I just bookmarked your uber cool Lobby dishcloth pattern since it’s about time o replenish my warshrag supply.

  6. Thanks for the heads up on two wonderful projects: woolen baby afghans and bundles of love! I think I’ll participate in both!

  7. Never before was it so cool to be so square!

  8. Wave out the window of the Jitney when you pass Hicksville. I’ll wave back !!!!

  9. Wave out the window of the Jitney when you pass Hicksville. Ext 42 I’ll wave back !!!!

  10. Wave out the window of the Jitney when you pass Hicksville. Ext 42 I’ll wave back !!!!

  11. Thank you so much for posting about IBOL. When the IBOL guy asked an Iraqi woman about yarn he said her eyes sparkled! I hope we can make our fellow knitters very happy.

  12. I love the grey and white dishcloth (and dogopoly too). If we send off stash to Iraq, we shouldn’t feel guilty adding back to said stash, correct!
    I hope the hamptons were a good time for all.

  13. How inspiring to see someone else’s spin on your dishcloth. It looks fantastic!!

  14. How odd. I was thinking the other day…Kay hasn’t had a denim project. And Bob’s your uncle- there you go!

  15. A good stream of free wifi is like a fresh breeze, don’t you think? You can practically feel it on your face–ahhh, the smell of it!
    Am curious about this denim situation. Am concerned. Usually your summer knitting involves a lot of whatever it is that you’re knitting.

  16. IRBOLS – thank you. Have box, have yarn ….. off it will go today.

  17. IRBOLS – thank you. Have box, have yarn ….. off it will go today.

  18. IRBOLS – thank you. Have box, have yarn ….. off it will go today.

  19. Sorry for the multi post.

  20. That blanket is so amazing! It makes me very happy/dizzy.

  21. Dogopoly. I love dogs, so this should be right up my alley.
    I love the idea of the huge blanket made of the oversized (I hope) dischcloth squares. There are some lovely variations to be made in how you line them up.

  22. The Summer is almost gone! I love that afghan! Can’t wait to see your denim projects!

  23. Your holiday sounds perfect! And now I am craving both grilled cheese AND pancakes πŸ™‚
    Those blue & white squares are really something. I don’t think I would be able to decide which way to connect them. Every way looks great, and each way looks different.
    When the temperature/humidity combo fell below Good Golly for the first time last week, I started my winter knitting for Macuwita Sni…2 hats in 3 days, so far. (SO much faster than socks!) Nothing feels better than feel-good knitting πŸ™‚
    Enjoy your holiday time!

  24. great post, as always Kay. and congratulations for making it through the summer. xo m

  25. I have a big smile on my face, picturing you guys eating grilled cheese and throwing water at each other (hopefully not at the same time).

  26. Geesh, I got so distracted by the cool IBOL project I forgot to read the rest of your post. Whew. And thanks for finding a home for my abundance of fiber goodness. My guilt will be assuaged by giving it this purpose. Resume water bombardment, now.

  27. That blue and white blanket is gorgeous! Thanks for spreading the word about IBOL. I sent both a quilting box and a knitting one. I can’t wait to see how many boxes they end up getting.

  28. Just packed up an APO box full of green yarns and the needles, too, in green knitting bags. Thanks for alerting us to the IBOL project!

  29. You know that thing that happens to you when you a see someone else’s knitting, and you get that “oh-my-GOD-where-is-my-yarn-because-I-have-got-to-make-that-right-NOW!” feeling?
    Yeah. That’s what happened to me when I saw that blanket.

  30. Thanks for the Bundles of love info. De-stashing and box packing are currently going on this morning. Off to buy some knitting needles just now. Then I hope to be back at the PO this afternoon. Also, you have lured me into the world of denim. I think I’ll be able to call this month the September of Denim.

  31. Wow, you broke out the black denim! Alert the media!!

  32. Hi, thanks for blogging my lobby squares mosaic on flickr – I never had so many views on my stream in so short a time! The pattern is great, easy mindless garter stitch yet you have to keep alert to the number of rows. I’m still finding it hard to decide how to fit them together, but when all the squares are finished I’ll play around with them till it feels right. Just pray that I’ll get it finished in time for the MacMillan deadline.
    I might even knit some dishcloths when I’ve finished the blanket!


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