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Two Tributes, Knitted, In Progress

Dear Ann,
Helloooooo down there in dry, dry Tennessee. I hope it rains soon, and that iced-tea supplies are robust.
sox4colbert.jpg
I am trying to come to grips with the fact that I, an avowed sock-knitting abstainer, am knitting a pair of socks. For Stephen Colbert.
No, I’m not giving up on my quest to charm Stephen Colbert with handknit socks. I see no reason to give up. Stephen Colbert has gone on vacation for 2 weeks (this week and next week). I am pretty sure that this break is timed to allow knitters to finish socks for him, and that he is using the pause in his schedule to think very deeply about all the hilarious things there are to say about The Knitters Who Are Ruining the Olympics. (Even though we’re not doing that anymore. We’re ruining the Hellenic Games, apparently. Hope those Hellenic Games guys don’t have any summer interns with time on their hands.)
One thing that has kept my spirits very high, as I knit around and around on U.S. 1 needles, is this article in the Washington Post. I was delighted to be interviewed by reporter Anne Midgette, and even more delighted to read the article’s clear-eyed account of what the issues are (and aren’t), and of the spirit of the whole thing. When the Supreme Court started hogging all the newspaper ink with that thing that they did last Thursday, I thought the Ravelympics dust-up had gotten bumped off of Wapo forever. But no! The story did come out, with an awesome yarn-balls-as-Olympic-rings graphic (in the print version, somebody please send me a picture?). I am sure my parents will be proud, as soon as I can figure out how to explain it to them.
The other thing that is lifting my spirits is this: occasionally I put down the Number Ones, and pick up my latest greatest funnest project, a tribute blanket in honor of your novel, Bowling Avenue. There is a brief mention of a handkniit blanket in the story, and I feel quite certain that the knitting public needs an image of what that blanket could have looked like. At some point I will blog a little master’s thesis on my convoluted design process, which ultimately resolved itself, as most of my design processes do, with garter stitch and miters. The First Rule of Blanket Knitting: IT HAS TO BE FUN TO KNIT. (The Second Rule of Blanket Knitting: Shut up about blanket knitting.)
Here’s block one of a little blanket. Working title: Delia’s Lair.
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The yarns I’m using are Classic Elite’s ultrasmooshy superwash, Liberty Wool, and its rustic, handsome brother, Portland Tweed.
classicelitebox.jpg
The construction inspiration is a traditional quilt pattern called “Attic Windows.” (Attic windows: Delia’s Lair–get it? No spoilers, but do you get it?) Years ago, I made all the blocks for a Kaffe Fassett version of this pattern, but then consigned them to the Abandoned Quilt Parts Shed because my inset seams were crappy; with knitted miters, no worries, because no seams.
The palette is inspired by this art installation, Sheldon Finch’s The River That Runs Both Ways, on New York’s High Line:
hudsonwindows.jpg
Go read about it here, and see if you don’t think it’s a cool way of thinking about the color of water.
These two projects should keep me busy for a while. Perfect summertime knitting for beach, travel, and NYC Subway. If I should find myself with nothing to knit, I can always finish up ONE OF THE TWO ICELANDIC SWEATERS I STARTED IN ICELAND. Oy! I got very casty-onny while riding around Iceland in a monster truck a few weeks ago. More about THAT, later.
Meanwhile, everybody who’s still knitting socks for Stephen Colbert, git R done and mail them in–how could he not be impressed and delighted: I mean, HAND KNIT SOCKS!
Love,
Kay

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37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Awesome article, awesome post. You go girl!

  2. Dear Kay,
    I am already halfway through a blanket with squares exactly like yours. Now everyone will think I am a copycat – you rat!

  3. I look forward to following your blanket progress while I read Ann’s book.

  4. I look forward to following your blanket progress while I read Ann’s book.

  5. Dear Elizabeth: COPYCAT! Gonna sic my INTERN on you!
    Rsepectfully,
    Kay
    P.S. It will be fun to compare!

  6. The article was great! Go you! :)

  7. Kay, I just read the Post article. You’re a LAWYER??? I never knew you were a lawyer. (How long has my head been ostrich-like in the sand?) When do you find time to practice law with all the knitting your do?

  8. There has been a lot of press this week about the knitter spotted at Wimbledon. Maybe that will add fuel to Stephen Colbert doing a piece on knitters and their subversive ways. That and a few hundred socks, of course.

  9. Scrumptrelescent! I am JONESING for this blanket already, on the basis of yarn, High Line photo, and lone square. Hurry up will you?

  10. Someone should let Anne Midgette know that the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, IN has posted her article without credit:
    http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20120703/NEWS03/120709925/1066/NEWS03

  11. The USOC shouldn’t have messed with (or underestimated) knitters. I guess they never met any, or they would know that All Knitters Are Smart. And Disciplined. If they weren’t, they couldn’t figure out how to knit. Probably all of them belong to Mensa or other harder to get into high I.Q. societies. Ask yourself: Did I ever meet a knitter who wasn’t smart? Obviously, you can’t think of any. (Probably the USOC can’t either….)

  12. Icelandic sweaters! Icelandic sweaters! Icelandic sweaters!

  13. Love the blanket so far. Iceland, JEALOUS! Cant wait to read about that too.

  14. Blaming the summer intern is what got me, too! The USOC is so spineless and corrupt.
    Bowling Avenue was the first book I purchased for Kindle on iPad. Great read! Delia will finish her sister’s WIP. . . eventually. Hoping I can finish a pair of socks.

  15. You were quoted! In the Washington Post!
    Give ‘em hell, Kay Gardiner, New York based knitter/author/lawyer extraordinaire!

  16. Oh, my favourite bit of the High Line. Yes, I know, I’ve said it before. I will keep on saying it. Intrigued about the blanket… B x x x

  17. I am so very glad you are doing the Bowling Ave Delia blanket because I thought about doing that too, and felt sure there was a design that needed visualizing for this book.But then I felt sure I wasn’t the woman for the job. (maybe the Bowling Ave head wrap, but I didn’t notice any of the characters wearing one. Maybe in the sequel). I love that you are basing it on Attic Windows, although I know nothing about the quilt pattern, I love the tie-in.
    yrs unimaginatively,
    and happy 4th to both of youse,
    gale

  18. I have hoped – I have dared to dream – that one day you, Kay, would come over to the side of Sock. Who knew it would take a ravel-oly event to bring about this transformation? Like the flutter of a butterfly’s wings…
    And interns! My non-knitting (aka “work”) life has been in a Rolicking Downhill Slide of Chaos in recent weeks, and I have had to find small ways to amuse myself in order to keep my head from exploding. Most recently I have begun saying, “You may expect a letter from my intern,” in grave tones.
    It’s the little things, isn’t it?
    Like socks.
    Like sock needles!
    :)

  19. A) I get it.
    B) I love that window and that blanket-to-be.
    C) I am amazed at the sock knitting! Heavens to murgatroyd.

  20. Yes, Kay, I get it! (Although Lair threw me for a minute, until you mentioned KF’s Attic Windows.)
    I hate to be knitpicky (pun intended), but I believe the correct title of your palette inspiration is The River That Flows Both Ways. Being a girl (okay, a granny; give me a break) who lives in Texas and has never visited NYC, I found the article on the art installation quite interesting. Thanks for the link.
    Alas, Stephen Colbert will have to survive without any socks from me. I, too, am a sock-knitting abstainer.

  21. Kay – If you want something as quaint as the actual paper edition of the Washington Post article, let me know. I’ve still got it and can put it in the mail.

  22. Am I going to have to avoid this blog for fear of being bowled over by spoilers? I’m not getting that book until Christmas (wipes tear from eye)….

  23. I get it….and I love it! The combo of your pattern and Ann’s book (which I am loving) makes me as happy as the Olympics debacle makes me crabby. Can’t wait to find out more about the blanket!

  24. “I am trying to come to grips with the fact that I, an avowed sock-knitting abstainer, am knitting a pair of socks. For Stephen Colbert.”
    Sounds like it’s time for a sustaining glass of the “poor man’s sangria.” I’m sure that will help you reconcile this cognitive dissonance. (Or make you not care, which is the same thing, I think.)
    I love the art installation and the blanket-in-process. I look forward to seeing the finished product, as I also adore stained glass interpreted in wool.

  25. sheesh, that yarn looks scrumptious. can’t wait to see more of the blanket.

  26. Loved reading about and seeing the Sheldon Finch piece.
    I went to Iceland about a year ago. Insanely jealous that you were there recently. Especially since the forecast for tomorrow is 101. That and the lopapeysur and skyr and the people and don’t get me started on the pools!

  27. Kay, I also loved Anne Midgette’s article. I kept thinking to myself I almost know that Kay woman. And nice to know what Ginna/Delia’s blanket looked like. I had been wondering. Speaking of which, Ann, Bowling Avenue sustained me throughout three long days of vexing power outage still going on along the steaming East Coast. It was such a comfort to escape into it during those air conditioning-less, ice cube-less days. (Although reading about a flood situation in the middle of a power outage situation was kind of surreal, I have to say.) I hope you are thinking of writing another one!

  28. The Olympics-Ravelry letter exchange made it onto a satirical “news” podcast I listen to. On the June 22 episode of The Bugle (episode 199, soundcloud.com/the-bugle) John Oliver (The Daily Show) and Andy Zaltzman (stand up comedian) talk about knitters standing up to the USOC. It’s at about the 33:20 mark, and be warned the podcast regularly contains not-kid-friendly content/language. (They also mis-pronounce Ravelry)
    I’m sure since John Oliver is on the Daily Show he’d be able to nudge Stephen Colbert for you if you asked him really nicely ;) At least he’s aware of the story!

  29. Yeah for you!

  30. Giving the fact that it is unique and great! I’m trying to emphasize that the yarn that used is good. I can see the art in there. I’m looking forward for the finished product of this, and I love to use it. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Thank you so much for the link to the Washington Post article. It was great. I’m not much of a sock knitter either and, without cable tv, have never seen Steven Colbert. But maybe I will knit him some socks too. I still need a specific project for the Games that Will Not Be Named by their Former Name.

  32. Thank you so much for the link to the Washington Post article. It was great. I’m not much of a sock knitter either and, without cable tv, have never seen Steven Colbert. But maybe I will knit him some socks too. I still need a specific project for the Games that Will Not Be Named by their Former Name.

  33. Did you see Ruth Marcus on the Editorial Page of the Washington Post? http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ruth-marcus-olympic-knitting/2012/07/05/gJQAAVKUPW_story.html
    Well said Ruth!

  34. Um, the name of the artist who did ‘The River That Runs Both Ways’ is actually Spencer Finch. (I saw a big exhibit of his work at Mass MOCA a few years ago–fantastic!)

  35. glad to see a new shop opening!! now I have to convence my friends to do a road trip. you are only about 2hours south of me. how cool is that!

  36. glad to see a new shop opening!! now I have to convence my friends to do a road trip. you are only about 2hours south of me. how cool is that!

  37. glad to see a new shop opening!! now I have to convence my friends to do a road trip. you are only about 2hours south of me. how cool is that!