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

Unanswered Questions, Answered

Dear Kay,
So many loose ends to tie up. For everyone here for flood relief coverage, well, sometimes we talk about unwieldy DVD-mailing projects, sleep issues, even knitting when we really run low on topics.
1. Singing Revolution. This Mason-Dixon Around-The-World DVD project is limping along, though some of you (I won’t mention anybody except for the person who lives on the Upper West Side of a major metropolitan city) have been caught SITTING ON THE DVD and not QUICKLY SENDING IT to the next person on the list. At this point this fascinating DVD has made about 20 stops, which is great. But the thing left my house in October, and there are 104 people on this list, and by my calculation this DVD will take longer to make its rounds than the actual Estonian revolution that is the subject of this DVD. Snap SNAP, people! If you have recently viewed this DVD, please let me know that you have sent it so I can update the Google Map that tracks the DVD’s progress just the way we track Santy Claus on Christmas Eve.

View The Singing Revolution in a larger map
2. The 2010 Sleep Challenge. Back in January, I joined in Arianna Huffington’s Sleep Challenge, where we were all spoze to get 7.5 hours of sleep per night, for one month. My conclusion after this relaxing, life-altering experience is this: we should all aim to sleep better. Nobody’s good at sleep except knitwear designer Kristi Porter. We would all be more patient, more pleasant, and possibly less pasty-looking. Dewy! Sleep makes you look all dewy! Now, the tragedy is that I am not currently achieving 7.5 hours on a regular basis. Dewy is not the word over here. I grieve whenever the clock passes 11 pm, because I have seen the promised land of enough sleep, but it’s way over there, behind my laptop and knitting and six books on my bedside table that I use mostly as a really tall coaster.
3. The Diminishing Rib Cardigan. I finished this cardigan weeks ago! It turned out very pretty, in a furry handspun Padmae-the-sheep and Shadrach-the-goat sort of way. If you recall (and I can barely remember myself), the crucial drama involved the foldy curly neckline. I keep neglecting to get my photographer to shoot me, but he’s in the now-dry basement a lot right now working on a thrilling new project. But I will git r done asap so I can show you what happens when I’m wearing it.
Oh hell, I’ll be back in a minute. No time like the present.
Elliott likes it, so that’s good enough for me.
The mighty redemptive power of blocking again reveals itself.
However, as I suspected, blocking cannot fix a fundamental design-and-engineering issue. The neckline, attractive though it is, likes to flop.
The I-cord edging, coming as it does at the edge of stockinette fabric, likes to curl.
Do I wish these things weren’t happening? Well, yeah. But I can’t get too steamed up about it these days. A hook and eye will pull the neckline in place. The rolling front edge will roll. I like the basic shape of this sweater, and it’s going to be one that I wear a lot.
PS Brad Paisley, my new boyfriend, raised $1.7 million last night on teevee for Tennessee flood relief. Donate here. It’s the highest irony that his new single is called “Water,” all about having fun out at the lake. Oy!

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  1. Surely you’re mistaken..Brad is MY boyfriend!
    Thanks for the link–I made a donation.
    He’s awesome..but so are you.

  2. Hey– that neckline rolls symmetrically. So you can say you intended that look. Seriously, good job on the sweater and on the flood relief front, too.

  3. Love the sweater – yet share the sentiments – when things don’t work out the way I think they should I am always a little disappointed too…

  4. That sweater looks terrific, warts and all.

  5. So when you block a sweater properly, peonies appear? That never happens in my house.

  6. I LIKE the way the collar falls just so. People pay premium $$$ for that kind of styling. Embrace it! And man, I love me some peonies. I’d even get around to blocking the pile of knits in my laundry room if I thought peonies would appear in my house.

  7. I LIKE the way the collar falls just so. People pay premium $$$ for that kind of styling. Embrace it! And man, I love me some peonies. I’d even get around to blocking the pile of knits in my laundry room if I thought peonies would appear in my house.

  8. I like the neckline! Anyone can do demure and tacked down. It takes talent to let it flow.

  9. I agree with other commenters, the neckline does roll attractively, but you could line the collar with fabric to hold it in shape. I think there is a person who lives on the Upper West Side of a major metropolitan city who is handy with a sewing needle and fabric, she could talk you through it. I also suspect she has a stash of fabrics that includes something that would be sublime in accenting your lovely sweater.

  10. The sweater is really gorgeous – but those shoes! Where did you get the shoes???

  11. Your floppy sweater isn’t bad. It looks like it’s meant to do that, honest!
    I’ve been reading about your sleep project and am rather in awe. Sure, I can lie in bed for 7 1/2 hours but that does NOT mean they will be all sleep hours. In fact, there’s a reeeeeeeally good chance a whole lot of them won’t. It gets… tiring.

  12. It’s beautiful! And i love your skirt.

  13. It’s beautiful! And I love your skirt.

  14. Well there’s another illusion shattered, I keep thinking, “if Ann can figure out how to get 7.5 hrs of sleep and also dry up all of Nashville, then why can’t Iiiiii?”. You know you’re in trouble when you resent your clock.

  15. The sweater looks very appealingly sheepy, in a good way. It’s so brown, so wooly. As far as the shape and the roll, I can tell you that I took on this pattern as a personal challenge. I can tame it, I thought. I short-rowed, I added shaping, I added color, determined to make it into a cardigan I could just throw on and wear unbuttoned. After all that, I gave up last week and added a button to the neck. It hung straight enough, but after a few hours, it kept falling off my shoulders.

  16. I really like the sweater; and, if you haven’t been getting a steady 7.5, it must be the sweater making you look all dewy…
    Wear it in good health, as my grandma would say.

  17. I remember the designer saying that IK styled it with the collar up (she knew it couldn’t stay that way) so it was frustrating to people be disappointed with its floppiness. It still looks great though! That Padmae must be a beauty.
    PS: What’s going on with the flax?

  18. I like the way the neckline of the sweater “flops”…it looks casually good. Nice job.

  19. Ann it has flair because it rolls in all directions – enjoy it – it looks lovely!

  20. Ann it has flair because it rolls in all directions – enjoy it – it (rolls) lovely!

  21. Ann – your sweater is tres chic!

  22. I am is awe of the beautiful patterns that you have knitted. I tried knitting before, but the furthest I got was making a scarf. However, I am not sure how good it was since my husband and son would not wear theirs outside. Their excuse was they would wear another one, as not to get that wonderful masterpiece soiled. I think I finally got the message it wasn’t so good. So I do admire your work. Thank you for letting me visit.

  23. You will likely hate this idea: Turn off all electronics after 8pm. No TV, telephone, or computer. Try to force your will on the others in your household. Adults should be offered an adult beverage. Children should be plied with warm milk or Ovaltine. Soon the house will be sleepy.

  24. Do you think if you backed the neckline with a ribbon or some sort of lining it might help? I suspect it will just make it heavier, but who knows. Its a lovely cardi nevertheless. :o)

  25. It’s lovely! I have fallen victim to the casual, no-closure sweater and I find they tend to slump. Simple top closure is fine, but they need to somehow be closed–at least the ones I’ve made so far. Am working on a Whisper (I think) cardigan now, and maybe, just maybe, it’ll be *different*. If not, I’ll go back to the rules, but just now, I’m trying not to plan any personal sweaters until post-baby. It’s OK because there are many babies to knit for just now, keeping my mind off that challenge.

  26. I’m down here in the dusty archives reading your flood stories after reading your book! Loved it and neglected my family for the day to finish reading it; awaiting the sequel! I guess it helps that the narrator’s voice is vaguely familiar!
    And I must ask: where’s that dang DVD of singing Estonians now? Did it ever finish its journey?


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