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


Dear Ann,
Help! Who knew there were so many rectangular stole patterns? (JennyRaye knew. Have you seen her listing of rectangular stole patterns? JennyRaye is a one-woman crusade against Jemima Puddle-Duck Syndrome.)
OK, so I’ve decided. I think. I thought long and hard about Sarcelle. I downloaded Sarcelle. I love wraps that are knit on the bias, like Clapotis and Argosy, two of my favorite knits ever. For these and many other reasons, I love Sarcelle. However. I have to admit that at this time in my life, and particularly when watching Scrubs from 11:30 to 12:30, a pattern without a relaxing purl-back row is probably not advisable. The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be, etc. Instead, Pam is going to get Hanami, a design by Pink Lemon Twist.
To give some insight as to why I found Hanami so compelling, I am going to quote the designer’s description, highlighting the Words That Make Kay Crazy.
“In 1912 the city of Tokyo gave 3000 cherry trees to the city of **Washington, DC** (Pam lives in the Washington area) as a gesture of friendship and goodwill. Today those trees, and others given later, still **bloom every Spring for a few short days** (Pam’s birthday is in early April), in a stunning display of nature’s beauty. Hanami is the **Japanese** word used for traditional cherry blossom viewing activities and it is the combination of this tradition and the gesture of friendship that inspired the design of the Hanami stole.
“**Asymmetrical** (hello!) in design, the stole begins with a **beaded cast on** (ruh-roh) and a basket weave lace design inspired by a traditional **Sashiko**, or Japanese **quilting** design. The basket weave symbolizes the **friendships and interweaving of our lives** (me + Pam=so interweavey with our lives!). The second half of the stole is dedicated to the cherry blossoms and the reminder they give us of the beauty of life. As anyone who has seen cherry blossoms blow in the wind can tell you, they make a beautiful pink and white cloud of blossoms. Starting out with just a scatter of blossoms, they get thicker until at the end of the stole, there is a full cloud of blossoms. The second end of the stole is finished with a simple, **flirty** (Pam would deny this) ruffle that is reminiscent of the delicate blossoms themselves.”
So, Jenn, come on down! Send me your address so I can send your Silk o’ the Sea. Thank you everybody, for nearly killing me with stole suggestions.
Meanwhile, back at the shmattah factory, I spent a delightful evening hunting through the scrap pile and cutting out bits of favorite fabrics to make some desperately needed coasters for the new apartment. (I’m still at Stage One of Having a New Piece of Furniture: Delusional Belief That Item Can Be Preserved Forever and Handed Down, Minty-Fresh, To One’s Heirs. Stage Two is Grief and the Removal of Plastic Coverings. Stage Three Is Acceptance and the Resumption of Snacks. Stage Four is Preference for Beat-to-Hell Furniture.)
The workmanship ranges from fair to poor, but I like the fabrics so much that I don’t care. My favorite is the one with the little bit of muslin from my London In A Bag set, a cherished possession.
I had only a half hour of sewing time on Sunday, due to beautiful weather. A gorgeous spring day is a dang nuisance. People will not let you stay in the basement sewing all day. They insist on eating their grilled cheese sandwiches al fresco and bouncing basketballs and jumping on the neighbors’ trampoline and other stuff that is not nearly as much fun as hunching over a sewing machine in the damp.
Forced out of the basement, and being an optimistic person, I thought that with any luck, I might hunt down a great handknit.
What’s this I see? A gathering of woodsmen (and woodswomen)?
Is that the scent of merino wool in the wind? Let’s move in closer.
[Shhhh. Don’t move a muscle. You might startle the handknit. If my Field Guide to North American Sweaters is correct, this is an elusive Dale of Norway pattern, not native to the woods north of Southampton, New York.]
Yes! It IS a Dale of Norway, even more exotic for being knitted in Jaeger Matchmaker Merino. If you are a knitter in Southampton, you probably know Hilary, who made this pullover for her husband Eric. As the Knitter of the Species, Hilary saw my camera and immediately began clucking about how she is not knitting as well as she used to, and the pattern did not come out exactly like she wanted etc etc. NONSENSE! Knitters, we must stop with the clucking. This is a beauty of a sweater, being voluntarily and happily worn by the knittee. Rejoice! Self-deprecation not permitted!
Love, Kay




  1. Kay,
    Love the Hanami pattern. I am loving looking at all the pattens that were sent your way it has been lots of fun.

  2. Hanami is fabulous and fascinating…that’s a lot of meaning in one shawl! I LOVE your hunt for handknits in the wild, you are too funny.

  3. Hanami is perfect. You know how I love a literary tie-in. And yesterday I saw a cherry blossom petal blizzard for myself–that pink lemon captured it beautifully. Can’t wait to get the FO in a cochineal bath for a very quick dip.

  4. Lurve the pattern choice..and the coasters (!) and the handknit in the wild..

  5. Based on your description…I think this shawl is your destiny! Go forth and knit! Scatter those petals!

  6. I LOVE your coasters. Up here in Ontario, we’re still a week or two away from cherry blossoms. Hanami is a very beautiful pattern, but I’m so behind the times, I’m still working on Icarus. Still.

  7. Oh to knit a PLT pattern. The shame- I lived not 15 miles from her for 3 years and we never met. Cannot wait to see your Hanami. I feel a new craze coming on…

  8. Hanami might be enough to make me knit a shawl. You nailed my shawl phobia with Jemima Puddleduck! I’d rather knit a whole sweater and tie it over my shoulders than look like I’m wearing a doily. But Hanami has movement in the pattern, a theme, I just might…

  9. Hunh! and here I thought Hanami was shoe-in for the #1 spot because it is a sibling of bubbly curtain!

  10. Thanks for showing me the Hanami shawl. I ordered a copy for myself to be added to my list of things I want to make.
    I can’t wait to watch your progress on it.

  11. Wow! Thanks so much! And I LOOOOOOOOVE Sea Silk, so I’m really excited. I sent my info to you, but like the dork I am asked what yarn you were going to use. Duh! Like, maybe… sea silk!

  12. Oh man. That sweater is perfect on that man.

  13. What a beautiful shawl pattern. Looking forward to progress photos.

  14. I’ve always admired the beauty of lace shawls and the skill needed to make them, but this, this is a work of art. Glorious!

  15. That shawl is fantastic. Great choice.
    That Dale-in-the-wild makes me see the beauty of the henley neckline with clasps in a way the pattern photos never have. They always look so fussy and annoying on the models, but it looks so nice here. Plus the color coordinates well with the Southhampton forest, doesn’t it?

  16. That shawl is fantastic. Great choice.
    That Dale-in-the-wild makes me see the beauty of the henley neckline with clasps in a way the pattern photos never have. They always look so fussy and annoying on the models, but it looks so nice here. Plus the color coordinates well with the Southhampton forest, doesn’t it?

  17. I do love the Hanami pattern… maybe someday I will make a rectangular shawl.
    Yours truly spent the afternoon in the basement finishing piecing a baby quilt for a child that is already three months old… I just have to finish a border, make the sandwich and quilt…The baby might get this by the time she is five.
    Can’t wait to see your shawl.

  18. I KNOW that sweater — I watched Hillary make it and Eric made a special trip to knitting circle so we could see it on — isn’t it a super sweater!! I think Eric loves it too…. And as you know Hillary is a brilliant knitter — after all she taught me — that shows she is patient too ๐Ÿ˜€

  19. I *love* the coasters!

  20. I am so sad about the Jemima Puddleduck syndrome….I made a triangular shawl and I’m 50 and now I have a worry to wear it! I shall twist it jauntily across my shoulders and pout seductively as I wear it, or will it look like I have a beak aswell? Oh my!! What to do? I really couldn’t wear it in a duckish fashion, I might start writing letters to my grandchildren and draw amausing pictures to illustrate them…I think my shawl might just get draped prettily over the back of my old rocking chair ;^)

  21. Hey! I recognise part of a Muji bag that had a wooden version of London in it! Hurrah! (I must get you the new ‘Suburbia’ in a bag). Excellent use of wooden-toy-wrappings, not that I’m encouraging the madness that is cutting up bits of fabric to sew them back together….. Nice sweater, too!

  22. Oh, Hillary always says that…and it’s such a grand sweater, too. Hanami is a brilliant pattern. I hope you’ll show us how it’s going!

  23. “Shmatta factory” – you crack me up. The Hanami is extraordinarily beautiful. And tempting.

  24. WOW! Thank you so much for all the kind words on Hanami! I’m so glad you like it and I hope you enjoy knitting it. I thought it went really fast and the changing of the design means you don’t really get bored. Enjoy!

  25. The Hanami is certainly pretty. I don’t even know what a beaded cast-on is. I’m going to look for my Vogue Knitting handbook. Perhaps it will offer me a clue into that one. The sweater on the woodman looks perfect.

  26. Wow, Kay,
    The Dale looks fitting in that beautiful setting and in your photos and so does the woodsman! Thanks so much,

  27. I think you made the perfect choice. Hanami is beautiful.

  28. You are quilting too? I am surrounded by quilters in with the craft bloggers and now it is slowly bleeding into the land of knit. I am powerless to resist! And I say boo to self-deprecating knitters, photos and admiration of their lovely knitted creations – that’ll show them!

  29. Do you know the name of the Dale sweater pattern? I really like it a lot and would like to find it, if possible!

  30. I’m so glad you picked Hanami because there was no way I was going to have time to cruise through all them things this week and that thing is friggin brilliant. Awesome.
    Your coasters are great, I’m always meaning to sew more coasters. I also find that lots more stitching round the edges makes them less noticably, uh, imperfect. We are going through similar furniture phases, but “tablepads.com” is helping our marriage considerably.

  31. Wait! Also, the London-in-a-bag? New York in a bag? So classy in natural wood. Suburbia in a bag? COLORS! Ha!

  32. Thanks for sharing the Hanami shawl links. What a find!

  33. Cozy from Knitty.com is a great rectangle shawl pattern…

  34. Hanami is so beautiful. I am a sucker for an assymetrical pattern and any pattern with that much meaning and sentiment crammed into one beautiful, delicate shawl. I am going to have to add this to my knitting plans.

  35. “Hanami” is the perfect choice. Those knitted cherry blossoms are just dazzling. I guess this is something else to add to my aspirational list of projects.

  36. Oh my, that Hanami is some beautiful lace. I had to order the pattern immediately, despite the fact that I’m a lace novice. Now why didn’t I order Sundara Yarn’s Cherry Blossom in laceweight? We need yarn info, please!

  37. I love this blog and you are so clever!

  38. Oh, that shawl is so lovely. What a beautiful choice. You have a very lucky friend.

  39. ~snort~

  40. OMG… I downloaded the Hanumi pattern not one hour before I saw your post. We visited the cherry blossoms in DC a few weeks ago, and I was charmed. Also, the sample was done in Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud in Peppermint Heather…2 skeins, for a grand total of about $9 for this beauty! OR…Jannette’s Rare Yarns has gorgeous Kid Silk Haze for only $11, with free shipping from the UK. I’ve ordered from her before, and her packages arrive really fast.

  41. There are so many good things in this post. The coasters – divine. The cherry blossom shawl – stunning (though I am quite sure not easier than Cookie’s). The handknit sighting – fabulous!

  42. Beautiful pattern. I love it. Thanks for bringing my attention to this pattern. I wasn’t even aware of its existence!

  43. I too love bias knit patterns, and knit the argosy after reading about it in your blog! What fun! There is, at least, one more argosy scarf in my future. And then maybe an argosy wrap.
    I also am not a fan of the Jemima Puddle-Duck shawl. Love the description!

  44. I am a VERY LUCKY friend. I am also pretty certain that I am not worthy but I promise to treasure the Hanami. I love this blog – the wit, the obsession, the sense of community, etc.

  45. well goodness, aparently i need to get to know some southampton knitters!! i’m in port jeff, which feels like light-years away some times, hah. but goodness, if they can be found in the woods like that, perhaps i should work on my stalking and camouflage skills…

  46. I LOVE MUJI!

  47. That Hanami stole is too beautiful! Will you be blocking it yourself? Will you have it professionally blocked? Either way, be sure to give us the juicy details…Diane


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

(Your email is safe with us.)