For the look of Relax in a worsted weight yarn, take a look at Worsted Boxy.

The Doctor is In

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Dear Ann,
A 9 a.m. thunderstorm–very dramatic. Can you believe how many knitters there are in my new hood? We definitely have to get a Way Upper West Side SnB together this September!
Today I’d like to be moderately helpful for a change. Here are some questions and diagnoses:
Dr. Ninepatch
Dr. Ninepatch may be stripped of her epaulets if she’s not more careful with her prescription pad. Elizabeth made a sa-WEET Ninepatch Dishrag but discovered that the instructions do not say how I made the stockinette ‘spoke’ down the middle of each of the corner miters. The answer: On Row 2 and every WS row, I purled the center stitch. (It would also work, maybe even better, to slip the center stitch on the RS, and then purl it on the WS, like we do on the Baby Burp Cloth in the book. This elongates the stockinette line so you see it better and it sort of rides on top of the garter stitch background.) Anyhoo, I fixed the pattern to reflect how I actually did it. The corrected pattern is in this post.
Dr. Miter
Reader Nicole emailed with a question about the Low-Sew Method of knitting miters together to make a mitered square blanket. Since I think others might have the same question, I will clarify the crucial step of stitch-pick-upping that I think is at the heart of Nicole’s issue.
Nicole was concerned that after picking up along one edge of the first miter and then casting on another 36 stitches, that first stripe of the miter would be uneven on its 2 ‘legs’–i.e., that there would be one extra row of stitches in the new color where she cast on, but not where she picked up.
I puzzled over this for an inordinate amount of time. When I did this myself (64 some-odd times), my miters came out evenly striped. Then I remembered that my method of picking up stitches is sometimes called ‘pick up AND KNIT’, because as I stick my needle into the edge that I’m picking up on, I pull a loop of the new yarn through to make a new stitch. I’ve seen people pick up stitches just by picking up the existing loops–naked, as it were–and stacking them on the right needle. I don’t do it that way because it seems to me that it puts too much strain and stretch on that edge, and the tension of the join is tighter than the tension of the knitting. Here’s how it looks the way I pick up stitches:
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See how I’ve pulled a loop of the new yarn through each stitch as I picked it up?
Then, when I cast on 36 more stitches, there are the same number of stitches in the new color on both sides of the miter. I hope that fixes Nicole’s issue, and anybody else who was experiencing the same thing. ‘Pick up stitches’, like most knitting terms, is in the eye of the knitter. It usually doesn’t matter, except when it does matter!
Dr. Dishrag
Wouldja believe that one of my gifted dishrags has been RETURNED for REPAIRS?
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In a year of dish-doing, my pal Diana plumb wore out this dishrag. Way to use the handknits, Di! Group hug! She claims to be so fond of it that she wanted me to fix its holes and raggled edge.
Now I don’t want to make a habit of this, mind you. But how could I resist the DIshrag Love implicit in this request?
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SO, I whipstitched the tattered edge, all Folk Arty.
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And I did this improvised weave over the holes, anchoring the ‘warp’ stitches in good solid knitted stitches surrounding the hole.
And now it goes back to Rhode Island for more wear and tear. (What really warmed my heart was when Diana said that she had lent her place to friends while she was on vacation, but had hidden her handknit dishrags. Because even an otherwise well-bred houseguest might not know better than to clean something really grody with a handknit dishrag. Philistines!)
Dr. Top Down
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The state of the top down boatneck raglan this morning. (This pic reminds me of something…oh what is it….oh, this? No–wait! It’s THIS!)
I’m already thinking I’ll stop at the waist and not make this a dress or tunic. I like a wide boatneck, but don’t want the weight of a longer garment (this is Euroflax Sportweight Linen by the way) to pull the neckband over one of her shoulders.
This weekend we’re off….
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…to see Our Rabbit. Yes, a wild rabbit is lounging in the yard every afternoon from 4 p.m to nearly sundown. We say, ‘let’s go see the rabbit’, walk outside, and there he is. Munching the clover and other goodies in the ‘natural’, i.e., feral, lawn. He doesn’t move, or even raise his ears, until you get about 8 feet away. We’ve found him relaxing with his hind legs out, which Rabbit People tell me is a sign of high rabbity comfort level. I have never seen a wild rabbit as fat and content as this guy. He’s no fledging blue bird, I know, but he’s Our Rabbit.
Happy weekend all!
Love, Kay

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37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. I spied a little rabbit in our city backyard this morning! And, as the maker of four no-sew squares, my comment would rather address the fact that the first stripe is thicker, at essentially 8 rows rather than 6. What’s up with that? XXO

  2. Cool… love the view. I saw the downpour on the Today show… must have been at the same time.
    Your daughter is so patient to keep trying the sweater on… and such beautiful eyes! Can’t wait to see the finished product!
    You can have some of my “wabbits”, they ate some of my favorite flowers and we always have food out for them to eat…. not nice.
    Happy Knitting!!!

  3. Yes, Maggi, you’re right. I don’t know what to do about it short of decreasing on the pick-up row, which would be unwieldy, or decreasing on the WS, also unwieldy (I have high standards of wieldiness), and in any event, they at least seem to come out square this way. You could rejigger the stripes to some other multiple of rows I spoze, but what goes into 74 stitches evenly over 48 rows, with 3 sts decreased every other row????
    Let’s continue to devote a disproportionate amount of our collective brain power to this! We will succeed!!! xoxo Kay

  4. Hi! You had to go and post a bunny picture. Had to do it . . . I LOVE A BUNNY PICTURE. I think this one is part chicken–looks all ruffly or feathery.
    Speaking of lo-sew miters, my tweedy blanket continues apace, and my experience with the extra row is that I don’t really care about it, because I’m using so many different yarns that the whole thing is a wabisabi celebration of the imperfect. It’s, frankly, kind of a mess. So my suggestion is not to worry about it, but I have a feeling that’s not very helpful. You guys go get all perfectionist and everything while I go make another lumpy square.
    I mean, that bunny is rilly cute.

  5. Things are all starting to make sense. Thanks Dr. Kay!! :-)
    Hope you survived the rain, I got caught in it leaving Bryant Park this morning, so glad I didn’t have the log cabin out to knit (though I really wanted to!!)
    Hugs
    Karen

  6. Dude!
    unbeknownst to me I was up in your new ‘hood on Sunday – check out my blog to see why!

  7. Bunny alert! He’s handsome. Mouse says he can’t believe you’re smitten with a different rabbit.
    And Carrie is doing it again… ‘yes, Mother, I’ll just stand here, sigh….’
    Ahhh, how nice of your friend to ask for running repairs. You really know you’re loved then. When friends use stuff so much you have to mend it. Whatever it is, humble dishcloth or cashmere jumper.

  8. Re: Pinic spot – it’s not *that* nice – but the lighthouse is definately cute :o)

  9. Storm was spectacular this morning – well at least on my side of the river. I watched it from my balcony.
    Cute rabbit.

  10. Aww, what a cute rabbit! The spots remind me of bambi.
    Thanks for the tip on the mitered corners of the ninepatch. I wasn’t displeased with the way mine turned out, but I’m happier now knowing my next one will look even better.
    Now, any solution on cutting down on the 18 freakin’ ends I have to weave in?

  11. I bought cotton and got out my pattern to try my first ballband dishrag this weekend. I am so excited! My goal is to make about 50 of these before Christmas to be distributed in sets for family and friends. We shall see!

  12. Y’all may think that bunny rabbit is oh, so cute. Maybe in an urban setting it is. But, in suburbia, oh, no, no, no. At any rate, the bunny in my little corner of suburbia ate my snapdragons. Mind you, these are snapdragons that are not supposed to be perennials, but that came back anyway, since they’re planted right next to the house. But, still, they’re my snapdragons, mine, I tell you. And we won’t even mention the flat of petunias that I left out to “harden”, without realizing that they’re a very special kind of bunny delicacy.

  13. Um, can we call the rabbit Skillet? Please? He looks like a good Skillet.
    I case I haven’t been clear enough in my intentions . . . I want to call every animal skillet at this point. I can’t have the houd-dog who should be skillet. But rabbits and bluebirds aren’t very good at refusing monikers.
    Back to my banjo, I know. I’m going.

  14. That must be one comfortable rabbit! I’ve never seen a wild one do that. My house rabbits sure, but not a wild one. Very cool!

  15. what lovely photos. Carrie is gorgeous and so is that bridge. It’s so good to know that you repair dishclothes ;-)

  16. cool news on the sidebar about the afghans for afghans latest packing project. i just sent them 3 biggie, woolly, striped hats. some of the yarn was from my sister’s trip to argentina….it will be well traveled, by the time it reaches its final destination.
    hey….i adore that green grassy parky place. so happy you have some natual green in your new york lives!

  17. Yeah! And how about the thunderstorm at 3p.m. And the one happening RIGHT NOW at 4:30! Hello from the West Village (my office)! I love your view, and I love driving thru your part of town! Oh, and I loooove your book! (I won it in Cara’s Spin Out raffle) but I’d already bought it–so I gifted it to a fellow knitter. Thanks!

  18. The whole pick up or pick up and knit thing got me with my snazzy bathmat too. I found the just picking up too hard with the double strands so changed to picking up and knitting before I knew it was what I was ‘sposed to do anyway! Thanks for the clarification and have a great weekend.

  19. Friends,
    May I say – CA time it is 10:26p.m. – IT IS 104 DEGREES – my little ones ( 4 & 5) just took a COLD bath to cool down eventhough we have the AC going 24/7 set at 79 and we are wilting.
    Your picture of the fog was LUCIOUS I tell you…reminding me of my Berkeley days long gone.
    “I’m meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelting”
    can we say “Inconvenient Truth” ?

  20. Well wow!
    Just WOW. The book, the blog, the bunny…
    We had a rabbit here in our suburban yard lie with hind legs out all the time. A daughter, when she was about Carrie’s age, named it “Lies Like a Dog.” We thought he was odd, not comfortable, who knew?
    Alice, Bobbex-R will help with your bunny problem. It even works on deer, this year my day lilies are heavenly, and untouched, even by those “rats with antlers.”
    Kay and Ann, I am knitting my way through your book. Washcloths, bibs, a kimono for a new great-niece in the offing. Thinking about rugs and suitable yarn and how to add to my stash when it came back to me that I hooked! I have rug yarn packed away here somewhere! I thought my hooking days were over and they may be, but the yarn isn’t going to waste any more!
    Wow.
    Janet

  21. Forget the rabbit, it is the sweet little girl that I love. What a droll picture of her, with the typical bored expression of a child modeling some item of clothing. I love the little fingers holding the shoulder part in place. How adorable is this? Just the best. She is a beautiful girl, such eyes.

  22. I was so glad to see the tattered dishcloth. While I was knitting on the “ball band” warshrag last night, I was thinking about the state of the dishcloth residing on my kitchen sink and how it has a hole because of a cut from a sharp knife. Never thought of repairs-I use them until they are strings. But I was thinking about all the blogs out there that have things like “show me what is in your kniting bag”, etc. So, how about a ” show me your used Warshrag” MeMe?

  23. Are you working on your next book yet? Is the topdown sweater a pattern for a new book?

  24. Definitely interested in the Way Upper West Side SnB. Thanks for a wonderful book!

  25. do you have a pattern for the dish rag? It is lovely!!

  26. I wish I had read this post 2 weeks ago, when I found one of our ‘regular’ rabbits in the front yard, with hind legs all stretched out at a 90 degree angle. In hindsight, yes, he was very relaxed looking but when I first came upon him, I thought he was injured. Who ever saw a rabbit reclining?! After many calls to wilderness rescuers, I approached said rabbit and he hopped away. Whew. Catching a wild rabbit and bringing him to the vet wasn’t going to be easy.
    Thanks for a great blog. And thanks for a fun book too. I’m reading it like a novel :-)

  27. Hi. My book arrived yesterday. I’m skipping around I am so happy it’s here. I had a question about the ballband. When you “join B” are you then knitting with two strands?

  28. Oh we have a brown rabbit (or two or a dozen maybe?) too and I love watching him eat.

  29. I’m guessing that dynamo little girl is your daughter. The picture of her July 20 and 21 need to be blown up to 11 x 14 and hung in a place of prominence. The things you can read in her face….!!!!! You will want to remember that look when she gets older.

  30. A-haaaaa…. I see what you’re about with the “pick up AND KNIT” stitches. I noticed it in the instructions for the felted boxes or the buttonhole bag and I thought something funny in the opposite direction. Since I’ve always picked up the way that you do, I thought “pick up AND KNIT” meant to pull that new loop through for the new stitch and then also after that, knit one stitch into it before moving on to pull the next loop through. Like as a hooker would do a half-double crochet (or something like that). And that made me think you were very weird, because why would you DO that, anyway? But I kept the faith and had planned on faithfully reenacting what I perceived to be part of your nutty charm, but am now quite relieved to see that “pick up AND KNIT” just means, in my book, “pick up.”
    All this chattering on reminds me of my father referring to his favorite vehicles as a “pick-‘em-up truck.” Perhaps y’all’re making “pick-‘em-up blankets.

  31. Dear Kay,
    I’m struggling with that last stitch on the cast-off row of the log cabin. If you leave that stitch on your needle, then turn and pick up stitches, that will mess up your stitch count (assuming you pick up one stitch for every 2 garter rows). How do you deal with this, or are you ignoring it and adding an extra stitch with every log added? I’m an obsessive perfectionist, and the extra stitch really bothers me, yet if I cast off the last stitch, then pick up for the new log, I’m left with a corner that’s not as nice as the other 3. I’m hoping you might know a way around this.

  32. Thank you so much for inspiring me to cast on for a dishcloth (or two!) A dishcloth gallery will ensue…!

  33. What a spectacular view from your window!
    And city rabbits seem to me to be an encouraging sign for our environment.

  34. That is some warshrag love I tell ya!
    Now I really must try that Warshrag pattern. I was having trouble figuring out the ridge too.
    Don’t you know, the rabbit has human pets. You guys.

  35. Welcome to the neighborhood! I grew up on the block leading to Ft. Tryon Park. It’s a great neighborhood. I’ve moved away (to the “wilds” of New Haven, CT) to go to grad school, but will always think of the heights as home.

  36. all the people i make dishrags for won’t use them! well, the put them under vases and such in the living room, but they never wash dishes with them.

  37. That is definitely a sign of bunny comfort! My angoras used to do that all the time, only when really, really chilled out.