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

Blind Ambition

Dear Ann,
Last week I decided to get down to business and sew up this pile of stuff:
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
A week later, let’s assess progress.
Poor Deco, which was started in March 2002, when Rowan 31 was fresh and new, and so was I. Deco, whose sleeves were re-knit so as to be the perfect length. Deco, the very first sweater that I knit to the correct gauge. Deco, with its amusing twisted-stitch motif and its classy and clever buttonless bands with yarnovers and ribbing and God knows what-all. Here’s Deco, after two or three afternoons of tearful struggles involving the setting-in of the sleeves:
Why didn’t I sew in the ends yet? What’s wrong with Deco?
I don’t want to talk about it.
Let’s move on.
Next up: Poppy!
Poppy, in a child’s size 4, is from Elsebeth Lavold’s Book 5, ‘The Summer Breeze Collection. I like this book a lot. The adult version of Poppy is the cover sweater, but Lavold helpfully includes a child’s version. I started it on the plane home from San Francisco. The original pattern calls for 3 color stripes. For ease of airplane-knitting, I used Tahki Cotton Classic in a variegated colorway that I soon decided was Kind of Loud Even For Me. But Baby Rose, who is now 3 1/2, will look spritely as can be in it:
I made a couple of slight modifications: a roll neck, and open vents at the sides and the sleeve cuffs. Since the edges are garter stitch, it was possible to leave the seams open for a few inches at the bottom, and I thought this added some ease to a sweater that will probably be pulled on and off at the beach and in the cool of the evening.
I must add that I sewed the sleeves on in one go and they came out perfectly. The right amount of ease in the right places. No problems whatsoever.
My favorite part of finishing a sweater for Rose:
Accessorizing! The Baby Rose, with the mini-Merrell Mary Janes, looks superfantastic in the Teeny Capris. The Auntie Kay is never happier than when shopping for the Teeny Capris.
This past weekend, inspired by the success of the Little Rose Poppy, I cast on for
The Big Kay Poppy.
This is 3 shades of Euroflax Sportweight 100% Linen. It’s so light and drapey after washing (before washing it’s like knitting with kitchen twine, but I don’t mind that at all). I needed to knit with linen, as part of my process of reconciliation and healing after Deco (Deco is in Rowan Linen Drape). Get back up on that horse again, ya know?
It’s going quickly, despite the US 3 needles I need to get gauge with the linen. My loose gauge always gets even looser when I am knitting with inelastic yarns like linen.
The third item in the sew-up pile? More on that later. It’s Rowan Denim; it’s small; it’s vintagey. And I promise to bare my soul about Deco when I’m feeling less like screaming profanity. When will that be? I couldn’t tell ya.
Love, Kay




  1. Come on! Get to the vintagey denim! i’m getting awfully handy with bleaching skeins of denim in freezer bags! No real successes yet, but a very clean sink!

  2. You’re scrapin’ a noive already! Vintage…Denim…let’s have it! (please?)

  3. Little Rose Poppy is adorable! And Big Kay Poppy is looking good, love the stripes. Of course, Deco doesn’t look bad… πŸ™‚

  4. I love the Little Rose Poppy! It’s cute yarn for a little-girl sweater. I love the blues you are using for the Big Kay Poppy as well.
    Aww, take a little time to relax before you have to talk about Deco. We’ll be here. πŸ™‚

  5. Little Rose & Big Kay Poppies look super fantastic! I’m seeing white capri pants with yours – or is that my back to the 80s self talking…
    Vintage denim! Can’t wait!

  6. Beautiful Poppies !
    Deco ? Stcks and string.Sticks and string. :0)

  7. Well, Deco LOOKS good, folded in its artful way. (I do remember a male partner telling me when I was just starting out that you just needed to LOOK happy. Strange that he retired early, isn’t it?)
    Baby Rose Poppy, on the other hand, clearly IS happy. A nice shot of spring on our chilly Chicago morning!

  8. you can’t despise yer deco more than I despise mine. we’ll have a deco-off. how do I loathe thee? lemme count the ways.
    recycled denim? get to it! xox

  9. Love the Poopie. No flashing or pooling!!! The colors are great in both versions and I think the modifications would work well in the adult version too! I’m jealous, I just look at varigated yarn and it pools/flashes…

  10. love the blue linen Poppy! must get some linen to play with, summer is nearly here!


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