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Doubters, Blasphemers, Charlatans…and Babies

Dear Ann,
Some of the comments to yesterday’s post had coffee coming out of my nose. Others had me blushing. Others gave me ridiculous, pompous, self-aggrandizing ideas. Which of course I am considering very seriously. So let’s deal with them in order shall we?
There have been many mentions of the ends on the back of the intarsia. How very horrifying they must be, how we are afraid to imagine them let alone look at them, how I should be knotting them or Pfaffing them or covering them with duct tape or crocheting them into fringes. So brace yourself for a small lecture and another EXTREME GRAPHIC PICTURE (MATURE AUDIENCES):
Uncover your eyes, you big chickens! It’s only knitting:
See? Not so bad.
It is my belief that for intarsia, there is no viable alternative to sewing in the ends. Even if you are going to somehow cover the wrong side of the work later, for example in the case of a cushion cover, where all the ends would be inside. Sewing in the ends, as neatly as you can, deals with the ends as ends, of course. But when you are sewing in the ends, you also even up the tension of your intarsia, close gaps where a new color was joined, etc. Forget about the back: you need to sew in the ends to make the front look good. It also makes all those color joins and changes much sturdier. So you gotta do it, peeps. Don’t shoot the messenger. Hear me now, or hear me later. Etc. etc.
Don’t get me wrong, AMBER. I have gone over to the no-sew side when it comes to the ends from striped mitered squares and dangling sew-up yarns, etc. If you can tie a snug square knot, and you don’t mind an inch or two of dangle below each knot on the wrong side, this is a perfectly acceptable way to deal with millions of ends. But stripes look fine on the front side regardless of what you do on the back. So. I welcome a frank exchange of views on this subject, but I have to say my heels are pretty dang dug in.
I admit that I roared with glee at the kind comments that suggested even the slightest comparison with Kaffe. I mean, KAFFE…OMG I can die happy now. But here’s the thing; I didn’t design the intarsia. This thing is Kaffe’s own pattern! All I have done is leave the chart behind, as Kaffe is always a-preaching, and turn it into something other than the needlepoint cushion that was intended. Don’t get me wrong: it was my highly original idea to surround the thing with subtly undulating textured strips of denim. That is my own Special Gift–surrounding things in denim, over and over again. I will not hide my light under a bushel. But Kaffe-ish? I think not. Thanks, though, dolls.
Blasphemy aside, I do think it would be great fun to change the spelling of my name to Kayye, as Ann so boldly suggests. That could change my whole life right there. Look at ol’ Cherilyn Sarkisian. “Sonny and Cherilyn Sarkisian?” Never woulda happened. Without the name change, the world would never have known Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves. Feel free to become Annnnne, now. The doubling up of letters just makes a person so much more fascinating, doesn’t it?
And Finally, Babies! Handknits! Babies in Handknits!
The Ancestral Bjorn is back from China, loaded with cuteness:
Whatta kid. Zoe made herself right at home this morning at Villa Kayye, all smiles except when posing in the Bjorn. Posing in a Bjorn of such honorable vintage is serious business. Note that Zoe is wearing a handknit. So cute. I inquired about the bobbly yarn. I am told that all that is known is that it is from Boca Raton, knitted up by a friend of Zoe’s gran. The perfect spring jacket.
But wait! More baby! Last week I had lunch with Valentina and finally met the illustrious She Who Squeeks. We posed together, trying to look all Rembrandty despite the fact that it was lunch hour at the City Bakery.
Squeeky was overcome by being walked all over creation, so she was fast asleep and barely peeking out of her cocoon of shawls (we were sitting by the drafty door). She is wrapped in both Clapotis (knitted by her ma) AND Kiri (knitted by Madame Kiri herself). Is there any better handknit mojo?
Happy weekend everybody,
Love, Kay(ye)




  1. Ah the triumph of the weaving in the ends! I so totally agree. And it does make the front look better – even if I’m dealing with short rows and not intarsia it’s still a helluva lot of ends.
    Oh and I don’t know from Kaffe, I only know from Kayye.

  2. This is why I come by day after day. Knitting hygiene (sewing in ends), personal hygiene (nasal irrigation with coffee)–it’s all here, it’s all good.

  3. okay a baby wrapped in a clapotis is about the most adorable thing i think i’ve ever seen. now i must make baby clapotii!!!!!

  4. Swaddled babies ! Cluck,cluck,cluck.
    Love the glasses ! Love the sewn in ends.

  5. Ahhh, sewn in ends. I am Zenned out. I can’t tell if the Sqeaker is cute or not, I can barely see her, but good photo of you Kay. And Zoe – ahh, inscrutable in the face of a camera, like so many ancestors! Confucious (spelling?) say ‘Happy baby pull faces at camera’. OK, I’m rambling, it’s late and I’m on my second Scotch…

  6. wow, I just came by to read a little knitting, had no idea I’d get a dose of babie cuteness, scandalous intaria photos and wild and crazy weaving of ends. I scored!

  7. I found that sewing in ends is a good project when you get tired of following a complicated pattern (and I always have ends to sew in). Hard to say which baby is cuter!

  8. gosh not 1 but 2 babies… it’s enough to make one (almost) broody ;-). zoe is gorgeous.. and the squeakster…sniff swaddled in our shawls… sigh…
    you brave soul… all those ends (shiver)

  9. I, for one, think that the sewn in ends look awesome. But I still want to know how the left side of your brain works! Help out an uncreative sister, please?

  10. Oh you look so proud to hold the bundle. Don’t you just love it when its your TURN. Nothing like those babies to bring it all back to perspective eh?

  11. there’s nothing like a “baby fix” to flutter your cares away….tra la…..

  12. LOVE that picture. I don’t know who’s lovlier you or the squeaker babe – i’d say it’s a tie!.

  13. aw! that’s a great picture of you and squeeky.

  14. OK, Kayye, or Kay, I wish I’d been clever enough to Kaffe-ize your name but credit is due to commenter Ann from Purlingswine.
    But never mind that – WHERE did you find those great glasses that complement the cute baby in the clapotis so well??

  15. Saw your book today at Colliseum Books. I got to look through it and really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to buy it when it’s released. Much luck with it!

  16. thanks kay, for the photo of the ‘wrong side’ (what a chauvinist term! how about ‘other side’?) of yo’ intarsia– i always like the flip side of my knitting, it’s my contrarian nature…

  17. If there’s more Kaffe-style intarsia in your future, dear Kayye, I can show you a trick I figured out when making my Rosetta blankie – for weaving in intarsia ends as you go, eliminating the need for that horrid eternal end-sewing session – and the front looks fantastic!


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