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

Cross My Heart

Dear Ann,
Sassy is in the house! You have really outdone yourself this time; it’s a marvelous, worm-free, bar-free piece of knitting and needless to say, a masterful example of the blocker’s art. Sassy is way, way, WAY beyond what a person has any right to expect from a pen pal.
Sassy fits like a glove. So much so, in fact, that when I put it on and preened in front of the mirror, my first thought was: honey, have you considered a foundation garment? Are you familiar with Power Net Fabric? Would now be the time for a Playtex Cross Your Heart Bra? I can assure you that as soon as I receive my shipment from Dandelion Vintage Bras, I will be strutting my Sassy self all over the blog. I thank you from the bottom of my synthetic whalebone trusses. Olive, the sweater I’m knitting for you, which by the way is so baggy that a reinforced undergarment is not necessary or desired, is nearing completion. Honest! I will be mailing it out any day now. As soon as I find the sleeves!
Mason-Dixon Piecework Cooperative
It’s been great having you knit stuff for me, but I have so many things on my Covet List that I really need at least another couple of people knitting stuff for me. A couple of years ago, I gave my dear friend Pam, who lives in suburban Washington, D.C., a refresher course on knitting. She liked it, but it never really took. Recently, however, she succombed to Log Cabin Fever. A few weeks ago, she started in on 16 colors of Peaches & Creme yarn, and in no time she had whipped up this happy thing:
Pam worked on her log cabin every spare moment, including in her car during her commute. Now she’s done, and she wants to do another one. Well, my friend since second grade, Laurie, has requested a log cabin, and rebuffed all suggestions that she learn how to knit one. Moreover, I have been longing to design a log cabin using my Lost Shades of Rowan Handknit D.K. Cotton. Seeing opportunity in Pam’s obsession, I asked whether she might consider knitting this up, you know, while stopped at stop lights. Pam said YES!
So this afternoon I played Designer For a Day. I laid out 24 colors like so:
Like my first Log Cabin, this one will have warm colors on one angle, and cool colors on the opposite angle. The warm angle will have one leg of
golds and oranges,
and one leg of
pinks and reds.
The cool angle will have one leg of
and one leg of
I started the center to see how the first strips looked next to each other (and because, let’s be honest, I can’t help myself):
I like it. It reminds me of barkcloth curtains from the 50s. The colors will get deeper as they go out from the center.
So here is the little kit I’m mailing to Pam tomorrow:
I’m also including a pre-started rug kit for Pam’s 6-year-old son Robby, who is mad about fingerknitting. I have high hopes that Robby may be Fiber Arts Boy, Jr., in the making. And that someday I’ll be able to buy my own 8-pound ball of fingerknitting from him.
It’s a small world after all.
Love, Kay




  1. Kay, I’m glad you revived the topic of log cabining, because I wanted to let you know that after sending you my sorry turned-every-which-way log square, I dug into the MDK archives, TOOK NOTES (to whit: stay on right, turn to right) from your instructional post and turned out some real beauts. Did you know that you can play with the center and panel widths to give some op art qualities to the cabin? My happy collection of proper and funky squares is destined for blankets for the August (and august) arrival of my best friend’s twins, but I will have lots of cotton left over for June or July afghanalong submissions. And one more thing: let it all hang out. Cristina

  2. Viva la log cabin! I LOVE the colors. I, too, covet quilts (one of my close friends is helping me make a wedding quilt to be ready soon after (think months!) our upcoming nuptials). I have an infinitely long list of planned projects, but rest assured that your fabulous log cabin is among them!

  3. Y’all,
    I love Sassy, I am lusting (in my heart) after Sassy, I cannot find a Sassy pattern.
    Thanks so much.

  4. I was meaning to imply in my above post,
    Help by telling where the Sassy pattern is to be found.
    Thanks again,

  5. Thanks for telling us how you laid out the colors! I am trying to decide on a yarn and colors for a log cabin for my mom for Christmas. Yes, I realize it’s only March, but it may take me that long to finish it! πŸ™‚

  6. Sarah B. — The thing that takes the most time when laying out the colors is, after you lay out the 4 ‘legs’–which show you which color will be on top of and underneath each color, you then need to look at the adjoining legs, to check, ball by ball, which color is going to be on either side of each color. Does this make sense? Because what you don’t want is a color next to a color that makes a dead spot in the pattern. Of course, you can correct this as you go, too.
    Or you can just wing it. That’s what I did last time. I did find myself in some tight squeezes though, without a lot of good color options. Doing it this way, I had more choices. And since Pam is knitting the thing, I had time and leisure to lay it out.
    Cristina–I really, really want to see your funky log cabin squares. Just a picture please. (Hear me whine!) In the course of my deep contemplation of all things Log Cabin, I did realize, at some point, that much Seussian fun could be had doing off-kilter centers and uneven strips, and I have seen ‘real’ quilts that tweak Log Cabin in this way, to great effect. But you know me–well actually you don’t, but it will come as no surprise– it is very hard for me to color outside the lines. At heart I’m a pattern knitter, and I want to be told exactly what to do and then do just that, as perfectly as I possibly can. I’m working on curing this impediment to creativity.
    Barbara, Sassy is in Rowan Magazine # 22. I had to go pretty far back in the Rowan archives to find a pattern for Fine Cotton Chenille that I liked, as they do not design a lot for this yarn. I definitely picked a winner. It is cuter in person than even in the picture–it’s less cardi, more flirty. Especially when I get my corset on…….
    Glad to revisit Log Cabin, any time. xox Kay

  7. kay! i hope that’s you in the sassy photo, looking so glamorous!…. your log cabin color display is making me salivate… what size needle worked best for those yarns to achieve good coverage?…. sad, but true, CA. residents can be ticketed for knitting at red lights and stop signs…. and as you know, CA. is where “the ground moves, and the traffic doesn’t.” darn!…. hugs, carolyn

  8. A-OK, Kay. I will photograph the funky squares and send prints (remember what those are?) with my next batch of afghanalong submissions.
    Taking my lead from your quoting the Beatles,
    “I don’t have digital. I don’t have diddly-squat. It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.”* Sheryl Crow
    Yours, Cristina
    *This truism does not apply to yarn or pattern books.

  9. Cristina–Diddly-squat??? I’m a blogger: I’ve GOT diddly-squat. I will just scan those daguerrotypes or whatever you’re sending; wa-la, digital log cabins for all to enjoy!
    P.S. Attention all Sheryl Crow fans who googled in here by mistake: this is a knitting blog. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.
    BTW, I [heart] Sheryl Crow.

  10. What a gorgeous & juicy log cabin blanket that’s going to be.How can you bear not to knit it yourself ?
    Find out if Louise M. went to Haberdasher’s Aske’s.We were the queens of Dorcas blankets,she being an obscure saint of needleworkers.
    Teep,you’re so good you’re almost scary ! :0)

  11. Kay — Loved seeing the post today, having just last night added about four bars to the baby log cabin that is chugging along in Manos cotton. My favorite project of the moment; I hold it out in front of me like doggie treats to make me spend part of every knitting session on some old WIP that I otherwise would avoid (which, of course, is how it became an old WIP in the first place). Was thrilled when the DePaul/Dayton game went into double OT last night, made for another bar!
    I am daunted by all that color planning, though. My warm/cool effort experienced an early breakdown, and now I am just going as the spirit moves me, hoping that in the end I will magically compensate for that early segment that has a few too many colors too much alike right next to each other… Fortunately my husband has a marvelous color sense, so after I have muddled things up just a little more (to keep it interesting) I will turn the “what next” decisions over to him and he will save the day!

  12. Emma: Er. You’re not seeing the… uhm… first drafts of most of these squares. If you listen carefully to my squares, you can hear frogs in the distance.

  13. What kind of hold do you have on these women? Is it psychological or blackmail?? How can I do this too?? Out with it — what is the secret to getting other people to knit for you?!

  14. Love the log cabin squares – the colors are wonderful! I also MUST have the pattern for Olive – where can I find it!?

  15. Thought I’d better check.St.Dorcas symbolizes charitable acts,apparently.Those charitable acts involve making clothing tc. for others,so I was close.

  16. Ok, that’s it – I’ve resisted long enough. Today’s mission, root through my stash and start log-cabining (I do think that should be a verb!).
    Of course the difficulty will be limiting myself to my real stash and not the living room chock FULL of yarn for the shop with no home.
    Here’s hoping everyone has a great weekend.

  17. Kay, Kay, KAY–You busy bee! Who knew that my week away would leave you in Design Worshop mode? I love all those colors you’ve worked out for Pam. She is going to have more fun than is legal with those.
    And I love your fingerknitting rug. It looks like an actual rug, unlike ours which looks like a freak of nature.
    Now, I tried to warn you about the ultraformfittingness of Sassy. I don’t know if my gauge was off or what, but it’s a snug little item. At any rate, think of Sassy as the opportunity of a lifetime to enter the world of Jane Russell. Or you could do as I do with many of my handknits: drape it attractively somewhere in the house. Anything looks like a throw if you fold it just so.
    Right on! And I’m loving all these incredible afghan squares. Such variety!

  18. All that Rowan – you must be rich! πŸ™‚
    bark clother reference is perfect. Love it and am so inspired. Thanks for that!


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