If you’re Rhinebeck bound, we would love to see youย at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night. Details here.

Breaking News, An Apology, and Jupiter

Dear Kay,
First of all: Everybody pack your bags for TORONTO. There’s going to be a north-of-the-border Afghans for Afghans sew-up party Sunday, November 7, at the ridiculously tidy home of Stephanie, aka everybody’s favorite Yarn Harlot. We are SO THRILLED that she’s hosting a plonk-enhanced, cherry-upside-down-cake-filled event. Go stop by Harlotville if you’d like details.
Almost Tender Moment
Apologies for the lack of postage from my end–last night the power went out, just as I was calculating the minutes until the small fry would be asleep so I could get some time to myself and write about my knitting adventures.
Oh, it was a pioneer moment, lemme tell you: the candles glowed, Hubbo tenderly helped David with the grammar lesson, Clif and I fought a ferocious game of Sorry. As the fella whipped my sorry behind, I contemplated the utter perfection of this quiet moment.
And then I remembered: hey, my blogphone still works.
Surfing by candlelight. Pathetic.
[Free bonus look at Jupiter as Interpreted by David.]
I’m finished with Side 1 of the Big Daddy Piano Bench Cushion, and it is in the midst of a heroic, multi-day blocking. It is so curly that as I sat poolside knitting while the fellas whacked each other with PoolNoodles, somebody at the YMCA thought I was holding a snake.
The Big Dot pattern opens up pretty well under the hurricane force of a zillion pins. Still holding up Euroflax as the Yarn of the Future. Did you know they used this stuff on the space shuttle?
Midway through this little projeck, I am wondering if I should just punt on the backside of the cushion. What if I made a labyrinth knitting flange to attach to the edge of the cushion, which would drape decoratively over the edge of the piano bench? (What if a genie climbed out of my fax machine?) Then I could get all Gee’s Bend about it and back the cushion with some leftover corduroy or dungaree legs.
Ah, just kidding about the leftover dungaree legs. But some polite fabric backing would give a little structure to this cushion. And, uh, save me another 540 square inches of knitting that would mostly be unseen except by Platinum Access viewers of this cushion.
Or should I soldier on with my original, two-sided plan? You know, the stonecarvers at Chartres cathedral had these kinds of issues: Do I finish the little decorative flower thingies even though they’re waaaay up here in the back staircase behind the altar?
If you ever find yourself climbing around the backside of Chartres, you’ll discover that the little decorative flower thingies are all there. Every single one of ’em.
I’m looking around this place, and I’m thinking, this ain’t no Chartres cathedral.
I’m going to blog every day this week, just you watch. I’m in a fever, and the only cure is . . . more blogging.



  1. ha, but do you knit for the sheer pleasure of it, or for your work to be admired?
    your cushion will be beautiful either way, of course, and much much admired and loved.

  2. What is a blogphone?

  3. you need to do both sides, even if side 2 is just striped in the same yarn colour. Every cushion needs 2 sides, to ward against red wine and loose women :-).

  4. I think the Chartres masons were unionized. Hence all that overtime carving flowers that can’t be seen.
    The other thing I’ll throw into the heady run-up to Decision 2004: Piano Bench Cushion is that when I was in my LYS the other day, I saw some knitted cushions that had quite obviously been professionally finished by an upholsterer. The backs were upholstery fabric, quite stiff and sturdy and brocadey, WITH ZIPPERS so you could remove the covers for cleaning. I cannot describe to you how much this classed up the whole knitted cushion concept. They were beautiful, and the upholstery backs really gave them extra oomph. So I’m saying, this is an Important Piano Bench Cushion. It deserves the very best. The zipper will take care of the red wine and loose women, in that you can dry clean your cover anytime anything untoward happens during Christmas Carols or whatever.
    That’s my opinion. Go knit something else. You have done well, my child. xoxoxox Kay

  5. I agree with Kay, go for the professionally finished, replete with zipper, fabric backed cushion. Your knitted cover is so lovely and a fabric backing will ensure it will last to be handed down to many generations of Big Daddy’s spawn ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I’m with Kay. The cushion top looks beautiful, it should be shown to its best advantage. I’ve never (yet) had anything professionally finished for me, but the idea is appealing, and frankly, though I’ve been making clothes since I was a kid, upholstery scares me. Of course, this advice comes from someone who’s child practices piano sitting on an old end table ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I bought the wrong book. I would love to have that big dot pattern. Can you give me more book details. Readers digest compendium of Knitting Stitches? Is it? I understand and respect copywrite laws. thank you for your great humour and inspiring knitting. nancy

  8. My mother made beautiful, intricate needlepoint pillows which she always had professionally assembled. The pros usually backed and welted them with a sturdy velveteen fabric. The pillows last forever, or until my dog chewed on one of them – only the welting, which was replaced – maybe should have replaced the dog. Barbara

  9. I think you would be quite in keeping with the ethos of medieval stonecarvers by knitting a different pillow for a different part of the room. Carrying the theme, attention to detail everywhere you turn even though you don’t notice it at first, that sort of thing.
    And who’s to say your house ain’t Chartres? We recently had an art dealer stop by our home who very kindly referred to it as “art nouveau” in style. Looking at the socks in the corner and the comic books on the coffee table, I think it was a kind, artsy French way to say “the lived-in look”…

  10. really, truly, ann….the big daddy piano cushion is much too Xtraordinary for the purpose of sitting upon. ….ah, well… hey, does anyone scotchguard these days? horrors….but, do go the zipper route… besides, you’ll always be able to replace the inner foam pad, due to bottom lumpiness!

  11. Definitely the dungaree route – that way when anybody does actually go to sit on it you can make them turn it over so as not to sit on your hours of work ! It looks great Ann … and if you do feel like knitting a second side, the colours would look fab in my sitting room with my rug – and we do have a piano stool, no piano but we have a stool !

  12. Marie–A blogphone is the dreaded combination of a cell phone, Palm Pilot, and wireless Internet. You can sit in traffic chuckling at hilarious emails, or stalwartly surf on even if the power’s out. I’m not sure it can be called progress.
    Ben–You have raised the cosmic question of all time: Why Do We Knit? Way too trippy to contemplate. I’ll just keep knitting.
    And Polly–I should have known you’d vote for the two-sider. Now that I have seen you knit in person, a two-sided cushion is a blink for you. A day or two of frolic!
    And finally–a zipper! I’ve been secretly wishing I could just pack my cushion top into a bag, hand it to Mr. Robinson the upholsterer to the gods in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee, and say, “Could you, uh, make something out of this?” Thank you all for pointing me in the proper direction. Now I get to go hunt for upholstery fabric. Yippy! More time for garter-stitch scarves!

  13. I so rarely comment, but when labyrinth knitting comes up, even in a passing hmm-could-be-interesting kind of way, I feel as if it is my god given duty to step in. DON’T DO IT, Ann! For god’s sake, I was right about Kay’s psychedelic afghan, and I’m right about this, too. Professional finish gets my vote. Thanks for always allowing me a voice!

  14. Oooo, Ann I want a blocking board like yours. Details, please?

  15. Nathania—Ann had her LYS, My Threaded Bliss, special order her ‘Space Board Ultra-Blocker’ (or whatever it’s called). But I’ve seen it offered in catalogs such as ‘Patternworks’, which has a website.
    I, too, am mightily impressed at how very professional Ann’s knitting looks when it is laid out on this thing with lots of pins sticking out of it. It is just the extra boost my curling knitting needs. xoxoxoxo Kay

  16. Cheryl–Oh. All. Right. You’re prolly right. Labyrinth knitting may be one of those forever-out-of-reach fantasies of mine. Thank you for talking me down from the bell tower.
    Can’t SOMEbody come up with some actual use for labyrinth knitting?


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