Great teachers. Teenage boys. The Gettysburg Address.  A box of Kleenex. Watch The Address, a new film by Ken Burns.

Giddy (My Favorite Emotion)

hangingtoweldetail.jpg
Dear Ann,
Have you noticed how, when you reach A Certain Age, it’s harder to feel giddy? Christmas morning doesn’t quite do it (a nightgown! yay! can I go back to bed?), a birthday absolutely doesn’t do it, but I’ve found that Pub Date can still evoke the old lightheaded joy and jangling-nerve combo that is so exhilarating. The book is out there, all by itself. Nobody holding its hand. Nobody reminding it to say please and thank you and sorry for that mistake on page 43. (If you are knitting the Daily Sweater in size Large, the chart is on Ravelry, the chart is going on the errata in our sidebar, the chart is in my apartment, and please, please email me for the chart. If, on the other hand, you are making size XL, congratulations! You get two charts! Knit it twice!)
One great cause for giddiness, on a strictly selfish level, is being able to publicly knit stuff from the book, and mess with it.
hangingtowelyellow.jpg
Here is a messed-with version of the Mitered Hanging Towel by Cristina Shiffman. I made it my own with some stripes, a “spoke” down the center, wider garter borders, flirtation with proportions of stockinette to garter–but ultimately I like the Revised Standard Version (the ones in the book) better, I think. Still it was fun to get those ideas out of my system, and they work great as, you know, towels. They remind me of my Grandma Mabel, which is funny because Grandma Mabel was a woman so free of sentimentality that she would think it downright silly of me to be reminded of her by a towel. Grandma Mabel was one of those tough women who came up in the 20s and 30s, looking the world straight in the eye and getting on with it. As a granddaughter, you had to watch closely to detect any sign of her bottomless affection for you, which came chiefly in the form of waiting up ’til all hours (looking dolefully out from her screen porch as you skulked in next door) and warnings about Bad Men and having marketable skills to fall back on. Grandma never spoke ill of anyone–her “tsks” were so eloquent that verbal elaboration was unnecessary. There was the “tsk” of “your mother is too strict with you” and the “tsk” of “that skirt is too short” and the “tsk” of “why are you laying out in the sun with baby oil on your translucent flesh?” Oh well, Grandma, not the first time you’ve thought me silly. Tsk all you want up there in the Great Lounge of Maternal Disapproval in the Sky.
In other news I am going crazy with color and fabric right now. A deep flow state involving online shopping carts and pretexts to go down to Purl Soho. (Fun fact: there is no white thread available between my house and Purl Soho, in all of Manhattan. That sewing place on West 72nd? “These are not the threads you are looking for.”) Right now my preoccupation is “gray with other colors”.
rosepetalsonasphalt.jpg
Rose petals on asphalt. That’s a quilt, right there in the park next to the Imagine mosaic.
imagine.jpg
Which was decorated extra nicely the day I passed. Heavily influenced by Denyse Schmidt, I thought.
When I got home, this fabric (by Naomi Ito/Nani Iro) had arrived:
naniiroscreenprintlinen.jpg
Coincidence? Screenprint linen from Modern Craft.
fleurdelis.jpg
Another “gray with” quilt, this time disguised as a fence on Fifth Avenue. I don’t normally like fleur de lis motifs, but this one is so stylized, and attractively rusted, too. On Fifth Avenue, they have standards even for rust.
There is more “gray with”, to die for, chez Soule Mama who has made an exquisite version of the Jane Austen dress, with a gray linen skirt and thrifted aqua yarn. It is luminous. Thank you Amanda!
Thank you, everyone, for your encouraging words. Let us know what you knit, and how you mess with it.
Love,
Kay

Tags: ,

41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. I’m breathless! I’m in love – at first sight! Ann and Kay — your new book just arrived at my house today. The moment I saw it sitting all by itself in a wicker chair on the front porch, (yes, I could smell that book or somehow see through the box) I knew the UPS man had no idea how eagerly I’ve been watching for him to make this special delivery. And holy moly!! I ripped open the box (do you save all those Amazon boxes, too?? just in case?) and flipped through the book twice. Really, I didn’t expect to fall in love with the second book with the same intensity of falling for the first one. You’ve hit it out of the park, again! Thanks so much. Tressa

  2. Coming out of lurkerdom to say: GREAT book! Thanks!

  3. Grey With is one of my favorite colors! You see it everywhere in the natural world.
    And as projects go, some grey withs are just meant to be.
    I can’t comment on the new book itself yet, but I AM looking forward to it with high anticipation! Congratulations again :)

  4. I just saw that fancy schmancy rag on Ravelry and thought I must make that! It’s divine.

  5. I cannot wait to get my copy of your book. I am a knitter because of your first book….that might be a little goopy but it’s true. So thanks and have fun and know that while you have fun, you are having an impact on people (that would be a good impact, Grandma Mabel. No need to Tsk about this.)

  6. I thought Pub Date was a date in a Pub. See how unhip I am. Oy!

  7. Oooohhh! I just ordered my book yesterday, but I’m excited to see the Jane Austen dress! I’ve recently acquired a baby girl, as well as some rudimentary sewing skills and I’ve been dying to make one of those knit top dresses!

  8. Last night at knit night one of the knitters brought in you book. As it was passed around with many Ohhhh!and Ahhh’s! I held off. Mine MUST be in my mailbox at home. I wanted to flip through MY book. Alas, I still await that magic email from Amazon saying it has shipped. Sigh. So near yet so far. This is almost as bad as waiting for the last Harry Potter book to be delivered.
    A knit linen table runner? Have I died and gone to heaven?

  9. I think I laughed for a full 5 minutes at your color wheels! I received the book from Amazon yesterday and spent an hour on the couch just looking through it, reading pretty much everything, and then deciding that I’d maybe have to try knitting with both hands again sometime in the future.
    Great job once again, guys. Looking forward to seeing you in Seattle!

  10. It’s at home waiting for me!!!! How much longer can this afternoon at work last? It’ll make doing without electric and water so much better. (Who’d have thought hurricane winds would happen in Central Ohio????) Thanks for cheering me up!

  11. My copy came! My copy came! I’m so happy. It’s just fabulous. And the Mystery Sweater? Love it even more now that I’ve got a closer look at it, but am sadly convinced that it would look terrible on me…. I’m writing up my review right now, though.
    Oh. Loved the color wheels…

  12. you two are just NUTS. beaucoup, beaucoup d’amour et de tricot!!

  13. There was a song by Joni Mitchell called “Michael from Mountains” (that I found in a Judy Collins songbook) and some of the lyrics (about children playing in the rain) that always stick with me are “Umbrellas bright on a grey background. / There’s oil in the puddles in taffeta patterns / Yellow slickers up on swings” I always think of that lyric in mid- to late-autumn when the sky is grey but some of the leaves in the trees are so yellow that they make their own sunshine. OK, now I have to go and get your book!

  14. There was a song by Joni Mitchell called “Michael from Mountains” (that I found in a Judy Collins songbook) and some of the lyrics (about children playing in the rain) that always stick with me are “Umbrellas bright on a grey background. / There’s oil in the puddles in taffeta patterns / Yellow slickers up on swings” I always think of that lyric in mid- to late-autumn when the sky is grey but some of the leaves in the trees are so yellow that they make their own sunshine. OK, now I have to go and get your book!

  15. Amazing Mason-Dixon! the new book is terrific. I mourn the fact that my daughters are way past Jane-Austen dresses (unless I could also knit them a Colin Firth-substitute), I adore the fair-isle blankets and those two very smart coats. You are a shoe-in for the Pulitzer, knitting category.

  16. I got my copy today and went through the whole thing page by page. Love the patterns, love the text. So cool.

  17. I just bought the new book and LOVE it!!! The mohair sweater is so wonderful! I’ve never used Kidsilk Haze; Alchemy Haiku is my addiction — I bet I could substitute!
    Can’t wait to knit the Swiffer cover – people will go crazy!
    (TrudyG on Ravelry)

  18. I just bought the new book and LOVE it!!! The mohair sweater is so wonderful! I’ve never used Kidsilk Haze; Alchemy Haiku is my addiction — I bet I could substitute!
    Can’t wait to knit the Swiffer cover – people will go crazy!
    (TrudyG on Ravelry)

  19. Must call for pizza delivery–cannot take time to heat stove–must spend evening oohing and aaahing and plotting which pattern to make first. Tomorrow must get up early to savor delicious prose before shuffling off to day job that supports book and yarn purchases. Thank you both–what a fab book!
    Babbaloop

  20. Thank you for a fun, warm, inviting book of great stories and new ideas! Your new book’s arrival and presence is making me giddy! Giddy is as giddy does?! It’s wonderful!

  21. Ran to Barnes & Nobles today to get mine, they were holding it for me because as the lady I talked to said ” boy that book is flying out of here”…way to go girls! LOVE the book, I get to really dive into it tonight, can’t wait, already know the towels are the first to do! Great, great job ladies! thanks for all your hard work and talent! You inspire the world! Wendy

  22. Kay, As you were mentioning things that get you giddy and you mentioned Pub Date, I thought you meant that you had gone out with your hubby for a beer………that’s the only thing that gets me giddy these days with one kid in high school in one in middle school.

  23. I bought the book last night – it’s terrific! I’ve been knitting for almost 10 years but haven’t made myself a sweater yet. I think the everyday sweater might be the one that gets me to try it. Thanks for an enjoyable and inspiring book.

  24. When I came home this afternoon, your new book had arrived. (One of my children – no one will confess – hogged the pleasure of opening the box, so I was denied that, but…) Thankfully I’d had the intelligence to get a teen to make something in the crock-pot so I didn’t have to mess with making supper. I sat down with a glass of wine and read the book straight through. Not too many pages in I realized that I needed to put the wine away until I finished the book – no food or beverages in mouth while reading you guys. YOU ARE SO FUNNY! And the designs are fantabulous!
    I love the book! I love the patterns! I love the finished products! I love the photographs! I love the botched items you made along the way! I love you both!
    When does your third book come out?

  25. Okay, my review is UP
    http://knittingscholar.com/2008/09/17/mason-dixon-2/
    It’s so refreshing to find a sequel that doesn’t disappoint. I loved this book, even more than the first one!

  26. I’m on my second towel! Stripes! And I am eyeing the kidsilk crack for the cardi cozy….mmmmm mohair.

  27. MDK Outside the Lines – Amen sistahs, AAAAAAMen.

  28. Well, you know ‘grey with’ (or even just ‘grey’) is my favourite colour!
    Are towels the new warsh rags?
    And hell’s bells, FOs already!
    B x x

  29. Gray with colors…hmmm
    I crocheted a granny square afghan for my highschool friend’s 50th birthday. Bold/bright solids of green, blue, purple and a soupcon of bright (hot) pink to add some spice. All of this glory edged in gray.
    Problema: it was not until all of the squares were sewn together, and the blanket was awaiting its border, that I realized I had not used a dark enough gray. Ruh roh!
    Solution: single crochet border with a few rows gray, then some “multicolored rows”. For this I used varying lengths of the other colors, added at random. It was all topped off with a few more rows of gray. Looked pretty darn good. Loved. The. “Gray With”.
    Only thing, it wasn’t finished till she was 51…
    LoveDiane

  30. i have a pact with my knitting
    if you mess with me i will not
    mess with you

  31. peony peony peony peony peony
    is my mantra today!

  32. Lately I have been lusting after knit coats. You tempt me with such beautiful offerings! I cannot wait to get my hands on some yarn and cast on. Congratulations on such a beautiful book!

  33. The book is just delightful. Thank you so much.
    Now, what to make first???

  34. i cant wait until the second printing! (i admit that i never buy first printings of craft books, even though i am aching to own this book.) until then ill look at the first book.

  35. The book arrived yesterday. I had to work last night and tonight. i am not going to open it until I can sit down and read it from front to back and pick up yarn immediately! This is not to say I havent “thumbed through it” yet. I am so excited. Talk Like A Pirate Day and reading you book the SAME DAY! I cant stand it.
    I will be sending my book with friends when you are in Lexington KY for your book signing. I have to work and will be saving lives all night. sigh……

  36. BOOHOO I ordered my book from Amazon months ago and I still don’t have it……this is not a good thing. :(

  37. Kudos on the new book! I’m really looking forward to reading it. You are deservedly giddy about it finally coming out. I hope that it succeeds beyond your wildest imagination. Thank you for colors on gray inspiration – it’s great to see the desgin process at work.

  38. Your book came in the mail yesterday! WOW! Totally blew me away ladies! I have to restrain myself to keep from casting on something new from the book right now (although I do have plans for the plaid shawl AND the Liberty blanket….and…..and…..and….). I’ve promised myself a dip into the book after I finish the sweater I’m working on. WTG! you guys are great!

  39. UPS guy finally delivered it yesterday. Yippee. I too have too many UFOs to start something new right now, but I’m planning!!!
    See you in October.

  40. I will be getting your undoubtedly fabulous book over the weekend.
    Oh, and not to remove any excuses for going to Purl Patchwork but that sewing place on 23rd? White thread, you think?

  41. Love, love , love the book. Could you post your messed with version of the Hanging towel. I’d like to try that version also.
    Great book, looking forward to many laughs and projects.
    I’m even going to buy a swifter just so i can make a cover.