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

Friday Snipsnaps and Tidbits

Dear Kay,
Anybody who’s kept a blog for any length of time starts taking pictures of stuff just because it needs to be shared with the world. Here’s an heirloom tomato MRI. It was delicious.
Stunning Olympic Discovery of the Day
Kay, I just found out something shocking: the Chinese Olympic Committee has been using a cuter, prettier version of me to blog the Olympics. I feel so cheated! I thought I was writing all this stuff!
Michael Phelps Fact of the Day
He has the torso of a 6’8″ man, and the legs of a 6′ man. His flipperlike legs, combined with his massively awesome torso, are the secret to his freaky success.
Now, my Ravelympics Sweater for a Boy, as it’s listed in the official Team Afghans for Afghans roster of projects, needs to be renamed Ravelympics Sweater for a Fashion-Forward Boy, because it really will look best when worn on the slightly fitted side. I just held it up to my model, who’s a giant nine year old (seriously, he’s huge), and it fits him nicely if you gently stretch the thing out. He would rather die than wear something that does not have a skateboard logo on it, so it’s a good thing this is going to Afghanistan.
At this point, I am totally addicted to this thing. To review: I’m making random k2 cables wander across this Perfect Sweater. The cable recipe is from a sock pattern in our new book.
Here’s the front side:
Here’s the back:
It’s really hard to resist the urge to throw a twist in there–you can see how often I succumbed to the temptation. I think this sweater would look cool with as few twists as possible. Or with a jillion twists. What’s pleasant is not having to use a chart at all for this, or a cable needle. There’s this constant little wondering at what’s coming up next: do I need to shift a cable over a stitch? Should I resist the urge?
Dept of How Did We Ever Live Without This?
Quilt2Go really knows how to give a gadget-obsessed knitter a frisson. This is StitchMinder, a free iPhone App that helps you keep track of how many rows you’ve completed, what pattern row you’re on, what decrease row you’re on, what increase row you’re on. You tap on the number to change it.
It’s such a high-tech solution to a low-tech problem. In other words: FAB! I haven’t used it for a project yet (the Ravelympics sweater is pretty much devoid of a need for record-keeping). But I think it could be useful for the right project. Inasmuch as you need to keep a phone/iPod/browser/email nearby when you’re knitting a sweater.
Of course, if you already have an iPhone, you don’t need me to explain about any of this. You’ve probably already downloaded the thing.
PS BONUS EXTRA! Ten Fiercest Olympic Fashions, as curated by the winner of last season’s Project Runway, Christian Siriano.



  1. Ok, it’s settled. I am DEFINITELY upgrading to the iPhone πŸ™‚ Did anyone else think the physical assessment of Michael’s freaky phisique was a little TOO much information? He’s sure nice to look at, and thrilling to watch, though!

  2. Thanks for the iphone tip…just another fun app to download. Every day I find another reason to justify the iphone purchase, LOL!

  3. I believe that he stretched his torso and feet by swimming so much. The boy has been overswimming.
    I once had a mild crush on a guy who swam butterfly in high school and despite said crush, if I looked at his shoulders too long I got freaked out. Ain’t natural! Too much swimming!
    xox Kay

  4. I love the sweater. I took a cable design class with Fiona Ellis and I tried to do something very similar. I got kinda bogged down trying to keep it random AND balanced…and I was only doing a swatch. I’ve tried to imagine a whole sweater, you are doing it and it looks great.

  5. Yup, I definitely need to upgrade from my El Cheapo prepaid cellphone to the iPhone, never mind that we have no service here. iPhone, here I come!

  6. Don’t forget to mention that Phelps’ wingspan (6’7″) is greater than his height (6’4″). Crazy!

  7. You know, I still don’t have an iPhone? Good grief. Here’s yet another reason I NEED one (thanks a lot, Ann!!!!).

  8. Holy moly! I am off the the App Store this second! Well, as soon as I post this. And for all you who are trying to justify an iPhone purchase (I probably wouldn’t have bought my own either; I got mine as a present for my 40th birthday) it is HIGHLY entertaining for a five-year-old on long car trips. There are fun free games in the App Store and it worked as well as the portable DVD player for sheer entertainment value. Plus her little cousins loved it also. I was like the Pied Piper of McDonald’s, they all wanted to play the matching game. Plus I probably shouldn’t mention that I almost injured my neck/shoulder playing games myself.
    Oh yeah, and it does all that other cool stuff like be a phone and the internet and a datebook and a stopwatch and whatnot. And now… a stitch/row counter! Too exciting!

  9. omg! thanks for the link to the iphone app, it may make my phone perfect πŸ™‚ love the seater, eagerly anticipating the new book. Have a great day!

  10. IPhone? Check. Cool stitchminder app? Nope.
    But, give me a break. I’ve only had my iPhone for a couple of weeks…

  11. Ooh. Pretty! I’m off to see if they have one for Blackberries.
    (I’m married to a man who’s 6’4″ – it’s hard enough clothing him, and he’s reasonably normally proportioned! Poor Michael must have to have things custom made. Of course, now he can afford it…)

  12. TOTALLY in lust with the iPhone – and since I don’t want to switch service providers – it’s little sibling, the iTouch. ME WANT ONE!!!!
    Re: Phelps – what about theos flipper-like size 14 feet?!
    ps: the sweater? with all those twists and turns in that workof art you could totally toss a skateboarding something into it and no one would ever be the wiser : )

  13. The Chinese are going to be scouring the countryside for children with short legs, flat bottoms, and large feet.
    My son who only wore things with skateboard logos at nine wants absolutely logo-free clothes at fifteen. He was a little worked up about the big polo players on the Olympic team’s outfits.
    The Ravelympics sweater is cool. Those wandering cables look like a mess of red earthworms—very boy-like.

  14. I love the sweater more and more each day, and I have not downloaded too many apps to my iPhone, but this appears to be a must have (how have we survived with paper, pencil and row counters for so long????
    I found the Michael Phelps animatronic display a bit wierd, not sure he wants us all to know that much about him! Sadly, my legs were built for a much taller person than my torso, so I was supposed to be a lot taller than I am, according to ye olde pediatrician.

  15. What is the yarn you are using in theis sweater?
    I love the whenever whatever cables you have going on in it.

  16. At last! A cable pattern to make me look like I have an attention span. It looks marvelous and all those cables should make it cozy, too.

  17. Ha! Back in the day, I used to keep a “Current Row” entry in my cell phone’s address book — it was much less likely to get lost than a scrap of paper. But this would be even easier!
    So far, the bf is the one with the iPhone… if I install this, I’ll be “borrowing” it even more than I already do πŸ™‚

  18. I’m the developer of StitchMinder, and I wanted to say thanks to Ann for the kind mention of my little ol’ app, and also thanks to everyone who has been sending me feedback, suggestions, and ideas! One of the great things about Apple’s App Store is that it gives developers the opportunity to publish applications that are aimed at particular markets or areas of interest. My wife knits and quilts, so I’m writing knitting and quilting apps…
    Please visit the Quilt2Go site forums to post your thoughts about StitchMinder or any other crafting app you would want for the iPhone. I’m in the planning stages for a knitting project tracking application right now, so this is your chance to tell me what you need! I can also be reached at support@quilt2go.com.
    Thanks again!

  19. I know I’m not alone in my fresh-tomato-avoiding world, so may I speak for all of us by saying: frightening opener!!! Seriously, love the fresh heirloom produce but the seeds and that gook it floats in? (shuddering) . No amount of kewl kabling or Michael Phelps can get me by that. AM I RIGHT–BELINDA? KATHY IN JUNEAU?

  20. When I was in Sicily a few years ago, there were these enormous trees in the parks that had big, jumbly roots growing above ground that look just like the cables in this sweater. Perhaps somebody with more arboreal know-how than I have knows what those trees are called. So if anybody asks, you could say you took your inspiration from the _____ tree…

  21. Just today I bought an iPod Touch – and just now downloaded the StitchMinder. Timing is everything! (Same for the Olympics)

  22. It would take a long time to knit a sweater for Michael Phelps, but I would be happy to do it. And I’d throw in a set of medal cozies.

  23. The… CORK tree? I have pictures of a denuded cork tree grove which I took while driving through the mountains of Sicily on my way to my grandmother’s village of Collesano. We had to stop and get out of the car to look closer once we figured out they were actually harvesting cork here. Okay, who new that cork came from the bark of tree. Never stopped to think about it before. There are no roots on the outside of this tree, but the trunks sure do favor Ann’s cable pattern. I’ll send the pics to Ann.
    I love that the developer of Stitch Minder reads your blog.

  24. Rockstar son gave me a 32G Ipod “touch” which is just as powerful as the new iphone without the phone – now I have to figure out how to get that nifty little thingy onto it – I might just have to wait until (a) he gets back from the UK and (b) I can start real knitting again. thanks!

  25. Well I am off to download this! Now I won’t need a bunch of sticky notes

  26. I’m the developer of StitchMinder
    omg how great is reading that comment?
    wishing you a wonderfully knitty summer

  27. Very cool cabling! I’m about 2/3 of the way through on my first moderne log cabin blanket and loving it. Great mindless knitting to watch Michael Phelps – er, the Olympics by!
    I so wanted the iphone before the Olympics started so I could watch it on my phone. I’ve been waffling though because I don’t use my current phone a lot – but I’m seeing that every day that it is more than just a phone! Only now, I think I’ll wait until the 2.1 update is ready.

  28. Genius – the stitchminder and the sweater.
    Rock on.

  29. oh Goodness ! i had no idea that there was an ipod/i phone application for minding your pattern. This looks so fun. and i must get this right away for the ipod !
    Thank you ! ! !

  30. Don’t forget Michael Phelps’ flat backside. That might have been more than I needed to know. Might have been? It WAS.

  31. Love the APP deal on my touch IPOD – no IPHONE cuz of the whole AT&T monopoly – PMO!!! BUT the stitchminder – way cool – never came across that in my browsing. Thanks for the heads up.


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