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

I Have a Bone to Pick

Dear Kay,
Still BUZZING from that hour on The Buzz Factor. We’ll have an mp3 of that delirious chatfest before long, so that anybody who wants to can hear what happens when knitters take over talk radio. (Hint: if you talk long enough on the radio, you will say anything. Peculiar knitting habits, bad dates.) A tip o’ the needles to brave soul Cara for calling!
At Least Cardiovascular Mohawk Dude Was Arty
This far into the Olympics, I have had several powerful moments. Anything having to do with curling. (Triumph of the Sweepers! I empathize with these people 100%.) That snowboard racing thing that looks like roller derby only more dangerous. And the interview with the snowboard woman who showboated her way out of a gold medal. My fellas were watching when she wiped out, and they both started yelling at the TV: “Showoff! It’s bad to brag! She shouldnt’a done THAT!”
But (I’ll be done soon) nothing compares to the awful, wretched power of all those ice dancing costumes. Last night’s finals were like some Mardi Gras parade gone bad.
I just want to know who’s responsible for all those costumes that have those panty-hose parts all over them? You know, the skin-color connectors that make it look like Barbara The Really Mean Italian Skater has magically floating booby covers which don’t come off when she does her pretzel-leg lift thing?
These women look like commercials for UltraHanes Support My Way. I look at these women and think, Girl, your varicose vein situation is Under Control.
And men, too. Even the men are wearing panty hose connector parts now. I just can’t STAND this.
I remember, back in the day, when maybe Dorothy Hamill would have a a little panel of panty hose connector stuff, maybe on the back of her cute little dress (whatever happened to skater skirts? what has happened here?) so that her dress would stay put.
But now. Look at ’em! Barbara The Really Mean Italian Skater is not fooling anybody. IT IS NOT SEXY to cover yourself in Hanes (Shade Barely There) from neck to skate and try to persuade any of us that you are wearing a bikini while you’re competing in Olympic ice dancing.
Vera Wang, why has thou forsaken us?
Still, with the Knitting
So my Knitting Olympics event has became Unintentional Biathalon, what with the dragon sweater forced march for Clif. I’m back to cranking out Perfect Sweater Deux, to wallow in the glory of Mandy’s lovely edited pattern.
Atop the first test-knit, here’s what’s up. I did the hem in a contrasting shade, thanks to Alice’s brilliant idea. And when you do a picot edge, you end up with a little batch of picotty dots along the edge.
The provisional cast on means that the hem is less bulky when you knit in the hem edge.
Options, we got options. On top: picot edge. Below: straight edge.
And finally, Cascade 220 is a yarn which responds to the redemptive power of blocking better than any I’ve ever seen: as I put my latest Perfect Sweater on top of the first one, you can see clearly what happens to your knitting after it’s been given some steam, a few pins, and, of course, tender affection.




  1. 1. amen on the pantyhose connector parts (feh)
    2. the ultimate is looking really tantalizing. but do you have plans to accommodate those of us who don’t do the wool thang? or is the gauge so universal and the shape so brilliantly constructed that the average non-wool sub will work just fine?
    also, hi.
    and Kay, the pink jacket arrived via Jillianpost yesterday, and mine had chocolate in it in a little baggie. i brag.
    Jillian thinks it will force an early spring. I can only hope.

  2. amyknitty, it’s only perfect if everybody can make it, so Kay (Resident Expert on Nonwool) is on the verge of announcing her suggestion for The Nonwool Yarn Option. This pattern really ought to work fine with a nonwool yarn–the gauge is 20 sts/26 rows = 4″/10 cm, and there are a bunch of options at that gauge.
    And YES, we are adding an option for pantyhose connector stuff on the back.

  3. oh my. that ice skating get up is quite something. guess I should be watching more of the olympics to catch beauties like this one. And speaking of beuties–I’m loving your Perfect Sweater…Love!

  4. Another ditto on those costumes, though I saw one photo this morning that shows the panty hose thing wasn’t employed to keep what should have been under cover in it’s place. Can’t wait for the MP3! Can’t wait even more for the book. The contrasting picot edge is quite nice and gets my vote.

  5. I think the worst of those costumes was the one that was mostly panty hose connectors — but the “rack” was covered by two white circles that had fringe hanging from them. They got the bronze medal — but the costume was really tarty.

  6. Amen.
    I haven’t been much of a follower of the ice dancing until this year and was shocked by the costumes. What about ice dancing, rather than figure skating, requires the skater to appear less clothed (nevermind that the pantyhose stuff makes it all fake anyway)? Blech. I think they are amazing and talented and beautiful in what they do, but the outfits are a big detraction, I think.
    Oh, and the sweater looks great. I love a picot edge.

  7. I could not agree with you more about the ice dancing costumes. What the hell is going on there? My particular favorite was the couple all in white. The chick looked like she had the world’s largest pasties strapped on to her meager bosom.

  8. And speaking of Barbara the Really Mean Italian Skater…don’t you think after spending all that money on Hanes hosiery and sequins, she could have spent a couple Euro and visited her colorist for a root touch-up?? The red hair and black roots just were not doing it for me!
    Oh, and ditto on the spangly boobies on the Ukranian dancer. Ick ick ick!!

  9. And…about curling. My goofy Elliot, aged 15, has decided that the curlers have day jobs in supermarkets. Get it? So when you hear “Need a mop on aisle two!” they come flying over with their mops and in three seconds flat: All mopped up.
    He says they do houses, too….in about 45 minutes, top to bottom!
    We skipped the ice dancing last night, but now I’m thinking it would have been a great draw for two teenaged boys after all!

  10. Couldn’t agree more on the costumes,though I thought the Americans, in addition to the silver will get the “most covered” medal for ice dancing. Heading to New Orleans tomorrow and I’m sure I’ll see worse!

  11. So glad you like the edited pattern. I love the way the 2-colour picot hem looks! I have to try that… ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I love your color combo on that Perfect Sweater! Gorgeous. So lovely, in fact, that I am planning to envision it covering the ice dancers from here on out.

  13. You know, I thought nothing could stay with me longer than Lime Nelson (which I keep saying to myself and chuckling over and over…..oopps, did it again) but Triumph of the Sweepers is really funny! I sympathise with them too–mostly b/c they have to do it over and over and over and over….
    Lime Nelson!

  14. Ah, Ann – you are right on with those Ice Dancers. Those costumes were horrible. What did you think of some of those “poses” they were doing mid-skate? I put to Tivo on pause to visit the little girl’s room and when I got back, the Russians were holding a pose that looked for all the world like something from the Kama Sutra (not that I usually read the Kama Sutra. Very Often.)

  15. Last night with the ice dancers just did me in. I declared to my family that all ice dancers should wear black leotards w/black skates. Thats it. Period. Then you could actually see the dancing! You can’t really blame Vera Wang for quietly tiptoeing out of the whole shebang. Yeesh, even the Project Runway ice skating outfits were less silly.
    There was one burgundy/grayish teal/gold color combo that got me thinking about yarn, though ๐Ÿ™‚
    I got very into Women’s Curling the past week, while home with a sick kiddo… wonder where I can get her curling lessons…

  16. I’ve missed the whole ice-dancing fiasco – too busy calling into radio shows – but oh my god. The only thing better than the costumes are the unbeliveably contorted and painful expressions on their faces. WOW.

  17. For us Neanderthals without MP3s, is there going to be some other way to listen to it? Coz you KNOW I wanna.
    I’m so TOTALLY with you on the panty hose connector parts. WTF???

  18. Amen to the ice dance costume rant. I just don’t get it- they seem to me like leftovers from the tackiest parts of the 1980s. The Russians in that turquoise and leopard print thing? Or, was it the french where the guy actually had a headband? Aye yi yi- in keeping with the “latin theme” of the 2nd night of dsancing…

  19. Yes, the ice dancing costumes are horrid! I don’t know what any of them are thinking. Tacky-City. (And I love how you kept referring to Her as “Barbara the Really Mean Italian Skater”–snicker.)
    What’s incredibly NOT tacky? That picot edge to the Perfect Sweater. It’s gorgeous!
    I’m looking forward to the MP3 of the interview, but more, I’m looking forward to the BOOK!!

  20. Let me take you (way) back, Ann. Valentine’s Day. The Bolero free dance at the 1984 Olympics. Torvill and Dean. Everyone else might as well make asses of themselves on the ice until Kingdom Come. Dontcha think?

  21. This is why I should preview before I post…I meant everyone else might as well not even ice dance anymore because Torvill and Dean’s performance was the best and most elegant ever. Okay?

  22. The ice dancing costumes–oh, the humanity!
    Remember the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” drama that ice dancers engaged in a few years back? They’d fling themselves onto the ice at the end of the program and lie there, panting but prone, as onlookers wondered what the hey they were playing at. A rule was eventually made prohibiting such displays. Perhaps it’s time for a rule prohibiting ghastly costuming, as well.

  23. This is the first year I’ve really watched much of the Winter Olympics. The ice dancing last night really floored me. Is having the most provocative costume part of the scoring or something? While I thought highly of the grace and atheleticism of many of the couples (such as the Ukrainians…the couple with the “pasties”), I found it hard to get past the sheer sluttiness of most of the costumes. It seemed to me that the crowd was cheering the loudest when the woman partner would strategically flash some scantily covered crotch. Is this Olympic porn? What’s the deal with this event?

  24. I am in total agreement about the costumes – they were universally awful! and what was with the whole soap opera going on with the Italian couple??

  25. When you said your KO event had become the Biathlon, I thought maybe you had shot something…
    You know that there’s a rule that the ice dancers’ costumes have to cover the woman’s belly button, don’t you? That explains the near-nekkidity except for the weird strip down the front.
    Oh – and I LOVE the contrasting picot dots!

  26. But you do know that Vera Wang does design for an ice skater…I just can’t remember which one. Ms. Kwan, I think it is.
    I felt as though I was in Vegas with all that wanna-be fleshiness.
    The picot edge is lovely.

  27. But is that the Italian couple who just had their medal prospects dashed because he made a few mistakes? I mean you would look at him like that, wouldn’t you? Imagine the ear-bashing he got as soon as they were off camera.
    Dodgy costumes, anyway. And that new marking system – does anyone understand it? Ahh for the days of 6.0, 6.0, 6.0….. Christina, you know who I mean there.

  28. Oooh, it’s sheer flesh-colored fabric. I thought she just had really wrinkly elbows.

  29. As a figure skating fan, I am really glad that the Americans won the silver. Also, that is a beautiful sweater. What are the colors in Cascade?

  30. I am glad you feel the same way about the nudinudiness (as we say at our house). Blech.
    Does the perfect sweater come with washing/blocking instructions. As someone who almost never knits sweaters, I haven’t the foggiest idea how to make that tender affection work so effectively.

  31. Amen on the pantyhose connector parts! The least they could do is find one that’s even remotely close to the skater’s skin tone, dontcha think? I personally go to great lengths for the rare occasions that I wear pantyhose to find something better than some weird orange brown that looks like I had a bad night with the drugstore-brand self-tanner!! (Just for the record, I’ve never bought drugstore or any brand of self-tanner!)

  32. Please, I beg of you, write another entry. Lately, the face of Barbara the Really Mean Italian Skater scares me every time I come to your site. I expect knitting…. and it’s Her again! I think your doing it on purpose. By the way, did you see the very beautiful outfit the Cute Young Italian Skater wore last night? I can’t remember the designer, but it was beautiful.

  33. i’m REALLY late to this entry (owing to the fact that I was in Torino helping the world of TV bring you the images of those ‘lovely’ costumes) but about there is actually rule about how much flesh apperance fabric you can use in your costume, and if it’s too much you are meant to be marked down for it. clearly that rule was not in effect during these olympics. We liked to call Miss Ukraine ‘Nipple Tassel’ or Vegas Dancer.


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