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

New Year’s Revolution

Dear Ann,
Enough with the fond looks back and the late-night revelry (those kids are not all mine, and we lied to them about it being midnight). It’s time to get busy and pack up afghans for Afghans!
Kelli Ann Strikes Again
I have not met Kelli Ann, but from what I have seen, she is a Force To Be Reckoned With. At the end of November she hosted an Afghanalong Sew-Up Bee in Montreal, just out of kindness and enthusiasm for the project. A crowd of lovely people who, to varying degrees, didn’t know ‘nothin’ ’bout sewing blankets (or birthing babies), but who really wanted to help, showed up. Kelli Ann showed them all How It’s Done, and they made good progress, but a good deal of sewing and bordering was left for Kelli Ann to finish. After a mere month of not finishing it (which is not even a nanosecond on my own Finishing Stuff Clock), Kelli Ann was so consumed by GUILT that she packed the unfinished afghan and took it with her when she flew with her young family to the Canadian Rockies for the Christmas and New Year holidays. On New Year’s Eve (her birthday!), she mailed it to me from a place I’d never heard of, Kamloops, British Columbia. Here it is, in all its glory:
One of this afghan’s many charms– and really, the only evidence that it was sewn together by novices to the Needle Arts– is the fact that it is totally reversible. Meaning that there are as many squares facing up as facing down. Aw, just kidding–the occasional upside-down square is one of Kelli Ann’s signatures. This is Kelli Ann’s second volunteer sew-up job, which is appreciated almost as much as her joie de vivre and esprit de corps in doing it. I do, someday, hope to meet the owner of a blog named Having a Family Is Not Like a Soap Opera. (Although I happen to think it is like a soap opera.)
Kelli Ann writes that the afghan and its story will be featured on the program “Tetes@Kat” (sorry for the missing circonflex, mes amies), which airs on January 24 on Radio Canada. They are doing a story about the popularity of knitting, and somehow they came across Kelli Ann and her Tricot The (sorry for the missing accent again; I am so lame) group. Says Kelli Ann, “They asked which project I am most proud of, and this one wins hands down.” Go Kelli Ann! Teach the world to knit and sew and love one another!
Other Afghanalong News
We still have some squares yet to be sewn into blankets, and luckily two more People We Know and Love But Technically Haven’t Met have graciously stepped forward and volunteered to host sew-up bees. On Saturday, February 12, our sister Pretty Posy Stacy is hosting one in the Denver, Colorado area, from 10 a.m. until they’re done (she must have gotten the memo from Kelli Ann: Lock down your Sew Up Facility until the blanket is DONE!) More details to follow, here and Chez Stacy. (Please don’t start fretting that I’ll re-write the lyrics to Rocky Mountain High. That would be premature, and in any event, would not stop me from trying.)
And then, on Saturday, March 5, for those flying around the country looking for afghans to sew up for Afghanistan, Moth Heaven Julia is hosting a sew-up bee at a lovely inn in the Boston Area. Look for Julia’s announcement, as soon as she finds some buckram for the innards of her gorgeous felted bag. (Julia, try here, and look what a nice discount you get if you order 50 yards or more.)
The Revolution
On January 1, I made a start on my New Year’s Revolution, which is to make stuff that is (a) not square and (b) mine all mine. So I finally got out my Most Fearsome Knitting Implements — oh yeah, the big DPNs– and cast on this:
This is not a God’s Eye. It’s my longed-for French Market Bag, designed by Polly. I am using Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky, so it is knitting up BIG. Right now, it’s the size of a tall kitchen trash bag, and just about as attractive. (“What IS that?” said the nervous woman sitting next to me at Weight Watchers.) But I have FAITH in the Power of Felting (and even more in the Power of Polly). It’s going to be deluxe, I just know it. I confess that I did enjoy wielding the Mighty DPNs. (And by the way, dontcha just love Knitty’s Back Issues index? The helpfullest thing ever. One look and you add 10 projects to your WIP list.)
Anyhoo, that’s it on my end. Knit knit knit. Love love love, Kay Kay Kay



  1. Too, Too spooky. I nearly cast on a French Market bag tonight but fell at the first hurdle when I discovered I didn’t have the right size dpns – I don’t want to do it back and forth tho’ the ever helpful Polly does tell you how. Next week maybe, once the darn pins arrive.
    Heather x

  2. I’m knitting the market bag right now too. Mine isn’t big, but I think that I will like it. Hope your’s turns out well. Can’t wait to see a picture.

  3. Oh my goodness, you mean the delegates from Greater Chicagoland are NOT the last to finish their afghan? I feel so much better! Actuallly, plans are underway for Chicago Sewup, Phase 2… we’ll get there yet.
    How ’bout this knitting for oneself thing? Good idea! I’m going back to the WIPs with MY name on them this week, whilst I vacation at home. Right after I finish my Mom’s Christmas sweater.

  4. Our very own Colorado sew up bee? I feel like a pioneer already! I am way too excited about the prospect of sewing up some of these famous afghan squares and I usually hate finishing — what gives? 🙂

  5. Yes. Clearly, Susan and I belong to the world of Afghan-a-longers that are welded to the world of finance, and so turn to ourselves only in the wee hours, or maybe after February 1 when it is really all in the accountants’ hands. (Susan, will ya’ just move next door and we can do this live?)
    But Kay, a propos of your Actual Post — I heartily endorse the mememe knitting cycle (it is set for July 1 on my clock) and absolutely live by the fabrication method of child rearin’. I did get busted when my son demanded we turn the sprinklers off at his grandparents house, because after all, mommy, there’s that law in Ohio that says no sprinklers past 8 pm. Did I admit the truth? That two years prior I was just desperate to get him into bed and asleep because he had a huge day ahead of him? Nope. Compounded the lie by telling him the law had changed, and he was good for another 30 minutes…

  6. We used to forward all the clocks in our house on New Year’s Eve when the children were little too…one year we forgot that the oldest had been given a watch for Christmas, but luckily he was open to bribery……
    PS I’ve stayed in Kamloops….

  7. Those kids look they’re having a much better time than I did on New Year’s! Reason number 52 to love Mason-Dixon: you get handy child rearing tips to file away…I swear, I would never have thought of just lying to them! Brilliant!

  8. I hope everyone notices the fact that Joseph, at the very far right of the revelers’ photo, is in fact wearing a tie. He wore a tie when the Kayfam hosted the Annfam for supper in New York. A nattier six year old there has never been.

  9. Ann–good eye! Joseph is sporting his one-and-only necktie, a very dreadful one, needless to say a clip-on, which he received as a hand-me-down from cousin Paul (boy in the front row). He wears it with his one-and-only button-down shirt, whenever the said shirt is (1) not in the laundry or (2) able to be stolen out of the laundry basket.
    Yay! I’m raising an eccentric (possibly 2 of them), as I always dreamed I would! Dinner tonight is Black Tie Optional! Smoking jacket?
    Did I share that at Christmas Eve church services in Omaha, Joseph filled out the ‘visitor information form’ and answered the question, “What is your home church?” with ‘sinagog’? I’m so proud!!!!!!!!
    And Jenny, the trick is not so much lying to them, as not getting caught, as Jill’s story attests. It’s a slippery slope from lying, to bribery and extortion. But on New Year’s Eve, they are very willing to be lied to if it means they can bang the pots and pans and toot the tootlers, earlier.
    xoxo Kay


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