Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn CrawlΒ is on through Sunday, September 25.

Night of the Living Dead

Dear Ann,
It’s very nearly Halloween, and to get you in the mood I thought I’d roll out my Scary Early Sweaters. Misshapen woollens that were unloaded on goodhearted friends, who couldn’t throw them out (since I might stop by to take a picture of them 10 years later), but that even the kindest pal would not be caught Undead in. Woeful garments that will clank their chains and moan piteously as they wander the knitting knetherworld for all eternity.
[This show is rated PG-13. Profanity, misattached body parts, some Handpaint.]
Hold onto your candy corn and scream the house down for:
This…Thing, this Creature, started out, innocently enough, as the Moss Waistcoat from Annabel Fox’s Amberly Collection. My friend Diana requested it (at the time, she was being held at The Yarn Company against her will). I was so very young. Heedless of dark forces I could not comprehend, I substituted Tahki Donegal Tweed for the prescribed Annabel Fox Double Knitting. A mere 7 or 8 stitch gauge difference: how was I to know–they were both green!
Slowly, inexorably, the terror grew. I realized that in moss stitch, I was incapable of increasing, decreasing or knitting straight. At times, I broke out in spontaneous ribbing. The side shapings on the back bore no resemblance whatsoever to each other, or to the side shapings on the fronts. The fronts were completely different in both size and shape. I could not tell the Right Side from the Wrong Side; there was no Right Side. In an evening that I can recall only in jittery flashes of hand-held black & white cinematography, I sewed these appalling parts together.
When I presented it to Di, she could not even muster a sickly smile. She stared at it blankly. She whispered, ‘Thank. You.’ (Did my ears deceive me, or did she add, ‘Satan’?)
We never spoke of it again.
And now, please beep your exorcist before viewing…..
Frankenstein! (My niece is turning into a Pod Person just modeling the thing–check out the dislocated shoulders!)
And finally, my very first grotesque experiment, my debut sweater from 1992:
The Blob. A sweater so itchy it can only be explained by the Occult.
Have a great Halloween. It must be a frightful night indeed in Nashville, given the country music hairdos and all. Do little children dress up as Wynonna?
I will not be home for Halloween this year. Hubby and I are taking off on our first vacation without kids, since we’ve had kids. Talk about scary! I will post from rustic Internet cafes on the road. The KayCam will not take a holiday.
Happy Halloween everybody!
Love, Kay



  1. eeeek! hahaha – all i can say to this posting is that i am LMAO!!! heee! you guys are so witty! ann should definitely stop by her LYS on Friday to check out our Halloween gear – at least 3 of us are planning on decking out! should be good country fun, y’all!

  2. Thnks Kay! Ir’s not often that I laugh so hard that I nearly choked to death on the cappacino. Can you please at least warn me nest time ? πŸ˜‰
    Have a lovely trip with hubby.
    – P x

  3. I’m with Polly…warnings would be appreciated! I love how the middle sweater appears to have obliterated your niee’s entire personality – the power of wool!
    Actually I’d really like to say thank you for sharing. You have acted like my very own 12 step programme today and soon I may be able to face my own first faltering steps in the world of fibre (including the cotton sweater that caused my friends young son to scream horribly when his head got suck in the too tight neck). No I’m not sure I can go there yet…..

  4. Thank you Kay for making me laugh so hard so early in the morning! Obviously I was laughing *with* you and not *at* you – we’ve all been there. As for the skeletons in my cupboards – it’s too spooky and mishapen to contemplate ;o)

  5. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Kay needs to send windex ’cause I just sprayed juice all over my monitor. I’m quite sure this entry is the funniest and most clever I’ll read this week. Month, even! Heck, maybe even more. The Pod Person line slays me πŸ˜€
    Sure wish I had some Halloween knits to share. I gotta get some more knitting years under my belt!
    P.S. Have a good trip. We’ll miss ya!

  6. Perhaps….just perhaps, someone cast a spell on you at the Yarn Company!

  7. Ha! My first sweater, a geeky vest in ragg wool, was attacked by my cat, who chewed a hole right in the middle of the back. It was expertly repaired by Andrea at your LYS (hi guys!). I have moved along my first few sweaters and now wish I had them!

  8. Hi Julie! What is it about the cat and sweaters? Mine nests right in the middle of whatever I’m working on, so I usually have to defurz it unless I want a wool/feline blend sweater. She always knows which project is the active one–never goes for the dormant things.
    Did you finish Beth? I finally got all the buttons on and declared it done. Send a picture of yours and we can compare.
    Hope baby Matthew is thriving.
    x0x0 Ann

  9. Hey, Ann! I did finish it and just sent you an email. Must be something funky with email, though. I’ve tried to send one before :o(

  10. Kay, warning next time! I coughed all that Vitamin C orange juice all over the desk!
    And Ann, what about it, I have often wondered with all those Nashville Country Music Dolly Parton dos and getups, do people look much different on Halloween? πŸ˜‰

  11. Beautifully done! (The blog entry that is.) Ghosts of bad sweaters past are waking up in my memory. Maybe this is why I never used to knit for myself? So much less painful to cast those horrors onto friends and family? (It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t fit. I’m not wearing it.) I do remember an ex-boyfriend telling me once “There is no human being on the planet who would be able to wear this sweater.” He was probably right, but the operative word in that sentence is “EX”…

  12. First of all, there certainly are a lot of liquids spewing around the place. Kay, please be more careful in the future with what you write. There is expensive computer equipment at stake.
    Second, Julie, try emailing me at ann@masondixonknitting.com. I’m dying to see your Beth.
    x0 Ann

  13. I am so stupid. I could have worn _my_ first sweater, recently rediscovered, for Halloween. I’m sure it would have been much easier to force my way across the parade if I’d been wearing that–“Stand back or I’ll burn your eyes out with my loud sweater!”


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