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Oy, My Intarsia Is Killing Me

Dear Kay,
I hate to interrupt the reduce/recycle/reuse festival of denim going on up there, but I have breaking news. (This will be brief. This is the scene out my window this minute: five guys waiting until ten o’clock to begin replacing a utility pole that serves exactly one house–mine–and which I told the guy they couldn’t start until ten o’clock because I had a rilly important thing I needed to finish on the computer. Your utility dollars at work.)
Anyhoo, I’m afraid I’m in for a bout of intarsia. I can feel it coming on just the way my bursitis tells me when the barometric pressure is dropping.
I’m starting to do weird things: I pull out the Box of Alice Starmore Scottish Campion I adopted from a nice lady in Baltimore last year. Somehow, graph paper shows up. I think about bobbins.
I know how this is going to end: I’m going to pile it all in the Mom Bomb, drive down Hillsboro and end up at Angel Hair Yarn Co., wishing and hoping some famous intarsia expert will just show up and tell me what to do with all this stuff.
Hey wait–some famous intarsia expert IS showing up. Get a load of this: Sasha Kagan is coming to Nashville. Can you believe it?
She WILL tell me what to do with all this stuff. She WILL be full of ideas. If anybody can get me to try intarsia, it has to be Sasha Kagan.
If anybody has colorwork questions they’ve always wanted to ask Sasha Kagan, lemme know, and I’ll ask the Queen of Intarsia for you.
Who Knit the Book of Love?
As a little warm-up for the workshop, and in celebration of Fifteen Years of Wedded Bliss, and because eventually making books and knitting would somehow collide in my life, I made
an anniversary book for Hubbo. What does it say? That’s for me to know and Hubbo to find out . . .
Carry on. Continue discussion of recycled denim, rules for the Iowa State Fair (Iowans only? OutRAGEous!), and the like.
PS (After the new utility pole has been installed–and it’s a beauty.) OK, since you asked, here’s a peek inside of the Book of Love, which was concocted in a fever and will be much cooler when anniversary no. 20 rolls around:
Inside there’s note paper trimmed on the scary rotary paper cutter. The binding is embroidery floss sewn through the paper in the ancient tradition of the monks of St. Denis (OK not really). If I did it again I’d extend the stitching to the top and bottom of the paper. I winged it on attaching the paper to the cover. I’ve got book fever now.




  1. Happy anniversary! And happy intarsia – maybe you can knit Hubbo’s face into a wash cloth or something, a la Stitch n’ Bitch Nation.

  2. Awwwww!
    Can we at least see the book part of the book of love? Meaning not the super-secret entre-vous contents, but the physical book?
    My Franco/American/Chilean godson Nicolas, at around age 8, once cried out as we drove down the Boulevard St. Germain, “O, Maman!—-Les amoureux en velo!” We turned to see a boy and a girl on a Vespa. The most romantic image I ever saw, and so funny to hear an 8-year-old boy being so French that he knew all about ‘les amoureux’! This is all by way of wishing you and Hubbo many more happy years on the bike!
    love, Kay

  3. Ann, why are you worrying about intarsia when you’ve knitted that heart into the moss st? That’s intarsia and texture all in one go! Happy anniversary! And many more to come.
    Belinda x x

  4. Ann,
    You are going to love Sasha Kagan’s workshop. I took one with her last Saturday in Oakland, CA. Her work is to die for. She is funny and charming and she lives in my favorite country in the world, Wales.

  5. Happy Anniversary Ann and Hubbo!! Many more happy, blessed years to come!
    From the looks of that *perfect* intarsia gift for Hubbo, I don’t think Sasha has anything over you, dear Ann!!

  6. Hey Ann, that is the best title I read all week. It made me laugh out loud. Have a happy anniversary!

  7. Happy Anniversary Ann! LOVE your book cover and the seed stitch!!!!! Jealous of you and Marlowe getting into the Sasha class, can’t wait to read about it. I think some Sasha-inspired denim intarsia blocks would be perfect for this Summer’s weekend driving. Annhb.

  8. Lurvely! Sasha Kagan is the queen of botanical intarsia. I see forget-me-nots and rosebuds and violets in that Box o’ Campion.
    Happy Anniversary!

  9. He’s a lucky man. Lucky man.

  10. http://www.colum.edu/centers/bpa/
    For those of you who don’t know, this is where Ann’s brother Clif (my own personal hubbo) will be teaching, starting in September.

  11. What a fantastic box of adoptees! To me it says fair-isle…….
    Happy Anniversary to you both……
    Love, Jill

  12. The Iowa State Fair does WHAT? Xenophobes in Iowa, who can believe that? I’m an Iowa State U alumna, paid my dang dues, can they grandmother-clause me in to the State Fair?

  13. Cute book!
    I get to do bookmaking in a fibery sort of way on the “Fine Art: Textiles” course I start in September -guess how excited I am??? (& I think Kai’s excited about going to nursery 2 days a week – dunno, can nearly-1year olds get excited about something before it happens?)

  14. Ann,
    What a great idea! I love that book making approach – I think I’ll go dig up my stash for odd balls to work on the go. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Happy Anniversary, Ann! I hope it’s a memorable one. The Book of Love is cool. Congrats on the new utility pole, too. Truly, your cup runneth over.
    I just checked on the Iowa State Fair–yep, you’re right, the fiber arts competitions are open only to we Iowans. I don’t know why, except it’s the IOWA State Fair. You should still come if you get a chance. It’s pretty groovy for a fair. You’ll want to sample all of the fine cuisine on a stick, at the very least, then you’ll have to see the Big Boar and the Butter Cow. Bring lots of money, too, ’cause that cuisine on a stick ain’t cheap.

  16. I love the Iowa State Fair. Hubster is from Iowa and we try to go to visit his folks for his birthday which coincides with the fair. The Butter Cow is great but the best one, even better than Butter Elvis, was the lifesize Butter Last Supper.
    And the thought of grilled pork chops on a stick is making me salivate!

  17. Hi, Ann,
    Happy Anniversary! The book is dynamite! What do you need intarsia lessons for? Hope you an hubbo had a great day.
    Whether you need it or not, you’ll enjoy Sasha Kagan’s intarsia class. She was at Article Pract in Oakland CA last weekend where I took the class. She’s a delightful character. The class was a double challenge to my brain cells — intarsia AND a color chart to follow. For the record I did fairly well on the intarsia (kept confusing myself, though) but failed on the chart reading and produced a lopsided field of poppies.
    I’m sure you’ll do MUCH better.

  18. Is the cover of that beautiful hand-made book really done in seed/moss stitch? (As a couple of previous commenters have said.)
    It looks very similar – at this time of night, yawn – to General Gingers’ handbag. She called it a sand stitch.
    (I really should be in bed.)
    Happy anniversary to you both,

  19. That is a beautiful and thoughtful gift. What a great idea! I am going to make this for my boyfriend for my return home.

  20. What a great idea for an anniversary present for Hubbo!!! Can I steal that idea for my next anniversary (it just happened on May 6)?


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