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Plotz of the Year

Dear Ann,
Who do you suppose this quaint old woman is? Could it be: the ghost of my Danish great-grandmother Stina Carlsen, huddling at Ellis Island circa 1895, clutching her prized heirloom shawl?
Close, but actually it’s me, Grandma Stina’s namesake (fun fact: my middle name is Kirstine). And that is in fact a prized heirloom shawl, but it is a brand new one that was sent to us — to YOU and ME, baby — as a gobsmackeroonee surprise from our favorite Knitting Man AND our favorite Dane: Thomas!!!!
(Reader Note: We love all the Knitting Men, and all our Danish friends, very very much. But Thomas made us this shawl. We hope you’ll understand.)
This was the very last package I received, the day we moved out of our old apartment. Thomas sent 2 startling acrylic squares:
Lemme tellya: after the Acrylic I’ve Seen, it takes a lot to rattle me. There was also a lovely wool square, as you can see. And then there was a Mysterious Bundle, swaddled in a dishtowel. (I will admit to thinking, “Yay! Edibles!”) Imagine my shock and awe upon opening the bundle and finding this example of the highest level of our craft:
Here’s another view:
In his accompanying note, Thomas explained that he chose us to receive this stunning shawl because of our work on the Afghanalong for Afghans project. That gave me a moment of farklemptitude. The Afghanalong has been its own reward, in so many ways. (Which is not to say we’re giving back the shawl!) Thomas also made it very clear that the shawl is for both of us, and that he is not about to get involved in how we work that little detail out. I don’t know about you, but I’m putting a call in to the estate planning people. (1-800-mineallmine.)
Thomas, what can we say? Thank you times infinity!
Love, Kay



  1. Speechless, I am ~ wowie wow wow. What a gorgeous creation! And an appropriate gift, for the Afghanalong is quite the endeavor, especially amidst the move. But Thomas was making a master’s thesis, too. What a guy! And, about the sharing, feel free to park the shawl with me, as I live somwhere between the two of you ~

  2. Save the bubble wrap, Kay. I think the only fair solution to sharing that masterpiece will involve your both moving to the same town about halfway between Nashville and NYC…Pittsburgh Knitting?
    xo, Cristina

  3. WOW! Thomas, that shawl is amazing! And I’m with you–Kay and Ann deserve it for organizing this whole amazing thing.
    A suggestion for sharing–my sister and I share a very special dress that was our grandmother’s. We fed-ex it back and forth as needed. I wore it to a wedding last month and it will reside with me until she needs it for an event or just feels a need to wallow in memories.
    Is that a glimpse of the new abode behind you?

  4. Hmm, not sure about having to share such a wonderful shawl. Perhaps the “randomizer teapot” should be used an additional time, to choose which one of you gets to keep the shawl.
    Speaking of that, although the last drawing is on August 1st, what’s the last date after that that you will be accepting squares?

  5. did thomas use a microscope for the delicate stitching? it is way beyond awesome. i’m breathless in L.A……to even contemplate the thought of parting with it. an overly generous soul…. like our kay ‘n ann team….. so well deserved. will you frame it… like pheasant under glass? (LOVE the detail on your new fireplace, kay!) hugs…..

  6. How lovely! How will you ever, ever share? (If it was up to me, it would go to the person who loves it best…though that’s only because I like a good blogfight.)

  7. thomas! wow! oh, wow.
    stunning. what a gift!! what a story!!
    (*sniff*) teary-old-me

  8. Wow !
    Thomas is such a very nice man.Generous and giving.Intelligent and witty.Handsome and cuddly.
    I know how you can thank him Kay ! A little matchmaking perhaps !…
    It’s a seriously beautiful shawl.A knitting masterpiece.I have confidence in your ability to share nicely girls.

  9. It is very beautiful and fine.
    You are worthy.

  10. We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!
    Matchmaking? Did somebody say matchmaking?
    lol–post-kir-with-evelyn–lol! xox Kay

  11. Oh my goodness! Just got home from a week’s vacation-at-the-lake and plugged in for an email and blog check. THOMAS!!! I am breathless. As for sharing, you may need a good custody agreement drawn up–we must have a lawyer in our midst somewhere. Now, I am going to watch the Cubs and weave the ends in on my squares. I guess I really need that final deadline to get me moving.

  12. Amazing. You deserve it.

  13. Ann, Kay, I hope you get a lot of joy and warmth out of the shawl and it really isn’t that big a deal. If you wonder about the scent on it, I use a milk-and-honey handwash to wash my knittings the first time. Sofar it is the best I’ve found for that purpose.
    Kay, as much as you would enjoy being a schadchen, I am not quite in need of such services. It is very lib of you, but I rather like my life as bokher. Some fine, lace-weight/cobweb-weight yarn however would be most welcome. You might even get it back in knitted form as another shawl.

  14. A treat to get back home and see the Wonder Shawl after hearing about it over kirs!
    Kay: As it turns out, we could have caroused all evening. Thanks to the Manhattan monsoons and a cancelled flight I ended up back at the hotel four hours later, and finally got back home this morning on a painfully early flight. Keeping in mind that my mother drilled into me “never ever stop in the middle of the row” with great regularity, you will appreciate that I fell asleep mid-row not once, but twice on the plane! Now it is time to convince the children that they need a nap. (Because lord knows, mommy does!)

  15. It’s an absolutely beautiful shawl for you two with beautiful hearts! And Thomas is truly a master!

  16. Hi Kay!
    Not sure if you’ve checked your email yet, but the squares I sent to your old address were returned to me (well, to my parents house in Arizona). Thankfully, my mom is a willing participant, and is ready to head back to the post office as soon as I get your new address.
    By the way, have you seen the Summer edition of INKnitters magazine? There’s an article about using modular knitting to create quilting patterns. Thought you might find it interesting. If you haven’t seen it and can’t find it, let me know and I’ll send you the article. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. when are you two ladies going to write these fantastic MDK stories down & publish them???

  18. Kelli Ann: Isn’t that what this blog is?
    Kay: You look stunning with the new shawl. Yay!

  19. That. Is. Stunning! Plotzing, one hundred times over. And yes, you definitely deserve it!

  20. Dear Kay,
    Well, you could knock me over with a feather. Thomas! The minx! Who’d ever think of sending a shawl like this to ANYbody, never mind US? I hardly know what to say except QUIT. HOGGING. THE SHAWL. The only reason I’m not seriously whining at you is that our current ninetyish weather would prevent me from wearing it. As soon as the humidity drops below eighty percent, I’m expecting a little surprise in the mail. And no, it is NOT cool to split it in half, however Solomonic a solution it would be.
    Thomas goes into the Mason-Dixon Knitting Hall of Fame, right now.
    Signed Totally Surprised in Nashville

  21. lucky, lucky you. The shawl is gorgeous and you both definitely deserve it.


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