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

Pre-Upholstery-Knitting Deck Clearing

Dear Ann,
This is not Carrie’s usual running-for-the-day-camp-bus attire.
It’s a shawl for Afghans for Afghans’ campaign to send 500 shawls to new mothers in Afghanistan.
Recipe: Cast on 318 stitches in blue yarn (Rowanspun DK). Work 9 garter ridges. Now work 18-row stripes of Noro Silk Garden Light and the Rowanspun, alternating between stockinette and reverse stockinette stitch. (Here, 4 stripes of the Noro and 3 of the Rowanspun, ending with the Noro.) Work 9 ridges of garter stitch in the Rowanspun, and bind off in purl. This is the main body of the shawl, which measured 66 inches long.
The ruffled ends were inspired by the border on Terhi’s stunningly simple triangular shawl. On each end, I picked up one stitch in each row end, worked 18 rows of garter stitch, and then worked one increase row of K2, m1 all the way across, thus adding 50 percent more stitches. I continued to work garter stitch until I had worked a total of 36 ridges, and bound off in purl. It’s not so much a ruffle as a dignified undulation. It adds a little weight to help the ends stay put when tossed over the shoulders.
(Homage to Brooklyn Tweed. I keep trying.)
I would like to be able to report that this shawl is on its way to the big basement in San Francisco, where loving volunteers are waiting to unpack shawls. However, there has been a technical difficulty. After washing and blocking (which I didn’t think it needed, but it did a power of good–always block!), I re-measured. The width was only 19 inches. The requirement is 20-24 inches. I wrestled with my conscience, I wrote a dog-ate-my-homework email seeking dispensation/forgiveness/anything. In short, I was fiberglasted. I hate it when an O un-effs on me like that. Done things should have the decency to stay done. I have chairs to slipcover in denim yarn!
Then I remembered an interesting fact: I like to knit. Knitting is, in fact, my hobby. I can knit more. So I’ve picked up all the way around in the Rowanspun to add a border to the border. I have plenty of yarn and enough time to meet the deadline. These things happen; knit on.
Department of Whimsical Tchotchkes
Excellent news: there’s a new bauble on the KayCam. As you know, I am a patron of the polymer clay arts and, for the benefit of all, not a practitioner. This lovely charm came from Tennessee, from Hilda, who has a lovely Etsy shop. Warning: If you visit Etsy, don’t forget to come home. People have been known to get lost there.
PS If anyone is bumming that they missed Afghans for Afghans’ shawl campaign, fret not. There is a new project to knit warm winter clothing and blankets for children and youth ages 7-14.



  1. OK, I know I’ve said this before, but, Carrie is destined to be a model. The camera loves her. Enough! Love the knitting. It (and Carrie) looks like that famous photo from Nat Geo…. x x x

  2. I love Carrie’s eye everytime you post a photos of her I just can’t get over her lovely eyes! ( I promise I am not a stalker!) I love the shawl! I think I have all the yarn in my stash to start one… Oh the things you and Ann inspire me to so.
    As one who has gotten lost in the land of Esty and come home again it is a long road but one that is filled with lots of fun things. I may just have to travel that road again.

  3. Oh my Godfathers, Carrie is a beautiful girl. Does she actually exude that grace in real life? Yeesh!
    The shawl is beautiful too. Love it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. the shawl ( and the model) are beautiful. I think the extra border will just make it more ruffle-y.

  5. The first shot of Carrie reminds me of that famous Nat’l Geographic cover. Wonderful shawl. I have to get involved with this charity…next round!

  6. The shawl and model are beautiful.
    The peace sheep stitch marker is wonderful. Hilda is a friend of mine and she is a very talented polymer clay artist. I love her little sheep and other creations. He’ll bring a smile to your face every time you use him.

  7. a giant “grannie” is in the works for “A for A”…..marvelous use for woolly oddballs languishing about.
    your shawl for faraway lands is full of the power of LOVE. (please keep your daughter!)

  8. I admire a woman with follow-through. Thanks for reminding us to expand our vocabularies. I’m glad you worked through your fiberglastedness. Fiberglossity. Fiberglasticity.

  9. I was going to comment on your beautiful daughter but see that everyone else has beaten me to it! You make good kids as well as good handknits.
    Which reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw today: “I love to give homemade gifts… Which of my children would you like?” har dee har.
    And I shall be knitting children’s socks for “A for A” for my plane knitting later this summer… Can’t start right now because I have UFOs, I want to make lace shawls by the bucketload and then there’s those dang chair covers!

  10. Not bad Woman, less than 24 hours and fiberglasted is well on it way. :o)

  11. Ack!, you’ve touched a sensitive spot with me, Kay! I’ve been knitting on my Afghan For Afghans shawl for 2 1/2 weeks now, and I’m sweating the deadline.
    I’m using the Rowan Border Wrap pattern, but am knitting the shawl in Brick Red Paton’s Classic Merino to achieve the thickness and width needed to achieve the requested shawl dimensions. The shawl has lace at each end, with miles and miles and miles of boring stockinette (with 3-stitch garter side edges) in between. Not even a color change to liven up the Brick Red monotony, I tell you! This project has now been re-named The Never-Ending Shawl.
    I am trying to ignore the fact that I have a knitting machine that I’ve never learned to use which could have probably whipped the stockinette part out in one evening. I could have then grafted the hand-knit lace ends in place, picked up and knit the garter edging, and I would have been finished with this shawl in no time!
    I must go flog myself with my Addi-Turbos and punish myself further with more mindless knitting.
    Mary G. in Texas

  12. Your shawl has exceeded even my (way high) expectations of loveliness. Wow, Kay.
    Way to prep for upholstering!

  13. Can’t wait to start knitting kippahs for Carrie’s wedding TO MY SON. Please do not mention this to her. Yet.

  14. Kay – Thank you so much for helping to highlight the a4A cause – again! I’m a fairly regular basement packer/sorter volunteer and we really see a spike in incoming garments/blanket, etc. after you spotlight us! The shawl is beautiful and I can’t wait to see it in person next time I’m in the basement. Pam R, San Francisco

  15. I have to chime in on the Carrie picture. The shawl looks great on her. Those big pretty eyes make the whole thing look smashing, exotic, European and cool. She totally pulls it off.

  16. Shall I say it as well? How very beautiful Carrie is! And somehow, she and your shawl seem made for eachother (of course they originated from the same creative source…).
    God bless.

  17. The shawl is gorgeous and so is Carrie. She’s really grown!

  18. Fiberglasticity! I love it when a verb gets nouned.

  19. SQUEE!!! I love that sheep! and Kay, the shawl is lovely. Now I’ve got to make some stripes.
    oh! I know! Earth Wrap…I have all the yarn – what am I waiting for… (oh, right, SOS’08, knitting upholstery, shawls…sigh)
    It’s such a good thing we love to knit!

  20. I have to give you a giant “AMEN” to getting lost in Etsy-wonderland. Talk about falling down a rabbit hole, I’ve spent countless hours (and dollars) at that site and can’t wait to come back for more…

  21. Gorgeous! And the shawl’s not too shabby, either–‘cept for that trick it pulled on you not ending up regulation size.

  22. Kay, that photo of your daughter wearing that shawl is so lovely! At least you get to keep the daughter!
    I checked out the afghans for afghans site and I’ll be starting a woolen project today. Even though I WAS on a roll knitting cotton washcloths, and I DID buy all those cones of cotton. They’ll keep. I can’t help but respond to a greater need.

  23. Karma, I finished my shawl yesterday as well and popped it in the mail! Two more for them!

  24. Karma, I finished my shawl yesterday as well and popped it in the mail! Two more for them!

  25. My shawl contribution stubbornly refuses to budge beyond 58″ (I’m knitting it by the short end). I was hoping blocking would make it longer (how can additional pattern repeats – feather and fan – not make this thing longer??). I have decided to knit to the end of my yarn (now just small ball – frogged Lopi Lite sweater) and decide it’s done.

  26. That child was BORN TO MODEL KNITWEAR!!!
    And I do love that shawl. I don’t think I could part with it. Pardon me for being remedial, but how do you get the vertical stripes? What does it look like on the other side?
    BT IS an amazing photographer, all that depth-of-field thing. He must have a book deal, right? Maybe you guys can help him with that. (I don’t know him or anything, I just like to instigate.)

  27. Carrie is maturing into a stunningly beautiful woman.
    Far too fast, of course !

  28. Thank you for reminding us of charity knitting! I think that a child’s project is right down my alley. Maybe we can all do a KAL??

  29. Kay, when are you going to visit us in the Basement? How’s October? Carrie’s invited, too. Thanks much, Ann

  30. I recently listened to a Sticks and String podcast where David Reidy interviewed Brooklyn Tweed Jared. In the interview, Jared offers photo tips and strategies. Well worth a listen! Though I still wish I had Jared to photograph my knits…

  31. Kay — thanks for the A for A plug! I’m the mom to the Fans of Afghans for Afghans Ravelry group (just hit half a thousand Fans — wheeeee!), and we always see a spike in joiners after your posts. We’ve got a whole lotta cartons to fill for the fall 7-14 kid campaign — thanks so much!

  32. Re striped stole/shawl for Afghans: Am I overlooking it? What size needle did you use. (I know, gauge, etc., but knowing the yarns and seeing the finished product always makes me wonder what size needle the maker used?


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