Aw look! One pattern, 364 versions of the MDK New Ancestral Christmas Stocking.

Love Means Never Having To PSSO

Love Means Never Having To PSSO

Dear Ann, Announcement: I’ve finished knitting the 210 very long rows of Volt. I am now COMMENCING I-CORD. It’s frightfully exciting. Grace Anna Farrow’s instructions instruct, in the elegantly economical way that I have already come to expect of her patterns, how to do the i-cord edging along the live stitches as a bind-off, and on the side edges (the row ends) via the pick-up-and-attach-it-as-you-go method. I’ve...

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Must Have Relaxed Grip

Must Have Relaxed Grip

Dear Kay, I keep looking at that volcano plume thing from Iceland and marveling at how easily it derailed just about every airport in Europe. SHUT DOWN! I have this weird feeling of disappointment–hey, you mean I CAN’T fly to Paris right now? Or London? NONE of ‘em? It makes me realize that I seem to have been carrying around this fantasy that I could, at any moment, if I really needed to, ditch out for Europe. Meanwhile, this...

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Don’t Stand and Watch

Don’t Stand and Watch

Dear Kay, Top Tennis Tip #2 from my spring break tennis experience: “Constant Movement: Hit and move—don’t stand and watch.” I am beginning to think that tennis and knitting are the same thing. The same motions repeated over and over. The thrill of a decent serve; the agony of a bad bind-off. The blisters! The backbiting! The bad calls! Speaking of bad calls . . . I mulled the bind-off situation for the Diminishing Rib...

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Clarissa O Clarisssssssssaaaaaaaaaa

Clarissa O Clarisssssssssaaaaaaaaaa

Dear Kay, Remember Clarissa? From Issue 6 of The Knitter? The uncharacteristically decorative cardigan I started a few weeks ago? My awesome new BED JACKET? Well, it’s done. But getting to Done took so very much longer than I thought it would. I cranked the body easily enough. It’s one piece, just a lot of yarnovering or yarningover or whatever (like jump-roping when I was growing up–nobody called it jumping rope). When I...

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Living the Mad Men Dream

Living the Mad Men Dream

Dear Kay, If you have been watching Mad Men (and if you haven’t, go ahead and start), you have probably been mesmerized by all the weird style. I’m loving it. The whole show looks so mannered, so odd. The designers can’t resist anything having to do with the early 1960s. Peggy the copywriter in particular has a very strange look. Fabulously dowdy, like Diana Prince before she turns into Wonder Woman. When I finished up my...

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Almost Ready to Go

Almost Ready to Go

Dear Kay, VERY rainy day, most excellent. I’m in the midst of the Constant Hem, and I turn on the radio only to find myself listening to a two-hour NPR call-in fest, On Point with Tom Ashbrook, all about the topic of CIVILITY. Of course, if you throw Camille Paglia into the mix, things get feisty pretty fast. It’s kind of funny. The bottom flap of the cuff folds under, all hemlike, whereupon one commences to matching up stitch for...

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Oh, BeHAVE! And Let’s All Watch a Movie Together

Oh, BeHAVE! And Let’s All Watch a Movie Together

Dear Kay, I don’t know WHAT is going on, but these outbursts–congressman Joe Wilson, Serena Williams, Kanye West, even Federer!–are getting on my NERVES. What is with people? Whoopsy–getting a little unattractive there myself. I sincerely apologize for my outburst. Don’t censure me! I don’t know what came over me. Seriously, even my ten year old saw Kanye’s ploy for what it was: “He just wants...

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The Wrestler

The Wrestler

Dear Kay, At this point, this Rowan Pearl sweater has turned into something akin to backyard wrestling. I’m totally punch drunk, just adding flaps of stuff wherever the pattern tells me to, whacking the thing with a folding chair. I’m in the twelfth round with this sweater. At any moment, I’m getting out the staple gun and the barbed wire. For those keeping track, the collar took a whole ball of Rowan Wool Cotton, once I...

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Two-Timing, and an Exhortation

Two-Timing, and an Exhortation

Dear Wind Beneath My Wings, Ferocious knitting mojo down here right now–I don’t know what has come over me, but really, I’ve been knitting like . . . well, like you. Give me five minutes sitting still–waiting for the pasta water to boil, waiting for a parent-teacher conference–and I’m cranking a few rows. And this new project is pretty much perfect for this sort of thing. It’s Mary Neal Meador’s...

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Dishcloth Cotton: It’s a Good Thing

Dishcloth Cotton:  It’s a Good Thing

Dear Ann, You were a girl with straight hair, so maybe this will jangle a memory loose. I was a girl with straight hair. Carrie is a girl with straight hair. Last night, right on schedule at age 11 years 2.5 months, Carrie experienced a rite of passage familiar to all straight-haired girls and former girls. She suddenly got the idea that if she put 20 or so real tight braids in her wet hair and went to bed, in the morning she would wake up...

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