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Ding Dong There’s Somebody at the Door

Dear everybody,
I hardly know where to begin. Let’s just say that when this chatterbag shows up on your doorstep, you can forget about getting much of anything done.
The fact is, Kay’s been in Nashville for a couple of days, and the gibblegabble level has been deafening. At the moment she’s on her way home yet stranded at the Nashville airport and I feel kind of guilty that she’s probably been cornered at the Whitt’s barbecue stand by some Nissan manager who’s explaining hydrogen fuel cell technology to her.
But not guilty enough to go get her. Instead, I’ll fill you in on what we’ve been up to.
Kay came to town so that we could 1) begin work penning a new tome; 2) watch Project Runway; 3) be on teevee; and 4) witness some sheep judging.
Shawl o’ the Doom
Before we get to all that, please note that the above list of activities did not include 5) Help Ann knit the border of her shawl. The Print o’ the Wave shawl has hit that gruesome moment which comes when you realize, having finished one pattern repeat, that you have 79 more to go.
By the time I got to the fifth repeat, I discovered this disappointing lack of success at following a pattern:
The pattern repeats aren’t repeating properly. It besucks.
Kay cheerfully suggested that I rip it out now and just hush up about the thing. For the record, in the time I misknit a dozen rows, she finished a picnic blanket and a pup tent.
1. Penning a New Tome
I honestly don’t know how we ever penned a tome together. Sample dialogue from yesterday:
Ann: We could do a chapter on aprons. Who doesn’t need an apron?
Kay: [Silently knits.]
Ann: Should we get some coffee now?
Kay: [Flips pattern over, yanks more yarn from skein, continues knitting.]
Ann: I’m going to the kitchen. I think an apron could be cute. I wish I had on an apron right this minute.
Kay: Milk no sugar, OK? Did you ever buy some decent coffee?
Sample Dialogue #2
Kay: So it’s a cozy for a cozy. Get it? You put the cozy on top of the cozy and–
Ann: I get it! An apron cozy!
Kay: No. Just a cozy for a cozy.
Ann: We could go to Target now?
2. Watch Project Runway
Kay refuses to bite. I’ve never seen such resistance to hi kwalidy entertainment. What is it going to TAKE to get her to understand this show?
I won’t dwell on recent show developments right this minute except to say that if Michael doesn’t win, I will personally pass the hat for the guy.
3. Be on Teevee
It is a rare treat to be able to talk with one of journalism’s greats, John Seigenthaler–a man who knows more about the First Amendment than Howard Stern, a man who was a member of the Kennedy administration, a man who can endure two women babbling nonstop for half an hour about why he ought to learn how to knit.
Mr. Seigenthaler wins the first-ever Mason-Dixon Knitting Award Of Valor For Devoting A Show To A Subject In Which He Has No Interest.
I think it’s safe to say that Kay broke new ground on A Word on Words with John Seigenthaler. Did David Halberstam knit all the way through his interview? I think NOT.
Don’t know the air date yet. Apparently the show will be available as an iTunes/MP3 download at some point.
4. Witness Some Sheep Judging
After the show taping, there we were, all dressed up and no place to go. The makeup lady was so sweet that she used up all her cosmetics on us. Never have we looked so colorized:
We looked like Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in Some Like It Hot. I haven’t worn that much lipstick since I was abusing Bonne Bell Lip Smackers in the sixth grade.
WNPT is directly adjacent to that three-star Worth a Detour destination, the Tennessee State Fair. Seeing as how I didn’t get to go with Angela, my fair date last year (whose coverage of this year’s fair is, as ever, worthy of a Pulitzer), or blue ribbon Sheila, I decided it was going to be with Kay or bust.
We ended up in Sheepland.
That guardrail was helpful in keeping us far enough away that we didn’t pass out from the authentic, sunwarmed scent of 200 bags of prize-winning fleece.
My old chemistry teacher, Mr. Shuffett, has been reincarnated as a sheep.
Now, I’m no judge of sheep, but this fella seems like he’s got some righteous huevos gigantes. How much more gigante can huevos get? I hope the guy won a ribbon for SOMEthing.
PS Before I forget (I’m italicizing this because I am semi-yelling it), Knitting at the Library was a huge, huge piece of fun. Ask anybody who was there. If you meant to come this month but were waylaid by life’s travails, do not fail to come next time, Monday, October 9, noon to 2 pm. It is a fantastic group/ locale/thing to do in downtown Nashville. Just great.




  1. Sounds like ya’ll had a wonderful visit. If these sample conversations are any indication, the second MDK tome should be thrilling reading. We will all be looking forward to the day . . . and discovering whether or not it includes an apron pattern.

  2. Well, I think a linen or cotton apron would be swell. Don’t know if I’d knit one, but I do like the idea. If it’s a design with ruffles, though, they should be optional for folks who aren’t into that sort of embellishment. I can envision ruffles being knit on much like your print o’ the wave border, with an optional ruffle-less border. Am I starting to seem ruffle-obsessed?

  3. I don’t think I would care for an apron either, but I would knit some cozies, for pots or other cozies.
    I am so glad you are doing more tome work.
    And that first picture was at Target, wasn’t it?
    I love Target.

  4. Sounded like great fun! Can’t wait for the new tome…..and for all reader, check out Ann in the new issue of REAL SIMPLE FOOD, out on the news stands NOW…..she is minus a ton of makeup, no Bonnie Bell…..just a southern beauty !

  5. Seigenthaler?! Really? I’m not sure if there’s anything to say after that. Knitting may have reached the pinnacle.
    I’m thinking KnitSpan is in the works.

  6. I totally agree, Seigenthaler rocks if he has you guys on!

  7. Seigenthaler, huevos gigantes, and a new book which may or may not include aprons and include its own cosy. How much better could this entry get?
    P.S. Can Kay REALLY not like Project Runway? I thought the girl had taste. Don’t tell me she’s gotten all inteleckchul on us.

  8. I bet you already know that there is scientific evidence that the size of a ram’s [ahem] huevos is inversely proportional to the size of his brain…. They only need a ram for one thing, and thinking wouldn’t be that one thing…..

  9. I am so jealous that you met John Seigenthaler — and he talked about knitting with you??? Wow!
    Hey, I’m going to be in Nashville for a wedding in a few weeks. What yarn store(s) should I try to get to in the few spare hours I’ll have? (I think we’re staying on the west side of town.)

  10. I was at the Garden State Sheep and Fiber Festival today and noticed those heuvos gigantes too. What’s with that? Do they get extra points in the judging?
    Who knew? Obviously, I am not a country girl.

  11. Another Mason Dixon book! I’m so excited!

  12. Maybe a huevos cozy?

  13. IF you think those huevos were big, you should have seen the Big Pig at the Iowa State Fair. That song where the Continental Soldier ties his in a knot and a bow, etc.? Yeah, you could have used these as a chair.

  14. I empathize with the counting on the shawl. I can’t count to 5, as witnessed by the baby blanket I am knitting for a neighbour. I can’t bear to rip out the whole 3 inches I’ve knit, so the next few squares of the pattern are going to be a little wonky.
    I plan to mudge it when I give it to the neighbour – that should help!

  15. Oh yeah – HURRAH for the new book.

  16. Wow, John Siegenthaler! Sr., no less! At last knitting has been taken seriously by the liberal media. Hee. I am not exactly a regular commenter here at MDK, but I am def a regular reader, and I wanted to drop by and say I just got your book, and I LOVE it, and I can’t wait for book #2! I must knit one of those cotton and rag rugs now. The ivory and pinkish-calico one in the book is killer.

  17. An apron…. apron…. for knitting? Oh, that’s right, Donna Reed wore one of those and so did Mrs. Cleaver. Can you tell I don’t spend much time in a kitchen anymore.
    I love the reference to Some Like it Hot… I had an immediate image in mind.
    You two are always fun together. I am sure that Mr. Seigenthaler had a wonderful visit with you both.

  18. The picture of the reincarnated Mr. Shuffett made me snort water onto my brand-new keyboard. It was worth it.

  19. I can’t stop laughing long enough to compose a decent comment. So much goin on here today! Where do I pre-order?

  20. penning a new tome? Wooooooooooooooo!

  21. I was in the back room when you and Kay came back last week! We had JUST gotten a batch of MDK’s in – a lost signing opportunity! Regarding a previous comment – there is already a “huevos cozy” (entitled weenie warmer) that has been on the internet forever. It’s hilarious and easy to knit (ask me how I know). Can’t believe Kay missed the Library Date by just days…

  22. Just for the record, I enjoy reading this blog a ga-zillion more times than watching Project Runway. “Huevos Gigantes” should be on a t-shirt or totebag or….something.Don’tcha think?

  23. Another book?! Hurry up and write it please. With aprons. And quilts. And more cute baby stuff….

  24. screw the apron – go for the huevos gigantes cozy! you are the best (both of you)

  25. Those sample conversations ring a bell. You’re writing a book with a sister this time. Can’t wait.

  26. Whoooo-hooo! Another book! More Mason Dixon for everyone!
    I have to say, I’ve been reading through the archives and I’m up to April 04 and its been awesome. I can see why you two decided to write a book. Your chemistry is fantastic.
    What more can there be? Will a mitered entrelac sweater dress be involved with s bsllband belt?
    Does this mean there’ll be a book signing?? I REALLY want to get mine signed!
    Question- whats the correct pronunciation of Gee’s Bend? Is it like gee-willy or gee like the uniforms that karate students wear?

  27. Ding dong indeed. Hee, I’m such a twelve-year-old, giggling at sheep balls. Oy.
    It sounds like you both had an awesome time. Yay for friends getting together!

  28. Fist rule of lace knitting. Always have a simple backup project to work on when chatting with friends. More often than not, it is a sock.

  29. Being on the west coast I’m not familiar with the afore mentioned TV show. Looking at it’s web site it sounds very serious. I hope you all expressed more than you neccessarily put on paper.
    I don’t wear aprons…but then I don’t really cook unless I have to. My husband doesn’t wear them either…But for those knitters with husbands that cook and use aprons a manly apron pattern might be good.
    If you do manage to knit a new book I’m sure it will have great success.

  30. OMG ! I thought Mr Shuffett had 3 eyes the first time I looked at this picture. It’s his ear tag, not a third eye. (Note to self : get new contact lenses)
    LOVE Diane’s idea for the t-shirt. I’d buy one – or maybe more. I know lots of guys who’d be proud to wear it :0)

  31. Hurrah for new book!!! And TRIPLE hurrah for being on Nashille PTV!
    I can’t really cheer for that edging. I would under other circumstances, like maybe if I had some coffee.

  32. “I haven’t worn that much lipstick since I was abusing Bonne Bell Lip Smackers in the sixth grade.”
    You and me both! hahahahaha

  33. tome #2? yip-eeeeee! what the world needs more is love, and…..”the kay and ann show!”

  34. I’m looking forward to seeing the new book on the shelves! Your last book was pretty awesome.
    And BTW – the huevos can get much, much larger. We saw some at the Lismore Sheep Farm ( http://www.lismoresheepfarmwoolshop.com ). They were pretty impressive.

  35. Yup, Michael’s my guy on Project Runway. I don’t know about your chemistry teacher, but mine, Mr. Clapp, let loose a canister of mustard gas in our classroom in 1969 so we could have an idea of what he’d gone through in WW1. He might have had huevos gigantes too? Oy. I got a D.

  36. Not that I don’t think of you every day, Ann, but there I was in the Green City this afternoon, taking a break after cleaning out seven closets in my ancestral home (and getting Wee C away from the Disney Channel), at the neighbors’, where I picked up the DC alumni rag and saw you mentioned in the Class Notes. You deserve a feature, grrlfriend, but, anyhoo, I thought of you ~ XXO

  37. Did anyone else hear the theme music to The Odd Couple playing while reading the sample dialogue? At least Kay never did that sinus-clearing thing Felix does when Oscar is being especially provoking–or did she? Hneeeehh Hneeh…

  38. Yes! A new book! Who gets to wear the cowboy hat this time?

  39. Hey, I used to abuse those lip smackers too. Good times. So when are y’all coming to California? the Yarn Harlot came to Los Altos last week and my knitting euphoria would be complete if you two gibblegabblers would show up too.

  40. I am a big Project Runway fan…. I even watch the re runs from last season.. I love Michael Knight from this season……
    wooo hooo Cloe Dao from Houston is why I got hooked last year…
    Ruth in Houston

  41. Yay for Kay on sticking to her guns about watching the crap TV. I, the mother of an aspiring actor, just can’t abide it.
    But oh, how you make me giggle. I love your every post. And Cara’s idea of KnitSpan is killin’ me!!! Hey, the British would definitely do it. They watch snooker for hours on end. They watch drunk 90-pound oenophiles telling you what region of what neighborhood of what tree under which a certain wine grape was grown, and what region the wood for the barrel came from, for even longer. But really, snooker? Definitely we could sit and watch people knit for hours on end. Why not? Better than that crap NOT-reality crap. Did I say crap too many times?

  42. I just had to comment on: 1) New book! whoo hoo ! I really would like a cozy pattern. I collect teapots, and that brings me to 2) The Great State Fair of Texas, which will be exhibiting my collection of teapots (2nd place) and my afghan – Honorable mention !!! I have been told than H.M. is an incredible feat and I owe a lot to you guys – Although the pattern is not from MDK, I realized I was making mitered squares, and I got a huge amount of inspiration and information from your color suggestions. 3) I luuve Project Runway and think I’ll die if Michael doesn’t win and why does Laura want to be a designer with 6 kids??? Keep up the good work.

  43. Out here in the west I think they eat them thingies – we call them rocky mountain oysters.

  44. Love the peek into the writing process… And would love to see (and buy!) a new MD book. I’ve so enjoyed the first one!
    But now I have to ask, is it common back east to call balls eggs, since huevos means eggs and cohones means balls? I’m confused…

  45. Oh my God! It’s Mr. Beaton from 9th grade biology, too. And those cajones — ladies, I almost needed a Depends when I saw that photo. Please post a warning for those of us with middle-aged bladders next time!

  46. This post made my day. I haven’t laughed this hard all week. I needed a good laugh because just moments before I read this I had fallen out of the rolling desk chair while trying to bend over and sniff the stack of papers on the desk for possible signs of cat pee. The desk was clean, but my elbow landed right in the real deal when I fell to the floor. Thanks for brightening my day.

  47. Where can I get information on Knitting at the Library. I will be in Nashville in November, and am hoping that those dates will coincide with a Knitting at the Library.

  48. My mother gave me a copy of Crochet! magazine from January 2003 because of a pattern for a moebius scarf. There is a great article in there about vintage aprons. Ann’s comment about aprons for your next book made me remember reading it. It mentions a book called, “Aprons of the mid-20th Century: To Serve and Protect” by Judy Florence. You might want to check it out.
    The sheep judging ….too funny!


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