If you’re Rhinebeck bound, we would love to see you at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night. Details here.

There’s No Place Like Home

Dear Ann,
Last Thursday evening, I must have dozed off for a minute or something. I blame it on low blood sugar and the balmy air of late April. When I came to, this is what I saw:
Well, that doesn’t narrow it down much, does it? What are we talking–Huntsville? Nashville? Some other Ville? Where was I?
Cool as a cucumber, I called upon my inner Double Agent to assess the situation. I looked around for clues as to my coordinates.
As a public service, and in the spirit of “You May Be a Redneck If….”, I offer the following guide for anyone who finds herself in an Unidentified Yarn Store Location.
You May Be On The Upper West Side If….
There is a lefty folk singer standing to your … well, left actually….and she sings a hilarious song (“What Was I Thinking?”) with brand new verses about the Prez (Iraq) and the Vice-Prez (recent incident involving friend who was not, as it turns out, a quail or even a bird (“My Bad!”).
In this case, the folk singer in question is the inimitable, the adorable….Christine Lavin. Yes, the Christine Lavin who wrote that song “Attainable Love” that I used to croon to Hubby (before he was Hubby, when we were just Best Friends Forever…and Ever)! The Christine Lavin who wrote a piece in Knit Lit 2! Who invites knitters to come early to her concerts to sit and knit with her!
You May Be On the Upper West Side if….
The next person who gets up to speak is a Political Activist Knitter (wearing a FANTASTIC Rowan Denim vest and beanie). This is Naomi, who wrote a piece in Knit Lit the First about a knitting project that she did to raise awareness of how to compost in your apartment using red wiggler worms. (People knit and crocheted hundreds of worms for her, and the Queens Botanical Garden hosted a three-week installation called The Dirt Museum. Knitted worms. Think about THAT.)
Naomi has moved on from the red worms. Her latest activist knitting project involves amulets like the one she is wearing around her neck. (Um, the one with the Trojan in it.) Naomi is raising awareness of AIDS prevention, especially as it affects the female population over age 50. If you are chatting with Naomi and you don’t get your consciousness raised, you need to get your consciousness checked out.
OK, so I didn’t need more than those 2 clues to tell me that I was home on my sweet Upper West Side. I was at Knitty City, New York’s new yarn store on West 79th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway, at a special evening of knitting and readings from the Knit Lit series. Shameless sponger that I am, I got to read at this event even though I have not contributed a single word to the Knit Lit series. I got to read your piece from Knit Lit the Third, “In Which It Is Discovered That I Am Not Ann Patchett.” Sa-weet!
Other scenes:
Linda Roghaar, literary agent to the stars, creator and editor of the Knit Lit series. As always, impeccably turned out in a handknit and charming the pants off of everybody.
Cathy Cooper, author of the piece with the best title EVER: “Pound of Love”. Other readers were Nilda Mesa (if I needed a third clue that I was on the Upper West Side, Nilda is an artist who writes about and designs for knitting and crochet in English and Spanish), and Jenny Feldon.
Knitty City is fast becoming a local institution; it seems like it has always been here. The hello is always friendly, the yarn is bursting off of the shelves, and the events are frequent, fantastic and open to all knitters. Thanks to Pearl for hosting and Nilda for organizing!
Kay, pseudo author and Ann Shayne Impersonator (Hey I Totally Gave You The Idea For That Story)




  1. Hey there,
    I know awhile back you had a great bleaching experiment. Have you ever used the bleach gel pen in a post knitted state?
    Side Note: Gush gush about the book and will be trying some log cabin knitting soon.

  2. Sounds like my kind of place! All that and Linda Roghaar, too? Woo.

  3. Kay – you were as involved in that Knit Lit story as Ann – no doubt about it. I think you were a great choice to read it! (By the way, your new book – which I read cover to cover the night I bought it – has inspired me to knit log cabin designs. And … um … several bazillion other things that you tempted me with in that book….)

  4. …experiencing serious pangs of NYC longing about now … and when does the book tour hit the Bay Area again?

  5. I am laughing hysterically right now….after I noticed a ton of people coming to my site from yours (THANK YOU! – tho noone’s had the guts to buy the silk rhapsody yet, I’m glad I can support vicarous silk lust) I have now bookmarked your site. You gals are a whoop-it-up yarn fest for me.
    Am I the only one who LOVES your haunted modern baby blanket? Maybe. I like the weird colors. It may be haunted, but I”d buy it! (or love it for a gift) I may have to do one for my site (www.fabsweaters.com)-I”ll be using the blue sky cotton for a spring line of sweaters this year!
    Anyhow, love the witty repartee…love the hubby comments at the top, too!
    fibers for fanatics

  6. I love love love Christine Lavin. I love that she is a knitter and I love that she writes about it. I love seeing all those Upper West Siders, too. I am trying to name all the yarns in the background of your pictures.

  7. bravo clif! i do love those milestones. learning is everything!!!

  8. Mmm.. sounds like a hippie arts and craft love fest. I would have loved to have been there!

  9. I don’t know, it looks and sounds a lot like Berkeley too! Yeah Clif!

  10. Nor was the non-bird a Quayle, which is how the CNN closed captioning spelled it. 😉

  11. Clearly, I need to get out more.
    But ‘fess up, Kay. What did YOU buy on the book tour? Your adoring public needs to know. Otherwise we’re sending the paparazzi to follow you in Omaha…

  12. now i REALLY miss manhattan!

  13. Oh My God Chandler Bing – Christine Lavin!! I can’t believe it, our local ABC ( Australian!!) radio plays her songs, and there she is, in real life at your yarn store. Wow!!! I love her music!!
    Oh, and lots of lovely yarn too, but Christine Lavin!!!

  14. Oh my God, I love Christine Lavin! I have her Live from…. Somewhere….. Don’t remember, anyways, that my parents listened to. She is hilarious.

  15. ann, you, nilda, sahara have all prepared me for my next life–dynamite blogging. my own post about this event seems too low-key, though i did not think so at the time. it’s good to have goals after 60…besides saving the world. speaking of goals, your admiration of my rowan denim vest (love that upclose pic of the pattern) lead me to think about the leftovers i have. think it will be a rowan cotton scarf. is this an innovation? always need something around my neck in summer; it’s an elder lady thing. thanks again for your sweetness. yours, naomi

  16. Thank you for highlighting Christine Lavin. She is a voice from my past also(not my parents). We used to play one of her early albums when we went on family car rides. And she is a knitter! The best. Now I have her bookmarked.

  17. Who knew Christine Lavin’s a knitter! Now I love her even more.

  18. I just purchased the Mason+Dixon Knitting book and was wanting to make the tilting log cabin on page 67 and could not find the pattern in the book. Was I ever disappointed and read in the upper left corner insert that to go to http://www.woollythoughts.com but it is not there either. Help–I would like the pattern.
    Thanks Marlene

  19. I am so glad you got some Jack Stack! It is hands down the best barbecue in Kansas City. My husband and I moved from KC to Minnesota last year and we still crave Jack Stack. It looks like you guys had a great time!

  20. just finished a baby blanket…major accomplishment for me because I’m new at this…was wondering am I able to sew a silky border around my blanket (most baby blankets made of cloth have a silk border around it)…didn’t know if you could do this with yarn…Thank, Michelle

  21. I have just purchased the Mason*Dixonn Knitting book and would like directions on the Pamela Hubbard mini-version of Joseph’s Blankie. Thank you.


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