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


Dear Ann,
I know you’re loopy about the logistics of leaving home to go further than the grocery store (I just got an urgent email from SAVE_THE_GUINEA_PIGS.ORG). We’re both loopy at the prospect of standing up in front of people and, um, saying something? Anything? Having a pulse? Not sweating through our matte foundation? But me, I also have lingering, unprocessed loopiness from my brief trip to England. So, let me just fire some pictures at you, with only the most succinct of commentary (yeah right). (Shut UP!)
Wunderkind Mit Wunderwagen
The day after arrival in London, I got on the train to Darlington. Darlington, for those unfamiliar with the geography of the British Isles, is not that far from Newcastle, the place we are always talking about taking coals to. From Darlington, I took the milk train (the conductor stepped out of the first of 2 Brio-sized cars and said, ‘Go on and get on, now.’) to Emmaville. (The sign doesn’t actually say Emmaville, but it should. It would make it easier on us knitblog groupies making pilgrimages to the Early Original Knitbloggers.) The ride to Emmaville was about half an hour, and then I walked from the station to Emma’s house–3 or 4 NYC blocks or so. I went the wrong way but luckily I was wearing the Conspicuous Pink Jacket so Emma spied me from her doorway and yoo-hooed at me. (It’s a little disorienting to be yoo-hooed at by someone who ordinarily yoo-hoos atcha by email.)
We hunkered down and talked nonstop for 24 hours. Pausing to ritually exchange yarns (it was my BIRTHDAY that week, y’all ) according to the Ancient Rites of Knitblog Sisterhood, to eat some paella and to sip some Cava (my BIRTHDAY was coming up, you know). There being a 6-year-old in the house, a major wing-ding was made to celebrate my UPCOMING BIRTHDAY. 6-year-olds think everyone should be hugely excited over their birthday. (48 year olds, not so much.) It was great fun. I got, in addition to amazing HipKnits silk yarn for my next Shawl Endeavor, an extraordinary beaded handknit, which soon will have a mate. (Are you knitting right now, Emma? How about now–is it done yet?)
The highlight, though, was a sunset Hippo-Guided Tour. Without further ado, I give you A Boy and His Hippo:
Oliver at the controls.
Here we go. Let me just say that Oliver likes to go FAST. Luckily there is a parental override setting so Allan could reset the maximum speed slow enough for the old folks to keep up.
Note the taillights are on. Allan noticed that Oliver had programmed the indicator lights to automatically blink as he turned left or right. Disbelieving, I said, are you sure he did it himself? Allan was sure–because he had no idea, himself, how to do it.
The great thing about being in the driver’s seat is that you can go where you want to go. Even if you want to go off-sidewalk. Oliver is a big believer in the longest distance between two points and the road less travelled. It’s more scenic that way.
What fun to get EXTREMELYCLOSE to a brick wall. The better to examine the shadows cast by the headlights.
In the gloaming, Oliver demonstrates one of the Hippo’s coolest tricks: making a boy VERY TALL.
My heart was (is! will always be!) very full at the thought that the online knitting community contributed so freely to the fundraising for this amazing buggy. (They still need a pricey gizmo for the car so that Oliver can get more use out of the Hippo, by the way, so Oliver’s Fund is still accepting contributions….just saying.) This machine opens worlds to Oliver. He is at the age of exploding independence. To see him driving such a complicated piece of machinery is nothing short of gobsmacking–but then, being a 6 year old boy, he could easily land a plane, I’m sure, given the chance to push buttons and wiggle thingies for a few minutes. Thank God for 6 year old boys and their steely determination to make stuff GO.
Okay, I’ve run out of time and/or energy and I’ve got LOTS of Loop photos to post. So I promise, TOMORROW.
Here’s a taste.
See ya tomorrow. I’ll yoo-hoo at you in person.
Love, Kay




  1. Oh, Kay, I just get misty-eyed over the Oliver-mobile, the impending book tour, the book which I don’t yet own, the Easter candy in that bowl in the yarn store window (robin’s eggs, anyone?), all of it. Will you just hurry up and come down here already?

  2. I love seeing all those pictures of Oliver in his Hippo! Thanks for posting them and good luck this week. I’ll be there in spirit!

  3. Do you know, if Oliver wasn’t so cute I could be offended that you made it to the north of England but not north of the border AGAIN ?! We don’t bite. Well, not much anyway ;0)
    Glad you had a good trip and waiting very impatiently for my copy of the tome. I like that word.
    Heather x

  4. okay so….kids are just so kids…special needs or no…..I love Oliver’s independence, his “extreme Behavior with brick walls”…having my own 12 year old I’d say O’s family must watch closely, jumps involving ramps are next…O’s thoughts: “I wonder how much air this thing can get if I….”
    Great Sharing

  5. Aw!
    And, happy birthday!

  6. Thank you for the wonderful photos of adorable Oliver.
    I can’t wait til next week when I get to yoo-hoo at both of you in person!

  7. Thanks for sharing your visit but, even better, pics of Oliver crusin’ the streets. How awesome is that?

  8. I’m all misy eyed as well. Finally got my pawson a book tiday. lovin; it.

  9. what a doll!
    i cracked, i gave in, i bought the book. it’s in the mail. my knitting library is oh so pitifully small so, you know, i NEEDED it. needed.

  10. I picked up your book friday. I took it bowling with my family and actually had to go out to the car between the first and second game to get it so I could look at it. I read the darn thing cover to cover. I LOVE IT!! I have made 3 dishrags. I put that darn sweater away (my first—I’ve started the first sleeve 3 times)and am really, really enjoying those colorful dishrags! Thanks so much for an awesome book.

  11. I’m seriously surprised your heart didn’t burst at the seams. Seriously.

  12. what a high-tech machine!…..hope it won’t need roll bars next….such a dune buggy!

  13. The Hippo is amazing. Oliver, who is even more amazing, seems to rapidly matering the helm. A few years from now can’t you just see him a Nascar Champ?

  14. What a grand, confident grin Oliver is sporting! Well done him!
    And are those your new specs? Be they working well for you? If not, I think you MUST add an Arizona stop to the tour so that I can check your peepers and you can enjoy the 75-degree weather and desert yarn stores….(bribe-bribe…)

  15. Happy Happy, I’m with Oliver (even though in the over-40 crowd), every birthday is a reason that you should do as you like and everyone MUST be nice to you!

  16. What a wonderful trip! I’m so glad Oliver is cruising around in that fantastic thing. Awesome.
    AND I’m so glad you girls are coming to D.C! I never imagined little ol’ me would have a chance to chat with so many great knitters with their own fantastic books. I hope you like it here, and that you get to see the Cherry Blossoms before they’re all gone.

  17. My own 6 year old LOVES Oliver’s masterati. What boy (including the 40+ age ones) would not like to have his own personal propulsion machine!
    We have a close friend who is 8 who has CP and the kids take turns riding on the back of her wheelchair–Molly always gets to drive though! Her older sister programs her talking computer to say rude things too (a big hit at parties!)
    DEFINITELY my fave part of Oliver’s machine is the way it can lift up so Oliver can be at eye level–or even taller–than other kids. World Domination!

  18. Your book has had the same effect on me that Kaffe Fassett’s “Glorious Knitting” did, way back in the dark ages of 1991 or so. It just makes my brain spin with project ideas! SO looking forward to seeing you at Knit Nouveau in mid-April. Knit on!

  19. I am entraced with Mason Dixon Knitting: The Book Edition. It is the first knitting book I have ever sat down and read all of. Ever.
    BUT, I have a question which will show the depths of my cotton naïveté. What is the difference between Peaches & Cream and Sugar ‘n Cream?
    Thank you for this clarification to the details of the ongoing cotton v. wool debate.

  20. My book arrived yesterday. I’m on the third reading. It is truly darling. I start my day with a cuppa and a read-thru of your blog. My best to you.

  21. Look at that book, sitting there, taunting me! I want one! Seriously, I cannot wait to read it. And that huge bowl of fibers! *sighing contentedly*

  22. ann & kay, together in new york? why, oh why can’t i be independently wealthy & able to just drop everything (oh, all right, all right, i’d bring zoé, just to show her off & let you cuddle her all you like…) & take the train to meet you there (without any rancour from SO over having to hold down the fort while i gallivant about on promises of yarn & fabulous projecks?) the things i would do. rich & exciting fantasy life, it is.

  23. Aw, that post made me all fuzzy and happy for their family. You are doing good things here. Bravo!

  24. Hiya –
    Just to say good to meet you at Loop on Sunday – I am now hooked on log cabin knitting! 🙂

  25. Got your book last week LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT!
    everytime i saw the next project i wanted to make it. And i love the little tidbits and stories! You guys did AWESOME! You must be so proud!!!
    Keep up all the great work!!!

  26. After reading through most of your archives (greatly enjoyable — nearly spewed my coffee all over my screen several times!), I am de-lurking to tell you: your book was reviewed in Parade Magazine this week!! (Favorably!)
    Congratulations and best wishes!

  27. wow, the Hippo is so incredibly cool! What great features, i bet Oliver loves it.


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