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

Quality Time

Dear Ann,
I know you’re hung over, from the yarn-winding, the egg nog, the cosmic mind-melding with the leading lights of KnitWorld Chicago–or some nearly lethal combination of the three. So I’ll be brief. For me.
One of Emma’s super secret powers is the selection of greeting cards that accurately reflect and or predict the recipient’s life. Pictured above is the image from the Cath Tate card she sent me on the eve of my departure for Beautiful Nebraska, Peaceful Prairie Land.
Mind you, I grew up on the mean streets of North Omaha. (Yes! They were mean, those streets!) But after I left home, my folks moved to The So-Called Country.
On my walks, I take the KayCam, and a large stick to keep dogs from killing me. The cows are very interested when I go by.
I got an excellent amount of knitting done while Most Moisturized Mom was spending quality time with the kids. There were:
Hats for the hatless (here we see 2 of 3 that I made from single skeins of Noro Iro in my stash—doesn’t everybody go through their stash when they’re packing up to go to the airport during a transit strike? “Just a minute honey! Two more boxes –I’m drilling down to the Noro!”).
A little keyhole scarf in Touch Me. This project had been ripening in my UFO pile for more than a year. The yarn was a lovely gift from Elisabeth, who figured out that although the core is merino, it’s wrapped in a synthetic that I can wear. I really love this yarn, particularly the way it goes all vintagey with a hot wash and dry. I knitted up the last skein, and even though I couldn’t remember the needle size I had used on the first 2 skeins, it worked out Just Right.
Most Moisturized Mom enjoying her new scarf. MMM likes the fact that it is just the right size to slip under her Car Coat. Not too bulky or hot to interfere with driving to the Beauty Parlor in the MMMMobile, Patsy Cline and Neil Diamond wailing on the CD player. I already have some lavender Touch Me to make the Vintage Velvet scarf from Scarf Style. For undermoisturized, dry and flaky but ever-hopeful me.
Miracles of the Season
Christmas is a season of miracles, and this year was no exception. We had the miracle of 1970s angels, the miracle of the Holy Family being watched over by a snowman, and the most miraculous miracle of all, the miracle of Men Doing Dishes. In the 5 generations since Thomas Gardiner first landed on these shores, no Gardiner male has been able to identify that big white thing in the kitchen–you know, with the water in it? Every meal, the plates are clean again. “Cool,” say the Gardiner men, who, it may be said, lack curiosity. Imagine how I wept with joy when my brother said, ‘Sissy, you just sit there knitting and taking pictures of us, you big weirdo, we’ll dry the dishes.” Sure, I had to show them to the towels. But still. Credit where it’s due.
Gusset Department
Remember the Portly Dad Cardigan, aka the Dadigan? Well, over the past week, Portly Dad has had more fittings than a society bridesmaid.
As I had expected, gussets were desired.
First I joined all the raglan seams (and WOW does the Rowanspun Aran seam up beautifully–you wool-knitting people are definitely onto something). Then I picked up stitches along the edge of one side seam, and knit in moss stitch to the required measurement. Instead of binding off, I picked up along the opposite side edge, and then I did a 3-needle bind-off. Anything to avoid a seam! But I do think the 3-needle bind off makes a wonderful, flexible and sturdy seam. I did the same thing on the other side.
But now, how to make the sleeve fit into the enlarged armhole created by the gusset? I picked up stitches along the top of the side gusset, and knit a triangle.
Which I then joined into the sleeve seam.
Considering I was making all this up as I went along, it worked pretty well. Since Dad will always be wearing something like a flannel shirt under this cardigan, it needs a roomy fit. The gussets give the room where it’s needed, without affecting the fit of the shoulders.
Next up: Still More Christmas Knitting, in which I make 2 new versions of the Buttonhole Bag in honor of its glorious appearance on the cover of Spin Off magazine.
On the right, we have the 60 Gig, and on the left we have the Mini.
Stay tuned!
Love, Kay




  1. sounded like you had a lovely time ! is it me or have you been knitting almost exclusively with grey recently?

  2. Have you taken to running everything through a hot wash and dry? Welcome back Kay! xo

  3. The Dadigan came out beautifully, uncabled gussets definitely fit the bill. Happy New Year.

  4. Gosh, you and Ann are making me feel so guilty – I can’t believe all the FOs! I’m thinking of making some knitting resolutions for the new year, but I feel weak and helpless after seeing all your hats and scarves and the Dadigan!

  5. Kay, you crack me up. Have a great New Year’s Eve!

  6. Hey! Back from the Hinterlands, i see. Good stuff.
    Thanks for the gussetting tour. I’m all a-flutter with enlargement options for the Aunt-inator. If such things are required with moss stitching. We like how the gusset is a different texture. Textures are good. Textures that make the garment fit well are even better. Must investigate this further.

  7. Brilliant solution to the fitting problem! Thanks for the buttonhole bag pattern, too. Good job.

  8. what production! hope you tucked the den-M-bot in the suitcase, so as not to have any denim withdrawals…..love that cow!

  9. Good grief ! MMM must have been bathing in buckets of the stuff – either that or you’re really only 27 ? No ? Perhaps the country air ?
    Most impressed with the cow bravery. Ever since Scotty Jill told me about her friend being savaged by a cow, they make me kind of nervous. City girl me, what can I say ? !
    Very chic buttonholes too my dear :0)

  10. wows all around. loving that dadigan — brilliant seaming.
    happy new year — enjoy, enjoy!

  11. Fabulous solution for the Dadigan – can already tell that he’ll wear it to shreds. I now pronounce you an expert knitter. Construction solutions seem to be your forte.
    MMM has gorgeous skin,beautifully set off by that luscious scarf.
    You never know with cows !!!

  12. The dadigan works out really well!

  13. Iam sow impresst. You has been knitting a lot i see. I whis you a happy new year.Com and wisti my blog in Norway….and i has starte too write in english .

  14. I love the dadigan. I think the gussets make it a work of art.
    Did you know, that when your page first comes up on my computer, the walls in that room on the card look padded?

  15. Kay! I would lOVE LOVE LOVE the new patterns for the buttonhole bag. I complete two more of these this week while on vacation. I used lambs pride bulky with a noro mix and they came out beautifully. This buttonhole bag is becoming my signature birthday gift for girlfriends. Imagine my delight to shock them with an altered pattern…
    I’ll send you photos of the bags once they are felted.

  16. Little brother here. I love my hat, and it keeps my ears toasty warm. It goes well with my new scarf that…I can’t believe I’m saying this…I bought at a major dept store. I’m sure you will hear a big gasp across the land once all of your knitter-bugs read this. By the way, did you have to put a picture of me on your blog with bed-head doing the dishes, double chin and all? hehe. Knit me up something else to make up for it. Love ya!


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