For the look of Relax in a worsted weight yarn, take a look at Worsted Boxy.

Tour Bus Omnibus

Dear Ann,
I’m having that end-of-semester-and-I-haven’t-started-my-term-paper feeling. So much bloggage, unblogged. Think of this barrage of photos as a big stack of 3×5 cards about the Politburo, copied one after the other on my portable Smith-Corona typewriter with the burnt orange keys and the bad habit of spontaneously shifting into capitals. A term paper overflowing with random disconnected tidbits from the Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature.
Seattle. We Were In Seattle.
I feel quite certain that we were in Seattle. About 8 years ago.
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This handknit graffito was right in front of our parking space when we visited Stitch, a sweet shop that evokes ye olde General Dry Goods stores. It has an eclectic, up-to-date selection of quilting and sewing fabrics, and also yarn! And also friendliness!
Guerilla Knitting Tip
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If you’re planning to tag a No Parking sign yourself, take note of the plastic ties used to hold that knitting ON.
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Our event at the University Bookstore was attended by Seattle’s most fun knitters, including Esteban, Jaci’s entry in Teeny Project Runway. (I am starting to hold out hope that someone will show up with one of our Taxidermy Division finalists.)
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We managed to squeeze in a quick and dangerous stop at the celebrated shop Tricoter, represented here by a part of its button selection. The trunk show from Gina Wilde’s beautiful book, Shibori Knits, happened to be in residence, which meant that I got into a bit of trouble with the Alchemy Haiku. I think you lost a fight with some Handmaiden (sea-something).
New York Minutes
Thursday night found us blinking our sleepy eyes in my very own LYS, Knitty City. Surrounded by pals old and new.
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Naomi brought her Project Runway entry, which was a hen (of course) toting a condom amulet (of course).
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Here’s Omar, stopping in to get a book signed for his sis Zen. We try to document acts of loving kindness from siblings, spouses and children of knitters who can’t make it to an event. I get all choked up thinking about devoted non-knitters sitting through a juicy, lengthy chat about Fair Isle and top-down, just to be nice to their knitter.
Lunchtime in the Winter Garden
On Friday, knitter and teacher extraordinaire Ina Braun invited us to sit ‘n knit with a group of charity knitters at the Winter Garden in the World Financial Center.
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The In The Loop group couldn’t have been nicer. Everyone was knitting socks, hats and mittens for Christmas at Sea, a charity for merchant seamen. The charities vary, but the group meets regularly and always knits for a cause. If you’re in the area, sign up for their newsletter here. Ina teaches techniques that relate to the projects, currently focusing on socks.
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Josephina (Ina’s contribution to Teeny Project Runway) was there. We admired her in every detail, from entrelac cardi to perfectly fitted fingerless mitts. I also learned a neat trick from Ina. I was trying to knit triple stranded yarn according to a quick & thick hat pattern that called for #19 needles, but I only had #10 needles. After 10 rows or so, I could see that I was not anywhere near gauge, and my fabric was stiff as a board (big surprise). I ripped it out and went back to my non-charity knitting, thinking I had no choice. Ina told me that I could easily solve my problem by working a yarnover between every stitch on the RS, and then dropping the YOs on the WS, thus enlarging the stitches to somewhere near the gauge I would have gotten on those #19s. DUH! It seemed so obvious once she pointed it out to me, but I never would have figured it out. There is good reason to knit with others. It’s educational.
Purl Soho
Friday evening found us at Purl Soho, a mini-mecca. A dozen people, maximum, fit inside Purl, heightening the religious experience of being there. The trick was to keep everyone circulating. (I may have circulated myself a few doors down to Purl’s patchwork store. Just to make sure everything was all right in there.)
purlman.jpg
This guy came in, all sweet-like, to get his mom a book. We fell over ourselves congratulating him on his consideration and kindness and what a good–and by the way, handsome–son he was. “She called me 3 times to remind me,” he said. Way to follow instructions! Still excellent, son-wise! Purl girls Leah and Fay are lovely hostesses and we had a fab time.
Revelation: As Knitters, We Suck
What is there to say about the alternate universe called Rhinebeck aka the New York Sheep and Wool Festival? It’s sensory overload. It’s realizing that (a) you are among your people, (b) your people knit a TON, and (c) your people knit really, really well. As much as you think you knit? They knit more. One resolves to knit more, and wear more handknits, and generally try harder to earn one’s place among them.
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This is a day to cast aside the notion of “too many” handknits. Wear ‘em all. Wear ‘em proud. Wear ‘em loud. (This refreshing handknit cocktail brought to you by Jenn.)
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Bringing a loved one? Well…OK…but make sure he’s got a handknit on. Jeez, do we have to spell it out for you?
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Ideally, you should be a sea of your favorite color, as Chante demonstrates.
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The Belinda Wrap Twins tried to hide themselves, ashamed of their low handknit density. “We’re hideous! We’re hideous!” (I would like to give special recognition to the knitter who saw my wrap and said, “Trance! And Jelly!” Trance and Jelly are the shades of Rowan Kid Silk Haze in the Belinda Wrap I was wearing.)
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Sometimes you’d come across someone standing in the crowd, knitting. Just to take the edge off, I suppose.
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Sign of the times.
I bought no yarn. Zero. Zip. Nada. My economic stimulus package involved Fiber Arts, Other.
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So far, the rug hooking is going a lot better for me than a past year’s sashay into Shirret. (I tried but failed to Shirret. Maybe it was the Shiraz.) I could get seriously addicted to the simple, homely craft of hooking rugs. My first project is a ruglet in the cat’s paw pattern, which reminds me of Kaffe Fassett’s Persian Poppies. I don’t know what one does with a ruglet. I don’t really care. I’m a process rugger.
Final observation: Wasn’t it crushing, when we stopped at a rest stop on the way home, and suddenly noticed that people were wearing polar fleece instead of handknits? The movie of life went from color to black & white. Why can’t the real world be more like Rhinebeck? Look at the pictures. There’s your proof: handknits make people happier and more attractive.
Ann, feel free to chime in with your photos. I’m going to go collapse in a heap now. And maybe hook a little.
Love,
Kay

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61 Comments

61 Comments

  1. It was a mad busy weekend, and I’m bummed that I missed seeing you guys. It was certainly a wonderful weekend for woolies, though, wasn’t it?

  2. Wow – I’m kind of exhausted just scrolling through your trip – that Rhinebeck sure is something! I can’t wait to see how the ruglet turns out – you have that Kaffe book don’t you? How long do you think it will take?

  3. That’s an impressive post. I’m tired just reading it! You’ve had waaaaay to much fun in the last week. I was trying to remember when I saw you in PDX; it feels like a long time ago. It was one week today.
    That is an awesome hint from Ina on the gauge deal. I’m going to have to remember it. The button wall sent shivers down my spine.
    And whoever you are in that orange sweaster and yellow mitts and green scarf? You rock!

  4. Rhinebeck really is THAT impressive, isn’t it? It was my first time (and it was great seeing you and thank you for signing my book and stamping your faces into it…and that last bit sounds really odd) and I was completely overwhelmed. Not so overwhelmed that I didn’t by yarn though…or fiber…or books…lol.

  5. The orange sweater, yellow fingerless gloves, and green scarf immediately brought to mind a New England Fall foliage tour!
    Mary G. in Texas

  6. Good thing your overload of photos and fun doesn’t prevent you from prioritizing the Hot Young Guys Who Are Allegedly Related to Knitters that you two seem to be attracting. What is UP with that?

  7. Love the ruglet. No idea what you’ll do with it, though. Just how big is a ruglet? x x

  8. Every hen needs one…

  9. KAy!
    I wish I could have gone to RHinebeck but it just wasn’t in the cards.
    and…
    I am a hooker too! But I use yarn! Lots of yarn!
    Janet

  10. I don’t know why, but I got chocked up when I read this particular post — maybe because I couldn’t be there? Someday…. PROBABLY, though, because I think knitting is such a great hobby, and it’s wonderful to see people wearing all of that hand knitting, and I’m so glad I found knitting (or did knitting find me?) Thanks for sharing the pictures of the knitted wondrousness! Knitters rock!

  11. Got all verklempt [and a wee bit jealous] at that wall of buttons, and then a bit giggly when I realized that the bin of dark ones looked a bit like Cookie Monster’s eyes.

  12. I LOVE your rug hooking project. I never…I mean, I…Where did you…How is it…? Gosh, so many questions. Maybe do a small post about that one day, hrmn?
    It goes without saying I’m jealous of your time at Rhinebeck. Great post!

  13. As I’m sitting here in my Clapotis, I’m wanting to ditch it for a Belinda Wrap! That thing, even in the most casual of settings, is to die for!
    Love all the photos. Reminds me that while you all are knitting rock stars, you’re still regular folk.

  14. yea, my son took direction, I wasn’t really sure that he was going to go (hence the 3 calls) especially since his times at purl with me were of him sitting in the chair by the window (im)patiently waiting for me to make my purchases. But when I suggested the book could be his Christmas gift to me he was excited about the prospect and guess what he told me, I would have to wait till then to receive it. “Hey ma, I got it and the store was only 4 blocks from my office.” Talked my ear off after he left the store, as a young man of few words Mason and Dixon made quite an impression on him. And thank you for “handsome” I think so, too.
    ps his granny knits “warshrags” by the dozen and when I told him he has a genuine warshrag he said, really…….yes really.

  15. yea, my son took direction, I wasn’t really sure that he was going to go (hence the 3 calls) especially since his times at purl with me were of him sitting in the chair by the window (im)patiently waiting for me to make my purchases. But when I suggested the book could be his Christmas gift to me he was excited about the prospect and guess what he told me, I would have to wait till then to receive it. “Hey ma, I got it and the store was only 4 blocks from my office.” Talked my ear off after he left the store, as a young man of few words Mason and Dixon made quite an impression on him. And thank you for “handsome” I think so, too.
    ps his granny knits “warshrags” by the dozen and when I told him he has a genuine warshrag he said, really…….yes really.

  16. I want to comment on everything but most of all: we were saying the same thing in our booth. Why can’t the real world like this?? Why can’t everyone wear handknits all the time? The whole family and the dog (if there had been pets allowed, I’ll bet there would have been dog sweaters galore.)
    It was very nice to meet you there at the book table. Thank you for my bookplate. :)

  17. I want to comment on everything but most of all: we were saying the same thing in our booth. Why can’t the real world be like this?? Why can’t everyone wear handknits all the time? The whole family and the dog (if there had been pets allowed, I’ll bet there would have been dog sweaters galore.)
    It was very nice to meet you there at the book table. Thank you for my bookplate. :)

  18. did you see the hooked rug booth at Rhinebeck? I’d never seen anyone hook rugs, and the woman very kindly gave us an introductory demonstration, at 6pm on Saturday. Fascinating. (If only there were more hours in the day!)
    I can’t wait to see you tonight in BROOKLYN!!!

  19. Can you tell me anything about your hooking? Was it a kit? Please tell!

  20. Hooking!! Now there’s the one thing that I always wanted to try but haven’t (yet). Looking forward to seeing more of that.
    Looks like October has been a ton of fun!

  21. Rhinebeck was fun, wasn’t it? Can’t remember if I was the one who knew Trance & Jelly (I certainly did, being a complete KSH addict) but I appreciated seeing the scarf in person. I can’t wait to find the perfect pairing for mine. And thanks again for the chat on hand quilting. I’m looking into learning that rocking motion.

  22. Shirret! I’ve been knitting, admittedly off and on, for 40 years but had trouble teaching myself shirret. I so wanted to learn because I love the little rugs my grandmother made with the shirret technique. (Why oh why didn’t I think of asking my gma to show me how before she died? She gave me lots of time to think of it since she lived past the age of 98!) I wonder if there’s an online shirret community?

  23. Shirret! I’ve been knitting, admittedly off and on, for 40 years but had trouble teaching myself shirret. I so wanted to learn because I love the little rugs my grandmother made with the shirret technique. (Why oh why didn’t I think of asking my gma to show me how before she died? She gave me lots of time to think of it since she lived past the age of 98!) I wonder if there’s an online shirret community?

  24. Yes, and yiphaw sista, hand knits DO make people happier and look better! So succinct. So true. I feel a zen moment coming over the room.
    Additionally, if anyone could cure my ignorance, what is the pattern for that awesome pull-over the man is wearing in picture “Bringing a loved one?”
    simpsovj atta yahoo dawht com
    (Note, it would be my extreme embarrassment if it were that the man knitted the wrap for the woman. I’m all about equal opportunity. So my apologies if otherwise.)

  25. Great job with the photojournaling! (Did I spell that correctly?)
    P.S. Come to Texas.

  26. Ah, you will get sucked into the rug hooking as easily as the quilt making and knitting. At least you tried Shirret. I’ve had my “Shirret tool” for a few years now and give it a passing glance, then swiftly move to the rigid heddle loom calling to me louder and louder with each passing day. Back to my remaining hooked pumpkin pillow and thanks for the lovely walk through your travels. NC’s fiber festival is this weekend in Asheville so I am revved and ready to go.

  27. Some of the hand knit photos make me want to knit a kimono based on the color patterns from the Heian period. Wow. It’s a veritable sea of color!

  28. Now I have to go get out that rug hooking project. My ruglet is small enough to be a pillow cover. I like it but the fear of Another Stash slowed me down. Where would I put it??? I also knew I didn’t want to get too involved in pillow making, so that meant actual rug making–big project, long time with it sitting around in process.
    Gerrie in StPaul

  29. Cripes, in my efforts to avoid the masses, I sure feel like I missed out on a lot. I didn’t feel deprived when I left there, but somehow your photos make me long for a do-over.
    At least I got to mingle with you guys for a few precious minutes. I would have thrown myself under a steam-roller if I had missed out on that.
    Loving my Cousin Jenn’s taste-tingling handknit cocktail. :D

  30. “Trance! And Jelly!” — love that. oh, to have weekends in my year where i can fondle yarn and have heated discussions about techniques without people dear to me looking like i’m off my rocker. looks like you had a fab time! xo

  31. Va, I believe the gray pullover is Saranac, from Knitty (http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer05/PATTsaranac.html)… although it could be a case of over-enthusiastic mistaken identity, since I’ve never before seen an real live (or, photographed live) FO from one of my patterns in the wild, unless I knew the knitter personally.

  32. Hey, there I am with Esteban the Sloth! Had a great time meeting you lovely ladies last week. Hopefully next time the bookstore will have a better idea of how many knitters there really *are* in Seattle!
    Now I am going to quietly die of jealous over all the Rhinebeck photos :)

  33. Great to see you in Seattle. Next time, I’ll bring homebrewed beer (Belgian White, perhaps?)
    But I have come to the distressing realization, that I don’t have enough of my own handknits to properly adorn myself for a fiber festival. Must get into some selfish knitting!

  34. This was my first time at Rhinebeck, and everyone should go at least once. It was sensory overload, yarn and fiber as far as the eye could see. Of course the fact that I had taken the red-eye from San Francisco, driven up from the airport, only eaten an apple crisp and had five cups of coffee, could have also contributed to the crazy feeling. It was so nice to meet you both, and really, I was not stalking. Thank you again for siging my books. Please try to come out to California, we do knit and I promise I will either stick with tea, or at least decafe.

  35. Hey, my son lives in Manhattan? Why didn’t I think of sending him to get me a signed book?
    ::scurries off to see if there are any more Manhattan-based book signings::

  36. Thanks so much for the despatches from the book tour and sorry to have missed your Rhinebeck appearance. My sister and I went on Saturday and, after committing to a major sisterly knit-along (we both succumbed to Hanna Falkenberg), we collapsed in sensory overload and had to depart for the non-knitterly universe of Pine Plains. As a newly returning knitter — who just unearthed a partially finished Rowan extravaganze from the early 1990s — she couldn’t manage a second day. But I agree: the profusion of handknits was a major treat.

  37. I’m so jealous of your trip to Rhinebeck! Someday when my ship comes in, maybe. :) Looks like a fantastic time.

  38. Can I confess to a little jealousy ?
    So many gorgeous knitters in beautiful handknits – you two included. Gorgeous !
    I like the look of your Kaffe inspired rug. Hook on !

  39. Thank you for coming to Seattle.
    You two are adorable!

  40. oh, i love hearing about your yarn travels out west!
    you must tell me though where you got the yellow purse you are toting Ann–it is great!

  41. oh, i love hearing about your yarn travels out west!
    you must tell me though where you got the yellow purse you are toting Ann–it is great!

  42. It was great meeting you both. Last year I only had on a pair of handknit socks so I learned my lesson and piled on the green knits this year!

  43. Holy Cow! You are adding rug hooking to your repetoire.That is way T O O much fun. Now you will have to store quilt fabric, yarn and beautifully dyed wool that you will cut up in little pieces.
    I am bummed that I missed rhinebeck…I grounded myself because I had too much stuff to do at home…blagh NEXT YEAR I am going no matter what!
    meredith

  44. I, too, would love to learn more about this rug. Right now shoulder problems are preventing me from knitting so I’m looking into new things that might work. Do you have links for this project? Thanks. Loved the travelogue. Wish I’d been along for the ride.

  45. i love all the colorful knits
    thank you for the fun posting
    tis nice to see all the ladies
    who post comments on your page
    lovely fun group and my goodness
    so many hookers the crisis must
    be worse then i think it is

  46. Condom Amulet ! how wonderful. Wish i’d thought of that. That’s what everyone needs ! condom amulets!

  47. Rug hooking?!?! Bwa-hah-hah-hah!!
    We’ve got you in the dark side now!!
    Seriously, I lead a hugely conflicted life – should I spend an hour this evening knitting or hooking? It is a question I must ask myself daily. Around here (St.Louis, MO) we even have a group of “hookers” that meets weekly.
    At least it’s all yummy, warm, fibery wool no matter which way I choose today!

  48. Thanks for a taste of Rhinebeck – hope the book-signing went well!
    LOVE the citrus-blend outfit. I still marvel at the way yarn so often looks edible. (Or is that just me?) and I think you interpreted that Standing Knitter perfectly. She looks so centered, so quiet. So knitting-y! (Plus I really like her sweater.)
    Ina’s tip is *fantastic*!!!
    And I’ve been wanting to try rug-hooking as a winter project for years, but your photo is so inspiring (if I saw it in person, I’d be reaching for the hook and saying, “Oooh, may I try?”) this may be The Winter. And with two cats, I know exactly what a ruglet is for :)

  49. Hello
    In the photo with the KSH wraps is one of you wearing Smoulder a Kaffe Fasset design from Rowan 31?
    Philippa, Surrey, England

  50. oh to have been there with you, to see the handknits and the wovens and the hooked rugs. Oh to have seen the colors and smell that sweet smell of wool all around. It fills us all with longing to have been there. But some of us have to resort to lives lived through the eyes and words of others. Thanks for sharing.

  51. Okay, I must know about the orange sweater in the “too many handknits” picture. What a cute design! Is there a pattern?? I must know! I’m stalking the handknit.

  52. I missed you guys coming to seattle….totally forgot which day it was and realized too late :(
    Glad you enjoyed tricoter…so many people have had such negative experiences there (me included) that it’s good to see their customer service improved.
    Next time you’re in the area, you have to go to Village Yarn and Tea. Definitely.

  53. I missed you guys coming to seattle….totally forgot which day it was and realized too late :(
    Glad you enjoyed tricoter…so many people have had such negative experiences there (me included) that it’s good to see their customer service improved.
    Next time you’re in the area, you have to go to Village Yarn and Tea. Definitely.

  54. It was great to see you at Rhinebeck. I’m already cataloging my stash for projects I can make from the new book.
    If you ever record another song, I’ve had a title kicking around for awhile that I’d like to suggest, “Even My socks are Singles (the knitters lament).”
    I’d love it if you could make it to Boston some time, but I’d wait until the baseball season had faded from memory…

  55. It was so great meeting both of you at Rhinebeck and then again at the Brooklyn Library.
    I love love love the newest book and can’t wait to cast on – the coats! the sweaters!
    Rhinebeck is definitely the high point in my year – and you two made it better!
    Lisa

  56. that knitter taking the edge off by knitting…I would KILL for that sweater she is wearing. Any ideas what pattern it is?

  57. hey Ann and Kay,
    enjoyed your chat in Rhinebeck on Sunday afternoon (and the chair I sat in for the 1/2 hour)
    you were amazing and so was the Festival.
    I posted some info (and a picture of you two chatting with us and more of the Festival ) on my blog too.
    http://workingwritingwoman.wordpress.com
    my best to you both.
    Elaine

  58. It was so much fun to meet both of you!!

  59. I saw some trees with handmade sweaters when I was in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. The trees were outside a now defunct yarn shop. But these sweaters were actually sewn up on the trees. One of the sweaters even had a flower knitted on it. My 3yo daughter decided the trees must be cold and that’s why they had “fancy” sweaters.
    I don’t know where we were exactly. I was visiting my sister and cannot for the life of me remember what street we were on. I should email her and find out. So if you ever get to Chicago, you can find the sweater trees.

  60. It was so nice meeting you Ann, and seeing you again Kay, last weekend. I’m glad you came to hang out (even though as the night went on, my brain and conversation got duller and duller. Baby brain is ugly these days.)
    Ann, I’ve taken your advice and worked hard on my waddle. I’m happy to report it has worked like a charm…

  61. I also found a sign post with knitting on it in Chicago, I didn’t think to look around on the other side to see how it was attached but assumed it was knitted right on the pole in the round, very weird though, soon all sign post’s accross the country will have there very own socks