Aw look! One pattern, 364 versions of the MDK New Ancestral Christmas Stocking.

What What

Dear Ann,
It seems that I’ve taken an unscheduled holiday from our beloved blog. The truth is, Real Life has been hopping. Hopping I tell you!
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The Dead Sea Highlighters have been excavated again, as somebody in our house will be called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah next month. The 6-8 weeks leading up to a bar mitzvah can really explode a person’s schedule. In fairness, they should throw in ordination at the end of the process, and give these kids a congregation. It’s deeply, strangely satisfying to see your child learn how to do something that you can’t do yourself. Like magic, the reading of Hebrew, the chanting of ancient scraps of melody, the interpretation of what it could mean. The passage Joseph is learning is a story of betrayal, prostitution and redemption in an extended family, in the time of Jacob. Definitely PG-13, which I suppose is appropriate.
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A non-knitting reader has written to inquire whether I am all right, because “you haven’t even blogged about RHINEBECK!” Here’s my blog about Rhinebeck: We had a fantastic time at Rhinebeck. I photo-tweeted the heck out of Rhinebeck. Here are some Instagram highlights.
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First thing in the morning, on the bus to the fairgrounds, I realized a major ambition when we met my most crushed-on contemporary quilter, Cauchy a/k/a Chawne. She appeared like a vision, slightly blurry as you can see, and then we all got off the bus and didn’t see each other again all day.
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We hung out with Gale and our Fussy Cuts blanket in the book barn, and met some of the wonderful designers from Gale and Joan’s new book, Craft Activism.
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One of those smashing designers: Ann Weaver, shown here modeling my version of her Albers Shawl. (I will talk, someday, about what happened to that shawl after Rhinebeck, involving the washing machine. It’s OK. It’s really OK.) (It’s not OK.)
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Also yakking away in the book barn, with Jane and Amy, was the lovely Clara Parkes, who sold out of her own new book, The Knitter’s Book of Socks. Which must have been frustrating, and also thrilling. But frustrating. It’s a wonderful book even if you don’t knit socks. If you do knit socks, prepare to plotz; this book’s for you!
Naturally, what with life swirling around me and all, it’s a good time to knit a dress. I saw this dress, Allegheny, on two people at Rhinebeck. Very different body types, and it looked abfab on both of them.
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Here, on the designer, Thea Colman. Stinkin’ cute, right?
As you know, Ann, I love a knitted dress. One of my signature 80s outfits was a Liz Claiborne (shut UP!) knitted dress with a Very Eighties Belt slung low on the hips, worn with 2-tone, kitten-heel slingbacks. The dress was fine-gauge, in a dove grey, with white and yellow dots the size of saucers. It enveloped me from collarbone to knee, but let’s just say the menfolk admired this dress. Why oh why did I let it go? Ever since, I have been a defender of the much-maligned Knitted Dress.
Allegheny is my first Shelter project. Shelter may convert my cottony soul to the cult of the sheep. So crisp! Such color! Although I have only progressed to the set-up row for the body of the dress, I feel 100 percent confident that this project is going to fly off the needles, and that I will be wearing it in December, with motorcycle boots and my cherished Missoni for Target tights. (Hoo. Chee. Mama.) Stay tuned for flying needles.
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Happy weekend all,
Kay

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31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. So right on the Bar Mitzvah. I was in awe that my kid could DO this, and do it well. I just sat there in amazement the whole time.
    I had a Liz dress in the 80’s. It was wonderful. Wish I still had the body that wore that dress!

  2. oh goodness, good luck with the bar mitzvah!
    it was an absolute honor to meet you and Ann and I hope to run into you again sometime soon. We really need to talk textiles. And Shelter. Mmmm…Shelter. it might be time for another blanket?

  3. Waiting eagerly for the story involving the washing machine. They are always so exciting.
    I once spent quite a bit of time knitting a skirt. Aran white, vertical cables, two pieces sewn into a tube. I looked like a Doric column and ultimately opened one side seam and transformed it into a baby blanket.

  4. Oh geez, I was in the middle of writing what I thought was an amusing comment about knitted dresses and how just because you knit it doesn’t mean you’re going to look like the person in the photo of the dress but then my finger must have brushed against the touch pad and lost the darn thing (unless it shows up too).
    Thea Colman looks excellent and I’m sure you looked fabulous in your knitted dress. To me knitted dresses are like a well staged house for sale. You think that if you buy the house you will have the life that clearly goes with the sunny, organized but not too uptight successful vibe. If you wear the sexy dress you will be sexy.
    BTW, I think those Missoni for Target tights are amazing. I’m saving mine for the perfect outfit. Perhaps I should join you and knit a dress. I can’t see so well anymore anyway and I no longer really care what anyone else thinks. Except of course for my teenage children.
    No dress.

  5. I’m crushing on just about everyone in this post! Wish I could get in the twitter groove…

  6. All good, all good. But I’m also loving that Mary de B just made a Doric column/knitting joke. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

  7. I too once had a beloved knitted dress, but it was in the 60’s not the 80’s, when I was younger, slimmer and, arguably, beautiful — at least more beautiful than I am now. I did not get rid of it. It is in the cellar, probably getting eaten away by moths. Come to think of it, it was Missoniesque with Christmas red and green zigzag stripes. I wonder if one of my daughters would wear it, now that Missoni is all the thing again?

  8. I love knitted dresses too. After maligning knitted skirts for many years, I’m even thinking about knitting one.

  9. Who said you can’t do this too! I became Bat Mitzvah at the age of 52, and even though I had learned Hebrew as a child, I never read from the Torah until then. The experience was incredible and extremely spiritual. Go for it.

  10. Mazel Tov on the Bar Mitzvah and especially on being the Bar Mitzvah Mom. Such a big back stage job, but the payoff is unmatched. I love that day, when you stop and celebrate your child and all that they are and will become. Enjoy! Relish it! L’Chiam! Get up in that chair and woot!

  11. I see our youngests are the same age. My Harry’s Bar Mitzvah was in September. http://colleenstitchesintime.blogspot.com/2011/09/what-proud-me.html
    Yep, proud! And this child, for complicated reasons, wtote his d’var Torah in limerick! The Hebrew School director asked for a copy, to show other families whose kids were struggling, to prove it needn’t be boring, nor even in any form you ever considered!
    And it is sooooooooo cool to see your kid get up there and blast through all that Hebrew! We get to do it again, in September, since I volunteer my kids to read at the high holy days, the year after their B’nai Mitzvot, to prove that they really did learn how ;-). On Rosh Hashannah, our Rabbi reads Bereishit (In the Beginning) for the family service, and two of my older kids got to do it! I’m hoping this one will, too!

  12. Hoo chee Mama indeed! Wearing that on the bima, are we?? I love the ta da picture of us. It’s like a RonCo ad for InstaKnitting colorful blankets or something.

  13. Love my target tights. And, mazel tov on the bar mitzvah. Can’t wait to see the dress.

  14. What an exciting time! Can’t wait to see your Allegheny. I love me a knitted dress, too. Oh, yeah, baby.

  15. oh, bar mitzvah prep … though in my day we couldn’t do it “on-line!” Buying Sunkist fruit gems to through at him???
    and I, too, had a knitted dress — a cheap one (maroon) and a dressy one — yellow, cowl neck, worn with a green-ish blue belt on the hips — bought it on sale from some French knit store near the Seaport, supported in the purchase by my friend, who said “buy it!” It is still in a box somewhere … I felt so chic. Pre-kids, of course.

  16. Congratulations on the bar mitzvah!
    I have never knitted one, but I own a wonderful vintage one that fits like a glove. Luckily, I am a rower so can wear it without too much worry about pouchy stomach or other issues. I am thinking about knitting a skirt, but the patterns never seem to show where they hit on one’s body. I am not up for a hip-slung skirt.
    The image of a Doric column is vivid (and as my husband would say) classic.

  17. If you want to knit a dressy/skirty type thing, and a dress is too daunting (it was for me), I whole-heartedly recommend the Lanesplitter skirt as seen at knitty.com. I’ve made two. They are super fast, easy-peasy, yet not boring whatsoever.

  18. I admire anyone who can wear a knitted dress, much less make one! I just want to say that your search engine is excellent; I am starting a sweater that was featured in Interweave Knits, Winter 2010, and remembered that Ann had mentioned it; I found the post easily and now think that the sweater may be more of a challenge than I had thought, but will give it a go anyway.

  19. I think I couldn’t love you people any more and then….you write another post. Thanks!

  20. Congratulations/Mazel Tov to Joseph! There is very much good in this post, and I am happy to see you back.
    However, one teeny-tiny thing. It’s babydoll-sized, really. You didn’t post any photos of the Olde English babydoll Southdown sheep, so I had to google them myself(!) And when I did….awwww-dorable! And for mega-maxi-sweetness, add “lambs” to the search terms and click on images. Oh, the cuteness! : )

  21. Good luck on the Bar Mitzvah! Being the good friend of the mom of a Bat Mitzvah girl was almost too much for me, so I really admire you! ;-)
    And I had totally forgotten about the knit dress I had around 1990 – gosh, it was cute! I don’t think it would look so great on me now, though… But good luck with your Allegheny – I keep admiring it on Thea’s blog, too!

  22. I had been wondering about the wisdom of my buying the pattern for Allegheny to be knit for myself. Thanks for the reassurance! Of course being an entire dress, it’s not going to happen for another year — by which time something else will no doubt come along. Hopefully your pic will keep my resolve. Although the body top shown is a long way from mine!

  23. Body TYPE.

  24. Best wishes to you and Joseph. Thanks for the link to Completely Couchy which led to more fabric art links!

  25. I love my knitted skirt, though I need to sew in a slip to improve its longevity. I might need to make another one with less stockinette.

  26. Hoo chee Mama’s of the world unite!!! (I’m sexy and I know it!)

  27. enjoy all these milestones, kay,…..and be proud!

  28. mazel tov to your son kay we have all grown older
    with your family have we not
    gales book is a tresure i am proud to have one
    and meet all the people in our virtual lives
    perhaps a mitered plaid jacket might be nice
    to go with you knitted dress

  29. Your very full plate sounds wonderful, Kay. Just came by to see what’s going on but did not want to leave without best wishes for Joseph and his bar mitzvah.
    Knit dress…hmm, did that in the 1960s. Red wool worsted from that place on lower east side long gone. Ribbed, turtleneck, had it lined! True life: too hot to wear unless one went to Ivy football games. Not I.
    Why do I sense a connection between dress knitting and the idea of your own bat mitzvah? love, n

  30. Wishing you all the best as you’re planning for next month’s bar mitzvah!
    Thanks for the great Rhinebeck pics.
    My life’s (current) great mystery is: I’m wondering why I didn’t see this 11/11 entry until 11/15, since I’ve been checking regularly for new posts for since the 9th? “Mysteerio promeeta” (as my yia yia–grandma–would say), eh?
    BTW, I just got that book “Craft Activism”, and am thrilled that I did. As always, thanks for the inspiration!
    LoveDiane

  31. I had the same hilighting when I had my bat mitzvah. I lived by the tape the rabbi made. do they still make tapes? perhaps CD’s? MP3s?