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


Dear Ann,
At last, I’ve been to Boston. This means I can no longer stun my fellow New Yorkers by telling them, “Would you believe, I’ve never been to Boston?” But it was worth it.
Boston is wonderful on many levels. As befits the cradle of the American Revolution, there are many fine National Park Service historical sites. The kids and I are on the same page about this: We [heart] monuments. They are going to move on, any day now, I’m sure, to the next stage of normal child development, which Dr. T. Berry Brazelton has described as “hating boring statues or commemorative plaques of any kind, particularly when forced to view them with one’s boring parents”. But at this moment, we are As One in our love of things like trudging up 294 steps to the top of the obelisk of the Bunker Hill Monument, or placing stones on Paul Revere’s grave, as if he were a departed friend we actually knew in life:
Paulie, we hardly knew ye!
It was a tender Thanksgiving. We usually spend this holiday at home, surrounded by casseroles assembled from a cornucopia of canned goods, but this year we had a wedding to attend in Cambridge. We were invited to spend the weekend with Hubby’s cousin, a son of Hubby’s wonderful Aunt Ruth. Ruth died on the last day of 2003, at what was, for her, the very young age of 86. We spent some time leafing through old photo albums, full of yellowing black & white photos and often rueful captions in Ruth’s emphatic hand. Here’s one I especially like:
Ruth (on the left, no hat) was in her teens, posing with her sister Eleanor. This photo is a postcard that they sent from England, where they were living, to their parents in Germany, where they could not return. Ruth always had the same fierce look in photos, unless she didn’t realize you were taking her picture. She usually realized you were taking her picture.
Being as how it was Thanksgiving, naturally there was yoga:
Ruth’s daughter-in-law Gail is a yoga instructor. Mats aplenty–enough for the whole family. Ruth was a physical therapist and into All Things Holistic. She was very proud of Gail’s yoga creds. Shallow thing that I am, I am considering yoga solely because I want to look like this in my 50s:
Since I didn’t look like this in my 20s, 30s, or 40s, I may need some Remedial Fixer-Upper Yoga.
As we were packing the car, they brought out these:
Ruth had left these at their house last Thanksgiving, with the request that they give them to Carrie and Joseph on New Year’s, which we had planned to celebrate together. That was So Ruth; the fierce glare was strictly for photographs and Republicans. We don’t know which one is for which kid, but we’ll figure that out. It will be fun to see what Ruth had picked out for them, if we can stand to open them.
Love, Kay
P.S. Knitting content? You say you want knitting content? Over the four days, I knit 2 dishrags and a strip for one of my Gee’s Bend Quilt Knockoffs, er, homages. In other knitting-related Mondo Bizarro News, as I was walking into the Ladies at a Service Area along Interstate 495 yesterday, who was walking out? Alison. Yes, THAT Alison! The same Alison who came to the Manhattan Sew-Up Bee, and whose knitting class I attended last Tuesday night as a Guest Helper-Outer. Alison was wearing a gorgeous, perfectly knitted and finished, Debbie Bliss bobbly jacket; I was not.




  1. FYI: There was a nice piece on Gee’s Bend on NPR last night (on All Things Considered, I’m pretty sure). There was a quote that made me think of you all, where one of the Pettways said they don’t sell so many quilts anymore, because now people see them and want to make their own.

  2. So which one is Ruth – left or right ? They both look a little fierce but she sounds great. (My very own version of Aunt Ruth was Aunt Peggy, also fierce on occasion. Many, many occasions actually :0))Is there a remedial fixer-upper yoga video I could get ? – I may need it just to fit into my frock for the party season never mind worrying about my look for the next decade.

  3. I hope that when you ran into Allison you were wearing SMOULDER, my personal bigbonegal production sweater!!
    Good to hear that you walked the Freedom Trail. Didja visit Newbry Street (as our fellow Bostonians say?) and find that new, new yarn store at the end?
    I know how much you miss Aunt Ruth. She is watching over you…especially when you do yoga!

  4. one of our favourite children’s books is “make way for ducklings” and at the end of the story, elliot always says, “i want to go to Boston.”
    i’m going to go try to find that NPR piece…

  5. What a co-inky-dink (as my dad would say) — I, too, spent Thanksgiving in MA and was in Boston on Friday night. Quite a trek for me, considering I’m living in southern CA at the moment. We spent much of our trip in Rhode Island and love-love-LOVED it! If you’re in the area or online, check out Sakonnet Purls (letsknit.com). Charming!

  6. I only meet cool knitting people by accident when they are wearing extremely cool knitted stuff and I am …well. Unwashed and braless.
    I love monuments too.

  7. Aw, I’m getting that Alexander Hamilton feeling again, imagining the scribe who wrote the text of your plaque. “May the youth of [sniff] today when they visit this old [sniffy] house be inspired with the [bwaaaah] patriotism of Paul [boooooohooooooooooooo] Revere.”
    Love this travelogue, especially the peek at Aunt Ruth, the inspirational young limberkinder, and my favorite–a chance meeting with a fellow knitter.

  8. …..precious little yoga-ites on the mats….i envision lots of giggling and collapsing during the headstands…….kay…you are the bestest mom!

  9. My mom became a Yoga Instructor around age 50. Go for it. She’s more flexible than I am at 24 ๐Ÿ™‚ And I do yoga, too, so yes, this is saying that my mother can sit in full lotus for long periods of time, no problem. Just so you know, she started in her early 40’s.


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