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February Is Shake Your Bon-Bon Month


Dear Kay,

January’s Get Rid of 50 Things a Day project was basically a success, in the sense that I feel better about 1,500 things not being inside my house anymore. It was not perfect, by any means–I never did go into the basement. I may never go into the basement. And the toy closet was a shattering reckoning I hope never to repeat.

But I did discover that I have pretty much a lifetime supply of books I haven’t read. If we would just read all the books in the house, we’d know a lot, including Today Is the Day: Biorhythms and You and my brother’s Classics Illustrated comic books. So much faster than actually slogging The Red Badge of CourageTwo editions of Uncle Tom’s Cabin—Clif was always a collector . . .

February is Dance Month around here. Why is it that after a certain age there are no places to dance except a kid’s bar mitzvah or a wedding? I figured out that my kitchen is working just great thanks to my Christmas present radio gizmo. NPR just posted its Cabin Fever Dance Mix, if you’re looking for a place to start. And Time Out’s “100 Greatest Songs for an Epic Party” is even better. Any playlist that includes this has got it right.


In knitting news, I finished my Knit Your Life sweater, which languished for so long on a chair that Kermit bit through the yarn and hid that last ball of Rowanspun for at least two months. It turned out well, though Kermit blocked the front portion to the point that the cables are smooshed. You can see the devastating effects of an 18-pound cat if you look at the sleeves, which didn’t appeal to him and therefore survived blocking with their dimensionality preserved:


It’s OK, really. He was so dead-set on claiming this sweater that I didn’t really begrudge him his nap on a damp handknit. Jerk cat.

Anyway, here’s the back. I really, really love Rowanspun DK for its cottony, semi-felted fluffitude. It is sadly discontinued, but it shall live on in this garment.


To recap, this is a highly modified version of Back Home in Vermont from The Natural Knitter. I A-lined the torso, cabled all over the thing in a totally random way, and changed the gauge. I made up the neckline edging of applied I-cord, and I would recommend this for any neckline. Clean and fun to make.


I’ll get my photographer to take a picture of me wearing this. I am wearing this thing all the time. It was really fun to make and satisfied my long curiosity about making a sweater with random cables. It made me really and truly GET what the stitches are doing when you make a cable.



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  1. Oh Kermit. Kermy, Kermy, Kermy. It’s a good job you’re so tolerant, Ann.

    Sweater looks beautiful!

  2. That’s just plain beautiful.
    And I love the idea of the shape – can’t wait to see how it works out on your body.
    And the yarn, and the stitches, and… it’s just lovely.

    Also, I was inspired by your 50-things-a-day in January, but I kind of ended up, um, making it through about 10 things a day for 2 days. But our medicine cabinet/linen closet/thing-y by the bathroom is a little cleaner now. 😉 Just couldn’t find the time, honestly, but I’m keeping the inspiration and trying to ditch, ditch, ditch.

  3. The sweater is wonderful. (And so is Marvin Gaye)

  4. Oh Ann, I love this sweater so much — what it is and how it got to be.

    When I get home from work I look forward to clicking the music links. Best not to here at the office; doesn’t take much to trigger my dance reflex. (I am about halfway thru the Oxford American’s Southern Music Issue. Love that too.)

  5. I suspect Kermit’s intense blocking assistance was to help impress upon the world what a critical part of your life his existence is. Or the damp sweater smelled like an interesting creature that he wanted to get to know. It’s a cat’s world, we just live in it. >^^<

  6. Love the sweater. Also, if you listened yesterday, they did James Brown, Get Up Offa That Thing. I was dancing in the car. I found some Classic Comics last week. I was so happy. I didn’t remember I had them and I put them back away.

  7. Kermit has clearly made an impression on your Life.
    I know I’ve said this (somewhere) before, but I really love that neckline with its nifty i-cord edge! And now I can say with equal fervor that I really love the entire sweater and can’t wait to see it in action, so to speak. Looking forward to pictures! Say, how about a dance shot?!
    You know, I would love to follow you and Kay around and photograph your knitting lives. Not being creepy…I’m a photographer. No, really.

  8. Classics Illustrated! My heart took a leap…. Back in the late ’40’s my Mum worked at the drugstore around the corner from our apartment and the very indulgent owner let me read my way through anything and everything. The CI’s were my regular favorite. I know, weird kid.

    Love love love the sweater. That sort of inspired randomness is beyond my reach. Can do the i-cord neck though and thank you for that.

    “…on the shores of Gitchygoomy (sp?), by the shining big sea water….” I mean, I was six.

    • I don’t know Classics Illustrated but they look fabulous. Mayhap they gave birth to this generations graphic novel?

  9. Gorgeous sweater!!

  10. Love it. Can’t wait to see it on.

  11. I want it

  12. Can I have it?

  13. Ah…”A-lined the torso.” My favorite phrase in the English language.

  14. The sweater is gorgeous! Can’t wait to see you modelling (and dancing??!!) in it. As for the snow, we got another foot yesterday. I am SO over winter (from Toronto, Canada).

  15. This post is so full of randomness – I love it! The freeform catching-up of it all….

  16. Great sweater, cat impressed and all.

    Can’t wait to get home to test the music! “Cabin Fever” is certainly relevant. I take it as good news that there is 6 more wks of winter-only 6? Great!

    As for random cabling-wasn’t there some boy’s sweater or something done already??? Only socks?

  17. Great job on a lovely sweater, Kermit’s contribution and all! The I-cord neckline is brilliant and will certainly solve some issues I’m sure to run into. “Cabin Fever” is much appreciated – we had 10.5 inches here in Columbus (this will sound wimpy, but a big snow for us is 4 inches).

  18. The sweater is amazing. I am loving grey yarn right now, dark grey, grey with pops of colour, grey with miles of cables.

    Thanks for the music links. Peppy music is an excellent antidote to cold cold winter.

  19. The NPR playlist is seriously the best thing in the world. I am not exaggerating. I will be listening to it on a never ending loop. You have made me very happy, the rest of my family not so much.

  20. Love the craziness of the cables and that crisp simple edging on the neck!

  21. Knit Your Life. Wow.

    Ann, I keep thinking about that title and the process that created your lovely sweater. The sweater “languished” on a chair for a while, status quo. You took a “given” (basic pattern), and made modifications according to what spoke to you, what made your heart sing. You made enough twists and turns (random cables), to ulimately “Get” how they worked. “Someone” sat on your “parade”, but even that was OK (good he didn’t rain on it). At the end of the day you had fun and you liked the outcome, enjoyed the fruits of your labor.

    I tell you, Ann, I wonder how my life would look if I took the risk to knit it.

    Knit on!


  22. I’m so happy to see this finished — it’s even better than I imagined it might be! Love love love.


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