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

Girls Gone Mild

Dear Kay,
Apparently the National Trust for Scotland has received 1,000 applications from people who want to move to Fair Isle. The vast majority are from people living in the U.S. Our woman in London, Belinda (bless her!), sends this latest report from the BBC4 program “You and Yours” aka “Those Americans Are Nuts.” Click on the “Listen Again” button. The Fair Isle report starts at 10:58 into the show.
I have unearthed a transcript of the first meeting as the culling process began:

Mr. McDonough: Gentlemen, we have a large task on our hands. When have we ever had a thousand people wanting to move here? Not since the shipwreck of the Armada flagship El Gran Griffon in 1588 have we had this much media attention. We must choose carefully.
Mr. McHugh: Och aye, Duncan. So many people. So many Americans. What are they thinking?
Mr. McGregor: What does this mean? [sounds of paper rustling] “If I don’t get out of this place, I’m going postal.”
Mr. McHugh: DEFINITELY call her. Lachlan has been dreadful about getting the mail on the ferry in time.
Mr. McGregor: Here’ a knitter. She’s asking if we have wi fi. [hoots of laughter] We’ve barely got fi, missy.
Mr. McDaniel: This one wants to start a yarn shop. [more hoots] As IF we need any more of THAT around here. Shall we all agree straight off that the whole knitting thing has got to stop, and stop now?
[sounds of assent, one “hellyeah” and one “enough with the freakin’ stranded handknits”]
Mr. McKelvin: This one keeps going on about Virginia Woolf and a room of one’s own and how she thinks Fair Isle represents some sort of Camelot for overwhelmed women.
Mr. McOwen: Bleh! Can’t stand that pretentious b.s. Chuck that one.
Mr. McFraser: What about this? It’s a group of some kind–are they dancers? Have you seen this video they sent? “Girls Gone Wild–Spring Break Cancun”? These are finalists, if you ask me.
Mr. McLeod: We’ve got but two houses to let, man. That’s at least two dozen lassies there.
Mr. McHugh: Right you are. We move on.

An EVENT in Manhattan!
You are all cordially exhorted to attend a knit-in/read-in/loiter-in next week. A group of contributors to KnitLit the Third is going to be reading their pieces at Coliseum Books, 11 West 42nd St., on Wednesday, Oct. 26. from 6:30-8 pm. Among the talented folks scheduled to appear, Kay is going to be reading the piece about us. Hope you can all come.
Future Search
In a minute, in a minute! Right this second, I have a gaggle of knitters headed toward the house in 24 minutes, and let’s just say that the twelve pounds of Star Wars Legos need to find a new home other than the floor of the den. Must preserve that illusion that our floor is toy free at all times.



  1. I’ll be there Wednesday – but Kay? Can you arrange to read early in the evening? I’ve got tickets to Wicked and need to be there by 8. Georgie just sprung them on me. I’m missing the corporate wife at dinner routine so I can be with you, though. Thanks! I owe you one! πŸ˜‰

  2. Oh and do I need to bring the camera? πŸ™‚

  3. Ann, I laughed and laughed! Never thought you’d put the link on the blog, or even blog about it! x x x x

  4. I have been dreaming of that place since I first heard the piece on BBC – It looked so peaceful and quiet….and so far from my laundry room. Just the place for me.

  5. Kay! It’s me or Cara. I need you to read later. I have a longer way to come in, after all!! But likely you’ve got nothing to do with the scheduling, or that’s what you can tell me when you choose incorrectly.

  6. Cara, Valentina, swee-TEES (that’s an AbFab reference), I am lucky they are letting me read at this thing at all, since TECHNICALLY I didn’t write anything in KnitLit3. (Well, it’s not so much a technicality as an actuality. I am merely a character in a piece in KnitLit3; I practically had to pretend to be Ann to get on the list.) So I’m reading when they say I can. I think they are giving me a 3-sentence limit, so I’ll try to read….real…..slow. But it’s so sweet of you to come! Even if you miss my paragraph, we can hang out together and listen to the other readers. Which I’m sure they’ll appreciate. Don’t make me go there alone, is all. As Cara knows from Rhinebeck, I hate the solitude. xoxo Kay

  7. Dear Kay: I’m the one who accosted you at Rhinebeck as you were looking at the beautiful blue-green rovings for Emma – it was such a pleasure to meet you that I’m delurking – only to say that Waah, on Wednesday night I will be on Kid Patrol and unable to come hear you read! Maybe you need to do a podcast – anyone know how that works?!?

  8. you know. I’ve been silent because I didn’t think I’d have time to make a perfect sweater. I retired to the den before the whole thing even started. But today I got to thinking about it and realized that the perfect sweater would have pockets.
    and I thought some more and I don’t think they’ve ever been brought up.

  9. A toy free floor? In our house that is not an illusion but an hard core fantasy! Oh toy free floor, how I dream of you and wish you were mine! And a toy free floor in Fair Isle? Heart palpitations!

  10. Pockets, of course, pockets. Emily, you are so right. And I’ll bet everyone who lives in (on?) Fair Isle needs lots of pockets.
    Have a good time reading. Are you going to wear your Ann costume?

  11. Pockets, yes. Fair Isle, not now, thanks.
    Toy free floor, wowee!
    Don’t do anything too exciting with the perfect sweater for a week, okay, since I am going to be far from my ‘puter!
    Mary de B

  12. Hello Kay! Thanks for that fascinating story about the flood of applicants for the two cottages for rent on Fair Isle. I have been to Fair Isle recently, and can certainly imagine why so many people would want to live there – it is a lovely and friendly island! One thing that surprised me was that all the knitters I met were making their Fair Isle sweaters, hats and scarves on machines, not by hand. I am sure that hand knitting is much slower, (although the machines still take a LOT of hands-on attention) and the folks make their living selling their wares. But I went with an illusion of crofting ladies sitting in their cottages with their steel knitting neeles and leather makin belts…but the 21st century is alive and well on Fair Isle! Peggy

  13. If you leave the StarWars Legos on the floor (and in my house the boys’ books are on the floor ‘cuz the Lego sculptures are on the bookshelf so “no one messes them up”- please boys- don’t you know that Legos are supposed to be taken apart and stuffed in Rubbermaid boxes under the bed?!) where was I? Oh yeah- if you leave them out, maybe someone will feel inspired to make Luke a lovely tee-tiny cabeled pullover (outer space is so cold) or Darth a new kid-silk haze cloak (I’m sure it would improve his disposition) or even a happy face mask for the Sith. Last night when the husband and the girls and I came home from a hockey game (where the security guard warned me that my #10-1/2 bamboo dpns might be considered a weapon so I should knit carefully!!), the boys (11 and 16) were playing a complicated game of “shoot Lego projectiles at the Lego T-rex and see who can knock his head off or cause him to fall off of the desk”. I just quietly shut the bedroom door and went back downstairs to get out my “weapons” and knit to the nightly news.

  14. Just wanted to add my comment re Fair Isle. I haven’t been there yet, but my Grandpa was born there while his father was lighthouse keeper on the island. One of these days, possibly next year, my Mum and I WILL get there for a visit, weather permitting, as flights can be cancelled due to bad weather and high winds! My lucky brother works for the Met Office and has taken some great pics for us when he’s visited! I definitely need a life change right now, but I think I’m too much of a city girl to move there!!!

  15. I love the title.”Girls gone mild” Heh. I think that sums up all our lives, whether we retreat to rural Scottish climes or no. Seriously, my favorite hobbies are knitting and cooking. Maybe some writing thrown in there for grins. To quote Baby in Dirty Dancing, “I’m Wild!”


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