If you’re Rhinebeck bound, we would love to see you at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night. Details here.

Mason-Dixon Mailbag

Dear Kay,
One mission of Mason-Dixon Knitting is to give voice to the voiceless, to champion the unheralded, to honor the creativity and talent of those too modest and too busy actually having a life to blog endlessly about their knitting. And so, selflessly, we blog for them.
Our Rowanette friend in Boston, Benedetta, knits like a fiend, knits Kaffe Fassett for fun and relaxation. The headbonker China Clouds is next on her plate. In her sleep one night she cranked out this fantastically hip eyelet skirt (NOTE: wristlet alert in this link) in recycled denim from the summer issue of Knitty:
She writes: “I followed blindly the instructions, which were for one size, without even swatching, so I guess I was lucky and the pattern/yarn forgiving. It is knitted in 2 equal pieces, with seams at the sides. Just as well, since I can’t manage circulars.” I find that hard to believe.
Very cool. Please note the righteous bed of chard flourishing in the background. Maybe if I ate chard the way Ben does, I’d be modeling this eyelet skirt and not some giant shapeless shawl?
Thanks, Ben, for upping the cool quotient of Mason-Dixon Knitting.



  1. I know everybody is sick to death of hearing me whine, but I so, so, so admire, covet, desire, and GOTTA GET ME SOME of that recycled Denim!!!! It looks so fabulous. As does Ben. It gives me some hope, to hear that she did not swatch it and it came out all right.
    Congrats Ben. Send us more non-micro-analyzed-and-yakked-about-yet-perfect knitting pictures as they become available. Love, Kay

  2. Ben/Kay/Ann – not sure who to address this too, but wow what a fabulous skirt, it looks great on you Ben. Now better get some of that yarn too…

  3. kay — you must make this skirt!! you have the best legs in town and they need to be in this skirt!!
    (who should be working instead of reading your fantabulous blg!!)

  4. Wow ! Ben you’re gorgeous,and look stunning in that skirt.Love the short hair too !
    I’m off to sulk now…

  5. so fun to see all the virtual visitors to your blog!

  6. Carol–You can get some Rowan Denim, or something exactly the same called Den-M-Nit from Elann.com, but you cannot get ‘recycled’ denim unless you rip out an old, fraying sweater that was knitted in Rowan Denim, and re-knit it into this fabulous skirt, which is what Ben so ingeniously, ecologically, Gee’s Bendishly– did.
    I am Rowan Denim’s biggest fan, but I can see from Ben’s photo that to re-use it gives it a different look than even my speed-aging method of just washing anything I knit in it over and over every time I wash a load of jeans. It has a different texture, visually, because it faded unevenly in the first garment (the outside of the stitches fades more than the inside), leaving a kind of salt & pepper effect when re-knitted. Does that make any sense? I’ve even considered using a knitting machine(if I knew how but how hard could it be??), knitting a bunch of skeins of Denim up, washing it 20-plus times, and unravelling it. Then I held a cold compress to my head and stopped myself from considering it any further.
    If you knit this skirt in new Denim yarn, you will get something very nice indeed but not quite the same as Ben’s.
    (I really don’t understand why a yarn this beautiful, interesting, and practical is not manufactured but must be homemade, but I have enough self-awareness to suspect that maybe my passion for it is unusual.)
    Lis–Thanks for the compliment sweetie but did you miss the part about how it’s a one-size pattern?

  7. I don’tunderstand what you are talking about, Love Dad

  8. Dear Dad, So sorry to be obtuse, but it’s nice you stopped by anyway. Check out the piece a few pieces down where Ann is modelling her shawl in her yard. Tell me, has she always been like this? Sincerely, Kay

  9. WOW! What an eye-popper! I bow to the greatness of you stylish and eloquent ladies. I think I’ll go lie down now!

  10. Dear Ann: MEMO TO FILE: Remember to sign up additional stylish and eloquent ladies to model for us. Yours etc., Kay

  11. Thank you all for all the compliments and to to Ann and Kay especially for posting my efforts!
    I am very flattered. You made my day!
    I can’t think of anything to add to the technical knitting comments, except that it was fun and easy to knit, but it took just a little bit longer that one night of knitting.
    I also think it would fit a variety of body shapes/sizes, since it has a drawstring waist. if you like the pattern, go to the designer gallery page (you can do that easily from following the link given in Knitty) and have a look at all the beautiful skirts and shawls that Kat designed. hope she publishes them soon.
    Thank you! looking forward to seeing Kay’s skirt next Love,
    Benedetta (who’s supposed to spend the rest of the working day doing data entry, but will probably just float around instead)


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