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A Field of Pastel Dreams


Dear Kay, My mom used to say, when something was great, “Now we’re cooking with gas.” Well, I wish she were here so she could hear me say it about this Plucky Knitter yarn and this Peak Color scarf pattern. I’ve never worked with cashmere yarn before. The first stretch of this scarf has some irregularities in gauge, and I think it’s because I have a Fear Of Cashmere. Yarn is yarn, right? It has taken me...

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Daughter of a Shepherd


Dear Ann, I’ve been meaning to write about our London friend, Rachel Atkinson, and her splendid adventure: making yarn from the wool of her father’s sheep. The problem:  the yarn is wonderful and special (that’s not the bit that’s the problem), and she only has a limited quantity of it at a time and it sells out fast. But here’s the thing: the only way to get it, is to know about it, get on Rachel’s email...

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Lazy Sunday: Pregaming the One-Sock Knitalong


Dear Kay, We head to Norway today, for a visit with everybody’s favorite Scandinavian duo, Arne and Carlos. They knit. They crochet. They garden. They are up to all manner of stuff making, and there’s something irresistible about their attitude toward it all. (Fun fact: “Arne and Carlos” is actually “Ann and Kay” in Norwegian. It’s true. I would like us to rig up a Sister Cities relationship with Arne...

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Rocket Yarn: A Blast


Dear Kay, Let’s talk about taste for a minute. This yarn has sparked some frank and unbridled Opinion. A number of people have weighed in about this yarn. I was told that it’s trouble because of its wild contrasts in color and value. It pools. It flashes. It’s unpredictable. It’s not something you’d use for a garment. It’s not something you should even knit. Screw all y’all! This stuff is...

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Puzzler: What Will This Yarn Do?


Dear Kay, Years ago, Jon’s grandfather Albert asked me one night at dinner if I needed a wok. I didn’t know what to make of a 90-year-old gentleman offering me Asian cookware. I answered that I didn’t have a wok, and yes, if he was trying to find a home for it, I’d be glad to have a wok. It turns out he had bought the wok while watching a late-night infomercial. The guy selling woks was so compelling that before he knew...

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Alice Starmore, Mother of the Gradient Yarn Craze


Dear Kay, One thing occurs to me: Alice Starmore was into gradients decades before the gradient yarn craze of today. Take a look at this. This is Alice Starmore Hebridean Two Ply, in Mara, Lapwing, Calluna, and Kelpie. And this. Red Deer, Tormentil, Crotal, Mountain Hare, and Golden Plover. In the Glenesk pullover I’m making, the Starmore color sense DNA runs thick in the blood of daughter Jade Starmore. She takes these two...

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