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

Happiness (Part 2)

Dear Ann,
It’s a been a good couple of weeks at the Receiving Department here at Mason-Dixon Knitting (Northern Outpost).
Here is the treasure trove of ancient Rowanalia that Emma sent. The photo does not do it justice. The yarn is a Collection, capital C, of Rowan Handknit DK Cotton in vintage blues and greens with those old ‘Designer’ Rowan labels that cause my blood pressure to rise. Despite my yeoman work in the trenches of eBay, I did not have a single one of these colors. I have spent the last week gazing at them reverently and wondering how I can possibly come up with a project worthy of such rarity.
The notebook is stuffed with many, many shade cards from the 1980s, containing minute samples of now-extinct yarns. Yarns that the likes of you and me have heard the Elders murmur about around the Rowan International campfire. By this I mean everything from the good old workhorses like Designer DK, Botany, and the famous Lightweight DK, which came in so many shades the head spins–to exotica such as Edina Ronay Silk and Wool (who was this mysterious Edina Ronay??) which creates such a frenzy when one or two balls comes up on eBay. None of your Donegal Tweed, though, which means (sharp intake of breath): these cards predate Donegal Tweed!
But there is only one Yarn of Antiquity that has caused me to go all limp and weepy at the loss, the terrible loss of it: Mulberry Silk. I’ve never seen anything like it. Totally saturated colors. None of that rough and brittle feel of silk blends like Summer Tweed and Jaeger Trinity (both of which I like a lot)–no, it’s shiny and smooth, slippery and drapey. Luxe. Excuse me, I need a moment….
Let’s just say it would be best for me to stay away from eBay until this feeling passes, because I would make mincemeat out of Wendy 12×12, or anybody else who tried to stand between me and a bag of Mulberry Silk.
Thank you, Emma. You ARE a living doll.
Love, Kay




  1. Kay–The Handknit DK colors are amazing. I’m seeing a Gee’s Bend moment coming. All those close shades make me crazy.
    And the shade cards. Emma, Emma, EMMA. What delirious moment allowed you to launch those to Kay? I mean, she’s worthy and all, but I haven’t even contemplated sending my meager, recent-vintage shade cards to anybody.
    I think Edina Ronay was a character in “The Age of Innocence.” Or the host of “A.M. Nashville” circa 1973?
    You are one lucky dog. Wallow on, woman.
    x0 Ann

  2. Re the big ol’ whompin’ basket of the Yarns of the Elders:
    I sit quietly, in reverence.
    Little minute of awed silence here before I click on out.
    (Will be staying out of your way on eBay for a while.)

  3. I am **green** with envy over the shade cards! How wonderful of Emma to share! Now, if you are ever tired of drooling over them….

  4. Edina Ronay was a 60’s[?]model turned knitwear designer.I have,in my stash,Vogue Knitting mags from the 80’s that have some of her designs in.I can picture her …long,thick blonde hair & big teeth.Not goofy,just big.
    Where is she now ?

  5. This Edina Ronay must’ve been hot stuff to have such fancy yarn named after her! Will have to Google her and see if further info is available.

  6. I just googled too.Interesting ! Didn’t know she was still a ‘leading fashion designer’,or that she ‘acted’ .Well,there you go !


A bit of news from us, every now and again.

(Your email is safe with us.)