MDK Field Guide No. 10: Downtown is a trove of three new Isabell Kraemer designs. Let's knit them all.

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39 Comments
  • How wonderful that you got to visit The Constitution on top of everything else! Your photos remind me of my visit to the HMS Victory in Portsmouth, England. Went straight from Heathrow to Portsmouth so I was extremely jetlagged, which gave the whole experience a somewhat surreal tinge.

    • You mean . . . I can visit HMS Victory too? That’s a Captain Aubrey ship, too.

  • I love reading your Letter every day but this one was especially fun. Thank you! I’m thinking I need to read the book series. 22 of them? That’s a lot of immersion on a ship.

    • Reading about 22 naval voyages is a good deal easier than actually sailing them, that’s for sure. Especially for somebody as queasy as me!

  • I was also in Boston recently (sadly, not at the same time you were speaking at MIT!) and also visited the ICA for The Visitors. Indescribable but lovely. (Weirdly, the earworm I got has left me by now, and I can’t even remember the basic phrase involved). Did you manage to resist the charms of the U.S.S. Constitution long enough to see the very end?

    • They were way down in a field when we left! If I tell you the phrase again, it’ll start your ear worm all over again… !

  • OMG I am obsessed with the Aubrey-Maturin novels!!! It was exactly why I made my son go see the Constitution when we were in Boston! As if you weren’t cool enough already!!!

    • So good, so good.

  • Simply love the name Common Cod Knitting Guild!

    • Hi! It’s named after two important areas for Boston textiles – the Boston Common was where foods and goods were bought/sold/traded, and the fishing industry (lots of cod) had a big demand for nets.

  • This whole letter, your photos, and your writing style bring me such joy on this gray Minneapolis day! Thank you for everything!!!

  • What a wonderful Boston trip! One of my all time favorite cities to visit, and you got to see your offspring!

  • Fourteen inch wide hammocks? People were smaller then. Sounds like a grand visit. We saw Old Ironsides in 1976 and it was amazing, I still remember how cramped it was below decks.

    Blundstones! I love yours and love mine too. Just the thing for a tramp around ol’ Boston with the Lads who, by the way are, are way too grown up to be believed.

  • Really enjoyed your sharing Boston and the boys…hope to visit that ship myself someday…

  • Ann you are adorable!
    I love your enthusiasm for adventure!

  • I love your writing style with your personal thoughts and such running along within the writing.
    I am wondering where you got your 21 volumes of the Aubrey-Maturin series? Also you mention 22 volumes,,,,,,,,, what is the 22nd?

  • Thank you so much for coming. Your talk was great fun and it was an honor to meet you after enjoying your books so much.
    Sincerely,
    Carolyn (not actually a board member but maybe someday)

    • So great to spend time with you, Carolyn! Really fun!

  • I’ve read 19 of ’em. Patrick O’Brian was a tremendous writer. I re-read whenever I feel like visiting an old friend. And my son is going to start his freshman year in Boston next fall. I know where I’m headed.

    • Wow! I just started Treason’s Harbour and can’t even imagine what the second half of the series will bring.

  • I just heard Lance Oppenheim speak at a Harvard event! Were you at the same one?

    • How fun! I totally did not attend, sadly. He is awfully talented.

  • If you like sailing adventures, I heartily recommend the Swallows and Amazons books by Arthur Ransome. “We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea” is the 7th book but it can also stand alone and was the first I read. Also, find some time to visit the Constellation in Baltimore Harbor when you are over this way. Equally storied and beautiful.

    • Filing this away for the tragic day when my sailing with Captain Aubrey comes to an end!

  • Both your sons are really cute! My oldest son turned 32 today (what??) and our other son is 24. They are such a joy to me.

    • Thank you! I love ’em and am completely unobjective about them–maybe you know what I mean? ; )

  • Those O’Brian novels are lovely as audio books.

    • That’s what I’m listening to–Patrick Tull is the most amazing narrator.

  • What a fun weekend! I love the Patrick O’Brian books, too – and compliment you on your perseverance to get through 22 books!

    If you ever find your way to San Diego, do try to see the Maritime Museum, where you can visit the HMS Surprise – the ship used in the movie Master and Commander. (https://sdmaritime.org/visit/the-ships/hms-surprise/)

  • Oh boy, I was only a year older than your eldest is now when I started reading MDK (original flavor). All those glimpses of life in the Mom Bomb, knitting your way through school events and skate park excursions sounded so exotic to me then. Visions of another world.

    And now here I am, um, *quite a few* years later in the thick of it with a toddler and this idea that someday the grey floppy things will actually fledge? And you’ll get to bask in proud irrelevance? It’s hard to imagine, but look right up there, clearly it is possible. Thanks for continuing to expand my horizons, even after all these years.

    (And count me in favor of more old sailing ship travelogue content! I had a fierce and inexplicable attachment to the Constellation as a child, so you should definitely go see that one next)

  • I spent close to the first 20 years of my young adulthood in and around Boston (I guess 20 years into your young adulthood you are really no longer young). I believe I lived in the city at least 10 years before I visited the Constitution, and was also amazed and glad to have seen it once I did. It’s such a great city, I’mstill only about 50 min away and don’t visit it often enough!

  • I did a post-doctoral fellowship at the Charlestown Navy Yard buildings. I remember taking my toddler son to see the Constitution. Lots of happy Boston memories! Thanks for sharing.

  • You could learn to sail on the brig Niagara… don’t give up the ship!
    https://www.flagshipniagara.org/

  • Ann, what is that metal thing attached to the wall in the cabin, across the “window,”withthe peg dangling? I cannot figure out it’s function, but feel confident you know the answer!

    • Not Ann, but I think it’s the handle that opens/closes the porthole.

  • Ann, was totally bummed not to hear your talk since I was out of town that weekend. You are right about MIT — its a rabbit warren of a place, the modern version of a medieval old town. So glad you enjoyed your visit to “our fair city”.

  • I visited the USS Constitution in October 2017. It’s quite the opportunity and a real eye opener to how they lived back then!

  • What a lovely post – thank you!

    I was much taken with the idea of “Clif … dressing the world (if by “the world” you mean young people who favor anything pre 2003 and probably black)” – but that inevitably led to thoughts of the tantalising commission of the Barnett Newman zip sweater. I can’t help myself, I have to ask – how did it go?

  • Just saw this and my heart leaped up, thinking you had been on a Boston Harbor Cruise, possibly narrated by my tall son, recent college grad/aspiring actor who is currently doing the embroidery step on the *amazing* Game of Thrones afghan he’s been working on for four years. . . Not that you would’ve known each other by sight, but the idea of two such knitting mavens being in the same place is exciting! Glad you had a good visit. Have you read the Hornblower series? My history professor father raised us on them as bedtime stories.