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  • So glad you’re back!

    • Not as glad as I am!

  • Welcome back! You and Kay have been missed but we ALL know what’s like to need and actually take a break. Glad to see your creativity was channeled into a different labor of love.

    • Thank you, Sarah. Knitting is less hazardous than stitching, that’s one thing I learned: glass bead wounds, stabby needle moments. Cannot hack it!

  • Hallelujah! You’re back.

    I love your skirt and beaded squares. I don’t know if I could ever do that but what you made is gorgeous. I even like the muted colors and I’m a splashy colors girl. Love the gray beads on the navy. Exquisite.

    Totally understand the impulse not to share that revealing journal, even the not revealing parts feel too raw, and the experience with the seamstresses is priceless and makes me think of my Friday Night Knitting Circle, a welcoming group that feels intimate, closed but open. You’re a good writer, Ann.

    • I’m way into muted colors, so using a shiny bead, at all, felt like a massive and wacky statement. CRAZY.

  • and that’s why it pays to bookmark and check every single day!
    welcome back! glad to know all is well. beautiful pix! thanks!

    • Sorry to be out of the loop for so long–grateful that you didn’t give up the ghost!

  • Well, I totally understand, but all the same, you’ve been missed. Glad you’re “back”!

    • I keep thinking about this notion of being “away” and being “back.” It’s true: even though you guys are out there in the ether, it all seems very much an actual place, this blog. No place like home!

      • As glad as I am that you’re back (just last week a friend asked me if I’d noticed there were no entries since May – and of COURSE I did), I’m glad you both took the time to travel and sew and live your summers to the fullest. Thanks for sharing.

  • Glad you took the time you need. Glad, too, that you are back.

    • Thank you, Kristine. I wish I had a novel to show for the time away, or a new infant, or a masters degree in public policy, or SOMEthing.

      • You’ve got more YOU. That’s a big something!

  • *grin*, so glad to hear that! read your new post! and be inspired all over again! like a message from an old friend. thank you, ann

    • Likewise great to hear from you, Kelli Ann–old friend indeed!

  • So happy to see you!
    You are super fast with the needle, there! I too have started sewing and beading and cutting, but I got stalled …. as happens, indeed.
    Lovely, lovely.

    • The stalling is all part of it, don’t you think? I’m coming to think that a void forces one to think about how to fill it.

  • I’m so glad you’ve returned. Thanks for the glimpse into your India trip and into how that is revealing itself creatively. Love your AC work.

  • So glad you’re back! Your sparkly projects are gorgeous, but I’m glad you’re knitting again, too. I’ve missed y’all!

  • You have both been missed! Your ongoing twitter/instagram posts have been much appreciated, but the blog seems warmer . . . a cherished correspondence from friends.

  • Wonderful post! I loved following both of you on Instagram. The photos were gorgeous! and I have love all the sewing going on. I’ve been sewing longer than knitting,it never goes away. Maybe that’s just the southern part of me, but it will always be there. Something to do with thread, color ,the feeling of Independence from having to go buy something. Welcome back… your blog was missed!!

  • beautiful work.

  • So happy you are back. You were greatly missed!

  • Yay!! Never leave us again!! I have never been so happy to hear from someone I don’t really know. Love you guys!!

  • Its a pure delight to have you girls back in this space. Glad the vacay was a restorative one.

  • Welcome back! A wonderful way to start the new week. I clicked onto your blog today hoping that this would be the day that you would return. Thanks for sharing your thoughts regarding keeping a journal and not wanting the intimate details to be published.

  • Lovely to have you back…kinda found you on twitter so new you were ok and that’s what counts…glad you had time to explore, glad you are back blogging 🙂 xx

  • I have spent days reading the MD blog from the beginning. Just a moment ago I was reading about the release of your book….and clicked through to the annshayne web site….whooh nellie…did that lead me into a wild loop of oh my gosh….. Anyway, to get back to M-DK, I had to google…and amazingly, there is a new post!

    A while ago I too became enthralled with Alabama Chanin…got the books…bought some thread 🙂 but things didn’t progress past that…..some day 🙂

    Seems that we are in the season of KALs…..there is a Kaffe afghan one going on over at Rowan that Kay may like…..lots of squares 🙂

    I must say that I have learned from you two that knitting doesn’t always have to be intricate to be satisfying 🙂 My Kaffe afghan will be my 4th afghan ever !

    11 years of blogging is a long time…..I’ll be happy to hear from you two every so often….just to know that you are there.

  • So so happy to hear from you Ann! I have missed the blog so much but have been following you and Kay on Instagram, which helped with my MDK withdrawal symptoms. Glad to hear you’re doing the Fringe Association’s Amanda knit-a-long, as I decided to plunge in, too!

  • Glad you’re back. I had just discovered your blog and had finished reading it from end to end. Which by the way was awesome–kind of a like a memoir without the gentleness of memory. Every tale told was told in the moment and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Now I want to bead.

    • “Without the gentleness of memory”– that’s brilliant, and makes me wish I kept a journal.

  • Welcome back! You were missed but I did follow you on Instagram. Funny, but I too shrugged off knitting for almost 9 months in favor of hand stitching and embellishing wool applique houses aka Yoko Saito. Hopefully they will end up being a wall hanging, for as you know it takes a village. Early September, I set off on a two week trip to Oregon and took some linen for knitting Pipit for my daughter, I am almost finished and think perhaps the knitting mojo may have returned as I am thinking of making one for myself. At any rate, true love never dies.

    • Barbara,
      Did you say Yoko Saito houses? Is there anywhere we can see these? Asking for a friend. Meaning me.

  • Part of me feels like I have been holding my breath, but now I can breathe again! Thank you for sharing your sabbatical crafting with us.
    I can now also claim a little understanding of Instagram (and an even smaller understanding of twitter) as I have followed your pics and tweets at the bottom of your blog each day!

  • So glad to see you back with the blog. I have missed you both but understand that we all need to take a break sometimes. The stitching is wonderful and I love your colours!

  • GASP!! your stitching/beading is GORGEOUS!
    Glad you are back – have missed you ladies.
    Was thinking maybe you two would jump aboard Rowan’s upcoming Mystery KAFFE-A-LONG???

  • As a non-tweeter and non-instagrammer, I have missed a lot I know. Totally understand the “what not to share”, but so glad to see you sharing again. The knitterati have missed you both, but we certainly can’t begrudge you a break, especially those of us that don’t blog at all!

    L’shana tovah to both of you and your broods.

  • Worth the wait as ever, Ann. Welcome back!

  • So glad you are back – the stitching is fabulous- I was not familiar with this Alabama artist (sometimes it is better not to know about all of the possibilities for what to do in my spare time)

  • Thanks for the beautiful post with lovely photos. It is why we have missed you!

  • So happy to see your blog up and running again! I’ve been following your AC creations on Instagram and the story behind their creation is so inspiring.

    I’ve heard that traveling to India is transformative.

    • Maybe not so many uses of “creation” next time. Can only blame it on being star-struck.

  • Missed you. Glad you are back and all is well.

  • ….ah. I’ve been watching your handwork on a Instagram, at the same time collecting old knit shirts….shirts with fabric that just felt more special than others. Alabama Chanin has been calling to me, and it is wonderful to know that it is “ok” to try my hand at another type of handwork. Thank you, and thanks for the great read.

  • I am open mouth stunned at your beaded and appliqued shawl-it is SO BEAUTIFUL.-I’ve been watching the instagrams and admiring all along but I didn’t realize the pieces were going together. Just perfect, all of it.
    I totally get the stitching, and I love how it ties to your trip. Glad to read you again. xoxox

  • Just a big ol’ Cheshire cat grin of pure happiness that you blogged today. Any kind of vacation is good, but it’s also good to come home, I think. And love what you’ve done with the place, it’s so beady and sparkly!

  • Welcome Back!

    as someone who does not tweet or use instagram, I missed the depth of the writing and your wit, wisdom and community … I literally gasped when I hit the bookmark and there was a new picture and it didn’t say “Dip, Hang, Repeat.”

    Life changes, but some things are circular. Glad your knitting mojo has returned Understand totally.

  • Welcome back! I saw a woman at the Buckeye game on Saturday and thought, “Man, she looks familiar.” Then I realized she looked like Ann. The young lady in question is from Hungary and so probably not related, but I sent good thoughts your way.

  • thank God you guys are back!!!! I did check every day and. I just had a talk with myself about how it’s perfectly your right to move on to something new , and the existing blog would always be there, and the books ,….. and then… Wa-la! my world is so better with your blog in it! also, love the whole entry and all the content, it covers a LOT.

  • Hi Ann, I can’t tell you how pleased I was to see your post in my feed this morning, I have missed both of your posts and had often wondered if all was well.
    Your sewing is so beautiful I don’t have words for it, and I’m glad you have got the knitting mojo back. India seems to have had a profound effect…
    I’ll look forward to seeing more from both of you – sometime or other, whenever the urge takes you, but mostly I’m just really glad to hear you’re both OK.
    All the best, Claire.

  • Welcome back! Glad you took a needed hiatus. Selfishly gladder you are back!

  • So glad you’re back!!
    GORGEOUS stitching and beading!

  • Wow. Your trip to India and Alabama and the peaceful place of your soul sounds amazing! You were missed! Glad you’re not going away, but respect completely the need to slow down and take it at your own pace!

    Great photos as always!

  • Dear Ann,

    Although we are owed nothing, I am surprised that we were not given the courtesy of a simple statement that you all had “gone fishing” for a whlie. After all, MDK has always been a class act. It was a little hurtful for me, too. I also worried that, even though you guys were on Instagram, that one of you might be dealing with an illness and just in need of privacy. I am very, very glad to now find out that is not the case (although the “Mushroom of the Day” series gave me pause to wonder from time to time…).

    Although MDK has knitting in its title, it has not always been about knitting, and that has been wonderful and inspiring (even Alabama Chanin was first presented here by you or Kay a few years back).

    Everyone understands the need for time away, for a vacation of sorts. I, myself, have put the knitting needles down for years at a time, pursuing other crafts/endeavors that were calling my name. I am very glad to know that this is not the case here.

    LoveDiane

  • Wow…yesterday I got an unexpected check in the mail and today I see you’re back (I was a little worried and I missed you!). Wonder what’s up for tomorrow?
    Life is good.

  • Stars!!! OMG. Love the stars. This post makes me want to go into the closet and start cutting up all my t-shirts. So glad you are back!

  • So glad you’re back, that everyone is okay, and that the hiatus was so creatively energizing. Looking forward to hearing more from both Ann and Kay!

  • Love hearing about your journey. Of both sorts. I was just this day contemplating how often I try to defend where I am, or have been. If I’ve been spinning that long, why haven’t I spun this or that? Or have more handspun (or handknits, or handwovens) to show for it? Let’s not even talk about hand-dyeing. If I’ve wandered down this or that rabbit trail of creativity, why didn’t I produce something of substance to prove it? Yes, I was cleaning the Craft Room while having these musings.

    I don’t have a body of work as lovely as your Alabama Chanin-inspired beauty to stand in for things not knit. Somewhere, though, there are matchy boy outfits (Stretch-n-Sew phase), doll clothes, Halloween costumes, “Joan’s” slippers, and probably dozens of ball-band washrags. It’s ok.

  • Missed you both terribly. That being said, good for you for taking a break when it felt right. I have read a few blogs where it sometimes feels forced, with contests, sponsored posts and other superfluous fodder. Write when you want, what you want. I will be here. The beading and stitch work is utterly magnificent.

  • Glad you’re back; more glad that you had such a great break. Lovelove the sewing.

  • Hooray – so happy to see you here! And thank you for this very MDK way of capturing the contradictions that are India. We have a fair bit of family there and it always feels like a whole different life when we go. And everything there is more extreme than anything I’ve seen in the US. You’ve caught the essence beautifully.

  • (longtime lurker here) So glad you’re back! But also so glad you listened to yourself and took the time away when you needed it. Eleven years is a long time. The internet is a different place, the seasons of life keep on changing, and (old school) blogging is such a personal medium. It’s got to be freely offered, to nourish you, or else it just costs too much. Thank you for everything you’ve shared here over the years. We’ve never met, and you don’t know me at all, but for a long time you two have felt like — well, I guess mentors is maybe the right word? Like smart, funny, creative aunts who tell it like it is, even when it’s messy, and who have reassured me that it’s okay to keep growing up. I’m not sure I can thank you enough for that.

    And I do enjoy the Instagrams and tweets, but it’s not quite the same. Like somebody else said, I miss your thoughts, musings, (occasional) snark, perceptiveness, judgements — haha I guess I’m tryna say I love you two for your *minds*, not just the pretty spangly things 😉 But oh what a gorgeous pretty spangly thing you’ve made!

    I also wanted to say: even though it’s called “Mason Dixon Knitting”, I have never expected (nor desired) Pure Knitting Content™ here. I find the other creative byways you two wander down — the quilting, the music, the writing, the fashion, the hand sewing, etc! — enormously inspiring. I’d love to hear more about the beading (sooo pretty, but so intimidating). Or whatever else you want to write about. I’m here for the journey, and for the long haul.

  • What a treat to have you back! I’ve been enjoying the instagrams and am still completely gobsmacked to see your gorgeous cut-and-beaded creation. SO beautiful. Is it lined or did you leave the reverse side visible? Very happy to know you won’t abandon the blog. I’ve been inspired to knit many of your patterns and remain happily wedded to the production of colorful dishcloths between larger, slower projects. welcome back . . .
    Katherine

  • I’ve missed you guys! (but all your talk/instagramming about Alabama Chinin made be buy her books!)

  • Glad to see you back again! Beautiful work. I went to India this summer for work for a week. It left quite an impression that’s hard to describe (the noise, the smells, the people, the honking, the haves and have-nots, etc).

  • so – all the fiber photos and the seduction of the Chanin way you have been sending over the months have made me put THAT type of project in the queue – right after the last baby blanket for the season and just after Santa hats for all those new babies for Christmas. Last Christmas I received, by request, the first Chanin book and I have tried a few reverse applique projects. Thank you for always being an inspiration.

  • I grew up in India and could visualize those women perfectly. My own wedding saree was completely beaded and embellished (I didn’t get a traditional Kanjeevaram silk, though those are no less exquisite). I wear it from time to time, sarees are versatile that way unlike a white wedding dress that is truly only for a day. I hope your sister will wear hers.

    Your embroidery and beading is beautiful. India distilled, indeed, in a b&w monochrome way that’s all your own.

    I hope you had a great time in India. I always say that either you love it or hate it, you cannot be ambivalent. I hope it was the former in your case. It’s nice to have you back on the blog!

  • Welcome back!

  • Whew! Glad you’ve returned. I understand the sewing bug–I’m on a quilting jag right now, and my knitting has suffered. Glad you had a wonderful experience in India.

  • I am so relieved that you are back. The blog stopped so suddenly that I had horrible thoughts as to why….Welcome HOME….please stay as long as you can! LOL iow’s DO NOT LEAVE AGAIN

  • Lovely distinction between journaling and blogging, so beautifully expressed in your words. I don’t Instagram or Tweet, so I’ve missed your presence here. Yet I respect your absence. Public life on the internet is not the only life to live.

  • Love to see you back and what made me smile even more is the chosen fabric has a Rowan denim feel.

  • You were missed – welcome back! It’s lovely to read your words again!

  • Wonderful to hear your voice again. Your perspective and insights are helpful. When the last post said “repeat”, you guys really meant it.

    Thank you for not sharing what wasn’t meant for sharing!

    It was great to read your creatuve post trip trip. Am glad you only returned when it felt right. One day I think I would like to slow down enough for all that beading, even if I did end up fast at it. (Really?). Lovely work.

    My ideas are tumbling around. Tgisbisbyoyr horribly c

  • Thank goodness you are back! I’ve missed you both!

  • thank you thank you thank you

  • Welcome back! What gorgeous stuff you have been making 🙂

  • What a way to make a re-entry! Stunning work on both projects.

    And BTW, you and Kay are quite the enablers — there’s simply not enough time to KNITALLTHETHINGS and now I feel compelled to pick up needle and thread again. (Embroidery was the gateway craft of my childhood.)

    (Happy) sigh…

  • Oh, thanks for this. Gorgeous work, I am having a blast with mine and will soon begin some beading. Would love to visit Florence someday.

  • So glad to hear from you both again! My son just moved to Nashville, and hearing from you connects me, in a round-about way, with him (I’m in Maine). I’m going to tuck away the idea of Alabama Chanin patterns for my impending retirement (well, 3-5 years from now, but at least feeling close enough to be real, finally). Good for you for taking a break but thank you for not going away completely.

  • Yay. Just…yay.

  • Welcome Back! It’s delightful to read your words again. Thank you for the thoughts and pics!

  • I was so afraid that you had permanently moved to the Twitterverse and I’d somehow missed the memo. Thanks for bringing blogging back!

  • The skirt is a thing of beauty. I hope your sister loves it, even half as much as I love your beaded fabrics. Wow.

    Thanks for the beautiful post, and the peek into your feelings about your trip. I’m still musing about the difference between making beautiful handwork in order to eat, and making beautiful handwork to fulfill one’s personal need to create, and where those two might intersect.

  • Bring on the needle craft! I don’t care if it’s sewing or knitting, I’m just happy to hear you still have the fire for making. And I’ve had an urging to dive into the Alabama Chanin world myself. You may have just tipped the scale.

  • Your work is truly beautiful, stunning and I can tell you have poured your heart into it. Thats so inspirational to me.

  • I can’t tell you how happy you’re back. I didn’t think you would have disappeared without saying so, but I couldn’t find anywhere to leave a comment. I think you should put some of your work in the TN State Fair next year… just sayin’….

  • Fabulous. All of it. I was winding yarn on a bus this summer in Israel and one of my fellow bus-mates asked me about knitting. And then he said, “doesn’t that take a long time?” He’s a big cook and I asked him, doesn’t cooking dinner take longer than going to a drive-thru. I agree that it’s about quality.

  • Welcome back!! You’ve been missed.

  • So glad you’re back on the blog! You’re always such entertaining reading, in many different ways. Glad you took a break, but my goodness look at everything you did while you were gone. Wow, wow, wow. Absolutely beautiful work! I would love to be your sister and receive that skirt as a gift 😉

  • SO glad to see you ladies are back!

  • Welcome back! Your reverse appliqué and embelshments are breathtakingly beautiful! Almost makes me want to embroider again. But what struck the deeper chord with me was your observations about keeping a handwritten journal vs an electronic one. This summer, I had the opposite experience. On an epic motorcycle trip from Anchorage, AK, (referred to as 3500 miles of awesome), I faithfully kept a digital journal (thank you, mobilytrip!). On other epic trips, I broke my promises to keep a written journal, but digitally was more fulfilling, as each evening I ritually downloaded the photos from the camera to the iPad, picked out the best and uploaded to the digital ap, then write the day’s events, thoughts, etc. Mobilytrip has a way to print all this out, and create a photo book, but I have not yet done that, as I continue to go back and refine what I’ve captured — and share with select friends. So, for those not ready to take retro plunge of pen to Moleskine (which I use daily for work notes), I highly recommend Mobilytrip.

  • I’m glad I didn’t delete my MDK bookmark when I was cleaning them up.

  • That – what – quilt? So incredible. So full of the beauty of doing it with your own hands. So distilling a moment. What a treasure. I bet it was INCREDIBLY FULFILLING to do it. I took a year of leave from grad school (wondering – maybe I am a total failure?) and made some very detailed red-on-red embroidery during that time. It is such a rich document of such a rich moment, truly one of my most precious possessions. Thank you for sharing yours with us.

  • So happy, happy, happy you are back. It seems like a sabbatical did you well. I LOVED this post for oh so many reasons. I too went to India and toured textile mills and saw women who meticulously worked on a variety of textiles for $2 a week (yes, a week)! I also had the privileged american feeling too. It is such a different culture in many levels. Your beaded blanket is STUNNING. I love how you linked it back to your trip. So cathartic .
    Oh, did I say how happy I am that you are back.

  • So glad you are back. I kept checking on you and hoping. I made it to Haus of Yarn on your recommendation this summer and loved it. All the best.

  • Missed you very much. Love what you have to say and show. Give us what you can whenever. You offer something special and unique.

  • Hooray!!!! So very glad you have returned!

  • Oh, Ann and Kay are back, and everything about this particular post is meaningful and beautiful, but for some reason, the biggest source of inspiration here for me is your fat Moleskin book, Ann, loaded with the thoughts and doodles and emotions that only come when one finds oneself A)with family and B) far from home. Welcome back here, both of you.

  • Beautiful stitching!

  • Long ago Claude Debussy said, “Music is the space between the notes.” We often forget how important, how crucial the spaces are. Glad you found the space. Now happy that you’re back to the notes.