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  • I do so hope you succeed; it could be a really cool sweater. You are right about the BT collection; it’s pretty awesome.

    • Thanks, Auntie! I think part of what’s so striking about the BT collection is the beautiful photography and mood that it sets. I always want to go to wherever those models are wandering. Superevocative.

  • I cannot wait to see the process!

    • Wonder . . . what . . . will . . . come of this. I’m one who’ll take a look under a Band-Aid, too, and that’s not always such a great idea.

  • Gee, those yarns look pretty substantial, and Spinnaker has some major texture going on. I’d be afraid the sweater would come out at 1″ thick. But you’re tall, you can carry it off! I’ll enjoy seeing how you plot the way through this sweater. I have some disparate skeins myself. Hmm, how to put them all together in one garment…

    • C’mon in! I’d love to see how you’d do this. Maybe because I have no idea myself!

  • I collect ecru yarn like that. But then you probably knew that. This will be awesome, I think. x x x.

    • Wow, B, you never cease to amaze me. Do you ever do anything with your ecru hoard? I am concerned that I am violating the pristine beauty of a bunch of yarns who aren’t asking to do this.

  • Brilliant! Are you planning on alternating yarns randomly or graduating them, Amy King Less is More style??

    • That’s a cool sweater! It would be fun to work through a batch of color like that. I’m thinking these yarns are just going to be a kind of a pain in the behindular area. They seem sort of grumpy that I’m putting them together at all . . .

  • >>It pains me, actually, to reveal this to you. Who collects stuff like this?

    Ann, are you kidding me? Probably 85% of your readers. We band together. Everyone else is so judgey!!

    Good luck! And yes me too. looking forward to seeing which direction you’ll take!

    • Well, we’ve already had one confession of ecru hoarding by Belinda, so you’re totally right. (As always.) Cheers to you!

  • Love everything in the BT collection-thanks for the link. Good luck with the yarn choice. Do you have enough of any one to make a sweater?

    • I’m calculating there’s about 1800 yards in here, roughly–half the skeins have no yardage on them! So that means enough for A Sweater, but not enough for A Sweater In One Yarn. It’s going to be . . . interesting . . .

  • Dear Ann,

    I hereby resign from blogging effective immediately. The line about the skein being found mowing your yarn made me realize that I could never hope to achieve anything in my writing and I should devote myself wholly to knitting and liking people’s Instagrams, as God intended.

    It’s been nice knowing you. Hope to see you at Rhinebeck and on Instagram sometime.


    • Well, it’s true that Ann Shayne is no slouch with the words, but you don’t suck either, Miss Kay. Please keep writing, both of you!

    • That’s the line that got me – great visual !

      • Ya got any yarn that can rake my leaves? I’m in dire need.


    • Just sayin I could compile a Best of Kay that would rival Bartlett’s Quotations. Hey–book idea! Don’t steal my idea!

      • I would like to reserve a copy.

  • That’s gonna be awesome! I foresee vertical intarsia panels of alternating lighter vs brighter ecru, one for each cable and more for the textured areas. Right? Right!?!

    • You are one heck of an optimist!

  • Can’t wait to see how this turns out!

  • What a totally FINE post this is. I love this. It’d be amazing to see a colorwork sweater , like an icelandic, but only in shades of ecrus. So subtle. I am not sure where the cables come in with that idea. I trust you will NAIL it in amazing ways so I am settling in to watch.

    ps I often wish I had the restraint and sophistication to occasionally buy a skein of lovely natural white/offwhite yarn. Maybe when I’m mature.

    • Ooooooh, Gale, a noncolorwork colorwork sweater. That is so interesting. I am already coveting that idea. “Natural” means very different things to different people, I’m learning. Could be very beautiful.

  • I think all the yarns would look great in simple stockinette stitch stripes. Make ’em skinny even though that’s not this years model- those of us of a certain age usually have pained recollections involving three inch wide horizontal stripes. It would be elegant and also easy, and knitting can be like cooking – just because all you have to do to get oven fries is shove ’em in the oven it doesn’t mean you have to drag out the deep fryer to make a great French frie.

    • Agree! Cooking and knitting have so much in common. You have improvisational wizards and cooks who are basically scientists. Room for both in knitting as well.

  • I realized while reading this wonderful post that one of the things I love most about your special projects is the way they make my special projects seem entirely manageable. And the timing on this one is so perfect, I really must thank you, Ann!
    I have every confidence that you will make that sweater a wonderful, fun, gorgeous, wearable experience. But I know I couldn’t.
    On the other hand, I’m now feeling pretty good about renovating my screenporch.

    • Screen porch?! Must go see what you’re up to! I love a good renovation tale. “The Discovery of Termites.” “Will This Beam Hold?” “In Which The Budget Is Officially Blown.”

  • I love this blog so very much – you are pure genius! I, also, had a large collection of ivory, winter white and ecru yarns and had no idea what to do with it. I made a throw using a Colinette pattern and it’s truly beautiful – my favorite! It’s a total mixture of different shades, weights and textures of the same winter white palette – and I love every stitch in it!Never in my wildest dreams did I think of integrating it into a gorgeous sweater, however…but you did and that’s why I love you! I can’t wait to see the finished garment – you’ll have a truly unique, one-of-a-kind sweater that will be beautiful beyond words. Now I have to start collecting all over again and learn to think out of the box more often!

    • This is exactly what I thought of. I imagine with all of those beautiful yarns it would be exquisite.

    • Photo please! It sounds glorious. The textures of these yarns is very pretty. But then, I guess I’d say that about any yarn in the universe.

  • No, I can’t understand collecting ecru yarn. Oh, wait! I bet that’s like my blue collection…only different.

    This is going to be fun to see! Every half of every cable a different yarn!

    • Gerri, you’re killing me. Intarsia cables??? That’s so . . . tangly!

  • It will be gorgeous. I’m still hoarding my bale yarns. Glad to see yours getting some use. Can’t wait to see it.

    • I still don’t know if I can actually do the deed and knit with them. Especially for a project as weird and unlikely to succeed as this one. I worry that it will break their little yarn hearts to find themselves in a Frankenstein fisherman sweater.

      • Ann, I do not think your sweater will come out looking like a “Frankenstein” potchka extravaganza. Your work has a great quality which is all your own, and which I cannot put into words. It’s like a combination of style, capability, precision of execution, great affection/love for the process, as well as a sort of meditative connection those who have taught you, have been your mentors in craft. Never was this so evident to me as when I saw the wonderful stitching and beading work on Instagram that you were doing this summer with the A. C. garments. The quality of your work was impeccable. I was really hoping that you would be putting pics of them on MDK for the non-Instagram world to see. Also, the sewater pattern that you chose has great lines that seem to me to be just your style. I think this project will be more yours than ever. Just saying.

        • OOPS! That should read “sweater”.

        • You’re too kind, Diane! The funny thing about this project is that I have the lowest possible expectations for it–I think I’ve been knitting long enough now that I am pretty sure I will keep doing it for the duration. It’s not like this is going to be the last sweater I ever knit! ; ) So if this thing turns out as weird as I think it will, it won’t be the end of the world. Know what I mean? The process is what’s got me intrigued–how are all these yarns going to behave together? Or, more likely, not? xoxo

  • I am currently hyperventilating with the knowledge that Colonial Williamsburg, home of my beloved alma mater, has yarn. I’ve been away too long. As for your yarn collection, you should be proud. My collection, which dates from the 80s, is ribbon and cotton and wool, and fuchsia and turquoise and white. That’s never going to happen.

    • This was back in 2008, mind you, that I scarfed up this yarn. They claim it comes from the picturesque flocks of sheep so artfully placed around the grounds. I would like to think this is true! I love Williamsburg so much. How cool that you went to school at Wm and Mary.

  • Yowza. This is going to be a great adventure!

  • Are you going to mix them up? What about some kind of slip stitch extravaganza, a la Sally Melville’s book on using up stash? Do a big oversized 90’s Classic Elite kinda sweater – I hear drop shoulders are coming back! 🙂

    • Oh, yeah, slip stitches! Definitely the way to go.

    • Slip stitch looks like a much saner option that trying to make a fisherman sweater. But I am bound to Karen’s fisherman sweater knitalong, and my loyalty is deep.

  • So creative! So gutsy! I really can’t wait to see what you do with this…. Lots of updates please!

    • Will do! The unexamined knitalong is not worth living.

  • The yarn looks delicious – amazing colors and structure!

  • Hey!! Hi there!
    Comments are off in the First Post Back, but I only just now discovered it, so I have to say hi here.
    Thank you, Ann, for the India journal. For writing by hand and simply telling us about it.

    And the beaded piece is truly a complete expression of your response to India. It nearly made me cry – your work of patience, humble learning and delicate, determined hands captures so much of what is valuable to me in any interaction with the indescribable wealth that is India.

    Sitting on my hands so I don’t go out an get some beads and start cutting into jersey, myself!
    Wow, it’s so nice to read you two again.

    • Helllloooooo Tracy! So good to hear from you. Yes, India continues to resonate in my memory more than any trip I’ve ever taken. It knocked me right out of my middle of the road thinking, which I guess is what travel is all about. I would love to go back.

  • Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Bet it will be fab!

    I had an ecru stash too, all different weights and fibers, and it all ended up in one of my favorite, most satisfying projects of all time, a big crocheted blanket that lives on my bed. Already got enough stash for another one… ahem…

  • I too have embarked on an “all about ecru” project, using up all those skeins in a whiter shade of pale. Mine is a blanket. I have to say, for all it’s subtlety, it’s been a delight to work on.

    • Photos, please! So curious to see what it looks like.

  • Wow! I could hardly believe my eyes – there is a mention of Tasmania right at the top of your page. Greetings from sunny, but windy today, Hobart, Tasmania.

    I really enjoy the blog – both of you!

    Regards, Elsa

    PS. You do know that we are not in Africa ……… don’t you?

    • Hi Elsa! Greetings from Nashville right backatcha! I just checked, and we’re only 9,560 miles apart. Back door neighbors, really.

      And yes, you must get mail bound for Tanzania all the time, such a pain.

  • What if you figured out an ombre order – darker to lighter or the other way 😉 and then used two skeins at a time, striping? That would make the ends reasonable, but still allow the cables to be the point? Since any pair of stripes would be pretty similar?

    Anyway, use ’em if they aren’t too dense. If the gauge is good, you can’t lose – mixes of whites are totally freaking gorgeous. I mean, it’s not like it’s gonna clash! You’re going to end up with something that EVERYONE covets.

  • Dayum, you are so much braver than I am. Looking forward to seeing the progress on this baby! I also love that your cat is in the first picture, ready to artfully place black cat hair on all that ecru.

    Colonial Williamsburg has yarn? I’m going to a retreat there in March: https://historyunwound.org/ History plus textiles (knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving) is so right up my alley. I can’t wait!