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Dear Kay,

Now that we’re in the final week of summer, that back-to-school feeling is hitting me hard. Remember how thrilling it was to see Mrs. Dickinson’s new first-grade bulletin board? I’m having that feeling with what we’ve got ahead of us in the coming weeks. So much newness—everybody’s working so hard to get it all ready.

Thing No. 1: The New Field Guide

Heartened to hear everybody’s happiness about Cecelia’s upcoming Field Guide No. 19. Seeing all the subscriber copies getting ready to go out is one of my favorite sights: FUN AHEAD, basically.

Cecelia’s first Field Guide with us, Field Guide No. 5: Sequences, spawned a ton of projects. It’s fun to see what everybody’s made over on Ravelry. We’re looking forward to a whole new set of designs from Cecelia, and the same level of can’t-stop-won’t-stop knitting.

Thing No. 2: Knit Night in Nashville

I’m going to go ahead and point out that our first event at MDK World Headquarters in Nashville is really more of a Knit Afternoon. It’s just that Knit Night is a lot easier to say. At 3:30, the whole place turns into a hangout with snacks and bevs and shopping and time spent in the company of knitters. We’ll go until the sun sets.

It’s shaping up to be a lot of fun, so if you’re in the area, or want to come to Nashville for the weekend and make Knit Night a stop in between boot shopping and hot chicken, come on! Sign up here. We’ll be wearing masks and asking everybody to show their vaccination cards.

Thing No. 3: Yarn

We’re about to launch a lot of yarns. We went kind of wild, mostly because we’re trying to give everybody the most options possible for color, fiber, weight, all of it. The longer I knit, the more I realize how we really are living in a golden age of yarn. We’re doing our best to cull through it all and offer the best of show, basically. Rustic, soft, colorful, subtle—watch for these new yarns in the coming days and weeks.

The Hidden Hours of the Day

I read the other day about a 32-year-old Naval Reserve officer who walked on to the Vanderbilt football team. Asked how he managed to do the incredible list of things on his plate, he said, “It’s all about finding the hidden hours of the day,” he said. “They’re all there.” He’s so right. Tuesday seems like the perfect day of the week to locate a hidden hour or two.



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  • So looking forward to the new field guide!!!

  • would be at knit-together at any hour with you in a heartbeat.

  • Looking for my hidden hours thank you for that insight. Seems like I just get up earlier! Reading this at 6:30 am.

  • So looking forward to Field Guide #19! #10 was one of the first I purchased as a test of the product! I’m fairly new to MDK and slowly filling my field guide holder with past issues. I’ve subscribed now so that I stay current and don’t have to play catch-up! (talking about finding “hidden hours” – if I am going to have them anyway, just plan to have them come when issued!)

    Wondering if you have given thought to using a spiral binding so that the guides can lay flat when in use. The dimensions (in terms of how many can fit in the box holder) and cost may be a bit different but would be worth it!

    • Office supply mega stores will put a spiral binding on for a modest charge

    • I’m liking this suggestion a lot!

  • It might not be worth noting that his secret to finding hidden hours was to choose to go to football practice instead of other things he could be doing (in this case being home with wife and kids). In his case it’s a couple of months for a last in a lifetime opportunity. What’s that saying? We can have it all, just not all at once. Goal for the week: prioritize knitting over something else for an hour and watch the world keep turning.

    • During the years devoted to hectic family life, I decided 4-6am were MINE! It worked beautifully most of the time. It also prevented my burning the midnight oil on stuff that really could wait.
      Worked so well I’m still doing it…except now, the morning hours remain quiet, and I waken fully rested….ready for a cuppa and my knitting.
      Can’t wait for the next Field Guide, Cecilia, pictures from Knit Night, and the unveiling of new yarn!!!

      • For many years I read article after article about taking time for yourself which boiled down to get up earlier. Well if I thought that would work would have already been doing it. But since I didn’t get enough sleep as it was it may no sense to me to take ” me time ” in an hour when I really wanted to be asleep. They never seem to have any other advice. The fact of the matter is there are times in your life when you don’t really have much me time. You’re me time is what you give to the people you love when they need it.

      • I would love to be able to claim 4-6 am for writing. Such a beautiful time of day, full of tranquility and all possibilities. Maybe someday!

      • ❤️ Sounds perfect ❤️

    • Aw hey, not sure it’s fruitful to speculate about what goes on in somebody else’s marriage–the two people in it are the only ones who know, right?

      • ❤️

      • Agreed!

      • Agreed, didn’t mean to start the gender wars in your lovely comment section. As someone pointed out in the WaPo comments the guy is only in it for one 6-month football season and it’s pretty unique – he got the extra year of eligibility because military service doesn’t count against college time (or something– football yadda yadda). It’s not forever.
        He seems like a stand-up guy, but he’s not a magician, that time came from prioritization and a supportive spouse, the same technique we can try to use in our lives. I went to India for 2 weeks for work when my kids were 18 mo and 2.5y. That once-in-a-lifetime opportunity made possible by my employed husband who marshalled our resources so we could do it.

    • Right? For “find the extra hours” I read “never get up with his baby at night, never know what’s in his fridge (or what they need), never worry what school his children will attend because his wife’s doing all the research.” For “badass,” read “woman who never expects her husband to notice the laundry needs doing.” I’d like to see an article about a woman who does most of the everyday work of keeping a family together. In a world where that’s remarkable.

    • Yes, as a therapist I have time in my schedule for his wife. And if she must bring the children we can put them in a zoom break out room. She IS a “badass”, as he says. He is missing a lot, and maybe more than he is gaining.

  • Am I crazy? I fly home on October 1, but am seriously thinking about popping up to Nashville on October 2. Got plenty of miles banked. But do I have the stamina???? I know if I can make it there I will be filled up with the energy of fellow knitters . . .

    • Unless the distance is too outrageous, and since you have the fly miles banked, I think attending Knit Night would be one of those “once in a lifetime” adventures. Think Ann and Kay. Think Ceclia. Think MDK staff who answers our tech questions and who packs our orders in such a special way. Think actually being present in MDK headquarters! You will have an image of it in your mind’s eye each time it’s mentioned in the blog. And, as you pointed out, you would be filled with the energy of fellow knitters. I think there very well could be the hidden hours and stamina for this one.

      • Convinced!!

    • If you have the strength for the journey, ew’d love to see you.

  • Ann! I love the reminder of finding the hidden hours, however you can make it happen for yourself. In my case these important times are short and super sweet – and sustain me.
    ALSO! the new guide is going to be so much fun!

  • thank you for these insights, Ann. the gentle reminder of those hidden hours was uplifting. looking forward to the new yarns, too.

  • It truly is the Golden Age of knitting, not only with the vast variety of yarns and dyers but also with the sheer availability of information. We have so many fantastic teachers and designers with their knowledge sharable through in-person instruction, books, magazines, videos, and blogs like yours. New knitters have a smorgasbord to choose from that I could only have dreamed of in the ’70s and I am taking full advantage of it!

    • Agreed.

      As for finding the “hidden hour,” try retiring. But, when you do so, promise yourself that you will make NO outside commitments for a specified amount if time. Make taking care of yourself a priority for that time. I took online classes and have been enjoying my life even more than before. Once I went back to the “normal multi-tasking life” that we all know, I had more skills to apply to make it better.

      Best wishes for living your best life.

    • Oh how true! I learned on acrylic at Sears, and my Mom and sister didn’t “get it” and 50 plus years later, I am still THRILLED daily at what resources I have and use and share!!!

    • it’s almost TOO much! Paralyzingly delicious choices for those of us who want to knit & learn ALL THE THINGS. lol

  • Just seeing your work place makes me want to move into your world leaving my life behind with my dog and start over

  • I can’t wait for all the exciting new things. A new Field Guide, new yarns and Cecelia. I can’t go to Nashville but the Zoom call will be the next best thing.

  • Congratulations on a business that is not only growing but also thriving with joy and possibilities.

  • People (non-knitters) tell me all the time how they hate wool yarn. I ask them, have you felt (pun intended) the wool yarns of today?! The yarn today is incredible! And when non-knitters tell me it’s a dying (again pun intended) art, I tell them to look around! Not just old ladies sitting in rockers on the front porch knitting anymore! Bravo to all of you who continue to bring this art to life!!

    • Amen!!

  • Can I please ask that you look for worsted weight sock yarn? I would love both superwash and non-superwash wool yarn. I mean it can have nylon in it, hand dyed would be a nice change. It really is hard to find.

  • “Hidden hours” reminded me of a book called The Fringe Hours, by Jessica Turner – she’s right in Nashville too!

  • My way to open up time is to have a mental list of those nagging 15 mins or less jobs, and when I have to wait for the long job to move along I do a shortie while waiting. The guy is lucky in his spouse, and I am sure he will return the favor when she wants explore an opportunity in future.

  • I’m excited for the field guide!
    The hidden 2 hours, well not so much! After the last two days I hope they stay hidden!

  • Isn’t asking everyone to show their vaccination card a violation of our hippa laws
    Just saying.

    • HIPAA is often misunderstood.

      It is a law that protects a patient’s right to control their own health information by prohibiting health care providers from disclosing that personal health information to others without the patient’s permission.

      It has nothing to do with an organization asking people to be willing to share or disclose their own health information in order to participate in the organization’s event.

      • thanks for the explanation.

        • You are welcome!

          The bottom line is your provider can tell others involved in your care or the operation of the healthcare system who have a need-to-know in order to serve you, but not others outside the organization who might use the information against you (employers, insurance companies, etc.)

          You can tell anyone you want. And those you tell can tell anyone they want – even though that may be unwise and unkind and hurtful to you to share your info without your permission.

    • probably. But would you rather risk starting a delta variant super spreader event?

  • Wish I could come to Knit Night but it’s too far from Aberdeenshire, Scotland

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