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Dear Ann,

I spent the last few days in balmy, beautiful Omaha, Nebraska USA. Omaha is the city of my birth through college years, and world headquarters for my Most Moisturized Mom, who’s had a spot of trouble following a supposedly minor operation in June, requiring a long recuperation.

I made this trip in the company of my college bestie, who lived out her own years 14–22 in this garden spot of the middle west, before inexplicably heading off to France for 40 years. (Actually it’s easily explicable: Reader, she married him, and he is French.) Anyhoo, I knew that, what with our packed schedule of twice-daily visits to Dairy Queen plus ample breeze-shooting and errand-running with and for Most Moisturized, I needed to file this post in advance.

So I decided to make it exciting for myself. I would be taking my Old Friend Pullover with me for travel knitting, and in this post I officially declare it Finished! Donezo! Mission accomplished! And I am going to post pictures of me wearing it in whatever state it is/was on Tuesday, August 9.

Hopefully it’s done! You tell me! Does this look like a finished sweater?

I am a human “shrug” emoji! Seriously, though, I’m getting there.

At Least I Have Tips

The elegant short-row shoulders of Old Friend taught me three solid-gold tips.

Tip the First. Place a marker after each wrapped stitch.

This tip made it super easy to count the number of repeats of each short row I’d worked. It also made it a snap to find the wrapped stitches, even in the nearly black Truffle shade of Atlas. (Truffle is a bit darker than it looks in these sunny shots. It’s almost black.) It also made me feel like I don’t have too many stitch markers, no matter what people say.

Tip the Second. Make that short-row line look real smooth.

Do you struggle with the instruction to “work wraps together with wrapped stitches?” I sure do! On my first try, these stitches looked weird, and I didn’t know how to un-weird them until I watched this video from VeryPink Knits. There is much more finesse to my finish now. It’s a beautiful shoulder line—thank you, Erika Knight! And thank you, VeryPink!

Tip Three. I improved the shoulder join.

The Old Friend’s shoulders are seamed with a three-needle bindoff. I’ve had delusions of 3NBO grandeur ever since Cecelia Campochiaro recommended P. Ricci’s modified version of the technique in MDK Field Guide No. 19: Marls. The video is here, and it makes a beautiful flat chain, with no awkward ridgy side to it.  The Ricci technique requires a tiny bit of focus, but if you’re into putting on airs at gatherings of the Three-Needle Bindoff Appreciation Society, it’s totally worth it.


My love to everybody in Nashville. By the time this publishes, I’ll be back at my post of duty in New York, where I hope to be casting on a Main Squeeze Pullover in beautiful blue Lapis.

Or, you know, sewing the pocket on Old Friend or something like that.




  • Of course it’s finished! The rest is a casual few evenings tucking tails, mattress stitching, washing, blocking and having a smooth warm beverage of choice- getting to know your new sweater. Knitting complete!

  • Love reading your fun letters and your loving referrals to your MMM (Most Moisturized Mom)☺️

    • I agree! Most Moisturized Mom is a great moniker – now I have to come up with one for my mom!

  • Ha! Thanks Kay for a laugh this morning – funny because it’s so familiar a situation to us all. And excellent tips too! May Sleeve Island be quick and easy for you.

  • Nice color, and great tips! Love the Altoids tin for markers, too. The wrapping/unwrapping method has always mystified me. Another good resource is in The Knowledgeable Knitter book pages 279/280.

  • YouTube is a great resource!

  • ever since I learned to do short rows, I have been using them for my shoulders, no matter what the pattern says, and i wll never go back to stair step bind offs again. The joining of front and back is a bit easier if you knit one more row beyond the one where the wraps are picked up.

    • I need to learn to apply this technique, with confidence! In the German or Japanese short row method. Then the flat three needle bind off. Appreciate your references.

      Using the slip last stitch, turn, bind off slipped stitch just isn’t good enough. Finishing Cloverdale, linen, 26 sts/10cm, with a couple of inches of K1, P1 rib at the sloped shoulders was really challenging because I wanted that seam to be worthy of the geometric slip stitch design. If only I had thought of this!

      The truffle colour (a slightly faded black?) looks great! It’s an inspired choice for those of us who struggle to distinguish stitches in a sea of dense, dead black!

    • @Ellen, love that tip too!

  • I’m amazed at the color differences in the photos but the best is one where you’re wearing it and you look beautiful in it! Thanks for the video recs, so helpful!

  • Staci Perry of Very Pink Knits is my go to for EVERYTHING – except Brioche which she doesn’t do – and I am soooo with her on that one!

    • Ooh you’re missing out! I find brioche rhythmic and the fabric oh-so-squishy and dramatic—I was hooked on my first cowl. (Ignore all the it’s-so-hard hype!)

  • Very Pink Knits has SAVED me a dozen times. I taught myself to knit (at 55 years old) with Youtube videos. Now, when I get stuck, I run back to Youtube and most often Very Pink Knits. Your sweater is lovely!!

  • Hope your MMM is getting better fast.
    Sweater almost finished.
    Can’t wait to see you wearing it.

  • I loved visiting my in-laws at 95th and Grover for many years (until they left the Winters of Omaha for the lure of grandchildren in TX). Omaha is a beautiful city. What a fun place to visit and knit. I hope your mother is doing well.

  • It looks like there’s still a ridge but the knit stitches are face up instead of to the side. Much neater. Roxanne Richardson has an excellent video on this same technique and a couple of other ways of dealing with this bind off too. I liked the P. Ricci video; very clear and explicit. Roxanne is my favorite YouTube teacher. She does a new technique every Tuesday and a longer video on Friday that covers different aspects of the knitting world.

    • She is my favorite too!

  • Thanks for sharing the video of the revised 3 needle bind off, it is genius! Can’t wait to use it.

  • I finished my Old Friend Pullover in time to wear it on my recent trip to Shetland and it was perfect for the cool windy weather. I modified it a bit by doing German short rows instead of Wrap and Turn. I find them easier to do and less visible than the W&T version. I marked each with a bulb pin to make it easier to identify on the finishing row. I loved the look of the sweater and look forward to wearing it for sweater weather. Now I have to knit one for my sister because she loved mine.

  • I set a not-completely-arbitrary deadline of 3 completed Patty Lyons designs before I attend her AffiKnity retreat in Maine in September – that became 2 completed sweaters…I’ve got one that’s ready to be sewn together, one that the 2nd sleeve is half finished, and a kitchen renovation starting after Labor Day weekend with a week’s work trip in the middle of that. And it’s already Aug. 10. What could go wrong???

    • What could go RIGHT! You’re totally going to be the queen of Affiknitty!

  • I have found that the shadow wrap technique for short rows works very well when dealing with dark yarn. Check it out on Youtube. It’s a life saver.

    • I second the shadow wrap method. Love it.

  • I don’t know what you did to get Truffle to look like prewashed denim in that last photo, but I think you might have stumbled upon the inspiration for a new shade of Atlas! BTW, nice sweater vest ;-).

    • The bright sunshine of Omaha just bleached it right out!

  • Ladies, your comments are always like a good old fashioned kaffeeklatsch. I’m waiting for my new toy – a yarn winder and swift – coming tomorrow. Now off to take on the day!

  • So in the pictures that looks almost a smoky blue/ gray. Is that available in Atlas?

  • Thanks for all the wonderful tips! I hope MMM is doing well and you are your sweater are peacefully co-habitating.

  • Hope Most Moisturized Mom has a full recovery soon.

  • My parents were from Iowa and moved to Colorado so I have spent some great time in Nebraska and I don’t envy you but the Dairy Queen sounds great !

  • Awesome 3needle bind off. Thx for that.

  • Um, Kay, I know this is a knitting blog, but I really would love to know more about that gorgeous linen dress you are wearing behind the Pullover in Progress.

    Did you sew it yourself? I wonder where to get some of that beautiful fabric. So perfect for this hotter ‘n h*ll summer.

    You rock those stripes, especially with the matching Birks!

    • I think that wonderful linen dress could be Eileen Fisher. (If so, it was available for a hot minute and I missed it until it was on sale online. In size XS only… Which I am not…)
      Looks great on you, Kay!

  • I just realized your shoes match your dress. How cool is that!

  • There’s no such thing as too many stitch markers!!

  • Thank you Kay, I can’t wait to make one for myself.

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