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Dear Kay,

Greetings from Los Angeles! I’m spending a bit of time hanging with my lads who have recently moved here from New York.

You’ll find postcards in the gallery up top. Among my rambles, I’ve had a quick visit with Kat Coyle, proprietor of The Little Knittery in Los Feliz. Kat is the designer of the PussyHat, one of the most-knitted patterns in the history of this thing we love to do. Has any other pattern landed on the front page of The New York Times, on the heads of thousands of people? My suitcase contains a copy of the pattern, a souvenir of 2017 that I keep there as a reminder of that time.

The Little Knittery is a jewel box of a yarn shop.

Amazing to look up and see the sea of people.

A sheepy mural painted by Kat’s friend.

Delicious yarns to see.

One of Kat’s favorite yarns is Noro, so she has a fine supply of it. I beelined for Geshi, in the shade Hokuto.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a knitter in possession of a ball of Noro must be in want of a place to sit down and start knitting it. I had an overwhelming urge to crack open my Geshi, so I went to the Barnsdall Art Park, where Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1921 Hollyhock House is a Unesco Heritage Site and an excellent example of what happens when a woman in possession of a fortune must be in want of a gigantic Mayan-influenced house.

(See the interior here, wow.)

I’ve been there several times now, sitting on the lawn, taking in the LA view, listening to LA people talk about their LA lives, watching an LA toddler charm everybody. I marvel at how a place can be so utterly different from the place one usually lives. Hollyhocks abundant in March. LA, you are a whole nother world.

I have the Color Explosion Throw pattern memorized, having made two blankets of it, so I started a Color Explosion scarf. After a few nights of Geshi, the colors are starting to do their Noro thing.

Kermit Update

Truly, I am now a believer that cats have nine lives. Kermit is back to eating, after a solid week of not eating. I can hardly believe it—to see my cat friend laid so low was hard on my heart, as I did all the hospicey things for him that I did for my dad last fall.

I didn’t give up on Kermit. I kept so many dishes of food for him nearby that our house looked like a catfeteria. I felt like water was the way back for him, so I spent hours with him as he slowly sipped from the faucet in the sink, source of his favorite water. But as I did these things, I did grieve him, you know? It felt like the end was very near.

Imagine the moment when he took three bites of his food. That’s the kind of hope I’m clinging to these days.





  • I am praying for Kermit’s full recovery, Ann! He is a beautiful knitting mascot to all!

  • Thank you for sharing your photos and your trip. Frank Lloyd Wright is unbelievable!!

  • Wishing Kermit comfort, peace, and the knowledge that he is appreciated and loved.

  • I hope Kermit continues to get better. When a fur baby is ailing you feel so helpless.

  • My torti Crackers got to the point once that we had to put her on a feeding tube for a full month. She did start eating again when we had to remove the tube and lived for four more good years after that (she was quite an old cat when she did pass) so do not give up hope. Kermit has so many prayers going out to him, mine included.

  • Question: as a tactile person, I gravitate to yarns that feel soft, often squishy. I always stop to look at Noro yarns because of their colors but find the “feel” off-putting. Does it soften up over time??

    • Hi Diane! I’ve been thinking about this Noro yarn a lot. The more I work with it, the more I am appreciating what Eisaku Noro, the legendary creator of Noro, is up to.

      On the yarn tag is a quote from him: “Natural Fiber: The fiber is hand selected and inspected by Master Eisaku Noro from the most reliable and ethical suppliers. Fibers are never treated with acids or harmful chemicals. They are gently spun to preserve original qualities and character.”

      And this: “Natural Process: Wabi Sabi embraces natural imperfections. The harmony of natural variation and original character of the fibers are preserved and delivered into your hands.”

      So, to answer your question (finally!), it does soften a little when it’s blocked and worn, but not dramatically. Eisaku Noro is putting a premium on preserving his fibers’ natural qualities, so a rustic wool is going to remain rustic, very deliberately.

      • Cool info! Never knew who actually made it. I love Wabi Sabi! There’s a yarn store in Camden Maine (the Cashmere Goat) that has a super looking hat made from Noro, wish I had a picture. It is like little boxes. Really shows off the yarn.

    • Ann we went through the same thing with our old dog. She Wouldn’t eat. It was the salt on potato chips that eventually turned her around. It’s been two years since. We treasure every day with her but that was a rough week! Keep the kitchen faucet dripping!

    • I made a cowl for my cousin with Noro and it was infinitely softer after blocking. She has washed it since and says it’s just lovely. One of my gurus suggested adding a little hair conditioner to the water and that will help it soften up too.

    • I made two blankets from Silk Garden and Silk Garden Solo a couple of years ago. The yarn was, I thought, not too pleasant to knit with. It did soften up a bit after washing, and now I actually prefer it to the many other afghans I have because it’s satisfyingly heavy. But it’s still a little prickly, though it doesn’t bother me in an afghan. I wouldn’t want it next to my skin in, say, a sweater personally. And I’ve never used it since.

      • That’s interesting. I can understand how you might prefer it (and I might) because it is satisfyingly heavy as you say. I’ve often been put off by it also but when I started knitting years ago I loved it, dove right in. Haven’t used it for a long time. Think I’ll give it another try!

  • Ann, I am so glad to hear that Kermit is back to eating! Truly, the thought that he was ill just on the heels of you losing your dad caused extra concern. I know he felt the sweetness and comfort of your
    presence as he sipped his favorite water.

    Lovely that you got to visit your lads in their new digs! I guess that so many of us find ways to knit the souvenirs of our special trips. Your Color Explosion scarf in Geshi is looking pretty, and will be the vessel of amazing memories of this time.

    • Thank you, Diane–you’re so right about souvenirs. So many of the things we make are loaded up with memories of where we made them, where the yarn came from, what was going on when we were knitting.

  • Ann, my thoughts and hopes are with you. I’m 71, and I’ve “owned” and loved cats all my life. I’ve nursed so many I thought were near the end, and even when it turned out to be their end, I never regretted all the effort and emotions put into the nursing. Sometimes they pull through, and the odds are on Kermit’s side with all the love around him. Best wishes to you both.

    • What beautiful thoughts Ginny. When our babies are sick and we don’t know what to do for them love and just our focused attention can be a real comfort to them. Knowing that, the time and heartsick feeling are never wasted. Wishing the very best for Kermit and Ann.

  • Hope and prayers Kermit gets healthy again

  • Mirtazapine transdermal ointment is a wonder drug for cats, your vet should be able to supply it.

  • When I rounded a corner to join the march in Philadelphia and saw that sea of pink hats, it brought tears to my eyes – that the whole idea had been pulled off as planned! It was very powerful.

    And I’m glad Kermit is on the mend. Any cat who can look out the window with that degree of interest and concentration still has some vital juices flowing!

  • Yes, it’s a helpless feeling when your kitty won’t eat. I discovered my cat would eat scrambled eggs and made them for her every morning. And she had taken to eating in the living room. Whatever works is what you do. So glad Kermit is eating again.

  • Come on Kermit! You can do it!

  • oh I’m so glad that there is some good kermit news….

  • Very good news about Kermit!

    I stumbled over The Little Knittery when Kay was located in Atwater Village, pre-2016, and have visited her in Los Feliz. Her shop is amazing – such an

    • Sorry – my comment dropped. She has a beautifully curated selection and Kay and her staff are lovely.

  • Sometimes, as they age (and us people, too), our pets hit a rough patch where you think this is it, and then they bounce back. Praying for a full recovery for your buddy.

  • I’m glad you got to enjoy some wonderful sights and yarn. We often visit LA but have not known about Hollyhock House or The Little Knittery. Will put on itinerary next time.

    Also very glad that Kermit is doing better. I’ve only had to say goodbye to one pet and hope it’ll be a long time before you have to say goodbye to Kermit or anyone else.

  • I’m a sucker for Noro – thanks for the inspiration with the scarf! Bookmarking and adding to the que. Enjoy your holiday! Sending lots of good vibes to Kermit.

  • Welcome to LA Ann! You’re in for some very warm weather this week. Wollhaus, in Pasadena, is my favorite yarn shop if you’re in that neighborhood. So happy to hear that Kermit is perking up and starting to eat. He’s got our prayers.

    • I was going to chime in the same! Love Wollhaus and – Ann – if you’re looking for a beautiful place to knit, come visit the Huntington Gardens. Let me know if you’re in the neighborhood and I’ll meet up with you!!

      • Should have mentioned that both these places are in the same general vicinity!

  • Sending lots of love to Kermit and to you. Isn’t it fun when you have a pattern memorized and can just start knitting it? It makes me feel so clever.

  • PLEASE someone know and tell me what that amazing thick-and-think multicolored yarn (on top of the neat white yarn, next to the Skill Set books) is, and who makes it. I have not had this strong an I MUST HAVE THAT feeling in a long time.

  • So glad about Kermit.
    And LA!! You can get the weather report from David Lynch on YouTube. Our family is having a bit of a David-Lynch-YouTube obsession. He reminds me of my grandfather and also… I dunno what the also is.

    • Love David Lynch’s weather report. Each day it’s broadcast on KCRW in LA

  • Yay Kermit! Mojo that her keeps improving.

  • I understand your struggle. Cats are some of the spiritual ways of life. It is devastating that we might lose them.

  • Lots of good wishes for Kermit.
    Beautiful tour of L.A. Barnsdall Park is a jewel. I do lust after that galley kitchen. Next trip south I will swing thru Los Feliz for yarn. Thank you for the sharing.

  • Very best wishes to Kermit. To you. a little bit of good-natured, sisterly jealousy. Happy (warm, dry) knitting!

  • I TRULY believe cats have at least nine lives Every once in awhile my elderly cat, Bella, will stop eating and just lay low. I also start to morn and think the end is ear ut somehow she always rallies❣I’m so glad Kermit is doing better!

  • Love to you and Kermit. I do know (parent and cat both) and it is hard.

  • Thanks for the Kermit update, glad to hear the good news. He is a much loved member of MDK.

  • GOOOOOOOO KERMIT!!!!! Yay Rah Rah KERMIT!!!!!

  • We love you Kermit! You too, Ann. ❤️

  • So happy Kermit is better! I know how our little furry sweeties can take your heart away. Hope he continues to do well.

  • I”m glad Kermit is feeling better. It is such a worry when a pet won’t eat, as they can’t tell you whether they’re feeling ill or are just getting tired of a particular food or flavor. With luck, he’s eating like a teenager now, and your grocery bill has doubled. (Hope he likes the blanket you’re knitting for him. If you haven’t already, go spend a day wandering around LACMA.)

    • Yay Kermit! May your good health continue. Thanks for the update Ann. Your LA postcard brightened my day.

  • Come see us in Berkeley or at lease virtually. Our knit club meets on Wednesday afternoons at 3:00 via Zoom. We would love to have you join us. We are all avid fans of MDK and it would be a great surprise for our knitters to have you in our midst. We are working on a name for ourselves and it would be great to have your ideas.

  • Glad to hear about Kermit’s recovery. I love Noro and have several skeins of it in my stash. My daughter knitted a beautiful sweater in Noro.

  • Thank you, Ann! Love, love, love the sheepy mural!
    Sending good thoughts to the universe that Kermit will continue to improve.

  • I will now spend some time google for people using the house after it was built. These houses are gorgeous but where do they curl up and knit?

  • I haven’t been in LA for about 10 years but to hear from my best friends father about when he would drive into LA and it was a two lane highway with orange groves all around it made me so sad to know those things are gone forever

  • Wishing Kermit a very speedy recovery.
    L A is such a great, fun, place to visit. The food, the fruits, the vegetables, the stores, the people watching!
    Enjoy the time with your boys.

  • I miss LA. I lived iin Los Feliz for a long time. I have been craving Carnitas from a taco stand on Hillhurst Ave, Yuca’s. Go there!

  • Good luck to Kermit and you too Ann. These are the toughest times.

  • So glad to hear Kermit is better.
    Your photos make LA look beautiful.

  • Oh, how we love our fur babies! You and Kermit are fortunate to have each other.

  • May Kermit continue to recover and enjoy at least nine more lives!

  • Oh, sweet Kermit! Hoping he continues to eat, drink, and bring you joy. Keep the smorgasbord buffet going!

  • We had to put down our recent furry friend. I know we did the right thing, but there is sadness and an echo in our house now. I know another dog will find us, it just takes time.

  • Ann, the Huntington Library and Gardens would certainly provide you with a few great knitting spots.

  • Thank you for your photos of LA, you have made me rethink not wanting to spend time! I’m so glad Kermit is feeling better. Please have the vet check his teeth, teeth are so often the source of discomfort, for people and pets! We thought my niece’s dog was close to death, the vet discover 5 bad teeth, pulled them, and voila, it was like she was a new dog!

  • Hi Ann!
    Sending Positive Purrs for Kermit ! From Canada
    I too went through this in December – Kermit lots more tricks to play on your Mom !
    Kathy Dame

  • I hope and pray that Kermit continues to improve. ❤️

  • Lovely pictures – and I will think healing thoughts of Kermit, he’s a beauty and it is so hard when our fine fur friends aren’t doing well.

  • Here’s hoping that Kermit has Nine-Times-Nine lives Hugs, thoughts and prayers that he is back to full health and appetite soon!

  • Good thoughts for Kermit! When our sweet female cat died having lived a full 19 years despite being an indoor/outdoor cat who spent her nights rummaging in sewers and God knows what else, we were devastated and kept “seeing” her around corners for years. I know how you feel. FLW was notorious for using cheap materials but your photos of the Hollyhock House look to be the exception. Quite sumptuous. Your blanket looks deliciously crunchy, which is my experience with Noro. So perfect for an afghan.

  • So glad to hear Kermit is doing better!!!
    I’ve been to the 2 Frank Lloyd Wright houses in PA, seen some exteriors in Chicago, but never this house. Looks like another reason to visit CA.

  • We are on the last day of a cross country car trip that took us from New Hampshire to LA to help our daughter, SIL & 2 month old grandson move to Austin from LaLaLand. Still far away but now only 1 time zone separates us. Always loved our Los Angeles visits and their 10 years there were wonderful – site of their marriage and the birth of their child. Enjoy it!!! It’s lovely.

    • I have no idea how I missed this post. The Hollyhock House grabbed me for an hour and I love seeing the LYS that birthed that wondrous hat!
      Then…to hear about Kermit’s travails and knowing from awful experience the heart-rending and loving care… May a rising tide of healing anoint you both with each blessed moment together…

  • Yay Kermit!
    I moved to Santa Clarita from Ohio years ago and love it! The L.A. area has TONS of thing to se and do–if you get bored here, it’s your own darn fault!

  • I have no idea how I missed this post. The Hollyhock House grabbed me for an hour and I love seeing the LYS that birthed that wondrous hat!
    Then…to hear about Kermit’s travails and knowing from awful experience the heart-rending and loving care… May a rising tide of healing anoint you both with each blessed moment together…

  • I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?

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