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Dear Ann,
We are both on a green journey.
This is the latest output of my Honey Cowl cottage industry. I used two skeins of Hiwassee Creek DK Weight which I scored at the Arkansas Fiber Arts Extravaganza in December. The dyeing style of this yarn reminds me of Madelinetosh: it’s basically a solid color, but there are lighter and darker shadings of the color, a few speckles of its close relations (here, a dark blue-green), and the occasionally flash of the white yarn underneath. (The photo is brighter and shows more variation than in real life; in real life, it’s a forest green.) I love this style. It avoids the perfect consistency that can make industrially dyed solid colors look flat, but also avoids jangling up a bunch of colors together for a finished item that screams LOOK AT ME I’M HANDMADE. (I look forward to your letters.) (Sometimes, I, too, want my knits to shout their handmade-ness from the rooftops, but not always. Especially gifts. This is a gift for Colleen. Colleens, in general, look great in green.)
(Note: this is not a black & white photo.) Breaking: I managed to finish up a stranded Thorpe hat to send to Afghans for Afghans, for their January campaign for teens in Afghanistan. Confession: after knitting the delightfully intuitive patterned yoke on my Icelandic sweater, Thorpe’s 2-color chart had me stopping and starting. I had to keep looking at the chart; the pattern wasn’t intuitive. It wasn’t a problem, it just wasn’t a joy.)
If the yarn looks familiar, it’s because it’s leftovers from my recent lopapeysa. Two close shades of grey Lett Lopi. (Icelanders: feel free to insert your own diacritical marks.)
I have no opinions on the Golden Globes because I am too busy watching the final episodes of Season 1 of Friday Night Lights on my newfangled Netflix machine. I am seriously crushing on a fictional football coach. These are not words I ever expected to type. Go Panthers!
Here’s a thought for the day: I have zero interest in what Lance Armstrong has to say. There are decent things to do after such an epic, self-engineered fall from grace. Talking to Oprah is not one of them. I would suggest firing the publicist, and handing over the charity to others more capable of honesty. Am I bitter because It’s Not About the Bike was once a form of armor in a time of need, in my house? You betcha. Trying to be grateful for the courage it gave, and letting the rest of it go.
That’s all I got, sister.


  • With you all the way on Lance. No interest in such a dispicable bully.
    Love the hat and the cowl.
    B x x

  • I’ll jump right in on Lance Armstrong, after first giving a massive HIGH FIVE on the greenery (LUSH) and the grayery (lopitastic). So gorgeous.
    NOW. My loathing of Lance Armstrong is weirdly out of scale to my interest in professional bicycle racing, cancer nonprofits, or blood doping. HE IS DESPICABLE. For me, the most astonishing thing about Lance Armstrong is his utter greed at stealing OTHER PEOPLE’S TIME. He wasted thousands of hours of courtroom time on his fake outrage; he lied to all those poor Livestrong staffers, volunteers, and MY KIDS WHO BOUGHT THOSE CRAPPY BRACELETS because they thought Lance Armstrong was a hero. He didn’t blink when he forced his teammates to go along with his treachery, and he was perfectly OK with ditching anybody who disagreed with him. Nobody’s time was as precious as his. It’s all breathtaking. And the saddest, most breathtaking thing of all is the conversation I had with a teenager this morning when I asked him what he thought of the Lance Armstrong scandal. His reply: “Whoooooo carrrrres? Everybody was doing it. The whole sport is corrupt. All sports are corrupt.” THANKS A LOT, LANCE ARMSTRONG, for helping make one more teenager a little more cynical and jaded.
    I shall end on a positive note, however: Coach Taylor is a hero. And I don’t know if you’ve arrived at the moment in Friday Night Lights when steroids raise their ugly heads (syringes?). But it is fascinating to see what happens.
    15-minute commenting! Time’s up!

  • Oh Kay, guru of all that is the honey cowl, I seek your advice. After seeing your beautiful speciments. I want (need) to make one of my own, but I’ve read on Rav that some people are troubled by a faux-seam that is created by the pattern. I come to you for wise words on how to prevent a honey-cowl tragedy…

  • PS I feel so sorry for Sheryl Crow.

  • Love the green cowl and the lopi hat is of course a favorite in my book.
    Agree on everything said about Armstrong.

  • Love the green cowl and the lopi hat is of course a favorite in my book.
    Agree on everything said about Armstrong.

  • Now I need to make another Honey Cowl. You are an evil woman, enabling poor innocents…
    Heh, who am I kidding. You might be enabling, but this is a kool-aid that I drink from the fire hose it is so delicious.

  • mellenknits–I will pre-chime in here to say that yes, the Honey Cowl has a line of demarcation when a new round begins. I don’t know any workaround myself. But for me, that line is just a reminder that the perfect circle is sometimes imperfect, or something, or whatever. It’s not all that noticeable to me. But if it is a problem, oh my goodness there are cowl patterns aplenty out there with no line issues.

  • i have some (not-so-strong but distinct) opinions about Lance. mainly i’ll only suggest that he owes the US government lots of sponsorship money back and he owes a huge debt to all the folks he sued for libel over the years. this doesn’t come close to the zillions of apologies owed.
    hooray for green speckled yarn, though! that’s a breath of sunshine.

  • Love the Honey Cowl. I’ve made 2, and am casting on for a third. The “faux seam” does exist, but it’s not really a problem. It’s a cowl! You twist it up and who can find it?
    Lance Armstrong. What a jackass. You’ve both covered it thoroughly.

  • Kay, you are a better woman than I. Your comments on Lance are so correct and surely echo the thoughts of many others. I would not have been as concise as you if I had the forum. Shame on him and shame on Oprah.
    Thank you for continuing to feed my honey cowl obsession. Please know that I count on you and Ann for those kind of things.
    Here’s to humbler heroes.

  • mellenknits – cast on one extra stitch and the seam fades away. It’s amazing, really. Am on Honey Cowl the 3rd, and furiously mentally cataloging my stash to see what will turn into Honey Cowl IV.
    If Honey Cowl love is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

  • 1) Lance Armstrong is a waste of air. The egos of some amaze me (see also, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh) especially those in the “rules only apply to others” club.
    Happier 2) dude. Friday Night Lights. Tim Riggins is the best character on there IMHO. I LOVE him, which totally freaked me out for a while because I have not been in high school for a WHILE then I looked him up, realized he’s pretty close to my age and was at peace with the whole thing. What a great show. I do remember one season was like, the season of really stupid decisions but I still liked it.

  • I love Friday Night Lights. As a parent I have often thought – what would Tammy Taylor do?

  • I love Friday Night Lights. As a parent I have often thought – what would Tammy Taylor do?

  • Ann, I love you too. Could not agree more. B x x

  • We need a What Would Tammy Taylor Do t-shirt, stat.

  • Oh Kay, someday I hope to possess your wisdom with words. Lance is a…well…being me I would have to insert a bad word. Your way of phrasing it is just perfect. OPRAH??? I mean really.
    In other related news, you’ll be pleased to know I’ve decided to jump on the cowl bandwagon. It’s all your fault too.

  • My goodness….I could have written your Lance Armstrong comment (except that I don’t write as well as you.) My view exactly, including the fact that his book once held a special place in my heart.
    Thank you!

  • I dislike football and Texas and yet…I wintered over last year with all seasons of FLL, lusting after Coach Taylor and (ashamed to say)Matt Sarecen (sp?)and Tim Riggins. YOU GO KAY!
    Also, I’m indebted to you for the Honey Cowl Christmas of 2012 (still have to make one for myself).
    Also, I must say, your thing about Lance Armstrong is the part that makes me the saddest and most pissed. All the people who were Living Strong, inspired by him. Just keep in mind that–to some extent, probably in the middle of the night sometimes–it probably sucks to be him. Ugh. All best, always. Sally

  • Love the honey cowl. As for lance, I’ve never really been an Oprah fan anyway, but if I were, I would not watch this. In my head I think I always knew he doped, but the way he went after all of his accusers seemed even worse. Few people that I think should disappear into the sunset quietly more.

  • “I look forward to your letters.” LOL 🙂
    There’s something about the first image of the Thorpe that actually makes it look 3D on my screen…right around the place where the garter section meets the stockinette section, from the earflap back. I only mention this in such detail because I want to know of anyone else can see it.
    If not, and if it is just some weird visual malady affecting me, I blame Lance Armstrong. If the Earth stopped orbiting right now, I would blame Lance Armstrong.

  • I started a Honey Cowl a while back and was unhappy with it so I frogged. However, whenever I see one of yours, I once again want to cast on…. I’m thinking about the madtosh vintage in composition grey hibernating in the stash.
    Also – Lance. I really wanted to believe he hadn’t doped, but for years there has been a little niggling voice at the back of my brain telling me that he must have. So I am not surprised, but I am sad, mostly because I know how much he meant to so many people.

  • As someone who has also used a book as a form of armor in a time of need (“The Year of Magical Thinking”‘, Joan Didion), I wonder if for courage in the future we’d be safer looking for role models among our friends, or friends of friends? Or at least for someone who’s willing to tell their whole story, warts and all? Or would that make them less of a role model?

  • I say woo hoo for Honey Cowls everywhere, seamed or not seamed. They are the best. We should all do more honey cowls.
    As for Lance, I hear you loud and clear. For me it would be like finding out that MJ Fox is not the optimist he seems. There are so many who live facing disease daily who deserve the hero banner. Mr. Armstrong is not one of them. Kind of like watching Pete Rose having a reality show. Off the soap box.

  • Continuing to the the Honey Cowls (that yarn is gorgeous)! Right there with you regarding Lance Armstrong — phony, charlatan, jerk — he’s beyond despicable. And Oprah felt she had to go to him for his “story?” Puh-leeeze. I’m so sad for the Livestrong folks. Back to knitting, I really like hat as well.

  • On my facebook page, we made list of reasons to dislike Lance Armstrong. I shall add yours to what has turned into a quite impassioned defense of Sheryl Crow.

  • I’m so glad the faux seam is being addressed here! I’m knitting my first Honey Cowl and noticed this strange phenomenon. I thought maybe it was something I did wrong.

  • I thought for sure someone before me would ask you what the newfangled Netflix machine is. But honey cowls and Lance were your hooks and nobody moved pass them. I shall. WHAT is a Netflix machine? I can really love learning about new tech stuff and I’m curious! Thanks.

  • I’ve lost a little respect for O on this interview. I haven’t seen it, but it screams “My little cable channel needs RATINGS” (say that in a Oprah voice).
    Lance is either going to need to do some serious charity work or he’s going to have to move to a small island somewhere. I don’t see him living very comfortably in the US.
    I do wonder how much Sheryl Crow knew about his shenanigans…

  • I cannot speak as to Sheryl Crow and the Lance Armstrong relationship of course – but I can’t help but think that for quite some time, she has been very, very happy that the relationship ended. She is better off without him.

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