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Dear Kay,
One of my many, many New Year’s resolutions is to blog more often. I’ve decided that it’s very easy to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, so I’m going to try something we are going to call LIGHTNING ROUND BLOGGING. STRICT 15-MINUTE TIME LIMIT. When the buzzer goes off, I’m done. Quantity has a quality all its own, right?
Here we go:
All the yarn I adopted at the Arkansas Fiber Arts Extravaganza is screeching at me. So I decided to start the new year with the Alisha Goes Around fingering weight stuff called Zeal of Zebra (no time to link this stuff, people–just google it ok?), in a color that is one of my favorites: emeraldy colorshifty. It’s Superwash merino/Bombyx Silk/Fine Merino (just google it ok?)
I have two skeins, 500 yards or whatever per skein, just a whale of a lot of the stuff. I start poking around the Internet, come across WOOL PEOPLE 4 (google it!) and discover a pattern by Bristol Ivy (this is a person, not a perennial nor a child of Jay Z and Beyonce), and it turns out that this pattern, Thorn (not a commentary on the quality of the pattern, I believe), calls for around 1,000 yards of fingering weight.
BINGO! GIMME A SIZE 4 NEEDLE, a child who has come down with a stomach virus, and I am ON MY WAY. Pillow-fluffing, Gatorade, cast ON. Florence Nightingale has nothing on me.
The thing is, this is one of those patterns that relies on mathy increases and such to create its gently swooping, irregular shape. Bristol Ivy is clearly nuts, because nobody sits down to write a pattern for a wrap with this sort of peculiar sunbeam design. CRAZY.
This is one of those hail-Mary patterns, like one of those Veera Valimaki shawlettes. (Go google it; and no, I got no time for diacritical dots over Veera’s name, sorry!) At this point I am on page 2 of a 10-page pattern, and I am drunk with excitement on what will happen when we get to the Part B increases. And Part C. And Part D.
Seriously, this was the perfect pattern to work on while watching Downton Abbey last night. An Easy Row, then a Twisty Row. A lot of through the back loop action. Fantastic.
Time for one link to this cool pattern here. ENJOY!
Wasn’t Downton Abbey gratifying last night? The wedding was too short, but then, there has never been a teevee wedding that went on too long for me.
Time’s UP!


  • Woohoo – I love this. I am willing to google in the interest of more blogging.
    Also – I finished a hat during Downton Abbey last night. It was my second try after I frogged the first one as being for a Hagrid-sized noggin. Guess what – still too big. Arrggh. Maybe I’ll felt it? I am going to switch from bulky to worsted (even though the pattern alleged to be for bulky) and start all over again. In the meantime – how do you find people with large heads?!

  • Love the quick and dirty blog post. Do you have a goal for how many a week? Love the colour, looks like a cool pattern.
    I think you could write your next post on that tweedy blanket beneath… I missed the blow by blow story of your finishing that!
    Great, let’s all swing into action here!

  • Great idea, Ann! Fifteen minutes can be quite lengthy if one is quick on the keyboard! I like it! And that wrap is going to be . . . amazing!

  • Oh my goodness! Time travel on this our last day of Christmas holidays! Followed the Twitter link to Kay’s discovery of the Peaches n Creme (2004!) and when I just fell under the spell of this blog– the dishrags and the quilts made from the dress shirts! (Sniff).

  • The 12 year old boy in me thinks there is something gratifyingly dirty sounding about through the back loop action. Obviously my friends are tainting my mind!

  • Impressive quarter hour blog there! Maybe I’ll try that, it’ll probably be a photo and then a mess of typos and non sequiturs though.

  • You are hilarious, Ann. And sounding a lot less sad/bogged down/whatever than previous posts. Welcome to 2013! Glad you’re blogging again!

  • Did you know that emerald green was the Pantone colour of the year for 2013? You’re right on with the trend!
    Downton Abbey’s wedding was too short but Mary’s dress and veil were a knockout!!!

  • Emerald green is Pantone’s colour of the year for 2013, you’re right on with the trend!
    Weren’t Mary’s wedding dress and veil just gorgeous? I’m sooooo happy that Downton Abbey is back!!!

  • Sorry for the hiccups! I don’t know what happened, the first post disappeared and then reappeared after which the second one went crazy… Sorry again…

  • Downton Abbey was good last night, when 2 hours does not feel like 2 hours a show is good in my books. I liked Mary’s wedding gown, only someone that reed thin could really pull it off, but it was pretty. The green knitting is good too. Keep the 15 minute posts comming, they are entertaining and I am all for googling for links myself….

  • Downton Abbey was good last night, when 2 hours does not feel like 2 hours a show is good in my books. I liked Mary’s wedding gown, only someone that reed thin could really pull it off, but it was pretty. The green knitting is good too. Keep the 15 minute posts comming, they are entertaining and I am all for googling for links myself….

  • sorry for the dupe post, i am way too impatient

  • he he

  • All hail lightning blogging! Seriously, if you’ve got no Google-Fu what are ya doin’ trying to combine knitting and the internet anyway? You go, girl!

  • Ah, there’s much to look forward to in Downton (your current series finished here before Xmas) – plenty of twisty turn-ey bits. But Mary’s dress was a stunner! Hoping for summer re-runs here…..anything to alleviate withdrawal and school holidays insanity (apart from knitting, that is).

  • YAY for more blogging!! I have been lonely for you guys!
    … Have to say … I thought it was a hat lying on your beautiful cover and wondered why you would want a witches hat ….

  • Love the lightning round! I have looked at that shawl since BT sent Book 4….love to hear how it goes.

  • Now I’m worried that Bates is actually a coldblooded killer with a sweet and charming facade. (And he has doughy arms – sorry, but they should have had him wear a nightshirt.)

  • Bates is SO not a killer! He knows how to use his strength against a bully, but he’s wise and careful., and good and kind.
    I was exhausted by the time Downton was over last night. Seems like they used the first episode to throw at us every dramatic plot twist that they’ll be dealing with throughout the whole season. Can’t wait for next week!

  • I met Bristol at the New Ebgland Fiber Arts Retreat at Medomak Retreat Center a couple of years ago. She’s a brilliant designer, one of those Mainers hanging out doing fantastic things with yarn, and the person I’d be if I were half my age. Still, it took me most of the week to remember that Ivy is her last name, not her first.

  • I got lots of gift knitting done (a tiny bit late) over the past week because I made absolutely sure Santa Claus brought me Downton Abbey Season 2 on dvd. I watched the last episode yesterday afternoon. About an hour before the Season 4 premier started last night I was stricken with a stomach bug and missed virtually all of it! I have a vague feeling this is some kind of punishment for late presents, too much tv, and general sloth. Hoping I can watch in online or something.
    Love Thorn, love emerald green, love lightening round posts.

  • 3! I meant Season 3!

  • Yay! I love the lightning blog round idea. We are all happy with bits from you and Kay no matter how large or small! Happy new year!!

  • Ok, yes, m’am, I will google it. All of it! Loved the lightning. At my New Years Eve party, the 4 yr old said to her cousin, “do you want to run around the house?” The affirmative was followed by “LET’S DO IT.” Became my resolution.
    Mary K now you have me worried about Bates! Poor Anna!
    off to go do it, whatever that may be!

  • I could only manage a simple stockinette blanket last night during Downton Abbey.
    Hats off to you with your swirly shawl!
    My favorite line was when Anna told Bates she bought a garter while in the south of France. They are too cute-FREE BATES!

  • I recognized Thorn in a flash: I spent a shameful portion of my day gazing at all things Wool People today. I ended up ordering 4 hanks of Loft in Barn Owl (love all the muted colors!) and downloading the Eternity Scarf. Can’t wait!

  • Love it! And this is the third time I’ve looked at that pattern and thought – I MUST make it, so perhaps I’m off to cast on… Or do some work and cast on later… but maybe just cast on! 😀 Did you know that Bristol Ivy has just set up a group on Ravelry? Come and join in!

  • You are too funny! Brava to 15-minute blog entries! (I loved the Beyonce baby name comment.)

  • Any time you spend with us is wonderful!!
    I adore Maggie Smith!! ~ her line about mistaking Lord Granthan for a waiter had me wishing I was wearing Depends!

  • Love the shawl – great pattern and fab colour.
    Keep forgetting you guys are a whole season behind us. I won’t spoil it for you. Yes, the wedding was too short but the dress etc lovely.
    Happy knitting/supervising ill children.

  • So happy to know we’ll be seeing more Modern Daily blogging this year. Happy New Year!

  • Oh, Ann, so good to hear from you! It’s wonderful to have Downton Abbey back as well–I got a lot done on the baby blanket. But Mary and Matthew, really: have those two ever discussed their life together honestly and in depth? I think not. This marriage is headed for trouble, trust me!

  • Oh, I know SO much about Downton and I don’t even watch it! Ridiculous programme (runs for cover). Was really pleased not to have to watch it with the in-laws over Christmas!
    Personally I predict more than trouble ahead…
    Shutting up Right Now!

  • I’m impressed with your new Concept Blogging! I know that for me, personally, a time limit for writing or drawing immobilizes me. Like math-at-the-blackboard-brainfreeze immobilization. A time limit does help with housework, though.
    Oddly, I felt that I had to race lickety-split through READING your post. I think I may have even been holding my breath, because I did a sort of “whewf” sound at the end.
    Now I’ll have to go back and read it again to see what you said!
    MDK: never dull 🙂

  • I have 1,044 yds of fingering weight Rowan looking for a home. Perfect!
    Also, check out this Bates t-shirt:

  • Love the Lightning Round post! I’m up to the challenge of Googling anything y’all mention, particularly since I’m to the point I can barely remember life before Google. While I really enjoy the new projects you and Kay bring to the post, I love, love, love the intros to new yarns.
    Best wishes for a great year!

  • Felt inspired to also post that I loved the Downtown Abbey episode (the attention to detail to the period wedding gown!) and having Shirley MacLaine and Maggie Smith together was a to-die-for event. I only wish I hadn’t seen the spoilers for the 3rd season ending immediately after it appeared on the BBC.

  • Ha! Bristol is a good friend of mine–we two New Englanders met across the world on a farm in New Zealand. She is surprisingly uncrazy, I mean, provided you’re a knitter. All knitters are crazy, a badge we wear with pride.
    She once knit a dress on size 2 needles in a month.

  • Keep the lightning rounds coming! Love you ladies!

  • Keep the lightning rounds coming! Love you ladies!

  • I love this and I’ve been eyeing Thorn for awhile – thanks for the info!

  • I love this and I’ve been eyeing Thorn for awhile – thanks for the info!

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