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Dear Ann,

I don’t know about you, but I’m in recovery mode after the annual hullabaloo of Thanksgiving. A highlight: my extra-roomy toaster oven, the beating heart of my batterie de cuisine, which always has my back in that crucial hour of chaos, when all the side dishes have to get hot at the same time—it up and died right in the middle of baking my corn casserole. The said corn casserole poufed all too briefly before it deflated into a tepid brick topped with saltine crumbs.

Oh well.

To soothe the jangled nerves of the season, there is one sure-fire remedy: a mile or two, more or less, of stockinette stitch in a luxurious fiber. In my case, today, that luxurious fiber is baby yak. Baby yak, alternating with cashmere color blocks.

Both the yak and the cashmere are from the Tibetan plateau, where the fibers are shed naturally by the animals, and combed by hand from their coats. The zen washes over you as you knit. Your blood pressure lowers, serenity descends upon your soul, and you love everybody, especially the hardy, hoofed creatures that bear soft fibers.

It’s divine.

I’m making the Walk the Bridges Wrap by Kirsten Kapur. It’s from her new collection, Vibrant Connections. We saw this beautiful collection together, when you were in New York in September, and we ordered up kits for the MDK Holiday Shop right then and there.

Kirsten is a master of understated elegance, and she knows what’s fun to knit.

When I saw the photography sample of Walk the Bridges, I was ready to pounce on a kit in the original colorway, when I saw that Paola Vanzo, co-proprietor of mYak Tibetan Fibers, also had made up Walk the Bridges kits in warm burgundy and gray baby yak, and two hand-dyed pink cashmeres: one a soft rose, the other a soft salmon. Although I can usually be relied upon to choose chartreuse whenever it’s on offer, the warm, rich and rosy colorway spoke to me. I had to have it.


I think Kate Atherley would approve this slipped-stitch edge. Satisfyingly tidy!

So here I am, poised to knit the large pink center section of stockinette (I’m calling it yakinette). It’s flying off my needles, despite frequent pauses to pet and sigh.

This project is taking the edge off of my seasonal stressin’. Tickets to Omaha that I haven’t booked yet? Life in a post-toaster oven world? It’ll all work out fine.




  • Ooh, that is a pretty mix of colors!
    I have friends here in MA who raise cashmere goats and yaks, so it must be a great combination 🙂
    (I’m stopping at the goats, though.)

  • Your wrap is beautiful. Yakinetre sounds to me like the kind of project you take to knit night so you can talk lots and still get some knitting done….

  • Every piece in Kirsten’s collection is amazing and I love seeing Walk the Bridges in this colorway. What a luscious thing to have in your hands, lap and eventually around your shoulders.
    I’m sorry about your toaster oven. Years ago when our Toastie died, I told my gal – get in the car – and we replaced it that moment. There is no (warming) life in our home without a working Toastie.

    • Love the pink and grey together…even the fabric looks like it feels soft…

  • Thank you Kay! Waking up to such lovely letter made my day. This stole will keep you calm and warm through the holidays . Enjoy the yakkinette (I’ll steel the name) !! Paola

  • I should have given it a pet last night at knitting circle…sigh…

  • “Self care” what a wonderful description of what knitting means to me. It is my go to when stressed and even when it is not. I am always seeking a project that is meditative. I love Casapinka’s Woven shawl and will add Walk the Bridges to my favs group. Woven has a slip-knit on one side and purl on the other. Most do not like purl, but I feel it has a meditative rhythm and if you add counting it really keeps you in the moment. Happy Yakinetting!

    • I love purling for some reason. You are right that a little bit of counting across the row does add to the relaxation effect!

  • Your above writing made me envious and need to do the same….but when is my question. Just a thought, do you have a kit? for the just in case moment of my life??

  • Look at that even and smooth stockinette tension, born of corn casserole frustration. You channeled it like a big girl!

  • All of those designs are so lovely and the kits so tempting! Plus, I got a new toaster over this summer that is the best I’ve had. Some sort of lower-end cuisinart, but I have even baked in it successfully.

  • I love the colors you chose! BTW I recommend an electric turkey roaster they are inexpensive and frees up your oven for all the sides mines a Bella and I love it!

    • We started using an electric turkey roaster last year and it definitely makes the side dish prep much easier! The only downside I have found is that it stays so moist inside the roaster that the drippings don’t get reduced enough to make really good gravy with.

    • I never heard of such a thing! The world is full of wonders!

  • We would def be lost w/o the toaster oven, but today I feel your pain with the death of our electric tea kettle. Pouring boiling water from a saucepan into the Aeropress this morn left much to be desired. Inclined to replace it with a reliable stovetop version, however. XXO

    • I love my Aeropress (and the electric kettle)!

  • Wow! I always love Kristen’s work, but this collection is just outstanding! Drama is quite high at work right now (which is kind of unusual), so this morning I brought my knitting with me. I don’t really have the opportunity to knit at work most days, but it helps to just reach down and touch it.

    I have never owned a toaster over, but Cuisinart has one that’s a combination toaster oven/air fryer, that is really tempting me, except for the counter space issue…

  • $324 for the kit! Holy Cow! That’d buy several toaster ovens. It’s gorgeous, though. In my next life. 🙂

  • Yak a bit, eh? Sweet. Fab color combos you chose there.

    Speaking of knitting with fibers, etc., the worst thing I ever knit/crocheted with was……old fashioned baler twine…..yup, I sure did; LOL!! Only once, however; LOL!!

    Second worst? Possibly macrame cord…..wore some blisters on my faringies; ugh. It’s still a UFO. @@

  • This is a lovely design and I can only imagine how soft it is! It is out of my budget but I do want to say how much I appreciate that you both knit with such a wide variety of fibers, showing us the process as well as the inevitably beautiful results. Reading MDK has introduced me to some beautiful yarns and made me realize the value of investing in a special yarn so that knitting it becomes a special treat of its own.

  • I’m sorry to hear of the passing of your toaster oven—and at such a crucial time and day, no less! The lovely colorway you have chosen for your Walk the Bridges really adds to the soothing nature of the project. I have been knitting with a lot of neutral colors lately, and have enjoyed the projects. However, the short, gray days of this time of year definitely mean that it’s time to move on to more colorful yarns!

  • Beautiful colors, and I can see in the photo how luscious the fabric feels. And as for Omaha, it will always be there.

  • I love these colors so much!

  • Aaah, I understand the singular pain/panic of untimely appliance mortality. One year my microwave gave up the ghost in the midst of a houseful of Christmas party guests!

  • Hi Ladies! First let me say how much I love, love your MDK! The way you ‘write’ makes me feel as if you are talking to only me, and that we are best friends. Or you would be my best friends if I lived nearby (which I most definitely do not!). So thank you for your lovely personal touch!
    Now, for the ‘Walk the Bridges’ kit, I see you must be sold out of the Burgundy colourway. Will you be getting that again? I would buy the kit if you are.
    Best regards, Janice

  • Kay, I highly recommend the Breville toaster oven. Worth every penny

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