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  • Dear Kay, there’s an app for that! Amy Herzog (sweater expert to the nth degree) has an oh so helpful and excellent app – Knitters Toolbox. A must-have IMO. Not only will it help with button spacing, it determines gauge, shaping decreases, and picking up stitches (think button bands on sweaters). Amy is like your knitting fairy godmother with almost everything you need!!

  • Happy birthday Kay!

  • “…passive agressive knitting instructions…” – so well put! It really does feel like you’ve been abandoned when you read something like that.

  • Kay, I wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! xo Tammy

  • Haha! My other favorite passive aggressive knitting instructions are ones that have turned my hoped-for linen sweater into a pile of WIP: “pick up and knit sts evenly along the left front, left shoulder, neck edge, right shoulder, and right front.” Without mention of how many or even an algorithm that I can use to figure it out! From a prolific pattern designer who shall not be named.

  • Happy Birthday, Kay!! And I noticed the unwoven end on the scarf. Much like my own knitting. Enjoy your visit. Loving the Ranger sweater too.

  • “Passive aggressive knitting instructions ” are taken one step farther than passive, in my opinion, if one has paid for those instructions.

    In spite of it all, Ranger is looking very good!

    A hearty Happy Birthday Kay!


  • An unwoven end is like a signal to other knitters, right? Like a masonic ring, it says “I didn’t buy this on Etsy.” It also says “I used every last bit of the yarn and slid into home!”

  • Best wishes for a very happy birthday, Kay…I hope you celebrate in grand style! I’ve often thought over the years that I should trade knitting for tiddlywinks when the instructions are so obscure that I feel stranded! I hate getting to the finishing line and thinking “now what am I supposed to do?” Thanks for your birthday gift to the knitting world – another wonderful tutorial! What would we ever do without you and Ann?

  • Happiest of birthdays.
    A technique that I’ve seen many times before is to use a piece of elastic to space buttons. Mark a flat piece of elastic at 2 inch intervals and keep it with your tools to use over and over.
    Here’s a video from Threads magazine: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/37251/video-use-elastic-to-space-buttons
    (I didn’t see how to hyperlink this)

  • Happy Birthday, Kay! Many happy returns.

  • Thank you for the wonderful “Fiddler” song! I’d never known of it, and I was in a production of it, in high school. What a gem.

    And, Happy Birthday. Many many happy returns.

  • Happy Birthday! Hope it’s a great day!

  • Enjoy your Birthday Kay!!

  • Birthday greetings are in order, regardless of the state of our knitting directions and loose ends. Aren’te we all at loose ends from time to time?!

    I’ve started searching for a svelte sewing machine that weighs less than my Bernina to take to classes and to stitch with friends. I’ve read a bit about the Jem Gold 660, but would love to hear your thoughts since you appear to own one, or have use of it. I don’t need any fancy stitches, just to stitch forward and backward, relative straightness of seams is dependent on the operator, of course. Your thoughts? Thanks, in advance.

  • Forget the sewing, what must it be like to be able to sing like that? I have never seen F on the R, and now I think I must.
    As for buttonhole instructions, I thought it was just me ( and my math handicap).
    I see everyone wishing you Happy B’day, so the same from me! Pix of a beautiful cake, perhaps?
    P.S. In case you’d like to know, the newsletter sign-up has never come through for me, and I have done it maybe 6 times.

  • Happy birthday, Kay – hope it’s the best one yet!

  • Happy Birthday!! YOUR instructions are always the most clear. Thanks so much!

  • Happy Birthday, Kay!
    The phrase “passive-aggressive knitting instructions” explains some of my most unpleasant knitting adventures. So glad to learn that it’s not just me 🙂

  • I love the “passive-aggressive knitting instructions” Perfect definition! And I also have signed up for the newsletter a number of times and have never received one.

  • Happiest of Happy Birthdays, Kay ! ???? ???? Hope you have a wonderful day celebrating YOU!

    And thanks to both of you for returning to blogging. Love my daily doses of M-D .

  • Wishing you the happiest of birthdays. Would have been my dad’s 101st. I miss him so much

  • Passive-Aggressive knitting instructions — how clever you are! Logic prevails … I also mark the top, bottom and middle and then do the math. Lately my pet peeve is bad editing in instructions … sigh.

    Lots of pretty sewing machines (look for all metal!) out there …

    and I will add my “Happy Birthday” though how did people know???? Hope it is a happy one!
    Also sending virtual (homemade) hammentaschen.

    • “Passive-aggressive” instructions usually guarantee that I will NOT be knitting that pattern! I may tell the pattern’s author what he or she can do with that pattern, however. . .

      And, it’s your WHAT? (No, not “Tin roof. . .rusted”!) Whatever it is, have a happy one.

  • Thanks for the tutorial. And Happy Birthday!

  • Buttonhole bands scare the heck out of me. The top two buttons usually end up closer together than they are supposed to be. Catherine Lowe’s class vastly improved my ability to make buttonholes that don’t look like bedraggled, misshapen accidents, but the spacing makes me crazy.

    Happy birthday! March 24 is also Kasimiras Diena (St. Kazimir’s Day) traditionally the day Latvians celebrate the return of the larks.

  • Happy, happy birthday! I get better at the spacing, but why, if a designer is able to tell you to pick up, say 167 stitches for the front band, why can’t they also tell you how to do the buttonholes? Now, if I happen not to pick up 167 stitches, that’ll be a horse of a different color. Or tradition. Or something.

  • Ah, passive aggressive knitting instructions – I’ve been stranded in that dark alley before. I usually just avoid cardigans or cardigans that require buttons. I did make a baby cardigan once, but maybe will have to tackle an adult one someday, and hopefully find your tutorials again to help me out. You’ve got to be excited to be so close to the finish line on that sweater. It looks great.
    Right now I’m excited because I just finished painting my pantry. What a job!
    Happy birthday, Kay!! It’s sure to be a fun one with Ann there with you – I’m loving her smile and the dangling end in that picture.

  • Happy Birthday! did you see tha Rowan now has an App? free. in beta and I am looking at it now.

  • Hope you had a lovely cake day, Kay! How great to have your partner in crime with you.

  • Happy birthday, Kay!!! Hope you and Ann are having a spectacular time!!

  • A belated happy birthday to you, Kay! I hope you celebrated in style.

    As far as buttonbands go, I approach them the same way you do. With pointy sticks! Kidding aside, differences in row gauge and the fact that I have to shorten the bodice on everything, I can’t go by the stitch count in the pattern, if there is one. I pick up and knit 3 stitches out of every four and then do the ridges and trough thing when it comes time to match up. I’ve tried the elastic trick, but that’s not precise enough for my nit-picky soul.

  • What do you love about the Janome 660? I am a never-sewer, looking for a machine that can sew a straight line and zigzag, to finish handwoven things. Does the Janome handle thicker layers, like a folded over cotton placemat? Tnx!