I’ve long been a fan of Mason Dixon Knitting. I don’t read many knitting blogs, but I never miss Mason Dixon Knitting with my first cup of coffee in the morning.
In addition to the facts that both women (Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner) are enthusiastic and intrepid knitters, that they are good writers, and that they are very funny, I’m also loyal to them because they are so very approachable. Several times over the past years, they have mentioned something in the blog that I was curious about or didn’t understand, and when I sent one of them a personal e-mail asking further, I always got a prompt and detailed reply. (I learned how to make an attached i-cord to finish a Baby Surprise Jacket from a long e-mail by Ann, for example.)
So I wasn’t altogether surprised when Kay responded with sympathy, in a personal e-mail, to a comment I made on the blog late last spring, saying that I was about to start chemotherapy and I was going to have a lot of knitting time, so I intended to make Granito. That comment was the beginning of a longer correspondence between us, during which I inadvertently suggested that she clean up the blog (Really! That wasn’t my intention!) and I got up my nerve to tell her that I had a free day in New York toward the end of September and I would love to meet her.
She replied immediately, “It’s on my calendar,” and suggested that we meet at the lovely Purl Soho. I was wearing my Granito sweater by then (it’s good to have a goal to finish something, don’t you think?) so she could recognize me, but of course I recognized her anyway. We cruised around the yarn store making awkward small talk at first, but very soon it was just two knitting friends talking about yarn and projects. I bought some light gray Louet Euroflax sport weight to make the center sections of True Friend; the stripes will be an assortment of reddish stripes, also in linen, that I already have. Kay was in the midst of making the very same sweater, which she had mixed feelings about, but I plan to press onward regardless…
Leaving the linen yarn to be wound by the folks at the shop, we walked several blocks to a restaurant Kay had in mind for lunch. My goodness, she is a purposeful walker, taking up her rightful space on the sidewalk and proceeding fast to her goal! I was nearly breathless behind her. The lunch conversation was good; among other things, I told her about a big project that is being undertaken by an organization I belong to involving the 50th anniversary (in 2019) of the Stonewall Riots which started the Gay Rights movement. Kay replied “The Stonewall Inn is right near here, do you want to go see it?” Of course I said “Sure!”
So off we went, after fetching the now-wound linen yarn from Purl Soho (I would have forgotten), Kay marching purposefully ahead and I trying to keep up with her. Multiple photos were taken, both of the Inn and of my Granito sweater with the weird left sleeve (yes, I did run out of yarn — I’m famous for it), as well as the requisite selfie of both of us. In fact, Kay used the photo of me in my Granito to illustrate a point in a subsequent blog post.
It was a long walk to the subway, for me to return to my daughter’s house in Brooklyn and for Kay to head in the other direction back to her apartment. That evening was the beginning of Yom Kippur, which would involve a sunset-to-sunset fast for her, so she was in a hurry to meet the friends she was having dinner with at 4:30 (before sunset). We parted company quickly, but I was left with the distinct feeling that we are sort of like friends now, and this won’t be the last time we meet. I hope not. She was a delight.