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You still have time to enter the first big Knitty contest!

To celebrate our 2nd anniversary issue, we're giving away cool stuff! All you have to do be eligible is join the Knitty readers mailing list. If you're already on the list, you're entered to win! There will be lots of prizes, including a very deluxe Tom Bihn laptop bag, a gorgeous Knitter's Purse from Jordana Paige, the entire line of patterns from Bags by Mags, a kit from BagSmith, and knitting books you will love.

We'll announce the winners when we release our special mini-surprise-issue in October 2004, so join us now! It costs nothing and we'll never, ever share e-mail addresses with anyone. Promise.

photo: Lisanne & Bryce Thomas

We're two.

There were a few times in the last two years that I couldn't quite imagine this issue, our ninth, ever actually happening.

But we made it from foofarah to kerfuffle and back again and here we are. Almost all grown up.

We started out free all around, but we're now able to pay our contributors, and we're even giving them a raise this issue! Our advertisers love your support and more want to join them in our pages. Yup, mighty fine stuff happening in Knitty™world.

I want to thank all our readers and everyone who's listed on the right for helping us get to our 2nd anniversary. Special thanks to Jillian for ongoing backbone and inspiration, Kristi for rolling with the changes in fine form, Stephannie for watching over the readers with care and Mandy, for stepping in with no notice and doing a great job.

Wait -- Mandy? Yes. As of the summer surprise, Kate Watson is no longer Knitty's technical editor. We are so sad to lose her, but her life is just a little too full of good things lately, and we understand. I think you'll see her name in our pages again soon enough.

But on the happy side of this news, we welcome Mandy Moore, who came highly recommended from our Calgary branch office. Mandy has lived up to all the hype. This girl knows her numbers and she knows her yarn. And I promise her more time to edit the next issue.

Have I mentioned recently that my new book will be on store shelves September 28th?

This summer, we celebrated a milestone birthday for my mom. Her two sisters and one brother, spouses, cousins and friends came from all over to tell my mama how much they love her along with my sister, our dad and our husbands.

It was really nice.

And since one of my presents to my mom [beside the hand-knit Silken Charlotte's Web shawl that I'd just finished knitting for her] was the first advance copy of my book, I had a funny feeling that knitting might come up that weekend. Just in case, I packed a few of the learn-to-knit kits I have stashed and off we headed to the Poconos.

My cousins Jamie and Claire both wanted to learn. We pulled cousin Karen in at the last minute. We all sat on the deck overloooking the lake, and they learned to knit. This was a really relaxed party, as I'm sure you can tell, and so the knitting circle broke up and reformed several times over that afternoon.

Claire caught on really quickly and soon became a garter-stitch perfectionist. Karen seemed amused but not really swept up. One day, maybe. Jamie surprised me by knitting left-handed. I hadn't realized she was left handed! But she almost intuitively knew how to knit continentally...and I didn't teach her that. It did seem appropriate, though, since she's left handed.

Except she's not. She's right handed. And somewhere in the middle of the afternoon, we realized what was going on.

Our Grandma, the Grandma this magazine is dedicated to, the Grandma that was the mom of MY mom and Jamie's dad...taught us both to knit. But Jamie is quite a bit younger than I am, and she didn't remember being taught.

Her hands did, though.

See, Grandma was a continental knitter. And that's what she taught Jamie. All these years later, even without knowing she knew how, Jamie's hands automatically recreated the motions our Grandma had taught her.

We were both pretty choked up when we realized this.

I think Jamie's going to keep knitting now. It doesn't hurt that she lives a few blocks from Knit on 14th Street in Manhattan. Lucky cousin.

By the way, you'll see below the evidence of our last impromptu knit-in that day. Sitting on the tarmac driveway in the comfortable afternoon sun. Soon cousin Anita came to join us...wearing a handknit lace vest she'd made herself.

It's in the genes, I tell you.

photo: Norman Singer