Gauge is a lying liar who lies to you.

This Ginny’s Cardigan isn’t going to fit me. It’s just plain too small. But I bet it would fit someone I know. Someone who’s about a size 2-4.

So I’m going to finish this cardigan. Because it’s pretty and it’s bound to be useful to someone.

Besides, I have come to the conclusion that, as pretty as the cardigan is, I dislike the yarn. The though of taking the cardigan apart and re-knitting it, or re-purposing the yarn for something else fills me with distaste. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just that the texture isn’t for me. Sorry Classic Elite Yarns Woodland. I hope you don’t take it personally. I think I’m just the type of person who doesn’t care for single-ply wool/nettle blends.


Blocking Ginny's Cardigan

A photo posted by All She Wants To Do Is Knit (@caityrosey81) on

My UFO list of shame

As suddenly as my summer spinning fever descended, it has now lifted.  Now all I want to do is knit.

However, I’m trying to be disciplined. When the spinning fever hit back in June I set aside several large knitting projects. Now, I am not allowed to cast on any new ones until I finish some of my lingering UFOs. On the docket right now:

  • Boxy by by Joji Locatelli. All my sweater has been lacking, all these long months, is a three needle bind-off, some neck trim, and some small sleeves. Not that hard. Really.
  • Second Story Tee by Debbie O’Neill. Again, a simple matter of doing the finishing. Some seams and some sleeves.
  • Ginny’s Cardigan by Mari Chiba. I have quite a bit of work to go on this one. Mainly sleeves. Then finishing. I may complete this one and give it as a gift, or I may frog it. I’m not wild about the Classic Elite Woodland yarn I used, but I’m unlikely to repurpose it for anything else.
  • Squirrelly Mittens by Elli Stubenrauch. So cute. I was going to knit them for my brother last Christmas. Then I discovered a bad mistake in the colorwork that required ripping out the entire second mitten. So I retired this UFO to the penalty box. Maybe it’s time to pull them out again. I have one good mitten. Seems a shame not to give him a friend.
  • Pi Shawl. The classic Elizabeth Zimmerman, easyeasyeasy shawl. It really is. And it’s gonna be gorgeous because of the yarn I picked. But this unrelieved stockinette is driving me up the wall. I can only knit a few rows at a time before I have to put it down. Why oh why did I decide to knit this in lace weight?
  • Noodle by by Susan Claudino. I started a Noodle almost a year ago. So cute. Then I lost interest. As a result, I have a headless doll lolling around in my project bag. Bad karma, that. It’s bound to attract demons.
  • Evenstar Shawl by Susan Pandorf. I started this two summers ago. Then Christmas knitting got in the way. It’s gorgeous. I have some lovely silk yarn to motivate me. Just need to get back at it.

That’s my current UFO list of shame. What are you shame-knitting right now?

Four Little Yarn Turtles

Four little yarn turtles

All in a row

Two big ones

A small one

And baby without a proper shell

Cat crashes the photo

Great furry body 

Dwarfing the frightened turtles

It’s an irresistible compulsion 

To follow the turtles

Wherever they go 

Sweater inspiration

This bowl of tomatoes, peppers and chilies screams be translated into colorwork. 


Sweater Weather

It’s 48 degrees F today with a high of 63. You know what that means. It’s sweater weather. I just spent a happy few minutes unpacking and shelving all the wooly goodness. Sweaters. Cardigans. Shawls. Cowls. (The mittens and hats are stored elsewhere.) 

I discovered something delightful: I definitely need more sweaters. 

Frustrated Fiber Artist

My husband observed something about me recently that I would never have thought of myself. He called me a frustrated artist. He may have something there.

This comment came as part of a general discussion about figuring out your purpose and passion in life. If you’re lucky enough to discover it (not everybody does), what do you do about it? Do you have a cosmic obligation to make that thing the focus of all your energies? Or is that selfish and unreasonable? I know there are people out there in the world who turn their passion into their vocation. But not many.

There are lots of “good works” out there that are necessary for society to function properly, but that would probably never be anybody’s passion. Like garbage collecting. Or publishing a church newsletter. Or dusting (I despise dusting). All important in their own way.

And yet, I see so much wasted potential in myself and in the people around me that it wrings my heart. We focus our energies on “good works” that pay the mortgage and put food on the table. But think of how many Picassos and Elizabeth Zimmermans we’re missing on our planet because people are squandering their time and potential on lesser (if perhaps more lucrative) pursuits.  I can’t help thinking that there would probably be less anger, frustration, depression, stress and violence in our world if we valued and enabled the exercise of people’s passions as “a good day’s work.”

Yeah, I know this is impractical. But it’s frustrating to reach out for fulfillment and have your hand swatted away. And to realize that you’re doing the swatting yourself.

My husband calls me a frustrated artist. And I feel both confused and…recognized. I’ve never thought of myself as an artist at all. And yet, I think I’ve been looking for quiet ways to express myself through the material world my whole life. Knitting, spinning, dancing, blogging –I’ve literally never been without some little artistic safety valve. I simply never recognized it for what it was.

What would my life be like if I could remove the word “frustrated” from this description of myself?

Improper Spinning Chairs

Yesterday’s post on the Ply Magazine blog about proper spinning chairs reminded me how remiss I’ve been in choosing a good spinning chair. A good chair should put your body in an optimal, ergonomically appropriate position in which to treadle and draft. A lot of people seem to prefer upright, wooden chairs, although Beth Smith says she prefers a rocking recliner.

Most of the time, I spin while sitting on the couch. It has nothing to do with ergonomic choices. It has everything to do with the position of the TV. In theory, there are other places I could sit in our living room that might be better suited for spinning. But none have such a good view of The West Wing, Bones, and Dollhouse.

So I remain on the couch, spinning away, with an occasional twinge in my back, shoulder or knee. Maybe one day I’ll wise up and choose something better to sit in. In the mean time, I treat my aches and pains (not all spinning related) with yoga and the occasional ibuprofen. And I justify my decision thusly: if I sat somewhere else, I’d just injure my neck straining to see the TV.


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