My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Take Back the Knitting!

It seems as though I’m reading a lot about knitting guilt lately, on blogs and on email lists. Guilt about abandoning a project. Guilt about starting yet another project. Guilt about buying more yarn.

Kristin addressed this in a blog entry the other day. Why, indeed, do we feel guilty about our knitting?

I confess: I was feeling guilty about my knitting. I actually had pangs of guilt the other day about finishing Flora and not starting another “big” project right away. What the heck is with that? No one is making me knit. I do it out of enjoyment. And if I want to take a few weeks to knit nothing but small stuff, why the heck shouldn’t I?

So I’ve decided to Take Back the Knitting™. I will no longer listen to my little voice that tells me “you really should be working on a big project.” Take THAT, little voice!

Evening Sporran

Got more done on my evening sporran — er — purse. (L-B made this same bag and brought the completed, felted bag with her when she came up last week. We agreed that it looked like a very fancy sporran.)


Well, it’ll look like a sporran when it’s done.

Checkerboard Shell

And got more done on my checkerboard shell. Past the armhole shaping on the front. Yay!


I stopped by Knit Happens after work and bought what I needed to complete my Not-Colinette poncho, and a few other things.


I also bought yarn to augment what I had for the pink/green Not-Colinette poncho, some more Noro Lily to make a striped top, a couple of skeins of something fun for another bucket hat, and another skein of the yarn I was going to use for the Tank of the Ta-Tas. Gonna make something else with that.

Lucy’s Plastic Fetish

To all of you who either emailed or left comments expressing concern over Lucy chewing on plastic: rest assured, she is not eating plastic. I have no plastic wrap or rubber bands or other items like that where she can get at them. She likes to chew on plastic bags when they are filled with something, or on plastic page protectors. And she only does it when I’m around, as I don’t have any plastic out where she can get at it. I think she just likes the chewing action. She never tries to swallow it.

I’ve lived with cats my entire life and have never lost one to misadventure of any sort. I am a Concerned Mommy. Here she is, safe and sound:


Critter Knitters

Mia in Maryland: I’ve emailed you twice to thank you for your prize donations, but both times the emails bounced back as undeliverable. But I wanted to say thank you, and Lucy says thank you for the kitty grass!

And there are more blankets on the Blankets Received page!


  1. Hi Wendy -my cat Misu used do chew on those little crinkly plastic bags I got from the supermarket. She never ate a piece of it, but apparently, she enjoyed the sound the bag made when properly chewed ๐Ÿ™‚
    This kitty-cat enjoyed her kitty food too -she used to make the loudest crunching sound when eating the dried kind. Oh well,some people also enjoy making loud noises…;-)


  2. Good morning sunshine! I think we should all Take Back Our Lives in general – life is too short for guilt. And Lucy’s plastic obsession makes me laugh, because Lizzie is gnawing the edge of a plastic binder (filled with papers to be graded) even as I type. AND I made a “faux Colinette” order last night, inspired by yours. This blog is killing my Visa!

  3. I have been working on ‘small’ project lately–and loving it but do need to get back to the ‘big’ one. Not guilt, though–I am on the opposite end as I knit so slow (faster lately) that the small project gives me a sense of accomplishment.

    My cat likes ribbon –and he DOES eat it so I have to be very careful. No pretty ribbon festooned bags from Chico’s in my house.

    Beautiful picture of pretty Lucy!

  4. Wendy,
    One of my cats, Moose, loves to chew on plastic bags. When I come home from shopping he jumps on the kitchen table and spends about 15 minutes licking and biting on the plastic. He never bites any off, he just likes to feel it in his mouth. He often alternates a nibble on the plastic with washing his chest.

  5. Hi Wendy! My seal point Himi has a paper fetish. He chews on paper all the time. All of our soft cover books have little teeth marks in the corner. I tell people that I don’t need to spend money on “From the Library of…” stickers anymore, his chew marks are our identifier! He also adores pawing plastic bags. He could do it for hours if it didn’t drive me and my DH up the wall!

  6. one of my cats has a serious plastic bag fetish, but only for thick ones – he leaves the grocery type alone. it’s a chewing thing, not a swallowing thing, and i never saw a problem with it.

    now the other cat with her penchant for eating yarn like she’s about to kiss the tramp…that i watch out for.

  7. One of my cats chews plastic too, but only when I’m there. I think it’s because she knows it’ll get my attention very quickly, as I’m never quite convinced she won’t eat it. My other cat digs in any plastic bag he finds (or anything else that makes a loud crunchy noise) when he wants out, because he’s got me Pavlovized to think he’s looking for a place to pee. He used to have a bladder blockage problem, and that’s how we got into that little dance. So you’re not alone, and neither is Lucy, FWIW. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Why the “TM” (trade mark) notation after Take Back the Knitting?

    My guilt comes from taking the time to knit….and I’m doing everything I can to sqash that little minion.

    Have a GREAT day, Wendy!

  9. My boys (Pete and Foley) don’t chew the plastic bags, but boy do they enjoy licking them! Doesn’t matter if I’m around or not, though now that you mention it, there *are* some whacky behaviors that they engage in only when I’m there. Anyhow, they don’t seem any worse for it. Happy hump day.

  10. I loved your post today as I’m always feeling guilty about not finishing or not knitting fast enough or losing interest in a project because the season has changed, my mood has changed, the occassion I was making for has passed, etc. I have a small pile of UFOs and buckets of yarn that I will never use.

    Thanks for the inspiration… I’ll work on enjoyin g knitting for knitting’s sake.

    All your works look lovely as usual as does the divine Lucy.

  11. Wendy, I am happy that Lucy likes her kitty grass. I am having email problems. I am switching providers and I am having problems with Verizon.

  12. What is it about guilt? Is it because most knitters are women and women are just born feeling guilty? I feel guilty for starting so many things, although I realize with this group I’m probably a rank amateur!! However, I also finish a lot of things. I’m currently almost up to the shoulders on Kongsberg, but fearlessly cast on and started Ingeborg in hopes that a head start will help me keep up. I did feel a little guilty, but kept telling myself that I was harming noone, having great fun and staying out of bars and off the street! So I say this is even better than the Yarn Diet!!

  13. Feel no guilt wendy lifes to short to not knit!!
    My dog chews on plastic too but only if there is yarn in it other than that he leaves it alone, is the bag your making the same one as on the prize page??
    Have a great wednesday

  14. I love reading your blog daily Wendy, though I don’t post often. I have not been able to for the last 5 days, so am playing catchup.
    Flora looks gorgeous, and I love the picture of her inside! I’m sure you’ve been asked, but do you have a colour in each hand when you knit?
    AND I LOVE the yarns you chose for your not-colinette. I am going to have to do some serious resisting!
    I have a question about the critter blankets. I don’t know if I will get the chance to make any as we are in the process of fixing the house up (needs it big time) in order to put it on the market, but I sure would like to. Seeing as how I am in Canada, do you think you would have to pay Customs duty if I sent some over?
    I really enjoy seeing all of Lucy’s pictures.
    liz ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Hi Wendy:

    Another lovely pic of Lucy today.

    Have you ever thought of what we knitters where in another life?

  16. Well – at least I’m not alone. My Nemo is a plastic chewer also. Doesn’t eat the plastic just chews and I think that it is “cat gum”. My vet looked VERY concerned when I told her about Nemo’s habit but I assured her that he never eats it. I can relate to the guilt thing – but I’ve determined knitting is my HOBBY – to enjoy – not a job to labor over. Best to you.

  17. Dear Wendy,

    It is comforting to know that my cat isn’t the only one to do that. ๐Ÿ™‚ He especially likes bags that make noise (shopping bags) and only does it when he feels ignored…. kind of a “no one love me, everyone hates me. I think I will go chew a bag.” ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. One of my cats *loves* to lick the plastic grocery bags. He never chews or eats them, and I always keep them locked up where he can’t get to them.

    When I asked my vet about the behavior, she told me that the plastic is made partially from some sort of animal fat. The cat can smell/taste this. Hence the desire to lick the bag.

  19. Thank you so much for sharing the link to At My Wit’s End. It was indeed a great post — addressing something that happens, but is not limited to most knitters (or women) I know.

  20. LOL! I read “Take Back the Knitting” and got an image of myself trotting off to snag every piece of knitting I’d given away! Right now I’m slightly guilty that I’m not working on the sleeves of my Maya Aran. I’m in the sleeve doldrums – almost done with sleeve 1, should be cranking out sleeve 2. I even started another WIP, which I rarely do, just to feel like I’m doing something.

  21. How about a red GUILT with a circle around it and a line through it? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. Yes! Take back the knitting! I would, but my arms ache at the moment. I think I’m going to take a day off from knitting (I have baby sweater sleeve blues) and take back the quilting.

  23. I believe guilt is a product of our culture. Look at all the media messages around us! We are constantly being bombarded with messages that we aren’t good enough until we buy xxx. For myself, I find guilt to be one of the most destructive emotions around.

    yes, I’m knitting. And I like it.

  24. I don’t ever feel guilty about knitting. Occasionally I feel guilty when I’ve bought more yarn that I clearly don’t need, but what the heck.
    My Lucy-cat loves the plastic “zip strips” from bags of food. She doesn’t eat them, just plays with them forever. I will find them in our bed where she has brought them to sleep with her…must be like a teddy bear for her!

  25. I can totally relate to your guilt at not starting a new big project right away. I feel guilt if I go a day without knitting, or if I’m watching TV and not knitting at the same time. It’s so silly. Thanks for encouraging us to “take back the knit!” A great idea.

  26. jo morgan says:

    Hear! hear! for take back the knitting. My way of doing that is not to make deadlines. When I finish a sweater for my husband, I put it in his drawer, not under the tree (because it’s June, darn it).

  27. Jenny W. (in Davis) says:

    Take back the knitting (TM)! Hahahahhahahahahahaha! Wendy, I almost fell off my chair, that is so funny. I can see it now – you, as inspirational speaker, going from town to town, reminding us what’s important with our knittting – “control it, it does not control you!” And providing daily affirmations…

    T-shirts, websites, multiple self-help and workbooks – Wendy, I think this is your ticket out of that daily grind government job!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. Hi Wendy and everyone, I’ve been reading the posts and blogs about guilt and enabling and taking responsibility for one’s time, money, life. I think that the “knitter’s guilt” thing comes from our discomfort with the decisions we make as compared with those we think we SHOULD be making. There are a lot of SHOULDs that are inculcated into women very early on. The decisions we make about how we spend our money and our time are ours to make, based on the circumstances of each of our lives. If the money needs to be spent on other things, then don’t buy yarn… its that simple. If you buy yarn then don’t go out to dinner: its all about choices in life!
    sorry to preach, but these are things I’m thinking about in response to this theme. I’ll go back to lurking now.

  29. My siamese cat only chews on plastic and paper when she wants to get my attention. My Maine Coon cat on the other hand can smell when a ribbon or twist-tie or rubber band or similar “bad for kitty” item is in the house and he will hunt it down and stalk it repeatedly until I take out of the house in a trash bag. He also loves organza fabric and I came home one day to find out that I’d left my closet door open. He ignored the bundles and bundles of yarn but chewed through a corner of a plastic bag to get to the organza, which he chomped on and ruined.

  30. Goodness, leave it to you, Wendy, to think of an angle that hadn’t crossed my mind. Feeling guilty for not starting a big project right away! Sheesh, guilt can be found just about anywhere. Go knit the small stuff!

  31. Am I the only one that views every project as a *big* project? Sweater..big, afghan..really big, tank…big, Sam the Ram…big, socks….socks….well, okay-those are big too! What ever floats your boat! And Wendy-thanks for having such a great blog! P.S. I may have convinced my family that a few days of April vacation should be spent in D.C. You know what (and why) that means!

  32. Hey Wendy my cat likes to munch on odd things too. She adores chewing on paper and has even snitched one of those stickers from apples or bananas off my jeans and swallowed it (she didn’t get sick but I don’t stick fruit stickers on my shirt anymore). She really likes to sit on paper for some reason, so you can’t leave any paper around. The idiosyncrasies make them fun to live with!

  33. I do enjoy watching you knit a major fair isle project. You inspire me. I can’t wait for you to start Ingeborg.

  34. Perhaps Lucy would like to try some chewing gum ๐Ÿ˜‰