My current work in progress:

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


Ever Have One of Those Days?

We are not happy. We got a tetanus shot yesterday and our arm is swollen and hot and painful. Very very bad for the knitting progress.

Why a tetanus shot, you ask? Well, I’d rather gloss over that part of the story. It was wet, it was early, and I come off looking less than gazelle-like.

(Hey Mom! We are tetanus shot buddies! I’ve emailed Mom what happened because I know she won’t laugh at me. Moms aren’t allowed to laugh at their kids when they are total klutzes, see?)

Here is my right ankle, as of yesterday afternoon.


Why no, I don’t usually have a doughnut-like swelling around it.

Oh, and when I got home yesterday I discovered there had been a water main break and there was zilch, zero, nada water for several hours. But thankfully we did get water again.

And then . . . the fire alarm went off. It was a laugh a minute, lemmee tell ya.

We shall move on . . .


The SSRP box arrived while I was away, and I went to the post office to pick it up on Wednesday.

This will no doubt garner me some criticism about my being a yarn snob, but I gotta say that on the whole I was disappointed with the contents of the box. A lot of chenille. A ton of Sirdar yarn, some Bernat yarn — cotton/acrylic blends. Not a whole lot of yarn I consider “snobworthy.” And this is the Snob Stash Reduction Project, after all.

I read the guidelines that were enclosed in the box about what qualifies as “snob” yarn, and I think most of the box contents don’t qualify.

But there were a few things. This is what I took out:


Three skeins of Noro Kureyon, four skeins of Big Kureyon, a skein of Colinette Skye, and two skeins of Jaeger Persia.

And this is what I put in:


Three skeins of Noro Silk Garden, one skein of Colinette Giotto, three skeins of Colinette dk cotton, and ten skeins of Rowan 4-ply cotton.

I did replace what I took with a more than equal amount of snob yarn, so I feel I played by the rules. And there is actually a nice lot of Cascade 220 that I left in there, so someone might enjoy that.

Now I have to mail that honking big box that I can barely lift. Given my current injured state, I may need to wait til Monday to do that. But I’ll send it off as soon as I can — promise!

Blog Comments Q&A

Some recent questions from the comments:

How the heck do you knit with Lucy on your lap?

Lucy is a very knit-friendly kitty. She doesn’t mind when I let my knitting rest on her. In fact, I think she rather enjoys it.

But last night Lucy practiced her kitty ballet:


About Klaralund:
Curious to see how the stripes match up when you do your seaming or does it matter? Could a circular needle have been used and gone continuously from rt front, back, then lft front to avoid matching?

Well, yeah, you could knit it in the round, but then you’d have skinny stripes on the body and much fatter stripes on the sleeves. Know what I mean? No the stripes don’t really match from front to back. Does it bother me? Not even a little.

Here’s a Klaralund sleeve-in-progress:


About Liam:
Although the cable eats up alot of stitches how do you think a saddle shoulder would look?

I did consider a saddle shoulder, but decided that the cable was too wide — I don’t like a saddle that wide. As a matter of fact, I’m not that fond of saddle shoulders anyhow.

The Liam pattern will be available for sale in the near future. I’ll let you know.

Yes, I know I said that about my other designs and they are yet to appear. I’ve been working on making them available, but as it’s now autumn, I think we’re going to wait until spring for their debut, as they are summer designs.

And Shelley left this somewhat cryptic comment yesterday:
Are sure you are knitting right?

So I’m gonna tell you why.

I was at Knit Happens all day Wednesday, and at one point Holly, Shelley, and I were the only ones in the shop. A woman came in — apparently her first visit to the shop. After chatting with Holly about various things, she approached me and told me I was knitting wrong. She seemed to think that my Klaralund was biasing. Which it’s not. Not even a little. I pointed that out to her and she insisted there was something wrong with the way I was knitting. Insisted in a not very nice way. At that point I figured it was best to simply ignore her (always seems the best bet when dealing with snotty, I’m-always-right types). So she then said to me “How did you get in the newspaper?” in a somewhat belligerent tone.

Shelley and Holly are witnesses that not only did I not kill her, she wasn’t even bleeding when she left the shop. I think they were both impressed by my restraint.


Twenty people reached my site by searching on “open heart surgery.” Huh?


  1. How did this stupid woman come to the idea to insult our knitting goddess???? No, there is NO irony in this. I so much admire your skills and so do MANY people. I would have killed her.

  2. Huh ? indeed !
    Beligerant loony woman is probably consumed with jealousy and was looking for a fight.You proved yourself superior in many ways.
    Hope the ankle is better soon.Falling over should be banned after a certain age ! It’s so embarrassing – I still blush remembering my last undignified crash to the ground.

  3. “Twenty people reached my site by searching on ‘open heart surgery.’ Huh?”

    You mean there are people who *don’t* reach your site by searching on ‘open heart surgery’? That’s how _I_ always find you.

    -Jean in Oz

  4. Hi Wendy,

    That woman is simply rude and stupid. The best way to those kind of people is just ignore her.

    Hope your ankle recover soon !

    best regards


  5. Yowser! What a dragon! Doesn’t she know your many minions will all put a combined hex on her! Clearly a case for item 10. on the Bad Ass Knitter manifesto – sharp pointy needles!

    Hope your ankle returns to it’s pre-doughnut state soon.

  6. … and now “bleeding kill” will find you too – could be a chance to really expand your realm!

  7. yikes! hope your ankle is better soon!

  8. Freud says there is no such thing as an accident. Is it possible that you had something this weekend that would have taken you away from knitting?

  9. I am glad to see that the persia and skye found a nice new home. I concur with your SSRP comments.

  10. Hey Wendy…about the SSRP box…well, I guess that’s what happens when the “leader” drops out of sight. I was early in the line-up, and I’ve got to tell you, I haven’t had an email in months with any updates as far as who has it and what they put in and took out…nor any blog postings, either.And that lack of accountablily will drag the whole box down. However, looks like you snagged a few goodies, though.
    Have a great day and take care of that ankle.

  11. Welcome to the world of “wrong” knitting. It’s such a treat, isn’t it?

  12. As someone who is STILL waiting for the SSRP box, you haven’t given me something to look forward to…and the two other groups are making MUCH faster rotation than ours is! I agree somewhat with what Lynne said but people have got to be communicating with the group as to who has it when. We should take this conversation offline, though.

  13. And here was I, under the impression that as long as you liked the way it looked and the finished project didn’t unravel, one was knitting correctly…but then I tend to take a rather…um…relaxed approach to that sort of thing.

    Also, *waves* hi! I read your blog and live in Pentagon City, so it’s cool to read other area knitters.

  14. Poor Wendy’s ankle! I hope it feels all better soon!

    Ignore that rude and ignorant lady. What was that saying? Better to keep your mouth shut and let others wonder about your stupidity, rather than opening your mouth and proving it….

    At any rate, TGIF! HEY, didn’t you have a very short work week?!?! Still, have a great weekend!

  15. What nerve. Did you spend the rest of your night thinking up great zingers?
    What a fool.
    I am totally impressed with your restraint.


  16. What an ankle! No one can accuse you of faking that. I think this looks like a good weekend for knitting.

    As for the knitting “instructor”, may her skeins forever be tangled and full of knots. That should give her something to be cheerful about.

    BTW, have you ever gone to the DC Knit Out? Is it worth the effort? Or does Knit Happens rate higher?


  17. Sorry to hear about your Very Bad Day. ๐Ÿ™

    Lucy makes a lovely ballerina! (I love kitty ballet!)

  18. Wendy! I’m SO sorry about your ankle. That’s awful! My hubby slipped on ice while taking the puppy outside in January and broke his leg in 3 places. So be careful and make sure you don’t have a fracture! Lots of rest and kitty snuggling/knitting progress will definitely make you feel better.

    As for the git from Knit Happens, perhaps she will get splinters from her own Crystal Palace bamboo needles! Kudos to you for being the better person. I’ve always thought that people should be encouraged to pursue a hobby they love, not berrated for it!

    Feel better!

  19. OUCH! Hope your ankle and your arm feel better quickly.

  20. Oooh, owie owie ow ow! Sounds like a Murphy’s law kinda of day–when you’re not very mobile, you need to be all moving and stuff. Yuck.

    “How did you get in the newspaper?” Wha?

  21. I’m the Dianne who shares a birthday with you and comments seldom, but reads daily. We call these people “knitting Nazis.” A hold-over from the old days when people were taught the “right way” to knit by mother, grandmothers and school teachers. Now that there is much global sharing of information and more reseach about techniques and books, etc. they are fewer in numbers, but still out there. You had a brush with a true relic!

  22. “So she then said to me ‘How did you get in the newspaper?’ in a somewhat belligerent tone.

    “Like this,” proceeded by a high hip throw…

    You showed a lot more restraint than I would have, but then again, I *do* miss my martial arts training days.

    Sorry for the bad day. They seem to be going around.

  23. “Knitting Nazi”…how appropriate! And yes folks, the restraint was incredible…of course I wimpered and hid behind a book when said incident took place.

    So sorry about your ankle…take care gimp!

  24. Tetanus shot for a swollen ankle? Guess they were adding insult to injury (or being extra careful). At least they’re only once every 10 years. Just keep taking Tylenol and don’t let your friends punch you in the arm (good thing you’re not a guy!)
    Any thoughts recently for a second annual mouse-a-thon? Wasn’t it about this time last year?? Re. the supposed knitter – your restraint is to be admired–good thing you weren’t working with double points at the time (Hya-Yah!)

    Cheryl in AL

  25. So Wendy, you’re now feeling the pain I went through when I sliced the finger open… without the huge gimpy bandage, lol! That aching arm didn’t stop me from trying to knit – like I know it won’t stop you. ๐Ÿ™‚ Tetanus shot, schmetanus shot… it’s not going to stop you!

    Yes people, she let that woman leave alive and in one piece! I was quite proud of our Wendy… and amazed as well, since I don’t think I could have been that restrained. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Ouch! Take care of that ankle. I admire your restraint. That woman would have been garroted with an Addi if I had been there…

  27. Sorry to hear about your less than fun day. I hope your ankle gets better. Some of us are very sympathetic since our klutz factors are constantly getting us into similar places.

    It still amazes me how many people feel that it is their job to spontaneously “educate” people even when the lesson is not asked for. Reminds me of a Harry Chapin song, that I can’t remember the exact title of, but the chorus starts with “Flowers Are Red”…

  28. Wendy, I am SO sorry to hear about your ankle, because I have BTDT to the max. (I’ll email you – this got too long.)

    On knitting, FWIW I think you left a net improvement in the SSRP box with your give-and-take. Too bad it was disappointing; I’ve been watching that project from the blog, and thought I might join in at some point. Maybe not… Oh, and yes, that woman at KH was an idiot with a capital D. I’ll go put on my minion shirt right now and hunt her down!

    Have a *relaxing* weekend, being tended by your minions.

  29. Hey Wendy!! If it’s any help, I have “done” my ankle not only once, twice, but three times! Two of which required a tetanus shot! As recently as this week I was walking home from the car repair shop in the dark and had a run-in with some branches someone had stacked in the street – KA-BLAM! Down! scraped knee, shoulder, hand, etc. It wasn’t pretty… The only good thing, it was dark! and I don’t think anyone heard me fall… swear perhaps, but not fall!! Hope you are feeling better soon!!

  30. Owie! Hope the ankle heals quickly! Some people need to belittle others to make themselves feel better. They aren’t worth the time or effort to worry about. You know you’re a good knitter…she could be so lucky! Sounds like envy to me.

  31. So sorry about the ankle (and the shot). People are funny, especially those who think they are “experts”. I have a lady in my quilting group who was always telling me I “quilt wrong” I was even demonstrating quilting at an arts and crafts fair once when her husband came up to me and said, “Oh, I see what my wife means. You do quilt wrong.” Must be why my quilts are consistently accepted into juried shows. Can’t account for the big box of blue ribbons, though. So just ignore and keep knitting wrong!

  32. YOU knit wrong? No, no, no. She apparently doesn’t understand the facts. That’s like telling God that he makes landscapes wrong. You are THE GODDESS. However YOU do it DEFINES correct knitting. What a blasphemer! What nerve! I’m getting out my minion T-shirt and coming down there to kick butt. What did she look like???

  33. p.s. I googled bleeding kill but I didn’t get your site, even when I searched within results for knit, wendy, and johnson. Lots of modern rock lyric sites, though!

  34. Poor ankle! Poor Wendy!
    Welcome to the world of “knitting wrong” – I knit combined. I’ve endured the “knitting wrong” attack for 30 years, sometimes with more politeness than others. Last year I did the TKGA master knit thing mostly so that the next time I get the “knitting wrong” attack, I’ll get to snarl “back it off lady.”

    I hope the knitting police-lady at least left large sums of money behind. I looked up the Knit-out dates, but I’ll be at a dog show that day. I’ll get over to Knit Happens eventually….I promise!!!

  35. What a happy and secure woman she must be!


    I hope that donut around your ankle gets better. What a day! Just think of it this way: It’s only gotta get better.

    P.S. I gotta agree that Sirdar and Bernat yarns are definitely not snob-worthy, but cotton/acrylic blends? I knit using cotton/acrylic blends! Am I still your friend? [Hee hee!]

  36. I too knit with cotton/acrylic blends — what I meant to say was that the Sirdar and Bernat yarns were cotton/acrylic blends. And some of them quite icky to the touch.

    So you are in the clear, Becky ๐Ÿ˜‰

  37. Hope your ankle is better soon.

    There has to be one of those knitting police everywhere. I was quietly knitting away at a Knitting Guild meeting when a women walked up to me and said “You knit funny”. I don’t know if I even answered her but it works for me so I don’t care.

    Have a nice week and a little scratch under the chin to Lucy. She is just too cute.

  38. I think they give you the tetanus shot cause it hurts so much you forget about the injury that necessitated(is that a word?) it. I knit lying on my back sometimes, wonder what the knitting nazis would think of that?

  39. Like Rebecca, I’m farther down the SSRP list and now I’m a bit nervous about the box. I was one of the folks who intially donated to the start box. Yikes!

    Feel better soon!

  40. Get well soon! As I found out purchasing cheap yarn from another country, carrying it in a backpack for a week and spending $$ to mail it home doesn’t make it more memorable and worthy. I unloaded it on my sister after we had the yarn snob talk. She noticed all the 100% acrylic in her class. I advised her to pick a yarn she liked for a scarf (a gorgeous 3 strand wonder she’ll NEVER forget, hah, hah) and I put rings between every 20 cast on so she could control it. Thanks for letting me share…

  41. Heal the ankle quick so you can kick that women in the ass for me the next time you see her. I received a tetnus shot a few years ago after having a bat “land” on my head, I told the nurse she shoulda just hit me again with the bat, it hurt less. Get well soon.

  42. I knit TOTALLY wrong. I’m sure of it. Somehow, though, nothing ever unravels…

    You are not alone. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  43. Hope you’re feeling better soon–that’s no fun.

    As for that rude lady, It’s interesting that she knew you were in the newspaper, isn’t it? Almost like she was looking for something to criticize about you. Some people get their jollies in the strangest ways . . .

    Take care of yourself!

  44. Obviously, the rude lady was completely stupid, but I find it so amusing that she told YOU, of ALL people, that you were knitting wrong. I mean, seriously, your fans (who far outnumber HER fans, I’m sure..) will come after her with our DPNs. Oh yes, we will.

    Lucy’s ballet is fab.

  45. I know I knit wrong. (It comes with teaching yourself from the internet, I’m sure) But it still holds together alright. & I continually kick myself for refusing to knit guage swatches. But I know lots of smaller and larger people than me, so it all works out in the end.

    Much admiration for your restraint. I may have just handed her the needles and let her go at it. It may have been funny.

    Best luck on the ankle. Having just fallen most ungracefully last week, I share in your pain. Except for the tetanus shot part. THAT was several months ago.

  46. Poor Wendy,
    I hope it’s not too painfull!
    And you know, take care, with so much restraint, you’re not going to be a “bad ass knitter” any more (i’m joking !).
    Klaralund’s coming beatifully. Yesterday, i’ve got the Noro Nยฐ 17 : interresting patterns!
    This pic of Lucy is great

  47. Slaps hand to forehead…BONZAI…stupid woman has finally cleared something up for me. I ASPIRE to knit like you, but while I would still be dawdling over what colors go together, you would have knitted two Dale sweaters. All this time I was trying to knit right, who knew I was supposed to be knitting wrong. Wendy, it wasn’t nice of you to hold out this important fact from your adoring fans. Hee!

    AND another truth has emerged, when you are not working or knitting prolifically…you are doing open heart surgery!

    Ouch on the ankle. Did you have a big audience? (That’s usually when our most “graceful” falls happen.) Hope it feels better soon.

  48. I must say, I was stunned by the vicious attack on your knitting style. I am relatively new to knitting and left-handed. Best I can figure, I knit English, but the opposite direction. A lady who worked in a LYS told me I would not be able to do anything advanced like cables and that I should learn to knit another way (by taking the LYS’s class). Next time I came in the store, she called my style incoherent and inefficent, in front of everybody. I was hurt and humbled, and then I was very, very angry. I was shortly thereafter referred to the Bad Ass Knitter’s Manifesto, and so found your lovely blog. Guess the jerk did me a favor after all.

    Oh yeah–I *can* do cables.

  49. I knew it, I KNEW IT! I’m linking my mom to your blog because I’ve said for years that moms are NOT allowed to laugh at you when you hurt yourself. Now if only I could get back all that money I blew on therapy…..

  50. nicole/sweden says:

    ahh, the delights of the public mentality.

    i commend you on restraining your instincts and know how hard it can be. one of my heroines is clarissa pinkola estes and your ability to detach off idiocy would make her proud.
    thanks for a bit of hilarity on this otherwise sad day. i needed it.

  51. …out of curiosity… how do I find out if I’m knitting wrong? I don’t want my stuff to bias.

    Best wishes for the ankle and arm.

  52. hope you ankle is much better now!

  53. I also hope that wacko gets splinters.. that would be her just deserts! well knots in all of her yarn would be good too.. gosh we are a vendictive(sp?) bunch aren’t we?! all the best on your ankle.. why the tetnus shot? did you break the skin? karola