My current work in progress:

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


Chain Reaction

Okay, so you’ve heard me talk about the fact that I now practice clean eating, right?

One of the very happy side effects of clean eating is that in the last 5 months or so I’ve lost 41 pounds. So far.

This has lead to another very happy thing — I’ve had to buy all new clothes. (Darn it, I am being forced to shop for cute new clothes in a smaller size. Darn! Darn! Darn!)

And this has lead to me noticing how hard it is to find a dress I like that is not sleeveless. What’s with that, anyway?

Because I feel that middle-aged women should not flash their pits in an office setting (actually, I don’t think that anyone should flash their pits in an office setting, but that is a whole other rant about workplace attire), I clearly need a cute little cardi.

And that has lead to something shocking.

A gauge swatch.

Will you look at that? It turns out that I am trainable after all.

Can you guess which cute little cardi I am swatching for?

Lucy sez:

“I could have told you she is trainable. I’ve had Momma trained for years.”


  1. Congratulations on the weight loss and for sticking with clean eating!
    .-= biomaj5´s last blog ..DFW Fiber fest =-.

  2. That’s wonderful – congratulations! (on the clean eating part – I’m not sure about the gauge swatch! LOLOLOL!!!!)
    .-= Aponi´s last blog ..Wakey Wakey!!!!! =-.

  3. Holy, Moly! ! ! !
    Congrats on the LOSS ! ! !
    I really must get serious and follow you lead.
    .-= Gerry´s last blog ..Lest you think I am a slacker =-.

  4. 41 pounds? That is fabulous. So sorry about the new clothes! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. anne marie in philly says:

    steven and meredith say: “purrrrrrr, cousin lucy, mommies are VERY easy to train. just look cute and innocent and meow every time you see her…it just makes her go allllll to pieces!”

    if you lose any more weight, I won’t recognize you by july! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Congratulations! I wish I could have the same results! I think you are swatching for CeCe—at least that’s the little cardie I always have wanted to knit!

  7. Congrats on the weight loss! I cannot wait to see the cardigan!

    We aren’t allowed to wear sleeveless at my office. I sometimes wish we could because I love the cardigan/shell look- and sometimes it gets too warm and I want to be able to take the cardigan off.

  8. Wow, what a weight loss, a great and good feeling! You’re just motoring along with that!! How neat that you get to go shopping.

  9. I like the changes you are making and sharing you can’t get ‘too old’ to grow into this life! I mean, swatching even-wow, talk about life changes!
    .-= Cindy in FL´s last blog ..Saturday’s Hard Decisions =-.

  10. I don’t know what you’re swatching for, but that yarn looks incredibly like the Pewter Louet Gems Sport that I swatched with yesterday for a gansey. Congrats on your loss!
    .-= Carolyn in MN´s last blog ..Big joys and small annoyances =-.

  11. fibercrone says:

    I’m glad you posted an update about clean eating. I was wondering about the weight loss.

  12. It’s a swatch for the Brown Cardi! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. I feel the same way about pittage. I don’t care how toned one’s arms are, sleeveless attire just does not seem professional to me.
    .-= Ida´s last blog ..Houston, We Have a Heel! =-.

  14. Shirley. in PA says:

    I’ve been disappointed at the lack of sleeves on summer dresses too. At my age, my upper arms are best clothed. A cardi is a great idea. Also, congrats on the weight loss. I’ve lost almost 20 pounds on my version of clean eating, and can fit into jeans I almost gave to Good Will last year. Also, less weight resulted in much less knee pain. This is a life style choice that works wonders.

  15. Bonnie H. says:

    I’m with you on no sleeveless attire in an office. I was taught that it’s just not professional. We’re probably close in age!

  16. BuckfastBee says:

    Congratulations! *41#? Whow!!!!*
    Not only Diet pepsi/coke is made in hell – if all people would do clean eating (and mostly organic) the whole world would be a better place for all species.
    I lost all (read: 98) my beehives this winter – analysis told us that they were kiled by an asparagus pesticide in the longterm-stored pollen…

  17. As energy becomes more expensive, higher workplace temps may become common. Sleeveless may become necessary. Ewww.
    .-= kmkat´s last blog ..40 days and 40 nights. Mememe. =-.

  18. Can we conclude that all the sleeveless fashions are somehow related to Michelle “No Bingo Wings” Obama? I’m with you on covering up in the Office Place. And second that in the general population, as well. Just call me Grumpy!
    .-= LizAnderson´s last blog ..A Great & Profound WTF? with Front Row Seating. =-.

  19. I’m so with you with the upper arm cover up, inside and outside the workplace, not to mention upper legs. I’m no prude but I just don’t need to see that much of people. PS Well done on the weight loss front … I bet you have lots more energy now as well.
    .-= Susan L´s last blog ..Good things: Friday knitting pattern =-.

  20. in my humble opinion, sleeveless only looks good on toddlers. those chubby arms are Just So Cute!! but grown women should not dress like hoochie-mamas. sleeves, and skirts that go to the knee are perfectly fine. i dont want to look around an office and see more skin than id see on South Street (Philly) after dark.

  21. Julie in VA says:

    Wendy, Congratulations on your weight loss and clean eating. I know it must make you feel better!

  22. It’s not just work clothes that suffer from too much sleevelessness. I looked for months for a dress for a wedding that wasn’t sleeveless, or at least had a light, loose jacket (outdoor summer wedding) and never found it.

    How about Hey Teach. I’ve been meaning to make that one, as soon as I lose a few pounds. Congratulations on your clean eating.

  23. Mary Cooper says:

    I am TOTALLY on your side when it comes to finding a dress with sleeves – all of them either have no sleeves or look like mother-of-the -bride dresses! What gives?

  24. That is so neat and fun!! Loosing 41 pounds and not dieting makes clean living the only way to go!!!

  25. Wow, congrats on the 41 pounds. Getting to buy/knit new clothes? That’s a sales pitch for clean eating if I ever heard one. Yeah, I hear you about the sleeveless thing. Guess that’s why we knit shrugs. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!
    .-= Wool Free and Lovin’ Knit´s last blog ..March Baby Sweater =-.

  26. 41 pounds? Congrats!

  27. congrats on the weight loss! it is a positive side effect! (i am at 26 pounds down) I have tried to convince hubby that this means i will be spending less money on yarn as it will take less skeins per project! He doesn’t buy it, just says i will plan for more projects… he’s right!
    .-= turtle´s last blog ..Look What I Caught Ma ! =-.

  28. Way to go! Congratulations on the weight loss. New clothes- how wonderful is that?
    I can’t decide which cardi you are swatching. I know it will be great. Funny, I didn’t think of you as a “middle aged” woman! I thought I was. LOL

  29. Congratulations on your clean eating and weight loss. Enjoy all your new clothes.

  30. the adult version of the baby surprise jacket?

  31. You really deserve congrats. on clean eating. What motivation, I’m so envious and 41lbs. in 5 months. You must feel like a different person.
    Knowing you, we will be looking at your new cardi. next week (-:

  32. crazycrafter says:

    Are you swatching for Hey Teach? How about a DROPS design? Something from a One-Skein Wonders book> I don’t know. I can’t wait to find out!

  33. Carla B. says:

    looks like Hey Teach. Congrats on the ‘need for a shopping trip’!

  34. Wow! I was wondering about that when you were talking about how your allergies have cleared up but I thought it would be too rude to ask if you lost weight. I think I am have to do this because while I am allergy free for the most part I do have some extra baggage to get rid of. Congrats on the weight loss I am truly envious.

  35. Congrats on the weight loss!

  36. Congrats on the weight loss! That’s enough motivation for me to look into this diet. What have you found was the hardest thing to adapt to with “clean eating”? Does it mean you have to give up caffeine and adult beverages? What do you miss the most on this diet?
    .-= Liz A.´s last blog ..784 =-.

  37. Congrats on the weight loss! I’ve been clean eating for over a year and am down 66 pounds now. Isn’t it amazing how good the food tastes and how the weight just starts to come off after getting all the junk out of your diet?

    As to the lack of sleeved dresses, I also find this annoying. I have arm tattoos, but I purposely chose to have them be able to be covered by a short sleeve. This works great when I wear shirts, but dresses that are sleeveless will always require a cardigan or shrug while I am in an office environment (outside of a professional setting, I flash the artwork as much as I like!).
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..The Blob =-.

  38. Theresa in Italy says:

    Oh darn, being forced to shop for new, smaller clothes! Congratulations! And if it’s any comfort, it’s not easy finding summer clothes with sleeves over here, either.

  39. Yay! Go, Wendy! Go, Wendy, Go, go, go, Wendy! Woooo=hooooo!

  40. Elizabeth says:

    Wow…that’s fantastic! Lucy knew you could do it, all along. Keep up the good work. You inspire the rest of us to do the same!

  41. The February Sweater?
    Wonderful about the weight loss and all without the diet coke, sweet, eh?

  42. 41 pounds is a lot of weight off your feet, legs, and back! I’ll bet you feel SO much better. Here’s the trick about ‘losing’ weight: If you can keep the weight off for a year, then your body will slough off the empty fat cells, and you will have truly ‘lost weight’. Your body keeps the empty fat cells for a year after they are empty, then sloughs them off. However, if you gain the weight back (fill up those empty fat cells before your body can get rid of them), then you’ve only ‘dropped’ 41 pounds, and ‘picked-them-up’ again. Picking-up stitches is okay, but not weight that you’ve dropped. Keep the weight off by eating healthy (and clean) and including a regular portion of exercise in your diet. I’m sorry to hear about you having to buy new clothes….

  43. Congrats on the wonderful weight loss. It must be fun to be buying close in a smaller size. (I really must check out that clean eating!)
    How many sizes difference does 41 pounds make?

    I don’t have a guess for the cardi but will enjoy seeing it ‘grow’. You are such a fast knitter! Thanks for the good example of swatching! I hardly ever do, but regret it very frequently.

  44. Wow, OK, I am officially inspired. Have been doing a modified “clean eating” regimen for about six weeks now but maybe I should be kicking things up a bit. 41 pounds – yikes! Good for you!! Since my own wardrobe consists of about three sizes spanning a thirty pound range, I won’t be able to have a similar shopping spree. Lucky you!
    .-= Michele In Maine´s last blog ..Knitting Chickens Project Bag =-.

  45. I am SO with you about the pit flashing ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been following clean eating somewhat, and keeping up with the Ravelry group since early January. Nowhere near the results you have experienced, but I do feel better. Guess its time to get serious!!

  46. Holy MOLY, woman! 41 pounds in 5 months…you go! I’m going to guess cardi #221 from Knitting Pure and Simple…the Summer Cardi. It’s a good one for office pit coverage, without making a girl too overheated.

    Happy knitting and happy clean eating!

  47. Pam from Kansas says:

    I agree about flashing pits. I am knitting the Hey Teach summer cardi right now to wear over a short sleeve T-shirt or blouse….don’t suppose that is the one?

  48. Congrats on the weight loss!! Good for you – wish I had the willpower to give up sweets, etc:)

    I am so with you on the sleeveless dress issue! I just went shopping for a dress to wear to my daughter’s graduation and nearly all I found had very short or no sleeves, and most were pretty short to boot…grrr…I don’t mind “having” to make a little cardi but that’s not always feasible for whatever reason (time being the main one). As for your cardi, I have no clue but I love Knitting Pure and Simple patterns and am working on the Summer Open Cardigan now.

  49. Congratulations on the weight loss, that’s terrific! I just started cleaner eating again, and am hoping for the same result…discovered green smoothies, yum!
    .-= Melanie J.´s last blog ..Not entirely my fault! =-.

  50. Congrats on the weight loss! That is a significant amount and you must feel like a new person. GOOD FOR YOU!!!

  51. I would love to hear more about the clean eating!!
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..CEY Knitalong – Soft Linen Sideways Lace Vest =-.

  52. paisleyapron says:

    That is quite an accomplishment! Congratulations!

    Have fun making new clothes.

  53. Good for you!

    I’m guessing Hey Teach, that’s on my list…

  54. Denise in Kent, WA says:

    Wow! Your clean eating results are amazing. How do you find time to plan meals? That’s my biggest stumbling block, not fixing meals or “giving up” problem foods. Then again, you knit entire shawls in the blink of an eye so you obviously have superior time management skills. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    P.S. Finally picked up a copy of your new sock book – great variety of patterns! It’s rare for me to buy a sock book these days; most just don’t have enough that’s new or interesting.

  55. KnittingKnails says:

    Congratulations on the lifestyle change. Good thing socks and shawls are “sizeless”

  56. That’s a great weight loss. I need to see if there are a few sweets I can eat that are clean, because this looks like something I could do as long as I don’t have to eliminate the sweets. The one thing I’ve learned in my own weight loss journey is that if I feel deprived I will sabotage my efforts. It’s amazing what a little bit of a treat does for keeping me on track.
    .-= Seanna Lea´s last blog ..a path, a path! =-.

  57. MamaLana says:

    Wendy, when you first wrote about starting Clean Eating, you inspired me to buy the book and magazine. Since then, I have done nothing and lost 5 months. I’m so proud of you for actually doing it!! What an inspiration!! Thank you.