Knitting pose

I’m into yoga. I’m sure I’ve told you this before. I have the completely reasonable belief that it makes me fitter and stronger, and the completely unreasonable (and unproven) belief that my practice also makes me taller and more graceful. (I feel taller after yoga. The fact that the Gap “short” pants are still too freaking long for me is irrelevant. How short is “short” to The Gap anyway? The average height of a Canadian woman is 5’4″, so what’s up with a 5’1″ Canadian woman putting on “short” pants and finding them 4″ too long?)

Now usually, I practice Yoga at home. Yoga stresses both willful determination to do ones best (I have no trouble with this) and acceptance of where one is in their individual practice. This is challenging for me. I have absolutely no problem accepting where other people are in their practice. I think that every person should try really hard to do their best while not crapping on themselves for not being as far along the road as they would like. The problem starts when I try to apply that to myself.

Until such time as I learn not to be so competitive in yoga, I’ve been only going to classes occasionally, just often enough to clean up my practice, correct any bad habits I’ve picked up in the living room and challenge myself a little bit. Last week I felt like I was getting sloppy, and I packed myself off for a little cleanup.

I put down my knitting, picked up my mat and headed off. I took a deep breath as I laid my stuff out beside the women with no bulges anywhere on their bodies, and I exhaled anxiety as all of these lithe young people picked up their left legs and effortlessly deposited them behind their right ears while smiling the divine grin of self acceptance (I bet it’s pretty freaking easy to embody self-accemptance when all you have to accept is being beautiful and flexible, but I digress.) while I sat there feeling like a supreme dorkling, trying to inhale self-love and exhale judgment…reaching up through my head and grounding myself down through my feet, really stretching for a better self.

It was going pretty well too. I did a decent tree, a pretty snappy downward dog, then right out of the restful blue, the most beautiful 14 pound 6′ tall woman folded herself into the scorpion pose and something in me snapped. Some part of me that just can’t do it. I couldn’t let her be that much better than me. Every lesson I’d learned, every possible concept I’d internalized about being the best that I can be went right out the window and my competitive self exploded onto the scene.

I lost my cool. The little bubble of “being the best me I can be” burst and suddenly I was trying to keep up with this woman. I ignored anything my body might have been saying to me (little whispered messages like “stopstopstopdearholyheavenstop”) and I didn’t just try to keep up to the best of my ability, no, no. I compared my living room yoga body to the body of a 20 year old who lives yoga. I stifled any protest my groin may have about whether or not I could actually do those things and I quietly swallowed screams of protest from every muscle group in my body. If she reached, I reached. If she folded, I folded. If she inhaled a little deeper into a post then damn it….I gasped my way to a physical impossibility.

As I crawled home (although the real pain didn’t hit until today, when I discovered that the degree of leg bending one needs to do to “use the facilities” created spiraling purple pain shot through with yellow sparkles ) I got to thinking about competition and I got thinking about knitting.


Despite my complete, total and unabridged inability to attain a competition free state while at the gym, when I got home I sat down with my knitting (and a couple of tylenol) and realized that once again, the practice of knitting has a lesson for me to take to the rest of my life. If I knit something crappy, I’m ok. (Perhaps slightly pissed, but ok.) If I cannot conquer a knitting move, I don’t compare myself to Eunny and stay up nights weeping. I try to challenge myself in wooly ways and I make a bold endeavor to knit very well, but I don’t think less of new knitters and I don’t judge knitters who haven’t cabled yet. Why then, am I so hard on myself when I can’t achieve the yoga equivalent of a shetland shawl without determination and practice?

It’s something I’ll be thinking over as I try to lift my arms high enough to hold my knitting today.

Tv-less coverage of The World Cup.

I’m pretty sure Portugal won again.


Italy must have been playing, since in Little Italy, everyone was watching the game.


but in end, the band didn’t play,


and everyone went home.


I think Italy lost.

194 thoughts on “Knitting pose

  1. Italy tied in a cracker of a game with the U.S., but I digress.
    The knitting lesson is fundamental to a calm, peaceful life. Acceptance – of self, of circumstances, of others – I struggle for it daily. Breathe in, breathe out, just like you said, Stephanie.

  2. Stephanie, you are surely better at yoga than most of the rest of the world. Don’t be upset. P.S. I bet that girl can’t knit!

  3. I’ve been reading and enjoying your posts for a few months, but I’m commenting for the first time today, because I hear you about the “short” pants. Who exactly are they making these for? I’m short–I’m exactly who the pants should fit. What do these “tall-short” people need with my short pants? Ugh. If only knitted pants were a reasonable choice.

  4. Does it strike you as odd that there are yoga COMPETITIONS? It’s like a knitting competition — just counter to the whole thing.
    Thanks for articulating the struggle so clearly. I deal with it with knitting, with cleaning house (I know there are better things to be competitive about!), with the whole mothering thing. . . Maybe it’s all part of growing up?

  5. Angora is on the way to the home of the Yarn Harlot, along with some other goodies. Enjoy.
    I’m still too chicken to try cables. You’re a better person for trying things. I am going to suck it up and try cables this year. (You know, like on Dec. 31).
    No matter how good or bad you do, we still love you.

  6. Ow. That scorpion pose looks painful. But the leaf tank is looking beautiful. I bet Scorpion Girl can’t knit!
    I don’t understand the pant thing – as a 5’6″ woman, why do all the pants for my size have to end above the ankle? How can “short” pants be too long for you and “regular” pants be too short for me? At least in the summer I can wear capris to work…

  7. I saw those yoga poses on your link. I’m sorry but that’s just not right!! There’s no way one’s body should be able to do that!
    Knitting on the other hand is the only way to keep your aura calm.

  8. Thinking about putting my foot behind my ears brings out muscle protests to the nth degree.I enevy thin and flexable people,I am also sad that i won’t be able to see you in Chicago, hubby informs that is a Monday and in no way can I drive there by myself.So i’ll just have to hope you will come to Wisconsin, Madison , perferrably. sigh,

  9. I am also 5’1″, and have recently made the same pants rant as you. (JC Penney thinks that short pants are supposed to be 5″ too long on me, and that I should try icky capri pants instead. Or maybe it’s a conspiracy to make all us petite women go outside without any pants at all!) I seriously don’t get it. I don’t have proportionally short legs.
    Too bad knitted pants are such a horrific idea…

  10. Thanks soooo much for sharing the pic of Mr. Lotus
    aaahhhh. Did you write about something else today?
    Oh, and thank you for sharing the photo of Mr. Lotus.

  11. I can sympathize about the Gap pants – only as I am 5’10” tall, I buy the “long” pants. I am not freakishly tall, yet these pants are still too short!
    Do you think that we could match up “short” and “long” Gap purchasers – you “short” folks could cut the extra inches off and send them to us “long” folks to be added to our pants.

  12. Okay…what possible purpose is there to being able to support your weight on your hands and put your feet on your head? Does this keep people warm? I don’t think so! Does it contribute to world peace? Not in any sense that matters! Supernatural flexibility and strength will not keep her company in her old age now will it?

  13. Here’s your whole problem — Tylenol has no active ingredients. Take ibuprofen or naproxen sodium — they’ll fix you right up; and after that, stick to your living room. Why would anyone want to be a scorpion; they’re nasty, stinging, biting creatures, and they don’t even wear socks fer cryin’ out loud.

  14. Okay…what possible purpose is there to being able to support your weight on your hands and put your feet on your head? Does this keep people warm? I don’t think so! Does it contribute to world peace? Not in any sense that matters! Supernatural flexibility and strength will not keep her company in her old age now will it?

  15. You are so good not to compare yourself to Eunny. I must stop doing so immediately. It’s paralyzing me. πŸ™‚

  16. Oh how true! I find I have the same problem, which I blame on my primary dosha being pitta. I find I’m always trying to see how the other yoga students are doing and trying to surreptitiously look at myself in the mirror (really hard to do in a downward dog) to see if I’ve nailed the pose. Fortunately, my teacher constantly reminds us that we need to accept our limits and if we try to do something we aren’t ready for, we’ll end up injured. That helps me accept that I can’t bend like Patricia Walden but only for a little while.

  17. Cursed scorpian pose….
    I find it difficult to discourage you from comparing yourself to the unsnappable twig in your yoga class, because I do the same thing. Competition runs in our veins and that is just the way it is. Knitting isn’t competitive because when we see new knitters (which I would be to you, though there are even newer knitters out there) we want to show them more, help them and encourage them to cable. Maybe this is the way that the unsnappable twigs feel about us, but somehow I doubt it.
    I also think Italy lost. If not for your WC updates, I would have no idea soccer was being played worldwide. Thanks!

  18. I’m wondering if there is anyone who has the “correct” length leg as compared to the pants in the stores. I’m 5’6″ (on a tall day) and tall pants are often too short.
    As far as that yoga thing, flexible is good, scorpions are bad, enough said.

  19. You should pat yourself on the back because you must be a pretty advanced yogini if you go to classes where people do Scorpion! I’ve never had a teacher include that pose in a class, even though I’ve been doing yoga for six years.
    You want competitive? There’s a yoga center where I live that has a special session on Winter Solstice where you do 108 Sun Salutations. Imagine!
    I forget the reason why 108. It’s cosmic or something.

  20. USA tied Italy..YEAH!! And I bet you could knit a scraf with ‘stick lady’ if she were rigid enough. Next time ask her if she can do the ‘downward facing Knitting Needle’…hehe

  21. Oh Stephanie, this happens to me all the time. I feel like a ball of string that has escpaed and rolled across the floor, all strung out. I’ve found a couple of things that work for me. 1)I remove myself from the immediate area of the challenge and 2)I breathe and remind myself of who I am, what I value. I’m able to come back into myself, like rolling the ball of yarn back up. Who knows, maybe Scorpion Girl is the Yoga Harlot!
    We love you for who you are and are grateful for what you give to us daily in your writing, even if you suck at yoga (which I doubt you do.)

  22. Two comments: No store-bought pants are ever meant to fit you …. and I mean any “you”. I’m 5’7″ and wear a 12 (on a good day), but its a “petite” 12 with a 34″ inch inseam. Try to find that measurement in stores!
    As for competing in YOGA, I cannot believe that’s a competition! I thought it was for relieving stress, not causing it! Some of the poses just look unbelieveable, and even if you were able to achieve them, how relaxing could those be?! Like several people said, I’ll bet Scorpian girl can’t knit. And even if she could, no way could she top you!

  23. Yoga kicks my butt every Wednesday! I go to the Y where the instructor–a nice lady who tucks a turtleneck into spandex shorts–keeps saying “how do you feeeeeeeeel?” Generally I feel like a non-graceful oaff. But I perservere. I just KNOW that someday I’ll be able to get my foot right up to my thigh for a descent tree. Maybe you’d feel less competative if you yoga-ed with someone less advanced than you? That way, you’d feel good and they could learn by your example. Just a thought.
    I can’t wait to see you in Chicago—-It’s not Wisconsin but. . . I can cope!

  24. If it makes you feel any better, you would definitely kick my butt in any kind of yoga competition. πŸ˜‰
    Oh–and I bet that woman hasn’t birthed three children OR three books. Or turned a perfect short-row heel in a dark theater.

  25. Two comments: No store-bought pants are ever meant to fit you …. and I mean any “you”. I’m 5’7″ and wear a 12 (on a good day), but its a “petite” 12 with a 34″ inch inseam. Try to find that measurement in stores!
    As for competing in YOGA, I cannot believe that’s a competition! I thought it was for relieving stress, not causing it! Some of the poses just look unbelieveable, and even if you were able to achieve them, how relaxing could those be?! Like several people said, I’ll bet Scorpian girl can’t knit. And even if she could, no way could she top you!

  26. Something to think about when yoga-ing: it’s called the Scorpion pose, not the Person pose. Little (hideously ugly horrible nasty) arthropods should do that, not people. (who thought of trying that pose in the first place? who sits at the bar and says, “I bet I could stand on my own head!”)

  27. I’m obviously not a yoga person.
    Because if someone next to *me* struck that particular pose, I *would* have to wrestle with an irresistable impulse, but it wouldn’t be the urge to compete… no, I would be trying to stuff my knitting down my throat in order to stifle the rude urge to stare and cackle insanely.
    And I wouldn’t feel all that badly if I failed to entirely suppress that urge. Heck, I might even feel Spiritually Enlightened. After all, *I* would be living honestly and in the moment. Something that is not always easy, even in our middle-age years.
    I dare anyone -no matter how young and flexible – to stay completely in the moment while standing on their own head like that!

  28. I suddenly got a picture of “Monica” and “Ross” from “Friends” in my head competing over anything and everything while I read your Yoga delima. It made me laugh because I could really picture you in your class – pissed off look on your face, glaring at “Miss Oh-so-effing-perfect-at-effing-yoga!!” while contorting into wierd poses at breakneck speed and trying not to fall over into a wimpering heap of pain. Too funny! Sorry, next time I get my competitive self out, you can laugh at me all you want!

  29. scorpion pose! What the f***ing hell is *wrong* with you? You were willing to break yourself in half for competition-derived adrenaline rush? No wonder I like your blog… I mean, you’re lucky you didn’t end up in traction!
    Shitfire, I’m happy if I’m flexible enough to reach the baking pan to make double dark chocolate chili cupcakes.

  30. i think you might need something stronger than tylenol. once again you have reminded me that a good dose of laughter at oneself is more healing than a bucketful of competition.

  31. That scorpion doohickey is just INSANE. You should have looked at the part of her leg that she couldn’t see, gasp loudly with horror, and exclaim, “OH MY! I’ve never seen a bug like the one on your leg”

  32. Yoga, no way I could get my body in those pose’s. As for the pants, I’m 5′ 5 1/2″ tall but I have a 32″ inseam. Most average length come in 32 inches so as soon as I wash them they are to short. That leaves me buying tall pants that them come up to my ribcage. I finally found some wonderful jeans by Wrangler called Aura. No they don’t look like the regular old Wranglers but they come in about 9 different styles for each size, 3 for the waist or rise and about 3 lengths. I can finally get regular rise jeans (that fit on the waist correctly) in a longer length.

  33. I know what you mean about pants; I bought a pair of capri pants that are the length that normal pants should be.
    I definitely need to start yoga.

  34. Whoa! Who else clicked the Scorpion link? Anyone? Anyone?
    *flipping through yellow pages*
    Finding a yoga class RIGHT now.

  35. I’m a fan of the yoga, too, but I’m horribly spotty in my ability to practice regularly in my living room. I really need a class to keep me going, but I haven’t found a class I liked since I lived in Urbana, IL, five years ago. I had the perfect yoga instructor, who was serious about it but not touchy feely, and who was obviously very fit and flexible but was also not a stick. I’m moving to Toronto soon, and I keep hoping I’ll find something that approximates my ideal yoga class. Sigh.

  36. If you ever figure out the answer to why we hold ourselves to a higher standard than is reasonable you tell me immediately. And if you find a cure tell me even sooner.

  37. That scorpion thing IS insane. What would possess anyone.
    The trouble is really in being the underling. Those of “us” (ha! by “us” I am speaking universally, not personally) who can do something REALLY well, are not troubled by such judgements. However, the rest of us are just devastated by our knitterly loser-ish-ness when compared to the likes of you, Eunny, Grumperina (how fast that woman knits!), and an abundance of other cyber-knit-friends.
    If knitting could hurt, I would absolutely ache too.

  38. Stephanie, I love yoga, but my living room works best for me, too! It’s terrible how competitive I get in a classroom and some of those poses just aren’t meant for real people…(btw my favorite recipe for pain relief is a hot bath and a good bottle of wine)
    You know, I love to read Eunny, and Wendy, and a bunch of others, but it’s to YOUR blog I run (and YOUR books I buy) when I need my spirits lifted, and a chuckle to make it thru the rest of the day. (thanks for stopping by to check out my blog, btw)
    Hope those muscles stop screaming soon! (((hugs)))

  39. Thanks for the soccer re-cap. It’s about all I needed to know.
    You didn’t really try the Scorpion, did you?
    When I practice at home, I’m happy if I can do Happy Cow. And I ALWAYS moo, when doing it. πŸ™‚

  40. You know, she probably can’t knit cables and I am sure that Fair Isle is right out.
    Good luck in the little knitter’s room until you heal (BTDT).

  41. I must have reached an all-time low for “enlightenment” when I read a comment about your coverage of the WC and immediately thought of your comment on using the “facilities”! Oh, I’m gonna burn for that one.
    And, *yoga competitions*, I ask you! What an oxymoron, and morons they must be to compete in an art where you’re supposed to lose all concept of competition and be all about acceptance. What an idea! Sums up why I don’t yoga, that and the fact that, the last time I tried, I though my knees were going to explode kneeling on the floor. Oh, the pain. Pain is good; it’s a messenger telling you to STOP IT RIGHT THIS INSTANT!!!! I’m just listening to my body, right?
    I second the idea to abandon tylenol for stronger drugs, like ibuprofen or even naprosyn, if your stomach will tolerate it.

  42. Stitch-dom wrote:
    Does it contribute to world peace?
    dom…Okay…what possible purpose is there to being able to support your weight on your hands and put your feet on your head? Does this keep people warm?
    In answer to this comment by stitch-dom:
    well, in a matter of speaking it does further world’s hard to be violent from this position……..imagine ifleaders had to get in this pose, the world may be a much different place….namaste

  43. The 108 Sun Salutations are a traditional number as they represent the 108 names of Buddah. Ten and I’m dead in the water…..I wish Buddah had 98 less names…..
    I, too, tried to keep up with the “joneses” until I attended a class where a gentleman who had been coming to class five nights (5!) a week for years, when asked if he could press his knees down further in baddha konanasa, simply said “No, they’re reluctant.” He just enjoyed what he was doing. Very smart man. I try to remember that, when I’m falling over in tree pose……

  44. OW.
    Do yoga with me, you’ll feel wonderful about yourself. I adore it, but am horribly uncoordinated and have a bum knee… That and I’m the opposite of competitive – I get nervous. The local knitting guild attached itself to my elbow to discuss and critique my sock-knitting technique compared to theirs, and I was so nervous my hands shook and I wanted to throw up.

  45. Yoga…thank you for reminding me why I practice in the privacy of my home office…if you want to go to the next level yourself try Carillo’s book IronYoga.
    Pants…5’2″ here…Land’s End will hem most of their pants for FREE…so they actually come so they can be worn out in public without eh awkwardness…you do have to measure yourself ONCE…but after that…well…they hem MUCH MUCH better than I do…

  46. Ow! I second whoever recommended a hot bath and a glass of red wine. I went to a yoga class one (1) time. It was in a room with a big-ass mirror covering one whole wall. I guess people who are good at it need to be able to check their poses, but what I saw was a bunch of yoga stick people and one really unflexible non-stick person, so I bailed.
    I wish my town had World Cup supporters like you see! I think I’m the only person here who knows it’s on. πŸ™‚

  47. I am so with you on the Gap…and at 5′ 1 & 1/4″ (and shrinking!) why for the love of wool do they put the smallest sizes on the top racks? I asked a manager once, and he didn’t seem to get why it would be an issue.
    Deep sigh.

  48. I would never have believed it was possible for someone to stand on his or her own head, yet I see that it is. Wow, who knew?
    I’m not competitive about yoga, but only because I was repeatedly the worst person in every one of the (few) classes I attended. That beats the fight right out of you, but, strangely, it also frees you up to be a total dork and to just do your best. Which, in my case, was not very good. πŸ™‚

  49. Well it makes sense to me that you have advanced acceptance skills in the knitting department, since that is your primary practice.
    Maybe if you did yoga as much as you knit you’d be as accepting of your yoga abilities as you are of your knitting. Also, it sound like you knit a lot better than you yoga. No offense intended. πŸ™‚

  50. I could not agree more that yoga is more safely done within the confines of one’s own home.
    Personally, I was kicked out of yoga class after an incident with the Tree Pose. A guy close to me fell over, just fell right over!, during the Tree Pose. Before I could stop myself, I yelled out, “Timber!”
    This was not richly appreciated.

  51. I think what did you in was actually SEEING the pretzel woman next to you go through her paces. Think yin-yang for a moment…the same competitive edge that pushed you over the yoga edge is the same one that drives you to try new things in knitting…which is why going to a yarn store is so heady. You actually SEE these finished products-aka scorpion poses–which spurs you on to new personal heights. Hopefully, however, knitting challenges don’t have to be treated with Tylenol the next day.

  52. Oh, delayed-onset mucle soreness… Ironically, you will probably feel better sooner if you drink lots and lots of water.
    And if you need to go downstairs, do it backwards.

  53. When you are in Seattle, come do yoga at insideout studio. The teacher is great with a sense of humor and I haven’t seen a scorpion pose yet. I always leave feeling better than when I came.
    There are 108 beads on a mala, a Buddhist rosary.
    I’m still a beginner at yoga and knitting. And the older I get, the more I realize that I’m a beginner in life, too.

  54. Eek! I hope you’re feeling better soon… sometimes it takes physical punishment to get a message from our bodies to our brains. I’m sure you’re not the first to do something like that. In fact, I think I’ve done it myself. (Working out when angry is NEVER a good idea.)

  55. Living in Texas, I can tell you a thing or two about scorpions- and posin’ ain’t one of ’em (pardon my drawl, y’all). They have a nasty disposition and an even nastier bite. As for Ms. Scorpion, she just doesn’t get it. Life is too short to show off like that. It’s one thing when someone else calls attention to you (Hey, nice sweater, did you knit it yourself?) than to call attention to yourself (Hey,look how I can torture my body and all of you just by doing this advanced pose.) Did she offer to teach any of you how to get that contorted, because I know that if someone asked you or any knitter how we do it, we’d drop everything we were doing and show them how to knit.
    The US has always lost when playing Italy, so this was a big game for the US. It also kept them in the World Cup.

  56. Did I comment already? Thanks so much for sharing Mr. Scorpion, I think I called him Mr. Lotus earlier. Did I thank you for sharing the photo?

  57. How does one even get into the scorpion pose? And I’m with Stefaneener… yoga competitions boggle my mind.
    Oh, and because the universe conspires against me, I leave for my honeymoon the morning of July 24th, when you will be in Chicago. Husband-to-be refuses to delay trip for yarn/Yarn Harlot. I weep, but agree that honeymoons are but once a lifetime and I am sure I will see you again.

  58. Hey, if every guy in the yoga classes look like that…or even one of them, sign me up! Hello!
    Seriously, yoga is on my short list.
    What about that tank…I need to see one done to decided if I want to knit one…come on!

  59. Yeah, there’s nothing like that spiraling purple pain to turn you into an Advil-seeking drug user in less time than it takes you to hobble to the medicine cabinet. Like most things in life, you have to remember to breathe through the pain, which is a heck of a lot easier to say when you’re not currently half into or out of the position required to use the facilities. You make even pain funny. Thanks.

  60. Yikes Steph – I can’t even do a headstand, and I’ve been doing yoga off-and-on for a few years (perhaps because I go long periods without doing yoga), let alone think about Scorpion. Mr. Garica could be fun to watch; I do so enjoy watching Rodney Yee pose.
    I only practice in my bedroom, where no one can see me. My posture is ever so much better and I also feel ‘taller’ when I’ve been practicing, and I’m much less coordinated when I’ve not been practicing. That site reminds me I need to work on my balance as well.

  61. I love your line “inhale self-love and exhale judgment…”, I think it’s my new mantra.

  62. Steph,
    Does that 20 year old have three great kids that she clothes in wool and love, three published books _this year_, and the ability to knit a gorgeous sweater in a matter of days?
    Didn’t think so.
    It’s all relative.
    Besides, my bet is that she won’t be able to bend like that when she’s our age, either. Hee hee.

  63. I look at it this way: You can always hem the pants up. I, alas, can’t find pants that can be altered in any way to cover my ankles (I’m 6’2″).
    I’ve always wanted to get into yoga, but I’m a fiend for instant gratification. When after one session I can’t touch me toes (or come within five inches of them), I give up.

  64. Who’s this Eunny chick? Everyone knows the only knitting blog worth reading is Harlot.
    222’s, dark chocolate, red wine. The universal cure for whatever ails you.

  65. I can’t tell you anything about “short”, but I (like all women, everywhere) can commiserate with insane sizing that makes no sense. In theory, a woman who is a size zero cannot exist. Does this mean I didn’t exist in my prom gown? (Did it mean I spent $100 on a nothing dress?) And does this mean that I only don’t exist at Old Navy, but DO exist at Target? Why do men get very real numbers and variety, while we get vague guesses based on the phase of the moon and the sick minds of male designers? I blame the patriarchy.
    And you’ve gone and made me feel terrible for not starting the new yoga-in-the-AM plan I had all ready for this morning.

  66. The pants thing — I’m 4’10. Do the math. It is SO not pretty. As for yoga, I’ve been doing this for almost two decades and taller is not happening on any plane. However, my current teacher is 78 years old and keeps the class running for several of her OLDER friends. I’m the baby at 51 and they have kindly drawn me in to their fold (sheep reference for the knitters). The lessons I’m learning in acceptance and self-acceptance, well you can only imagine. Namaste, Grace

  67. I didn’t know you were also into yoga but glad to hear it. I’ve found the only time I move on in yoga (or life) is when I relax into the pose (or circumstances). That’s what moves me deeper into the pose and onto the next level. I’m not saying I get especially deep or am terribly flexible, but for me it’s the giving up of trying so.damn.hard to force the move.

  68. I know exactly what you mean. I have absolutely no competitive spirit whatsoever, but I CANNOT be left behind at yoga. I have to be one of the best in the room. Not necessarily the best, but top three, definitely. Yes, I do realize that I should not be using the words “the best” to refer to yoga class.

  69. My best friend is a 37 year old male yoga teacher. He can do all these things and sometimes I get hostile that he is more flexible than I am. He’s a guy, I should win the flexibility competition!
    But then he begs for knit items and totally strokes my ego by ohhh-ing and ahhh-ing appropriately. I’ve even knit him a sweater.
    I’m such a sucker.

  70. Oh my. I tend toward competitiveness in yoga classes too. I will achieve a higher contemplative state than you, or knot myself up but good trying! πŸ˜‰

  71. 1. Women’s sizing is a crule joke, I draft patterns, so I know.
    2. That scorpion pose would land me on the couch for a week on T3s, anti-inflamitories and muscle relaxants.
    3. Congratulate yourself on trying to live well and being able to make a living at something you love.

  72. My dear, anyone who can do that is demonstrably not a human being (because the human body does not bend that way. QED.) but an alien from the Planet of Extremely Skinny and Flexible Aliens. Trying to compete with a PESFA native will not work, because the human body does not bend that way.
    OTOH anyone can knit. Some of us even do fiendish origami knitting, third-degree black-belt knitting-sensei knitting, whereas others of us are still stuck contemplating our first sock on size 0 needles and MAN those needles are small. Breathe, Lucia. Be the sock.

  73. I used to go to a yoga studio near my office, but I had to stop going there when the celebs and model types (i’m not kidding) made it feel like competitive yoga. I’m just not that good at it, i’m not 6 feet tall (like you, i’m 5′ 1″)and I sure as hell wouldn’t be mistaken for a model on my best day. I switched to a lovely, low key studio in the West Village where it was possible to get inside of ones self. I know i’ll never be that tall OR that flexible, and competitive yoga just seems to be an oxymoron. Truth be told, i haven’t done yoga in far too long, but i would certainly benefit from it right now.
    thanks, as always,for the inspiration!

  74. You funny funny woman. Thank you for the scorpion link, nice. So, I realize that you need to breath love into yourself, but what?, are we all chopped liver?, we breath love into your being every day, am I right?, I believe I am. I’m 5’6″ and regular capris fit more like pants, we are talking short legs here, and the petite sizes are not much better. Last summer I taught my 7 year old grandson how to do a cartwheel, over and over and over, he was impressed(his mum can’t do one) I’m 52, and actually amazed myself. You do what you can, strive to do better and be damned happy you can.

  75. OH OH OH It hurt to just look at that pose !!! To heck with yoga altogether. Take up TaiChi. Its MUCH safer and doesn’t hurt at all. Besides the fact that you can do it till you are 100 years old. It really works . As for pants –me thinks they should get some short women –measure for the length and the inseam and make some to fit us shorties. I find the right length and then my belly and my bum take up most of the room and it pulles them up as if it were a razor blade ready to cut me if half when I TRY to sit down in them . Me thinks its time for a second try at skirts uggg.

  76. Oh, Honey. I am so sorry. The only consolation I have is this part of life isn’t as humiliating as when your kids start calling you, “Menopause Mom”. I got back by taking her to a large store and holding up a bra and asking, “Is this the right size?” She shot off like a rocket. Of course I held it up higher and asked even louder, “Jen, are you sure it’s not big enough?” So much fun, so little time. They grow up too fast.

  77. My pants are 5 inches too long. I feel your pant angst.
    I was going to say something else, but I got distracted by the yoga pants. I am quite sure I’m not the only person who looked at that photo and thought, well, it’s odd, but…easy access…

  78. You are far more successful with yoga than i’ve ever managed (and with knitting, but thats kind of a gimme). Somehow balancing on one foot with the other up in the air and my hands pointing in opposite directions just seems to make me fall over (I think i made that pose up, but if its real, i don’t think i want to know):-p

  79. Kudos for attempting yoga. I went once and decided that if God wanted my body to bend that way he’d make it easier for me to bend it. If I were you I’d stay home and knit. Or take advice from your book and knit while sitting on a stationary bike if you want to exercise. Yes, IF you want to exercise.
    PS. Gap jeans are also made for anyone without hips, thighs, butt, ect… I used to work there.

  80. Bonnie:
    If you count the beads on a Buddhist ” mala ” ( rosary ) you will find 108 of them, not counting the big one, which is a symbol of the Buddhas mind.
    The 84 000 sutras Buddha taught are collected in 108 books called Kanyur….and often people who do Buddhist practices do things ( like saying mantras or saluting the sun ) 108 times or multiples thereof.
    Buddhism originated in India ….and even though India and with that yoga is largely Hindu we find many similarities between those Eastern practices… this day
    Mexico City

  81. OK-I was laughing/crying so hard over this that I couldn’t see the screen anymore. My kids were asking me repeatedly(since I was unable to speak through the hysterical laughter) “What?!? What’s so funny?!?” They say this a lot when I read your blog…
    What made it so funny was that I can relate so well-except that for me it’s learning violin. I should be able to play as well as the teacher, right? Who cares that I’ve had three months worth of lessons??? Sigh.

  82. Oh my. Yoga. You are a far better woman than I. I would rather sit and knit. My gene pool did not include the flexibility gene. Bend me and I snap like a bamboo needle!

  83. PS:
    The Scorpion is not much different from the Knitting Olympics….if one thinks about it…….a little bit crazy, but a symbol of taking one’s passions seriously….
    It’s just that we are all obsessed with and passionate about different things….
    I knit and weightlift at least 5-6 days a week and do yoga once and think it perfectly normal to maintain balance in my life.
    For me it’s the creativity-strength and endurance connection…….
    Mexico City

  84. Darlin’, you hit the nail on the head when you wrote, “I compared my living room yoga body to the body of a 20 year old who lives yoga.” And you wonder why you ache so much after you tried keeping up with her? Sweetie, welcome to the middle age of life. Your body just can’t work the way it used to. And just remember, this is as good as it gets!
    PS I’m 5 feet and 1/2 inch. I know the pants angst you have.

  85. My trick, Grasshopper, to avoid “noticing” those kinds of people in yoga: Stand at the very front. This may seem scary but it is totally liberating. You can’t see anyone else and if they are watching you do.. .ahem… something less than perfect, you won’t see them seeing you. I feel kinda bad for the people behind me who have a view of my hind quarters all class but that’s life. We have a saying in my class for the more advanced moves, which is a reoccuring joke, simply: “Maybe next week”

  86. Ugh; I have the same issues with the “skinny b*tches” at the rec center. I’m just getting back into the exercising thing, and I’m at the cardio room in the rec center, trying to pace one of the 14-pound twigs. No WONDER I tired out quickly.
    I’m sure they see me with some contempt as the one who ‘let herself go’, but I figure if I keep trying, at least that’s *something*. Maybe by the end of the year, I will have mastered the stair thingy, on all of its settings, but it won’t happen if I don’t TRY.
    Maybe you just need a less advanced yoga class, one for people who like to do yoga in front of their tv. πŸ˜€

  87. I had to write in … I have been reading the blog, your books and knitting up a storm in the past year. I just finished a baby sweater that will be perfect if my friend’s child has a small hump on its left shoulder … I have been using knitting as a practice of Self Acceptance. I am a Yoga teacher (and I can’t/won’t do Scorpion) and I just have to tell you that the most difficult students to work with are the super flexible. Often they are not “in” their bodies. They can do some amazing poses, but can also be harming their bodies and not know it until years later. While us inflexible (me included!) are very VERY much aware of the body (screaming hamstring, cranky hip etc). Even though you pushed yourself (classic pitta dosha) to keep up with the nubile student next to you, the fact that you were AWARE of that happening is huge. So congrats. Now, can you help me with sewing in shoulders into those baby sweaters (the button shoulder flap threw me off)?

  88. I’ve got you beat…at 4’8.5″! I have to count it all since I am so short. I can’t get short pants anywhere, I have to hem them all. I did finally find a pair of jeans that fit well (Lands’ End has some 26″ inseam jeans:). So, anyway, I understand the pants thing.
    The tank is looking great, beautiful yarn!

  89. I’ve been taking the same Tues. night yoga class for years. So have about 6 other people (men & women) who have sort of become a yoga support group to one another. We don’t know each other in any other aspect of our lives except for Karen’s Tues. night flowing yoga II. We all have our strenths and seeming physical impossibilities, but we acknowledge how far we’ve come over the years. So I’d suggest showing up regularly and developing a support group within a class.

  90. Stephanie,
    Having a home practice for yoga is hard. Finding the right teacher at the right level class is hard. Learning not to compete with the person next to you is hard. (I agree with the standing in the front of the class posting) Tree pose? Me, I have major issues with balance and in my next lifetime I might be able to do all the variations of tree pose. But I can touch my toes and stick my hands under my feet. Half or full lotus – not now – my knees stick up in the air. But I love it. Especially today when I figured out that I would probably have to fire a staff member for being a liar (there’s work that hasn’t been done that goes with the lying). I wasn’t going to go to class, but my friend Dee called and mentioned the yoga post and I said I had to go to class and dashed off. I am calmer now.
    Pants. 5’5″ – not a petite because I am too long in the rise. Generations of my family have long torsos and short legs and arms. One of my staff with short legs, but is about my height says that Banana Republic has good choices. Me, I like a waistband. Tough to find these days.

  91. Just off on a tangent…
    I had “Yarnharlot” in the car with me yesterday and at two different spots, one where I went to pick up some food and the second was a yarn store, DP and the kids were in the car. I caught him twice reading “Yarnharlot.” His excuse? “I needed to look busy.” Then, a little later in the evening he said one of the stories was funny and that he enjoyed it.
    The man just bought me another 6 balls for my stash. He refuses to knit, but he does cross stitch on rare occasions, and his mother was crafty, so he understands my need.
    Yes, he does have a single younger brother ladies. No, I’m not giving out his number. πŸ˜‰

  92. I have no sympathy for you. I’m just not that nice. And yes, I laughed at your self-inflicted pain until the wheezing set in. It was worth it.
    Naproxen isn’t available without a prescription here in Canada but if you intend to do this to yourself again, pick up some Alleve on the next leg of the book tour. In the mean time, the people who are telling you that ibuprofen is the better way to go for the type of discomfort you’re experiencing are absolutely right. It has an anti-inflammatory effect I think you’d really appreciate right about now…

  93. Stephanie-
    Try belonging to a yoga class at university where your yogi is a 85 year old Hindu man who can cradle his foot against his ear like a telephone AFTER putting it behind his head. Then add to that being 5’8″ and 300 pounds. Try feeling graceful, then.

  94. I traumatized my neck and shoulders this weekend showing my 3-year-old daughter how to do a somersault. (I can’t believe my body has turned so wussy on me. I took ballet for fifteen years and flamenco for about five. I have no business breaking down over a freakin’ SOMERSAULT!!! But I digress…) So I am feeling particularly congratulatory to you for your extreme yoga achievements, despite the pain fallout. However, I would recommend more “home yoga” for the future, yeah. Hope the agony subsides soon.

  95. I consider myself of average height at 5’5″ but a gauze skirt I was recently given had to have over 4″ inches cut off of it to make it short enough to walk in without stepping on it. And even though it claimed to be ‘one size fits all’, it just misses being too tight even though it has an elastic waist. While at 130lbs. I’m not as thin as a super model, I’m not fat either. What do clothes manufacturers think is average? Do they honestly think that one size fits all means it should fit only fit those who are over 6′ and skinny as a rail? At least it’s easier to take a hem up than to have everything you buy way too short.

  96. I’ve occasionaly done a little yoga from an excerise video the past few years. It feels nice to stretch, however, i must be the most inflexible person.
    And good point on being patiet learning something…it took years to get that good at knitting. Iv’e tried to talk my mom into learning how to knit but she won’t do it (saying it’s too difficult..she doesn’t agree with me when i tell her it’s probably much easier than she thinks). And then she thinks i’ll make fun of her since she wouldn’t be knitting as well as me…forgetting that i’ve been knitting the past 12 years. And i think she might be intiminated that after all that time i am still learning new stuff.

  97. Stephanie, I would feel your pain but for the screaming muscles in my back. Resulting from woman-handling my bicycle out of the crawlspace to go for a mountain-bike ride. If you want me, I’ll be the poor fool curled in a fetal position with the heating pad, ice packs and ibuprofen in the corner.

  98. Yes. I completely agree…about the Gap short pants (I’m 5 foot 1 too)and the yoga. Except, I hurt myself at home Saturday doing yoga. Really. I was competing against myself and didn’t even know it. I’m still sore. Dang. Maybe I should have flown up to Toronto so I could have been supervised? At least we have a lot in common, but you are cooler. πŸ™‚ I wrote about it on my blog, but I’m still sore!:

  99. Ouch, Stephanie! Gotta put in my professional two cents on the drugs – yes, naprosyn (aka naproxen) is Rx only at home, but drop into a store for some next you’re in the States. In the meantime, get thee to Shopper’s for some Robaxacet (muscle relaxant plus Tylenol, or if you’re off Tylenol, Robax Platinum is muscle relaxant plus Advil), which is Rx in the US and I have to get my sister-in-law to mail me every so often.
    On the pants thing, I hate how if you’re a size 16, you’re also expected to be 7 feet tall instead of 5’5″. Don’t even get me started on blouses for…erm…the generously endowed. Clothes shopping is a total self-esteem-annihilating ordeal.
    Knit on, sweet harlot, as you know that heals all and inspires so many.

  100. I can’t practice easily at home because one cat inisists on trying to get outside (the relaxation poses do not work when I must say “AGATHA! NO!!!” constantly.) and the other cat considers me a matress or believes the half bridge pose is for the kitty version of “London Bridge.” I started a yoga class to escape that and learn how the poses should be held. DVDs generally don’t do a good job of it. I discovered it’s hard to let go of the “I must keep up or ahead of everyone else” thought. I think (wrongly) that if I understand how it should be done, I should be able to do it at a higher level. Nope. It’s just the inner demon of competitiveness rearing its ugly head, and it’ll take me lots of practice to accept that ability difference, not just acknowledge its presence.
    And retail jeans never fit anyone properly. My rise is long, and so I’m either correcting the inseam’s ob/gyn ambitions, or dealing with the excess fabric rolling above the lap. I take the roll; still don’t like it, but I take it.

  101. I love your TV-less coverage of the World Cup… and wish I could get away with knowing just that amount of information about it, but it’s relentless here at home (my husband) and at work (almost everyone). I’m in the UK and have a special t-shirt for days when England are playing… traditional red and white with a simple slogan… ‘It’s only a game!’… this seems to upset quite a lot of people!
    On the subject of Gap pants… over here they only do their ‘long’ leg length in the smaller sizes! I’ve recently (ahem) expanded from a size 14 (US 10 I think) to a 16 (US 12), and was told by the assistant that ‘no, size 16 is only available in short or regular length’ in any style… and then she looked at me in a funny way when I asked whether they had any styles that came up to withing a couple of inches of my navel!

  102. The thing about sizes is that they are incremental and people are not. If you really are hard to fit, then you have to be prepared to have things altered to really work for you, sometimes. This is one of the things I hate most about working in a women’s clothing store, is the inconsistency of sizing, and that we only have two length of pants… *sigh*

  103. I am 5’2″, and I have frequently had the same pants rant as you. I buy petite, and the pants are 4″ too long. I buy petite, short, and the pants are 4″ too long. My seamstress, with whom I have become very good friends, says it is because the pants were meant to be worn with heels…. sounded reasonable until I tried on cargo pants. Yep. 4″ too long. ARGH!

  104. OK, so I wear The Gap’s “short” trousers, and I’m 5’8″. However, I’ve got the legs of a 5’4″ girl, so that might actually make sense. ^_^

  105. I started Yoga 9 or so years ago and this week I started up again. I can’t reach my ankles in a forward bend! If only the house were free of *stuff* and I had a space to practice inside.
    As for the size thing: this is why I sew, now if only I had more time.

  106. So many emails now!
    I need remedial yoga. I can’t put weight on my hand or else it hurts and I can’t knit. I guess you can tell that I haven’t been back for over a year. I have my priorities. I may try the new studio near the office to get some non-weight- bearing tips.
    But what I love about yoga is the calm. Can you find that at a different class? It’s not worth it without that.

  107. I have never figured out the logic behind pant lengths. I have bought my pants at Northern Reflections for years because they are one of the few places where you can get cotton pants with an elastic waistband. I’m 5’3″ and would buy their ‘ankle’ length pants which would go to the bottom of my foot, just touching the ground.Whose ankles go there anyway?? They now only carry regular which are 3″ too long. I’ve come to the conclusion that they must be designed by the same people who think that if you have bust of 40+ the armhole on your blouses must be made to fit an elephant’s leg. Hope your muscles feel better soon!
    Yolande in NB

  108. I know exactly how you feel about yoga. I practice mostly at home for the same reasons and because I was kicked out of my last group for punching the girl next to me. Not that I meant too. Something just timbered my tree pose and hilarity ensued. Flapping my arms like a duck on fire probably didn’t help either.
    Sounds like you’re way farther along the path to self betterment than I am. I reguired a whole bottle of cheap Safeway wine to get over that one.

  109. Me and my cane and my way-funky balance (left and down is the real up. Doesn’t everybody know that?) If you ever want a good chuckle at yoga class, I’ll come along with you. I think my reaction to scorpion lady would be to burst out laughing.

  110. After careful consideration, I cannot see what possible health benefits come from standing on your own bloody head.
    But, Stephanie-its true!- yoga CAN make you taller (sort of). The same is true for pilates. Any exercise that strengthens the muscle band around your torso (the infamous core) elongates your spine too. You don’t really gain height, but you stand and sit taller b/c your your body is better supported and aligned.

  111. ok, so she may have gotten you on the scorpion, but there is no way she could knit the incredibly cool yoga mat cover i have a feeling you’re about to design.

  112. Ah, you haven’t lived until you’ve seem my Downward Facing Frog. That’s what I get if I follow the instructions to keep my heels on the floor. Years of knitting and reading curled up on the couch have hitched up my hamstrings something fierce. And while I’m not physically competitive, I’ve been reduced to tears in class more than once by sheer humiliation (and crying in Downward Facing Dog is really not recommended.) I do, however, do a mean Corpse Pose. It’s a gift.
    And? Five foot six. Twenty seven inch inseam. I know I’m long waisted (tall as most men, sitting down) and average height — where did I THINK I was losing the inches all those years of trying on pants with legs that puddled on the floor? God bless petites (which I see they’re phasing out) and, as has been mentioned, Land’s End.

  113. Can I get in on this pant-length tyrade? Except I’m going the opposite direction in both length and size. Why is it that designers think that if you’re tall you are also crack-whore thin? Or if you’re fat you’re short? I’m a 6′ tall fat woman. I want hems that come to the floor, not the crotch. And I’d like more than 3 styles to choose from (with the usual choices being stretch, stretch, and double-knit).

  114. I broke my SI joint doing yoga. This for relaxation and a feeling of well being? No. I’d rather crochet or knit.

  115. Ok, that scorpion thing is just not right.
    Since my spine is a medical curiousity, I
    would either have whacked her with my cane or
    really had to resist the urge to tickle her. Sick, eh?
    As for the pants, heck I’m 5″5″ and rarely find
    an inseam that fits. LL Bean comes close, but
    even then I find myself getting “tall” instead
    of “regular” – and I’m like little missy average!
    We have this exercise in dog class where the dog
    weaves through your legs to limber you both
    up before jumping (dog jumps you sillies, not
    me!) Anyway, I have a dog who is
    27″ at the withers and I have a 27″ inseam. When
    told this exercise, obviously by a tall person with
    a Sheltie, I just about fell over laughing.
    As for Italy, they tied 1-1 with the US – having
    scored an own goal. Thereby keeping the hopes
    of the US team semi-alive. Now, if you had been
    watching round about minute 15, you would
    have, I’m sure, learned the Italian for
    “Kill the Ref”, and then many other interesting
    phrases as they then red carded an American in
    what was obviously a make up call to even the sides….
    and THEN another US player got the boot. Gee….
    guess I was paying attention.

  116. Oh, man, Stephanie, I worship and adore you and hate to lecture, but you’re really pushing my buttons here…I play the violin for a living, but in my other life am a yoga teacher and have heard this before- so for you and a few commenters: yoga is not about the poses, or being”good at it”, or even about your body at all. If you think it is, you are missing the point, and if you are feeling competitive in class, and/or if you think you have to already *be* flexible to “do” yoga, and/or if your teacher is even allowing you to try scorpion if you’re not there yet, run don’t walk out of there and find another teacher!
    pant pant…sorry about the rave but this subject is near to my heart.
    I do think it’s interesting that you learn the lessons from knitting that I(and others) learn from yoga. So practice the knitting of yoga rather than the other way around, I guess.
    Namaste, Kathe

  117. So that scorpion pose looks like it might be capable of inducing labour in a hot, tired, awkward pregnant woman. Maybe I should go try it (goodness knows I wouldn’t want to reside inside the body of anyone doing that crap)…..or maybe I should just learn a little patience and go have a bath.

  118. I run into people all the time that say…”I could never learn to knit. I don’t have the patience.” Why can’t these people learn that knitting teaches Patience?? Your life becomes much more serene when you learn to knit. Knitting is a process, Life is a process. A little time, and a little patience, and beautiful things come of it!
    OK, so I just got philosophical….. how come that patience zen thing doesn’t work when I am dealing with my kids during summer vacation?

  119. Wow. I sprained my brain just looking at that scorpion picture. And I’m afraid I have no sympathy on the short pants issue. If you’re short, you can always hem stuff up (and we know you can sew), whereas if you’re tall (like me and my daughters) you can’t add more on without looking really tacky. Even so-called “tall” sizes are rarely tall enough! I can’t tell you how thrilled we were when capris came back in style!

  120. Hey wow….a Portuguese flag on your blog πŸ˜‰ Yeah, I’m one of those Portuguese people who’s actually rather excited that we’re moving on into the next round. Also, where are all the Portuguese knitters? I’ve only found a few.
    About yoga. I completely understand the competition of yoga, particularly since I have a plumper than average body. I love the fact, that, although I’m ..well lets just say it, fat, I’m damn flexible. This has come in handy in classes where the 20something bendy girls look at me as if I’m the local bag lady walkin’ in asking how much the mint bar is. I love stunning them with my ability to bend and reach. Although, because of the excess body, there are of course poses that I’m unable to achieve. Damn the bendy girls.

  121. Oh..nearly forgot, I’m 5’2 and “short” is too long on me as well. It’s been a life long battle. Finding pants that fit my butt but aren’t 10 inches too long.

  122. See, this is why I don’t understand why you would get all flustered about talking to Martha Stewart on the phone. She and her following seem to foster this competitive attitude, and turn crafting into something that’s all about display– expensive materials, near-impossible techniques, and elaborate products. It’s not the best part of human nature.
    Crafting is supposed to be about the joy of the materials and skills and their possibilities, and the connection to the tradition. At its best, it’s fun, meditative, and– I’ll say it again– joyful. Martha Stewart is not worthy of you. (At least when you stay away from yoga classes.)
    Meanwhile, I’ve seen the details for your tour stop in Chicago and I have a plan: it should only take fifteen miles by car and two trains with a mile on foot in between. No problem. Now, if only I can get off work early enough…

  123. I have to tell you something funny: I’m convinced that yoga has made me taller. I’m 5’3″ and I usually buy the “petite” pants and now they are too short. I go to a yoga class twice a week and I have had to lengthen my pants. Unbelievable but true. Of course no one believes me and says that my pants must have shrunk. After all these years of wear? I think not. Yoga rocks!

  124. But I thought knitting IS the new yoga!
    As for Mr Scorpion- looks to me like he’s just trying to avoid work (“gee I’d love to do the dishes, honey, but I can’t seem to reach the sink”)

  125. Try sitting next to Eunny every time you are at knitting group.
    On the whole yoga/competition thing. Once upon a time I was 20 and skinny and flexible too. Now I’m not. There’s more of us then there are them. Lets sit on them and crush them.

  126. I wanted to be into yoga. Really I did. So I signed up for an 8 week class. After the first class I was pretty sore, but I had lugged a 47 pound package to the post office on the bus the day before, so I wasn’t sure if I was really sore from the class or the lugging or both. A week later I went to the second class. The next day I could hardly move. My back was killing me. I had to go to my chiropractor twice. I didn’t go to any more classes. Does every yoga instructor have you roll back and forth onto/off of a rolled up blanket? I think that’s what put my back out.
    Pants. Sigh. I’m 5’6″ and short-waisted. In other words, from the waist to the crotch, I’m a “petite,” and my legs are “average.” I can buy Lands’ End jeans that fit, but usually other pants just do not fit right. I can get pants with the legs the right length, but either the waist is way too high or the crotch is too low. Ugh.

  127. When you come to Vancouver to show us your latest book, I must take you to my yoga class. The instructor is wonderful and you will feel no need to fold yourself into a pretzel. Yes, I am stiff after some classes but its a good stiff. lol Yoga helps me fix my knitting injuries too.

  128. I should start practicing yoga more. Find a class, or shove all the toys aside from the living room and put in my favourite tape.
    I find both Yoga and Knitting are soothing and good for the soul. They just do it in different ways. Yoga I get the body work-out as well (and I DO feel taller, not like I really need to be..) and knitting you get something useful afterwards. Not that exercise isn’t useful of course. πŸ˜‰

  129. Sarah said, “Once upon a time I was 20 and skinny and flexible too. Now I’m not. There’s more of us then there are them. Lets sit on them and crush them.” Would that make one of the best siglines ever, or what?? I was never all that flexible. Not even at my ‘peak’ of 16 or so, riding horses and living on a farm with attendant chores. Nor could I, at 5, manage a cartwheel without crashing and burning, unlike any of the other kids. I’ll continue to be satisfied to excel at things like reading speed and comprehension. And perfecting the Zen of Couch/Computer Potato. πŸ˜‰

  130. A couple of comments…
    some thing we are destined to do well…….and other things we just do.
    a ice hot bath with epsom salts (or bath Crystals)and a glass of wine would go a long way in making you feel better!!
    I hate to say this…..but it’s going to be worse tomorrow….always is because of the latic acid in your muscles…try the bath !and the wine! and the IBU…..and remember….we love you even if you cant twist your body like a pretzel and stand on your head at the same time, and that guy had a roll of fat just at his panty line…small but noticable….see he is’t perfect either . I rest my case!
    Now…….did someone say chocolate chile cupcakes? Are you going to share?? Just askig ,I wouldn’t want to miss an opportuity like that!!!

  131. I’m 5′ 3″, 62 years old and have never once in those years found a pair of pants or jeans that I didn’t have to hem. My 5′ 9″ daughter has legs that go on forever, she never could find pants or jeans long enough.
    Men can buy pants by waist size and inseam length but not women, why? I best not climb up on my soapbox.

  132. The only thing I would do differently is take ibuprofen instead of tylenol. It’s anti-inflammotory and a great pain reliever, whereas tylenol is just pain. So ibuprofen will make you feel better tomorrow and today.

  133. I should never post after taking my nite-nite meds…they totally take away my ability to spell.I Aapa;……apppoli…oh hell…..I’m SORRY!! Jenna
    And make that a NICE hot bath rather than an ice hot bath….wouks much better!!)

  134. I hear you on Gap pants! I’m 5’0, so even you would be “tall” to me!!
    Can’t wait to see you in Eugene. I’ll be the bobbing head in the back of the crowd, from jumping up to see. Tell me there’s chairs?

  135. Argh, I just learned stuff about NorCal champion Ezak Garcia that I didn’t want to know…
    Oh, someone mentioned have ibuprofen or naproxen – out of those two, take the naproxen.
    And there is nothing at all wrong with scorpions, just something wrong with people who imitate them and lead others astray…

  136. My dear, dear Harlot, yoga can hurt you and humble you greatly if you don’t yoke your mind to your body and make them both listen to one another. I miss my ashtanga practice horribly, but tendonitis in my wrists has made the suryanamaskaram damn near impossible, so now I just do a few standing and sitting poses here and there to help maintain some flexibility in my back. Take it easy and listen to what your muscles and tendons have to tell you.

  137. Just a quick thank you for the link to scorpion man – improved my fantasy world no end (whoops, sorry, that was a bit….well, anyway, ’nuff said)

  138. I love yoga too but I’ve found the best way to avoid the buff body problem is to find a senior yoga class and convince the instructor to let you join. They teach the same stuff but the others in the class are way past being concerned about appearances and competition — they are there to feel better and live better. If you can’t find a senior yoga class that will let you — arrange for some private yoga sessions. The instructor can design a home program especially for you. Yoga is really wonderful when you have been on a manic knitting binge and your hands, shoulders and back ache.

  139. 5 feet tall and I buy pants from Banana Republic in 0P. Other than the low slung fad, they fit in inseam length. Ebay is my Banana Republic friend.
    Hope your body recovers soon. Next time, try to resist competing a bit more. Remember the pain. Perhaps save up for a private lesson now and then.

  140. Whoa! That pose looks nasty. How difficult is that? You did that????
    I am truly impressed – sorry to hear that you hurt today and that you are plagued by doubts about your motivation – but hot damn woman! You are like a human pretzel!
    That is serious yoga.
    I go to yoga but it is Hatha and we do not do anything like that! I am intimidated and there are 3 provinces between us.

  141. You want core strength, grace, serenity, and artistry all in an environment devoid of judgment and simply reeking of acceptance? Two words for you — BELLY DANCE. Traditional BD celebrates softness in the female form and the rhythms of a woman’s life cycle, it rejects the western Beauty Myth, and all without requiring inversion of any kind. (Although you can still be sore afterwards – there’s nothing wussy about sustaining a shimmy for minutes at a time.)

  142. You know, apparently FCUK believe that their 34″ inseam is correct for an average woman in the UK. A brief poll of women I know says that most of us prefer to wear 30″, maybe 32″ for the taller amongst us. So where are all the people with 36″, 38″ inseams to average us out?! They ought to be very visible, surely?
    Me, I just tread the backs off. Eventually they all fit…

  143. Shortness is a problem, but the last 2 pairs of pants I bought I cut off the bottom and actually pulled out my sewing machine and hemmed them! But my biggest problem is that I do not feel that I am big or fat, I could stand to lose a few pounds but how do I need to buy an XL? What do large people buy?
    My favorite pants are One Step Ahead, and I tried on the Large in a shop, but bought the XL online. They do come in 30″ insteps as well.
    Sometimes I find I spend more time getting yoga clothing than doing yoga.
    Kinda like buying yarn and needles and not knitting!

  144. They drew actually, but against the US which is almost as bad since they’re not very good – and Italy are, usually.

  145. With regards to pants, I know with the “younger” set (my 15 year old twins) pants only fit lengthwise if they are touching the ground (something about the break). Me, I find that they look sloppy, but I’m just the mother.
    With regards to yoga, I know what you are saying about being competative. I haven’t been to my studio in about three months (stressors of being a teacher), but when I am there, I will try poses that I know I have no right attempting propbably only because I can put myself into other poses so easily. Shoulder stand, can’t do it because of self-suffocation. Bound triangle, any position that is out there. I think you are just better at some poses naturally based upon your body.
    Love the blog . . . it’s my first stop on a morning of reading with a cup of coffee.

  146. Ah, the pain of long pants. Why is short not short enough? Or the horrors of trying on capri pants to find they are “just right” as regular pants? I see precious few amazons frolicking about so who knows where they get their sizing ideas from.

  147. Has anyone taken a tape measure to all those too-long “short” pants and too-short “long” pants? I can’t help but get the feeling it’s all in the labels…
    Me? 5’6″, 31-1/2″ inseam. Wash once, wear floods. All the time.

  148. Wow.. Can I get a poster of the “Scorpion King”.. Oops – had to wipe the drool off the screen. I figure if I can knit a mean pair of sox, pretty shawls, warm hats/mittens and about anything for a baby, I’m contributing to someone’s happiness depending on the recipient so I can’t be a total failure. As for trying the yoga myself, I’m not into pain. Walking two idiot dogs who stretch my arms in different directions is keeping me about as limber as I can stand on any given day. Good for you for going for it.

  149. BTW, this is not just a Canadian problem with the pants. I am 5’0″, live in Indianapolis, and cannot wear Gap or (sometimes) Old Navy pants either. I just wear tall shoes! I’ve always said I was going to start a protest of some kind! πŸ˜‰

  150. My whole body is aching in sympathy with you this morning; nothing human should be able to bend that way! I’ll stick with my simple stretches and stationary bike.
    As for pants lengths, obviously the manufacturers have NO clue as to what real women are all about. Now, I’ll freely admit I’m built funny (loooong above the waist, short below, round everywhere), but trying to get a pair of pants that is big enough around the hip, and short enough in both the rise and the inseam is very nearly impossible. Ohwell, that’s what needle and thread and scissors are for, right?

  151. I have a little problem with leg length (5’8″ and a 33 to 34 inch inseam), but the real problem is my sons. They are 6’6″+ and 6’3″ respectively and have a heck of a time finding taller inseam pants. And shorts are impossible. Like most teenagers, they like those long shorts, but they don’t make them long enough for my oldest son. If his knees show, they are too short! My solution? We go to Old Navy, find pants that fit in the waist (preferably on the clearance rack), and not care about the length, then we take them home and cut them where we want them and hem them up! My middle son (6’3″ boy) is doing it now, too. They work best for him for golf! And since those baggy shorts are almost as expensive as buying pants, it is a smart solution. More importantly….they will WEAR what I BUY!

  152. Steph, you are the 14 pound, 6ft tall beautiful 20 year old scorpion of the knitting world πŸ™‚
    you must be picking up pretentious yoga energy when you go to the yoga studio … it’s not you, it’s them. In knitting, we are all one. Yoga is for the pretenders. (unless they’re also knitters just to be clear and not offend any yogis present, myself included). But keep it up because it does in fact make you taller!!

  153. Ack, the human body was not meant to go that way! That is why it is called the -scorpion- pose, because it’s for scorpions. Just relax and be thankful you are not an icky scorpion, but a lovely human who has fingers and can knit.

  154. Oh, dear Harlot, I do hate to criticize, but now really…
    If pants are too long, you can always shorten them.
    Those of us who have dared to outgrow the “acceptable” height for women are just doomed to suffer without pants that fit, unless we sew them ourselves. I’m 5’10” and a 36-37″ inseam is ideal. Yeah, they do make “tall” pants, but they often start at size 10. Beth can shoot me, but something a tad smaller would be nice.
    The capris and cropped sweaters look cute on short people, because it looks intentional. Tall people just look like they outgrew their clothes or washed ’em in hot water. Knitting is self-defense–sweaters that fit!!
    The reason you don’t feel competetive in knitting is that you are already The Queen. You are the Scorpion Girl of knitting to the rest of us. You’re just damn lucky that we think you’re funny, missy!

  155. On pants: my 4’11” mother purchases petite capri pants and wears them as long pants!! Otherwise, she shortens everything she buys.
    On yoga: I’ll bet the scorpion woman can’t knit! I’ll bet she hasn’t had 3 children. I’ll bet she loves showing off. I don’t do yoga, but I would love to. Too expensive and too much time.
    On knitting: yes, all of life’s lessons come from knitting!

  156. Screamingly funny post! As a 47 year old woman, I feel better about myself because I don’t do yoga. Blessings, Julie

  157. I am a person of the 5’1″ height as well and I find that a lot of cropped pants fit just to my ankles and just look like regular pants on me. I used to be a teacher’s assistant for a woman who was just over six feet tall and we both had one similar skirt. (A longish denim skirt with slits on the sides) Well, the skirt went to just above my ankles and the slit went to about my knee-whereas, her skirt was about mid calf and the slit was a bit above her knees. Crazy how things fit people-by the way, just another random observation-my husband is about six feet tall and much thinner than me. He can only get one kind of pants that fit him right.

  158. My pants woe is that I have a 34″ inseam and a petite rise. Not even Land’s End can help me: the rise on their regular pants is a tad too long, and the petite pants can’t be hemmed long enough. (Forget their tall size, the crotch falls mid-thigh.)
    Complicating things is the fact that I have hips! and a butt! and thighs! Forget buying pants if you’ve got a set of those. It was bad enough when waist bands came to the actual waist, but with the new low-rise monstrosity any pants that fit one of me in the rump, can fit one-and-a-half of me at the waistband. I’d like to find pants I can wear without showing my sexy Hanes Her Way cotton undies to the world, thanks.
    My last rant: shirts. A few manufacturers have at least made token acknowledgement of the fact that women with long legs exist, but almost no one admits the existance of women with long arms. I’ve learned to live with the fact that none of my shirt sleeves ever reach my wrist, but blazers still irk me: a blazer with too-short sleeves just looks dumb. Tall blazers exist, but they’re always “nice” blazers = $$$

  159. Wow….I have never posted three times to the same subject….but feeI I have to speak up……in favor of the 14 pound Scorpion whippet woman.
    I have come to learn that a thin young person who does not exercise is just as out of shape as a 55 year old , 61 inch and 245 pound woman, which I was in October 2004…..
    Selfpity ( over my divorce ) Thyroid cancer with a metabolic crash and inactivity made me balloon…..
    I have done Yoga once a week for most of the last 15 years and was pretty flexible,even in October 2004….but otherwise out of shape.
    I started weightlifting, because it was the only way to develop more calcium in my bones…..
    now 18 month later ( and going to the gym 6 days a week ) I lift more then most regular men ( I leg press 350 pounds and no, I am not muscular and male looking, unless I want to impress a condecending male by flexing my muscles…) who attend the gym and get really angry when I am told that it is because things came easy for me…..they did not and still don’t……I started with itty bitty pink one pound hand weights……
    I am 57 now and realize that for young out of shape people the same rules apply as for me …..which when it comes to exercise is basically just one…..consistency ……. no matter if at home or at the gym………and I assume that the 14 pound whippet scorpion woman…has just that….consistency……because asanas at all levels don’t fall from the sky,not even for young and skinny people…….they have to be practiced over a period of time even if one is a 14 pound whippet scorpion woman….
    I can proudly say that since October 2004 I have lost 97 pounds, but at 148 pounds and 61 inches I am still overweight when only looking at scale weight, but have only 23 % bodyfat ( down from 53 % )….and of course no store bought pants fit……not then and not now…….not in Europe, the US or Mexico……I am glad that certain low riser pants are not that low and I can wear them, because otherwise on pants with a waist I would not only have to take in the pant bottoms but also accomodate the 13-14 inches difference in waist and behind…….for the first time in my life I bought jeans at age 56 ever that only had to be shorted in the legs….8 inches and the crotch did not hang down to my knees….
    I also should mention that since I am in better shape I can knit much longer ( six hours is OK….before my hands screamed at about three hours ) and I believe I knit faster then before…….I give exercise the credit for that….
    Be well everyone….
    Mexico City

  160. Anyone ever try “Hot” yoga? Regular yoga class, but the room your practice in is kept at a constant 110 degrees…….I went once with my son’s baseball team. It was a studio where many of the Seattle Seahawks practice as well. Except for the heat, not all that bad, except the place smelt like funky football player and sweaty teenaged boy! It was hard work, but strangely enough my muscles didn’t ache at all the next day….maybe it was the heat that kept my muscles loose. But lucky me, there was an ice cream parlour right next door! Yoga goes much better with a big bowl of ice cream.

  161. Starte yoga about 7 years ago, my Dr. thought it would be good for my back (herniated disc). Was good for a laugh…yeh right, like I could do any of that ! two back surgeries later, no yoga allowed, but sitting around for 5 1/2 months recuperating got me back into the knitting I learned at 6 years old…

  162. Bravo for trying. I don’t think I will try that pose. It looks a tad scary to me. I am going to ask my yoga instructor if she can do it. The sweaters and everything else you knit are so incredible. Every stitch is so perfect. How do you ever manage time to fit everything you do in a day? What is your secret? I need your energy level.

  163. Wait. Really, for real someone in your yoga class did that pose? You mean a person can just go to a yoga class and they are going to expect something like that out of them?
    Isn’t that crazy? Am I just not initiated as a yoga affficionado?
    So you are saying that you were in a yoga class that you don’t attend all the time and everyone just poof! up and over the shoulders on the forearms, Bob’s your uncle? Just some normal yoga class for regular people?
    Or are you some yeah, I’m doing yoga in my living room, but it is high powered yoga for fake people sort of woman? Your writing has never led me to believe this might be the case, but I am having a hard time believing that regular joes could just up and scorpion pose.

  164. Well, whoever your yoga instructor was, she/he should be ashamed. I taught yoga for five years and if anyone walked in that I didn’t see regularly, there is no way in hell I’d let them attempt scorpion or any or the more-experienced poses without at least spotting them. And if they were the least bit hesitant, I’d have stopped them right there. I’m sorry you ache. I shudder to think of what other injuries are going on in that class.
    Anyway, all is yoga, not just on the mat. The amount of concentration and focus you bring to your knitting and writing (no matter how much you protest you don’t or can’t) shows you’ve got the concept. And that’s why we do those poses — or that was the traditional reason, at least — to focus and train the mind. There are plenty of flexible and strong people out there who can’t stay still for more than a minute or two.
    FYI: For a good joke about yoga competition, search The Onion archives. My favorite part was one competitor flaunting his flexibility by raising his middle toe to his opponent.

  165. So much fun. First, I have left the good old USA and the wonderful Gap to reside in Sweden for a few years. I’m 5’4″ with hips. I have moved to the land of the giants where bottoms, hips, and saddle bags are as odd as 5’4″ women. The pants are so long that you have to hem them up to the knees! So much for the bell at the bottom:) And as for the Yoga, I too try my best and do have some flexibility. I am also a bit on the competitive side but know my limits. My 16 year old daughter who has always been quite flexible can touch her toes to her nose. Her 46 year old mom just smiles with pride!

  166. Yoga… well, i took a few clases because they simply were in the gym where I go (from time to time). THought that maybe it could be useful to do something else than dance… Althoug it should be a beginner class, most of the people seemed to be doing nothing but yoga for three consecutive lives and.. anyways, I’ll stick to ballet. It has a different philosophy and different system but the result is that I actually AM taller and more flexible and things. By the way, whatever exercise i do, i tend to have turnout. I just cannot keep equilibrium in things like the tree position when my standing foot just goes normally. The yoga teacher couldn’t get it, she was even trying to stand on one leg with the foot turned out and she was falling happily…
    And as for pants: i’m 1,75 m (no idea how much could that be in feet, almost six, as i reckon) and most pants are too long! for me. And, of course, made for someone with no ass and 65cm around the hips.

  167. Italy tied against US, thanks to the fact that Italy scored a goal against itself – aren’t we nice or what? It made my children, who are both American and Italian, very happy πŸ™‚

  168. – has x-short lengths for you and x-long for me – 5’11” with a 34 inch inseam – impossible to find in any store.

  169. i’m 5’6″ and the short pants are still three inches too long for me. cursed short legged being. plus, my torso is too long for standard shirts…

  170. At least your pants can always be hemmed! Think of the humiliation I had to endure as a teenager, before “tall” pants were around. I wore floods constantly until I discovered the joy of men’s jeans and their logical sizing! Most “tall” pants are designed for women 5’10”, and are still too short for me.
    I think the extra height you were denied found its way to me: 6’1″, 35″ inseam. Can we get a photo together with socks in progress when you come to Ann Arbor? (You often mention men with large feet…sometimes it’s the knitter themself who has the skis for peds! :))

  171. I go through the same thing in Yoga class, but mine is a competition with an 80 year old man. I figure if he can do it, so can I. This week I have no use of my thigh muscles and therefore have to fall out of bed and crawl my way to the door.

  172. I bet the Scorpian Queen isn’t the author of multiple published works! At least you’re there, doing the yoga. To make you feel better, I also have a competitive streak that tends to come out in violent bursts as well… At least it made for good blog fodder πŸ™‚

  173. A. stop buying gap pants. child labor or something.
    B. disregard point A. and buy the Gap’s ANKLE pants. They’re shorter than “short.” At least in the US. I’m 5’0, and they work.
    C. 5’0 is too tall to be a “Little Person” even if all of your friends are over 5’6″ which seems a little unfair.
    D. I live in Phoenix. When I see a scorpion near me I hit it with a shoe and vacuum it up. At least when I’m inside. Somehow I’ve never seen them outside. Just parading thru my living room. Do not try to assume the scorprion pose. You will be hit with a shoe.
    E. Arnica on those sore muscles.

  174. Steph, since my birthday is on June, 14th, too – let me tell you one wisdom:
    You are Gemini, not Scorpion!
    If you want to embody your zodiac, put yourself in front of a mirror and smile, thatΒ΄s enough.
    Keep on knitting!

  175. Hi Steph,
    from a yoga instructor and knitter here, I don’t know if this will help, but here goes: I don’t know what your yoga practice is for you, but for me it is a form of meditation, movement meditation. If you think of a yoga practice as an attempt to connect with the Divine, then it is a form of prayer. Pushing yourself to move in ways that don’t work for your body is like praying in a language you don’t speak.
    Now, knitting, that’s where I tend to get competitive… I’d love to be able to knit lace as beautifully as you do!

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