Once more with feeling

Blogging from the dentist office, where Meg is having her post-braces dental appointment.


See how nice her teeth look? We’re both thrilled to bits that her braces are finally off. I remember when I got mine off. I showed everybody.


I’m waiting in reception where I’ve finally found a way to get promoted from “that odd patient who knits all the time” to “that odd patient who knits all the time and was taking pictures of her knitting in here this morning”


(That’s Dr. Yim. Best dentist in Toronto – also, good sport.) I also taught the receptionist to knit. She’ll have a sweater by next week. The gleam in her eye was very indicative. She’s hooked.


This here is the second go around on the Flow tank, the first attempt having been summarily frogged for a row gauge problem. I find row gauge to be a big honking pig-dog. Given a choice between getting row gauge and stitch gauge I always choose stitch gauge, and that’s what I did with this tank. Actually, to be completely honest it is as you are suspecting now. I did not count row gauge. In a moment of uncharacteristic diligence. I knit a swatch. A proper swatch. A swatch that I then washed and everything.


I had stitch gauge and so I just went ahead. My reasoning was that once you’ve cast on and begun, there is little you can do to control the width of a thing. That’s going to be stitch gauge and there’s nothing you can do while you’re knitting to make the width change except for some uncalled for increases or decreases (those don’t always end well) or the sacrificial burning of some of your best merino in a small birch wood fire at midnight under a full moon. Row gauge though, row gauge isn’t a problem. (Usually.) Usually there’s a lot you can do if you’re not getting row gauge. You can knit a few more rows or a few less rows, and then the thing will be longer or shorter. Most patterns say things like “knit 14 cm”, and you can do that whether you got row gauge or not…so I just started knitting.

That was a mistake. I didn’t read the pattern carefully enough before I started and it turns out that there are 18 rows of decreases that are supposed to add up to less than 3″, and mine didn’t and it’s all my fault and now I am to be punished and the only thing I can do at all is to accept it gracefully. Which I am, no matter what anyone told you about how much swearing there was last night. I’m reknitting. Smaller needles, achieving (something closer to) row gauge and hopefully (I think) still getting stitch gauge.

Someday someone is going to figure out why it is so hard to have both row and stitch gauge at the same time, and they are going to come up with a strategy. Something that actually works to fix the problem. Some simple set of directions that will tell you how you can have both, and when they share that with the world, they are going to be hailed as a genius and a hero. It will be like the knitters version of the typhoid vaccine.

Other business (that has nothing to do with row gauge)

1. There are still a few spots for the June 14 fun. People will likely drop on and off of the list as time goes along, so don’t not call because you think that there’s no hope. There is. 120 spots is a lot of spots, and the list will stay fluid up until photo day. To that end, if you took a spot but you find out sometime between now and then that you can’t make it…can you call Lettuce Knit and take yourself off the list so that someone else can get on?

2. WHOOPS. I just got an email from the publicist, they gave me the wrong store and address. It’s Chapters, at 2376 Princess Street, not the Indigo. I just confirmed an event at the Indigo in Kingston, Ontario for June 4th at 6:00. I’ll speak and then sign, as usual. They’re having a store celebration with live music later in the evening and stuff like that. C’mon down. It’s going to be fun. (I know. It’s always fun when there are way, way more knitters in a store than the store thinks there will be. Surprising bookstores never gets old.)

3. I was decluttering and organizing a knitting basket (a big one) and found this shawl that I was working on way back when.


I hauled it out and took it with me to Philadelphia, and now it’s just 12 rows from the end. This decluttering thing might pay off. A shawl. Just like that. (I have suffered a minor setback by leaving the pattern on Juno’s couch, but she took pictures of the chart and emailed them to me so I can finish until it comes in the mail.)

4. Spotted on the menu in the Philadelphia Airport.


Bad sign…right?

162 thoughts on “Once more with feeling

  1. Yay for brace-less-ness! Mine come off in Feb. I will SO have a party with lots of hard candies and granola bars.
    When I declutter all I find is… well, clutter.

  2. But who ever heard of a garden salad with cooked vegetables? Or do I not get out enough?
    (I know that someone else’s comment will be first before I finish typing [or while I was reading] … but it’s fun to pretend I’m first!)

  3. I agree completely about the row gauge. I can never get both and for a long time I thought it was just me.
    So, whoever figures it out. I will bow to forever.

  4. “Raw”?? Isn’t that like being a little bit pregnant? I mean, the veggies are raw… or they’re not…
    Yeah, that’s a bad sign…

  5. Congrats on the braces removal. I am sure her mouth will be much relieved. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Blasted row gauge…I too am waiting for the magic solution that allows my stitch gauge and row gauge to live in harmony. May I rest assured knowing you will pass along the wisdom if you ever find it? ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. July of 2006 is NOT “way back when.” July of 2006 is barely mature. Surely, you have WIPs older than that (please say yes).
    By the way, would you please schedule a giant knitter-party-fun-in-public-woohoo-beer-and-yarn-and-sheep type thing for sometime after June, so I can go? Rhinebeck doesn’t count. SOAR doesn’t count. Um, how about August? Somewhere on a lake or a river. Somewhere with good food.
    I’m just going to have to organize this myself, aren’t I? Do you suppose WEBS would mind a giant long-weekend knitters’ sleepover? Maybe for your next book tour (in the fall, right)?
    Pleeeeeaaassssseeeee? With angora on it?

  7. And I’m just headed into braces as an adult…*sigh* congrats to Meg on getting them off!

  8. Megan looks beautiful. A shawl…I find nearly done projects all the time–it’s a great feeling to have most of the work done.

  9. Meg – your smile is beautiful!
    So’s the shawl.
    If I haul (find) mine out, it will be only 12 rows from being done before I know it? My problem is that I probably won’t remember where I was in the pattern. IF I can even FIND the pattern. That’s what happened with my sock (sigh).

  10. Oooh! You could send the menu to the “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks!
    …but yes, in general, it would worry me, and then I’d take a deep breath and remember that the person who designed the menu probably holds a degree in Culinary Arts or Graphic Design and not English, and then I’d sigh about punctuation being taught so badly in our public schools that the average human can’t be expected to retain it, and then Hubby would say “Cheer up, little emo kid” and the ensuing giggles would distract me from the bad punctuation long enough to order and give the menu back to the waitress.

  11. great shawl, still trying to decipher my first pattern.
    always nice to have the double clarification on salads, some do have frozen, cooked or canned veggies.

  12. I bet Meg is so happy to have her braces off! When I got mine off (after 2.5 long years), I think I licked my teeth nonstop for a month. It was just so weird to not have metal in there!
    And even though I’m a meticulous anal retentive engineer, I don’t measure row gauge either, so you’re in good company. I actually wonder if anyone has ever perfectly hit both stitch and row gauge at the same time. If that happened, would the world explode? Or perhaps the planets would be so aligned, your garment would just appear before your eyes, as a reward for the perfect swatch.

  13. my few attempts at knitting a garment that fits have ended in disaster. Row gauge is an evil invention, and should be banned from the knitting world. Stitch Gauge is evil as well, but at least we can comprehend it’s necessity (sort of). All Hail EZ’s percentage system.

  14. Your daughter is beautiful, from the inside out. Funny how the shawl looks much more like “campfire” in this photo. Talk about instant gratification! Last night I finally started posting my projects on Ravelry, and pulled out the beginnings of the Beginner Shawl. I thought, gee, this is so nice, too bad I don’t get enough quiet to work on it. So I knit a row and immediately discovered I was two stitches short of a full row. Lace is hard to rip back, even baby step lace like this, but long story short I discovered the mistake had been two rows back, made who knows how long ago, the last time I had this little shawl in hand. How glad I am to have picked up this project in a blissful state instead of my usually somewhat less alert condition, and to have found the month’s old mistake now instead of who knows how long later. Love hearing about these goings on in your neck of the woods.

  15. Maybe “Raw” is the brand name? sounds “iffy” to me! Hope you get your gauge straightened out as nice as Meg’s teeth…definitely looks like it was worth being a “waiting room knitter”!

  16. Yay for no braces and found shawls! =)
    Last time I went to the dentist, it was to a new one in my new town. Of course I knit while I was waiting, and the receptionist was so excited – she had tried to learn previously but had started with eyelash yarn (shiver) and was having difficulty. She made a note on my chart, and is planning on having her knitting with her next time I come in so I can help her. How fun is that?!? (I recommended she get some smooth cotton or wool to learn on, before working much more with the eyelash. Hopefully she remembers!)

  17. Make sure she wears her retainers! I (mostly) left that up to my children-who-didn’t-pay-the-orthodontist’s-bills and now where are we – ? Crooked teeth! Argh.
    “Raw” vegetables….maybe they’re naked?!?

  18. Decluttering rules. I found 4 perfectly acceptable knitted items that I could use for gifts thus solving the how can I knit gifts in time for the 23rd problem. Said problem was discovered on the 15th, ahem, so the decluttering really is a good thing.

  19. Yay for Megan! December 18, 1984 is when my braces came off. You remember these things (I only remember the actual day because it was the day before my mother’s birthday, but then my mind is also a cornucopia of trivial garbage).
    The shawl looks lovely. The colour is especially beautiful.

  20. I don’t want to rain on your parade, but by any chance did you measure your row gauge while the swatch was lying flat? I think it was a Lily Chin tip on an old episode of Knitty Gritty where she said you should always measure row gauge hanging up (like clipped to a hanger), unless you only intended to wear the garment when you were lying down. The weight of the yarn could cause the row gauge to still be off a bit. That said, and no disrespect to Lily, I’ve never measured a swatch hanging up.

  21. Yay no braces! Yay to bringing a new knitter into the fold! Yay to sticking to the anti-clutter movement!
    As for anything that has quotes around it, I’d be hightly suspicious.

  22. No need to wait for the pattern. Miriam has it available for *free* now. Check Mimknits.

    re fresh/raw, actually, I think it’s a good sign considering the airport location. Imagine a non-English speaking tourist consulting a dictionary on what ‘fresh’ might mean.
    Which is what I did and found the following synonyms (too many definitions to post here):
    Synonyms 1. recent. See new. 11. invigorating, sweet, unadulterated. 14. artless, untrained, raw, uncultivated, unskilled.

  24. Maybe the people at that restaurant got tired of people asking them all the time, “so, does fresh mean the vegetables are raw?”
    Now, that’s one purty dentist! And a purty set of teeth.

  25. To Meg: You go girl! Have some bubblegum on me! Followed by hard toffees. I’ve been denied those since forever, and I really miss ’em. Bit O’ Honey candy, too.
    And Steph? A shawl? Just like that? When I dig around in the clutter, all I find is things I abandoned for really good reasons, like they suck. Enjoy, both of you!

  26. Good for Megan! I also (like Adam) licked my teeth non-stop after the three years of braces. And I second Beth’s recommendation about the retainers. I wore mine off and on (hey, my braces are off, I don’t need any stinkin’ retainers!) and even though my teeth didn’t regress too awfully far, there are two that decided to twist around each other resulting in a death and a root canal by the time I was 23.

  27. Ah, the tyrrany of row gauge. I’m amazed that this hasn’t bitten you before! (particularly with the Sunrise Circle Jacket and all those darned increases/decreases) FWIW, I am almost always knitting *TWO SIZES DOWN* on the knitting needles in order to ensure that I get row gauge. It also helps that I’m a pretty loose knitter … er .. um …
    (I think you know what I mean)

  28. Congratulations, Meg, on your metal free mouth! Now don’t get kicked in the jaw by a horse this afternoon and you’ll be fine. But trust me when I say, the second time you get braces, it does go faster. Not that I know any of this from experience…

  29. Oh MY what beautiful teeth you have Meg. Watch out for the wolves now ! Stephanie, have I got mis infomation re Kingston. I was told you were going to go to Chapters not Indigo. LOVE the shawl and still haven’t tried one yet but every time I see one on your blog I am really tempted to try one. Thanks for being here and making my day a little brighter.

  30. Maybe RAW refers to wrestling vegetables??? New to me, and still rather worrisome, but I suppose it’s possible.
    Go Meg – lovelier than ever!
    June 14th – I’m on the morning list – can’t wait!

  31. Yeah…no braces! When I was growing up, I wore braces for three years. My mom would make corn on the cob and then cut it off for me so I could eat the corn. It is just NOT the same.

  32. Congrats to Megan! I had braces for 4 1/2 years, ages 16 to 20. It seemed like forever. For a while after I got them off, when I was first wearing a retainer, I couldn’t speak any language but English. As I was studying four foreign languages at the time, this was somewhat embarrassing.
    For some odd reason a lot of people think quotation marks are used for emphasis, rather than to signal fakeness. My husband told me that a study had shown that people would be more attracted to a supermarket sign saying “beef” than one saying beef. (These would be meat-eating people, obviously.) Perhaps Conan should take this up.
    Re row gauge, I can only be thankful that raglans make me look like a Playskook person anyway.

  33. A salad with COOKED veggies? I’ve never heard of such a thing? Who’s that guy who does the “Here’s your sign?”
    Love the shaw, though. I’m dipping into my first foray into lace. Wish me luck.

  34. so did you order it just to find out what “fresh ‘raw’ vegetables” were? Oh do share!
    You are supposed to wash a guage swatch??
    Hmm. that explains a lot.

  35. Hi Steph. It’s almost your birthday! wow! What can we do for you? :); I looked back at the blog, and on the one, two years ago, where you started the shawl, and had “talk like a pirate” day, there was a yarn there for your Peacock shawl that you called Iridescent…it was a gift to you..and it was GORGEOUS. What was that, do you recall?
    Curiouser and curiouser, love from Vermont where it is cool, wet, and gorgeous with blooming trees, Kathleen kbruce@together.net

  36. PS Your daughter is BEAUTIFUL without her braces…. and with. Tell her she looks stunning! Love, Kathleen, who had 2/3 daughters with braces, and knows the thrill of getting them OFF (and stopping paying for them).

  37. There’s a very simple cure for stitch and row gauge.
    Find a designer who’s competent enough to say something like “inc 1 st each side EVERY 3/4 INCH” instead of “every 5th row” or whatever.
    See how simple it is?
    My patterns are not something you will EVER have a problem with this way.
    Read through the pattern in advance and look for these little land mines. Then rewrite that part.
    And approach future patterns from the same designer with caution.

  38. The linguist is me is dying to ask whoever wrote that menu whom they are quoting. Or does it mean “raw” like “so cool you can’t even stand near it”? or… The mind boggles. Does Megan think her teeth feel slimy? I remember that my teeth felt so weird and smooth when my braces came off.

  39. Do vegetables grow cooked? I had no idea.
    And congratulate Meg for me!!! I’ve got two teenagers getting their braces off this June… my bank account can hardly wait!!!!

  40. I second Beth’s “wear your retainer” comment. I *am* the child (17 years on) who wasn’t paying the orthodontic bills and didn’t wear my retainer, and now I am facing getting braces again, as a bill-paying adult. Meg: wearing your retainer is worth it, trust me!

  41. I rank “raw” vegetables right up there with “chocolatey goodness” – it cannot be good. Or real.

  42. Yeah, Meg!!!! …and sorry about the dentist having to hold the sock… it is funny though, you gotta admit right? Stop rolling those eyes in the back of your head. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Your teeth look great and you are just cute cute cute! Now you can eat corn-on-the-cob and chew gum and eat gummy bears… Yeah, Meg!!!!!

  43. Meg, Congrats on the braces-free teeth! An incredible feeling that will last for awhile.

  44. I discovered the other day that my dentist’s receptionist is also a knitter and even convinced her to come to our knit night one or twice. Sadly she is often busy that night of the week with other things.
    The post braces photo is a wonderful thing, and very heartening to me. I have one out of braces, one just starting, and two other children who will probably need them in due time. You must have been very successful getting her to keep those pearly whites white while the braces were on – tell us your secrets!
    Good luck with the do-over of the tank. I have a funny feeling that row gauge depends on things like the alignment of the planets and sacrifices to whatever deities you find most powerful. If that doesn’t work there is always math (calculating where to put the stitchwork in the number of rows you are achieving, rather than the number predicted by the pattern). Not so much fun, but likely to succeed.

  45. Hi Stephanie,
    I’m curious about the live music part of the Kingsto gig – namely how I can add myself to it. Seriously, I would love to play… Do you know if Indigo is still looking for an act or… is this too weird? I don’t suck, I promise. I’m just saying, if there’s gonna be tunes, shouldn’t they be tunes by a knitter?

  46. you’re coming! you’re really really coming! i have just missed you in a few locations by mere hours all through funny circumstances. it was actually getting comical for a bit there. and now i am in kingston for the year (except for the one week i was away – which was also the week you launched your book in toronto) and you are coming here! i can barely believe it. see you there – and looking forward to seeing the knitting community in kingston since i haven’t tapped in yet. i just inked you into the day timer – it’s a good day.

  47. Beautiful, beautiful smile! I hope you can forget all the stress about getting the braces in the first place.
    Re the “raw” vegetables in the salad. Being an English teacher, I am rather frightened by the problems those quotations marks raise syntax-wise. It does suggest that the veggies might look raw but really aren’t. Hmmm. We do put a lot of pickled things in salads here in Pennsylvania. Perhaps the quotation marks are there to emphasize that everything in this garden salad really is uncooked or otherwise treated, remaining as close to natural as salad ingredients can be in the Philly airport!

  48. Okay, folks – I will offer up a likely explanation of ‘Raw’. My best guess is that it is a hook for people (like me) who have adopted a raw food diet. The cooking rage of the past few years was to grill veggies before adding them to a lot of restaurant dishes, so for us raw foodies, knowing in advance that the veggies are raw is helpful information. If you are still puzzled about raw, have a look at Carol Alt’s website. She is that gorgeous cover girl model who went raw 12 years ago and is now a huge advocate of the diet. From my personal perspective, after just following this diet really faithfully for 5 months, I have so much more energy that I can happily knit (especially lace, my fav) into the wee hours, barely noticing the time. Overall, my kniting productivity has increased at least a whopping half ton of carrots!

  49. Meg’s teeth are gorgeous – good job!! And, what a beautiful girl. Row gauge is tough, as this point I definitely shy away from something that absolutely requires it. Have a blast on June 14.

  50. I have never in my knitting life measured row gauge. I just figure it’ll all work out okay and so far so good. I’m glad to not be along in this.
    Now, whatever project I attempt next will probably be a total failure due to some row gauge shenanigans.

  51. Go Meg! I wore braces all through high school and college, and the orthodontist was debating out loud: one more month or take them off now. I piped up with, “I’m getting married tomorrow.”

  52. Congratulations to Meg! Braces off, and your teeth are beautiful! And Hooray for declutterieng – hopefully you’ll inspire me…

  53. Your daughter Meg looks like a little kid (now, don’t tell her I said so) in the sense that she looks so PROUD of herself (remember when we were little and the photographer said “say cheese!” and we all put these ridiculous teeth-baring grins on our faces?) Well, she looks so wonderful- and there is just a bit of the little girl still peeking out of her smile.
    And, PS. Meg? WEAR YOUR RETAINER….I got lax in wearing mine and my teeth shifted somewhat…

  54. Congratulations to Meg! Lovely braceless smile. ๐Ÿ˜€
    Oooh! I love decluttering finds. That’s a gorgeous pattern too. Hmmmmm….
    I don’t know what to tell you about the Philly airport and the odd use of quotations. It’s a weird airport. Let’s just leave it at that.

  55. Megan, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE wear your retainer every night!!! My daughter had braces and she wore her retainer faithfully until she started college and quit wearing it. Now her teeth are just as crooked as they were before she had braces put on. So think about all the time and money invested into your beautiful smile when you get tired of wearing your retainer. Your teeth look great. Nat Alea

  56. Wow, gorgeous teeth, and gorgeous, glowing skin, Meg! I remember how slippery my teeth felt after having my braces removed. Weird to get used to.
    “Raw” veggies…not necessarily a bad sign. Maybe they’ve eaten at Plenty (a great restaurant in Olympia, WA) and had their Hot Salad. It’s really yummy: a bed of uncooked lettuce with sauteed veggies and (I think) dressing on top. Really, really yummy. If you’re ever in Olympia, you should totally eat there. Lots of good vegetarian choices.

  57. I, too, remember the day I finally got my braces off, after 5 years! It would have been four, but I flatly refused to wear headgear. Megan, I wore my retainer for about a year, then stopped. My teeth shifted a little bit, but NOWHERE near as bad as they were, so take Nat Alea at 2:08 pm’s words with a grain of salt. You look beautiful!

  58. Kingston? Yay! I’ll tell my mother.
    Too bad it wasn’t later. I’ll be in Kingston on August 3rd. And then there’s the Blues Festival in Kitchener the following weekend. I wonder what sock I should knit while grooving to the music?
    Have fun at Chapters!

  59. Whoo Hoo! Braces off and looking good Megan! Treat that girl to a salad in public. And a bunch of tortilla chips. And popcorn. And LOADS of candy. Let her chew some ice. And make sure there are LOTS of mirrors around the house (lots!)

  60. 1. Congratulations, Meg! Your teeth look awesome!!
    2. I sincerely covet that Flow tank. Sincerely.
    3. Fresh “raw” vegetables?? WTF??? That doesn’t even make sense in the remotest way. Please, someone order it and report back. I need to know.

  61. Big honking pig-dog… OMG- I’m going to start saying that all.the.time!
    And congrats Meg on your beautiful smile! We’ve been through that a few times in our house – always a cause for major celebration, with carmels, gum, and popcorn!

  62. Also, ooh — cute orthodontist!!! Meg is lucky to have someone like him take her braces off.
    (The sock complements him well, too.)

  63. “Raw” reminds me of a blonde joke… Blonde woman calls 911 because her house is on fire….operator asks how to get to the her house….”Duh the big red TRUCK!”

  64. Hey Steph! go to the shawl link in #3 above..there’s Franklin!!! odd, eh? woooo a whole 2 years ago.

  65. Whee! That’s Adamas! I just started knitting it a couple of weeks ago for a friend’s impending baby. I’m having trouble putting it down and yet I’m envious of your having only 12 more rows to go. I wish my de-cluttering was as productive as yours.
    Oh, and Meg? Beautiful smile!

  66. Okay, I’m tempted to comment simply because I stumbled in here *before* a gazillion other people have commented… But really, Megan, congrats! At 54 yrs old I still remember the glee I felt when my braces came off.
    As for the “raw” vegetables… oy! You have to wonder what they *really* mean. Scary!

  67. Great teeth!
    Oh,yes, it is a very bad sign when we must say vegetables are ‘raw’… sort of up there with “real” wool….

  68. Fresh raw vegetables? of course. As opposed to fresh lightly-steamed vegetables, or fresh grilled vegetables, etc. Remember deliberately “wilted” salads? Alas, for a while they were teaching in schools that quotation marks added emphasis.
    Here are my views on the gauge thing:
    Yarn thickness means you can only squeeze so many stitches together, therefore yarn thickness determines the maximum stitches per inch or cm. But big loose stitches can stretch sideways (fewer stitches per inch or cm) or down, and if hung so the weight sort of blocks it hanging down, the size of the stitch will strongly affect row gauge.
    (Yarns that stretch instead of shrinking are the work of evil.) The size of the stitch is related to the size of the needle you use and how tightly you knit. Yarn when fulled usually shrinks shorter but not thinner, so the maximum number of stitches per etc is the same in the finished article, while row gauge depends on hanging and blocking. Blocking can widen and shorten, while hanging will narrow and lengthen. Slippery yarns will drape and lengthen, grabby ones will hold their blocking.

  69. Tell Meg to beware of Coffee Crisps!
    I bit in to one a few days after I got my braces off, because they’re not *hard*crunchy, right?
    It went like this: bite, searing pain, sudden realisation that one of my front teeth is a bit…. not straight any more.
    It’s not really bad, and no way am I having braces again, so I live with it.

  70. Yay – Meg looks great – wonderful smile to go with her beautiful straight teeth! I don’t even like to read about others’ problems with row gauge – it is just too painful a subject for me.

  71. Nice shawl–since you were working on it when you came to our fair city of Chicago, it seems only right that you should wear it when you come back. You don’t suppose THAT’S the reason the weather was bad and you didn’t get here as originally scheduled–because you hadn’t finished it to show us? Nah, I’m not sure the knitting gods can actually control the weather…your row gauge yes, but surely not the weather. Can’t wait to see that new tank-I’ve had my eye on the yarn since I first spotted it.

  72. How is the decluttering coming along in general? Are you following any guru in particular? It will be fun to hear your funny stories and see more rediscovered projects!

  73. Meg’s teeth look lovely! (And kudos to Doc Yim for voluntarily holding knitting. Does he realize how many potential referrals he’ll get by doing that?)
    Oooo…. shawlpretty….!

  74. yeah, the philadelphia airport might have the worst food in the world.
    I was knitting in my doctor’s office a while back (while on the table in my paper gown waiting for him to come in). When he walked he asked…you’re knitting? Wow! Not very many people I know do that. i was like…yeah. He said..I’ve been knitting since the 7th grade – it got me through med school with some sanity left. And he’s a very burly manly man with 7 children. ๐Ÿ™‚ No wonder he needs to knit.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Dr. Yim is a closet knitter somewhere inside ๐Ÿ™‚

  75. When I get the sts/in that a pattern specifies, I find that I almost always have more rows/in than indicated. A knitting teacher told me that it is because the knitting is done on a machine, which will always produce fewer rows/in than produced by handknitting. This is why I always buy extra yarn. An exception is the Elsebeth Lavold designs. (Real Swedish hands do the knitting?)

  76. Any word on Joe’s leg?(Nice smile,Meg.And,yes,wear your retainer.Trust me.Twenty years later and I wish I had worn mine longer.)

  77. I’m embarrassed to say that I remembered that Adamas shawl and the color and name of the yarn you were using before you even said it…. Does that make me a stalker? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Great teeth Meg! Make sure you wear what the dentist gives you to keep them in place. Teeth have a funny way of trying to go back the way they were if you don’t keep an eye on them!

  78. At least they’re fresh, if not actually raw?
    The raw food trend continues to baffle me. Yes, it’s healthy, but is crunching loudly on raw vegetables really that trendy? >.>
    Also, to paraphrase Lost…row gauge is a fickle b@$&%! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  79. Yay!!! Meg!!! No more Braces!!! I got braces when I was about 35. Wore them for three years. Now I’m 46. My teeth have moved more than I would like. Please wear your retainer. Wish I had :O(

  80. I know what you mean about row gauge…What a pain and so seldom necessary! I was getting ready to cast on for a project where I knew that row gauge would be very important and was having a horrible time…until…I remembered a trick for someone’s blog: use 2 different sized needles. I purl a little looser than knit, so using a smaller (1 size) needle on the purl side of the stockinette stitch, has me very, very close to gauge for both row and stitches! Aaahhh…That sure was good.

  81. I don’t get the blocking-the-swatch thing to see if you get row gauge. Usually patterns will tell you something like: knit for x inches, then do something else. That would be a PRE-BLOCKED measurement!! Or am I missing something?

  82. A pub at the top of our road advertises a quiz, held on “Tuesday”. I’ve always wondered what day it is really on!

  83. Congratulations, Meg, on regaining your freedom. When my daughter came out of her braces, the orthodontist fitted her with what he called a “permanent retainer”. It is cemented to her teeth, is completely invisible unless one is doing an oral cavity exam, and has kept her teeth straight without her having to remember a retainer.
    As far as stitch/row gauge is concerned, the person who can solve THAT problem should win the Nobel Peace Prize as well as achieve immediate sainthood!

  84. Braces off! Huzzah! I hope it goes better than it did for my daughter who, 26 hours after getting her braces off, broke one front tooth and fractured the root of the other. Twenty-six frakking hours. The mind boggles.

  85. I’m thinking it might be the plauge (hmm, spelling is wrong, I’m sure) of the quotation marks – it’s seems to me the people are forgetting what the proper use of quotes is, and even worse, it’s “spreading”! : )

  86. dude, it’s the Philly airport. They’re trying to get better with the food. The fact they have veggies at all is a sign they really are trying. And, since it’s Philly… ignore the extra quotes. It’s a stylistic garnish, like the decoration on City Hall.

  87. What a beautiful smile! Congrats on loosing the braces. What a rewarding finish! And row gauge – like you, I never even think about it, and it has caused me a little trouble now and then. I am a little concerned about the ‘raw’ vegetables. I would have to question that one.

  88. So about that gauge thing. . . When both cannot be obtained, what is best to choose, row or stitch?

  89. Yay, Meg!! I remember the day my Life After Braces began, too!!
    I haven’t had a lot of luck with good vegetarian food in either airports, or hotels. Yes, this here is “raw” carrots! Deep fried in lard and covered in gravy!!
    I’ll be thinking good thoughts for a mere case of overactive quotation marks for you…

  90. Maybe the Dentist thought he was holding pretty tangled dental floss??? You know…if you had to, you could knit with a couple of picks & some floss….
    Meg, Nice teeth! Beautiful smile! My oldest son got his off 3 months ago. He was(& still is) one happy young man! Don’t forget to faithfuly use your retainer ๐Ÿ˜ฎ )

  91. So. Your friend *copied* a pattern and sent it to you. Yes, you bought the pattern. But.. if I bought a pattern of yours and lost it, and asked someone to take a picture of the chart and send it to me, it would be copyright infringement, yea? *breaks out the wet noodle*
    Congrats, Meg, your teeth look fantastic!

  92. I have to get braces and am agonizing a bit over them. However, I see wonderful sets of teeth out there and I want them, too! Yay for Meg for getting them off. How long did she wear them for? I have to wear them for a year.
    It will also take a year for our immigration application to be approved (positive thinking that it *will* be approved!) so I figure I can wear the braces and once they come off, we go to Canada!!!!!

  93. What dya mean “row gauge”? There is something ELSE for us to worry about? But I knit for fun and relaxation—don’t they get that?

  94. Being a sign language interpretor, this just struck me as amazing and perhaps funny. I would really love to see you ‘Sign’. Word of caution though, put down all sharp pointy objects first.
    >2. WHOOPS. I just got an email from the publicist, they gave me the wrong store and address. It’s Chapters, at 2376 Princess Street, not the Indigo. I just confirmed an event at the Indigo in Kingston, Ontario for June 4th at 6:00. I’ll speak and then sign, as usual. They’re having a store celebration with live music later in the evening and stuff like that. C’mon down. It’s going to be fun.<

  95. I am always alarmed when I see something on a menu in quote marks. I mean, just tell me what the food really is. I’ll pick based on facts. As a picky vegetarian, if I don’t have enough info about a food I just won’t eat it.

  96. I’m so glad someone else has the whole row gauge issue. I used to think it must just be me, because I never heard anyone talk about it. I even googled “ways to fix row gauge” once. I was on the verge of trying to locate a 12-step group, so it’s a welcome surprise to hear that I have so much company….doesn’t fix a darned thing, but it’s a nice surprise.

  97. Row guage has destroyed my last two projects. Completely knit a Banff twice and am still not sure the dang thing is going to fit, and just frogged the first ball of a scarf because it was clear that I was nowhere near the row guage and bought the yarn so long ago I’d never be able to match it. So, now I’m knitting it again, with one fewer repeat, so at least it will wrap past my shoulders. I am looking for that magic formula as well.

  98. Congratulations to Meg, you look beautiful! I can NEVER get row gauge and I always assumed it was because I pick instead of throw, the result of that being that I always have to drop down several needle sizes to obtain stitch gauge. (Ssssh, I don’t always swatch because it’s so frustrating to never be on)

  99. And, not just the fact that they felt the need to point out that the vegetables were raw, but that they put them in quotation marks, like they’re only KIND of raw. You know, sort of, mostly, we like to think of them as raw…. Um, where was this again? Because I really, really need to remember not to eat there!

  100. So how do you change your row gauge without destroying your stitch gauge? The only way I can think of to get around it is with a lot of math. I don’t want to do that.

  101. Being a raw foodist I appreciate that sign- it is actually a challenge to get a truly raw salad in most places. Some will put canned beets or garbanzo beans, cheese, or croutons and not even think about what you said about only wanting raw ingredients.
    That Flow tank is going to be great on you- the color is lovely!

  102. Although I’m no genius with maps and whatnot, I do know that Kingston is a whole lot closer to Ottawa than Toronto was. Yippeee!!!

  103. If you have perfect stitch gauge but too-big row gauge, wouldn’t smaller needles work? The yarn thickness pretty much determines maximum stitch gauge regardless of needle size, especially when you hang the garment so its own weight pulls it downward. At least if you’re a tight knitter, the smaller needles can’t make stitch gauge any smaller than the minimum and they will make the row gauge smaller. If your row gauge is too small even when you pin-block the swatch, I think going up a needle size should adjust it.

  104. No more braces! I remember that day. I also remember how odd it felt to have my inner lip touch my teeth for the firs time in several years.
    “raw”….hmm. Good catch on that one.

  105. I just realized something.
    You said in your post, “I’ll speak and sign, AS USUAL”. Oh. My God. I am reading a real famous person’s blog, and I am trying to talk to her like she’s my neighbor, for crying out loud.
    It really hit me how you have hit the big time; a reading and signing is normal now. People come in droves to see you. Even more droves read your blog, from all over this blessed planet. You pull us together, and you inform and entertain us, almost daily; you let us into your world in a way that is funny and dignified and commands respect.
    And you get people together for the good of other human beings. You support an amazing charitable organization not because it’s a tax-write-off, but because you believe in it. You support fellow artists, again because you believe in them.
    And you do it all because you are a knitter, and didn’t just write that off as another hobby, but were daring to explore why on earth making things with yarn is so fascinating.
    Kudos to you, Stephanie. If they had a Nobel Peace Prize for Knitters, you surely ought to be rewarded one.

  106. Beautiful girl!
    I think we should stage a revolt against row gauge in all its forms! Down with row gauge! Doesn’t exactly capture the feeling, I guess. Still…

  107. Pathetic. You think a dentist holding the sock is going to keep me from pointing out that you’ve once again avoided spinning on Tuesday?
    (I’m just filling in for Rams; she’s in California.)

  108. I am so happy to see you picked the Adamas shawl up again! I was wondering what happened to it. When I saw how pretty yours was, I started my own (it has been done for a while now) and love it, love it, love it.

  109. I remember when I got my braces off! I was so happy I believe I may have hugged my orthodontist. The first thing I ate when they were off was the biggest, crunchiest apple I could find at the farmer’s market. It remains, to this day, the best apple I have ever eaten. Give my congrats to Meg!

  110. When I got my braces off I had five cavities. Then because we only had one car at the time I had to bike to the dentist to get fillings despite not being in good biking shape at the time. Then on the way I crashed my bike and wasn’t hurt as much as jarred, but had sheared the lever thing off one of my gearshifts. Then after I had gotten all the stupid fillings my dad decided to take me the scenic way home and while he was pointing out some ducks or something I rode my bike INTO A PARKED CAR, and bruised my inner thigh on that one bar thing on my bike.
    I am glad to hear your daughter’s story was not nearly as traumatic as mine.

  111. My dentist is a knitter and spinner. I knew her as a knitter and spinner first, but knew she was a dentist, so when I needed a dentist I went to her because I knew she was good with her hands!

  112. Tell Meg that when reading your blog today my 15 yr. old son who just got his braces off also kind of slowed down when passing my computer. He said, “Who’s that?” Hmm….When I explained that this is THAT knitting blog he said, “Why did she take pictures of her? It’s not knitting.” I assured him that even we knitters take a bit of time to celebrate our good spending on things not fiber related especially when they come out looking so good. He walked away with a “Whatever”.
    I too have taught the receptionist how to knit. Three kids in braces can do that to a woman!

  113. Hmmm…er, what other kind of garden veggies are there? Yes, there is cause to be concerned…
    P.S. Meg looks lovely (as my son looked handsome when he got his braces off some 5 years or so ago) — and lots like her mom! ๐Ÿ™‚

  114. Way to go, Meg, getting braces off! I endured braces for 9 1/2 years (grades 3 through 11); I was “four eyes, tinsel teeth” from grade 4 on. You must have been MUCH more disciplined than I was. However, the braces saved my front teeth when in fifth grade I fell off my bike and somehow hit my jaw. So … all these years later I still have the teeth, although they’ve never really been straight. (Yours are gorgeous!)
    Regarding row gauge: Maybe I have a touch of OCD, but when I have to cope with decreases “every Xth row,” I calculate the distance between decreases given the row gauge of the pattern and then knit accordingly. This strategy has worked every time … so far!

  115. “I know. It’s always fun when there are way, way more knitters in a store than the store thinks there will be. Surprising bookstores never gets old.” TRUE THAT!
    Beautiful smile! It really is worth all the effort. Lots of smiling! Have fun smiling AND knitting in public.
    When you came across the shawl, was there a gansey nearby? Just wondering…

  116. Isn’t it wonderful to get your braces off? I was “lucky” enough to have them twice–six years in total. My middle daughter got hers off yesterday, the day before her grad. (Double whammy–she won’t be off cloud nine for two weeks!) Meg, you have a spectacular smile!
    The shawl is gorgeous. Miriam Felton is indeed a genius. I’m afraid to count my UFOs, being certain that I’m into double digits. Wonder how many are within spitting distance of being finished?
    On a completely unrelated topic, I hope Joe is healing up and feeling better, and not getting too frustrated with not being able to do what he wants. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  117. Beautiful Radiant Smile!! It makes it all worthwhile in the end, I hope…

  118. Smile? very lovely. Almost finished neglected project? Way to go! “Raw”? Don’t get me started. …. But the big thing in the blog for me today is: you can change row gauge but not stitch gauge by changing needles?! Whoa-ho!
    We need way more information on how you figured that out!
    Yesterday I was also suffering from a row gauge problem. (You may have been able to hear me over there in Toronto). My beautiful Aran Cardi (zippered is the plan), grew from 16 1/2 inches to 23 inches. (42 to 60 cm!!). Apparently, I was in a bad mood (so says my husband), but it clicked when he saw the the …. what did you call it?… yeah, the honking pig dog laying on the blocking board. Frogging today. Perhaps I can clear out my basket too and find a better project.

  119. I am holding onto my spot in the 120 with the determination of a million white-hot suns.
    Do you have any idea how many great things I’ve missed in the last year? Even my own birthday (I spent it in emerg at Sunnybrook).
    I. am. not. missing. this. one.

  120. Pig-dog????? Now that’s a new one LOL!!! It’s amazing what someone who’s trying not to swear can come up with when it comes to gauge woes. Why is it that you can get the stitches per inch on the nose, but then have the rows per inch way off? I don’t get it. You would think that if you have the stitches per inch nailed, then the rows per inch would just fall in line. If it doesn’t, that means math. SIGH! Math and I don’t get along all that well. Maybe someday a grown up knitter will explain it all to me. Congrats to Meg. Her smile is lovely!

  121. Can someone please explain to me what the hell “raw” means? Why the italics? I always thought it was a simple enough concept- either something is cooked or it isn’t. Black and white. Is there no end to what the airlines will subject us to and call it “food?”

  122. Ok, I can’t really commiserate with you about row gauge because I’ve never really knit anything yet where that mattered. As mentioned above, don’t we knit for fun? I’ve done socks, shawls, scarves, dishcloths, linen drawstring bags and sontags/heartwarmers for Civil War ear re-enacting. Gauge is not absolutely necessary on these things and they provided plenty of fun for my process knitting.
    About those “raw” veggies…there is such a thing as a cooked salad. It’s called Three Bean Salad. And, just so you know, there are some people, mostly elderly, that have trouble digesting raw veggies and need to eat them lightly steamed. Not that that would work well with lettuce mind you. Now, a fresh-picked-from-the-garden Wilted Spinach Salad with free range hard boiled eggs….yum!
    I’m looking forward to WWKIP day. I do it anyway but maybe this time I’ll take pictures.

  123. Hi, I didn’t take the time to read all the comments (I am at work, shhhh don’t tell!) so I may be repeating someone else here.
    Anyway, my theory on row/stitch gauge. It will always vary due to yarn charachteristics. A slick drapey yarn will be affected by gravity and will have fewer rows per inch than a springy yarn which defies gravity. Even when the yarns appear to be the same thickness and knitted on the same size needles.
    Does that make sense?

  124. Ooh, I’ll second auntiemichal’s comment- would love to see what other projects emerge from the decluttering.
    And wishing Meg millions of reasons to show off her pretty smile!

  125. Congrats Meg on getting the braces thing over with…had mine for 4.5 years, and still remember the day they came off! Flash that smile at everyone! (it will make them wonder what you are up to!)
    Row gauge sucks!
    love the shawl…beautiful colors.

  126. Yay Meg!
    Boo row guage.
    I want a t-shirt that says:
    “Row guage? Not even close.”
    “slouch or stand tall, as needed”
    Does anyone EVER get row guage? How exactly is that accomplished? No one ever tells you how to fix it with out changing stitch guage… ridiculous. Impossible. Stupid. I hates the row guage.
    (umm can you tell i’m about to try to figure out how to fix my “Orange Smoothie” (from “More Big Girl Knits”) row guage issues?
    Seriously, I need a remedial class in guage.

  127. Did the dentist realize how many hits you get on your blog? Does he have a clue what this will do to his practice? BTW? He’s a cutie!
    And DD looks FABULOUS!!!! Whoohoo! No braces!
    Love the shawl…

  128. I recently had a layover in Detroit and ordered a peanut butter sandwich from a vendor called PB&J. While I was waiting for my sandwich I spyed a sign that declared, “Our butters are made with peanuts,” and continued on with a warning for those who might be allergic. Hmmm. Imagine that – peanut butter made with peanuts!

  129. “So. Your friend *copied* a pattern and sent it to you. Yes, you bought the pattern. But.. if I bought a pattern of yours and lost it, and asked someone to take a picture of the chart and send it to me, it would be copyright infringement, yea?”
    Um, no, this isn’t copyright infringement. Juno took a photo of *Stephanie’s* copy of the pattern, which Stephanie owned and had every right to copy. You can always make a copy of your *own* pattern to work from, that is completely legal! It’s when you copy someone else’s, or give a copy of your pattern to someone else, that you are violating copyright.
    BTW, for anyone who wants their OWN copy of this pattern, you can download it for free at http://mimknits.com/shop/index.php?main_page=document_product_info&cPath=69&products_id=199

  130. You do know that the person who comes up with that strategy will be summarily struck down by the knitting gods before they can share their brilliance with the world, right?

  131. Is that wheat beer with citrus I see? I am purely green with envy!
    When I got my braces on, I felt like a shark (an extra row or two of teeth) Then when I got them off, I felt toothless and strange. She looks great! Here’s to an unencumbered mouth!

  132. Nice smile Meg, now tell your mom you want the shawl as a “debracing” present! And Stephanie, sorry we missed you in Philly (darn flat tire!), but — did you get your vegetarian cheesesteak?

  133. Alright, Meg! Aren’t debraced teeth slimy? Just right for eating “raw” salad!

  134. OMG!!! I don’t know if she realizes it yet or not but my Daughter’s Birthday and yours is the same. JUNE 14th! She was due June 21st but she had the urge and was born a week early. I would like to say she had little knitting needles in her hands but that came later! She’ll be so excited when she discovers this! WOW! Who knew!

  135. I work for an orthodontist and many of our mom’s knit in the waiting room while the kids are in for their appointments. I get some of the best patterns and inspiration that way. It almost feels like I’m not working!

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