So maybe I have a problem

Knitting and crochet seem like such innocent pursuits, don’t they ?

but nobody tells you about the dark, hidden underworld

where yarn purveyors tempt you with luscious colours and textures

and diabolical designers break your resolve with their tempting designs

the stash grows

the magazines

and books

and computer printouts

and PDFs on your eReader

and then when you think you can sink no lower, an evil temptress a friend introduces you to the even murkier sub-culture of the testknitter.

It seems innocent enough at first

“Who would like to knit up this pattern for me and let me know if there are any changes that need to be made ?”

“You get the pattern ahead of almost everyone else, and free … all you need to do is knit it up by such and such a date, post a picture and give me feedback”

What nobody tells you is how damn addictive those test patterns are.

Perhaps I should’ve realised with that first test for YarnMadness’ Baby Bolero when I made three of them before I could stop myself

or maybe when I jumped straight into her Baby Bubble vest.

or how much I agonised over not being able to fit in her current temptation

but this week I really discovered the depths to which I had sunk


It’s just one little lace shawl. Where’s the harm in a little bit of wool? and silk? and cashmere ?

Well, I have to tell you that this seemingly harmless pattern [ which is totally logical and well written I hasten to add ] has nearly driven me to the brink.

January 17 – I cast on and power through the first repetition of the lace, only to have one of the flowers mysteriously fall apart in my hands

NOTE TO SELF: when executing multiple increases into the same stitch [ make 4s and 7s ] it’s not enough to pack those 7 stitches on there. You need to make sure that you catch each and every one of them on the next row. Miss just one and kablooey!

January 19 [ I think ] start over again after pulling out about 3000 stitches.

I resist the temptation to hit the Bailey’s bottle … or the Valium [ score one point for me ]

Knit obsessively until lace is finished, retire to my virtuous bed and arise on the morning of

January 20 to discover that one of the resident felines has managed to drag it off the needles and has redecorated the livingroom.

Attempt to calm jangled nerves with another quick hit – these adorable knitted and felted slippers by Anne-Lise [ravlink to pattern]

January 21 –  cravings temporarily assuaged so it’s back into the shawl


no pile of wool,silk and casmere is going to whup my … ahem … rear.

I am aware that shawl knitting during a week long heatwave is probably not the sanest of pursuits [ see notes above re the addictive nature of testknitting ]


SO worth it

and greater love hath no DD than that she model woolly things in the middle of a searing hot day.


11 thoughts on “So maybe I have a problem

  1. Lynne says:

    And very pretty it is too!

  2. Maria says:

    Gosh, sounds insane, but so worth it!

  3. Tracy says:

    I have had this problem often. In fact, I had this problem with the headband you posted a patter for. I was mixing up the British and American instructions. Drove me crazy for a few days. I never knew that there were different abbreviations And it really drives me nuts when I have this problem with my cross stitching. Such is our lot in life. LOL

  4. Jean says:

    What a beautiful pattern – and such a lovely daughter.

  5. Holly says:

    Turned out beautiful, where can I get the pattern?

    • catsmum says:

      Hi holly
      she hasn’t released it yet – English is not the designer’s first language so there’s some tweaking going on, which is one of the many reasons we were testknitting.
      I will be sure to post a link once the pattern becomes available.

  6. gayle says:

    I did a test-knit for a friend – dropping everything and knitting her pattern when I already didn’t have time to knit the projects I was working on at the time. You’re right – test knitting is very seductive…

  7. RoseRed says:

    Oh, I think there may have been a spot of cat murder in my house if that had happened to me! Such beautiful work, what a lovely pattern. And the yarn sounds divine.

  8. Oh, it is just beautiful, and well worth all the effort !!

  9. oh, the beauty of it. I would not have had the patience though….well done…

  10. Bells says:

    totally worth it. What a stunning piece!

    And I think lace is the ONLY thing to knit in a heatwave!

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