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When Radmilla answered the door, she saw the same small cat that had visited previously. “What do you want?” she barked. “I’m very busy. I must have this piece finished by tomorrow, and then there is even more work to be done after that.” “I was only on my way through the village,” said the cat. “It’s so cold out, and I wondered if perhaps I might stay the night here.” Radmilla gave a heavy sigh. “Fine,” she said, “but I must get back to work”.
The cat followed her in and sat on her bed. “That’s my brand new blanket!” shrieked Radmilla. “Don’t ruin it with your claws.” The cat, who had done no such thing, jumped off the bed quickly and went over to a rocking chair to settle down. “That’s expensive yarn in that basket,” Radmilla said, pointing to the basket at the side of the chair. “Be careful not to touch it!” The cat looked startled. “I’m a bit thirsty,” said the cat. “Could I have some water?” Radmilla groaned, “In a minute, let me finish this repeat first.” But Radmilla finished that repeat and the next and the next. She only stopped to chide the cat about this and that, but never actually brought the water. Finally, the cat stood up and walked towards the door. “I see that your success has ruined your good heart,” said the cat. “I will not take back the gift I gave you, but I will modify it. From now on, some of your swatches will lie.” With that, the cat stalked out.
What the cat said came true. Some of Radmilla’s swatches would giver her directions that were fine, but others would lie. They would tell her to cast on 140 stitches when she really needed 123. Or the swatch would give instructions for a sweater, but it would turn out 3 sizes too small. Radmilla never knew which swatches were lying and which were telling the truth until she was far into a project. And so it is to this day- some gauge swatches give us valuable information and others lie.
Morals of the story:
Gauge swatches lie.
Don’t be haughty.
Don’t mess with cats.