My current work in progress:

1. Strandwanderer, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Wollmeise Merino "Pure" in the "Zenzi" colorway on a 3.25 mm (U.S. size 3) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Block? What’s That?

Yesterday Cheryl asked in my comments:

Wendy, do you use a wooly board for your sweaters or just wash and lay flat somewhere? I’m sure you’ve covered your blocking procedures before but I missed them.–Block before steeking (especially Dales?)–or just throw caution to the wind (like no swatching).

I’ve probably never covered my blocking procedures because I don’t really block.

Dale of Norway sweaters get a light once-over with a steam iron before I stitch the steeks, and again after I sew in the sleeves. Fair isles get the same treatment, though I steam the steek areas a bit more to encourage the fibers to felt before I cut them.

Arans are never even in the same room as my steam iron.

I have really, really even tension so I never need to block. I’m sorry.

Mouse-along Gallery Update

Oh my gosh, but there are some cute photos in the gallery! I love seeing everyone’s kitties enjoying their mice. The action shots are great, and my hat is off to those of you who can take a good photo of your kitty in motion. I sure can’t.

Roscalie

Yes, I am still knitting Roscalie, but I’m not spending a whole heckuva lot of time on it each day. But you haven’t had an update photo for a couple days, so here ya go!

roscalie may22 Block? Whats That?

I’m still a few inches from armhole steeks.

You can see how helpful Lucy is being!

lucymay2203 Block? Whats That?

Poetry in Stitches Kit

Yes, my Poetry in Stitches kit arrived on Tuesday. No, I did not open it and fondle the yarn until last night. Yes, I might be crazy.

But I opened it last night.

pisyarn Block? Whats That?

Vanessa asked how the yarn feels. It’s Hifa 2, and it’s more firm and crisp than soft. I’ll be really interested to see how it knits up. I may have to knit this next . . .

Lucy sez

lucymay2203a Block? Whats That?

Meow, baby! Do I have a sweet tail or what??!!

The Mouse Goes On

Some of you have already sent me photos of your kitties enjoying their mice. Thanks! There’s a link to the Mouse-along Gallery in the sidebar, so check it out. There are some really cute photos there that are guaranteed to make you smile, no matter how sucky a day you’re having! I’ll be updating as the photos come in, but if I get alot at one time, it could take me a while to get them all posted. But I will . . . eventually.

Here is Lucy’s mouse before sewing or stuffing.

mousemay2103 The Mouse Goes On

And here it is sewn up, being played with by Lucy.

lucymay2103 The Mouse Goes On

And being used as a pillow by Lucy.

lucymay2103a The Mouse Goes On

She very graciously played with it (and slept on it) all evening, taking time out from playing with the toys that Aunt Lolly sent her last week (which she has been playing with nonstop since receiving!)

Bloggie Bye-Bye to Kate

Last week Mama Kate announced that she’s taking a possibly permanent break from blogging. I’ve been thinking about it for a few days, and about the future of blogs in general. As I surf around the knitblogs, I see some people talking about blog blahs. I know the feeling — I go through periods when I’m burned out and feel as though I have nothing blog-worthy to say. I’m sorry to see that others are going through this too. I’ll miss you, Kate. I would not have gotten to know you if not for blogging. I hope you’ll come back someday but even if you don’t, the knitblogging community is a better place because you were here and helped start it all.

Lookie What I Got!

This came in the mail on Tuesday. Ooh! Ooh! I can’t hardly wait . . .

pis The Mouse Goes On

And this came in the mail yesterday:

brownies The Mouse Goes On

A box that was on the outside marked “Killer Brownie” from Teresa. YUM and thanks!

Lucy’s Roots

Yesterday in a comment, Marta suggested that Lucy might be a Ragdoll. I looked up the breed description and it sure does fit Lucy in both physical description and personality. So as far as I’m concerned, Lucy is a Ragdoll. Not that it matters, but maybe Lucy feels better, having a sense of her own identity. Ya know?

The Great Mouse-Along!

Marit was kind enough to make three Mouse-Along buttons for us. If any of you want to put one on your blog, help yourself. Please save the graphic to your own server rather than just link to it here — I’m using up enough bandwidth as it is!

Here they are:

mouse along The Great Mouse Along!

and

mouse along1 The Great Mouse Along!

and my personal favorite:

mouse along2 The Great Mouse Along!

How could I not love a button where I can see my sweet little Lucy peeking out at me?

Mouse-Along Pattern

It’s here, as well as being linked to from the Mouse-Along button in my sidebar.

I started knitting my mouse. As I said, I’m using Brown Sheep Naturespun in a color called, appropriately enough, Cat Blue. I’m using US size 5 needles to knit.

mousemay2003 The Great Mouse Along!

The pattern I wrote up has a seed stitch panel on either side of a simple 6 stitch cable. But you can be adventuresome! Knit one up according ot the pattern. Substitute a different cable pattern in the center and make another one. And so on . . .

Roi has already completed a mouse and emailed me a photo of her kitty, Frazier, enjoying it! I’ll start the gallery page today and post it — there’ll be a link from the sidebar.

If you send a photo, please include any info you’d like me to add as a caption, and if you have a blog or site, let me know the url so I can link to it. Thanks!

Just a Suggestion . . .

These little mousies knit up quickly. If you enjoy the process and want to experiment with different center cables, knit up some extras! You could donate them to your local shelter or rescue organization.

Good Kitty Karma

lucymay2003 The Great Mouse Along!

Are y’all sick of hearing me blather on about Lucy yet? If not, read on.

The other night I discovered, to my very great delight, that Lucy will happily lie in my lap while I knit, even allowing my WIP to rest on her. Not only does she not complain, but she seems to like it, if the purring is any indication.

She seems completely oblivious to my knitting unless I happen to dangle the working yarn right in front of her face. Then she’ll try to catch it.

What a great kitty!

Roscalie Ravings

Now that I’ve got a bit of Roscalie completed, I can take a good look at it and tell you what I think about the colors in this version (knitted from Virtualyarns 2-ply Hebridean) as opposed to the original (knitted in Scottish Campion? J&S? I forget. And Lucy’s in my lap so I can’t go get the book to check).

I am making the Roscalie cardigan. Virtualyarns sent me the color patterncard for the Roscalie vest, along with an insert with instructions that revise the vest pattern into a cardi.

The photo on the patterncard is of the vest, knitted in the exact colors that I’m knitting my cardi in. And is unfortunately often the case with Virtualyarns, I don’t think the photo on the patterncard accurately depicts the colors. In the photo, the whole vest looks much more “orangey” than it does in person.

Teresa, did you find this to be true? I went back to your blog to see once again the photo of your finished Roscalie vest, but couldn’t get access your archives.

In my opinion, the colors of my Roscalie look much more like the original photo in In the Hebrides, but richer, more glowing colors. But that of course could just be bad photo reproduction in the book.

So I looked at Geane’s Roscalie, which she knitted from presumably the original yarn. (Didja, Geane?)

roscalie may19 Roscalie Ravings

Very close indeed, I think.

Catnip Mouse Knit-along

So when do you guys wanna start knitting? I think most of us are ready, right? I can post the basic pattern tomorrow and you all can jump in when you’re ready.

Here are my supplies.

Some Brown Sheep Naturespun wool, a tub o’ catnip, and a 16 inch circular needle in US size 5.

catnipmouse Roscalie Ravings

Oh, and if you don’t cable without a needle, you’ll need a cable needle as well. And a tapestry needle for sewing up the mouse after knitting it.

We’ll be knitting back and forth, so you don’t need a circular — straights are fine. And the size is not hugely important. Just go down a couple of needle sizes from what you usually use for worsted. I generally knit Naturespun with a US size 7, so I’ll be using a size 5.

I usually buy Cosmic Catnip, but this little tub of catnip looked intriguing — bought it in PetsMart over the weekend. We’ll see how Miss Lucy likes it.

I plan to make a catnip mouse gallery page, so when you’ve finished your mouse, you can send me a photo for the gallery if you like. If you can photograph your kitty with the mouse, that’s great too!

Lucy

lucymay1903 Roscalie Ravings

Yesterday was the first sunny afternoon since Lucy came home, so I was able to clearly photograph her sweet little face.

Contest Winner!

Here are all the license plate suggestions I got. Thank you for playing — there are a lot of really cute suggestions here!

And the winner is (selected using a random number generator):

Sara Ellis, who sent in:

YOplate Contest Winner!

Sara wins the Knitty license plate frame and bumper sticker. Congratulations to Sara, and thanks to everyone who played.

(Sara, I emailed you Friday night — email me your snail mail addy and I’ll get your prize to you asap.)

Aran Catnip Mouse Knit-along

Wow! I’m so happy that so many of you want to join in on this and make a gift for your furry friends. Lucy is psyched about it too!

Okay, here’s some preliminary info on the catnip mouse.

I’m going to design my own mouse. I’ve been knitting catnip mice for my kitties since I was a teenager, and they were always gratefully received, so I’m an experienced Mouse Knitter.

I always use wool (because every cat I’ve known loves wool), but if your cat shows a marked preference for a certain yarn, by all means use it.

For this knit along, I’d like to use a worsted weight wool, so we’ll all be on the same page and not have to re-figure the design for a bunch of different gauges. After you make your initial mouse, you can experiment with different yarns and gauges.

Although we’ll be using worsted wool, we’ll be knitting it at a tighter than usual gauge. This is to make the mouse more durable, as it is likely to become your kitty’s favorite toy and we’d like it to last longer than a few days!

My plan is for a mouse with a center cable running the length of the body, with seed stitch panels on each side. We can all pick different cables for the center motif — during the course of the project I’ll offer some cable suggestions.

So for today, we can talk about yarn and catnip. I’m going to use Brown Sheep Naturespun worsted. I’ve got some left over from other projects . You only need a little bit to knit a mouse — this is a great way to use up small leftovers!

As for the stuffing . . . I’ll use some catnip I bought at PetsMart, but really, any catnip will work. I know Lisak has some killer weed — she stuffed the mouse she sent to Izzy in January with it and I can attest to it’s potency! If you’ve got home-grown, use it!

Official St. Moritz Photos

For L-B, who asked very nicely, we did the St. Moritz photo shoot. Photos are on the official St. Moritz page.

But here I am in the elevator, on the way to the photo shoot!

stmoritzb Contest Winner!

Lucy

Lucy had a great weekend. She now has her daddy wrapped around her paw. Here she is, in Ian’s lap:

lucymay1803b Contest Winner!

And of course she wants you all to see her pretty blue eyes:

lucymay1803a Contest Winner!

She also met her “grandparents” this weekend, my mom and dad. I think she was in my mother’s lap, purring, within 90 seconds of meeting her. And she proved once again what a remarkable kitty she is: she quite obviously understood when my dad spoke to her in Swedish!

Last but not least . . .

Roscalie.

roscalie may18 Contest Winner!

We had a really busy weekend, but I managed to do a bit of knitting. I’ll discuss Roscalie and how I think it differs from the colors used in the original design at more length tomorrow.