My current work in progress:

Rona, by Alice Starmore, knit from Alice Starmore Hebridean 2-Ply, using 3.25mm needles.

Archives for October 2003

October Contest!

The October contest is all about socks.

Here’s what you have to do:

Email me (“Contact Me” link in the sidebar) the URL of your favorite free sock pattern on the internet (apart from my free pattern, of course!) with a brief description of the pattern.

Please, just one email with one URL per person.

Doing this will earn you an entry in the drawing for this:


A kit to knit llama socks!

The kit was generously donated by Jo in NYC — thanks Jo!

Kureyon Striping

Thanks y’all for telling me your experiences with color striping in Kureyon yarn. It seems to be all over the map. I think I’ll stick to using Kureyon for felted bags and other small projects only, as the randomness of the striping would drive me batty knitting a sweater.

Interestingly, several of you reported a lot of “organic” matter in Kureyon. Of the three skeins I’ve used so far, there was nary a bit of anything in it but wool. Huh.

But I did (cough, cough) buy more. Here’s what my next Booga bag will be knitted from, color #88:


And I scored a bag of 10 skeins on eBay for a nice low price (50 bucks) so everyone will be getting Booga Bags for Christmas! Ian, I hope you like yours!

Just kidding.

And Margaret in Manhatten sent me a photo of some yummy Kureyon she’s using — Color #51. So now I need this, too.


Must . . . buy . . . more . . . Kureyon . . .

And Speaking of Booga Bags . . .

Here is mine in its pre-felted state.


Because today is a government holiday (and it didn’t come a moment too soon) I will be felting it today. Fun fun fun! Can’t wait to see how it turns out.


Jenny writes:

A question (or two): I was thinking about you last night as I was knitting on my St. Ciaran Starmore design. (I’ve only been knitting about a year and this is my first Aran project.)

First Question: Have you ever knitted this design? (I didn’t see it on your gallery page, but I know you’ve been knitting longer than you’ve been blogging!)

Second Question: You’ve said that you have a photographic memory and can often memorize the Aran patterns fairly quickly. Now, can you memorize them quickly because of the exceptional brain in your head, or is it something that just comes with experience, with learning how all the cables work together?

Right now I’m beginning to think that you are a knitting goddess, as with the St. Ciaran I have to have my pattern with me at all times, each step of the way!

Okay, you knew I had to post that because of the phrase Jenny used: “the exceptional brain in your head.” That should now read “the exceptional brain in your swelled head.”

Answer to first question — I haven’t knitted St. Ciaran.

Answer to second question — um . . . all of the above.

Yeah, I’m intelligent. I am a member of Mensa and I didn’t even cheat on the IQ test to get in. But I sort of consider myself an idiot savant when it comes to my memory. I have a photographic memory about some things and I’m a total drooling moron about others.

In thinking about it, most of the stuff I remember perfectly is visual stuff. Like charts. Remember the Dark Side of the Moon sweater I posted a photo of a few months back? I created the chart for that with colored pencils on graph paper. I didn’t keep the charts, but I can see them in my mind’s eye as clear as day, down to variaitions in the pencil strokes. There is no doubt in my mind that I could sit down and draw the chart again if I wanted to (I don’t).

So any sweater I’ve knitted from a chart that has a repeating pattern, be it cables or fair isle, I could probably re-create from memory. I think the way I memorize charts is from the logic of the design — if that makes any sense. Once memorized, it’s probably stuck in my brain forever.

Now I did not commit totally to memory the chart for the Virgin Sweater — that’s a non-repeating chart. And now that I think of it, same for most of the Dale Olympic sweaters. The ones that have a complicated yoke pattern. I sort of switch my brain off for those, because I know that memorizing won’t do me any good. When I knit stuff like that, I do more or less memorize one row at a time, but I seem able to erase each row as I complete it.

Okay, I just said the photographic memory bit is mostly for visual stuff. But I remember every phone number I’ve ever had from childhood on. I remember the entirety of my second grade Christmas pageant that I had to memorize when I was 7 years old. I can recite the rock opera Tommy from start to finish (and did on a bet from my brother when we were drunk one New Year’s Eve. He was impressed.)

So there you have it. A peek into Wendy’s brain. Is anyone else as frightened as I?

Betsey asked:

Great tattoo, Wendy. Where do you have it?

It’s no my right shoulder blade and has been there a little over four years.

Pamela asks:

Lucy is a real cutie and much more photogenic than my little cat Pushkin.
How do you get her to stay still????

I get Lucy to stay still by pointing a camera at her and crooning “Who’s Mommy’s widdle cutie-wootie puddy-tat?”

Lucy usually stops what she’s doing and stares at me — probably in disbelieve at the inanity of my conversation and the nauseating tone of voice I use.


Hey Kathy, remember at the cottage last summer when you all laughed at me for saying to Suki “Who’s a cute widdle doggie-woggie?”

Do you also remember that Suki was gazing at me with rapt attention? Huh?


We delivered two more shopping bags of mousies to Barbara on Saturday. And this weekend I received mousies from KeriAnne in Northampton, MA and Christina in Arlington, VA. Thank you both!

Mouse-a-thon Raffle!

The drawing for the raffle will be done next weekend! So the wait is almost over.

PiS Sweater

Some progress over the weekend. Lookie here:


A Kureyon Question

A question for you Kureyon veterans out there.

I’m well into the second skein of Kureyon on my bag. Much to my surprise, a new color appeared in the striping that wasn’t in the first ball. They are the same color, same dye lot.


See the chatreuse stripe near the bottom? It doesn’t appear in the second skein. See the light blue stripe near the top? It doesn’t appear in the first skein.

What’s with that? Is this normal for Kureyon?

And I did notice that of the three skeins I have, they all start in different places in the striping sequence. Now with self-striping yarn for socks, I just pull out a few yards until the skeins match, but I can’t see doing that with Kureyon, as the striping sequence may be way off. And there’s only 110 yards per skein of Kureyon.

Is this supposed to be this way and are you to just ignore it and take whatever patterning it gives you? It doesn’t really matter for the bag, but I would think this would be annoying for a sweater.

Please enlighten this Kureyon virgin.

Mouse News

Mousies from Michele in Austin, TX (and thanks so much for the tea!) and mousies from Kim in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Thank you thank you!!

PiS Qs and As

Linda M. asked:

Are you going to use the velvet trim around the neck?

A very timely question, Linda, as I’ve just started pondering that. What I think I’m going to do is finish the neck with i-cord in the burgundy wool. It’ll sort of give the same look as the narrow velvet ribbon.

Karen asked:

Are the mustard yellow and red yarns on the bottom going to show once the sweater has been completed? They don’t seem to go with the rose/fuschia/green tones, at least to me …

Well, no, they don’t seem to go with the rest of the sweater, do they? But if you look at a photo of the completed design, it all works. At least I think so.

Other Q&A

Ruth D. asked:

I wonder what would you suggest for a first ARAN pattern? I am willing to learn charts – but – I don’t know what would be an easy first Aran.

If you have Alice Starmore’s Aran Knitting book, I highly recommend Na Craga. The cables are relatively simple so the charts are easy to follow. And the resulting sweater is gorgrous. I’ve made three of them, one in Brown Sheep Naturespun worsted and two in no-name aran weight wool. All turned out lovely.

Suzanne asked:

Have you seen the rat on your way to work lately Wendy?

Eeek! Ratzilla! No, I haven’t seen him in a while, but the other day I heard some suspicious rustling in the bushes as I was walking past . . .

Cute Sweater!

I asked Jenny in Davis, CA if I could post a photo of an adorable baby sweater she has made and here it is:


Jenny says:

The pattern is from Dale of Norway Dalegarn Baby Book #72 – it’s old, I think from 1995! Here is a link to the booklet on Velona needlecraft’s site (they are in California, i think).

Anyway: It was done on size 1 circular/dpns all in “baby ull”; the brown and green were not the same as the pattern called for but I substituted a close color for each from baby ull and it was fine (I don’t have the numbers unfortunately). It was a gift for a colleague who’s baby is due in 2 months. made in 6 month size, but beware, I think it’s way too big for a 6 month old even though my measurements and gauge were correct… hmmmmm….

Cute Lucy Story

Yesterday I had time to do a few rounds on my Booga Bag at lunchtime. As I was putting my knitting back in the bag afterwards, I saw that Lucy had put one of her toys in my bag.

All together now:



October Contest

Seems like it’s time for a contest. Watch this space Monday!

Speaking of Contests . . .

Ooh! Ooh! I won Rachael’s contest!

One More Thing

Thanks to M, of Hairball, who was the first to alert me to an article about knitting blogs in the Vogue Knitting Holiday edition. Gotta run out and get it this weekend!

Bag It!

A bit more progress on my Kureyon bag, even though I worked through lunch yesterday so there was no lunchtime knitting (insert major whining sounds here). And the train was too crowded to knit on the way home.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that federal govt. employees don’t work for a living. This one does.

By the way, the first skein of Kureyon I used had no knots, and so far the second one doesn’t either. (This in response to a commenter who reported “knotty” Kureyon.) I guess it’s the luck of the draw.

And I . . . ahem . . . ordered more Kureyon in color #88 to make another bag. Tee hee.

And I am using a 24″ Addi turbo to knit the bag. Who’da thunk I would have had an Addi turbo in size 10.5? I don’t think I’ve ever used it before. But it’s working out fine — nice smooth join so the stitches slide merrily along.

And the song that’s running through my head as I work on it?

“Kureyon, My Wayward Son”

I sometimes amaze myself.


I have a tad more progress to show you.


It may be boring to knit, but it makes great tv knitting!

Mouse News

The Mousies Receivable Department reports a slowdown in mouse arrival, but I did get a package of mousies from Jenny in Davis, CA. Jenny, I can’t find your email address or I’d be thanking you personally for the box of mouse-shaped chocolate truffles you enclosed in your package.

Y’all are my witnesses that I am going to share them with Ian, Head Mouse-Bagger.

Lucy sez . . .


Will someone play with me . . . please?

Fire Drill

Fire drill at work yesterday and, well-prepared, clever girl that I am, I had the start of my Kureyon bag in my purse. So I KIPed happily while standing outside, waiting for the all-clear to return to work.

My boss was very interested in the whole knitting and felting process, so I promised to bring the bag in to show her after it’s felted. And the head of our agency asked me the difference between knitting and crocheting so I gave him the concise answer and finished it up with “. . . and knitting is far superior.”

He didn’t ask to be taught to knit, however.

So . . . I’m loving making this bag. Once I got over the initial shock of size 10.5 needles (and I was surprised to find that I even owned any) that feel like broomsticks, I’ve gotten into this and am loving how the Kureyon stripes.

Here it is so far:



Had to stay late at work last night, so very little PiS progress. Not photoworthy.

I’ve been asked why I find it boring. Why? Because it’s one motif . . . over and over again. No variety!

But as I said, I think it’s a beautiful sweater and I know I’ll love it when it’s done.

But ooh! Ooh!

Jen updated the Mousemaps!

Lucy is jazzed.


Mousies of the World, Unite!

In response to a reader request last week, Jennifer in Orange CA created some maps to show where n the world all our mousies are from. I present . . .

The Mousemaps!

How cool are these? Thanks so much Jennifer!

If you’ve sent mousies and you see that your state or country is not highlighted, leave a comment (please no emails) and I’ll do my best to update the maps without totally messing up Jennifer’s masterpiece.

And Speaking of Mousies

Mousies received from Kristin in Park Forest, IL, Joanne in Boston, MA, Lisa in Danbury, CT, Stonering in Voncalla, OR, Genia in Crownsville, MD, Danielle in Hayward, CA, Amber in Jamaica Plain, MA, and Johanne in Stockholm Sweden (which means I need to update the map!). Thank you all, and Lucy says thank you for the treats!

Poetry in Stitches

I got a bit more done on this.


I think it’s a very pretty sweater, but it’s not terribly exciting to knit. At least it’s moving along pretty quickly. (And I’m doing floats, no weaving, btw.) I’ll stick with it to completion, because I know once I’m done, I’ll enjoy having the sweater to wear.

Sock Blahs

I think I might abandon my sock in progress because I simply do not like the striping pattern. I love the greens and the browns, but the addition of those two white stripes really bothers me.


Having those white stripes right next to the dark brown ones looks funny to me.

And why knit something you don’t like? Huh?

Particularly when you just got this in the mail:


Ahem. Three skeins of Noro Kureyon in color #52. You know what this is for, don’t you? This!

I’m making it for my friend Odie for Christmas. And will possibly make one or two more, too.

The List of Blogs I Read

Every now and then, someone asks me how I find time to read all those blogs in the list to the right (picture me gesturing to the right, okay?) everyday. I don’t. I try to check in on each of those blogs at least once a week, but sometimes it’s once every two weeks.

Just in case you wondered . . .

Lucy Sezs:


Just hanging around here!