My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Mousies Ahoy!

I’m already getting lots of emails requesting my address so you can send me completed mousies. Wow! I think we’re going to have a lot of rodents to donate!

In the interests of keeping Lucy’s spirit of generosity intact, it’s a good thing that I have a guestroom where I can store incoming mice and keep the door shut. This is the room where most of my stash resides, so I keep the door shut anyhow. Lucy is pretty good about not messing with my yarn, but I don’t want to put temptation in her path!


And she looks so innocent, doesn’t she?

As I receive mice from you all, I’ll post at the end of my blog entry who I received mice from the previous day (first name and city only) — that way you’ll know your package reached me.

And don’t forget — if you can’t get catnip where you are, or if you live outside the U.S. and are concerned about mailing catnip, let me know — I’ll put you in touch with Jen, our wonderful Volunteer Mouse Stuffer. She’ll stuff the empty mice you send her and mail them to me.

I’ve got an extremely warm fuzzy feeling about this project!

Ian and I discussed how to package the mice and he came up with a great idea. Yesterday I ordered a case of 4″ by 6″ ziplock plastic bags, 4 mil thick. These will make perfect mouse packaging, keeping them fresh, but displayng them nicely. Now I need to design a label that has the pertinent information — handknit mouse, made from wool or wool-blend yarn, stuffed with catnip. I’m going to do my durndest to get a good photo of Lucy with her mouse, so she can be the covergirl for the label. I think 3.5″ diskette labels that come on sheets that I can run through my printer will be just the right size.

I have a feeling that Ian and I are going to spend more than a few evenings sticking on labels and putting mice in bags. It’s gonna be fun!


I’ve got a fair amount done on the second sleeve, so the end is in sight! I ought to be able to finish up Frogner by the endof the week.

I can tell you now . . . the next project will be texture, not colorwork.

Ah, but what pattern?

I’m not telling.

Just for grins, I’ll post progress photos each day and see how it takes before someone figures out what it is.

Yes, I can be very annoying at times!

But I Will Show You . . .

The Opal Inspiration color #5026 socks. They even match!


That’s the second pair in a row that I’ve gotten to match perfectly. I’m leading a charmed life.


  1. Wendy – thanks for the address. I have just received the Dale book 109 and see I have Frogner as well as the flower cardigan! I am wondering if I could use the Scottish steek method for doing the Dales as I do like a more shaped armhole and it’s nice not to have to sew the sleeves in. I shall do the three needle bind off for the shoulders. What do you think? Can you see any snags? Thanks for the link BTW as the book came very quickly – I shall be using Bea again, and again, and again!

  2. Vera, I did a three-needle bind-off on Frogner’s shoulders.

    I think you can do a Scottish steek as long as yu remember that the Norwegian wool isn’t as sticky as shetland, and your steeks will need more finishing than a shetland steek would. I’d recommend machine stitching them in an overcast stitch close to the cut edge — or you could do something like that by hand if you don’t have a machine.

  3. P.S. Bea Ellis is wonderful! I don’t endorse very many vendors, but I’ve always received excellent, friendly service from her, so she is on my “Highly Recommend” list!

  4. Ha! Take that, barf-globs!

  5. Are globs and blogs related?They have the all the same letters in them. A little knitting trivia this morning.
    Lucy, it doesn’t sound like you are going to be quality control cat on this project. I have this vision of Lucy breaking into the “mouse-room” and coming out stoned with wool fibers and catnip clinging to all of the fur on her face. Oye, another Shanda!!
    Just what does one wear to a Kitty Rave??


  6. “Just what does one wear to a Kitty Rave??”

    A leopard print catsuit, of course! 😉

  7. Wendy,
    Many thanks to you and Ian for the all work you’re doing on the mouse project. With all the talk of the Iraq War, it’s wonderful to be able to focus on something so positive. My love to Lucy!

  8. My Molly thought she was helping the cause—she dropped a dead mouse at my feet this morning. I told her that’s not what you had in mind!

  9. L-B, I’m glad you set Molly straight!

  10. Wendy – I really love those Opal socks. Inspiration was a good name for that yarn! Have a great day!

  11. Denise Dodd says:

    Could you please email me your snail mail addy? The link to email you does not function from my work computer (I get an error message) and I would dearly love to send some handspun, handknit mouseys.
    I have a six-pack of rescue kitties, and yes, I’m doing it for them!
    Denise and the six pack
    Tessa (Tortie)
    Salem (Tuxedo)
    Carmen (Maine Coon)
    April (Grey Tabby)
    Sootz (Black terror on four paws)
    and the Baby, Zeus (another black kitty, the monster purr machine)

  12. I am close to completing a baby Dale sweater cardigan!!! I cut the center steek and have already completed the button band side (edge, picot and facing). Although I only did a 4 stitch steek as suggested in the pattern (never again!) the button band feels so thick. I am now concerned about the button hole band. How do you cope with the thickness of the finished facings? I would really appreciate advice from Wendy or her many experienced readers. Thanks!

  13. Purl, on Frogner I trimmed the steek close to the machine stitching after knitting the bands. I did do extra steek stitches on the front openings because I don’t like picking up stitches with such a tiny steek. But I did machine stitch close to the “pick-up line” so when I trimmed the steek it did cut down some on the bulk.

  14. Michelle B. Canada says:

    Hi Wendy;

    I took your toe-up sock pattern on vacation along with Opal Inspiration yarn (#5028)and after a few false starts – I was humming along (thanks for posting it). I do wonder though if you have any tips as to where best to start the sock in terms of the colour progression. I noticed that since this is toe – up, the two colour bands around the toes won’t match (top and bottom) once they’re joined.

    How do you decide where in the yarn to start knitting a toe up sock when it’s self striping?


  15. Thanks for your advice Wendy. I will never again use only 4 steek stitches. As I picked up, I noticed a bit of unraveling that I quickly caught. I was cautious and didn’t want to add more steek stitches for fear that I would not have enough yarn.

  16. The socks look fabulous! I’ll have to hunt down some Opal. They’re absolutely gorgeous, just like Lucy.

  17. Michelle, it takes a bit of luck to find a good place to start the striping. Generally I pull out a bit from the skein so I can see where the colors change and of course start the sock at the beginning of a color change. If I’m using 2 50 gram balls, I pull them both out at the same time, and mark the starting place on the second ball for the second sock so I don’t forget.

  18. I have a pair of 8 year old beginning knitters (twins), and around here barf-globs are a serious problem & NOT a joke with them (although I think it is funny when someone hollers “barf-glob!”). I always tell my boys to be gentle with their yarn when they encounter barf globs…sometimes this is a tough one when they get frustrated, as kids do…

    We’re all making mice!

  19. Hey, hey Wendy…. I got six mousies done and I must admit I did make a few for the vet (Sam has been having some “issues” that has us at the vet about once a month).

    Do you need another volunteer “stuffer”? I’d be more than happy to stuff mice for you and send them your way (I’ve got more than enough catnip for my ranch cats (got them from a horse ranching friend at 8 weeks)! Just email me with your response and I will send my snail mail to you!

    Sam send his love to Lucy…. Loves her Sandra Bernhardt pose!!! Mags is a bit miffed that he has found another interest!

  20. Oh. . . what’s wrong with Sam, Rose? I have to take Rio to the vet every month too. We use to take him once a week until we got his diabetes under control. Hope Sam’s doing well.

    I made 3 cat nip mice yesterday, but my kitties claimed them all :c( I tried to keep the toys away from the cats, but they’re terribly smart and sneaky. They can open doors, cabinets, and tear open plastic bags. Bleh, I need to buy locks.

    Ah well, now that they each have stolen a toy :cP, perhaps I can knit with out worries.

  21. Ingrid Ulbrich says:

    I’m about to start my first mouse! I’ll be sending some for the Mouse-a-thon, but I think that my cat, my mom’s cats, and a few other local cats will get first dibs. About how much catnip does each mouse take? Or, if I buy half an ounce of catnip, how many mice will that fill?

    This will be my first actual cabling project, and I’m going to take the “look, Ma, no cable needle!” approach (which my Ma does, in fact, recommend).

  22. Of course it depends on big your mice are and how tightly you stuff ’em. But I have a half ounce tub of catnip here I’m looking at and I’d say 4 – 6 mice maybe?

    Anyone else have an opinion?

  23. Thanks for the concern! Let’s just say, we don’t know what he has. We’ve done everything we can think of with Sam…. Ultrasound, x-rays, bloodwork, urine samples (we call him the world’s most expensive cat)…. The doctors say as long as he has a good appetite, not losing weight, and is for the most part happy, we are supposed to not worry too much… WHATEVER.

    Wendy and the many others…. I went to the park today and did my knitting (Lily Chin’s reversible cable shawl in Kidsilk Haze) while my daughter played away and I noticed I got a few negative looks from women, like my knitting is so passe or old fashioned. But then a woman who was in her 70’s asked what I was making and I struck up a conversation with me, when I said ‘fiber arts’ as opposed to the word knitting, then did the others seems intrigued. (I must say I cannot help but be real snooty and say out loud that I don’t like to be a generic ‘Gap, Banana Republic’ mom that everyone gets sucked into wearing. [Which is basically about 90% of those women were wearing.]) Does anyone get this vibe from people? Seems to me I get this from people around my age (I’m 32). I get lots of positive response from people clearly from Asia or Europe. Maybe I should move out of Seattle….

  24. Wendy, I sent you a reply via email!

  25. Loretta Katt says:

    Rose – I’m not surprised that you got negative looks while knitting something from Lily Chin. That woman is a total wanker; did you see that total piece of crap she knitted on your David Letterman show a month or so ago?

  26. Thanks for the advice Wendy – that’s just what I’ll do.