My current work in progress:

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


A Lesson for All Knitters

I got this sad story from Andrea via email yesterday:

This is your yarn:


This is your yarn on cats:


Any questions???

(Moral of the story, keep that yarn locked up, no matter how well-behaved your pets appear to be.)

I purchased 2 skeins of “Digit” yarn from Nancy’s Knitknacks (.com) which is a washed wool (they take a Jagger-spun yarn, wash it to slightly full it, then re-skein it). I foolishly left them out on the kitchen counter last night, and my husband brought up the second skein this morning. Apparently my 3 ruffians were wilding last night, and I never even knew it. Fortunately, the skein was still tied, so it straightened out just fine with a few good tugs. Let this be a lesson to us all!

Thanks, Andrea!

Speaking of sad stories, I’ve heard from some of you that your cat friends are not very charitable! It seems that they have been helping themselves to mice that are supposed to go to help poor little orphan kitties.

I hope these shenanigans don’t give Lucy ideas . . .

It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Humidity

It may be trite, but it’s true! The temperatures in the DC area are only in the 80s this week but Jeez! The humidity!

When I go down into the subway to go home in the afternoons it’s almost unbearable. The other day I had to wait 8 minutes for a train and I was gasping for breath by the time it arrived.

I thought hot air rises so it ought to be cool underground. Not.

Lucy knows that the key to being cool is to to remain properly hydrated at all times.


Uh huh. She lolls around in the comfort of her air-conditioned home all day. That’s how she stays cool.

Mystery Aran

I’ll be starting the mystery aran soon! Here’s what I’m using to knit it.


Y’all remember this yarn? Sheepswool from Brunswick. I used to love this stuff. A good basic worsted weight wool with high yardage, reasonably priced, and a nice range of colors. Which of course got discontinued. I found this on eBay a couple of years ago.

Yes, I’m actually using some of my stash yarn! Get me!


Here’s the second sleeve in all its glory:


Mouse-a-thon Update

I received the first mouse package in the mail yesterday! This was from Caroline in Baltimore. Thanks Caroline!

And we have a second Volunteer Mouse Stuffer — thanks Rose!

Yesterday Jessica revised my mouse pattern to make a slightly easier version — there’s a copy posted here. It’s also linked to from the main Mouse-a-thon page.

Thanks Jessica!


  1. katherine: says:

    Hey, is that periwinkle??? I have ten balls of that — I’ve been longing to find just the right project for it, but haven’t found it yet. I will wait with bated breath to see what you do with yours.

    BTW, predicted high here today is 41. Celcius. No idea what that is in F. Hot. Dang hot. I’ve gone to the movies every day this week just to get access to air conditioning…

  2. No the color didn’t reproduce properly — I think it’s called something like “storm heather.” It’s a lot greyer than the photo.

    I saw on the Early Early Early Early Early Show this morning before I left for work that Europe was having a heat wave. Yipes! They said over 100 F.

  3. Mary from MD says:

    The way I figure it, 41C is about 105F. You can fry eggs easily outside on a rock. I like to be warm but that seems like overdoing it, even for me!

  4. I do believe I’m in the twilight zone. I got a surprise package in the mail on Monday for my b-day from another knitter. I set the innocent little skein in my not-so-little candy dish on the bar counter and when I woke up in the morning I saw a sight similar to the second picture…hehe. Max or Pea had decided to initiate the yarn into the household.

    I’m gathering all my scrap yarn to make mousies. It’ll give me something to knit at work for a while. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Come to’s been in the high 70’s to mid 80’s most of the summer..I don’t think we’ve had more than a full week of temps that even got above 92!! Mildest summer I can remember in a LONG time.

  5. katherine says:

    Heat wave is putting it mildly. Of course, I shouldn’t complain too much — we saw a report from Spain the other day, where it was 53 C. I cannot imagine it.

    The worst thing about the heat here is that it’s unrelenting. And we’re being told to expect it to last at least another week. And it’s dead dry, we haven’t had rain in so long it’s not funny.

    We’re already on limited water rationing, but they’ve told us to be prepared to have the water pressure reduced in order to reduce daily consumption .

    Hey, drought, fire, all we need is pestilence and famine .

  6. 102 degrees is our forecasted high for today, however it will be about 60 degrees in February.Both are good mouse knitting weather eh?

  7. Just when I was finally making headway on Fulmar again, now I’m addicted to knitting mousies! The best part is going through leftover stash and bringing back memories of past knitting! Last night I knitted with wool from the first scarf I made for Alex, a hat for an old friend and the first handpaint yarn I ever bought. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Mousies do make great hot weather knitting, Debala!

    Ah, leftover stash memories! I’ll be digging through mine this weekend for my mousies.

  9. Come to Seattle…. We just had heavy rain last night for the first time in god knows how long and has been in the 70’s… Ahhhh…

    I don’t know what’s worse. A kitty pal with a skein of yarn or a toddler with a skein of yarn…. Last time I had an ‘incident’, my little one took a skein of cashmere laceweight (cashmere!!) and decided to ‘decorate’ the chaise lounger. Sam and Maggie were thrilled it wasn’t them this time.

  10. Mary in NY says:

    Thanks, Wendy, for posting the revised mousie pattern. I was actully going to do my second mousie that way. It’s such an easy pattern to do, one can substitute almost anything on those side stitches.

    As for weather, we have temps mostly in the 80’s, but we’ve seen nothing but rain & thunderstorms lately. Ahh, Autumn will be welcome!

  11. Wendala,
    You and Lucy have inspired yet another blog entry. Is that kosher or is that cheating? xoxo cyber yenta

  12. Ah, Debala! I live to be an inspiration! As does Lucy!


  13. My cat doesn’t “wild” the yarn, he does the “wild thing”. He carries it around in his mouth, and then humps it. Was that TMI?????

    Oh… and I foolishly left the bag o’catnip (for the mousies) out on the table. BAD ME BAD ME.

  14. I can see it now . . . all over the world, kitties stealing catnip, stealing mousies. They probably have their own network and are on high alert for catnip right now!

  15. Just noticed your link to my site, thanks! Buttons and Bambi thank Lucy too! Your blog is an inspiration to me. Maybe this winter I’ll get brave enough to try Fairisle, I’ve been looking at your fearless pattern and sweater pic.

  16. Ok Wendy, if the humidity in CT isn’t enough, I have a story for you. After 10PM last night I went into the bathroom to take my blood pressure pill and thought while I’m in here. Lifted the toilet seat and what was in the toilet but a freakin mouse. I dropped the toilet seat and screamed. The neighbors weren’t around to hear me but I am surprised you didn’t down there in DC.
    Yech. I still am freaked out. I had just finished mousie number 5 after dinner last night. I think I will take a short break and sew them all together this weekend.

  17. and *i* found out the hard way that a newly mobile infant left with a box of unsuspecting yarn will produce a box of exactly what you pictured ๐Ÿ™‚ my youngest absolutely LOVES playing with yarn. and somehow he knows the difference between a satisfying new skein and a leftovers ball that’s been given to him for the purposes of distraction. he regards the latter with disdain, tosses it to the side, and makes another beeline for the colinette!

  18. Amber, you have a very discerning child — none but the best for him!

    Suzanne, did you happen to count your catnip mousies after your Brief Encounter last night? Maybe one of them came to life . . .

    After an experience like that, I think I’d have difficulty . . . er . . . functioning properly!

  19. Here in Texas, we’re having triple digit temperatures… it occasionally “cools” down to the upper 90s… it’s more bearable when the humidity is lower, but I’m thankful for air conditioning… school starts next week, they’re air conditioned, so it’s bearable for the kids…

  20. ouch, that is a sad story!

    one of my cats managed to open a box and dig out a skein of alpaca yarn once… when i woke up the next morning, i saw a little trail of gray yarn, leading to a horrible spaghetti mess of yarn. i was stubborn. it took me two hours to untangle that mess, and the one skein had been transformed into two smaller skeins. never again!

  21. My youngest kitty got into my undefended sock-in-progress and ate the points off of two of my new birch double points and severed the yarn in several places. I ended up frogging and starting all over again – after I got new needles. I don’t know what it is about yarn and string in general, but my three cats love to chew on it. If they don’t chew it in two, they start with one end like spagetti and end up with a big wad in their mouth. I hope no one chokes ont it. I have to be *really* careful! And of course all of my knitted projects end up part cat hair and part wool.

  22. All of these comments are exactly why I miss my cat. He was such fun.

  23. Wendy –
    Thanks for showcasing the handiwork of my 3 little monsters. I hope that someone learns from my mistake – if I can prevent just one yarn mess, it will have been worth it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I can only imagine what will happen when I take the catnip out of the freezer to stuff mousies!


  24. Wendy, all the catnip mousies are accounted for. The ones for you are not sewn together yet but are kept in a ziploc. The two for my two cats are on the floor waiting for a cat to lay on them. My first thought would have been that it was one of theirs but the one in the toilet had fur. I am functioning much better this afternoon than last night. I will probably be checking before I sit anywhere from now on though.

  25. My cats have never played with my yarn as far as I remember. I used to have a dog though that liked to spread it all around the house. I came home once and my latest yarn and fiber purchases from a fiber fest were spread out all around the living room. Quite a festive sight of multicolor hues.

  26. My kitties are getting too smart… I keep my stash in plastic drawers, and the little guys somehow got one open and pulled out a skein of fluffy novelty yarn that was intended for a shawl. I woke up and followed a trail of it through two rooms, and then spent an hour trying to undo the mass. Thank you, duct tape! I’m definitely putting the catnip in the freezer; thanks Andrea for the good sense. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  27. Oh, dear–this is what my Rottweiler did to some of my wool–more then one skein, though. Everything is locked up now, although now she LAYS on my balls of yarn when I’m knitting (she wants me so stop what I am doing, so she can get in my lap!)

  28. 8 mins for a train?? Try 20 mins in 80-90%humidity & remember most of our public transport is nonAC here in Sydney. Summer, for me in Sydney is not fun.
    Interestingly, I have never lived in an AC house. Summer for me is all the windows opoen, an occilating fan trained on me at night & bare feet as often as possible. Summer will see me come to work in Jesus sandles & long leg shorts & polo neck shirts. I have even started knitting my own cotton shirt in fingering weight. We will see if it works.

  29. Yep, I’m with Peter. You just don’t know what summer is! Here in Australia, 41 degrees Celsius is just warming up. Like Peter, I’ve never lived in an AC house either, and I totally agree about the public transport. You get used to it though….

  30. Trust me, I know what summer is. I’ve been where it’s 130 F. (and up).

    Peter, our humidity gets above 90% in the summer too. I wish I could come to work the way you described. At least we have a/c!

  31. Cheryl F. says:

    My “little” 18 lb. boy (cat) was into the wool eating thing–especially liked Lopi, and the few times I accidently left a skein out, it would eventually find its way behind the couch, all tangled and slobbery wet (EEW)–Of course, never the cheap acrylics, mind you, the Heilo or other wools. Now that he’s older, he’s gotten better, but recently I was blocking a cardigan from Dale 85B (that took me forever) and I swear, I only left the door open for about an hour. He had gone in and done the suckling thing–luckily I hadn’t pinned down the sleeves, so there weren’t too many pulled stitches–glad he wasn’t around when I found it!!!