My current work in progress:

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


And the Winner is . . .

Tam, of Columbus, IN!

The correct answer was July 11, 2002 and a whole heckuva lot of you got it right. We chose Tam as the winner in a random drawing of all correct answers.

So Tam, the Woolcraft book will be winging its way to you shortly.

Okay you guys. The October contest is going to be really really hard. You just wait and see!

Cute Mousie Photo du Jour


This comes from Ursula in Germany. I think Teddy looks a little nonplussed to be surrounded by all those mousies!

I received mousies from Mari in New York, NY and Cindy in N. Providence, RI. Thank you! Look at the total — we’re over 500!

Friday night was spent in mouse packaging — Ian and Lucy and I got caught up and bagged all the mousies we’ve received so far.

But I did work on Marina, too, over the weekend.


I’m ready to start the front neck shaping, so the body will be done soon.

A big thank you to Veronique in Switzerland who kindly sent me a half a skein of J&S Green Mist that she had left over from her Marina. If you recall, in The Scottish Collection, Green Mist is left off the list of colors needed and all I had was a partial skein left over from Oregon. I was almost out of Green mist, so Veronique’s skein came just at the right time.

A Virtual Baby Shower!

If you stopped by my blog yesterday afternoon, you saw that some of us were attending a virtual baby shower for Jillian who is the proud new mama of the beautiful Henry. Our shower hostess Deb really puts on a great party! Jillian, we wish you and your family every happiness.

Reader Questions

Yesterday Jo asked about substituting Peer Gynt yarn for Heilo. I think it would work — do a gauge swatch first, of course. I’ve subbed Brown Sheep Naturespun sportweight for Heilo, and the Brown Sheep is finer I think. But it worked out just fine.

And Jo, there is a Peer Gynt sweater on my site. But just one. You can see it here. I do have another Peer Gynt pattern book — the one with the anniversary sweater in it. The one with an elf riding a reindeer on the front (or something like that). I think it’s a very cute sweater — just haven’t gotten around to knitting it yet.

There was a question in the comments the other day about what would constitute a good first color project. Another answer (in addition to the suggestions I had in the comments) is the Knitting Beyond the Hebrides BearlyKnits Fair Isle sweater. Check it out here! This would be a perfect project on which to practice your fair isle skills.

Lucy wishes you all a Happy Monday!



  1. Happy Monday,Wendy! And,congratulations,Tam! Now,can all us East coasters heave a heavy sigh together and blow Isabel way out to sea? πŸ˜‰

  2. Wendy, I just looked and was amazed to see you’ve received over 500 knitted mice. That is truly amazing.

    I do still intend on making a few. How long do intend on keeping this up?

    Nice job on organizing all this…I’ve said it before, but I don’t know where you find the time for everything.

  3. My goodness! Marina is spectacular! My motivation to finish up my current WIP is renewed; thanks for the inspiring progress photo, and happy Monday.

  4. Joe, the mouse-a-thon for the raffle ends on September 30, but anyone who wants to send mice after the raffle can be assured they will be gratefully received and passed on to Capital Animal Care.

    How do I find tme to do everything? I cut out all non-essential activities. Like cooking, cleaning house, and sleeping.

  5. And sometimes the letter i. πŸ˜‰

  6. Ingrid, I call it speed typing. πŸ˜‰

  7. Morning Wendy! Arrived at work to a minor flood in my office and suite. Grr… For better or for worse, the only thing really soaked is my gym bag, so I can’t go running today. πŸ™ (Hopefully my Discman didn’t buy the farm — I’m letting it dry before I try turning it on.) And my half-dozen (or six, whichever!) mice are ready to get stuffed and mailed if I can ever get a break from working like a DOG. (Oy!)

    Just in case I wouldn’t win the contest, I ordered the Woolcraft book last week. It’s still available in some on-line booksellers, unlike the other things I’m looking for. πŸ˜‰ Happy Monday!

  8. P.S. My 3 cats were playing with their Mouse-Along mousie last night. Mousie was disemboweled a long time ago, and we never found so much as a leaf of catnip anywhere (they must have eaten every speck), and they STILL love it.

    First there was the Mouse.

    Then the Mouse-Along.

    Then the Mouse-A-Thon. What’s next?

  9. Oh my gorsh! Mouse-a-palooza! πŸ˜€

    I hope your stuff survived the flood!

  10. Wow! Marina is wonderful – so vibrant. I just love those colours. Well done on 500 mice – all that packing, and I can imagine you all getting high on catnip while you are doing it!

  11. Hi Wendy, That was me asking about a first fair isle project. Even a doll/teddy bear sweater is too complicated for me! I was thinking of something that doesn’t involve gauge, increases, decreases. IOW, something that just focuses on the multi-color technique. If I make a knitted bag, will the insides be all messy? Any other ideas for a project (two or more colors in one row) that I would have a chance of succeeding at?
    About Marina: It just takes my breath away, it’s so beautiful.

  12. Mrs. C – how about a nice square (or rectangular) pillow? However big it gets, just stuff it full of stuff, and you’ll never have to look at the inside if it’s messy.

  13. I’ve been watching Marina’s progress (as I did for your last few projects), as I am stuck in a knitting slump. Since I’ve been reading, I don’t think there’s been a time when you’ve “slumped”. Do you ever get the doldrums, and put down the needles for an extended period of time, and if so, how do you snap out of it? My slumps usually are a reaction to the weather. When it gets warmer, and I am doing more stuff outside, my knitting suffers. As soon as the weather turns, I start looking for projects again.

    Just curious….

  14. Tam is doing a happy dance! Woo! Can’t wait to get the book. Thanks L-B for the congrats.

    RE: beginner fair isle projects, I’m doing the sweater from the cover of Dale of Norway book 122. There are only 4 colors in the whole sweater, only two per row and the patterned area is only at the bottom of the body and at the ends of the sleeves. No steeks, minimal shaping and, God Bless Dale of Norway, minimal finishing. If you want no shaping/no gauge, I think the pillow idea is your best bet. πŸ™‚

  15. Andrea, Thanks for the pillow idea. It will be a good first multi-color project for me. In fact, I think I will knit the pillow front and use some wool from my fabric “resource center” for the back.

    Thanks again,
    Mrs. C.

  16. Thanx Wendy,for answering my question.I have most of the yarn for the anniversary sweater.i originally got the book to make the pattern for myself,but have most of the yarn to make it for DH(ribbed version,for his pleasure,but since Im always knitting for others-him,my kids,other babies etc.I was thinking of making D. of N.’s “Rondane” (from their new adult book) for myself first.I also think it’d be an easier first “stitch’n’slash or steeked project.(b/c it doesnt have the front neck thing)
    Another query(or 2):Do you?or have you ever sewn your steeks by hand?Scots or Scandinavian style?I have 2-3 sewing machines in storage,but nowhere to set em up,plus I have this weird field around me that makes mechanical devices run awry.Also Imtrying to decide what size sweater to make myself.Ive a 42″ bust(it was huge even before I gained weight these past few yrs.)and I like sweaters oversized.So 47″ or 51”.What do you think o expert sweater maker????
    yours,jo from nyc
    PS~I KNEW I should’ve sent my mousies beforeI went on vac.Dh and I CANNOT remember WHERE we put ’em…ARGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Jo, I machine sew Norwegian steeks and don’t sew fair isle steeks at all — other than to tack them down after knitting the sleeves.

    As for sweater-sizing, I’d advise you to measure a sweater that you already have that you like the fit of, and make your sweater in the size closest to that.

  18. Hi Wendy,I am a bit confused about the green mist for the Marina sweater. I got the yarn for it about a year ago, and in my copy of Scottish Collection, one skein is specified. Is the problem that it requires two? I am stumped if it is just one because it is there in the yarn list.

  19. Shelley, it’s only one skein needed. I’m making the pullover and that’s where the pattern omitted Green Mist in the list of “ingredients” — if you looked at one of the other Marina patterns (are both the vest and cardi in The Scottish Collection? — I’m at work and can’t check) it probably has the correct list of colors for those patterns.

  20. Wendy, you beat me to it, I just was coming back on line to tell you that I looked in my book again and the cardigan does list the Green Mist, but the Pullover doesn’t!! So, I had the yarn for the pullover, and ordered the Green Mist today so I won’t forget. Thanks for the info, I would never have noticed myself until I started knitting. Shelley

  21. I made two mice yesterday! Yay! (However, one was promptly claimed by cats N and B. OK, maybe not so much claimed as… tested on. It caused me to go down from #5s to #3s cos too much ‘nip was leaking out. I also switched to the garter pattern from the seed pattern because it’s faster for me to knit, and I am one slow meticulous knitter.)

    I think my first sony — heh, i mean serious color project — is going to be either a Virtual Yarns cushion or that Koigu Kersti hat that was on the cover of Vogue Knitting about a year ago. It’s waiting until after I move (when I will actually have money) to buy the kit. Failing that I’ll do the Norsk Strikkedesign “Princess Line” sweater, which isn’t too too complicated (large blocks of color, very architectural). My attitude is that none of this stuff is *hard*… it’s just more complex, it takes more patience and attention. & I’ve found that unless I’m trying to do something very quickly (scarves for friends, that kind of thing) I really need to have something relatively complex, or I get bored with it and don’t finish it. (To wit: Skylark is alarmingly simple and if I had worked it steadily I would have finished in like JANUARY.)

    I’ve been knitting for either 2 and a half years or 17 years, depending on whether my grandmother teaching me the basics when I was 10 and me knitting a tiny garter swatch counts. πŸ™‚ I’ve mostly taught myself, with web help (and you’ve been one of the particularly instructive people, just by having your site around and lots of photos). None of this stuff is hard at all, it just requires patience and attention. I think as long as people don’t try to do some insanely complex lace pattern, and their tension is good, they’ll probably be fine no matter what they try – as long as they take their time and pay attention. (My exception is cable charts. I really hate visual cable charts. I like the written-out directions. I have a tendency to carefully write out any cable chart I have to work with.)

  22. Wendy,
    I’m not sure if you’re recieving my comments..because you haven’t replied to any of them.. if you get this..please let me know so that i can further indicate my question for you.
    Thanks..happy knitting on marina

  23. Wow at your progress on Marina. I am always inspired to try fair isle when I see your progress pics, but I fear I’d go really sloooooooowly. I like that beginner project you linked, though. Oh, the temptation!

    P.S. I’ve been wanting to contribute a mouse, but I can’t find any catnip here. I’ve never owned a cat, so I’ve never even seen catnip or know what it looks like. Can any of your other French or living-in-France knitters give me any ideas on where one can find it here and what it’s called? Thanks!

  24. VΓ©ronique says:

    Becky, the latin word for catnip is nepeta cataria and the french words are “cataire”, “cataire du chat”, or “melisse du chat”. It is slightly different from the catmint : “menthe du chat” eventhough it is the same species. You can try and go to a pet shop or a gardening store and grow it yourself. Also an “herboristerie” would be able to help you or a pet doctor…
    Here is a link to a site in french explaining the difference between some types of catnip/catmint and giving you some more latin and french names.

    I myself have some difficulties finding a store here in Switzerland carrying some. Hopefully it works for you…
    Thanks for the great pictures of Marina, Wendy ! It is gorgeous.

  25. Becky, the latin word for catnip is nepeta cataria and the french words are “cataire”, “cataire du chat”, or “melisse du chat”. It is slightly different from the catmint : “menthe du chat” eventhough it is the same species. You can try and go to a pet shop or a gardening store and grow it yourself. Also an “herboristerie” would be able to help you or a pet doctor…
    Here is a link to a site in french explaining the difference between some types of catnip/catmint and giving you some more latin and french names.

    I myself have some difficulties finding a store here in Switzerland carrying some. Hopefully it works for you…
    Thanks for the great pictures of Marina, Wendy ! It is gorgeous.

  26. Deloris Green says:

    Wendy, you knit so beautifully! I wish that you had a video, or a knitting program on the
    T.V. each week, because you are so talented and really know how to read the patterns from these kits that you ordered. Sometimes patterns can be confusing, but your work comes out like magic!

    Keep your homepage going, because I do enjoy looking at your projects.

    Ms. Deloris Green
    Chicago, Illinois