My current work in progress:

Tawney Sweater,by Jenni Barrett, knit from MadelineTosh Tosh Sock, using 3.25mm and 3.5mm needles.

Archives for September 2003

Feeling Needled?

Good discussion on dpns in yesterday’s comments, and the merits of the different types.

Pretty much the only thing I use dpns for is socks. For cuffs and collarbands and everything else in a small circumference, I try my level best to use a small circular. Sometimes a cuff is too small for my 12″ circular, and I have to whip out the dpns, but most of the time I get by without.

So, as I said, my dpns are for socks only. and most of the time I’m knitting socks, I’m using fingering weight yarn, and my needle size of choice is a US 0, or 2.0mm. And that, sadly, narrows the playing field for sock needles, cuz not all needles come that small.

(Isn’t this pitiful? Are the tears welling up yet?)

My “dream” sock needles would be ebony dpns in size 2.0mm, 5.5″ inches long.

(Wait! That reminds of a song lyric:

“Zoot suit
White jacket with side vents, 5 inches long”

Extra credit to whoever can identify the song and artist!)

Boy, that brings back memories of my misspent youth.

Sorry — back to the subject.

I suppose there’s a reason that they don’t make 2.0mm needles. Like maybe they’re too fragile? I dunno.

Speaking of Music . . .

I was saddened to hear of Warren Zevon’s death the other day. Last time I saw him in concert was . . . oh . . . maybe ten years ago, at a small club in DC (The Bayou in Georgetown). Warren was always my Number One choice for “Sexiest Male Singing Voice.”

Speaking of Ebony . . .

Ooh! Ooh! Lookie what I got!


This little gem is an ebony fountain pen, beautfully handcrafted by the lovely and talented Caroline Morse — she of Fiber Arts and Furry Critters and A Twist on Wood.

Is it not fabulous?

Yes, I am a pen geek.


I smoothed Marina out prettily and didn’t compress this photo as much as the last one:


Mousies on Parade!

Mousies received from Lydia, in Charlottesville, VA, Rose in Seattle, WA, and Susan in Wanaka, New Zealand. Susan’s mice came via Rose, who in addition to contributing rodents of her own, is one of the official mouse-stuffers for international mice!

Rose also kindly enclosed some toys for the very pampered very spoiled Lucy.

Some action shots:



And here I thought I was so clever, coming up with a contest that would be hard. You either all know how to find stuff really really well, or you hang on to my every word.

I’m thinking it’s the former, not the latter.

My Dark Secret

You know how I’m always bleating about how much I adore my Pony Pearl dpns? I have a confession to make:

I like Brittany birch dpns better.

I’m knitting a pair of socks out of sportweight sock yarn for my dad, and when I attempted to start them with size 2.75mm Pony Pearls, I found the tips were too blunt to use easily. Apparently the only Pony Pearls I like are the 2.0mm size, because in that fine size the bluntness of the tips is not an issue.

Double duh.

I’ve got Brittany Birch dpns in the 7.5″ length. That’s a little longer than I like for socks. They also come in a 5″ length, and I’m thinking I’m going to buy some of those. My Pony Pearls are 6″, but I think 5″ length is do-able. They’ll fit a lot better in my purse, too.

I feel so much better now that’s out in the open!


My progress is slowing, because I’ve got that pesky working-for-a-living getting in the way of my knitting time.

But there’s something that I’ve noticed.

Lookie here:


Does this remind you of something I’ve knitted recently? I’ll give you a hint:


Lucy is being helpful here, sorting the colors.


In the “How Cute Is This?” Department

Ohmygosh! Ohmygosh! Kate has bunnies!

They are beyond cute.

The Mice That Ate My Condo

Boy, do we ever have mousies! 71 in the mail yesterday, from Elizabeth in Fairview, NC, Julie in Coronia, CA, Anne in Lincoln, NE, Debi in Plantation, FL, AJ in Milwaukee, WI, and Marta in Golden, CO. Thank you all! And thank you for the assorted tissue paper — Lucy is in hog heaven. Thanks too for the extra catnip — I’ve got some empty mousies to stuff (I’m trying to share some duties and not overload our mouse-stuffers!) and this will be a great help.

She is getting to be one spoiled little kitty. AJ thoughtfully enclosed a wonderful felted ball that she made. It even has a bell in it.


It was only after she wore herself out chasing it that Lucy consented to pose with her new toy. She’s a little hopped up on catnip scented tissue paper, too.

And I’ll close this entry with a great mailing label I saw today on one of the mouse packages!


I am not playing favorites here, but this was too cute not to share!

September Contest!

Here it is! What you’ve all been waiting for.

The challenge:

Find my blog entry where I first talk about having bought and received the yarn to knit Marina. Email me (see the link on my sidebar) and tell me the date of that blog entry. If you have the correct date, you will be entered in the drawing for this:


This is the Woolcraft book that has a copy of the pattern for — you guessed it — Marina! The pattern is for a cardigan, but if you wanted to knit a pullover, I bet you could easily figure it out from the cardi pattern.

The book has a lot of other great patterns in it too.

This book was generously donated by my lovely cyber-buddy, Lindsey-Brooke, know to many of you as “L-B.”

All email entries are due to me by 5:00 p.m., EST, this Friday, September 12.

My Marina

I made some good progress this weekend:


Lucy is very impressed by it, as you can see.

Here’s another pic:


As mentioned in my comments last Friday, the one skein of the color “Green Mist” was omitted from the list of colors needed. It’s listed on the chart, though. This is only in the Scottish Collection — it’s properly listed in the Woolcraft book.

Mouse-a-thon Update

Thanks to Lisa in Austin, TX, Susan, in Cedar Rapids, IA, and Laurie, in Nashville TN for all the mousies!


Happy Monday to all!

A Message From Lucy


A friendly “Meow!” to all of Mommy’s online knitting friends.

I do not understand why almost every day when Mommy comes home, she is carrying packages that smell delicious. She opens them, and the wonderful aroma intensifies. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of the contents — yummy-looking catnip mice! Plump little knitted bodies, just waiting to be mauled by me.

But Mommy puts these packages in the guestroom and I don’t get to play with them. It is not fair.

But I want to say thank you to the many among you who have tucked a piece of tissue paper or a paper napkin or a treat for me in with your mice. Mommy will let me have and play with these and I love them.

However, when I have the paper nicely shredded and spread all over the living room floor, just the way I like it, Mommy picks up all the pieces and I never see them again.

It’s a tough life being a little kitty.

Thank-you, Lucy, for a glimpse into the frustrations of being a kitty. Yeah, you have a tough life.

And thanks very much to Suzanne in Meriden, CT, from whom I received a big bag o’ mousies yesterday!

I returned home yesterday to Marina, which I missed and thought longingly of all day. I wish I could take her to knit on the metro, but somehow I don’t think my fellow commuters would appreciate me juggling my big box of yarn, chart, and WIP on the train. So at home she stays.


But here’s a progress pic for you.


The Forlorn, Abandoned Sock

Because I cannot take Marina on the train with me, I’ve dug out the sock I was working on before I abandoned it to take Max on the train as commuter knitting. This is the first sock of a pair for my dad, and I’m nearing completion of this sock — see?


Just gotta finish him up and knit his mate.

September Contest!

Woo-hoo! September contest will be announced on Monday. It’s a hard one, but with a very nice prize. Watch this space!

Useless Fact du Jour

I can still make Ian laugh by imitating Conan O’Brien saying “monkeypox!” even though I’ve done it at least 500 times.

Let me tell you . . . it’s a damned good imitation!

Thursday Already

How ’bout that.

Yes, the week goes by very quickly when you are off from work on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. You were probably wondering why I’ve made such good progress on Marina, huh? Or maybe you figured it out when you saw I was posting shortly after midnight each day. If you noticed.

And here is Marina.


I wound some more of the skeins into balls, and Lucy was happy to supervise.


In answer to a couple of questions yesterday, corrugated ribbing is simply knit 2 of one color, purl 2 of a second color.

And Now For Something Completely Different

A rant. Well, okay, maybe it’s not so different.

Why the bloody hell does the freaking NFL think it’s a good idea to have a kick-off rally in downtown DC on a weekday afternoon? Several key commuter routes will be closed and the subway system is going to be jammed. Even OPM is advising the federal government to grant liberal leave to workers who prefer not to deal with the insanity.

We are not amused. Except that I just heard on the weather that there’s potential for “heavy thunderstorms” this afternoon.



Meeses received from Diane in Willow Grove, PA, and Kay in Levittown, PA. Thank you both!

Off to work, and no doubt I’ll have to do battle with the forces of stupidity on my commute home. Have a good Thursday, everyone!