My current work in progress:

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


Lucy’s Dad


Lucy is staying with me while her mom is away this week. If you’re part of the minority who thinks there’s too much feline content here, and that WendyKnits should be all knitting all the time, don’t go away just yet – there is knitting content today – just scroll down a bit.

I feel like someone with the bumper sticker “Ask Me About My Kitty.”

Here’s one of my favorite pictures of Lucy – from last July (2003) when she last stayed at my place. A natural-born retriever, she loves to chase thrown paper balls or balled-up napkins and bring them back. She’s a kitty on a mission.


And here is Lucy relaxing at my place this week.


I recently picked up a copy of zoologist Desmond Morris’ (out of print) book “Cat Watching.” Although I disagree with some of his theories, I do agree with his assertion that domestic cats need to satisfy their hunting instinct. And that’s exactly what Lucy does by chasing and retrieving paper balls.

Just a bit about me. I’m in the independent testing group (software testing, that is) for a small federal agency. Here’s where I work.


Here’s where I live.


And here’s my ex-cat Loretta, who would be nearly 30 years old if she were still alive. No, she’s not stuffed! That’s just her posing, circa 1978.


And for something totally absurd, here’s the price reduction on a half gallon of ice cream, spotted at my local stupidmarket. Yeah, I think I’ll buy a new Ferrari with the savings.


My website (such as it is) can be found here. The guys on the front page are my brothers.

Knitting content? Well, here it is. Wendy taught me some basic knitting in July, and I finished a 22″ square blanket which – as she mentioned on August 3 – we sent to Critter Knitters.

Here’s a close-up of SBSP with the WIP.


The blanket was created from Plymouth Encore Colorspun Chunky Bulky Knitting Weight yarn – 75% acrylic, 25% wool, color 7128 (“Santa Fe Print”), using a 26″ Crystal Palace #10 bamboo circular needle. It took about 2 1/4 100-gram skeins (143 yards each). Yeah, that’s way more than enough info!

Whoops, not quite enough info – here’s a very interesting page showing some of the steps involved in the manufacture of Crystal Palace (single pointed) needles (which some of you have recently indicated have had some quality problems).

Lovely variegated yarn, that Colorspun Chunky Santa Fe, eh? I hope the colors don’t upset the poor animal that ends up with it. And speaking of the ability of cats & dogs to distinguish colors, check out the Cecil Adams 1987 article on the subject here.

I’m currently working on a scarf… er, muffler for myself, and here’s a close-up.


This one is being done with Brunswick Just Sheep 100% wool, color 60 (Shale) using a 26″ Crystal Palace #8 bamboo circular needle.

I hope everyone in the Richmond area (Lindsey Brooke, etc.) is okay. That part of Virginia got hit yesterday with over 10″ of rain from tropical storm Gaston.

Tune in tomorrow for yet another guest blogger – one who has known Wendy way longer than I have.


  1. Dear Ian, I enjoyed your entry so much. A pity you don’t have your own blog! Thank you, you made my day :-))

  2. Angie in E.Tx says:

    Hi Ian,
    I enjoyed the virtual tour of Ireland. I always wanted to see where they make Guinness! Not to mention a peat bog. Keep on knitting!

  3. Cool. You even posted before I got to the page. I’m waiting for Kristine’s day because you just know she isn’t up this early.

  4. Ian, thanks for the wonderful blog entry! Loretta has a funny expression on her face… re: cats & their hunting instinct, y’all ought to meet our cat “Litteface” (her real name is Martin from Chris & Martin, but we don’t use their names very often)… she brings home all sorts of interesting rodents… once she even brought in a shrew…

    It’s 5:30am central time and the only reason I’m up this early was because one of my sons fell asleep before he finished his homework. He spent 4 or 5 hours yesterday trying not to do his homework…

    The other day we had SBSP airhead candy… actually, the package only had 2 sponge bob bars… they’re sour sour things! The kids loved them, though…

  5. Hi Ian
    Greatly enjoyed your blog entry. Nice to put a face to those knitting hands!

  6. A most excellent post!

  7. For Crissakes Ian! You are so funny I just sprayed HOT COFFEE through my nose – no kidding – pass the laptop screen wipes!

  8. Great post, Ian!

    Loretta’s a cutie pie.

    And your knitting is looking lovely! Do your brothers “rib” you about your knitting?! HAH HAH HAH–get it? As in knitting RIBBING? OK, I’ll just go smack my forehead now in an “I can’t believe I thought that was punny” manner. But seriously, it’s really cool that you knit, too! =)

    As for Safeway, yeah, I like saving 0%, too. ;-p

  9. Great post Ian! I loved the link to the Crystal Palace needle manufacturing pics. (I’m the girl who loved when Mr. Rodgers would visit the crayon factory ๐Ÿ™‚

    And that 0% savings on icecream cracked me up!

  10. Hey, I loved it when Mr. Rogers visited the Crayola factory too! They showed them making orange. My favorite color is orange.

    I love the 0% savings sign. Our Kroger goes so far as to show a 0.01% savings. Who are they kidding?

    We can’t get in touch with my in-laws in Richmond. There seems to be no phone service(?). Everyone keep good thoughts for them.

  11. I love the look on Loretta’s face– “Who unwrapped the presents? Not me–oh no–not me. How insulting that you should even think such a thing!”

  12. Gee, Ian you are a natural! Totally loved your post! Wendy is one lucky gal! So is Virginia where they keep all the great guys?

  13. Dear Ian: Wendy is such a joy to read each morning. She is so witty and talented and so are you.

  14. Thanks for subbing Ian so we can all get our Wendy-fix in the morning. Great Job.

  15. Man, Richmond did get clobbered! Talk about unexpected. They said on the news we had more rain in a shorter period than Hurricane Isabel dropped! And we were *totally* unprepared. With Isabel businesses closed, schools closed, and people battened down. This was — wow! We were gobsmacked.

  16. That was a nice post..Lucy’s dad. You did a great job!

  17. Ian, what a delightful entry. You’ve done Wendy proud, I’m sure, as Guest Blogger #1. I love the old picture of your former pet. (Plus, I’ve had indoor cats for several years, now, and I’d almost forgotten what flea collars look like!)

    I wonder who we’ll read tomorrow. You’re a tough act to follow!

  18. Ian,

    Wendy did well choosing you as her first guest blogger. Thanks for making it possible for us to still have our wonderful first stop in the morning. Your post was great.

  19. Hello Ian ~ Thanks for the link to Crystal Palace. I’m another one of those who LOVED Mr. Rogers visit to the Crayon factory.
    (Rebecca, I am so glad to see another fan of my favorite color. My Mom told me Mr. Rogers told them it was my favorite color, that’s why they were showing orange. Yes, Carol, I know this explains alot!)
    The Safeway tag is a riot! Take care!

  20. Get me — I found a computer! Only on for a few minutes, then I have to go to the first conference event ofthe day.

    L-B emailed me yesterday afternoon and said the storm was bad — hopefully all is well today.

    I’ll try to check in later in the week and see what my guest-bloggers are up to! Have fun, everyone!

  21. hi ian,

    you’re a natural born blogger:-) I hope wendy will let you in as a guest blogger on a regular base – or that you get your own blog:-)

    thank’s for a great entry. I really enjoyed it:-)


  22. Pat Feldt says:

    Great job Ian! Loved Loretta’s picture. Your knitting is coming along quite well too. Have fun with Lucy!

  23. 2 whole cents! Woo-hoo!

  24. So what is the difference between a muffler and a scarf?

  25. Hi Ian
    I agree you are a natural blogger.
    My cat Cosmo loves retrieving wadded up balls of paper. He comes running when he hears me crinkling paper.

  26. Hi Ian! It’s fun to read your post. I’m proud of your knitting!!

  27. Hi, Debbie. You ask what the difference is between a muffler and a scarf? Well, a muffler is something that a guy can wear and admit it. After all, a car has a muffler, and if it’s a car part, it can’t be all bad. A scarf, on the other hand… Ya know?

  28. Great post Ian! Very entertaining to read a guy’s version! What I want to know is: Is Lucy being better than gold when Mom’s not around???

  29. Good job Ian!!

    I have had cats over the years that love to chase around rolled up Hershey kisses wrappers. We get to eat them and then they chase and retrieve. The dog usually ruins it by eating them when the cats tire out.

  30. Hi Ian! Loved your blog entry! It’s interesting that you included a link to a Cecil Adams article. Are you a Doper (as in the Straight Dope Meassage Board, silly), by any chance?

  31. Great post! I didn’t know there was any such thing as a “small” federal agency.

  32. Great post! Wendy chose her leading guest well.

    For those who really loved Mr. Rogers & the crayon factory… you can actually relive the excitement in person (and take your kids, or adults who act like kids) – in the Crayola FACTORY. While it is not the actual plant (which was so popular a 2 year wait was involved), it is very hands-on and Crayola-rific. Our school sends groups for field trips every year.

    The FACTORY is in Easton, PA, and has a web site with specific info.

  33. Of course, I’ll read Ian’s blog come high water! And,in Richmond, that has been literal and very tragic in some areas. Keep the good thoughts going especially for those living in the Shockoe Bottom and Falling Creek areas. I’ve been working in the dark at the office,but came out to find a “live” computer! Well done,Ian! Shall we suggest that Wendy give you a permanent day each week? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Love your muffler! Off now to buy more flashlight batteries. ๐Ÿ™

  34. Marvelous post, Ian! I concur with all the others who have welcomed you as guest blogger #1 of this Wendy-less week. Can’t wait to see who else she has in store for us!

  35. Welcome! You did an amazing job of filling in for Wendy, with knitting and Lucy content! I don’t think anyone will be able to top that.

    And more than the fact that you caught that absurd price different, I love that you had your camera with you to snap it. I have started to carry mine everywhere cause you never know when a priceless moment might come along.

  36. Great job, Ian! I loved the photo of Lucy with the paper ball. My sister’s cat is obsessed with shiny things so my sister has to keep her jewlery under lock and key, LOL! It was nice meeting you!

  37. great post ian!

  38. Flashback- my sister had that same Dylan poster in our bedroom when we were growing up.

  39. I’m really glad so many people seem to have enjoyed my posting today. And I’ve gotten some nice comments via e-mail (in addition to the comments here) about the pictures on my website, including my brother’s pictures of his trip to Ireland, and the 1967 picture of me with the Bob Dylan poster.

    [[ A few answers: Lucy’s just as good with me as she is with her mother but tries to con me into believing she gets Fancy Feast more than once a day; I’ve been reading The Straight Dope in a local paper for years but haven’t used the message board; it is a “small” agency with about 7,200 people; and it’s a MUFFLER! 8^) ]]

    Thanks again for all the positive feedback. Tomorrow’s guest blog entry will be particularly interesting, as will the entries Thursday and Friday.

  40. Hey Carol…you are right. I’m not. I’d check in around 8.30-ish on my day!

    Way to go Ian! Hi Lucy!

  41. Ah! That’s what I get for missing my [almost] daily dose of Wendy Knits: A guest post by Ian!
    Lots of fun stuff in this entry…maybe you should start a blog of your own [I’m a blog enabler as much as I am a yarn enabler].

    Excellent muffler, too!

  42. Cool, another link to The Master (Cecil Adams, of The Straight Dope fame.) Check out the SDMB some time — There’s even occasional knitting content (well, it’s there, but it’s rare.)

  43. Ian: I loved reading your entry almost as much as I love reading Wendy’s. You NEED to start your own blog. We want to know the man behind the knitting hands!

  44. You go guy!! Great knitting and blogging!

  45. Ian, love your dry wit. Had a long laugh over the morphed pics, especially the ones of you and Wendy. Your muffler rocks! Lucy and Wendy are lucky girls. Hope you guest blog again sometime.