My current work in progress:

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


There’s No Mayonnaise in Ireland

The astute among you will note that I’ve started a list of book appearances over in the sidebar. The first one is, of course, at my home away from home: Knit Happens. I’ll be signing copies of my book there on Saturday April 29 from noon until you guys get sick of me. Kristine mentions my book-signing event in the spring newsletter — here’s the link to the newsletter in pdf format. Be sure to read it, because Kristine says nice things about me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sock Needles


Ellen asked:
About the socks: are those 5″ or 7″ dps? I have switched to 5″ and really like
them, but they only seem to be available through mail order.

The needles are Addi Natura bamboos, and they are 5-7/8 inches long. They claim to be 6 inches long, but I measured them and they fall short by one-eighth of an inch.

I’ve got some 5-inch Brittany Birch dpns that I love, but they feel just a smidgen short to be using for this sock. It’s a man’s sock, so it’s a bit on the large size.

Some of you may remember how I used to knit all my socks with Pony Pearl dpns. I started this sock on the size 0 Pony Pearls and switched to the bamboos almost immediately. I may have regained some sock mojo, but I have no Pony Pearl mojo.

Miss Sandra asked:
Tell me, I have learned how to use 2 16″ circulars to knit seamless mittens, my totable project of choice, and I believe I learned the technique from,and I LOVE it, I use it on sleeves, hats, you know, small circumferences, but you seem to prefer double pointeds. Any particular reason?

Any particular reason? Is “because I loathe using two circulars” reason enough?

Seriously, though. I tried the two circs method and just didn’t like it. I can move from dpn to dpn far faster than I can from circ to circ. And I don’t like having the ends of the circs flapping in the breeze. When knitting in confined spaces (like squished in a seat on the train), that can be a problem.

We’re Having a Heat Wave

I finished the second sleeve of Dungarvan.


But I’ve not started assembling the sweater in preparation for knitting the bands. It was supposed to have reached 80 degrees today — and 80 degrees is predicted for tomorrow as well.

I’ll wait til it cools down!



  1. And Lucy would prefer you not stich her pillows together! Wish I were closer for the book signing!

  2. I love that first, oh so winsome picture of Lucy.

  3. No Mayo in Ireland…….not even a county?…..

    knitting needles are like good knives: must feel right in the hand….balanced, fitting the hand, and easy to wield…..

    lovely things should be said about you….and it will be exciting to see your “tour” list grow and grow…….well done!

  4. I’m with you on not using circs for socks (or mittens). I love my birch DPNs. LOVE ’em.
    I agree Chris, that fisrt picture of Miss Lucy os so precious. How lucky she is to have you to make her so many nice things?

  5. Martha H says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you about the two circ method – I hate the way the cords keep whipping around. It really bugged me to bits. I love my dbl pointed needles!!

  6. Gotta agree with you on the circs, when I use the 16″ circs they area always pointing up at me and flopping around. The rhythm of the dpn is so much quicker, but I do prefer the 3dpn vs 4 dpn except when I really have to, such as at the heel. I also love the birch needles.
    Lucy is looking lovely on the new sweater to be.

  7. Since Lucy won’t be able to attend your book signing, how about bringing along copies of her pictures to the book signings. You could sell copies of her pics as a donation for your favorite charity (or perhaps Lucy’s favorite charity). If book purchasers like, they can paste Lucy’s pic on the inside of your book when they get home.

    How about a vote on Lucy’s best photo to date. My personal favorite is the first picture of her in her hat on March 2nd.

    My ragdoll, Twyla Twinkle Berry can only dream of Lucy’s fame. She is proud that Lucy has given a voice to the beautiful Ragdoll’s of the world.

  8. I hate the two circ needle method as well. I bought the book and tried it for a pair of socks because i thought I hated dpns. I couldn’t stand the floppy ends and it felt awkward. i hate knitting flat on a single circular even. I use straight needles for that too. Now I love dpns and use them all the time, even for hats.

  9. I do agree about that two circulars are one too many. For socks, it’s DPNs all the way, but I have been known to use a magic loop when the circumference is too small for a regular circular and two awkward for DPNs. Once I got the hang of the swtich, I found it to be almost as fast as the DPNs and bonus! no spare needle hanging around (either from two circs or the working DPN).

  10. Are you sure there’s no mayo in Ireland? Why not? What if someone snuck in a tuna sandwich from Denmark? Would the dogs at the airport catch it?

  11. Then what do the Irish put on their sandwiches?

  12. My MIL always has Helman’s/Best Food mayonnaise in the fridge in Dublin (it’s been available for 25 years according to my Irish husband). My husband states that a lot of Irish use what is called “salad creme (or cream)”, but his family goes for real mayo. And there is always County Mayo.

  13. 2 circs-feh! Gimme DPNs! Altho I do use the magic loop now and then especially for toe-ups with a Turkish cast-on toe!

    If you come to sout Florida on your book tour I promise to call you Tiny in person ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Well, seeing I’ve reached the lofty goal of having completed a total of one and a half socks (different pairs) in my life, I think it’s time to try a new technique. I love my dpns but I’m going to try the magic loop next week.

    Apparently I am nuts.

  15. Oh, and I forgot to mention, Scotland’s running low on ketchup.

  16. I learned to knit small circumferences on dpns, but switched to two circs some time ago. I think I’m just too clumsy for dpns. I can’t stand the Magic Loop method, but have used in a pinch. (Yes, there is such a thing as a knitting emergency, don’t pretend you’ve never had one!)

    I’ve had mayonnaise on a sandwich in Belfast, Wendy. It wasn’t even Miracle Whip or their nasty substitute for it, but the real thing. Is the North different from the Republic in that respect as well? Hmmmmm…

  17. Miss Sandra says:

    Magic Loop? I’ll educate myself on that one. I must agree I lost speed going to the 2 circs but I no longer suffer from ladder marks as I did with my bamboos, no matter how hard I tried I’d get at least one ladder which lead to a wrinkle(yes and now it’s permanent)in-between my brows. I haven’t taken an eye out yet but I understand the flopping needle issue. I’ll hold onto my dp’s cuz ya never know…

  18. 80 degrees? It snowed here all weekend. You can send that gorgeous sweater to me – I’ll put it to good use.

  19. Wales is running low on rarebit.

  20. I also love my dpns, tho I am planning to try knitpicks “knit them both at once on two circs” just so I can try it. Keep updating the events list, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Colorado appears on the list.

  21. Have you tried the Magic Loop? I LOVE it! efficient and I always get SSS with DPNs. and inevitably, one will fall out of my work and I get mad and throw teh sock in the closet for a month!

    I HATE mayo.. must be the Irish in me, but it really is gross!

  22. My first time with dpns, I thought I’d never get the hang of it. Now I love them 99% of the time. Kniting with dpns makes me feel competent – people are so impressed when they watch you wrangle five needles.

  23. Ah yes, the weather today in Maryland is delightful! Downright warm!

  24. love those socks and the short heel are fabulous. How do you get them so neat?