My current work in progress:

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


Lucy’s Day

While Lucy is a pampered kitty, she does work hard between naps.

When I get ready to photograph my work in progress, she is always on hand to inspect it.

(I’m more than halfway done with it at this point — maybe two-thirds done? I’m hoping I can complete it this weekend.)

That’s a stitch marker pinned in the middle of the shawl — marking the beginning of the short-row center section. It is there to make it easier for me to count repeats.

But back to Lucy: she also needs to inspect all new yarn that comes in to our home:

“What are you going to use this for, Momma?”

What am I going to use it for? Can anyone guess? Hints:

  • It is not my own design.
  • I have way more than enough yarn for it in the picture.
  • The yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the Cobalt colorway.

What do you think?

Needle Length

I was interested to read in the comments some discussion about needle length. some of you have problems using circular needles where the needle portion is short — like the 4″ needle on my 20″ circular. Samina said:

I’ve got some shorter Addis, including the first set of lace needles with the 4″ tips. I’m not terribly crazy about them & I have pretty small hands. It takes me a while to get comfortable with them & I always feel like I don’t have quite enough tip to grip. So much so, that I bought a set of the new lace needles with the longer tips.

And another commenter, Nicola, agreed that she too has trouble with 4″ tips.

Interesting, because I have fairly average, medium-sized hands and I love the 4″ tips. When I knit socks on two circulars, the best possible needle size for me is a 4″ tip on a 20″ needle. If the tips are any longer, they are not comfortable for me.

However, when knitting back and forth on a circular needle, both a 4″ and a 5″ tip is perfectly comfortable. A 6″ tip is a little too long for comfort for me.

I suppose it is a combination of hand size and knitting style to find the needles that are most comfortable for you to use.

Lucy sez:

“zzzzzzzzzzzzz . . . ”

She did have a busy day, after all.



  1. Bigger on the Inside is my guess since you’ve been on a shawl streak.
    Red´s last blog post ..Pretty Little Things

  2. I’m going to say that you’re going to make something lovely with a TARDIS on it (okay, a lot of Tardises…Tardi….what is the plural of “Tardis” anyway?). Bigger on the Inside? I’m going to go with that one 🙂
    Renee Anne´s last blog post ..Thirsty Thursday

  3. LOL! ‘Bigger on the Inside’ was my first guess as well!
    wendy´s last blog post ..of the end of april: a recap

  4. Bigger on the Inside!

  5. Bigger on the Inside from the latest Knitty, of course!

  6. Christy Straight says:

    My vote is Bigger on the Inside, too. In fact, I thought, “Ooh, wouldn’t that be lovely for a TARDIS?”

  7. Heather H says:

    Bigger on the Inside. 🙂

  8. Hannah says:

    I never heard of “Bigger on the Inside” until now. I immediately checked it out and WOW that certainly is gorgeous. Whatever you choose to knit with your new yarn will be just as gorgeous. We shall all find out soon what you decided to knit next time around.

  9. When you include Lucy in your blog it always brings a smile to my face. 🙂

  10. Debbie says:

    Are you maybe going to knit SOCKS ?????

  11. See Wendy we all thought the same thing. I am using a Knit Picks blue alpaca silk for the same pattern. Love your blog, love the photos and wish my kitties could meet Lucy.
    g’day and cheers,

  12. Sandra Kerr says:

    Hah! Bigger on the Inside was my guess too!

  13. Margaret Hendrickson says:

    Another point about using the shorter circular needles.
    I have a double set of sock sizes 20″ Addis that have become uncomfortable to knit with because my hands are getting older and not as flexible.
    I do use them for short projects or stitch holders 🙂
    Margaret H.

  14. Ha, I had the same thought as Debbie. Wouldn’t it be novel to actually knit socks with sock yarn? And since you said you had way more yarn than you needed for the project, I thought, why not socks? But maybe that would be too easy.

    Whatever you knit with your little 4″ tips, I hope you have fun and that the FO brings you great pleasure.
    Linda´s last blog post ..Thursday Thoughts – A Bevy of Scarves

  15. I have medium sized hands also, but if I can’t feel the needle on the back of my hand near my wrist, my fingers get sore. I knit socks on 5″ double points, which I’m sure would drive some knitters crazy. I do find 16″ circulars faster than double points for sleeves in the round. I even start toe-up socks with Judy’s Magic cast-on using double points. I knit continental. If my hands were comfortable with those tiny 9″ circular needles, I would use them for socks. Some day I will give magic loop a serious trial.

    My kitty loves to bat at the tips of circular needles, and has no tip-length preference. She likes to play with double points too.

  16. Susan Shelly says:

    Good work, Lucy! The WIP looks great and I can’t wait to see what the new cobalt blue yarn is destined to become;O))

  17. fleegle says:

    You’re going to make a full-length cat suit?

  18. OK, so we need a new name for this yarn size range – “sock yarn” is obviously not cutting it.

    I’m sure the choice for tip length is related to exactly how one holds the needles. I’ve certainly got medium-sized hands, and I’ve got some older short circulars with shorter tips that are just not really comfortable for me. i always feel like the join is digging into my hands, and I think I’m going to break them at that point by bending the cord relative to the needle. I suspect this also has something to do with how one is knitting with them. I think I bought them for socks on 2 circs, which is an entirely different thing from magic loop or trying to finish a hat without dp needles.

    It’s also true that a relatively short needle (20″?) would be really difficult to manage with too-long tips if you were actually using it as a circular, but as part of a 2 circs arrangement, would be fine.

  19. Susan D. Smith says:

    I’m guessing either a “Bigger on the Inside” or a “Pogona”…

  20. Suzanne Coviello says:

    Yup, Bigger on the Inside… about a KAL?

  21. All that yarn inspection work is very tiring! I’d need a nap too…

  22. I guess bigger on the inside.Hope I get what it is.
    Laura´s last blog post ..Denture implants

  23. I am with you on the needle tip length.

  24. I vote for a cardigan of some sort, but it seems like the comment consensus disagrees with me.
    Molly By Golly´s last blog post ..House 😀

  25. Lucy deserves the praise she is a beautiful baby. I like your shawl, very lovely. What are you going to make? Hmmmmm….another shawl? I love your shawls by the way.

  26. I’m going to break them at that point by bending the cord relative to the needle.I do use them for short projects or stitch holders..
    Laura´s last blog post ..Procedures before the teeth implants

  27. Suzanne says:

    You use a lot of Madelinetosh yarn and its colors are beautiful and tempting. However, I bought some two years ago and made a cowl and it stretched unbelievably so I couldn’t wear it and had to frog it. Have you had this problem?

  28. I’m guessing the cobalt will become a sweater? Vitamin D? Just seems that it’s too much yarn for another shawl. Lucy…too cute!

  29. Marcie says:

    Well, if it’s not Bigger on the Inside, it probably should be 🙂

  30. To be fair, it was my very first thought as I read your post, because it is what I would knit with blue sock weight yarn right now. But after scrolling through the other comments, I am clearly just jumping on the bandwagon when I guess BIGGER ON THE INSIDE!!!!!!! 😀

  31. Are you going to knit Bigger on the inside?

  32. Lucy is such a hard worker!! She deserves an extra treat!
    Kris´s last blog post ..Blogging…In My Mind

  33. Kate/Massachusetts says:

    Lucy always makes me smile!! She certainly is the keeper of all things knitted!

  34. I thought I was being so clever when I saw the color and immediately thought “Bigger on the Inside”! — but lots of commenters agree . . .guess I’m not that clever. . . I have never even seen the show but that shawl is calling out to me as well!!!!

  35. I think it’s the Bigger on the Inside shawl for that pretty blue yarn. 🙂
    Calophi´s last blog post ..Squee Sunday: MSW 2012

  36. Re: needle tip length — I have big hands, and I prefer the shorter needle tips, but I, like Wendy, am a very loose knitter (I always need to go down at least two sizes from what’s recommended in a pattern to get gauge.) I wonder if the way we hold the needles has something to do with both our looseness and our tolerance for the short tips? In my case, it would be a definite preference — I never knit with straights any more — it bothers my wrists. I do have the regular addi clicks, as well as a vast array of addi turbo circs which I use when I need the size, but the Addi lace clicks are my go-to set for any project. I love the tip length, and I like the pointyness of the tips as well. To each his own …
    Jackie C´s last blog post ..Plus Three Makes a Dozen

  37. Maryden25 says:

    Another nice knitting.. Love this! I wish you can finish your scarf.. I’m excited to see the finish product.
    Thanks for sharing this. Your cat really enjoyed it huh?
    Maryden25´s last blog post ..Millstone Coffee Coupon