Today's Wednesday Work In Progress (or WIP): mice for my sister's children. She and I used to love the Jill Barklem Brambly Hedge books when we were little, and I'm pleased that her children love them too. Her eldest has been asking for a toy mouse, so a little trawl of Ravelry ensued. This is a brilliant pattern, free to download, from Janet McMahon's blog, called Fair Isle Mice. You can find the blog here: www.yellowpinkandsparkly.blogspot.co.uk . I made the Fair Isle a bit simpler, knitting just two rows in alternate main colour and contrast colour stitches. I was a bit worried, half way through, that they looked rather sluggy, but I think the coloured tails and eyes have changed that!
I also learnt how to do i-cord! How have I not known how to do this before? She suggests making the tails by twisting a long length of the main colour, but I wanted coloured tails. It's also quite hard to do the twisty thing hard enough without another pair of hands, and I wanted to get on with them. So I had a quick look in Debbie Stoller's Stitch'n Bitch book, and the i-cord instructions are in there on page 87. If you end up doing this pattern but want a contrasting tail (doesn't everyone?!), then use 3.75mm double-pointed needles and use 4 stitches. I did about 30 rows and, on the penultimate row, tapered the tail a bit by knitting two together twice, then the remaining two stitches together.
I managed to listen to a fair few episodes of the excellent Caithness Craft Collective's knitting podcasts while making these: Louise Hunt has a really engaging way of talking about her crafting as well as her whisky-drinking - while describing the scenery of her part of Scotland beautifully too. Her knitting book reviews sound really good, too. Find her here: http://caithnesscraftcollective.podbean.com/
I got the recommendation for these programmes from Sadie's blog: http://ravelledsleeve.wordpress.com/ - there are other suggestions on there, too, but I haven't got round to those yet.
Anyway: one more mouse to go!