My current work in progress:

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


Not Feeling the Love

I’ve not suffered with such project angst in ages.

I swatched for the Alice Korach lace shawl with every fingering and laceweight yarn in my stash last night and this morning and I don’t like any of them for this pattern.

The alpaca I have is actually heavier than fingering weight and I don’t like how it looks. The cream-colored wool I have has too much fuzz and displeases me. I have some brown fingering weight wool that I actually like knitted in the pattern, but it snaps very, very easily, so I fear for its life while blocking the shawl.(Incidentally, thanks to everyone who offered blocking space!) I have some shetland wool that is cream with a tinge of grey, but I think I’m a couple hundred yards short of what I need. I am so not making this and finding out I don’t have enough yarn near the end. And I don’t like how it looks anyhow. (Stamps foot like a petulant child.)

And so on. I finally gave up on the last yarn I tried on the train this morning.

Eve pointed out in the comments that there were errors in the pattern. So perhaps this is a pattern best left unknit for now.

This freaks me out. I hate being projectless, so I usually plan ahead better than this. What was I thinking? I briefly whined about it this morning to a sympathetic non-knitter at work who pointed out “job stress is interfering with your knitting.”


But . . .

While digging through my lace patterns the other day, something I’ve been wanting to make for ages resurfaced — a shawl designed by Deborah Newton that appeared in issue 9 (1987) of Knitters magazine. It’s knit from fingering weight yarn and has what look like traditional shetland patterns, but is an unusual shape — sort of a long oval.

I’ve got a bunch of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4-ply in a pretty lavender. I decided to try it for this shawl. Knit a little bit of the edging tonight.


Yeah, baby. Now I’m feeling the love.

The photo is slightly washed out, by the way. This is shade #268 — “Enchant.”

Kristen asked what my favorite needles for lace knitting are. I agree with her that the Addi Turbos are a bit too blunt. I like the Addi Naturas better — the tip is a bit sharper. However, most of my lace knitting has been done on Addi Turbos — in the days before I “discovered” wooden needles.

This little sucker was knitted on wicked tiny steel dpns, which were great for lace knitting, but dangerous. Yikes! I punched many holes in my poor fingers while knitting that, but managed not to drip blood on the pristine white lace.

That was pretty much the first lace project I ever knitted. I am insane, no?

Wait, I think I’ve already established the depths of my insanty.

Proof That L-B is a Good Sport!

I got a package in the mail today from L-B. Inside were treats for the little princess, who is now reclining happily after sampling them.


And this!


A little fisherman figurine! His aran sweater even has a center diamond panel.

But that’s not all. L-B sent me a badge of honor:


A genuine U.K. Girl Guides knitting badge. I am verklempt!


  1. oooh, I think that is the pattern that is also in the Best of Knitters book. I have looked at it off and on and cannot wait to see how it turns out. By the way, I loved watching the contest, your knitting speed and ability are awesome. I do not comment often, but love to follow along. I do a little myself, but carpal tunnel has me very limited on quantity of both knitting and typing. Seem to be doing ok today though, maybe I can get a few rows in myself tonight ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Heather says:

    Love the blog, am awed by your knitting skills (i’ve been knitting for decades and don’t come close to you). What prompted me to comment is your Girl Guide badge! I am Canadian and down here in the U.S. (I’m an expat) no one knows what Girl Guides are… gave me a little nostalgic twinge. You and Crazy Aunt Purl are my daily reads — keep up the good work and thanks! I can’t imagine blogging on a daily basis – I feel very selfish (and very happy) that you guys do it. Next time I’m in the DC area (love DC) I’ll have to find Knit Happens (too bad I didn’t know about it when I was assigned there last Oct thru Jan) ๐Ÿ™

  3. I’ve got that badge! You want the syllabus? ~x~

  4. the cure for PPD and sore finger tips might be the corset pattern on Annie Modesitt’s site. I am thinking of that lovely La luz yarn you did Aurora in.

  5. I’ve done some lacy stuff in heavy yarns,but am scared of lace weight wool as I have pretty large hands,so I tend to knit too loose at times. And I hate the feeling of not having a project. That’s why I always have a pair of socks on the needles! Love your blog,btw! Is the lace hankerchief a smaller version of the Alice Korach shawl? I saw something similar in an old issue of Threads.

  6. Not that I am in any way advocating buying more yarn or anything, but PERHAPS you should try the Misti Alpaca Lace. IT_IS_DIVINE. And I know a good online store where you can get it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Francie says:

    Chrys is right. It’s in Best of Knitters Shawls and Scarves, p. 10. It’s GORGEOUS! It looks like it’s about 8 feet long. I want this shawl.

  8. Lynn S. says:

    Got those What Am I Gonna Knit? blues
    Bottom lip draggin’ down by my shoes
    This shawl’s pretty hot
    Then again, maybe not
    Oh what in the hell will I choose?

    Honey, go have a margarita and forgetaboutit. By tomorrow morning, while we’re still rubbing the sleep out of our eyes, you’ll be knitting circles around us. I have faith in you!

  9. Cobweb weight wool? 0000 wicked steel dpns? How can anyone have a magarita dealing with either of those things? Plus, ignorance showing, never heard of either of those sizes! Is it one fiber thick? Are they the size of a beading needle? I love lace, but not THAT much!

    Rowan Yorkshire Tweed is always nice! Lavender is always nice! Traditional shetland patterns – a definite favorite! Looks beautiful! Sorry alpaca let you down!

  10. vanessa says:

    love the yorkshire tweed ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. now that badge that is COOL I say you sew it on to the Inishmore ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Oh good heavens. I’ve been looking at that Deborah Newton pattern very intently the last couple of days, trying to decide if I have enough yarn anywhere in stash for it. I am definitely Chief Minion.

  13. L-B's Inishmore Update says:

    The front is off the needles and the last sleeve is on! Sorry I slowed my progress in deference to the hand pain,but you know, I do want to knit again after Inishmore! Tee hee! In the interest of speed knitting,though, I’ll time the sleeve and give you a report in this day’s comments when I finish it!

  14. that BADGE is just the Best!
    I think part of PPD is the whole “oh there’s nothing I want to knit with anything in my stash, I think I’d better go see what the Dealer has for me….something a little STRONGER this time…”
    Good for you, though, for perservering through the swatching stages of the DT’s…
    I think that edging is LOVELY

  15. Susan Maurer says:

    Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!
    Except for that one. It is really cool! Ya gotta sew it on Inishmore somewhere. It matches! And it has a ball of yarn on it! Took a second look for me to see that.
    Bon weekend! Hope you drink your way out of… I mean, think your way out of your PPD. The right lace pattern will find you. I have faith.

  16. I am seriously diggin’ the badge…

  17. L-B’s a true friend-the Girl Guide Badge is inspired. Brings back memories of my 11 years as a Girl Scout-still have my sash with all of my earned badges. I’d be interested to know how many of us were Girl Scouts/Guides (or Boy Scouts-not to be gender biased) and if through them we were inspired to knit? Or if any of us have had the pleasure of passing on this time honored skill to these young folks?

  18. Hi, Wendy. I made that Deborah Newton shawl last year. I’d been thinking about it since I first saw it on that Knitter’s cover all those years ago. Silly me didn’t save those old issues, could kick myself now. Anyway, here’s a link to a photo of me holding up the shawl at a spinning guild meeting last July: No, I didn’t spin the yarn. It was some old, old stuff from an estate that had been donated to the guild. It took 11 oz. of fingering, ~1,800yds. Somehow I never could memorize the charted patterns and was a slave to the charts the whole way through, especially the edging — the very one you’d think would get easy because it goes all the way through the thing. Nope. But I love the stole. Enjoy knitting it.

    –Kathy Hinckley in LA

  19. swellmom says:

    By the way, how is L-B doing? Are her hands feeling better? How close is she to completing Inishmore? What was her yardage? I’m wishing her the best. As you, she is a great knitter and obviously a kind and generous person. Thank you both for sharing your knitting talent and inspiring us all.

  20. Not to be macabre, or anything, but that shot of Lucy makes her appear rather, well, unwell.

  21. They say orange yarn cures all P.P.D.

  22. Lace… Hmmmm….. Lace…..

  23. Nice to meet you it is writing from Japan.
    There are a lot of works of Rowan and it is wonderful. It is one of the works that want to knit
    The book has not been put the string of RYC on the market to being yet, and is awful in Japan. It
    wants it ..early…
    It was surprised because there were a lot of works of you. My best regards because of coming to be
    going to see in the future.
    My site is a site of the group in which a favorite person to knit gathers. I’m sorry that only
    Japanese is being written.

  24. I go away for like ONE day and you have finished Inishmore
    AND been in and out of PPD. I can’t believe it. You are like the army – you get more done before 10 am than I do in two weeks!

    Thanks for including us in the inishmore challenge!