My current work in progress:

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


Feelin’ Groovy!

Lacey groovy, that is.

I’ve made some progress on the second half of the Newton Lace Shawl. Witness:


I’m hoping the second half will take me less time than the first to complete. I think I’ve got an easier week this week with more evening free time, so I have high hopes.

As I mentioned previously (or at least I think I did) this shawl is knitted in two sections which must be grafted together in the center.

Ew. Grafting. Something of which I am not particularly fond. But what must be done, must be done.

There’s an article in a past issue of Knitty on grafting that has excellent clear instructions and photos here.

Another site with very clear pictures for grafting garter stitch is here.

I was sifting through my lace patterns last night and came across my copy of the Spider Queen. I’ve always thought this was a very pretty piece of lace, and am thinking about incorporating it into the line-up for the Summer of Lace.

I note that it is constructed by knitting the center square, then knitting each side panel out from the center separately. Hmmm, I wonder if it would be possible to knit it circularly, knitting all the side panels in the round at the same time? Probably, but it would take forever to complete a round! Also because it’s based on garter stitch, one would have to purl every other round. As far as I’m concerned, that is just wrong.

Summer of Lace Button Contest

I’ve gotten some really cute buttons in my contest (see yesterday’s entry for particulars). There’s still plenty of time to submit a button, so keep ’em coming!

A question in the comments — are we gonna have a Summer of Lace Knit-along? Sure, why not? I’ll post all the button choices on Thursday. You can vote for your favorite and if you like, download your favorite to display on your blog.

Lucy is more concerned about keeping neat and tidy in the summer heat.


Me? I’m celebrating the Summer of Lace by listening to Jimi Hendrix on the iPod.


  1. Laureen says:

    Oh, yes! I bought the Spider Queen pattern over three years ago myself. I’m scared to try it. Now that I have a little more lace experience, I’m ready. I’ll watch for yor progress . I’ve order Addi Nautas to knit the Lily of the Valley Shawl.Then, on to the Spider! What yarn do you think?

  2. Oh please do Spider Queen! I have looked at that pattern several times, but my knitting skills are not up to that yet. Later this week I am intending to get some Misti Alpaca lace yarn for the ‘Arabeque’ scarf in the 2nd book of Modern Lace Knitting, my first real attempt at lace. Do you have to have a blog to knitalong? It may be next summer before I finish (I have 3 kids, quiet time for complicated knitting is rare), but I would love to join in.

  3. A Summer of Lace Knit-Along would be great! I’ve decided the next project I cast on is going to be a lace (not sure if you would classify it as a shawl or poncho), which I’m hoping to have done before my trip home in July. I really need to get my rear in gear if that’s going to happen!

  4. I’m working on Spider Queen (along with a number of other projects ). I’m almost through with the center square, and I’ve been trying to decide whether to try to do the borders in one piece rather than one-at-a-time. I haven’t decided yet!

    The center chart of Spider Queen is lace every row, not lace going out and plain knitting coming back. I was pretty apprehensive about this at first, since I hadn’t done a pattern like this before, but I’ve found I really like it. For one thing, if your stitch count is wrong in a section, it’s dead easy to figure out what happened on the previous row. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Would that be a little Purple (Kidsilk) Haze you’re listening to, dear???

    Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

  6. Kathy H. in LA says:

    Hi, Wendy. Your Deborah Newton shawl is lookin’ good!

    I haven’t made the Spider Queen yet; the kit is ripening in my stash. Kim Salazar commented on the knittedlace list about a year and a half ago that she didn’t recommend doing the border in the round because she had a “small bit of cupping” that needed adjusting during the sewing up, which she didn’t think could have been fixed had it been done in the round. I suppose you could switch to larger needles at some point to fix that, though. Your point about garter stitch is more compelling!

    I’m getting ready to do Lyra, myself. Got some fingering on its way to me, so it will be big enough for a generously sized shawl.

    Thanks so much for your inspiring blog, I never miss it. –K.

  7. I recently knitted the EZ version of the Shetland Lace shawl which is constructed exactly as you describe Spider Queen. I agree that it makes more sense done circularly and I’d rather suffer a beating than purl. So I did the same pattern using a circular method working k1, yo, k1, yo at four equidistant points every other round. Comes out perfectly flat. What causes the cupping is usually a cast off that is not elastic enough. I can’t recomend highly enough to do a sideways border on something like that, or at the very least a crochet loop edge.
    Great. Now I have to go find this Spider Queen pattern. Bet I’ll like it too. Oh, what’s one more UFO? at least the others won’t be lonely.

  8. Hi Wendy! You’ve inspired me to learn lace knitting. I’m not sure if I should say thank you or not yet LOL. I have taken it apart now four or five times. I’m very frustrated that I keep messing up, yet I am DETERMINED to get this done. I’m starting out with Branching Out from Knitty, since it “looks” simple enough, and I’m sure it is…once I get it down. My question to you, if you get a chance to answer, is this: When you first started lace knitting did you want to throw the entire thing across the room out of frustration? Will I get over this? LOL
    By the way, Lucy is a beautiful member of your family ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Yay for a Summer of Lace knit-along! Sign. Me. Up!

  10. Do you wear your square shawls frequently? Is it nice just to know the second triangle of the square is there? It seems much less practical to me than a longer, thinner rectangle, which could easily be modified from the Spider Queen, no?

  11. My favorite grafting help page on the web, and the one which finally enabled me to figure out how to do it (and now I do it pretty decently, I might add) is this:

    And if I ever finish the intarsia blankie, I have some beautiful eBay silk just waiting to be knit up into something fabulous and lacey! It might be autumn by then, though.

  12. Count me in – I just ordered seven skeins of Alpaca Cloud from Knit Picks and am looking forward to doing some small lace projects.

  13. I have been eyeballing the spider queen shawl for quite some time. In fact, I started lace knitting for sole purpose of working up to doing it. I’d love to see someone tackle it and then blog about it.

  14. Holy Cow! How weird is this? As my lace knitting frenzy has progressed I’ve become obsessed with Jimi Hendrix as well. Considering I never owned a Jimi Hendrix CD until two weeks ago… maybe it’s something in the lace??

  15. Hi there! Oh your Newton shawl is coming out beautifully!! You’re an inspiration. A friend and I are on the final leg of the Shetland Lace Shawl and this last part has been a it tough but the end is in sight!

    If you don’t mind me asking, where can I purchase a copy of the pattern for the Newton shawl?? It’s gorgeous!!

  16. Susan Maurer says:

    Re: shawl wearing, I have knit four shawls to date: the Alice Korach shetland as seen on the Threads cover (square, never wear), the Fan Stitch Half Circle Shawl from the book Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls by Martha Waterman (wear this shawl most frequently), the Dramatic Drape Update shawl by Lily Chin in the Fall 2000 (K60) Knitter’s magazine (gave this shawl away, but would probably wear it), and finally the Brenda Zuk/Needle Beetle design Tiger Swallowtail shawl, seen here: wear, but a stunning design and fun fun fun knitting).
    I think that in all my knitting, it never has been about the wearability of the design, but the challenge and joy of knitting it. That said, I’m gravitating more toward the wearable items for my own wardrobe, because it’s getting on my nerves storing all these lovelies in my cedar chest and closets without actually wearing them. Part of that’s just due to the fact that living in Florida doesn’t lend itself well to wearing woolens very often.
    Does lead to a Q though. How much of your knitting (for yourself) do you actually wear, say more than twice or thrice a year? My stuff? Practically never. But I’m trying to change that.

  17. Susan Maurer says:

    Joined the word “never” with the web link.
    Here’s the

  18. Heather in MA says:

    Hi Wendy –

    C’mon Wendy – Did you forget one of your cups of coffee this morning? WE both know you could still work on all four panels of your lace simultaneously, on a CN, but just don’t knit in the round. Knit across all four edges, turn and knit back to avoid purling. Then you’ll have just one seem to sew up in the end. I expect with something this size that the project might become unwieldy quickly, but I’m sure you’ve handled worse before…

    Good luck!

    Heather in MA

  19. Yes please do the Spider Queen! And yes, you can do the outside in the round. My friend Ted Myatt did just that and it looks amazing. As you said, it will take forever to do a round, but it’s a lot less fiddling at the end.

    Happy lace knitting! Danny

  20. I am working on the Spider Queen now. I am doing the borders in the round, but they require some modification with the number of increases per row. You also have to decide if you must have a garter stitch base or could go for a stockinette base… There is some errata out there that is incorrect, in terms of the center panel. Every row is charted. I have made so many changes I am not sure it will be recognizable as a Spider Queen, but it is all about the process and I must enjoy the process!

  21. The Spider Queen Shawl is very pretty! If you decide to knit it, are you going to try to beat the 100hrs it says takes to knit this shawl? I smell a good challenge…

  22. If you (or Lucy) show up in fringe and tie dye…

  23. I absolutely love lace shawls and have well, a lot of patterns, but I hadn’t seen the spider one yet. It is really awesome. Unfortunately. Hmmm, well I do have an entire tub of laceweight yarn, what’s another pattern.

    Oh Lucy, you stay in the air conditioned, it’s hot out there.

  24. I’ll lace along! I’m almost finished with a little lace scarf for a friend. I’ll have to choose between Needle Beetle’s dragonfly stole and Marianne from Rowan 37 (cropped version). The stole seems more in keeping with the Summer of Lace theme, but I’m dying to have a little lacy sweater to wear in the A/C!

  25. Okay, question –

    Buttons are cool. I like them. I even made one for the contest. Yet, I have no idea how to put them on my blog. Help?

  26. cindersall says:

    I knit Spider Queen 2 years ago, and did the border in 4 separate sections, knitting every row. The first section followed the directions. On every other row of the second section, I slipped the edge “bump” from the corresponding row on the first section over the first stitch of the second section,knit the first stitch, and continued the row. Same for the third section, joining to the second. On the fourth section, I joined at the beginning of every row, once to section three and once to section one. It made an almost invisible join, and looked better than seaming. One caveat: you have to be careful about not missing a row when you join; it is easy to skip an edge bump, and then you run out of joining rows at the end. I wonder how I know?