My current work in progress:

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



The astute among you may have noticed (from glancing at the sidebar) that I created a “Summer of Lace 2005” Yahoo Group. Some of you asked in the comments or via email about a lace knit-along for summer. It sounded like a good idea to me, so I created a group where we can all post messages, upload photos, ask questions, share info, etc. Everyone and anyone who is knitting lace this summer is welcome to join. The link to the group is, as I mentioned above) in the sidebar, over on the right.

Speaking of Lace


I received in the mail yesterday a copy of Heirloom Knitting by Sharon Miller. (I bought my copy from TheKnitter — no affiliation, just wanna mention the excellent service and very fast shipping!)

This is not an inexpensive book, but I think, for me, it was worth the money. The author describes the book, on her website, as “a new Pattern and Workbook on the craft of Shetland Lace Knitting.”

While it contains several patterns for projects (baby items and shawls), none of them “spoke” to me. But that’s not why I bought the book. It contains a huge library of traditional Shetland lace motifs — all of which are charted. I’ve got other books of Shetland lace, but I think this is the largest collection of patterns in one place that I’ve ever seen.

There’s also lots of information on shawl construction, needles, yarns, cast-ons and cast-offs, etc. Most everything you ever wanted to know about Shetland lace.

I think I’m going to find this book extremely useful in designing my own lace shawls.

Again, Speaking of Lace

I’m working away at the shawl.


Okay, now I am bored with it, because I’m just repeating what I did on the first half. Still, I’m only a few days away from completing it, so I will persevere.

Next up, as I mentioned a few days ago, is the Tina Shawl from Fiddlesticks Knitting. I’m making it in Misti Alpaca Lace in Natural White. L-B is making the same shawl in the same color, and she’s started hers. And is enjoying it so far, right L-B?

We Are Still Speaking of Lace

A couple of questions in the comments about wearability of lace shawls.

I very rarely make a square shawl, because the shape I like best for wearing is a triangular shawl. Yeah, you can fold a square to make a triangle, but in my head I always thought “what a waste — just knit a triangle for gosh sakes.”

But at this point, it’s about the process (hi Margene!). I’m interested in the construction of square shawls, so I’m gonna make one. Or two. Or more. I’ve made several rectangular shawls and like them too.

I do wear my shawls sometimes. I keep one or two of them at work, for when the a/c is too aggressive in the summer, and the heat is too wimpy in the winter. I sometimes wear one as a really big scarf in the winter. I actually find them to be among the most useful of my knits to wear.

The one shawl shape I’ve never knitted is a Faroese shawl. I am not sure why, but they simply don’t appeal to me.

Holy Guacamole, What a Storm

What happens when you mix an oppressively hot muggy day with a cold front? Not-to-be-believed thunderstorms, that’s what. I was awakened at 12:30 this morning (as were most people in this area I believe) by the loudest, most dramatic thunderstorm I’ve ever experienced. Almost unreal.

Lucy was surprisingly calm throughout.


Here’s a close-up of what I’m mailing to the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation tomorrow:


The proceeds from the Inishmore Raffle. Thanks again, guys!


  1. Another great use of shawls… is for hot flashes – you can get them off and on REALLY FAST! LOL!

  2. Oh, Wendy, what a great total to the Susan B. Komen Foundation! Good for you!
    AND. You get a sweater out of the deal too.

  3. I love the Heirloom Knitting book. That and Color in Spinning never leave my end table. I am currently knitting a stole myself using patterns from that book. It is a terrific resource. Congratulations on the total!

  4. A friend of mine got Heirloom Knitting through Amazon, but some of the pages seemed to have been doubleprinted. None of the charts at least, so it’s still quite useable. Did you find any pages like that in your copy? I’m just wondering if it’s a fluke and she got a bad copy.

  5. I walked 2 miles in the early part of that storm. I had an umbrella but there was no point. i’m loving the shawl – I find ine most useful when I’m travveling – on the airplane for warmth or behind my back for a little support and also in the hotel rooms when they’re chilly and don’t have extra blankets.

  6. Sharon’s working on her next book now. I agree, her book is a wonderful resource.

  7. I just got the Heirloom Knitting book last month, and I was so impressed. Huge wealth of information there. Well worth the money, I thought. My very first shawl was a square one (from Martha Waterman’s “Lace and Knitted Shawls,” another book I love) and I’ve rarely worn it folded into a triangle–partly, yes, because I want the lace to actually show–but also because it’s actually easier to wear, I think, folded asymmetrically. I’ve done three triangle shawls in a row, though, and I’m thinking that next I’m going to do either a square or a stole . . . I’m not so much interested in a circle. (I like corners (grin).) And hey, I just joined the Yahoo KAL group. Yay!

  8. The second half of a shawl… ugh! Kind of like the Lace Shawl version of Sleeve Island. Shawl archipelago? It looks great even if it is the second time around. Thanks for organizing the Summer of Lace group– I’m knitting my first shawl with laceweight yarn and will enjoy it all the more now!

  9. Happy Knitter says:

    The shawl’s looking very nice! I would imagine you would go nuts doing something like leaf-lace or Old Shale/feather and fan then, if you get bored doing something for only the second time! Anyways, I had two questions: first of all, people have (obviously) commented on your great speed at finishing things (notably becoming Miss Amazing-finish-in-nine-short-days-Inishmore)– would you attribute that to your monogamy to whatever project you work on? I mean, I always have at least three or four projects going at once(maybe that’s why I never get anything done… ^.^)– I’m a bit ADD– but you rarely seem to have more than one. Is that why you knit so quickly? Also, just something interesting I was curious about, could you give us a mini photo-tour of what you keep in your “knitting bag”? I’m interested because you seem fairly organized and I’m sure that that helps– what you keep by your side.
    PS– Congratulations on the donation total!

  10. I love to do square Shetland style shawls. I knit the edging first, then I pick up the stitches along the top, using the traditional Shetland technique. They go remarkably fast, and I’m not a very fast knitter. I wear my shawls a lot. They are excellent on a cold day to wrap around head and shoulders over a coat, and they are wonderful in icy-cold air-conditioned buildings.

    Congratulations on the Komen contribution. That’s a very significant accomplishment.

  11. Ann McDonald says:

    Boy that WAS a boomer, eh? My pup was not a happy dude. The cat could have cared less. But after such a nasty nasty first hot day, it was actually kind of a relief.

    Oddly, I’m choosing between the Peacock Shawl (Fiddlesticks) or a Sandnes sweater. Guess I should toss a coin. Or better yet
    I should check which I have the right needles for. Because I’m thinking I’ll have to buy at least one set when I can’t find them in my bag-o-knitting-needles.

    That’s the second positive review I’ve seen for Heirloom Knitting, and since Poems of Color is also on my waiting list it may be time to put in an order somewhere.

    Keep cool!

  12. Congrats on the donation total everyone!! (and you and L-B for being the impetus for it, Wendy!)

    I’m a total shawl lover and love the process as much as the product (hi again Margene!) I just finished a lovely cotton Faroese shawl, also from Knitter’s Best of Shawls and Scarves.

    I wasn’t so sure about the Faroese shape myself but once you wear one and see how nicely they fit, you might just find it more appealing. I know I have!

    And speaking of incessant rain and T-Boomers, that sounds like a *Florida* kinda storm ๐Ÿ™‚
    As soon as I can find some sunlight and respite from our rain,rain,rain I’ll post pics of my new shawl on my blog.

    PS – If you visit, Pumpkin asks that you bring Lucy…me-ow, baby!!

  13. Here in Manassas nary a raindrop, only distant thunder, which didn’t even bother my cat Misty, who usually when she hears thunder hides under the bed or under the coffe table meowing pitiously “mommy stop it”. (my other cat Ash wouldn’t even be bothered if a marching band came through my living room). Isn’t AC wonderful-I can knit even though it’s hot, hot, hot outside.

  14. What a wonderful donation to a wonderful cause!

  15. Your area and all the way to Michigan, Wendy. It was ridiculous. We couldn’t sleep at all and the cats were hunkered down underneath tables and couches. ๐Ÿ™‚

    The shawl is coming along beautifully. And WOW on the total for the Komen foundation. Congrats!!

  16. Congatulations on a job well done!!

  17. Right,Wendy! The center square of Tina is a delight because it is instantly memorized and makes for good carry-around knitting at the moment. Check back,though,when I start the first border! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. First time to comment, but wanted to add how much I love Heirloom Knitting; I designed a shawl that my daughter-in-law wore at the wedding from the book, and have used it a lot. There are mistakes, though, so check the website for errata before you knit! I used the Rose Trellis pattern, and there is a mistake on row 15. But the correction is on the website. Just google for Heirloom Knitting. Am about to embark on a wedding stole for Daughter-in-law #2, to be married in October to son #2.

  19. The storm was pretty intense here in Riverdale – especially after all the children and dogs had settled down, and I could just sit with a glass of wine and a sock and enjoy it.

    I really love the summer storms, as long as they don’t do any damage. These days my power almost never goes out – I grew up in Chevy Chase, one of the first neighborhoods around DC to get electric power, by the 1970s the equipment was so old and strained the power went out once a week all summer long. No AC was sad, but at least I could knit by candlelight.

  20. How creative you are! I love that you did so much good as well as keeping us greatly amused, (albeit for a scant 9 days) with “The Challenge”.

  21. I long for Heirloom Knitting, but we just made an offer on a house in the ‘burbs, and I am officially on yarn lockdown. (Luckily, I have enough in the stash to tide me over.)

    See you over in the Summer of Lace group. I just joined. Most of my current WIPs are lace–even the socks. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    p.s. Your penmanship is impressive!

  22. It’s always so interesting to see how very different people are. We just had a discussion on ample-knitters about how we prefer Faroese shawls to triangles because they fit better. I’m still not sure if this is a larger bodies issues or not.

    I do have a bit of an issue with traditional Faroese designs: I think the back panel can be quite clunky, so I’m looking at shaped triangles to see it that works better. Teardrops, anyone?

    The donation is awesome. Go, girl!

  23. We had thunderstorms, too. Moxie isn’t calm, however.
    Lace seems to be the perfect process knitting, IMO. It has a flow and it’s so magic when it’s blocked. It becomes something else altogether.

  24. Hi wendy, I just wanted to point out to you that it is the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation you have written Susan B. Komen repeatedly and I just wanted to let you know because it is a really important foundation and I am surprised no one has mentioned it yet. Its really important.

  25. I didn’t think that faroese would appeal to me either,then I met Mynra Stahman’s Shawls and Scarves(nayy). Wow the construction is superb and you can use any amount or type of yarn. My first handspun project was Fenna. I love that book and they are not ordinary faroese shawls.
    I tried my first square shawl too. I was in your camp, what a waste of time and yarn to just fold it in half. The Paisley shawl by Evelyn Clark ,again, nayy. It was so fun I’m working on designing a shawl from Heirloom knits and it’s square!

  26. Oooh, I think I might have to join your summer lace group, even though I’m an addicted lace knitter year round.

    I’m in the middle of the Tina shawl, m’self. I really love the Fiddlesticks patterns.

  27. Love the Tina Shawl, it’s one I already own. And unfortunately due to your post yesterday about the spider Queen, I’ll soon have that in my pattern stash as I ordered it yesterday along with 2 other shawls and an afghan pattern.

    I find shawls keep my interest in they have variety, which those two definitely have that.

    Thanks for turning people onto lace.


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