My current work in progress:

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


Stash Enhancement is Good


This is yarn I purchased from Judy at Smatterings. Ten skeins of “Mallard,” which is slightly heavier than lace weight merino/silk, a total of about 1600 yards. This is gonna make some pretty lace! And a big shout out to Judy. She has beautiful yarn and gave me wonderful customer service. Thanks Judy!


This is from Joslyn’s Fiber Farm — some brindle brown laceweight from their sale page, and their Angel Hair laceweight in colorways “Plumes” and “Tropics.”

Oh, and then there is this:


Twenty-one skeins of Koigu Kersti. Ahem.

I purchased this via eBay from the lovely Erica. Erica mentioned in the item description on eBay that it would make a lovely Cromarty. You don’t have to tell me twice.



I have finished the center square. Now I need to pick up the stitches around the square so I can knit the borders. I removed the provisional cast-on at the bottom and strung the stitches onto a length of yarn. And I actually managed to not screw up the crochet chain this time — I unzipped it easily and all the little stitches obediently popped off like they are supposed to.

Sometimes when I do the crochet chain cast on and I knit into the bumps on the chain, I accidentally pick up more than I should of the crochet chain, or somehow twist it. Then I end up snipping the chain, digging it out with a needle, and all sorts of other rather inelegant gyrations. So imagine my relief at not having to go through that with over 100 stitches.

Shawl Talk

Thank you for all the lovely comments about my “Purple Haze” shawl. It’s not a terribly complicated pattern to knit, apart from the shaping to make the curved ends. But the instructions were excellent and if one pays attention, one should have no difficulties. I found no errors in the pattern.

Purple Haze came to work with me today and will reside in my office for a while. It’s just the thing for those aggressively air-conditioned days. That’s my number one use for shawls — having them in the office to throw over my shoulders when I need a bit of warmth. I sometimes use them as large scarves over my coat in the winter. Very rarely do I use one as an evening wrap, even though I’ve got a number of them that would go beautifully with formal attire. The last time I wore formal attire was in 2002. I just don’t have that sort of lifestyle.

I store my shawls folded on shelves. I do take them out periodically, unfold ’em, shake ’em out, and refold ’em.

Lucy Talk


Lucy is indeed declawed. She came to me that way. She’s pretty good about not messing with yarn and knitting anyhow. Apart from rolling around on the knitting, that is.

Who can blame her for that?


  1. What a stash enhancement!! The yarns are beautiful. I had to frog my Kiri shawl this morning. Is there a special technique to use when knitting several repeats within a row? I can’t seem to keep count and do want to knit this shawl before the end of the summer. Wendy help!!!

  2. Those yarns look lovely! *drool*
    Aren’t you gals the luckiest to be in US?

  3. Up for Adoption: One 33 yr old female. Resonably tidy when she has the right insentive. Willing to do wash and dishes in exchange for yarn. Comes with a 6 yr old boy who can be a real stinker though. hehehehehe

    Love all the yarn. I’m in total envy. I am getting 8oz of fingering weight merino from Mystical Creations ( in Angel Love. It is very pretty blues and purples. Gotta love co-ops. hehe

  4. I was interested to see your comment about the potential problems with picking up the bumps in the back of a crochet chain (i.e. too few or too many stitches).

    I found a version of this cast on I like better because it’s easier to be accurate. You crochet a chain and loop the bumps over a knitting needle at the same time. It’s pretty slick. Instructions in several books; Montse Stanley calls it a “Bind-off cast-on” (page 75 of the Reader’s Digest version of her book), in Sally Melville’s Knit Stitch book it’s on pages 74-75, and I know it’s also in Nancie Wiseman’s book of finishing techniques but am not sure of the page number.

    This can obviously be a permanent or a provisional cast on depending on whether or not you use waste yarn.

    As always, your work is exquisite, thanks so much for sharing it.

    Loved seeing Lucy frolicking on the shawl that was being blocked!

  5. I was just gonna leave the exact tip Susanna did! Much easier than messing with those crochet bumps!

  6. Christy says:

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has trouble unzipping that crochet chain!

  7. Evil Wendy! I just went to the Fiber Farm site!! Two words: stash enhancement. Sheesh. What a fun place, thanks for the heads up.

  8. The idea of lace made out of that Mallard yarn pushed me inches closer to picking up lace knitting myself.

    That’s gorgeous stuff. I continue to love reading your blog, if only to dream about all the knitting I *could* do.

  9. I love Judy’s yarn. Heck, I love Judy. Nice to see another person falling under the spell of her yarn. Anne (how the west was spun blog) and Margene (zeneedle) have both knitted lace using Judy’s yarn. Will be looking forward to seeing what you do with it. Lovely shawls, too, and my cats, like Lucy, are 2/3s declawed (2 of 3 cats) and they, too, like to pose on lace. So far, no disasters.

  10. Lucy is so smart!
    Judy’s yarn is sooo wonderful!!

  11. Ooh, sorely tempted by some of the lovelies at Smatterings! I’m not much one for shawls…any suggestions on what to do with 1280 yds?

  12. Mallard and Plumes look amazing. Can’t wait to see what you do with them.

  13. “Stash Enhancement” reminded me of an old joke.

    An old vacuum cleaner salesmen and a young vacuum cleaner salesman are traveling along a dusty one-lane road when they come to a tumble-down shack. The old guy parks the car in front and starts to get out. The young one says, “What are we doing here? These people don’t even have a floor, let alone electricity!” The old guy says, “Just come along and keep quiet. You might learn something.” He knocks and a lady wearing a threadbare apron invites them in. Sure enough, the floor is dirt and the lamps are burning oil. The old guy starts his spiel, but the lady interrupts him. “Wait!” she says, “let me show you something.” She flings open a closet door and out tumble innumerable vacuum cleaners, spilling out into the room in all directions. At this, the young guy, all embarrassed, jumps up and heads for door. “For Pete’s sake, let’s get out of here!” The older guy sighs. “Son, sit back down. THIS LADY BUYS VACUUM CLEANERS.”

    Wendy, I love your blog, never miss it. Keep buying those vacuum cleaners!

  14. I can not pick up the bumps in a crochet chain properly. I also use the “crochet over the needle” cast on when I have to do a provisional cast on. I found it very clearly illustrated in Cheryl Oberle’s Folk Shawls.
    The center square of the Tina Shawl looks wonderful, especially with that yarn !

  15. Can you post a photo of the provisional cast-on with a crochet hook and a knitting needle? I think I get the idea, but I wanted to be sure. What size needles/hooks do you use? The size called for in the pattern (or to meet guage) or a size or so up?


  16. Elizabeth Miller says:

    If you can tear yourself away from lace, that koigu kersti is beautiful. I too bought some from Erica-in a raspberry shade-and am doing Cromarty. I am up only about 6-7 inches but absolutely love the way it is turning out.

  17. cute hair!

  18. Yes, I agree, Stash Enchancement is Good. I also have some of Judy’s yarn and it is delicious.

  19. You know I made my Cromarty in Kersti, right? Oh, yummy….