My current work in progress:

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


Other Stupid Things I Have Done

Yesterday I confessed my ineptitude with using a crochet chain for a provisional cast-on. (Thanks, by the way, to Susanna for mentioning in yesterday’s comments the better provisional cast-on. I do have Nancie Wiseman’s book of finishing techniques — I think — so I’ll check it out there before I do my next provisional cast-on.)

Another comment reminded me of another of my past ineptitudes. Loren commented:

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.

Two words: stitch markers. Put a stitch marker in between every freaking pattern repeat. This is why I own approximately one billion stitch markers.

I used to not do this. And then when I eneded up off by a stitch, spent a whole lotta time trying to figure out where I went wrong.

Last night I picked up the stitches around the center square of Tina, and started knitting the first border pattern. My knitting is sprinkled liberally with stitch markers.

I like the little red rubber rings the best. I have some sterling silver jump rings that are nice, but they have a tendency to fly off the end of my needle if I look at them funny.

The Tina shawl has four sides. The increases are done at the four corners. I put medium-sized markers at the corners so I’ll easily recognize it when I come upon it in knitting.


I mark off the pattern repeats between the corners with the small-sized markers.


I have pinned a small coilless safety pin near the marker that marks the beginning of the round, though I could also use a different marker there.


The pattern repeats on this border are 24 stitches, so I have discrete universes of 24 stitches bordered by markers. It’s a heckuva lot easier to keep track of your pattern in small increments like this.

Sometimes the markers have to be shifted — like if they fall in the middle of a double decrease. That’s slightly annoying, but not annoying enough to make me want to stop using markers.

Vee Haf Vays of Enhancing Our Stash

In today’s mail:


Fingering and laceweight yarns from one of my favorite eBay sellers, Over the Rainbow Yarns.

Vee Haf Vays of Trying to Keep Cool

When it’s fifty billion degrees outside with 5 billion percent humidity, I am driven to desperate measures.


I get half my hair chopped off!

Lucy is sticking with her usual look.



  1. The Haircut looks GORGEOUS on you Wendy!!! And Lucy is such a supermodel she can get away with the same look for years!!

  2. WONDERFUL haircut. Thanks for starting the Summer of Lace group as well – you’ve gotten me back to work on a Misti Alpaca shawl in Kiwi. See you at the group.

  3. Lurker Kristina says:

    I just had to say how much I LOVE your new hairstyle! It is very flattering on you.

  4. Wendy, I love your hair! The cut is very becoming. I took the plunge, also, and had more than half of mine cut. Actually, I missed my appointment because of my grandson’s arrival and couldn’t stand how much it had grown out. The only appointment available was 2 1/2 weeks away—So I took the clippers and scissors to it myself (then went in for a clean-up yesterday). Let’s say they dropped their mouths open in amazement—-I really did a number on it. ๐Ÿ™‚ As a result, well, let’s say, there’s not much left!
    But, that’s ok. It’ll grow back out. Meanwhile, I’M COOL!!!!!

  5. If you listen very carefully, you can hear my hair weeping in envy of your haircut. So smooth! So sleek!

  6. oh! oh! OH!! Your hair looks FAB! And, in knitting related comments: Yeah, I learned the hard way that markers and lace should be an inseparable combo.

  7. Julia in KW says:

    Love the cut!! I did the same thing…off came 10 inches and I feel like a new woman. Now my hair can do it’s thing and so can I. (Real time saver, too.) Not to mention that I now look and feel…”cool”… You look mahvelous!

  8. yep – supermodel hair cut! You’ve pushed my lazy a** once step closer to getting mine done.

    Having just completed the Kiri shawl.. stitch markers WOULD have been so helpful. The only this I can say, is as a first lace shawl, it was a brillian way of learning to read the lace and forcing myself to pick up my mistakes. However this won’t work on anything more complex.

    Enjoy your summer of lace new haircut!

  9. WOW! I love the new do….
    Very Stylish, indeed!

  10. Your hair looks GREAT!!! I was wondering if/when you’d gotten it cut and if I’d missed that blog entry. You look very *sassy*.

    I have massive stash envy. You go girl. I will live vicariously through you.

  11. The new ‘do is lovely and really suits the shape of your face. Where do you go? Next time I’m up to visit the ‘rents, I’ll go there!

  12. the hair looks great, and the lace is just beautiful.. you make me want to try it…

  13. I love your new hair style. Fabulous!!

  14. Your hair looks fabulous! Yeah, what a “me,too” comment, but really nice cut. Can you style it this way yourself?

  15. I really like your new cut, Wendy! It gives you a very different, sleek look. Sleek n chic.

  16. Love the haircut. It looks really great.

  17. Love the hair Wendy, it looks great on you. Thank heavens I wear mine up every day (not that that helps in the hyper-air conditioned office I work in, but it makes the walks outside bearable.

  18. The hair. She is fabulous! You must keep it like this.

  19. That is a very good cut for you! You look great. So does Lucy. Thanks for the good words.

  20. Wendy you look wonderful. So smooth and in all this humidity. If I cut my hair I would look like a puffball. Come to think of it in this humidity I look like a puffball anyway. An amazing knitter and gorgeous hair too. I am soooo jealous.

  21. Thank you so much for the information in your blog today. It is very helpful and I will purchase more stitch markers at my LYS tomorrow. Your haircut look fabulous!!! Yeah, Kiri, I’m on my way to knitting you.

  22. That is one great haircut and it suits you very well, just georgous!! The closeup pictures of the lace with the markers are wonderful too, thanks for sharing!

  23. Very Vond-e-ful Haircut, Vendy!

  24. Great haircut! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the one I’m getting on Saturday.

  25. I had never heard or thought of using stitch markers for pattern repeats until I started reading your blog about a year or so ago. It was such a “DOH” moment! So simple, yet so profound. It ha saved me so much grief. And the hair is lovely!

  26. Your hair cut looks great! Very cute!

  27. Very flattering haircut.

  28. Nice haircut! I am tempted to get myself one too!

  29. Great haircut! I do like, I am tempted to cutting off, but I have waited so long to grow it, agh to cut or not to cut?

  30. Cute haircut! Reminds me that I need some chopping of my own….

  31. Ha, I just posted about doing stupid things, and somebody else’s blog (I forget who…Cassie?) was talking about doing stupid things too. I think we must blame summer heat. Brain melting…

    The haircut looks great!

  32. Love the locks. I vote YES!!!

  33. Lovely haircut, Wendy!
    You’ve given me an idea for stitch markers!

  34. I, too, had been on the fence about shortening my hair for the summer. I’m loving your new ‘do! It’s got me thinking about shorter hair all over again.

    Here’s to keeping cool!

  35. You look darling!
    Great hair cut!

  36. Your hair looks fantastic. I really think it suits you.

  37. I have a marker tip– I’m doing fiddlesticks flirty ruffles which requires moving the marker over a stitch. Drove me nuts, until i started using a thread which weaves from front to back (and vice versa) vertically within the knitting. it’s easy to shift it over a stitch when required without fiddling with moving the stitch back and forth. “me too” on the haircut!

  38. travelita says:

    wow, that is a darling style on you! hmmm now if only I was brave enough….

  39. Jacinta says:

    Wow the new hairdo is beautiful!
    Looks like there is gonna be a whole lot of lacework going on judging by your recent stash enhancements. Love watching your lace grow.

  40. love the hair wendy! great cut!

  41. Nannette says:

    New yarn in the mail and a very good hair day – it doesn’t get much better than that!

  42. I already got half my hair chopped off–I’m surprized you waited this long in this heat! Of course, I’m a bit south of you, but still well within a day’s drive. I’m in the Hampton Roads area, and sweating my brains out! The weatherman said a front was moving in last night to help dry up some of the humidity today, and we’re supposed to get a couple more fronts before the weekend, so it’s supposed to cool off a bit….

  43. I know I am in danger of gushing here, but I think the new haircut is wonderful. It really suits you.

    As for stitch markers, I’ve recently discovered that using pieces of crochet cotton and running them up the work in appropriate places works really well. The downside is that you have to flip them backwards and forwards to hold your place, but they don’t fly off the needles.

  44. I guess I should have read Susan’s comment before I stuck my five eggs in, as we say here in the UK!

  45. Wendy, your new look is fantastic!! You look ravishing!!

  46. Oh wow, LOVe the new hairstyle.. it’s very becomming.. actually, the word “chic” comes to mind!


  47. The haircut looks terrific – very stylish and hip! I have a question about using markers. How do you know where to place them when the pattern repeats are always changing? I’m knitting the Leaf Lace Shawl from Fiber Trends right now and I have the center marked with a coilless pin but wouldn’t know where else to put ring markers as the leaves don’t all start at the same time. Do you know what I mean? I basically just count every row and hope that I’ve got the right number of stitches! If I don’t then I tink that row and do it again. Is there a better way? Thanks for the advice!

  48. Love the hair! I’m inspired (as I call to cancel my appointment for tonight).

  49. OK I’m the 49th person to say this but I think that is your best hairstyle so far. Very very chic.

  50. Susan Maurer says:

    I LUF LUF LUF the new hair, Wendy! It looks smashing on you! And yer temptin’ me to chop my own tresses or dye ’em or sumptin! If it’s HOT & HUMID in DC, imagine what it’s doin’ in Florida! Your hair is GORGEOUS! Good move!

  51. Love the hair!

  52. Phyllis says:

    lurk off:

    Wonderful haircut, Wendy!! It looks very nice on you.

    Question about the provisional cast-on: I have Sally Melville’s book which describes it, and feel *really* stupid for not seeing it that way. However, how exactly would you make it provisional? Use waste yarn to cast on, then start knitting with your “regular yarn”, or some other way?

    LOVE your blog!! I check it first thing every day, and am In Awe of your knitting speed and creativity.

    Lurk on.

  53. I’m loving the hair, bay-bee! Tres chic.

    I did a similar thing for summer. Mine used to be about 6 inches below my shoulders. Now it is just a wee bit longer than yours and I can wear it flipped up or turned under.

  54. That is the BEST haircut on you. Tres chic!

  55. That is the best hair cut on you and you must love it by the huge smile on your face.

    Glad it turned it out for you.

  56. Cute hair! That cut is v. flattering. And you are *so* right about the stitch markers. I resisted for a long time, but – it’s definitely the way to go. Cheers –

  57. As Billy Crystal used to say on Saturday Night Live: YOU LOOK MAHVELOUS! Great haircut!

  58. Perfectly lovely haircut, Wendy! And I’ll say alother “ditto” on the stitch markers ~ I’ve just started Violets by the River, and am using markers even though the pattern shifts after each 8-row repeat.

  59. The haircut is great. You look wonderful. I’m sure all of those days of dealing with grow out now seem “worth it”.

  60. Your hair is gorgeous!!! I love the new look! So sleek! So chic!

    And who makes the little rubber stitch markers? All I have ever found in the way of basic markers are the little plastic ones and they go flying pretty well themselves…

  61. Your hair looks fabulous, congratulations!

  62. I love the haircut, very cute. Although now it’s supposed to get cooler around here, they were saying 70- 85 for the next week or so.

    You could also put the safety pin on the marker instead of on the needle so you only had to slip one thing.

  63. patricia says:

    Looking good as usual!

  64. Delurking to add my voice to the masses – fab haircut!

  65. Hair looks gorgeous!!!

  66. I completely agree about the usefulness of stitch markers. Do you ever have problems with ladders or loose stitches where your markers were? I have been having trouble with that on an aran blanket I am working on using the little clear plastic markers.

  67. Beautiful hair!

    As far as lace-knitting tips go, one of my favorites is to use sticky notes for blocking off the row I’m working on. It keeps me from getting my rows mixed together accidentally.

    I use the rubberbands from my daughter’s braces for stitch markers. (OK, she’s 20 and hasn’t had braces for YEARS, but I saved those suckers!) They’re the exact right size and they come in colors so that I can have green markers between repeats and purple markers at the corners, etc.

  68. Love the hairdo!!! Cute, Cute!!! Natural color?
    Lucy looks darling as always!! Does she like being held???

  69. Nice do.

    Also, lots of ways to wear shawls–perfect on a spring night with a Chickami, on a fall night over a denim jacket or turtleneck, at MDSW or Rhinebeck with a blouse.

    Makes me want to weep thinking of those masterpieces–shelved.

  70. Love the do!

  71. Love the new ‘do!

  72. Nice haircut! Now, the question is, how long does it take to get it that straight again?

  73. your hair look awesome!!! <3<3<3

  74. Wendy, love that hair. I know from other pics that your hair is more curly than mine, so what products did they use to make it that sleek and straight? Is that the “right from the salon” look, or is that the “I did this myself” look? I want that hair!

  75. Great ‘do!! It’s *very* flattering to your face- smooth, too (humidity, what humidity?)

    I am a fan of stitch markers, too- I like to even use them when I’m casting on a huge number of stitches so I don’t get lost. I get lost easily. ๐Ÿ˜€

  76. Holy crap! What a fantastic cut! You look amazing!

    I know you don’t really want to hear this but:

    Yes, this is California. Yes, it’s June. And yes, it’s 60 degrees and sprinkling out. So, guess what I’m wearing today? You’re beautiful Inishmore. Um, *my* beautiful Inishmore. If only my hair looked as cute as yours…

  77. Haircut looks great!

  78. Your hair looks great! Will you be keeping it straight?

  79. Just had to add one more — GREAT haircut!!! Are you using one of those anti-humidity smoothing products on it? It looks so straight.

  80. Love the new do!

  81. OMG, that haircut is absolutely perfect for you! It looks so young and carefree…

  82. GREAT hairdo! Yay Wendy!

  83. You AND Lucy look great! You’re going to love the ease of shorter hair. And, Oy! It’s cooler in the summer.