My current work in progress:

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



I finished knitting Tina on Friday night. Here she is, in her relaxed, pre-blocked state, hanging out on the couch.


I blocked her last night. Here she is, reclining gracefully on the couch apres blocking.


I blocked her out to 62 inches square. The pattern gives the blocked dimension as 52 inches. But I’m an aqgressive blocker. When unpinned, a blocked shawl bounces back a little, so I’m guessing she is now 56 to 58 inches square. Did I mention that I love her? I do.

Here she is during blocking, all pinned out on the floor.


I used blocking wires to help me achieve a square. I slipped wires through the eyelets around the center square, and anchored them in place with T-pins. I also slipped wires through the eyelets where the edge of the body meets the edging. I anchored those in place with more T-pins, then I pinned out the points of the edging.


I had to adjust the wires a couple of times as I pinned out the edging, and I’d say it took me about an hour of crawling around on the floor to get it just right. Lucy, ever vigilant, checked my work.


Blocking Wires

The blocking wires were a huge help in this endeavor.

I have a set of Zonta wires, as well as a set I purchased from Halcyon — infomation on them is here.

The wires help to keep everything straight — very important for a square shawl!

And just because, more shots of Tina. A close-up of a corner:


An artistic “hanging-in-the-window” shot:


And another:


And Tina on a chair:


She took just about 3.5 skeins of Misti Alpaca Lace, so she weighs only about 6 ounces.

So . . . back to the Peacock Feathers!


  1. Wow! That’s impressive. I cannot imagine the detail just in blocking that shawl, but what a pay-off! I guess it’s always worth doing the job right.

  2. One word.

  3. That’s amazing – it looks very Old World. What beautiful work!

  4. Tina is beautiful Wendy! I’m so impressed with your productivity… as I FINALLY finish 860 pages of the last Harry Potter book before the new one comes out – and promise to get back to Charlotte!

  5. Beautiful!

    Someone on a knitting forum reported receiving an email from Myrna Stahman a week or two ago. She says that Zonta is phasing out their blocking wire fundraising program and she’s looking for someone else to sell/distribute the wires. Zonta has some kits left (not sure if that is 10 kits or 100 kits) so they are selling their remaining stock.

  6. Wendy, she’s beautiful! You must be thrilled. So, after Peacock Feathers, will it be Flirty Ruffles in black? 😉

  7. Tina’s gorgeous!

  8. Amazing! Tina is so lightweight that I am thinking really hard about knitting lace. Singapore’s weather is getting hot, um and this seems like a great project!

  9. Beautiful Wendy! The blocking wires at the centre really did the trick to keep things square. And the edging looks like it was worth the torture

  10. Wow – Tina is amazing. You should be proud of yourself after creating such a beautiful work of art. But I do have a simple question – what keeps you going during that hour of crawling around on the floor – do you listen to music or watch tv? That is quite a long period of time during which I would think you would have to concentrate completely on the task at hand, yet also have something to distract you. Just curious.

  11. It came out really great! i especially like the “hanging in the window” shot!!

  12. Tina is gorgeous! I have still been a little afraid to try knitting lace. You are a true inspiration, but I think I will have to start with something a little less complex! I always enjoy reading your blog. PS – Tell Lucy that she is gorgeous, too. We wouldn’t want her to get jealous!

  13. Gorgeous!! will she slip through a wedding ring? she looks to be that fine.

  14. one word – GORGEOUS. another inspiring project from your prodigious needles!

  15. Wow–it’s stunning; very nice work 🙂 I bought some blocking wires from Fiddlesticks that I’ll be breaking in when I finish my first lace piece(Beginner’s Triangle from Gathering of Lace) Happy knitting!

  16. Oh, this is the most gorgeous, fabulous shawl I have ever seen! Dare I try something like this? It is so tempting.

  17. Wow, Wendy, that is beautiful! You really did some fine work there. Take a bow!

  18. Absolutely beautiful…as usual Wendy!

    I do wonder does Lucy leave any residue on your shawls after she checks your work?

    I have 4 kids, 2 dogs and a husband running around the (too small) house, I can’t imagine *ever* being able to block on the floor, but am definately jealous of your ability to do so!

  19. Very beautiful! And so photogenic!

  20. Susanne says:

    Just simply stunning! You should stand up and take a bow, and another one…and what the heck…one more please! Whew, I am tired just thinking about the work you have done in the past few days.,..take another bow!!! Congrats on a beautiful piece of knitting art!

  21. TINA! One word: Gorgeous! I think I would leave it draped gracefully across a window as long as I could get away with it to admire its beauty! So after taking an hour to block this lovely creature, how long does it stay exposed to kitty feet (which in my home’s case, would mean 6 pair, 2 pair of which are extremely interested in all craft activities!) before you can release it from the T-pins? I might have to move furniture in my bedroom to make a big enough space if it is overnight, in order to have a space locked away from interested observers. The livingroom would be the easiest, but I’d hate to lock away furry friends for extremely long periods. Fiber friends don’t complain as loudly!

  22. Truly beautiful work. I favor aggressive blocking, myself. Emily Jane, my little tuxedo kitty does the blocking watch for me.

  23. Breathtaking!! You and Lucy did a fabulous blocking job!

  24. Un-freakin’-believable, Wendy!! That is just one gorgeous piece of work! Here’s hoping my contribution to the Summer of Lace winds up half that beautiful (the edging is underway; I can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel!).

  25. Tina looks beautiful! She really deserves all that “air-time”!

  26. Jacinta says:

    Oh Wow wow wow!
    Tina is magnificent!!!! You are an amazing knitter!

  27. Tina is gorgeous!! Your work is stunning. I know why you have the best knitting blog on the universe. Now back to my humdrum knitting. Never got back to my Kiri shawl, but finished the left front of Martha and now doing a three needle bind off. Again, GORGEOUS!!!!!

  28. Susan Maurer says:

    Tina takes my breath away! Lovely, lovely work! You can set off your own fireworks tonight! Congratulations! After Tina, I’m looking forward to the color of Peacock Feathers now, as I’m sure you are. Working in one color (I find), especially white, can make one long for variety after a bit. Good job on Tina! Yay!

  29. When I saw the first picture, and you said she was done, I gave a big “oh good” sigh.

    Then, when I saw the first few photos, without Lucy, I thought she didn’t approve of Tina.

    Now it’s nice to know that to beautiful females can get live in harmony.

  30. How are you going to wear or use Tina? When shown on the couch,she seems large for a shoulders shawl?

    Very, very lovely.


  31. Tina is beautiful. I am now officially tempted. Blocking lace is a lot of work, but is as close to magic as it gets.

  32. Lucy on Tina? Eeep, I’d worry about claws on lace and even just the moving about. You are an indulgent mommmy, and a patient one. Tina is beautiful, really. I gasped, and then I got down on my knees in front of the monitor.

  33. Wendy, she is amazing!!! Wow!!

  34. Most elegant and inspiring, Wendy. A truly monumental work.

  35. Tina is really lovely. I’m edging my ice-blue Zephyr Tina even as we speak, but my four kitties could not possibly assist with blocking. The youngest wants to pull up the pins.

  36. Tina is so beautiful!!! You are really talented. I have just started to knit your toe up sock pattern and am having trouble with a loose bind off. I have tried the suspended bind off but it didn’t work. Do you recomment anything?? Any help would be great.

  37. Tina is just stunning. Congratulations, Wendy !

  38. WOW. That. Is. Exquisite. You deserve a huge margarita! Make that two!

  39. Tine is BREATHTAKING!!! Congrats on all that hard work!!

  40. Wendy, you’ve done it again. Tina is breathtaking and I am speechless.

  41. Absolutely stunning!

  42. Hi Wendy!

    You are such an INSPIRATION!! When I grow up I want to be as fast and good as knitter as you 🙂

    Do you know a summer bride that could borrow it from you? It would be so stunning with the right wedding dress…WOW!! Beautiful work Wendy!!

    Happy Knitting!


  43. I am so impressed! Tina is a beautiful gal! Thank you for showing and telling about the use of wires. I hear ladies talk about them but haven’t seen the need for them instead of pins. Now I get it:)

  44. Gorgeous!!! Need I say more?

  45. Wow. I don’t know how to say it better than that!

  46. So, when you block on the floor, is it somewhere where there is no foot traffic, other than Lucy?

  47. Tina is a gorgeous young lady and well worth the time you spent “raising her up right.” ;o) And look at her good manners, posing so beautifully in the photos.

    As a knitter with zero experience in serious lace knitting, I also appreciated the photos of your use of blocking wires and T-pins, too.

    Do you have any advice for someone who wants to knit shawls but doesn’t have a stitch of carpeting in the house for blocking? Are blocking boards that big affordable? Would it be practical to get a large carpet scrap and commandeer the garage for pin-out time?

    Enjoying your blog! — Carolyn B.