My current work in progress:

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


Woodland Shawl

Wowie, wow, wow! Thanks for all your extremely kind comments on the Woodland Shawl. Here she is, blocked and ready to party.


A close-up of the edging:


The artistic silhouette in the window shot:


And another:


I had a couple of questions on how I designed her. I had the basic idea in my head, so I charted it out before beginning.

I chart on graph paper in pencil and keep a pencil with me as I knit. Then I can easily make adjustments (and notations) to the charts as I go along.

And she was knitted from less than 1 skein of Helen’s Laces. I’d say well under 1100 yards total.

I expect this pattern will be published eventually. Perhaps in my second book (cough, cough).

So . . . my current shawl-in-progress.


This is being knit from the lovely hand dyed laceweight alpaca that L-B got at Holly Spring Homespun. This yarn is extremely fine — similar in weight to the Cherry Tree Hill Suri Alpaca that I used for Inky Dinky. However, I like this better. It has a silky feel to it, and so far, I’m not noticing a tendency to split, like I did with the Suri Alpaca.

The colorway of this lovely yarn made me think of spring, so I’m doing a flower motif shawl. It’s another triangular shawl, my favorite shawl shape. This one is garter lace (Woodland is stockinette) and I’m working along on the flower motifs.

As it happens, I do have an idea for a winter-themed shawl design, so perhaps a series of seasonal designs is in order. I’ll have to rename the Woodland Shawl the Autumn Woodland Shawl, I guess.

I had not really thought ahead to a summer shawl, but I do have the beginnings of some ideas floating around in my fevered brain.

That reminds me . . . I am renaming the Summer of Lace Yahoo Group in early September. It will become “Lace for all Seasons.” ๐Ÿ™‚

Those Dratted Ends!

Jen asked:
I just finished my first “lace” project (v. simple) and was wondering if you had any tips/techniques for weaving in ends. Mine had LOTS of garter stitch so I was able to hide my ends well, but I’m concerned that it may be difficult on a lacier pattern.

I talked about how I usually join yarn for lace work a while back. Hmmmmm . . . lemmee find it . . .

Aha! The June 2 blog entry.

Which reminds me — one of the things I like about using yarn that comes in a single skein of 1200+ yards . . .

. . . no ends to weave in, except for the beginning and end!

Shawls for Beginners

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of email asking me to recommend an easy lace pattern for new lace knitters.

I alwasy recommend something with an all-over pattern, like the Flower B asket Shawl or the Leaf Lace Shawl, both available from Fiber Trends.

Both of these projects can be knitted in a variety of yarn weights, and for a beginner, it might be a good idea to starft with something heavier than laceweight. It’s easier to get comfortable knitting lace when you using a yarn tha’s a bit more substantial than a cobwebby laceweight. Also, for a first attempt, a smooth yarn is easier to manage than something fuzzy.

Fuzzy has it’s place, says Lucy.



I am the King of All Remote Controls is Lucy’s and my new favorite blog.


  1. ‘Twas beautiful pre-blocking and even more-so after. Looking forward to the first book … and the second and the….. Shawl for a season, hmmmm. You do inspire!!

  2. Shawl is beautiful (of course). Lucy not only prefers fuzziness but wants to make sure that Wendy doesn’t forget to have all the necessary cat supplies in-house so Lucy can relax during Hurricane Katrina.

  3. Fabulous Woodland! I love the way the colors play so subtly (is that a word?). There’s just enough color definition to show off the pattern without being a distraction. I too am the proud new owner of some of this Gold Hill Helen’s Lace.

    How do you pick a pattern that will work with this kind of yarn? I gravitate towards very intricate patterns of the Hazel Carter variety, such as Legends of the Shetland Seas. (Just finishing Spider Queen – yes it’s true!) I think I should be tuning it down a notch for a patterned yarn, yes?

    What do you look for? A certain kind repeat? Large or small motifs? More or less background? A strong vertical or diagonal line? Garter stitch? Any type of pattern to avoid?

    I want to make a rectangle, not a triangle or a square.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  4. Thanks! I figured you had noted that before, but was too lazy to check! ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the woodland shawl – someday I’ll be *good* enough to try it!

  5. The “Autumn” Woodland shawl is lovely Wendy! So, well, autumn-y! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I agree, knitting from coned yarn is great for sparing weaving of ends but it you must join (smaller skeins, yarn breaks…)

    A- Spit Splice if the yarn is wool and not superwash. Pics here:

    B- use the Russian Join
    Pics here:

    This is GREAT for cottons, linens, superwash when you can’t spit splice…I just learned this for a cotton shawl and it was an ephiphany!!

    Ian’s blog is a hoot!! Just what does he need *all* those remotes for???

  6. The Autumn Woodland Shawl looks even more beautiful today!

  7. Whew, so glad to see you still have Lucy!!!
    That shawl is absolutely incredible! You are a wonder my dear and when is the expected release of Book Numero Uno???? Hope you do a tour a la Harlot!! and you MUST come to Canada. You can even bring Lucy, I have playmates for her!!

  8. Beautiful!!

  9. Wondrous Woodland Shawl! And “Hi, Ian!” (I couldn’t post the hello to his comments. Would one of his many remote controls perhaps turn on that function?)

  10. Wow, that shawl is gorgeous!!!

  11. Autumn woodland is gorgeous. Gold Hill is one of my favorite colorways in the LL yarns. I was wondering if you have a preference between garter and stockinette stitch lace. Sometimes, I think I lean one way, sometimes another.

  12. The Woodland shawl is GORGEOUS but I have to ask….How many shawls do you have now?

  13. beautiful! nice to hear you think FiberTrends flowerbasket shawl good for beginnners, just purchased for that reason. where can i find your first book?

  14. Absolutely stunning my dear! I agree…Flower Basket is a great first time/beginner shawl. I just finished and blocked mine this weekend. Definitely an incredible sense of accomplishment finishing my first big lace project! I’m so hooked now and ready to move on to bigger and more challanging lace!

  15. You do such beautiful lace work. I’ve just started a Shetland Shawl from “A Gathering of Lace” and it instructs to “lengthen the edge” on the points of the edging by working two rows of short-row shaping. I know how to do short rows, but I’ve just kind of winged it on what I think the correct technique should be for this instruction. Do you know the correct way to do this, or a good reference?

  16. Beautiful, as always!

    Do you have any suggestions for shawl-designing books? I’ve knit a couple lace projects, and I want to try a few designs on my own, but I’d need some hand-holding.

  17. Your shawl is Stunning! BRAVO!

  18. Wendy it’s beautiful! You continue to inspire! I love shawls but mine are very simple. Maybe someday – when your book comes out – I will tackle one. I will mark your suggestion of beginning lace shawls as well. I know just on my simple knits people are always excited to see my newest project ready to be worn – your friends must be the same way! I know as a blog follower I sure am! Have a great day. Lucy is a beauty!

  19. Oh Wendy, the Woodland shawl is just beautiful! Looking forward to seeing your new shawl — love the colour!

  20. truly that is lace for all seasons. Beautiful as always, Wendy. Just the inspiration I need to kick start more of my FBS!

    Blocking misti alpaca…
    I know you are familiar…any tips or is it like merino?
    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Wow!

  22. Pretty shawl! I’m wondering what edging(s) you used… I just finished my Faroese shawl and put a plain Vandyke edging on it, part of yours looks similar. What resources do you use for selecting lace patterns?

  23. Love the Autumn Woodland Shawl, Wendy!

  24. I love your Woodland Shawl, and will put it on my “to knit” list, once the pattern is available. Any special techniques on dealing with the tails at the beginning and the end?

  25. The shawl is incredible! We have to wait for book TWO!!???
    Will there be buttons for ‘Lace for all Seasons’. I can’t believe summer is nearly gone!

  26. Oh Wendy, she’s beautiful!

  27. Wow. Another incredible shawl. Soooooo pretty!! I’m in awe. Congrats.

  28. SECOND book?!?!?!?! You have a FIRST??!?!?! What? Where? How can I get it??????? I LOVE your shawls!!!

  29. I was away last week and just now saw the finished Woodland Shawl – just gorgeous!!! The colors are perfect and as always, so is your knitting!!

  30. Love the woodland shawl, Wendy. I’m in line for the “Wendy’s Shawls for All Seasons” pattern portfolio.

  31. It is a shame we will have to wait for your second book for that pattern. I have some Helen’s Lace that would look GREAT in your woodland shawl pattern.

    Hmmm… maybe you could sell them for $5 each? I know I would get one right away!