My current work in progress:

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


It’s a Bad Sign

It’s never good when you drive up to your home and there are fire engines parked outside.

I took today off work (and tomorrow as well, for that matter) and was out this morning doing the things that I took the day off to do. I stopped at the grocery store and then headed home. To see fire engines parked in my condo parking lot.

“Yikes,” I thought, but wasn’t too concerned. I live in a fairly large high-rise condo and we often have false alarms (most of them caused by charming juveniles pulling the fire alarm).

I drove into the garage and parked and went into the building. I smelled smoke as soon as I got in. Not a good sign, I’m thinking.

Did I leave and stand outside until we got the all clear? Heck, no. I took the fire stairs up to the tenth floor to my condo (schlepping my groceries — good workout there).

There was far less smoke smell outside my condo, which was encouraging. When I entered my condo, I was met by poor Lucy who was somewhat agitated — the fire alarm in my building is really loud. She immediately calmed down upon seeing me, so we hung out there, occasionally looking out the window to see if the fire engines were still there. After about two hours of this, they left. End of crisis, I guess.

Do I count myself extremely lucky? You bet your sweet bippy I do.

And during that whole time, I never once thought to take a photo for the blog. Imagine that.

So after all that, I figured the best thing to do was to block the Vårblommor Shawl, because I did suck it up and finish the edging last night. That’s what Monday holidays are for, n’est-ce pas?

Before blocking:


After blocking:


I am very pleased with how this blocked out. It’s hard to see the pattern because it does not show up well against a background of beige carpet. But here is a close-up of the upper flower pattern:


And one of the border pattern, which is supposed to be larger flowers — it sorta looks like flowers:


And the edging around the point:


Speaking of edging, Snow asked:
When you’re designing a shawl edging of your own, how do you decide what sort of method to turn the corner? I’ve learned a lot of different methods over the years and have yet to find one that I always like. Do you have a favorite?

The way I attached the edging was to knit one stitch of the edge of the shawl together with the end stitch of the edging on every other row. For a few stitches before and after the center point, I attached the edging to the body of the shawl on every fourth row instead of every other row, to make the edging fuller around the point. It’s not terribly scientific, but it does seem to work.

And I’m all for an easy life!

What’s Next?

I started something simple — a little lace scarf in some yummy qivuit.

I joined a Qivuit Knit-along that was scheduled to start yesterday, and cast on for my scarf last night.

I futzed around with it a bit last night — started with 44 stitches on a US size 4 needle, but it was much wider and looser than I wanted. Those of us with a short neck don’t need a really wide scarf, ya know?

So I ripped it back to the beginning this morning and re-cast on 36 stitches on a US size 3 needle. I’m much happier with the results.


The yarn is 100% qivuit, fingering weight. I have a total of 4 ounces, 440 yards. Ought to be able to crank out a nice large scarf with that.

It’s Moco Yarns, hand-dyed in the “Lupine” colorway, purchased from Caryll Designs. The yarn is yummers!

I think I’ll work on it exclusively for a couple of days, and then cast on for Kim Hargreaves’ Dew, the kit for which I bought last month. Then the scarf will become commuter knitting. I need a bit of a break from hauling large projects on the train.

Speaking of breaks, I plan not to post tomorrow, but will return on Thursday, with photos of a blocked and dry Vårblommor Shawl.



  1. The first close-up looks like kitty paws! I guess Lucy was disappointed a handsome fireman didn’t carry her to safety,huh?

  2. So very very glad to hear that you’re OK. Your shawl in beautiful. Love to Lucy.

  3. Beautiful shawl, Wendy!

    I live in an old, wood-framed house and the sight of fire trucks outside would probably give me a stroke. I’m happy everything was ok for you.

  4. So glad to hear that Lucy is okay and the smoke/fire wasn’t near her!

  5. I really love the miracle of lace blocking. Edgings can get to be a dull pain in the ass, but few things are more lovely than a well chosed edging.

  6. Whew! Poor Lucy!

    Also, I love the Lucy and Blocking pictures. If I trace back through your projects, there’s quite a few “Lucy-approved Blocking” photos. Nice that she shares your interests ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. I would have run up those stairs too. Poor Lucy, all by herself. Very scary. The shawl, gorgeous!

  8. Oh my, I have an apartment cat too, and one of my biggest fears is coming home to smoke and fire engines! So glad to hear everyone was ok!

    The Varblommer shawl is lovely, thanks for the pictures. I’m looking forward to a modelling shot sometime!

  9. Beautiful, gossamer lace shawl. When I grow up, I want to knit lace as well as you do.

    BTW, totally see the cat’s paw mentioned by L-B. And, as a human companion to 2 felines, my first thoughts would have been concern for their safety as well.

    They’ve got me trained :->

  10. Lovely color and lovely shawl.

  11. Shawl is beautiful! The colors are so soothing! I’m glad all is well with your home. Agitated cats are something we don’t like to see here at my house! Looking forward to your next project.

  12. Beautiful shawl. Glad to hear that you, Lucy and the yarn stash are all ok!

  13. Aahhh, vous parlez fraincais? Congrats on finishing the shawl, it looks great!

  14. Glad that you and Lucy are okay. My cat is one of the priority things I’ll grab if there’s a fire, too. A *hug* to you and Lucy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Thank goodness everything was ok, especially sweet Lucy. My furry one thinks knittting quality control is her #1 job, besides it means she just has to curl up on the project.

    It’s your fault. I checked out Holly Spring for your yarn, not available. But now I have to get the Pat O’s colorway asap.

  16. Man, look at the point on that new shawl. Is that perfection or what? I don’t think I’ve ever gotten one that perfect. Saying congratulations is getting old.

  17. Hallo.
    I’m a danish girl who often visit your blog. The shawl is really really beautiful. I’m impressed of all the things you manage to get finished. Do you knit day and night, or what??:-)

  18. I understand that you have a very secret door behind which lies a stash of mythical proportions. With your recent excitement combining sirens and smoke, what emergency plans are in place? How will you carry Lucy’s crate and the stash? perhaps a wagon is in order …..

  19. Girlfriend, you are a machine!!!! Another beautiful FO. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. LOVE that edging. It is so OPEN and airy. Cool.

  21. And how did you do that open, airy edging? I know it is knit on, but did you use lots of yarn overs? Beautiful as always!

    With great respect and admiration on several levels,


  22. Truely stunning Wendy-aahh the miracle of blocking. I can say I knew that yarn when…it was sopping wet in my dye pot. Thanks for making her famous!

  23. WOW! What a difference a block makes!

    Lovely shawl. How many times have I said that? It’s never enough, for your beautiful work!

    I’m SO glad that the fire wasn’t in your condo. Poor Lucy!

    I can’t wait to get MY Ragdoll! ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Susan Maurer says:

    I’ve noticed your blog hasn’t changed in a few days? Or is my computer just as slow as I am…. ? Hope you’re okay. Glad to hear you made it through the “fire.” Hope there are no other fires going on in your life at present. Keep on knittin’!

  25. It appears that the shawl met with Lucy’s approval…. it is a good color for her!

  26. okay after Lucy, the next thing I worried about was your stash!! I’m glad everything was ok!

  27. Wendy, I hope you are enjoying your time off. Poor Lucy, I hope she has recovered from her shock at the alarms. I like your new shawl, but I confess I liked the Woodland Shawl better. I’m not sure if it was just the colors that appealed to me more, or if it was the lace patterns you used. (Not that it matters much what I think, since I won’t get to wear either of them. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) I bet it will feel good to dig into a sweater again.