My current work in progress:

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


Life After Lace

Although I can hear the handpainted laceweight cashmere that I bought at School Products screaming at me (screaming, I tell you), I am resisting its siren song. For now.

Because I have returned to Deirdre.

After I finished the Flower Basket Shawl this past weekend (and thank you so much for all the kind things you had to say about it!) I sucked it up and finished Deirdre’s front.


I joined the front and the back at the shoulders, and did an applied i-cord around the neck.


I am quite liking the way it looks.


By the way, Nancie Wiseman’s The Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques documents the applied i-cord finish, along with a lot of other incredibly useful things. I highly recommend this book — it has clear, easy-to-follow instructions, pictures, and pros and cons for every technique described. Just sayin’.

So, I have embarked on a Deirdre sleeve. I’ll save the photo for tomorrow — such excitement!

I guess this puts me smack-dab in the middle of Sleeve Island, huh? Where the heck is that cabana boy with my foofy girly drink?

But back to the Flower Basket Shawl. Susan asked:
Did you make any changes to the pattern?
Moving all the markers made me crazy when I made it last year. It was one of my first lace projects, so I was a bit nervous about it — but did you use markers or just memorize the pattern?

I made no changes to the pattern, and it actually worked out so that I finished it with just a small ball of yarn left over. Very satisfying.

While I more or less memorized the pattern, I did use stitch markers as well. You do have to move them at the beginning of each new pattern repeat of 10 rows, and for a couple of rows after that. The moving at the beginning of the pattern repeat did not bother me, as you are adding a marker and then just moving the rest to the left a few stitches. But for a couple of rows after that, the stitch markers move by one stitch in the middle of decreases and yarnovers. I took care of that by working the yarnover on the previous pattern row before the marker instead of after, so I was set up for the next pattern row. Make sense? Probably not, if you don’t have the pattern in front of you. But it works, and you can avoid those pesky one-stitch moves if you think ahead!

Lucy Sez

“Enough of that — time for a cheesecake pic, I think!


(P.S. — Happy birthday, Mom!)


  1. Deirdre looks great – and that is a kitty tummy just begging to be rubbed!

  2. Deirdre looks terrific! I’ve never tried applied I-cord, but I have done the I-cord bind-off; is it a similar process?

    What a belly on that Lucy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also: Happy Birthday, Wendy’s Mom!

  3. I came up with a slightly different solution to the stitch markers on the FBS.

    After much testing, I found a place where you can put the stitch markers and not have to move them because of the decreases. The key is that they do not sit in the same place on the chart each row. I made a chart up to show where the markers are located on each row, though. Hopefully someone else can benefit from my experience.

    Here’s a link to the post with the details and the chart (click on the chart for the big version… it scrunched weird in the smaller version I had to use to fit it on the page):

  4. Happy birthday Lucy’s Mom!

    Love the shawl yesterday.

    I do love lace.

  5. oh I love that finishing book, and I like how it’s smaller so I can take it places easier! It was one of my first knitting book purchases!

  6. Happy Birthday to Wendy’s Mom and Lucy’s Gramma. As usual, Lucy just takes my breath away; similar to what your FBS did to me yesterday – the colors, the movement, the shimmer…sigh (both of ’em).

  7. Yeah, Happy Birthday Lucy’s Grammy! (Heh! I like that… Lucy’s Grammy).

  8. Happy, Happy Birthday!!! Woo-Hoo! Now let’s knit!

  9. Birthday?! Who’s having a birthday? Wendy if it’s you…… happy birthday!!! and a big thank you! you’ve made the knitting community a nicer place… as if it wasn’t nice enought already!
    thank you …. thank you!

  10. Deirdre is looking lovely. I’m so envious of your speed and design ability. I’m working on the I Do shrug from Knitty and it looks like a pile of crap.

    I think Lucy needs a snuggle.

  11. Deirdre is gorgeous. I love the colour, especially as it really shows up the texture and stitch pattern. The applied icord is beautiful and so neat.
    Lucy is so fluffy – kitty porn! (as opposed to craft porn)

  12. Is it happy birthday to Wendy’s Mom or Lucy’s Mom? Certainly best wishes to both strong women, just curious. It’s my sister’s birthday too :). What a great day!

  13. Happy Birthday Wendy’s Mom!!! Deidre would make a stunning shell — who needs sleeves?? ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Jocelyne says:

    “Joyeux anniversaire” for Wendy’s Mom.
    Deidre looks great !

  15. Oh, I’m so relieved to see Deirdre again! Not that the shawls weren’t excellent diversions :~)
    That I-cord edging looks perfect.
    Happy Birthday Wendy’s Mom!

  16. Dierdre looks great. I love the wat I cord edging makes things look so finished.

    I love that finishing book. When I just started knitting my aunt told me I had to get it so I did. It’s always in my knitting spot.

  17. Deirdre looks great. I like the applied i-cord neck – I’ll have to remember that. Nancie Wiseman’s book is one of my favorites – the directions are clear and the photos are good. I’m one of those people who have learned most of my knitting things from books, and I go back to this one on a regular basis.

  18. I missed the earlier discussion on Dierdre. Is she a design in your book? Or something you will make available later, or just something fun you’re making for yourself? I love it.


  19. Danielle M says:

    When I made the FBS, I just put a marker in right before the center stitch. This greatly reduced the number of markers to move as I knit. I knit mine in black and now I wish I’d used more color, like yours! I guess I’ll just have to knit another. Thanks for your enabling powers!

  20. Does the applied i-cord at the neck cause any problems when the garment is blocked — i.e. inability to block out to the proper proportions?

  21. Lucy is beautiful – even when she’s doing cheesecake!

  22. Question-

    I’m absolutely in love with the “hourglass” look of the sweater—Is that in the ribbing, or is there shaping to it? Also, Will it block out to a more “straight” (boxy,) look? Or will it maintain the shaping-?

    I am a virtual sweater virgin here- Lots of lace knitting, lots of socks and mittens– but few sweaters- I’d love to know what to expect prior to casting on for something like this…;)

  23. Though I may be a bit late, let me say that I love Diedre. The shaping is wonderful and the cables are so feminine. I think she definitely has a place in Wendy Knits, the sequel….

  24. The sweater looks fabulous. I’m so sorry your trapped in the sleeve twilight zone =) I guess, whatever doesn’t kill ya’….blah blah blah. =)

  25. When I made my FBS, I made ‘removable’ markers by using rings I had cut from BIG soda straws. I would slit the ring, then move it so I always had a ring at the beginning of each 10-stitch repeat. I really helped when I had to tink back.

    I could look at my knitting and know where I was usually too.