My current work in progress:

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


Fir Cones!

All is revealed! My Sea Silk is being knitted into a rectangular wrap using the traditional shetland lace fir cone motif.


It’s a design (if you can call it that — it’s really simple) that I cooked up myself. I wanted something fairly simple because the yarn is handpainted, and would therefore obsure a complex lace pattern. A nice all-over pattern seemed like the way to go.

The colorway looks very “woodsy” to me, so I thought of fir cones. I started out with a plain garter stitch band, and I’m doing an inch or so of garter stitch on each side as I knit. The body of the wrap is stockinette lace. I really like the fir cone motif. It’s simple to knit and easy to memorize, but not so simple that I lose my mind knitting it.


I have two skeins of Sea Silk, which is a total of 800 meters. I am throwing caution to the winds and not alternatiing skeins, but will knit up one skein and then start the other.

Theresa asked if it was striping, as it looked that way in yesterday’s pic. No, not really — now that I have a bit more knitted I can see that.

Has anyone blocked Sea Silk? I’m curious how it will turn out. Currently, this is what the wrong side looks like.


Kinda how I picture the terrain on Mars to be.

I don’t think the Fir Cone needs a strenuous blocking, but it does need something to smooth out those mountains. It’s possible that a careful once-over with the iron will take care of it.

Ribbon & Fabric Source?

Nadya asked:
Do you have a good place on-line where you buy your ribbon?

No, not really, I just surf around. The brown ribbon I’m waiting on was purchased off eBay.

Pam asked:
Do you buy your silk fabric online (to line your bags) or do you use G Street Fabrics or some such local place? Our local fabric stores seem to run long on cotton and polyester – real silk I don’t expect to find.

I’ve been buying my fabrics online (see above).

Now, if G Street Fabrics were still actually on G Street, I could go there, during my lunch hour. For grins, I checked out G Street Fabrics’ current locations on their website.

Given the traffic in this area, a trip out to the store in Centreville Virginia (Route 66 — eek!), Rockville, Maryland (The Beltway — eek!), or Woodbridge, Virginia (I-95 — eek!) is simply out of the question. The horror!

I have actually been to both the Centreville and Rockville stores, but in both cases I was in the area for another reason. But I loved the old G Street location and really wish it were still there.

I will admit that the Seven Corners location is not all that far from me, but to get there, I have to do the dreaded “Route 7 plow” up from Alexandria. I try to avoid Route 7 as much as possible.

This is a rather long involved way of saying I buy stuff online. While there are a lot of resources in the Washington DC area, I can almost always come up with a good reason for not actually going there. The number one reason is traffic. If I were flitting about at 11:00am on a weekday, well, that would be one thing. But for me, it’s just not worth the time and aggravation of trying to fight my way through rush hour or weekend traffic when the internet is right there.


In yesterday’s photo of Lucy, she was sitting in her Colinette kitty bed, with my Colinette AbFab afghan hanging on the chair behind her.


Usually when she’s in her Colinette kitty bed, she looks like this:


Mmmmmmm . . . Soap!

Yeah, some people love cilantro, and some people think it tastes like soap. Does it make me weird that I think it tastes like soap and love it?


  1. The way you feel about cilantro isn’t weird to me…I think cumin smells like old gym socks, but I love it. Mmm, cumin. Must put some Mexican on next week’s menu!

    I loved yesterday’s shot of Lucy! (I love every day’s shot of Lucy!) But yesterday’s was very artistic, with the fabulous yarn all around her.

  2. Hi The sea silk is knitting up beautifully! I kind of like the “bumps” of texture on the back.

    I love the Lucy bed to, I really must knit “Patches” one , one day. At the moment she is curled up in a old wood basket by the fire on a crochet baby blanket. [ Baby grandson is now nearly 5 so doesn’t need it anymore.]

    They do so like to “hide”. Patches favourite spot is “under” my knitting on my knee.

    When you say Washington DC you mean Washington city Maryland?? My DS is currently living and working there, would so like to visit one day.

    Cheers >^..^<

  3. Yes I think that makes you weird, but somehow I don’t think that will bother you! I think cilantro is vile, and I also do not prefer tomatoes. But, I love salsa! I’m weird too!

    Where did you get your sea silk? It seems like a yarn that’s hard to find.

  4. Wow, that is working up beautifully! I’ve been looking at getting some sea silk. Hmm, the birthday’s coming up soon. Maybe I’ll treat myself.

  5. Wendy, The fir cone pattern just goes with the sea silk colorway. Just gorgeous, as always.

  6. This is my first time posting here. Your Paris seasilk colorway looks almost exactly like the Vintage colorway that I bought. I’m knitting a rectangle stole also using a basic stitch pattern too. I’m not too fond of triangle shawls. Anyhow, I’ve been reading your blog ever since I started knitting last year and thought I should finally post. I love your work and can’t believe how fast you knit. Those Noni bags are adorable. I’ll be interested in hearing/reading how they hold up.

  7. “Does it make me weird that I think it tastes like soap and love it?”

    Yes. and it makes us like you even more…

  8. Well I think it takes like soap and I H.A.T.E. it. Although in moderation I tolerate it.:)
    Love the shawl…nice colours and great pattern. I am sure it will be finished by the weekend, knowing how you knit!

  9. I don’t know why, but it strikes me as amusing that you are knitting fir cones with yarn made from kelp. I keep picturing kelp forests with little fir cones on them.

  10. 11 AM on a weekday is not so good either! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m glad to see the mars terrain. Makes me feel so much better about the fir cone scarf I’m making from your book. I know you said they were supposed to be there (those lumps), but it is good to actually SEE them on someone else’s knitting!

  11. When I was a teenager I had never even heard of cilantro…I had dinner at a new-ish friend’s house one night and I was sure her mom must have left dish soap on the dishes when she washed them, there was soap in the food! Of course I ate it and didn’t say anything, and eventually I figured out the food was supposed to taste that way because everyone else seemed to love it. Fast forward 13 years, and I would eat cilantro every day if I could find it fresh often enough. I love it! I still think it tastes like soap though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. I might never be able to eat cilantro again without thinking “soap”. If you went to the 7 corners location, you could come see me! Okay, maybe that’s not really an encouragement to fight the traffic.

  13. Of course you realize that fir cone is just catspaw that started wandering. Just saying.

  14. Eek! Does this mean you have your lace mojo back? I always loved reading about your lace knitting when you got into last summer, as it is my favorite type of knitting.

  15. I love the way you look at the yarn & “see” the pattern / finished work……it is the wonderful part, isn’t it……love Lucy on the throne!……as for traffic……I cut through town (where I am) on side streets to avoid the freeway as it has gotten as bad as LA in No. CA…..ecky

  16. Lovely yarn – I was looking at it online just a day or so ago.

    Wendy, You very kindly helped me out on a previous question…thought I would try you again.

    I have just completed a Clapotis using Lion & Lamb in the Aslan colourway. I am not happy with the finished product. Maybe the Clapotis is just not my thing, but I had the yarn for the project for ages and decided to go with it.

    I am going to rip it and was looking for a suggestion for a shawl/wrap? Most of the patterns I have are for lighter weight yarns. Can you help me out again? I am also wondering how the Lion & Lamb will fare after having been blocked, undone, washed and rewound….hmmm.
    Thank you for the always sound advice to be found on your blog.

  17. Lucy’s pose in her Colinette bed is just…perfect.

    Buying online is just so convenient if you’re at work from dawn to dusk during weekdays. Weekends are for knitting.

  18. Love the colourway of the sea silk and the fir cone pattern compliments it so well. Only thing I would say is that I have just finished a very simple crochet shawl in the sea silk, I used two skeins and it didn’t go as far as I thought, I am a bit doubtful whether you will have enough yarn for your wrap?

  19. You’re not weird, merely eclectic!

    I’m really liking the way the fircone shawl is shaping up. The colour is going to really suit you too.

  20. Actually, G Street Fabrics -used- to be on G Street, hence it’s name. The Post had an article on it about a year back. They moved when business boomed, but their tiny location couldn’t.

  21. The sea silk looks gorgeous.

    This is a reply to Nadya. I’ve always purchased ribbons at Hyman Hendler, which is in NYC. The selection is phenomenal–the store sells only ribbons. I’ve never ordered on line (from because I can get to the actual retail store, but you could investigate either phone or internet purchases. I’ve bought ribbons there since the 1960s.

    Threads magazine has a lot of ads for companies that sell fabric and other notions from their web sites (and there are some links on the Threads web site). A “bricks-and-mortar” store I like in NYC is B&J Fabrics, and I believe they have a web site too.

  22. The wrap looks gorgeous! One question: If you knit a garter stich edging, doesn’t it pull the lace pattern in – because of different row gauge? I am thinking of knitting a lace wrap myself and would like your opinion re. a garter or seed stitch border/edging.
    All the best from Frankfurt/Germany,

  23. I grew up in DC and the burbs. The fabric for my wedding dress, which my Mom (of blessed memory) made, came from the old G street location. (Married 32 years this November. I got married when I was 2 – just kidding.) Yes, I remember DC before the Beltway….

    I live in Ohio (last 25 years) but I know where the new store is, having been there too. My husband was ready to shoot me the last time we were in the area together, and I made him take me there before we left to go back to Ohio. He was very polite though, simply asking whose idea was this? and did I think I was ever going to get him to do this again…

    The silk looks lovely in the shawl. The iron would make me nervous – water in a spray bottle and some tugging?

  24. Sea silk blocks wonderfully. Earlier in the year I made Charlotte’s Web (Koigu pattern), and wet blocked it severely. It made all of the difference. If you likee, I can forward a pic of the blocked piece.

  25. I think I’m the only one weird enough to think that maybe you love the soapy cilantro because you’re hearkening back to childhood mouth washings for naughty behavior? ๐Ÿ™‚ That colorway is knitting up in a really lovely way. I’m looking forward to seeing how the yarn behaves as you continue on with the wrap.

  26. Hey Wendy- Nope, can’t get past the decidedly “lifebuoy” taste of cilantro. Ick!
    But I love your fir cone pattern- looks amazing with that color of sea silk, which I love the smell of.

  27. Wow. That shawl is gorgeous. Sea Silk is something else, huh? I’ve never used it but from what I hear it’s a fabulous yarn.

  28. I used to hate the taste of cilantro, but now I’ve come to love it. I guess it’s an acquired taste, huh?

  29. Yes, it probably does make you weird that you think cilantro tastes like soap and you like it … but weird is the new normal, so you’re cool.

    The Sea Silk piece is beautiful. The earthy colors are lovely, and your lace work shows up so nicely.


  30. I love the way the Sea Silk is working up…My kinda colors, reminds me of fall, which we do not have here. You totally crack me up with the cilantro thing…Lucy makes me want to nap now, I think there should human sized kitty beds.

  31. My first thought when I ate cilantro for the first time is that it tastes like soap. It’s my favorite herb.

  32. Wendy,
    I’ve been lusting over the Ab Fab throws for quite a few month now, and your picture reminded me why. What coloway is your blue one? You’ve made a few, haven’t you? That one would look really, really great on my blue sofa!!
    laureen, Antioch, Illinois

  33. I have nightmares about D.C. area traffic, as I’ve been subjected to it for the last few weeks, so don’t blame you one bit for your avoiding it. It’s why I take the train instead of driving up there.

    I love your Colinette AbFab throw. There’s a yarn shop in Richmond (Got Yarn) that’s closing its doors soon, and they have (or at least had last weekend) two AbFab shop samples in different colors for sale. I was sorely tempted to buy one or the other, but they were fairly pricey, so I didn’t… Had they been in the colors YOU chose, I would not have been able to resist….

    Loving the taste of soap…. Hmmmmm…..

  34. Yes, it does make you weird. But we love you anyway!

    I was wondering what Lucy’s fabulous backdrop was. Thanks for illuminating.

  35. sooooo cute for words… Lovely kitty bed and afghan and love that sea silk….Beautiful!

  36. Love the sea silk! It’s coming along beautifully and I can’t wait to see it completed.

  37. Your shawl is so beautiful – thank you once again for filling us in on your design choices and your creative process – Love to Lucy and All the Best to you!

  38. Other than lucy’s colourway, what is your favorite sock yarn to knit with…colour aside…just material!

  39. Monday, I finished and blocked the Swallowtail Shawl from the new IK in Sea Silk and it came out wonderfully. I didn’t let it sit in the water for too long – maybe two or three minutes because the yarn got soaked pretty fast.

    Then I just pinned it out and left it to dry overnight as per my usual blocking ritual. The yarn does have a sort of perfumey smell to it when you wet it. Someone mentioned a “sea” smell, but this was nothing like the sea.

    It’s fabulous yarn. Scrumptious.

  40. I think cilantro smells like athlete’s foot powder. I used to love it, but bad hangovers ruin everything ๐Ÿ˜›

  41. I love cilantro and have never likened it to soap–hope I don’t next time I have some! Also, I designed a throw in fir cone and the tester said she called it “the egg crate blanket” the whole time she was working on it because of the bumps on back. Mine does that, too. It’s kinda neat. Beautiful work, Wendy!

  42. I have been knitting a shawl using SeaSilk. I love the feel and the drape. It has taken me 3 skeins. I alternated the first two. I am using the straw colorway and there is quite a big difference between the 3 skeins. I have one row left and just can’t bring myself to finish because I am so afraid I am not going to like it because of the difference in the colors and I am not sure how to block it.

  43. I like how the seasilk is knitting up.
    And I do think cilantro tastes like soap. Given a choice I’d rather not eat it but it’s very common in Tex-mex around here so is hard to avoid. dh really does not like cilantro and gets fussy when they use it generously at restaurants. And he realizes he could have ask them to leave it off. And he didn’t. hmmm, mexican sounds good for dinner tomorrow.

  44. Katherine says:

    I used to love poking around the old, original G St. The new store(s) just aren’t the same!

    I did take a great quilting class in Rockville, but I don’t live anywhere near any of the new stores. And I work pretty close to the original location.

  45. Umm, yes. Thinking cilantro tastes like soap (which I do), and liking it (which I don’t) DOES make you weird. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Your sea silk shawl is stunning. Great colorway.