My current work in progress:

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


More Lace Talk

It is indeed all lace all the time chez WendyKnits. I now have 4 out of 5 of the Twin Leaf motifs done. Alert the media.


Yeah, progress is slowing, because I actually went to work today. Two days off last week and one day off this week really helped with the lace progress.

Still, I hope to have a completed Wing-o’-the-Moth ready to take flight by the beginning of next week.

Marjorie asked a good question in the comments:
Do you have any advice for substituting yarns? I have a lot of stash yarn that is about 345 yds for 50g, making it heavier than the yarn you’re using or that many shawl patterns specify. Do you just do fewer repeats if you are using a “fingering” weight? If you don’t really know how big the shawl will be until you block it, how can you decide when to stop when using a different yarn weight? I was going to try some scarf-sized patterns to give as gifts to see how this yarn works, but is there a better way?

If you are doing a shawl with an all-over lace pattern like the Flower Basket or Leaf Lace shawls, you can just do fewer repeats.

But for the Wing-o’-the-Moth, that doesn’t work. It is comprised of different lace “sections” and you need to have the proper number of stitches as you complete each section to start the next section, as each section builds on the previous section and they all have pattern repeats of varing lengths. You’s have to get out the ol’ calculator to ensure that the number of stitches in the first section is properly divisible by the number of stitches in a repeat of the pattern in the second section, et cetera.

Did that make sense?

As for not knowing how big a shawl will be until you block it, you can always knit a swatch of the lace pattern you plan to use and block that to get a ballpark idea of how big your yarn will block out. You have a little fudge room there — you can block agressively or gently, depending on how large you want your shawl.

Okay, So It’s Not All Lace All the Time

Because I finally finished this sock.


You know those three days off from work that made for such great progress on the lace? Not so good for the commuter knitting project. No commute-y, no sock-y.

Olympic Sleeping Tryouts

Reader Debra writes:

Hi Wendy,

My two Ragdolls who are preparing for the next Olympics Synchronized Sleeping competition. They were thrilled to see that Lucy is also working on her form. Here are some photos of the routines they’re practicing. See you in 2008!





Lucy is very impressed. So much so that she is now concerned about her own Olympic training routine. She thought about training for the “Sleeping on Lace” event:


I pointed out to her that I had a problem with this so she generously switched to training for the “Sleeping on the Back of the Couch” event.


She is a good kitty.


  1. The lace is really beautiful. I am working on a lace scarf (beginner) of course, but am hoping to work my way up the lace ladder. Do all lace books use the charts instead of word directions? I have only used one chart to do a shawl and found it very confusing. Loved the babydolls Olympic training photos. I know Lucy will give them a run for their money.

  2. Oh, what cute kitties all of them are! I wish my cats were as obedient as Lucy, but I think they’ve got the “sleeping on knitting” event locked up!

  3. Lucy might need to up the training a notch!
    I mean, look at the sleeping talent on those kitties! (In my opinion(biased) Lucy is cuter than them by a smigden.)

  4. That lace is looking so beautiful, yum!

    The olympic training those cats are undergoing is impressive. Our beagle’s event is “sniffing” … for him it is all sniffing, all the time.


  5. My dog, who weighs about 50 pounds, sleeps on the back of the couch. Scary stuff.

  6. Oh, my gosh! Debra’s Ragdoll’s look like they’re training for synchronized sleeping! Lucy will have a hard time besting them!

    (I <3 kitties)

  7. Synchronized Sleeping – what a hoot! Perry is taking pointers from the Lucy sleeping photos and currently is stretched out near a bookcase, head under the bottom shelf, tail held perpendicular to the end post. I think she’s planning on being quite strong in the “precise alignment” (aka school figures) section.

  8. The synchronized sleeping kitties are great! Very funny and sweet. Thanks for posting those pics.

  9. The synchronized sleeping pictures cracked me up. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Check out my most recent lace project on my blog: Joan Schrouder’s Oregon shawl! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Your lace is really beautiful as is all of your knitting. Lucy is wonderful and I enjoy her photos and those of the other 2 kitties. I think Lucy needs a kitty friend so they can compete in the “pairs” at the Olympics. LOL!

  11. The lace is gorgeous, but it’s in direct competition with those (all 3!) beautiful ragdolls! Sorry, Wendy!

  12. awww, synch sleeping, too adorable!! if didn’t have such a full mailbox, Debra should definitely send those pics in!! but you could always send in a pic of Lucy… the site needs more cats!!

    knitting related: pretty sock! nice to see leaves that aren’t on the ground, although yellow leaves are pretty.

  13. Those two synchronized kitties are gonna be some stiff competiton for Lucy! They are way cute too!

    Love the shawl!

  14. AAARGGGhhhh! Happy Knittin to ya Lassie! It’s ‘International Talk Like a Pirate Day’:-) Well it was two hours ago anyway. I love your page, it’s full of so many beautiful creations! I just got a purebred seal point ragdoll too. I named him Downey because he is SO soft and fluffy! He is just getting comfy enough to lay on furniture but I wish he would start jumping on my lap more.

  15. OMG.. I had to do a double take when I saw those kitty pictures.. one looks JUST like my Lizzie! And to that last commenter Leanne, watch what you wish for, cause my girl doesn’t turn one year old until the end of this month and she’s already 15 pounds.. and her FAVORITE place to be is resting comfortably on my tummy!

  16. Thanks for the advice. I wasn’t trusting my gauge swatches because they varied too much, but I’ll try again. For the presents, I was going to do something like Flower Basket, just to get them done quickly, and so I will have a “giant swatch” to use for that yarn. But I have other yarn that is slightly heavier (a Cascasde silk from Tess Designer Yarns that looks rather like your Sea Silk) that would look nice in something like Wing o’ the Moth, and substituting will be trickier. Your shawl is looking beautiful.

    One of my former cats loved to sleep on my computer keyboard–go figure–that couldn’t possibly be comfortable.

  17. You’ve just passed me on the Moth. Dammit. Will EVERYONE finish this thing before me? Now that you’re back at work though the playing field is even again!

  18. Thanks for the cheerful and cute kitty pics. They brightened my morning.

  19. I remember having 4 of 5 repeats done… there sure are a lot of stitches on the ol’ needles by that point, huh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. Those two cats look like baby harp seals, asleep on a glacier! Love it! I’ll have to go snuggle my girl now… if she’ll let me. ๐Ÿ˜›

  21. i have to admit while i like the knitting and the pictures of the amazing things you create, i really come here for the pictures of lucy.
    and the two kitties sleeping side by side is just precious. thank you

  22. Wendy knits and provides cat hoots! Thanks for the giggle.

    You are tempting me to try lace again.

  23. Loved the sychronized sleeping kitties! and on a knitting note, Wendy I’m always so impressed by how much knitting you accomplish. I feel like I knit alot, but it takes me much longer to finish a project. Me thinks it’s time to give up housework and laundry altogther! -patti

  24. My cat’s events include sleeping on printer and curling up on crocheted afghans. He has currently slept on every one in the house and all the ones sent as gifts.

    The shawl is amazing. I am so jealous of how quickly you knit. Between two kids and a lap happy cat, my knitting time can be seriously curtailed.

  25. I spent most of the day trying to think of “synchronized” as in swimming – I should have known that all I needed to do was check your comments. Love reading your Blog – always the unexpected! Love to Lucy!

  26. Those are some Gold Medal Class Catz!

    I about swallowed my tongue laughing – thanks.


    [Nice effort to try and distract us from the Shawl Lust.]

  27. Those are some gorgeous cats. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Oh my goodness, what adorable cats. I think sychornized sleeping should definitely be in th enext olympics.

  29. I used to have a pet rabbit, who wouldn’t start her morning grooming until I started to brush my teeth. Somehow she understood that tooth-brushing was a form of human grooming, and she wanted us in synch.

    When rabbits live in groups, they will almost always do their grooming at the same time. Once one starts, the others join in.