My current work in progress:

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


More of the Moth

I un-pinned the Moth early this morning, so it’s time for a photo-shoot.


Not easy to take a photo of yourself from the back. Just sayin’.


Thank you for all the nice comments on this shawl. I am very happy with it and it is going to the office with me in the morning.


Some questions:

Aubrey asked:
I have a stitch/style question – would it look funny to do a more solid-looking increase in the middle? I know alot of shawl patterns use the YO-K-YO center increase, but I personally think the solid line of holes detracts a bit from the lacework.

I think this is a matter of personal preference. I like the line of holes down the middle. Try it with a more solid increase and see what you think. πŸ™‚

Sarah asked:
Does going up 2 needle sizes help with elasticity, or does it affect how the bind-off looks?

The pattern directs you to bind off loosely. I went up two needle sizes on the bind-off to make darn sure I was binding off loosely enough. And it worked.

Michelle asked:
I’m working on the Fibertrends Lace Leaf. Twice I gotten to well over 35 rows. Everythings going good. I get side-tracked and suddenly, I have one too many or one too little stitches. I’ve backed off row after row and have not had to rip and start again for the 3rd time. Is there a trick to recovering from an error. It just isn’t the same as picking up a dropped stitch on a sweater or sock. How in the heck do you know where to begin?

There are a couple of things you should do to keep your lace behaving.

First, use a lifeline — at a point where you know the pattern is correct, thread a contrasting yarn of thread (dental floss works great for this) through the live stitches. That way if you need to rip back, you can rip back to that point where you knew everything is correct, and you’ll have all your stitches live on a thread.

Another thing — separate each pattern repeat with a stitch marker. I find this extremely useful — you are only dealing with one pattern repeat at a time, and this helps you figure out where you went wrong. If you have the wrong number of stitches between two markers, you’ll know the problem is in that repeat. Until you get the hang of the lace pattern, count the stitches in each pattern repeat as you work them — or count them on the way back on the wrong side row. That way you’ll find any errors right after you make them — and they’ll be a lot easier to deal with.

The Rebirth of Keelan

After I finished the Moth, I picked up Keelan, which had been languishing for months. I decided I didn’t like it in the Rowan Scottish Tweed fingering weight. It just wasn’t what I had in mind.

So I went into the stash and found some Jo Sharp SilkRoad DK Tweed and swatched with that. Exactly what I had in mind!


So Keelan has been reborn.

The Silkroad DK Tweed is lovely yarn — 85% wool, 10% silk, and 5% cashmere. It is extremely soft, and really doesn’t feel like wool at all. It has a soft, cottony feel to it. I’m using a 3.5mm needle and getting 20 stitches and 30 rows to 4 inches.

Forgot to Mention

Several of you asked where I got the “flock of sheep” pictured a couple of blog entries ago.


I actually don’t know where any of them came from exactly — they were all gifts, given at different times over the years. What can I say? When you know a knitter, you give her a sheep.

Lucy prefers the concept of giving a side of salmon, but that’s just her.



  1. Looks beautiful!!

  2. Mmmm, side of salmon. πŸ™‚ Wendy, the Wing o’ the Moth is gorgeous! And Keelan looks very happy with its new yarn. Love that color.

  3. Do I really need to say it? The shawl, of course, looks beautiful!

    Oh–and tripod and automatic-timer on the camera is VERY helpful. As is–as my camera does–a pivoting LCD screen, so you can have it pointing in the same direction as the lens, so you can see how you’re positioning yourself….

  4. Oh Wendy…how beautiful! I love how it turned out.

    I swear, it would take me a month to do that much cable knitting.

  5. Mmm, salmon. Now I know what I’m having for dinner – thanks, Lucy!

    At first I thought perhaps the KOARC was the one modeling the shawl. πŸ™‚ I said it was gorgeous yesterday and it’s definitely worth repeating. It’s gorgeous.

  6. Beautiful Moth!

    On the subject of correcting lace mistakes, I second your advice. I also made a huge advance when I figured out how to put in a missing yo. If it’s two rows back (usually the case with me as I mostly work one-sided lace, that is the wrong side is just purl), when I get to the place where it should be I put the needle under the running thread two rows down and over the running thread above it, then scoop the top running thread down and up in front of the one below it and put it on the needle.

  7. That shawl is drop dead beautiful. I can’t even imagine doing something that intricate. Or, if I did, it would probably take a decade! What a great job, Wendy. Now, about the new sweater. Is that yarn really 20 stitches per inch? That’s some fine yarn you’re knitting with, girl! It doesn’t look that fine in the photo. It’s really pretty and I can’t wait to see the finished product.

  8. Be-U-ti-Ful shawl as always! What kind of stitch markers do you prefer for your lacework? I can’t seem to find any that aren’t too big for smaller needles or don’t weigh a ton when I get a bunch of repeats going.

  9. The shawl is one of the most beautiful pieces of knitting I’ve seen in a long time! WOW!

  10. Mothe = Exquisite!

  11. Wendy- Your shawl is amazing- and the edging is quite different. Another success!
    I know what you mean about the sheep- I have a sheep tic-tac-toe set, footstool, water-bottle cover- a huge flock, even a sheep alarm clock.

  12. The shawl is gorgeous, simply gorgeous!

  13. As usual, you blow me away with skill and dedication to getting the job done! Moth is gorgeous. Is Lucy getting the side of salmon from the Scots side of her family???


  15. Moth was beautiful yesterday and even moreso today. It must have been a lot of fun to block that shawl and watch the magic transformation take place!

  16. As aways……your work is breathtaking…….and what I love best is your sharing tips/techniques, especially your clear explanations…..the tone / style all say: you can!…….thanks……and hope Lucy gets her salmon!

  17. Lovely!

  18. The Meezer agrees with Lucy – salmon over lamb anyday…
    LOVE Wing o’ the Moth (my Secret Pal gave me the pattern today, so we know what I’ll be doing soon!)! Your’s is just beautiful.
    And what color of Jo Sharp DK Tweed is that you’re using for Keelan? Boheme perchance?

  19. The shawl Wing o the Moth is just glorious!!!!

  20. What a stunning shawl! Beyond that, words fail me. Do you have another lace project waiting in the wings?

  21. Wow, it looks amazing!

  22. The Moth is fabulous!!!
    I love the edges. You should enter that in a contest somewhere, I am sure it would win the grand prize.
    I’m inspired, I thing I am going to try one:-)

  23. I’d tell you that the moth shawl is amazing, but it’s just another example of your usual overachievement, especially the edging. Wow! And I’m glad you’ve put another pattern up for sale; I hope you’re no longer feeling the need to justify yourself by donating part of the proceeds. I see no reason you shouldn’t profit from the talent whose results you’ve shared so generously for so long. You have plenty of honorable predecessors in the business.

  24. The Wong – o – Moth is stunning. I’m in love with it πŸ™‚ You inspire me πŸ™‚

  25. Wendy, I just have to comment today. That shawl is stunning! The color, the pattern, just beautiful! And very befitting its name, so light, so delicate. Your edges look much more defined than on the Knitspot website. Is that because of the silk/mohair blend? The before blocking pics look hairy. But the post-blocking pics do not. Is it still hairy? Either way, gorgeous!

  26. I have seen a couple renditions of Anne’s Moth Shawl (she’s quite the designer, eh?) your cast off is the most striking I’ve seen. It’s just beautiful. I really like the start of Keelan.

  27. Better watch your back at work tomorrow. Your co-workers will take you out for that shawl.

    Do they know better by now, than to ask you “How long did that take you?” or “Will you make me one?”
    Sally Melville gave a great talk on these and other stupid questions people ask knitters.

  28. Does Lucy have her tongue out in today’s pic? Thinking of salmon, maybe. Cute. Very cute.

  29. It really does look like a moth! And thanks for the explanation about the lifeline – I’ve seen that mentioned before but did not know exactly what it was.

  30. That’s awesome!

    Btw, I *finally* managed to read your book. And guess what? I used to knit like the way you do — I’m a leftie and used to just pick and wrap!

    Just an OT question, can steeking be done using any non-superwash wool or merino? I am thinking of attempting one!

  31. One word – stunning.

    I just love that edging. Love it. Gasp! Sigh! Looooove.. That shawl is so, so beautiful that I simply cannot construct sentences to express my awe and wonder. Perhaps a haiku:

    Moth shawl, green mohair
    Stretched out points of loveliness
    Wendy’s work is art

    -or maybe two-

    High quality knits
    Wendy’s patterns will challenge;
    Results are worthwhile

    (the second one isn’t really Moth-related. I just thought of it while I was composing the first one and I flatter myself that it was clever enough to share. Because I’m a geek like that.)

    But I digress.

    Love that shawl. Love it.

  32. Lovely Moth!

    Pretty Keelan redux!

    Side of salmon, lol!

  33. WOTM is a really beautiful shawl. I am really tempted with it myself.

    I’m glad that you wear your shawls, but how do you wear them so they look elegant? Are you just a draper, do you tie them, or do you use shawl pins? I’m asking because every time I put on a shawl my DH says I look like a hippy!

  34. Your shawl is lovely. I keep going over to the website to order the pattern, but hesitate because I’m not sure how difficult it is. I’m pretty new at lace knitting. What is your opinion on the difficulty level? You make it look so easy!

  35. I was just wondering—are you drawn to everyone’s porch light when you wear that outstanding shawl?!

  36. Looks wonderful! Never thought I’d like a moth at some time. But this one is great.

    Chris 😎

  37. The shawl is just lovely.

    Thanks for the tip about the dental floss. I found that using markers liberally for any significant change in the pattern works for me too, and I thought that counting the stitches between them on the very long rows worked well too. It’s nice to know that a knitter as skillful as you are does the same thing. When using markers, I sometimes select different colors for different things–say, green to separate repeats, and some other color to alert me to a part of the pattern where I’ve tended to screw up more than once or twice. I really like the markers from Patternworks that are like the rubberbands you used to have on your braces because they’re thin. They come in “neon” colors.

  38. I love this shawl. Your tips make me think I could knit lace.

  39. Moth is so lovely! Heh, that picture of Lucy…

  40. The shawl is gorgeous…{Lucy}

  41. Oh wait, I thought you were giving me that shawl as a gift. I know we don’t really know each other, but there is this thing, this social politeness rule (somewhere in the world, I forget where but I’m moving there next week so I sort of live there already) that when a person admires something you have you must give it to them. And in my case, I R-E-A-L-L-Y admire the moth shawl way, way alot. So naturally, I thought you’d be asking me for my mailing address …


  42. On Keelan, do you have a stitch counter attached with floss on the right hand side? So do you only count right side rows?

    I really appreciate all the tips I pick up from reading your blog. The life line was a great idea!

  43. Barbara-Kay says:

    Brought DH to my computer to show him the sheep (hint, hint, hint) and Lucy. He said “Casper and I concur – definately salmon!” Casper is DH’s flame-point Siamese. Casper is from Siamese Rescue in Texas, and sends Meezer greetings to Lucy. That’s all he’s good for – greetings (mandatory spay policy, ya know!) VBG!

  44. Gorgeous! The edge is spectacular. I’m sure it will inspire “how DID you do that??” remarks. The color is perfect. It really looks like a beautiful set of wings.

  45. Whew! That shawl is huge! No wonder it took so long. It is really gorgeous tho.

    Love that color blue for Keelan. It’s a great way to brighten a winters day.

  46. That pattern really does have the delicacy of a moth’s wing. Your rendition is gorgeous and inspiring.

  47. Wendy! It’s beautiful!!!

  48. Is the Keelan vest pattern going to be available as you finish it? It’s lovely.

    I am commenting for the first time here after looking for a while. Am also contemplating “trying” lace knitting. (I’m thinking scarf) What a beautiful shawl. I’ve never seen one with such an interesting and unique edge. Very cool! Is it as terribly difficult as it looks?

  50. Darielle Dannen says:

    So beautiful! You may have inspired me to make a shawl as my next project.

  51. Gorgeous shawl (and it *is* hard to take a picture of your own back). I love the new version of Keelan and Jo Sharp SilkRoad is yummy stuff.

  52. I just love your shawl. And Lucy couldn’t look more contented!!

  53. Moth: A vision of loveliness. That goes for Lucy too. Thank you.

  54. I’m glad to see the return of Keelan. I loved the first rendition, but looking at this start I can see where the other didn’t quite measure up. Have fun working it!

  55. Lucy is a smart girl. Not that you didn’t already know this.

    The Moth just gets prettier, Wendy.

    I’m still trying to resist the Paisley Long Shawl from Fiddlesticks. I love her patterns, and it looks nicely challenging.

  56. sighβ€”thank you!

  57. With regard to your advice to “separate each pattern repeat with a stitch marker. If you have the wrong number of stitches between two markers, you’ll know the problem is in that repeat.”

    Please note that this *only* works if the lace repeat has a constant number of stitches at all times. It is not uncommon in some of the more complicated lace patterns to have the stitch count vary from row to row within the repeats. When this happens, you could drive yourself crazy looking for lost or too many stitches, when that is exactly what is supposed to be there. That said, I usually use the stitch marker every pattern repeat and a coilless safty pin at the end of every row repeat; it is a very good practice, just not univerally applicable.

  58. The Moth is absolutely breathtaking . . . and Keelan is gorgeous!

  59. Have you joined Socktoberfest 2006? You are the queen of socks! Plus they have great buttons for your blog.

  60. You finished, you finished! And look how carefully you pinned out the corona edging–WOW. I’m gobsmacked. I want to go re-block mine now!

  61. That shawl is HOT! I’ve been trying to come up with some ideas for summer knitting projects and had a look at some Shetland lace patterns but wasn’t sure. Now I’ve seen this I’m so totally inspired πŸ™‚