My current work in progress:

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


Archives for September 2006

Remember That Weird Opal Yarn?

Remember my hijinks with the Opal yarn that looked nothing like the sample photo supplied by Opal? I was discussing it in my September 6 blog entry. I offered the yarn to the first person was asked for it, so I sent it off to a good home. End of story?

Well, the retailer I bought the yarn from emailed me and offered to take it back after reading about it on my blog. Although I assured her that was not necessary, she contacted the U.S. Opal distributor who checked the photos on my blog and agreed the yarn was mis-labelled. Opal credited the retailer for the yarn, and the retailer in turn gave me a credit for the full price I paid for the yarn . . . even though I didn’t return it.

Really, I think this goes in the “above and beyond” category of excellent customer service. So Sheri, you and The Loopy Ewe can consider me a customer for life. Just sayin’.


Kimono Jacket

Wow! Thank you so much to those of you who have purchased the Kimono Jacket! Looks like I’ll be able to make a nice charitable donation from the proceeds! And thank you to Christina and katomliz who asked questions about the fit and difficulty rating — I’ve added that information to the information page for the pattern.

It’s Still All About Lace

Brigitte asked me what kind of needles I use to knit lace.


I actually tried several needles when starting Wing-o’-the-Moth. I didn’t bother trying my Addi Turbos because I was pretty sure they’d be too blunt at the tip for easy lace knitting. I tried both bamboo and ebony, but they were both too “grabby” on the mohair, so I switched to an Inox grey, which was also too grabby. I ended up using an Inox Espress — which is a shiny metal needle. The mohair moves smoothly across the surface, and the tips are pointy enough.

I finished the Twin Leaf pattern and did the set-up rows for the edging pattern last night. I’ve started the edging pattern. So I am now hoping I’ll have a photo of the shawl blocking in Sunday’s post.


Lucy’s looking forward to lying on it while it is blocking.


Kimono Jacket Pattern

Okie dokie, kiddies. Several of you expressed a desire for the Kimono Jacket pattern, so I am making it available, but I’m making you pay for it. Only $5.00! Woo!


That’s our Phyl modelling the jacket. Phyl, Official WendyKnits Model. ๐Ÿ™‚

There’s a link over in the sidebar for patterns for sale — I plan on adding more over time. For now, the Kimono Jacket is the only one available.

The pattern is in pdf format and you need paypal to purchase it. Pattern details and info on purchasing are on this page.

As an incentive to buy, I’ll donate part of the proceeds of sale to charity.

Even More Lace Talk

I know. The excitement is overwhelming, isn’t it?

But we are doggedly knitting lace and little else, so that’s all there is. I did a few more rows on Wing-o’-the-Moth last night, but didn’t quite complete the Twin Leaves section. The need for sleep outweighed my need to knit.


So I’ll be finishing the last row of that section after I post this. And starting the edging pattern, which looks like it’ll be a whole heckuva lot of fun.

See? Even Lucy is jazzed.


So pardon the brevity of this post, but I must get back to the Moth.

And Lucy needs to return to her Olympic training.


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.

Lace Talk

Karen B. asked:
I saw this shawl on knit-spot and was sorely tempted. With the clarity of instructions provided, do you think it appropriate for a newbie lace knitter?

While this is a big lace project, if you break it down and just look at it row to row, there’s really nothing too terribly difficult in it. I think an adventuresome beginner lace knitter could knit it, with some patience and perseverence. There are some k3tog and k3tog tbl, and then later on you’ll need to make 5 from one stitch — but that’s the extent of the “tricky bits.”

The pattern includes instructions for a smaller version of the shawl — a scarf — so if you didn’t want to commit to the large shawl, you could make a much smaller version.

Weeza commented:
I have to get one of these done for a friend’s grandmother’s 90th birthday by 1 November. I have knitted precisely one lace shawl previously (well, it had holes in it, anyway). I’m quite worried. Should I give up my job and eating now?

You just need to pace yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚

What I would do if I needed to knit a lace shawl for a deadline:

It’ll go quickly at the start, because the rows are pretty short. When they start to get longer, set yourself a goal of a number of rows per day. You know how many days you have to get it finished. Set an end date a few days before November 1. Then divide the number of rows you have remaining by the number of days you have to knit. And stick to your schedule. If you do more than your set number of rows in a day, it’s a bonus! Just remember that the rows get longer the more you do, so don’t set unreasonable goals towards the end of the knitting. At the start you can do ten or twenty rows a day. Towards the end, you might want to set a goal of just a couple of rows per day.

I’m rooting for you!

Me? I’ve completed three (out of five total) of the twn leaf pattern repeats.


The rows are getting really long at this point, but this particular motif is a lot of fun to knit, so I really don’t mind. Too much.

I didn’t get a whole lot done today because I spent a good part of the afternoon hanging out with a great group of knitters at the Martha Washington Library. We had a very good time. My mom came with me (Hi, Mom!) so that made it double the fun for me.

And this is what Lucy was doing while I was gone:


Clearly she is back in training for the Feline Sleeping Olympics.

Winging It

I’ve been working on the Wing-o’-the-Moth exclusively this weekend. Two-thirds the way through the first lace pattern it was just zipping along. But of course, because the rows are getting longer, it took most of the weekend to get the last third done.


But now I’m in the second chart, the Twin Leaf pattern — there are 40 rows total of that, which of course, keep getting longer.

If you’ve been considering this pattern, I can tell you that I’m enjoying it very much so far. I’ve found no errors and the instructions are very clear and thorough. And the instructions are written out as well as charted, so if you don’t like charts, you can knit it from the written out instructions.

Still life with cat:


The Alchemy Haiku is, I think, perfect for this project.


The silk content gives it a lovely sheen, while the mohair provides a nice halo without being too fluffy. I can’t wait to finish and block this!


Anyhow, it’s time to get back to the knitting. I get to stay up late tonight and knit because I’m off from work tomorrow. As I mentioned last week, I’ll be at the Martha Washington Library in Alexandria VA tomorrow (September 18, 2006, 1:00pm) for a book event. Stop by if you can!

What Lucy did all weekend: