My current work in progress:

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


A Bias?

Reader Meribeth commented:
I thought singles, even in lace weight would cause a bias, unless the pattern compensated.

I think this pattern compensates well for any inclination to bias, because I see no biasing at all. This is a fairly dense lace pattern. The outer border of diamonds has patterning on both the right and wrong sides.


The inner pattern of the the rose leaves has the lace patterning on the right side only.


There are a whole heckuva lot of yarnovers and k2tog (or p2tog) and ssks, etc. in this puppy.

And let me reiterate how much I love this yarn. Suzann commented “I especially love the rose leaves. They look like carved ivory against the patterned background. I have an over active imagination, but the whole thing reminds me of the sort of tracery you see in mosque stonework.” Suzann, I know exactly what you mean, and I love the look of it too. I think this is going to block out beautifully.

Lace Books

Carol commented:
I’ve been looked at the shrug in A Gathering of Lace. Are you familiar with that book? Any thoughts on the patterns?

I own the book, but have never knit anything from it. Truthfully — none of the patterns have called out to me.

But I am extraordinarily picky about lace. I have strong likes and dislikes when it comes to lace patterns. (No, really?) I recently bought Lace Style and found that to be a huge disappointment. Nothing in there that I want to knit. But I know many people are very pleased with it.


I’ve been reading reviews of the new Addi lace needles on blogs the past week or so. So although I’m happy with my Knitpicks Options needles for lace, I decided to try the Addis out, and ordered some from Angelika’s Yarn Store. (I ordered these needles last Friday and they arrived on Monday. From Oregon to Virginia — can’t say much better than that.) I put the Alpine shawl (sorry, I can’t call it a scarf) on the size 4 Addi needle to try it out.

Love the Addi lace needles! The resin-coated brass surface has a tiny bit more grab than the Knitpicks needle, and the cable is beautifully flexible and and join is superb. I think the tips on these needles are just about the same pointyness as the Knitpicks. Here they are — Addi on the top:


And the join. Again, Addi on the top:


So that’s my take on Addi lace needles. I love them.

Poodle Skirt Socks

The first one is done:


Linda asked:
I purchased some Scarlett Fleece also (different color) What size needles would you use for that yarn? It is kinda fluffy.

It is kind of fluffy, but it knits up beautifully at 8 sts/inch (which I achieve with a size 0 needle). The foot of my sock is knit with a 0, and the leg with a 2.

Lucy Sez


“You can kiss my tummy. You can stroke my tummy. You can brush my tummy. But please don’t mess with my paws.”


For Knitnana:


Hee hee hee!


  1. Wendy- Isn’t lace knitting just magic? I adore it. Especially the process of taking a bunched up wad and seeing it transform.

    Clearly, I need to get out more.

  2. Second!
    I want to try lace knitting. And knitting a sock. I *really* have to finish other projects first before I start another. I’m weird like that :S I do that to books too.

  3. Not all singles will bias. The bias comes from having extra twist in the singles. Having just enough twist = no bias.

  4. hehe I don’t think I would have found the on/off button. It’s bad enough on mine where there is a lever on the side that looks just like the one you hit to unlock the handle. I always hit the wrong one the first time. hehe

  5. Hopefully this isn’t a stupid question, but what do you mean by bias in this context?

  6. Oh no! We don’t get to kiss the fluffy Lucy paws? I can’t stand it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love my Dyson. I actually don’t mind running the vacuum, because the Dyson is my true friend.

    The sock is gorgeous – that color just makes me drool!

  7. Lucy looks like she’s peaking at something. My first cat Honey wouldn’t let me touch his tummy, but my current 3 kitties love a good tummy rub.

    Sammy, my toy poodle who spends most of his time sitting on my lap as I work says: “Mom, I think you need to get some of that Poodle Skirt yarn. Afterall, you bought yarn that looks like Twyla the Ragdoll. Plus, pink is your favorite color.” Boy, he’s an enabler isn’t he?

  8. Raye, mother of the other Capricorn Wendy, in NYC says:

    Well since you are in love with the Morehouse Merino laceweight yarn, you’ll simply have to get to their retail store (Sheep’s Clothing), which is a stone’s throw from the Dutchess county Fairgrounds, home of the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool festival in October. Omigawd…total eye candy. You’ll want to buy every skein in the place! NAYYY…

  9. Angeluna says:

    The lace shawl is looking quite tempting. Like you, I passed over Gathering of Lace and Lace Style to purchase Victorian Lace. And I’m tempted by several, this one first. Thanks for the enlightening comments on the new Addis. Thanks to you, there is a pair or two in my future.

  10. I can’t wait to try my new Addi Lace Turbos! Got to finish my test knit project and my feather and fan shawl first, though. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Gotta love Angelika’s! (Although I am biased since I live in Oregon, too.) ๐Ÿ™‚

    You mean Lucy doesn’t appreciate the finer points of pedicures??? My cat Ellie is very good about allowing me to clip her nails now and then. But I’ve had other cats who about took all the skin off my arms when I tried it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Patricia says:

    Nice shawl…but what is bias? Is that only an issue with lace patterns? And what does single (ply?) yarn have to do with it? Thanks!

    I was inspired to vacuum and mop the kitchen floor last night after reading your story. My excuse is “the cat is sleeping- don’t want to wake and scare her”. Got the living room when she was napping in the bedroom and vice versa.

  12. The lace shawl is lovely. I really want to try some real lace, but I can’t seem to find a pattern that will work with the yarn I have – one hank (440 yards) of KnitPicks Gossamer.

    I love the color of the sock! So bright and cheery. ๐Ÿ™‚ It just puts a smile on my face to see it.

  13. You see, that’s what happens when you get the fancy schmancy Dyson. I’m suspicious of high quality goods… mainly because I don’t own any. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Wait, you have a Dyson and you don’t vacuum very often? That thing will pick up dirt from the SubFloor – I always get such a feeling of accomplishment when I’m done and it’s 1/2 full.

    Love the sock and the opinion on the needles. Thank you for sharing

  15. Ooh, a Dyson! I’ve been eyeing those (yeah, it’s expensive, but a girl can dream). How loud is it?

  16. So the big question is – did you make that same red circle and arrow ON the vaccum?! That socks is FUN.

  17. Bwah! I love that while you don’t care for vacuuming, you still have the best vacuum possible! It makes me feel better about inexplicably wanting a Dyson despite the fact that 1) I refuse to clean anything pretty much ever, and 2) we have wood floors.

  18. I like the Addi Lace needles, too.

    Would you consider using some of your own handspun singles for lace? I’m just a beginning spinner, but I’m learning quickly that I don’t like to ply. I’ve spun a pretty fine Rambouillet singles and am thinking of trying it as is. Following Janice in GA’s dictum, of course, that the twist not be too tight.

  19. In your defense, that button looks way too big to be the On/Off switch!
    Loving your new lace – I really need to get back on the lace I started a couple of months ago…

  20. I LOVE my Dyson. I have the purple one. Best vacuum EVER! Definitely worth the extra bucks.

    Anyway, quick question about Addi Lace vs. Knit Pick Options. Do you think the Addi Lace would work OK with stickier yarn?

    I was thinking of picking up some of the Options for a fair isle project coming up, but I am wondering if the Addi Lace needles would work? I prefer Addis, but I want a pointier tip. I’m wondering if the “grabbiness” of the new Addis would not do well with a “stickier” shetland-type yarn.

    Your lace shawl is beautiful!

  21. That is some of the most beautiful lace I’ve ever seen – what a gorgeous pattern!

    What is it about cat’s paws that makes you want to touch and/or kiss them, when you know they’re not going to let you??

    OK, now I am officially jealous of you – a Dyson! I might actually not hate vacuuming as much if I had one of those. Then again …

  22. Jeez Wendy, I have a purple dyson and you’ve just killed my last excuse for not using it *wink*
    I’m with the other people wondering what exactly “bias” means and what singles (the yarn ply I suppose?) have to do with anything.
    My guys are like Lucy about their paws only they’re six-toed polydactyls who need to have regular pedicures in order to walk comfortably without getting a thumb nail stuck in a paw pad.
    Also, I covet your knitpicks options. I’m still trying to work out a way of getting my own set . . . perhaps when my darling buys a new game for his idiot box I shall once again point out the usefulness of my hobby vs. his ๐Ÿ˜€

  23. I bow down to the Dyson. I fear and respect the Dyson.

    When I moved to New Jersey, I told her I had a vacuum to clean up my old place with, but she brought her Dyson anyway. My vacuum is a joke compared to it.

  24. Two qys: Does Lucy let you cut her toenails? (Can you cathandle her into it?) And do you like your Dyson (forgive me if this is a stupid qy)? Love your take on housework; I’ve been needing to vacuum for … weeks. Tomorrow!

  25. Lucy, can I give you raspberries on your furry tummy? Hee hee!

  26. I have GOT to try those lace needles…..

  27. Well I haven’t tried lace yet, but I will keep in mind that the Addi’s are a good choice.

    The lace “shaw” is soooo pretty! It is going to be amazing when it is blocked.

    LOL On/Off switch.

  28. love my oreck…….but hey!….it’s older than the dyson……am drooling over the scarf…….comtemplating the book……..oh, you are a siren/vixen leading us down the path to ….

  29. So, what happens if you mess with Lucy’s paws? That picture just really makes me want to play with them….

  30. The Morehouse Merino laceweight does block beautifully. I made the Gorgonian Shawl for my sister in England and she was enthralled with it.
    I love their yarn. I think you’ll be very pleased with the finished result. The Alpine Shawl is exquisite.
    So is Lucy , ofcourse!

  31. I have the very same Dyson…D’oh! Now you’ve gone and done it!

    Pumpkin is the easiest going cat ever. He lets me touch every part of him in fact he loves when I put my finger in his ears and scratch! He doesn’t love nail clipping day but he’s ok with it too and he loves when I hold his paws and scratch between his pads and his toes!

    I never jumped on the Knitpicks Options bandwagon but I did give in to the Addi Lace needle jones ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Are Dysons as good at picking up fine fluffy fur as they are purported to be?

  33. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who was not impressed with Lace Style. I just haven’t seen anything in there that I really want to knit. OTOH, I love Gathering of Lace. It’s wonderful to see such diverse opinions in blogland. ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. I would think that singles would only cause a bias if they were unbalanced, as in overspun, or if the twist wasn’t set on them before knitting. That would be the same with a plied yarn too, if it was spun or plied too much.

  35. Here I am again… glade to see more of your work! Lace is fabulous! Well, my blog is named “Lorna Doone chestlet”, inspired with an english caracter I met in my teenage years. If I ever start to write in english it will be pushed by reading your blog.

  36. Adriana, again! Iยจve noticed that my link is not working, so I found error and fixed it, so…

  37. Maybe God had to delete something on your hard disc โ€“ like the ability to find the on-off button on your vacuum cleaner โ€“ in order to make room for all your knitting skills?

  38. Oooo, you have a Dyson… So. Want. One. Even though I have hardwood floors…

    (Although it would probably scare the crap out of my poor kitties!)

  39. Louise in Maryland says:

    I just love Angelika’s – the fast shipping and huge Lorna’s Laces inventory keep me coming back. Or clicking back, or whatever.

  40. I found Lace Style disappointing too.

    I also think that the Sheep’s Clothing store is Knitting Nirvana, although I haven’t tried the lace weight yet. I did buy the complete set of samples, though, which includes the lace and shows all its colors–and that is very handy if taking a trip to the store is geographically impossible. I know you mentioned in the past that the heavier weight yarn (3-strand) sometimes pills, but I haven’t found that to be the case, and I’ve made some wonderful sweaters (adult and baby) from it.

    Thanks for your take on the Lace Addis.

  41. the lace is beautiful. I’m attempting my first lace project – print ‘o the wave with some merino laceweight purchased from Abby F. I’m going to be blind and insane by the time I finish. But I’m continuing on.

    and I understand lucy’s paw issue. if I remember from your write up of Lucy, I thought she had been declawed by her first (and negligent) owners. my girl, Looker, was also declawed and hated to have her paws touched. I always figured it was a reminder and there was some residual discomfort that never went away.

  42. Shirley, in PA says:

    I have a tiny dog that will allow anything but touching his paws. And since his hair grows long and needs trimming we battle every 3 months or so. Lucy’s paws look ready for grabbing and kissing. Thanks for your take on the Lace Addis – I just ordered some (her inventory is getting low, so I thought I’d better hurry).

  43. Alpine is so beautiful in that yarn! I am definitely tackling this VLT project next – birthday present for my sister.

    I wonder if Lucy’s declawing experience made her skittish about having her paws touched? Mack and Lucy actually enjoy toe massages. (I REALLY need to get out more!) She doesn’t mind nail-clipping; he turns from gentle giant into whirling dervish, and I have the kitty tattoos to prove it.

  44. I love that shawl, that is the pattern that I swooned over on my first trip through the book. Rose Trellis is so beautiful. I want to make the cover sweater from Lace Style, I just wish it wasn’t done on size 10 1/2 needles. My hands ache just thinking about it.

  45. That shawl is beautiful! And Lucy’s paws are so cute!

  46. I find the Knitpicks a bit annoying – no matter how tightly I crank them down with the little tool, they come unscrewed as I knit, and unless I remember to tighten both ends each row, yarn keeps getting stuck between the needle and cable. It’s worse with laceweight yarn, too.

  47. Love that colorful sock!
    I tried your provisional cast on on my second Sockotta sock last night when, for some reason, my ability to work the figure eight cast on simply disappeared. So weird. I’ve never had a problem before. You usually use the provisional cast on, right? Or am I just making that up?

  48. I love the Bryspuns for lace, because I don’t always want the feel of metal. They have terrific points that actually have a little bit of a curve for picking up fussy splitting yarn. But I can’t wait to try out the new lace addis. I did a review of some needles for lace on my blog – think it was January.

  49. A Dyson! Don’t you just love it! I’ve recently had to pull mine out more often–I have 4 cats that shed something fierce, but just cat hair on the carpet became a natural state of things–until I became a mom. The short person is officially 6 months old today, and he loves to roll around on the floor. And try to eat anything he can grab, which includes cat hair, spinning fuzzies, etc. So I try to vacuum at least once a week now, to save time so I don’t have to try to pick as much cat hair of the kid.

  50. ::thinking of stash::

    Morehouse Merino laceweight- check
    Victorian Lace Today- check
    Addi Lace needles- check

    I think I know what I’m doing when I get home from work today…

  51. Thank you for the comment that the KnitPicks and Addi Lace seem to be the same pointiness (is that a word?) – when I’ve looked at the pictures of them side by side, I haven’t been able to see a huge difference. I would like a more flexible cable though – cooked spaghetti-like would be peachy, if it were slippery.

    I can trim my Korat’s nails by plopping her in my lap, or letting my daughter hold her, and I use the old fashioned Trim people-nail clippers – you know, the ones guys will drive you nuts with, carrying them on their keys and trimming their nails and letting the clippings fly all over. Told a friend of mine about this, and she does it too – I should ask for a cut of what she was paying her vet to do it.

  52. I LOVE Angelika’s. Such great customer service.

    PS: You were in my dream last night. We were eating Chinese food. (vegetarian General Tso’s.) Kind of random, but for what it’s worth we had a good time.

  53. Those Addis look like they’d be a good substitute for the KP needles (to which I am allergic, stupid nickel!) I shall have to get a set!

    The lace is gorgeous. One of these days I will find a lace project I like to knit (most of them make me want to throw my knitting across the room)

  54. Angelika’s was just as fast (and the same days…) with my order for the Addi Lace needles and I LOVE THEM TOO! I will order again from Angelika’s!!

    You switch needle sizes on the cuff of your socks?? How did I miss this before?

    Oh, oh…a DYSON? Well, that’s not where MY vacuum cleaner’s button is located so I guess I still have an excuse for not vacuuming??? lolol! I shall put the Dyson on my wishlist on the strength of your owning one, alone! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lucy, The Meezer doesn’t like HER paws touched either…but she’s only a little bit of a “tummy gal.” Would much, much rather have her chin, ears, and head stroked and stroked and stroked.

  55. Another person chiming in on the disappointment factor with Lace Style. I was so glad I decided to LOOK at a copy of the book instead of just ordering it. Maybe *1* pattern than I really liked and so many things seemed to be VERY “cutesy” and targeted at the tweens market. Unfortunately, the book just seemed to represent many of the editorial choices in the last Interweave mag edition that I found so disappointing (hello out there–who do you think REALLY has the disposable income in this country?).

    I’m enjoying watching you work through some of the VLT patterns. I absolutely ADORE that book and if I knit lace until I die (being the slow knitter I am) I will probably never be able to finish all of the patterns that turn me on in that book (more than 2 dozen that I want to knit).

  56. michelle says:

    well why didn’t you say so in the first place….it’s the dysons fault…my friend has the same vacuum, not only did it take us forever to turn it on, to empty it i has to get on dysons website and ask how….aghhh stupid vacuum….the website is pretty neat though:) love the colorful sock btw…

  57. oooh, those Poodle Skirt socks are gorgeous.
    hi Lucy!

  58. I have a fancy vacuum cleaner that’s, supposedly, better than the Dyson, particularly for my tile floors. However, that’s not much of an accomplishment, as the cheapest stick vac is better than Dysons or Miehles or the other high-end vacuums on hard floors. That’s because they don’t have beater bars, which just fling the dust around on tile.

    A lot of high-end vacuums allow you to shut off the beater bar for hard floors. I had one of those and it just drove me crazy. It seemed as if I always had it in the wrong mode, because there was no easy way to tell how I had it set.

    And someone asked who has the disposable income in this country? The knitting grandmothers and aunts of tweens, who haven’t been able to find any good knitting patterns for kids too old for little-kid stuff and too young for young-adult stuff. I’ve got four great-nieces between 8 and 14 and I’m glad to see designs aimed at them. They’d been trapped in a knitterly black hole, pretty much.

    Those Poodle Skirt socks remind me of my poodle skirt. The petticoats we wore under them were a real pain. One hundred yards of netting and they had to be starched and ironed after about three washings. They were scratchy, too. But we were stylish.