My current work in progress:

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


Lace ‘n’ Miters

This the view we woke up to yesterday. Happy Spring!


It was only an inch or so and it had melted by noon.

I received the foam blocks I ordered (see the entry from last Tuesday) so this afternoon set out to block the Alpine Lace.

The shawl takes a bath in the sink in warm water with some lovely Soak wool wash.


Meanwhile, I assemble the interlocking foam blocks.


My little helper demonstrates the size of the blocking surface. (It’s 3 feet by 6 feet.)

After 20 minutes or so, I rinse the shawl and take it out of the water, squeezing oh-so-gently to remove excess water, and roll it in a bath towel and gently squeeze some more. Actually, you don’t have to rinse out the Soak wool wash, but I usually do anyway.


My little helper eats lunch to keep her strength up.


On to blocking.


It is now drying.


Miter Fun!

Brenda asked:
Your mitered tunic is turning out great. I have a question about the neckline. I like square necklines as I have a round face, the contrast looks good. So, if you didn’t put the triangles in the corners and picked up stitches for a neckband and mitered the band in the corners, could you get a square neckline? I saw a woman at the supermarket with a sweater neck that looked like that, but I wasn’t sure, and she was a stranger, and I didn’t want to be arrested for harassing her to see how her sweater was constructed. You seemed a safer bet.

You are correct, I will not have you arrested for blog-stalking. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And you are correct, you could leave the neckline square and do mitered corners in the neckband. I like square necks myself and considered doing that for this sweater, but like the idea of trying out the triangles for shaping.

Lisa commented:
I see that you are using “Yarntini — 4-8-15-16-23-42”. Aren’t those the numbers from “Lost”? Which colorway is it? Can you draw a little arrow on the sweater-in-progress? What a great name for a colorway!

“Lost.” That’s a television show, right?

Me, not so big on network television. But I’m glad a couple of you mentioned the name of this colorway and the significance of it, otherwise I would have gone to my grave not knowing. I just picked it because I liked the colors.

It’s the squares that have some bright sky blue in them.

That reminds me — all of the yarns I chose for this sweater are handpainted and most of them do not stripe. But I did throw in a couple of self-striping yarns (like the Yarntini) because I thought it would be fun to have a few stripey squares scattered throughout. I’m glad I did — I like the way it looks.

DeeAnn said:
The mitered square tunic is unexpected but it seems to have this mystery power that enchants me the more I look at it. If it is garter stitch, could you turn it every row of squares so the angles go back and forth in waves?

I find it pretty enchanting too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes, you can turn the direction of the squares, but I thought the combination of the different handpainted yarns and the texture of the garter stitch is enough. I was afraid that multi-directional would be overkill.

But I’d consider it for a modular garment made in a single colorway.

Then I picked it up to work on upside-down and knitted a row of squares going the opposite direction across the bottom.

It’s not too noticeable, and I am calling it a design element.


Book Giveaway

The random number generator chose Erica B. to receive this week’s book. Erica, I’ve emailed you!


  1. Your Alpine Lace is gorgeous! I’m intrigued by your blocking squares, they look so helpful. You Miter Square sweater is very enchanting, now I look at all my bits of handspun wondering what they could create. Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. Oooh pretties. I had to look really really hard (glasses off nose to the screen etc.) to see the opposite direction rows. I especially like the look of that middle-ish block of 4 squares (two brown and two green) on the bottom two rows. Your yarns all look so pretty like that I might have to make a mitered bag out of sock yarns or something. I’ve certainly been buying enough of them lately. I think I blame you for that. Your blog is where I first found The Loopy Ewe I think.

  3. I have a question about the interconnecting foam blocks. Did you pin into them, or do they have enough “stick” to them that you can just lay your project out on top of them? In the middle picture, I think I see pins all around the circumference. On the closer shot, I see no pins. These verging-on-geriatric eyes want to know ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. how’d you get so much snow? i mean, i know it was VERY LITTLE snow, but we didn’t get any white on the ground at all. i don’t live that far from you (i don’t think… i’m in fairfax county), and all we got were flurries. i’m not complaining, though. i’m ready for some serious spring weather!

  5. Shirley, in PA says:

    I love both your sweater and the Alpine lace. I have a blocking question – the shawl has straight sides, so did you use blocking wires? I can’t quite tell, but it looks like it’s pinned. I made a rectangular shawl last year and found the wires made it much easier for me to get the edges straight. I’m glad Lucy is keeping her strenght up – too much helping can wear her out.

  6. That’s another lovely shawl you have there. It looks great post-blocking, but then it looked pretty good pre-blocking too, and I see you haven’t stretched it to within an inch of its life, either.

    I hope your hand is feeling better after last week’s pain. I’m assuming it isn’t too bad looking at all the weekend knitting progress!

    Please send that snow over to England. Whilst it is lovely to have a fine and sunny Easter Bank Holiday weekend we are desperate for precipitation of any kind. My garden is all cracked up already.

  7. Oh that stole is so lovely!!! Maybe now that my Nancy’s Knit Knacks Ball Winder is supposed to be arriving soon I can get back to some lace knitting! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. The Alpine Lace Scarf is gorgeous, and the foam blocks look like a perfect blocking surface. My husband has several in the garage all around his workbench and tools area. I don’t think he’ll let me take them. : ) I may have to order some new ones!

    I’m loving the mitered sweater. Have you estimated the total yardage it will require to complete your sweater? I know that you said that whole skeins wouldn’t be used, but I was just curious about general yardage requirements.

    Happy Easter!

  9. Another gorgeous lace shawl, Wendy! And I am now craving mitered squares, thank you very much.

  10. I have finally infected a couple of people at work, and they are now ready for a sock clinic. We would like to use your “excuriating” detailed pattern, is that acceptable to you?

    I think Lucy was wondering why the Kozy Kushion wasn’t as big as the blocking set up.

  11. As a devoted cat owner/slave and new lace knitter (socks and small scarves only at this stage) I can’t help but wonder how you keep your very cute little helper away from the projects you’re blocking out. I believe cages and stun guns would be required in my house. Any tips on blocking whilst avoiding prosecution for animal cruelty?

  12. I’ve spent the last three days thinking about my brown and red sock yarn bender I’ve been on lately. And then thinking about turning the pile of yarns into a mitred sweater. This, of course, is very very very much your fault!

    But I’m thinking about trying to make it a raglan one as opposed to drop shouldered. I have no idea how the heck I would do that.

    I think, between you and Cara? I’m doomed.

  13. We got The Snow too – not a lot, but enough to make you really hope that this is Winter’s last hurray and that he will let Spring burst forth and stay!

    Lovely knitting!!

  14. Your stole is just breathtaking! Is it your own design and if not what pattern did you use?


  15. I have to admit I wasn’t feeling the miter jacket until this photo. The color play, which initially I felt was busy, is now intriguing. I can’t wait to see the finished item!

  16. That has to be the most brilliant blocking surface ever. The shawl – stunning!

  17. The Alpine lace looks beautiful! Did you order more foam squares for bigger/triangular shawls?

  18. I’ve been singing “I’m Dreaming of a White Easter” for days now. Ooooooof. My azalea bushes were all white . . . . . with snow! It’s April and it’s FREEZING.

  19. hehe, i usually just lurk around here but i had a conversation with my boyfriend about your shawl that i wanted to share with you.

    me (pointing at picture on computer): isnt that amazing how a person can MAKE that? isn’t it beautiful?!

    boyfriend (boy who is ignorant of lace things): yeah, it’s about time someone makes something useful!

    (i look at him funny at this point)
    me: derek, do you know what that is??

    boyfriend: yes, it’s a rug! i like it!

    me: it’s not a rug, you crackhead! it’s a LACE SHAWL!

    boyfriend: oh. well it would be a good rug.

    boys!!! because socks, sweaters and hats arent useful! LOL

  20. *gasp* The lace is exquisite!

  21. Take-my-breath-away-stunning! Alpine Lace is amazing.
    And I love your design element! lolol
    Lucy is such a good knitting assistant.

  22. Say you wanted to knit gift socks for someone but you didnt want them knowing. How can you get their foot measurements without them finding out what you are knitting?

  23. I think i’m going to be jumping on the miter band wagon. I may try it out with my sock yarn remnants instead of doing log cabin which was my original plan.

  24. That shawl is gorgeous blocked. But I don’t need to tell you that — you’re living with it!

    Since you brought up “Lost” and the mysterious numbers, I must say that, although you’re not a network TV watcher, I’d recommend renting the first two seasons from Netflix, because it is an edge-of-your-seat-every-minute thriller. And I never know what’s going to happen next. Love it. And now I need to solve the mystery of why the Yartini gal chose that name for that yarn! (Probably as simple as — it’s called that for its island colors). Speaking of which — those are my favorite squares, so far….

  25. Nice to see Lucy pitching in to help with blocking. “If the foam blocks support me then I know the lace shawl will be fine.”

  26. Theresa in Italy says:

    Even though the photos of alpine lace in the book are gorgeous, your shawl is truly stunning blocked out on that stark background of foam blocks—all the detail stands out. (I must invest in a set of blocks myself—we have tile floors, so no carpet to pin large projects to for blocking!)

    I wouldn’t have noticed the mitered tunic’s new design element if you hadn’t mentioned it, I’m so distracted by the fantastic interplay of colors….

  27. Your Alpine lace is gorgeous, but your mitred square sweater is just fascinating. I love watching it grow. Its going to be beautiful!

  28. รœhltje says:

    I just love how alpine turned out.

  29. So… what’s the verdict on the interlocking foam squares? Nice blocking surface? Inquiring minds and all!

  30. It seems like everyone in North American got snowfall at the same time!

    Lovely lace! And I too like looking at the mitred squares. I love how the dark browns contrast with the blues and greens.

  31. Alpine Lace is going to be SO stunning. That’s it, I must make it!!!

  32. The shawl is lovely. That is the pattern that I liked the most in that book. How are you liking the Panda sock yarn? I have two balls of it ready to start and I’m trying to decide if I should do a different pattern than I would if it were wool.

  33. Joanna_Atl says:

    I have a question rather than a comment and hope someone can give me some help. I’m from New Zealand but now live in Atlanta and have recently taken up knitting again (lived in Perth, Western Australia for 18 years and it just doesn’t really get cold enough there to knit a great deal). Anyway, I digress. I am used to having patterns that tell me to buy x number of balls of x ply yarn and to use x mm needles. However, here the patterns don’t talk about yarn ply and the labels on the balls of yarn in the store more often than not don’t give a ply either. It is usually the Yarn Weight Symbol and numbers 1-6. Can anyone please tell me what these represent in ply’s.

  34. I’ve got my own Lucy here in Colorado! She’s about a year old and I just adopted her last week from Every Creature Counts, a local animal shelter. Lucy was her name before I adopted her. She’s a sweet little grey medium haired cat with beautiful green eyes.

  35. Alpine is SO beautiful! I just started mine, and am loving the diamond pattern.

    I’m amazed that Lucy isn’t all over that drying shawl. If I tried to block something on the floor, Mack would be rolling/wiggling/scrunching.

  36. Where did you find the interlocking foam blocks? Looks like a great blocking surface!

  37. Your shawl is gorgeous! I really like how it came out.

    The sweater is looking so pretty. Did you see Shelly’s mitred square blanket on the Yarn Harlot’s blog? She’s using sock yarn too.

  38. Bah, never mind, just found the link in your previous post. Dunno how I missed it when I read it the first time!

  39. I got some of those foam blocking things at Walmart for about $10(CAD). While I’m not using them to block stuff, I put one on the floor so that Mister can sharpen his claws on it (instead of on my MIL’s carpet). It just occurred to me that I’ll never be able to block anything on these foam squares on the floor with Mister around. Oops.

  40. Ha! has just discovered the power of knitters, and they didn’t even know it. Those blocks are all sold out :0

  41. Wow – the lace turned out beautifully! Great job. ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Joanna_Atl didn’t note her email address, but I found this page with a Google search that should help her in finding the connection between her Australia/New Zealand patterns and US terminology:

  43. I purchased my blocking squares at BJs wholesale – they were sold as flooring for a laundry room or something similar – mine are bright colors on one side and grey/black on the other – they were less than 20.00 for 9 squares. They worked great for blocking my lace pattern.

  44. Oh, Wendy! It’s gorgeous! Oh!

  45. Please talk more about those foam squares… I’m intriqued. I went to Amazon to look at them and was surprised to find an exercise mat:) How do you come up with using them for a blocking surface and how did you like working with them??? Thanks, vk

  46. The shawl is beautiful…and your helper is too…

  47. The lace is absolutely gorgeous, perhaps I need to give that prairie shawl another go.

  48. Lovely, lovely shawl.

  49. where did you get those foam block…that is so cool …

  50. Thanks for the idea of using my (ahem) unused-for-its-intended-purpose exercise mat as a blocking board. I am working on my first major lace project (a shawl) and was wondering how I would block it once I’m finished, since I don’t have a spare bed.

  51. Wendy,
    I AM a clown in a Clown Ministry – Paprika! So…..if it turns out you don’t like your sweater….I would be MORE than happy to take it off your hands! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously, it looks cool! I hope you’ll post the info after completion.

    PS: Here’s a Freebie for ya!
    (Please Scroll down)

    Here ya go – B – and it’s free!

    (We hand out foam cutouts of B’s when clowning, this was the best I could do for you! Enjoy!)

  52. OK — this is it! I love the Panda socks but once again I am curious about the foot part. I too wear an 8 1/2 shoe (narrow) but when I look at my socks, the foot part looks much longer than what I see in pictures of your socks. Are you perhaps making these for someone with smaller tootsies or is this just a photographic anomaly?
    The shawl is lovely and I learned much in your discussion of the blocking — foam, wires, etc.
    How is Lucy doing… I do hope her leg is much better.