My current work in progress:

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


Sweden’s National Day

Today is Sveriges nationaldag och svenska flaggans dag. Go hug a Swede, please. 🙂

(This public service announcement is brought to you by the Coalition of Americans with Swedish Ancestry Who Wish to Make Sweden’s National Day a Paid Holiday forThem as Well.)

Thinking About Some Handsome Lace?

Last weekend when the completion of the short-sleeve cardi was imminent, I was casting around for a new project. I went in the stash room and selected the Gemstones Silk, thinking I wanted to knit some lace with it. I flipped through my notebook where I keep my single lace patterns but nothing really called out to me. I started flipping through Victorian Lace Today and the Handsome Triangle caught my eye.

The chart for the Handsome Triangle looks somewhat daunting — it’s a huge chart printed in teeny tiny print.

But the lace in this shawl is very easy. It’s only a 4-row repeat and a very logical progression.



In between each pattern repeat of the main lace pattern is a column of faggoting.

Some people might be put off because there is lace patterning on the wrong-side rows as well as the right-side rows. Don’t be! As I said, it’s a very easy pattern. I like the patterning on the wrong-side rows — it makes purling back less boring.

I use stitch markers to separate out each column of faggoting.



It’s not really necessary, but it makes the knitting more mindless — I know when I come to a green marker I need to do something different.

I used a different color marker to mark the exact center of the shawl.



Again, this is just a quick visual reminder to me to let me know where I am. Once again, it’s not necessary, but I find it helpful.



Important note: There are errata for Victorian Lace Today posted online here in pdf format. There’s one tiny correction for the Handsome Triangle chart posted there.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, but I’m using a 5mm needle for this shawl. Because the Addi Lace needles don’t come in that size, I’m using a Knitpicks Options needle, and it is sufficiently pointy to make me happy and make the k2togs pretty easy to execute.



Lucy the Supermodel

Deb commented:

I’m amazed at how well Lucy poses for you. I have two dogs and both are camera shy. With all the pictures you take of Lucy, how does she react when you pull out the camera?

Lucy is not camera-shy. In fact, she will often strike a pose and hold it, staring at us as if willing us to look at her so we can whip out the cameras and document her unbearable cuteness.



And of course we do.




  1. A tip o’ the hat to the COAWSAWWTMSNDAPHFTAW!

  2. Oh Wendy, I *love* the second picture of Lucy with her eyes crossed LOL My cats normally flee whenever the camera comes out (maybe a wild camera chased them in their feral kittenhood, but you’d think after 10 years that they’d get over some of that!).

    I’m enjoying watching your progession on the shawl since that’s one I hope to make at some point. I’m wondering if you’ve used Cherry Tree Hill (fingering/sock) yarn for shawls before (I don’t remember seeing it in my reading of your blog, but it wouldn’t be the first thing I’ve missed). I’m really tempted by the Sapphire Blue color, but don’t know how the CTH would block out in lace.

  3. The shawl is coming along beautifully! I love the color.

    I am also a fan of the second picture of Lucy. She is the cutest cat (don’t tell my sister’s cats, Milton and Marvin, that I said that)!

  4. My cat is a perfect model, too — as I can prove with something like 200+ photos!

    Love your new “raspberry colored” lace project!

  5. Boy, that’s pretty…that’s one of the patterns from VLT that’s on my list…was thinking the Peridot Seasilk I have lurking in my stash from the 150g “oops” batches (I got 2 LOL for some reason I couldn’t stop buying the large skeins). But I have to finish the VLT scarf (one of the long-with-fun-end border types) and a Leaf Lace shawl and a Spanish Peacock first…bah. pout.

  6. Really, really love this lace pattern in the yarn you chose. BTW, the link you gave for the errata just took me back to your page???

    One thing that helps me through lace is lifelines. On something like a 24 row pattern, I put different colored lifelines at certain frequencies, the color tells me which row of the pattern I am on. I.E. Red is row 1, green is row six, white is 12. So if heaven forbid I should have to frog back, I know exactly where I am. And I just knit it straight through the stitch markers, then pull it out when I am several rows up at a safe place to recuperate the markers.

  7. “Taks a-mikka” (sorry about the spelling – I never saw Swedish written – only spoken) I have to call all the Swedes in the family tonight and wish them a happy Swedens’s National Day.
    A round of lefsa for all!

  8. Patricia says:

    I really like the shawl.Sigh, I guess I’ll have to buy the book. And find another small bookcase for the knitting books- the collection has outgrown the current one.

    Lucy really turned on the cuteness in that second photo! She looks quite kittenish.

  9. I was looking through your gallery the other day and had to wonder. Do you actually wear everything you have made over the years? do you gift things? or do you stash finished objects as well as yarn?

  10. *boggles at KOARC’s comment*

    Thanks for the thoughts on the handsome lace, Wendy! I sometimes like lace patterning on both sides as well, since it does make the back side less boring. But some WS-patterned lace patterns are still more complex than I enjoy knitting.

    Pets to Lucy!

  11. Wendy- I don’t know any Swedes personally, but would visiting the IKEA store and hugging a staff member be okay?

  12. Were she not a cat, Lucy would undoubtedly be a highly ranked executive of some major company. Her strength of mind in training you demonstrates her superior intellect and the cuteness – the stunning cuteness – well, she would have flown her way up from cover model for the company to that executive position. Shawl’s not looking too bad either 🙂

  13. Your Handsome Triangle really is quite handsome! I’ve always admired that pattern in VLT. And on the other hand, I’ve been looking for a pattern for some red alplaca Suri yarn I have. Looking at your pictures finally put the two together in my head.

    Lucy is really quite the glamour kitty! With her rich, dark points and amazing blue eyes, I think we must forgive her this bit of vanity.

  14. I ADORE the color of this shawl. Fabulous, jewel-ey magenta.

  15. Unbearably cute is indeed the word(s).
    And the shawl ain’t half bad either!
    (Hey, I gushed yesterday, you know I love it!)
    I’m knitting a cardigan right now with kid mohair/silk (Kid Seta) with largish needles for an open, lacy fabric, and I’m really wishing there were Addi Laces in the size 8 I’m using for it. I have needle choices between pointy but slippery, and more secure but dull. It’s making me paranoid to do my next lace project, as I was considering doing it with a similar yarn….

  16. Ah, Lucy is a true supermodel! I pulled out my copy of Victorian Lace and looked at the stunning photo of your shawl. No wonder you were inspired to knit it! It’s exciting watching it develop right in front of my eyes – thanks!

  17. I love Lucy!

    Of course I do. I’m a sucker for her eyes.

    *slaps self* knew I should have ordered Knit Picks circulars yesterday in my order… oh well. Always next time. Someday soon I’ll suck up the courage for lace! As soon as my brain cells arrive, anyway 😉 Because I love your latest.

  18. Lucy is the cutest. That is all.

  19. The shawl is absolutely lovely, Wendy. I’m wondering if the Gemstone Silk is sport or dk weight? There is another Handsome Triangle shown on page 178 of the book knit out of Kid Silk Haze with a very ruffly edge. Which edge will you use for your shawl? Lucy is adorable, indeed. Happy Swede’s day from one to another.

  20. THANK YOU for the errata heads up! I wouldn’t have even thought to check!

    I am a cat girl, myself (we have three — one we call The Watcher, one who is dumber than dirt (and the only boy), and one who won’t give me the time of day: she is my son’s cat and they are devoted to each other (he’s 20 and won’t go on vacation because Cleo might pine for him), so I love the Lucy pics.

    I am glad you understand that she is the center of the universe. Some humans can be very thick on that topic! ^_^

  21. The unbearable cuteness of Lucy, INDEED! I have her calendar and can attest to this cuteness! Of course, my cats are 2 cute 2 !! They strike poses (especially Buster) and my husband loves to record and digitally save their silliness!

    The shawl is beautiful, just wonderful! What’s next? More lace? Have U made a dent in your stash ? From the little bit I saw, I would guess not. Maybe by the end of the year! Blog (and knit) on! luv.m.

  22. A p.s.
    In honor of Sweden’s National Day, I asked my husband to buy me one of those spiffy convertable Volvo’s, but he said “No”.. I’m not sure how to say “no” in Swedish… Oh well.. I tried! luv.m.

  23. Har en glad dag och njuta av något stickning. JAG älska Lucy!

  24. Thanks for the tip re: errata for Victorian Lace Today……your shawl looks lovely………and ya ve need ta hab the holy day…………

  25. I love stitch markers and use them often. I have pretty stitch markers, but I prefer the plain utilitarian ones for some reason. There must be a quiz that tells you what kind of person you are by the stitch markers you use.
    I wonder that people think they aren’t an experienced knitter until they get rid of stitch markers and other helpers. I figure experienced knitters use all the tools they need.
    The shawl looks beautiful. What a lovely color.
    I wish Lucy would have a chat with my cats. As soon as the camera comes out they turn around and give the back view. Their are only so many cat butt pictures people are willing to look at.
    Happy Swedish day. And good luck turning it into a paid holiday. We need more holidays :-}

  26. Lucy, dahling, if you’ve got it, flaunt it!

  27. Ooh. Thanks for the errata link. You rock.

  28. So why don’t those new Addi lace needles come in the larger sizes commonly used for lace?

    I’d also like 0s for certain sock yarns.

  29. The unbearable cuteness of Lucy – I love it! That second photo of her is adorable.

    oh yes, knitting – I’m enjoying watching your progress on the shawl. The colour is one of my favourites too.

    and Happy Swedish Day to you!!

  30. I love that color. Mmmm… Lucy has that perfect “Time for my close-up!” expression.

  31. *ahem*
    Jag alsker dig

    and that’s the extent of the Swedish I know how to spell. Thanks to an Swedish ex-boyfriend I know several useless Svesnka words and phrases.

    I’m a huge fan of Lucy and I envy your mad skillz with the stix

  32. Oooooooooh. Pretty lace!

  33. One of these days I’m actually going to get to a lace project from VLT. I’ve been feeling the itch, but so far I’ve resisted. I’m really trying to finish up those long overdue projects before I give in. Love the new shawl. Gorgeous.

  34. anne marie in philly says:

    I live on Swede Road – does that count?

    tee hee!

  35. I love the way that shawl is coming out. Lucy really knows how to vogue, doesn’t she?!

  36. Uffda!
    I had to hug myself since there’s not another Swede close by. Happy Swede day to you.
    Bear says to tell Lucy, “Meow to you too. Lookin lovely today, as always.”

  37. How interesting that today should be a Swedish holiday, I’m Swedish and it’s my birthday! What a fine day June 6th is if I do say so myself!

    I’m really loving the yarn in your shawl. Besides it being a beautiful color, I love the shine!

    My 18 1/2 year old cat was a total ham when she was in her younger years. I have rolls and rolls of pics of her sprawling on the carpet whenever a camera came around. I totally love the cross eyed shot, that is so precious!

  38. Theresa in Italy says:

    Love the second Lucy shot!

    Strangely enough, there are no Swedes in our little group of international women (English, French, Dutch, Russian, Brazilian, Argentine, Canadian, and me the lone American, but no Swedes) so I’ll send a virtual hug to you and all your Swedish readers out there.

    I am another big fan of stitch markers, and that lace is looking sooooo nice.

  39. Absolutely gorgeous!

  40. I love this new shawl and it’s summery brightness!

    Happy Swedish Day!

    Dahling, ALL supermodels know their audience 🙂

  41. (Sigh) . . . I guess I’ll have to buy VLT. I’ve been lusting after it for months, and seeing your beautiful work in progress (along with helpful hints) has just pushed me over the edge. Amazon, here I come!

    Happy SND from one Swede (in part anyway) to another!

  42. Alice in Richmond says:

    I missed the day but here is a **hug**anyway!

  43. Happy Hug a Swede day! While I know none personally, there are a few that play for the Toronto Maple Leafs I would hug. Just sayin’.

    Um. *speaking in a low voice* What’s faggoting?

    And Lucy get a hug too!

  44. Hmm … you might be the closet Swede geographically that I sort of personally know. Okay, so here’s a hug …. ( ). Oh, and one for Lucy too ….. ( ).

    I have been toying with the idea of buying Victorian Lace Today, so maybe now I will quit with the toying and go for it. Very pretty piece you are working on there.


  45. I do something similar with different color markers. I will also use special colors in places where I’m likely to make a mistake. In one shawl, for example, the end motifs and those around the center differed from the others, and so I put a third color there so I’d be sure to check the chart–or at least remember that that part was different.

    But where did you get those nice thin markers that seem to be hard plastic? The thinnest I can find are the “rubberband”-type that Patternworks sells in neon colors. They are fine, but they sometimes shoot off the needle, causing me to utter expletives. The red rings are a little too thick for lace.

  46. Happy day! The shawl is a beautiful color, and Lucy is amazingly cute. My dog will not let me take her picture for a ton of treats. I have to catch her when she is not looking. It’s great to have a pet friend who will pose for you.

  47. Hi Wendy. The last picture of Lucy is truly priceless. Her almost crossed eyes are great! She is a ham bone!

    Do you prefer the Addi lace needles over your knitpick option needles?


  48. Valerie says:

    Thanks for the errata page! I’ve been working on the Lady’s Circular Cape for AGES, but fortunately the only “mistake” was something I figured out for myself. I bought the book and yarn at Stitches East, I don’t remember when I started it, but I’m not even half-way around on the border. Anyone want to place a bet as to whether or not I’ll be wearing it at my wedding on Oct. 27?

    Love the pics of Lucy, per usual. My kitty won’t pose for the camera. She’ll pose, I’ll get out the camera, and then she’ll move. Why do we put up with their furry little caprices? Oh, yeah — ’cause they’re the cutest, fuzziest little creeters in the whole wide world!

  49. How about a virtual high-five between distant Swedes?


    and a pat for Lucy.

    Great idea, that paid vacation day. I could use it.

  50. I’m a recent convert to the Options needles too, but I hated the case, so I had Zonda ( make me one. It’s lovely and I’m not going back.

    I mean, seriously. 🙂

  51. tack så mycket! I hope half Swedish counts; it has all my life, so far!

    You’ve inspired me to try the lace, for sure! B

  52. Ahhh . . . now I know why my subconscious-self wanted to stay in bed today. I am a Swede and should still be at home. In fact my shop shouldn’t even be open today-we are all Swedes. What were we thinking?

  53. Happy Swedish National Day.. good luck with that day off thing! We can all use more of those! Can you give a bit of advice/opinion on knitting with Silk? I’m planning some silk projects and would sure appreciate some guidance before chosing a project. do you swatch silk the same as wool? does it need blocking? does it sag? any other words to the silk-challenged amongnst us? Lucy is of course, adorable as always! 🙂

  54. Would it be ok to link to your free toe-up sock pattern in my Ravelry account? I use it more than any other for my socks, but I want to make sure it’s ok with you before adding it for the eleventy-billion pairs of socks I’ve knit. thanks!

  55. Thanks for posting the toe-up heel flap pattern, esp. for free!

  56. The lace is looking wonderful!

  57. Lucy,
    Thank you for “Championing the Cause”! I along with several hundred other members of the Vasa Order of America will be celebrating Sweden Day tomorrow, Sunday June 10th, in Stockton,California. Yes, it was actually the 6th but its not a official holiday around here yet so we do it when we can get the day off. Anyone who gets this should come and join us. Food, fun, Swedish games, music and friendship abounds. Oak Grove Park off I-5 all day.
    If not, join the VOA, where you don’t have to be Swedish but just love being Swedish! (you will be asked to eat herring) E-mail me or go to our website to find out how.