My current work in progress:

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



So there I was, doggedly knitting along on the Handsome Triangle on Friday night, when it occurred to me that it was getting awfully big, I decided to look at the pattern to see the finished measurements –82″ across by 43″ down the center back. I measured my work on the needles. Yeah, already had that, and more, without stretching it.

The pattern directs you to work to 120 rows. I stopped after row 90. Looking at the photo of the shawl on page 31 the book, I believe they stopped thereabouts as well on that particular shawl.

After some very gentle blocking, my shaw measures 104″ across the top by 50″ down the back.

I’m glad I stopped when I did.

I believe I had 326 live stitches when I finished knitting. The bottom is finished off with crocheted loops. –chain eight, then work a single crochet together with one live stitch of the shawl, then chain 4, et cetera. I worked all my loops as an 8-stitch chain because I thought the 4-stitch chain was too skimpy. So using my exceedingly shaky math skills, I have conjectured that needed to I crochet 2,934 stitches on the edge of the shawl.

Guess what the majority of yesterday afternoon and evening was spent doing?



I do rather suck at crochet, so it took me longer than it should. The pattern directs you to use a 5mm crochet hook, which of course I didn’t have. I do, however, have a lovely Brittany 4.5mm crochet hook with a fancy carved head.

So I used that. By the time I was done, I thought it was slightly less lovely because the lovely turned head of it had rubbed against the side of my hand throughout the whole crochet process. (No doubt if I held the hook properly this would not have happened.)

But I completed it and I’m happy.



I did not wet block it — rather I steamed it with my iron. I don’t like to wet-block 100% silk — I don’t think it is particularly effective. Steaming, on the other hand, worked very well. While I didn’t carefully steam each little crocheted loop open, I like the way this looks — it makes a sort of ruffle at the bottom.



One more shot:



Book Giveaway

The winner of this week’s book giveaway, chosen by the random number generator, is Valeria L. Valerie, I’ve emailed you. Thank you to everyone who entered.

Shameless Self-Promotion

Yesterday the KOARC pointed out to me that my blog had been nominated for a Blogger’s Choice award in two categories: Best Hobby Blog and Best Blog Design. In a fit of poor sportsmanship, I immediately voted for myself in both categories. I have no illusions about winning in either category, believe me, but if you have any desire to do so, please consider voting for me so that I will not be totally humiliated by the small number of votes I’ve received. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And a big thank you to whoever it was who nominated me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ragdoll Puzzle



Quite the little contortionist, isn’t she?


  1. I wouldn’t blame the way you held the crochet hook. I’d been a crocheter for years before taking up knitting, and the Brittany hooks do tend to poke the hand. I’d thought many times of just cutting that fancy end piece off or at least sanding down the bloody pointy end.

  2. The shawl is gorgeous! And so is Lucy, though I can’t tell where her head is. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I believe I’ll go vote!

  3. Your handsome triangle is gorgeous — and it’s good to hear about your experiences with size, since it’s on my to knit list, too. Congratulations on being nominated for the Blogger’s Choice awards! You and Lucy deserve it!

  4. That shawl is so gorgeous!

    And I will go vote for you! I voted for myself, too, but at least we didn’t nominate ourselves, right? So it’s ok. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Lucy is the highlight of my day … and your knitting too of course! Tummy rubs for Lucy xx

  6. Oh your shawl is beautiful. It turned out so very nice. And wow, that was a lot of crochet stitches!! That is a good reminder to myself to not do that kind of math. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    My oldest cat used to totally pose like that whenever I started taking pictures of her. She totally would ham it up, flopping and contorting on the carpet. It was very amusing.

    I think I shall wander over now and toss a vote your way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Your triangle is beautiful! And Lucy is gorgeous, no matter the pose. I hope you win the election!

  8. You’ve got my vote! Congratulations!

  9. Beautiful. And yes, I would definitely blame the handle of the crochet hook. Any little, odd, bump aggravates my hand when I (rarely) crochet.

    And, going over to vote now!

  10. You absolutely get a vote from me. Not only is your content consistently interesting, you are as reliable as clockwork, you actually read all your comments and you respond to questions. And of course there are beautiful knitting photos (gorgeous shawl) and a mascot (go Lucy!).

  11. The edging of the shawl reminds me of those irises that have a ruffled edge to them. Gorgeous!

  12. Wendy in Cambridge says:

    The photos of Lucy alone deserve an award!

    Your blog and Sheri’s blog are my two favorites. I’m going to vote now!

  13. Gorgeous shawl! What a color! And what a beautiful ball of Lucy fluff.

    A question about the silk. How would you clean the shawl? Hand-wash? Dry-clean?

  14. wooden hooks are very pretty, but the fancy handles can be a real pain if you are going to crochet for very long. they aren’t pretty, but if you want a little more speed, try the Addi crochet hooks. they have the same finish as Addi Turbos and a simple plastic handle.

    ps- lucy makes me want my own kitty very badly! pretty, pretty!

  15. As mentioned above, you are consistent in your posting, your quality, your knitting and your evenhandedness. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the fact you never are snarky or do not (publicly at least) make belittling comments about other knit bloggers – you are one rare and handy knitting kitty blogger, Wendy, and I thank you for it.

    Today’s Lucy pix – I can identify a leg, I can identify a tail, but the rest? OMG – that cat’s entirely too much ๐Ÿ™‚

    Off to vote! (too bad one has to sign in or I’d make it a point to vote early and often)

  16. awesome shawl ! wow.

  17. That Handsome Triangle looks, well, quite handsome! I really do love the colour you used. Are you going to keep this shawl, or is someone you know getting a wonderful gift?

  18. Congratulations on the nomination.

    Thanks for the tip on blocking 100% silk. I like to steam block, but just wet blocked a 50/50 silk and wool piece. I was pleased with the results, so probably would not have tried steam blocking 100% silk.

    I like the effect of the unblocked crochet loops, too. I definitely would have tried not blocking those before going to the trouble of pinning them all out.

  19. Wow that’s big. Gorgeous…amazing color…but WOW that’s big.
    (I’m not very good at crochet either.
    Congrats on the nominations…off to vote!

  20. The Handsome Shawl is just that. I love how the elements seem to undulate. I crochet and I doubt I could do the math. Plain crochet hooks, metal are really the easiest to use. I have a collection from barely a hook size 16 to huge. I have some plastic hooks, but I really like the metal hooks better. I have my Mom’s hooks and the shape and balance seem to be nicer then the new clunky Boyes. Susan Bates use to be nice hooks. I am not sure they still make crochet hooks.
    I will stop before I glaze over your readers
    I voted for you in both categories. Is Lucy really in that explosion of fur :-}

  21. I can’t figure out what is what in that cat photo. I love when cats tie themselves in knots!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lovely shawl, what a neat border! I like the ruffled look and I bet it creates some weight for a nice drape…

  22. Beautiful Handsome Triangle shawl!!! I am amazed at all your crocheting, it makes for superb edging, giving it the perfect finish. Congratulations on the blog nominations, I look forward to voting for you.

  23. You must win because you are the best!

    That shawl is amazing. I love ruffles, so the edging is extra special to me.

    I cannot quite figure out what position Lucy is in, but I think she probably needed a good stretch once she came out of it:-).

  24. My, but that IS a handsome triangle! I didn’t really have a sense of it before, but it is beautiful. And props to you for braving many hours with the hook!

  25. OMG what a fabulous shawl and I love that color! Off hand, I don’t think I would have chosen magenta/raspberry (insert your color perception) for a large item, but it’s a PERFECT fit for that pattern. Just gorgeous! I know I will never produce something so lovely!

    And you bet you got my vote! As so many others have commented, you’re ab-so-lute-ly reliable and you stick to knitting – with an occasional side bar into your life (which is very interesting) without becoming a politocoknitter!!! I don’t read knitting blogs for politics; there is too much of that on the TV/newspaper/cyberspace anyway. And I am a big big fan of Lucy. She is such a darling kitty. I can’t figure out where her head is either in your most recent post, but when cats practice Cat Yoga it’s difficult.

    Blog and knit on m’dear! I look forward to signing on a reading a new tidbit Sunday-Thursday! luv.m.

  26. A P.S.
    Maybe you should play your “2-9-3-4” in a lotto, if DC has a lotto… sounds like a winner to me! Having to stop and figure that out would have done me in right there! ๐Ÿ˜‰ luv.m.

  27. I love that shawl. And I’ll go over and vote at the Blogger’s Choice awards, just for you. I’ve been boycotting them as they practice rampant censorship (someone who was in the Worst Blog Ever and the Most Annoying Blogger categories had her name magically removed from both. And I know they were there, ’cause I voted for her). But just for you I shall swallow my outrage.

  28. your shawl is beautiful, Wendy.
    I voted for you and happy to do so..
    Lucy looks like she’s wrestling with the remote control :).

  29. You’ve got my votes! And another lovely shawl – nice work!

  30. All done with the aptly-named Handsome Triangle already!
    Of course, you are a speedy and dedicated knitter, but gotta love the sport-weight, eh?
    Love the yarn; and the shawl; and the combination!

    Lucy’s photo today would make a great 1000-piece puzzle; it would be so hard to put together!

  31. Just went and voted for you. Your blog is the one that got me hooked on knitting blogs a couple years ago. Just bought my first skein of STR. Which colorway? Lucy, of course!

  32. Lovely, Lovely, Lovely!!!!!

    How can cats do that? LOL

  33. Your shawl is just gorgeous! What kind of yarn did you use? The stitches are perfect and the color fits the pattern so well. Love it!

  34. I have a couple of Brittanys and it doesn’t seem to matter to me how I hold them, the turned edge bothers the snot out of me. Now I just use them to look pretty and impress people. (“ooo, she must be a great crocheter! Even her hooks are pretty”…little do they know.)

    Lucy=kundilini (sp?) yoga

  35. Theresa in Italy says:

    Brittany makes nice DPNs, but I’ve always held off from buying their hooks just because of that carved bit at the end. I like the Susan Bates hooks for the little bit of crocheting I do, and to answer a previous comment, they’re still around. Nice and plain, inline hook, no aggravation.

    The Handsome Triangle is more than handsome, it’s stunning! I also like the ruffled effect on the edges.

    I know Lucy’s in there because I can see a paw, but I’ve no idea where the rest of her is.

    I’m off to vote for you…

  36. Your shawl is so beatiful!

  37. The shawl is beautiful! Love the ruffled edges.
    I think that’s a front paw and that’s the tail. The rest is fluffy Lucy!
    Off to vote now.

  38. Gorgeous shawl! And I voted for you!

    Can’t wait to see your next project…

  39. Congratulations! I’m not at all surprised and of course will throw in my 2 votes worth:) Is that Lucy’s front or back? Girl can twist! The shawl is lovely and your crochet edging is divine~

  40. Hee hee… Lucy looks like a kitty blob!

    So. The crochet thing. My skill level is about the same. I can’t hold the hook properly, which ends up cramping up my hands. But, the effect is totally worth it! It looks great :).

    (Doesn’t 100% silk smell pretty bad when wet too!? Just my experience…)

  41. vatergrrl says:

    I used to have a turned-end hook, and it gave me no end of grief: the ridges rubbed my hands raw, and the pointy end stabbed me over and over again, no matter how I tried to hold the thing. My Boye hooks are my go-to tools, and they are a thing of *real* beauty in their ease of use.

    That shawl is amazing, makes me want to take another look at VLT!

  42. The shawl looks wonderful. And as usual, I learn a lot just by reading your descriptions. I haven’t worked with silk much, but I do have some earmarked for a shawl (and surprisingly like the color of yours) that I bought from Tess Designer Yarns. I probably would have wet blocked it without even trying to steam it–but now I won’t. (I’m not much of a crocheter either.)

    I’m headed to check the voting. Your blog deserves to win!

  43. Wendy- I’m beginning to suspect, that VLT is full of errors. Other than the ones on the errata page. But your shawl is stunning. If it makes you feel any better, crochet is a bit of a mystery to me as well.

    I’m off to vote for ya- with images of Lucy Puff in my head.

  44. Beautiful as always Wendy! It must be a dream to have all that silk around your shoulders. ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. Your shawl is gorgeous! I think crochet is awkward for most people if they don’t do it often and those Brittanys look like they are beautiful, but would make the whole process even more awkward.

    Love the Lucy puzzle and congratulations on your nomination! I must go check it out and place my vote.

  46. My crochet skills are limited to the chain stitch, so don’t feel bad. When people tell me that crocheting is easier than knitting because it’s only one stick instead of two, I tell them that knitting is only TWO stitches. And crochet is what? 9 million?

    The triangle looks great. I voted for you (and Lucy) because I, too, am a Knitter with cat(s).

    Good luck!

  47. Your shawl is beautiful. I am planning my second lace project – your fir cone wrap – I am not yet brave enough to tackle lace weight yarn, and I love your pattern. Do you think I can use a fingering/sock yarn that has nylon in it, or do you recommend 100% wool.

    Lucy is such a stitch (ha ha).

  48. Amazing! And hyooooooge.

    And thank you for your yarn joining tip, actually. It’d never occured to me before!

  49. Lovely, lovely shawl!

    Anf voting for yourself is in no way tacky or egotistical. If you run for public office you are expected to vote for yourself. NOMINATING yourself for best blog is a bit gauche. But you go right ahead and vote.

    Purrrrr, Lucy!