My current work in progress:

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


Diamonds With a Bunch of Crap in the Middle

That does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? I hadn’t thought to name my shawl pattern thusly, but it is tempting.

However, I designed this shawl with a recipient in mind. The recipient is a genteel lady (and I do mean lady) for whom I have the utmost respect and admiration. I’m not sure I can bring myself to give her a shawl called “Diamonds With a Bunch of Crap in the Middle.” She does have a warped sense of humor, though, so I may rethink this at some point before the giving of the shawl.



For now, it’s “working” name will indeed be “Diamonds With a Bunch of Crap in the Middle.” And here, for your viewing pleasure, a close-up of a diamond with a bunch of crap in the middle.



December’s Rose

And now, because it is Random Wednesday (and because I have a migraine), a guest entry from L-B. The other day in the comments, MaryO asked for details about L-B’s new puppy. So here is L-B’s response:

Heidi left a huge hole in my heart and life that had to be filled, so I’ve been looking at the dogs on several rescue and humane society sites, sending each link to Wendy. I humor her over expensive purses; she humors me over adorable dogs — what are friends for, right?

So many wonderful dogs needing homes — how do you ever choose one?

One day in January, December’s Rose appeared on and my heart skipped several beats! But as I read her story, I told myself she may be more than I can handle.



(That’s the first photo L-B saw of Rose!)

Rose is an Australian Shepherd (which are surely the inspiration for the Energizer bunny), solid white on her left side and splashes of red merle on her right side, totally deaf and with some visual impairment, all the result of unfortunate merle-to-merle breeding that, in a perfect world, should never happen.

But, she survived and was rescued by a wonderful woman with ARPH who cared for and socialized Rose with her own Aussies until I made the decision to adopt her.

Rose is already learning hand signals and showing off in her class and teaching me what it means to live life fully beyond any physical limitations!

She won Lucky’s (L-B’s boy kitty) heart first — they’re pretty good pals now — and Molly cat and Clancy beagle are coming along.

I think Rose came with a bit of Heidi’s spirit — she was born within weeks of Heidi’s passing and I first saw Rose 15 years to the day I first saw Heidi!

The torch of love has now passed to Rose! I am totally smitten with her! Wendy, have you noticed? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Um, yes I have noticed! And I don’t blame you. A couple more pix of the adorable Rose:



She is confident, with the world at her paws!



And she wanted Lucy to see her bunny thumpers. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lucy Sez:



“She’s pretty darn cute, even if she is a dog!”


  1. I love Rose’s pink and brown nose. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Cute dog pictures always work for me…. And, I don’t understand. What, exactly, is the problem with that shawl name? (grin)

  3. She is too adorable! Thanks for sharing those wonderful pics! Bless those that reach out to animals and give them good homes – heaven has a special place for them! (My mom used to say that) Actually, Rose looks a little bit like an alpaca… but maybe that is transference because I’ve been knitting w/alpaca wool ๐Ÿ˜‰

    And I for one LOVE the name of the new shawl. It’s a keeper!

    Hope U feel better soon. Migraines are a bummer.

    The pic of Lucy is, of course, adorable! luv.m.

  4. Aw she’s so pretty, and I am glad that she got a good home. My parents recently got a rescue poodle after they had lost their beloved Molly. He has settled right into their home and their hearts and my Dad’s lap!

  5. I feel your pain with the migraine-they are the ABSOLUTE worst. Hope it is short lived and there is nothing better in the world when they stop. Yikes!!

  6. Good for you L-B! It’s always heartening when someone adopts from a shelter, but especially when it is truly a “special needs” animal. All 3 of my cats are rescued ferals, but Pod was my first. He started out as “Tripod” so you surely can guess his challenge. I’ll never know what happened to him, but he had 3.5 legs when he came into my life and after 2 vet consultations, I had to face the reality that .5 would have to be amputated (there was bone sticking out of the part of leg he still had :-(. He adapted quickly and has been with me almost 12 years now! My house has lots of little considerations for a cat that can’t jump because I don’t want him to feel left out when the other two can leap up places ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for sharing the story Wendy. Your shawl names cracks me up. I hope your migraine responds quickly to meds so you can enjoy some of your evening!

  7. That pattern looks like a diamond with a DAISY in the middle to me! Quite spring-like. But if you ever decide to sell a pattern named Diamonds With a Bunch of Crap in the Middle, I will buy it and knit it just for the fun of telling people what the pattern is!

  8. Linda in Chicagoland says:

    I’m so happy for L-B and Rose. Congratulations to both! is a great resource. I found my Charlie there, too. Rose may not be alpaca, but that coat might be spinable, hmmm…

  9. Rose is darling!

    And I don’t care what you rename the shawl; it shall always be “Diamonds with a Bunch of Crap in the Middle” to me.

  10. I’m not a big shawl knitter. Truthfully, I’ve only knit 2 1/2. But I would have to knit one with that name.

    Rose is a doll! And Aussies are so smart I’m not surprised she is doing so well with her training. I’ve got a Corgi but swear I’m not biased when I say that herders are the best.

  11. Rose’s bunny thumpers are a force to be reckoned with, I suspect!!! Congratulations L-B!!!

    I hope you’re feeling better Wendy…migraines are sucky.

  12. L-B has a wonderful heart. She had emailed me while I was in England with my mother. My family was touched by her love for Rose.

    Maybe you sholed call the shawl Diamonds and Roses. After all they ARE a girl’s best friends!! I love the design so far. Can’t wait to see it finished . I’m a push over for shawls!!

  13. Michelle H. says:

    Rose is a very special dog. We have a doxy that is totally blind (wrong breeding I think) and we also have a doxy/iggy mix that only has one eye (due to a fight before we got her) There are way too many dogs in shelters and with rescue groups to go and buy a new puppy from a breeder. Thank you for saving one more animal…. Also beautiful shawl!

  14. The shawl is looking mighty pretty, I must say.

    Yay L-B! What a sweet pup, and what a great family for her to join – no wonder she is responding so well. I’ll bet Heidi is more than pleased that her family has such a wonderful new member. I hope all of you have many years together!

    (Besides, if Lucy approves, who are we to question it??)

  15. It may just be because I am currently coaching the astronomy team for the elementary science field day, but the crap in the middle looks like the Pleiades to me. And since they’re in the middle of the diamond, well, you know, Starry, Starry Night.

  16. Congrats L-B and Rose (and all the other family members)!!!!!

    I know how hard it is to get over losing those “special ones”. I lost both my girl kitties two years ago, one was well into her twenties and the other only 9. Even though I still had my two wonderful boys I just “needed” a girl. We took in a stray one year old tortie girl a couple weeks ago and life is good!

  17. Love seeing more pictures of Rose! L-B has been keeping us updated over in the Australian Shepherd group on Ravely.

    Hooray for L-B and Rose! I love Aussies.

  18. Nothing like an Aussie!
    Well, unless it’s a seal point. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for the photos – I needed this today.

  19. L-B, bless you for adopting Rose. May you have many years of happiness together.

    Wendy, your shawl in progress is beautiful.

  20. Rose is beautiful. We currently have our 3rd rescued Aussie. Our first lost his hearing within a few months of coming to live with us. He adapted beautifully to hand signals and was by far the BEST dog we have ever been owned by!! They are incredible animals. I love the shawl (and the name) perhaps it could be sort of like Voldemort (she who must not be named).

  21. Mellanie says:

    Thanks so much for sharing the story of Rose. She is such a lucky girl to have you, L-B. Please update us occasionally about Rose.
    Wendy, hope you feel better soon. Thanks for letting L-B and Rose fill in for you.

  22. Congratulations on your beautiful new pup L-B! We had a red merle Aussie with 1 and a half blue eyes (the other half was brown) and the same freckled nose. She was a darling dog and loyal as could be. Meeting a new friend in animal form is always rewarding.
    And Wendy, what a wonderful color for a shawl. I usually only think about naturals or blues for shawls, but you have me convinced that purple just may be the way to go from now on!

  23. Lucy in the sky with diamonds…the diamonds have catlike pawprints in them

  24. We had an Australian shepherd when I was in college. She was the best dog we ever had. She had epilepsy, which was hard for her, but she tended to only have a seizure right before an earthquake (yes, we are in California) so we always knew when an earthquake was coming!

  25. Looks like grape hyacinths and spring! Beautiful shawl.

  26. Rose is just too cute! Congratulations, L-B — and congrats to Rose, too!

    Our 13-year-old Irish Setter passed away this week. It was therapeutic to see pictures of Rose and to read her story. Thank you!

  27. L-B — In a word, “Awwwh!” Rose is adorable. And thank you for adopting. We’ve adopted four Dobies over the years, and they have all found special places in our hearts — particularly knowing their tainted past (abandoned, abused, etc.). I like to think that adopted dogs are truly grateful and give so much love in return.

    Wendy, it has to be “Diamonds With a Bunch of Crap in the Middle” . . . the name itself makes one smile!

  28. Maybe you can call is “Diamonds and Purls” – it’s lovely!

  29. Madeline says:

    How about “Diamonds & Daisies”?

  30. I was also thinking the “crap” looked floral. Since you paired the post with the wonderful story about L-B’ new puppy – perhaps you could call it Diamonds & Roses” or something similar.

    And Hooray for L-B and Rose! People who adopt from animals, especially special needs animals, totally rock, IMHO. Animals amaze me constantly with their matter of fact acceptance of their “disabilities”. My mom’s blind dog races around the yard like a lunatic, avoiding the holes that her adopted sister-dog has dug. I’ve had several foster bunnies with head-tilt, broken legs, missing legs,and so on, and after the initial trauma of the event, they seem to simply adjust without whining or regretting. I’m still trying to learn that. At least I’ve got excellent teachers. ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Bless you L-B you have just added one of God’s special critters to your life. And he only allows the special babies to go to VERY special humans.
    I too think that fur sure looks spinnable. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. My boys love to see what Lucy has to say each day and to watch her videos. ๐Ÿ™‚

    She has two little boy fans now.

    L-B’s pup is cute!!!


  33. Theresa in Italy says:

    It’s a beautiful shawl by any name. ( And I have known some genteel ladies with a wicked sense of humor!)

    Thank you, L-B, for sharing Rose’s story. Awww! She looks like a wonderful dog! And Wendy, hope the migraine’s gone away by now. It’s all the fault of DST, I’m sure.

  34. Dear Wendy and L-B,
    Thank you so much for sharing the precious story and photos of Rose. She is too cute!!

  35. Aw, hi Rose! *pat pat pat*

    And Lucy too! *scritch scritch scritch*

  36. So wonderful to see more pictures of Rose and hear how she is settling in with Lucky, Molly and Clancy! She is lucky to have you, L-B, and it sounds like you are lucky to have her!! And I know that Heidi is smiling!!

    P.S. Love the ‘Diamonds with a bunch of crap in the Middle’ shawl! Another possible name would be the ‘Diamond Air’ shawl. (Looks like a bunch of air in the middle of the diamond….)

  37. Rose looks precious – we just adopted a dog 3 mos. ago as well – so I understand the emotions.

    Why don’t you name the shawl “Lucy in the sky with Diamonds….” the crap in the middle could be interpreted as Lucy’s paw…..

  38. I love the diamonds…and the crap in the middle!

  39. What heart – both Rose and LB!

  40. Tell LB that I am glad she found Rose. What a gorgeous and beautiful dog she is.
    I will never forget the wonderful touching email LB sent me when my Bree died.
    THe diamond shawl, yes, the appropriate name.

  41. I love the new shawl, “diamonds with a bunch of crap in the middle” and I know you didn’t ask for other name suggestions but what about “diamonds in the rough”?

  42. Congratulations to L-B (and to Rose!) Do you think she knows how lucky she is?

  43. Ann in CT says:

    Hooray for Rose! Will L-B be able to spin her fluffy white fur?

  44. How about “Diapered Roses” for a name? Or substitute whatever flower name you think best fits the design inside the diamonds. A lady would know that diapering is the name for covering a surface in crosshatches, lozenges or diamonds. And you can now think of the pattern as “Diapers with crap in them”.

  45. The “bunch of crap in the middle” looks like the CBC Television logo to me for some reason!

    Aussie Shepherds are smart dogs! Congrats to LB!

  46. Thank you for sharing the wonderful story of L-B’s Rose with us, Wendy. What a fortunate dog to find such a loving home, and it is so nice to hear she is doing so well with her disabilities. Animals are truly amazing!

    I remember reading of L-B’s loss of Heidi with tears running down my face. Little did I know that on January 14, 2008, I, too, would lose my dear friend of 10 years, Lil Anne, a miniature beagle.

    After a couple of weeks, with a hole as big as Texas in my heart (yes, I’m from Texas), I went to our local animal shelter and found a dear sweet little Maine Coon kitten. She is now a happy member of our family, along with our other two cats. She is so docile, even for a kitten, so my daughter found the name Saja for her, which means “calm, serene” in Arabic. It just so happens she showed up at the shelter on January 15th. I’d like to think that was not a coincidence.

    Lucy, you would like her. She is quite fluffy like you, and loves a good tummy rub.

    Oh yes, Wendy. I love the new shawl and especially like the name. ๐Ÿ™‚

    A pleasure as always to visit your blog!

  47. I *love* Diamonds With a Bunch of Crap in the Middle. I very nearly named a mitten pattern Chicken Pox. The worst part of submitting stuff for publication is coming up with a reasonable name and praying that it’s not the 5th one that week that the mag or whatever has gotten. (I have yet to have a pattern accepted — maybe I should try Chicken Pox next time?) Anyhow, being a diamond grrl myself, I think it’s beautiful.

    Does Lucy actually tolerate dogs? She could teach my cats a thing or two.

  48. Congrats L-B about the new love in your life. May you have many wonderful years together!

  49. OMG!!! *Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds* makes me happy! I am a high school freshman and a huge Beatles fan, and that name is SO perfect!

    Also: Congratulations, L-B. I would give *anything* for a dog… except maybe the cat. ๐Ÿ˜‰