My current work in progress:

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


Autumnal Equinox

Welcome to Autumn — well, Autumn where I am, anyhow. Autumn is my favorite season so I am very happy indeed.

Thanks for all your lovely comments on my Talisman Shawl. I will likely offer the pattern for sale, but I haven’t yet written the pattern up in a format anyone other than I would understand, so it won’t be available immediately.

Mrs. C. asked in the comments:

If a shawl is knitted in a worsted weight wool, will it be denser and larger? I’ve not made a shawl and am intimidated by the size of it. I would try if I knew it could be bigger and especially denser, sorta like it looks unblocked but having been blocked.

Short answer: absolutely. You would want to use a needle a couple sizes larger than you would normally use for worsted weight wool, so that there is a lacy quality to your work. If you make it too dense, the pattern will be lost to a certain extent.

PainterWoman asked:

Do you have a mini-editorial on the advantages/disadvantages of triangular vs. rectangular shawls? Not the knitting of them, because challenges aren’t the issue… but WEARING them. Which do you prefer?

As far as I’m concerned, this is a matter of personal preference. I like both triangular and rectangular shawls. What do you all think?

Seanna Lea asked:

Do you have any suggestions for blocking a circular shawl so it doesn’t end up with lots of little points? I just blocked my Pi Shawl and it looks a little peaky.

Good question. When I knit a Pi Shawl I did an edging that had little points to it, so I simply pinned out each point. Granted, it took me a while to get it pinned out in a (more or less) perfect circle. Anyone have any ideas here?

Onward. As I mentioned yesterday, I started my Daily Sweater from Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines, and am enjoying knitting it very much.

Please note if you are knitting this sweater — on Row 3 of the written directions, the first increase was left out. Row 3 should start: M1left. Edited to add: whoopsie — I was wrong — that increase is at the very end of the round. I automatically moved it to the beginning of the round because that’s how my brain works. 😉

I knit a swatch before embarking on this and got gauge with the suggested needle size (a US7). I’m doing a couple of things differently from the pattern.

While the pattern doesn’t direct you to do so, I am doing the increases one stitch in from the edge to make a neater line along the raglan.

When you are working with Rowan Calmer, you want to work your increases very tightly, since the yarn is stretchy. Otherwise you will leave an unsightly hole at the increase point.

The pattern directs you to knit a little purl triangle at the front neck (to mimic the look of a sweatshirt). Instead of a purl triangle, I worked an a little openwork triangle, thusly:

I have a pdf of the chart fot this little triangle available here: Triangle Chart

In home improvement news, I put all my DVDs away in my new tv stand, and so far Lucy doesn’t seem to have a problem with them being there. So far.

She seems to think the shawl is for her, by the way.


  1. The shawl looks lovely! I like both rectangular and triangular shawls to wear and to knit; I’m not super-crazy about circular ones, though. No Pi Shawl yet!

    mehitabels last blog post..Tales From Box City

  2. The shawl is gorgeous! I love the color of Calmer you’re using for the sweater, and I really like the openwork triangle.

  3. I would love to buy your shawl pattern; it is lovely!

  4. I love the way you answer questions so clearly…really helps a total novice like me learn the tricks of the trade as I go! Thanks.

  5. Beautiful shawl and I can see why Lucy thinks its for her…it goes with her eyes…

  6. The shawl is beautiful, I love the colors! So far I prefer the triangular shawls.

  7. The shawl is Lucy’s, isn’t it?

    For a circular shawl, I would put a needle in the center most point. Then measure out a length of scrap yarn half the desired width, tie it to the needle. Pull it tight, and use it as a measure while pinning around, like the protractor we used in geometry class.

    Your sweater is looking good. I like your variation at the neckline.

    Denises last blog post..An Inspiring Day part 1

  8. Shirley, in PA says:

    Your shawl is beautiful. I’ll purchase the pattern when it’s available. I love the changes you have made in the sweatshirt sweater. I have the book too, and would like to knit this sweater but cotton hurts my hands. Do you think it would work in wool?

  9. Oh, that triangle detail is awesome!! LOVE IT – thanks for sharing 😉

    TheSockKnitters last blog post..I just couldn’t resist 😉

  10. It’s blue, why wouldn’t it be for Lucy?

  11. Love the Shawl!!! Such a beautiful color! And of course Lucy thinks it is hers – it matches her eyes. On the Triangular vs Rectangular question – I enjoy making both but I have a strong preference for wearing rectangular. To me it feels more modern and more versitile. But of course the is a place for both styles.

  12. Blocking the circular shawl? Flexible blocking wires! The only way to go when you don’t want “points” no matter what shape the piece is. That way you’re blocking the entire edge, not just parts of it.

    Triangle v. Rectangle: I love the look of triangle but not on. Makes me feel like a character in a movies or as another knitter said, like Jemima Puddleduck!

    BalletMommys last blog post..

  13. I kind of prefer rectangular shaped shawls myself but make whatever really “grabs” me 🙂 I got a copy of the new M-D book at the tail end of last week – boy that is some serious fun. Thanks for sharing your mod on the sweater. I’m really intrigued by the BIG colorwork projects (afghans and rug) but I must repeat my mantra….I will finish a couple projects before casting on another (if I repeat it enough times I might do it lol).

  14. that little neck triangle is a sweet detail. That’s the kind of detail that makes knitting our own worth it.

    Barbara-Kays last blog post..Weekend of Progress

  15. It’s blue. It matches her eyes. Of course it’s for her!

  16. I like rectangular shawls to wear because my backside is, shall we say, of the ample persuasion. With triangular shawls, the point always seems to point to the spot I’d rather not have everyone looking at. Of course, small shoulder shawls are a different story. They are fine on people of most shapes and sizes.

    Dee P.s last blog post..Fresca, the Wonder Dog, Strikes Again

  17. That shawl looks like one big comfy, silky hug. Whoa baby it’s beautiful!

    I’m with , Barbara-Kay, the open work triangle is a lovely addition! It’s a nice detail and in the perfect spot! Although I had planned to start mine, it’s not gonna happen. The free time karma gods have frowned upon me, but eventually I will get there!

    In the mean time, I will enjoy watching you adapt it to your liking – talk about a spring board of ideas!

    Megan S.s last blog post..How many WIPs does one girl need?

  18. Lookit that beautiful kitty on the shawl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! luv.m. 🙂

  19. re: shawl shapes. Personally, prefer a good sized rectangle. I find it stays over the shoulders better – especially when worn with one ‘tail’ short and the longer ‘tail’ tossed over the shoulder. I’ve nothing against a triangle except that I tend to sit on the point and mangle the blocking to death.

  20. The shawl is so pretty and Lucy looks lovely on it. Thanks for the triangle chart. I was also wondering what you think about knitting sweater in a merino wool. Care to suggest anything. Thanks

  21. Let me be sure that I understand. Daily sweater pattern–the m1 left should be at the end of row 3. As for Lucy and the shawl, I’m “dreading” the battle here to keep Izzy off any items being blocked. The only room that I can close up is the “cat” room. Izzy already thinks any large knitted item is a cat bed.

  22. I love that little extra touch of open work for the triangle at the neck of the sweater. You do such lovely work!!!
    Hugs! to Lucy.

  23. If my Penelope loved a shawl that much I would have to give it to her! She has already claimed the bedroom closet, the decorative throw in the living room, and any papers from the lint brush. She’s spoiled 🙂

    Melissas last blog post..Home Improvement

  24. I think both triangular shawls and rectangular shawls are great and have their place. It’s really all in how you wear them.

    LittleWits last blog post..Wool Gathering 08

  25. Love the daily sweater, I’d love to knit-a-long, but it’s not going to happen right away. Love the litttle triangle you did. Can’t wait to see it finished and modeled.

  26. Gorgeous blue–definitely Lucy’s colour!

    I’m with BalletMommy (#12) on the flexible blocking wires for blocking the edge of a shaped shawl without points. These wires make life soooo much easier! Well, blocking life, anyway.

    Shaped shawls are my verrrrry favourite. I don’t mean the kind that are “more than round” where one end must be thrown over the shoulder, but just simple 3-panel faroese-ish ones (I won’t link any here, natch). They curve around the back without pulling or having to be bunched up at the neck. They drape over the shoulders and stay on beautifully without ‘needing’ shawl pins (though I usually use one ‘for nice’). Can you tell I like them? 😉

  27. NewJerseylaura says:

    Lovely shawl! Is it hanging over your beautiful Kauni sweater, or are those beautiful colors part of the yarn? Either way – gorgeous

  28. Wendy, I believe I left you a message on Ravelry (I’m SocksandTea) but cannot find it now and haven’t heard from you. I discovered I have 2 duplicate knitting books in my collection and am wondering whether you’d like to use them for give-aways. Hopefully you can find my message, but if not, let me know.

  29. The shawl is beautiful, and I too would love to buy the pattern.

    Lucy believes the color is just right for her, so it her’s (she thinks).

  30. The shawl is gorgeous! I prefer triangles…

    Knitnanas last blog post..Reprise of PF (sigh)

  31. The shawl is gorgeous. Perhaps Lucy is hinting she would like a really elegant kitty bed. Most pet beds look cozy but utilitarian, nothing to match the grace of Lucy.

  32. The shawl is absolutely beautiful

  33. I love both types of shawls. No help here, I’m afraid. Lucy just loves it! Can kitties see color? What is it about this shawl in particular? Maybe because it’s new?

    Danieles last blog post..WIPs and EZ

  34. I really prefer faroese-sahpe shawls to triangles or rectangles. They stay on the shoulder MUCh better–no needs for clasps, pins, or tugging! Here’s one I made recently (on ravelry)

    Penelopes last blog post..Almost as good as YARN…

  35. Gorgeous shawl! I have been sort of intimidated by the idea of doing a shawl but testing the waters with one done in worsted is very appealing.

    Res last blog post..Shopping

  36. In response to the question about triangular vs rectangular. My nsho is that I don’t need anything “pointing” toward my larg”a”sse, so I prefer the rectangular stole or at the very least a circular I can manipulate !

  37. Your shawl is very lovely. I haven’t knit one ever, but I’m definitely tempted… I’ve seen too many lace shawls on the internet–can – no – longer – resist!
    I can’t keep either triangular or rectangular shawls on–either they’re too slippery or I’m too jumpy. So I’m going to try a Faroese-style shawl. The shaping is intriguing, and it sounds like they’re designed to stay put.

  38. I like wearing the triangular shawls better, but I’d rather knit the rectangular ones. Yours is beautiful!

    Marions last blog post..Bloom where you are planted

  39. Theresa in Italy says:

    Thanks for the Daily Sweater triangle mod chart! My book arrived today, to my astonishment (I was sure it would be at least another week). Now all I have to do is find someone else to cook and take care of the house, and I can settle down to knit!

    I’m another one who loves shawls of any shape—triangle, rectangle, you name it. Here they tend to wear them draped over a coat or jacket, no pins, no clasps; and somehow, no matter what shape or size or how hard the wind is blowing, the shawls stay put. I have yet to learn their secret.

  40. Your shawl is gorgeous! (Really, no surprise there.) And absolutely LOVE the openwork triangle for the sweater! I’m starting mine just as soon as the book arrives.
    I love Lucy.

  41. Love the shawl. It wouldn’t be finished without Lucy approving it by laying on it.

  42. I really like the mods to the sweater! I looked at the book the other day–it’s got some great patterns in it. I haven’t bought it yet, but it’s on my list. I think Rowan is coming out with a book of designs for larger sizes, and I’m cautiously optimistic that it could be wonderful. 🙂

  43. I personally prefer triangular and round shawls (or folded squares) to any kind of “stole” or rectangular shawl. I just like the way they look, better, I guess. I dunno- it’s hard to explain, but I guess I feel like they are more jacket-like or something. Like they’ll sit there whereas with a rectangular shawl I always feel like I should be wearing it slightly off my shoulders.

    This may have a root in a barbie outfit my aunt used to have….. But that doesn’t need to be explained here.

    Also, I tend to like the types of triangular shawls that start at the top center and move outward from that, increasing down the shawl- something you don’t do with rectangular shawls (obviously).

    Bronwyns last blog post..Packratting

  44. I normally make stoles, so this question about preference is good for me. I am not quite sure how to wear most triangular or circular shawls, though I assume I’m going to want a pin at some point at least for the circular ones.

    Do you normally use shawl pins to keep your shawls on or mostly rely on the length of the piece to properly cover your shoulders and stay there?

    Seanna Leas last blog post..finally photographed