My current work in progress:

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


Midnight Lace

Do you remember a 1960 movie called Midnight Lace? It was a thriller that starred Doris Day and Rex Harrison. It’s one of the few Doris Day movies I liked.

This entry is not about that movie.

Rather, it is about the Midnight Lace Stole, a shawl designed by Sivia Harding that appears in the book Alt Fiber.

I started knitting mine yesterday, out of Handmaiden Sea Silk in the “Woodland” colorway, with size 8/0 Japanese beads.

Truthfully, I started knitting it Monday night, but ripped out all my progress and started again yesterday, due to some errors in the book. So I’m counting my start date as yesterday.

I spoke (well, emailed) to Sivia Harding about the errors yesterday, and after checking the published pattern against her pattern, she confirmed my findings. She tells me that the corrections have been sent to the publisher and the errata will appear on their website soon.

The design starts with a wedge-shaped piece that goes in the center of the stole. You start at the small end of the wedge and gradually increase stitches as you work towards the wide end. Then you pick up stitches along each long side and knit out from the center for the long ends of the shawl.

The instructions in the book for the center panel are all written out, and refer to some small charts. This gave me fits, as I am a visual kind of gal when it comes to lace. So I charted out the set-up for the center panel.

I emailed the chart to Sivia when I was asking her about what I thought might be typos in the book. In the course of our correspondence, she generously gave me permission to post the chart on my blog, so any of you other visual people who are planning to knit the Midnight Lace Stole can use it. Note that you do need the pattern to be able to knit the shawl — this chart simply covers the set-up of the center panel. Note also that it may differ slightly from the original pattern, but the results will be pretty much the same and it does work with the pattern.

The pdf of the Center Panel Set-up is here. It is also linked to from my “Free Patterns and Help” page (click on the appropriate tab at the top of this page).

Anyhow, here is my progress.

This pattern is really quite easy, and it is a lot of fun to knit. As I said, I’m using Sea Silk (which is the yarn the pattern calls for) on a size 3.25mm needle. The pattern calls for three skeins, in case you are keeping score at home. you could totally use a different laceweight yarn for this — it would be lovely in wool or alpaca. Or cashmere.

Rib and Lace Cardigan

Thank you for all the lovely comments on the Rib and Lace Cardigan. 🙂

Roseann asked in the comments how the setting in of the sleeves went. I did mattress-stitch them into the armholes with no problems. The top of the sleeve cap is shaped by a series of bind-offs so it does have the “stair-step” effect, but I just moved in a stitch from the edge when sewing and had no problems.

Lucy Sez

“What? You are opening the window again?”


  1. Good catch and thanks for letting your readers know about mistakes in the pattern.

    Lucy, the kitties here love to have windows opened. All those new smells.

    Denises last blog post..I Don’t Do Christmas Stitching

  2. Oooh…looking forward to seeing more of the shawl as you go along. I really like the look of Sivia’s work…I still haven’t attempted one yet, but the Norwegian Woods shawl is waiting for me…I have both the pattern and the yarn watching me from across the room! 🙂

    yarnpiggys last blog post..Yes, they did

  3. Look at you finding errors so that the rest of us don’t cry when we knit it!

    Aimees last blog

  4. The shawl is looking gorgeous! I have had that color of sea silk on my wishlist at TLE for a while, I think you might have just pushed me over the edge…

  5. Wow that lace is beautiful. I love the colors.

    Mandis last blog post..Let the Healing Begin

  6. Beautiful colorway and shawl! I’ve become a visual kind of girl too. Being a more mature knitter, I crinkled my nose first pattern I had with charts. Now I love them.

  7. The shawl is going to be a beauty! I love the sea silk and the colorway you chose. Fer shure I wouldn’t have figured out the error and probably be in tears by now!! Thank you for finding it and posting the PDF!! Each shawl I see you make fires the creative juices in me! However, I’m deep into a cross stitch project for a very dear friend. I do go back and knit on the sweater I started (blush, gulp) about a year ago from time to time. The 18 to the inch weave is very hard on the peepers of this 54 year old lady!

    Lucy…. enjoy the open windows while you can! My kitties enjoy all the interesting smells and stuff! luv.m.

  8. Thank you for addressing my sleeve setting questions, your response is very helpful for me. Midnight Lace is very pretty and it is always good to know in advance about pattern errors as they tend to take the fun out of a project for me.

    Roseanns last blog post..Aran Isle Slippers

  9. I remember that movie – I really liked it….maybe it is time to watch it again. Also thanks for the book recommendation yesterday, I checked another of her books out of the library while I wait for the new one. I needed a new author. And the knitting is always inspirational.

  10. The shawl is beautiful.

  11. Those colors are wonderful! I cannot wait to see it finished! The sea silk is going to make it a great multi-season item. Or in my case, if you are consistently over heating!
    It’s wonderful that the designer was so open! It restores my faith in humanity and reminds me that knitters make the best community on earth!

    Megan S.s last blog post..We Have A Winner!!

  12. That is going to be gorgeous! The pattern and the color are both wonderful.

    You really are a rapid knitter, aren’t you? 🙂

  13. Oh, it’s gorgeous! Sivia’s patterns are wonderful to knit and to wear. I’m looking forward to making this one.

    I often have to rechart, either because the visuals provided are hard to read, or because I can streamline the chart once I’ve knit a few repeats and understand the pattern.

  14. The beads look lovely in the stole. 🙂

    LittleWits last blog post..Rock the Vote

  15. Wendy, the sweater looks beautiful. May I ask you, do you intentionally like your sweaters to fit loose or was this a gauge issue? I think that a smaller size will look more flattering on you. 😉

    Great job!

    Marlenes last blog post..Homeschooling

  16. Yes! Midnight Lace! “Mrs Preston,I am near, behind the statue of your president…. I am so near I could lay out my hand and strangulate you!!” 🙂
    I love that movie….

  17. Excuse me, but is this really Wendy´s blog that I´m reading?
    Are you knitting a BEADED lace shawl or am I hallucinating?

    I´m so glad that you´ve finally seen the light!

    Impertinent Swedes last blog post..Third Time Lucky

  18. I made a clapotis with Woodland color seasilk – I love the colors in that colorway, especially the deep brown.

    I ended up doing clapotis because the striping was so distinct that I couldn’t make anything with an actual pattern. Yours looks like the color changes are subtler…or is it just the light?

    Aimees last blog post..There’s got to be…

  19. Wendy, a special thanks from me for the book recommendation. I went to Romancing the Yarn, entered her “Bliss 2” contest and promptly won the hot pink cashmere and a copy of the book! I’m so excited I can hardly stand it!

    On a more serious note, I have a question regarding “M1” in knitting patterns in general. Does it usually mean a particular type of increase, or can you use whatever method you choose? I bet it depends, but in that case how do you choose the most appropriate method?

  20. The colors on the shawl are gorgeous! Oh how well I remember Midnight lace–I will never forget that movie! I saw it in Dallas with family and as we were going into the theater a man brushed against me and was gone into the crowd at the box office. I felt my wrist was suddenly lighter and discovered that my graduation watch was missing from my arm. The so-and-so took my watch! Oh well, it was a good movie.

    Katherines last blog post..Dude!

  21. That shawl is going to be a beauty with the Sea Silk. I love how that yarn smells!

    Seanna Leas last blog post..2 for Tues?

  22. What a kind, tactful, helpful way to point out errors in the pattern without dissing the pattern or the pattern author.
    The shawl and yarn are very pretty.

  23. Hi i am a day late for the yarn but if you have not picked anyone today is my 61st birthday and I decided to start knitting. My grand mother taught me when I was a little girl, I decided to do something to remember her by. Your gude in the seatbelt is adorable. Wish me luck thanks for your website