My current work in progress:

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


Some Answers to Some Questions

I was interested to read y’all’s comments about milk protein fiber as a component of yarn. As the Tilli Tomas Elsie is my first experience with a yarn that has milk protein as part of its makeup (it’s equal parts moo, silk, and wool) I did not have any pre-conceived ideas or opinions about it. The yarn is very pretty and feels nice, and has no unusual aroma that I can detect. When I start knitting with it I will report my experience.

There were a few Girasole questions yesterday:

Lynne E. left this comment on yesterday’s blog post:

I have a question about the Girasole pattern. You mentioned before that you were up to the maximum stitch count, but you seemed to have the entire border left to knit. How is it possible to knit a circular item from the center out, without having to increase at regular intervals as you move outward? Is the border lace pattern so stretchy that you can just block the border ferociously and get a circular piece?

This shawl pattern is based on the same principle as the famous Pi Shawl, by Elizabeth Zimmermann. Having knit a Pi Shawl in the past, I can tell you it works. However, I am no mathematician, so shall not attempt to explain the underlying principle.

Laura asked:

What kind of join do you use for a new ball when knitting lace?

When there are a few inches left on the current ball of yarn, I simply hold the “old” yarn doubled with the strand of the “new” yarn and knit a few stitches with this double strand.

Timmie asked:

My prediction was that you’d finish Girasole by weekend–are you going to make it?

Absolutely not! But barring any knitting atrocities, I will be on Chart G by the weekend.


However, I did make some good progress on Girasole today. We had a fairly major train delay this morning that tacked 45 minute on my morning commute. Forty-five minutes of extra Girasole knitting time!

By the way, have y’all noticed that I have no socks on the needles and haven’t for a full week? Am I going through sock withdrawal? Or am I sick of socks and renouncing them as the devil’s playthings? Have I taught Lucy to knit socks in my stead?

Tune in next week for answers to these burning questions and other inanities.

Lucy sez:


“Wait . . . did she just call me an inanity?”


  1. No Lucy she did not call you an “inanity.” If she does you have my permission to ignore her for a while. Thanks for sharing how you join. Since you won’t finish this weekend, I’ll have to adjust my prediction.

    southparknitter (aka Timmie!)s last blog post..On the go

  2. catspaw says:

    Forgive me for jumping in here, but I wonder if Lynne who wondered about increases for the border didn’t realize that the border is knit sideways and attached to the stitches that way. And I’m almost done Chart E – hope the 640 sts fit on my needle.

  3. So beautiful! I’m slogging through an afghan right now so it’s nice to get a vicarious lace fix!

  4. Even though I have knit a Pi shawl, my mind got fuzzy and I spent several minutes contemplating how you could be at max stitches. Sideways — of course! (Hitting forehead)

    Blame it on the afternoon heat.

    My meezers send fuzzy in the sun greetings to Lucy.

    Barbara-Kays last blog post..The Easter Monkey

  5. Lynne E. says:

    Thanks for your answer, which led me to this cool blog entry from The Travelling Tiger (Curiosity Knitting, October 13, 2005) that explains how the increases are done to make a shawl lie flat, and how Pi Shawls handle the increases: www dot travelingtiger dot com/tiensblog/2005/10/curiosity-knitting dot html . (The whole thing can be pasted into a browser, but periods need to be substituted for the dots and the spaces on either side of the dots). Thanks to Tien, too!

  6. Lynne E. says:

    Also, thanks to catspaw for the info about the border’s being attached and knit sideways. That does explain a lot!

  7. If you are lactose-intolerant, do you have to take a Lactaid before knitting with it?

  8. Girasole is very pretty. I’m sure it will not take you very long to finish it. Have a great weekend and hugs for Lucy.

  9. while others stressed the train delay you thrived in knitting!

    turtles last blog post..My Happy Place

  10. amend previous post to read finishing chart D (which I just did).

  11. I love you Wendy! You always know what to say…

  12. Katherine says:

    I have needles made from milk protein. They are wonderful, and I want more of them.
    Since you are going to start some socks (I hope!) next week, I am going to ask you how hard it it to change patterns from toe up to cuff down? The reason I aksed is because I really, really don’t care for toe-up. Help!

  13. Ahem. No SOS for you this summer??

  14. PICAdrienne says:

    I don’t have the Girasol pattern, so I will take it from all of you the border is knit sideways, but another possible answer is, the number of rows in the border do not double the row count, and therefore do not require the stitch count to double again. With a Pi-type shawl, the stitch count doubles every time the row count doubles.

  15. Colleen says:

    EZ’s pi shawl is easy to explain. All you need to remember is that if you want to know the dimensions of the OUTSIDE of the circle, you multiply the radius by 2 times pi.

    So pretend pi is 3 (it’s close enough to explain, and knitting is stretchy!) If your radius is 1 inch, then the circumference is 1 x 2 x 3. that is 6. If your radius is 2, then the circumference is 12. See? When you double the radius, you double the circumference. The only number that changes is the radius….you could do this with any other multiple you wanted, but double works well for knitting’s stretchiness, and is simple to double (tripling the increases when you triple the distance would be too tricky!).

    So start out with 10 sts. work 2 rows. Double. work 4 rows. double. work 8 rows. Double, 16, double, 32, double 64, double 128, double 256, double, etc.

  16. I wonder if knitting with milk protein fiber results in a craving for cookies!

  17. Cannot imagine you having sock withdrawal, but I’m kinda burned out on them at the moment. I have two pair on the needles at present, and they’ve taken a backseat.

    I’d say alternating lace with socks is just good knitting sense, Wendy (at least that’s what I tell myself!)

    Knitnanas last blog post..Startitis! Beach Glass Shawl

  18. Wendy W. says:

    Being a very basic knitter myself, I love watching you take on the projects that are a bit beyond my reach yet. And I have to say, Lucy has stolen my heart … she reminds me of a very special kitty who was part of my life for 20 years 🙂

  19. Ahh… You know you love your socks. You stopped knitting them when you did that beautiful Liesl (sp?), and then went back to them afterwards.

    Unless there is a super secret that we don’t know yet????? 😉

    Danieles last blog post..Sock Crock Pot Revisited…..

  20. Ha! You are too funny my friend. What do you do with all your handknitted socks? I love the yarn, I love the process, I love the outcome . . . but now I’m starting to feel like – – do I really need another pair of socks? – – my sock drawer is bursting at the seams. There are people I could give socks to but they are few and far between because I just don’t want to to give them to just anyone – – most people don’t get it. I’m sounding ridiculous I know – – but I am curious to what you do.

    Lucy is too cute as usual.

  21. You’re an evil woman, Wendy! 🙂 You distracted me from 2 afghan projects with your original post about Sheri’s KAL. I ordered my yarn from her (Perchance to Knit Lace) and am LOVING my Girasole. Yours is gorgeous – mine is only on Chart C. But I’ll get there soon!

    I’m intrigued by your sock tease. I have oodles of yarn and oodles of patterns (mainly yours!), but I already have 2 afghans, 1 scarf, 1 tunic, and the Girasole on the needles. Not to mention 3 birthday gifts to make…. There just aren’t enough hours in the day!!!

  22. Ah train delays. It’s one of the reasons why I’m so much further along with my cross-stitch project than I would be otherwise. I’m making ridiculous progress for being only about two weeks along.

    Seanna Leas last blog post..pretty in pink!

  23. Do you take a new picture of Lucy every day, or do you have a stash you can go to? I find it very hard to take a picture of the cats without them moving!

  24. Wendy, your blog is just the best. You are so generous with your knowledge and learniing experiences—I look forward to each new entry and often refer back to the archives. I’m so glad you suggested the Girasole KAL; the pattern is absolutely marvelous, the way each lace design segues into the next. Kudos to Jerod Flood.
    The shawl is so addictive, I think I’ll finish in record time (for me). Thanks a bunch.