My current work in progress:

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


The Exonumist’s Shawl

Last night I knit the rest of the edging on The Exonumist’s Shawl. Today I steam-blocked it with my iron. (Click on the photos to see the enlarged versions — much better detail in those shots!)


And may I just say that prednisone rocks? I’ve been taking pretty high doses of it this week (for the Viral Respiratory Crud That Would Not Die, Not Even With Masses of Antibiotics) and while I haven’t slept more than 2 hours/night for the past three nights, I did power-knit through what I consider the most arduous part of knitting a circular shawl . . . the edging.


(It’s interesting to me that while these meds make me very loopy and unable to walk in a straight line, they only enhance my knitting ability. Go figure.)


I will write up the pattern for this baby and offer it for sale. I may do so through the Ravelry Pattern Store, just to try it out. Stay tuned.


I knit the shawl on a US 4 (3.5mm needle) using 3 skeins of Ella Rae Lace Merino (more of a light fingering than a laceweight). My unblocked gauge was 5 st/inch. I used just under 1380 yards, but am conservatively estimating 1400 yards to knit the pattern.

The unblocked size is 45″ is diameter. Very lightly blocked (just using a steam iron) it is now 56″ in diameter.

So now I get to knit “full-time” on the Order to Chaos Shawl. πŸ˜€


I’m using Dream in Color Smooshy for this, a fingering weight yarn, on US 5 (3.75mm) needles. If I am pleased with the results, I may sell this pattern as well.

Weekend Fun!

Tomorrow I am heading up to Philadelphia for a quick overnight trip. I’ll be at the lovely lovely yarn shop Loop for their Stitch Party tomorrow (July 24) from 5 – 8pm, then teach a couple of sock classes on Saturday. I visited Loop a few years ago when my first book came out and had a great time there, so I’m delighted to be going back.

Reminder — all scheduled events are listed on my Travel and Teaching page. Just this week, by the way, we added a trip to Knitty City in NYC in September. Knitty City is another great shopΒ  I’ve visited in the past, so I’m delighted to have the opportunity to return.

I think there’s one tentative event in late November that hasn’t been finalized yet, but other than that, I think my schedule is full for the rest of the year.

Lucy Sez


“I must plan my catnip party since Momma’s gonna be away. This will be my party rug!”


  1. Frances says:

    That is such a pretty design!

  2. Shirley. in PA says:

    Wendy, your shawl is just beautiful. I love the different lace patterns, and the colors in the yarn bring them out. The best shot is the one with Lucy in the middle., Funny how Lucy makes everything just a little bit better. πŸ™‚

  3. Hope you don’t mind if I post a link to this shawl on my blog. It is really incredible. The yarn is so pretty and the pattern – !! You’re amazing, doncha know.
    .-= Tamsie´s last blog ..Utter Lack of Self Control =-.

  4. Celaine says:

    I have a Lucy cat too and she would also be right in the center if she had the chance. I am dying to know how you did your joins on that gorgeous shawl!

  5. That is absolutely beautiful. You know, I don’t get the prednisone high. My mom is like that too, she can accomplish everything while on it. the most I get is healthy and I itch like crazy when coming off of it. But I sleep fine and get nothing extra done.
    .-= dragonfly7673´s last blog ..Quick update =-.

  6. Kate Lathrop says:

    omgosh – that shawl is drool-worthy! I can’t wait for the pattern.

  7. Yeah Yeah…drool-worthy…thats the ticket…and the color so matches Lucys eyes…

  8. Simply and amazingly gorgeous. As is Lucy!
    .-= Liz R´s last blog ..FINALLY =-.

  9. Beautiful..!!! Thank you for giving an unblocked as well as blocked gauge. I have two shawls where I didn’t realize that the gauge given was blocked, so I increased the needle size to get gauge. Doh..
    .-= PlainJane´s last blog ..Playing Catch-Up… =-.

  10. It is a lovely pattern Wendy. I will definately buy it. When you block with a steam iron, do you hold the iron above the shawl or you do put a wet cloth on it and touch the iron to it?
    .-= Carol L Simmons´s last blog ..Glinda! =-.

  11. Wow! It’s beautiful …and LOVE the new blog design. I have to visit “in person” and not just via reader more!
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..Calling All Independent Fabric Retailers! =-.

  12. The shawl is gorgeous! And it is even more so when Lucy is reclining on the middle of it.

  13. Oh my! Just as gorgeous as I knew it’d be. Well done, Wendy!
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Ask Me : Encasing & Cracking Problems =-.

  14. It is even better than I hoped. You have found another talent outlet!
    .-= Cindy´s last blog ..Blogiversary GIVE-AWAY! =-.

  15. Absolutely gorgeous!

  16. Love your Exonumist’s shawl…

    Would have loved to see how it looks from the front….

    Have a safe trip to Philadelphia… Enjoy the party at the Loop’s Stitch Party…
    .-= Abimbola Akanwo´s last blog ..Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince =-.

  17. It always gives me a smile to see Lucy nonchalantly lying on your works of art.

  18. Kristi ~ Ohio says:

    Your shawl is absolutely beautiful. Have a fun time at Loop this weekend.

  19. Absolutely gorgeous!!! You are totally inspiring. How soon will the patterns go up for sale? I have done the Girasole and loved it. I am hooked on making the round shawls and blankets. Your latest design is beautiful.

  20. This is amazing, thank you so much sharing your designs, and process.
    .-= Marjorie Colletta´s last blog ..Charmed Knits Projects for Fans of Harry Potter =-.

  21. om God.. that shawl is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. And just my colors. If you even THINK about wanting to gift it to someone who would most seriously adore and treasure it… keep me in mind πŸ™‚

    .-= mia´s last blog ..Isn’t she charming? =-.

  22. It’s absolutely beautiful!

  23. Gorgeous!

  24. deknits says:

    It’s beautiful! And I can’t wait to see more of the Order to Chaos shawl, as well. πŸ™‚

  25. Stunning!! I love it
    .-= FiredUpFairy´s last blog ..Saturday Fun =-.

  26. DH just did the prednisone for the crud that wouldn’t leave. Second time’s a charm! But he didn’t do anything as gorgeous as your new shawl. Congratulations on a beautiful FO.
    .-= pdxknitterati´s last blog ..Same, same…but different =-.

  27. Woohoo! I missed you last time at Knitty City, and I’m delighted to have another chance.

    The shawl is gorgeous.

  28. Loving the idea of Order to Chaos – I’m a sucker for geometric patterns. Nice to see I’m not the only one with cat-in-the-middle-of-the-just-blocked-project problems… Ah, we love them so…

  29. Shawl is magnificent, as you well know. But, that drug you are taking is dangerous.

  30. I love your Exonumist shawl. I’ve been a little anti circular shawl but after seeing yours I’m ready to cast on for one too.
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Back to Work! =-.

  31. The shawl is stunning and I love that color! I have to agree with you about the prednisone. I took it for a sinus infection that I had for over a year. I had forgotten what normal breathing was like! It magically cleared right up!
    .-= KozyKitty´s last blog ..Catching up . . . =-.

  32. Absolutely gorgeous!! I can’t wait to get started on this shawl. My Mum turns 60 in November – I think this might be what she gets! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing it with us!

  33. Shawl is absolutely beautiful, can’t wait to order. Hope the prednisone helps!

  34. Phyllis Grammer says:


  35. Gorgeous! I think you’ve just inspired me to cross over into the dark side of shawl knitting.
    .-= theknitaholic´s last blog ..Ravelry is eating my blog =-.

  36. patricia says:

    What a beautiful shawl! I like the way it is draped over the mannequin- the folded edge makes a nice collar and doesn’t obscure the overall pattern. Lucy is a wonderful shawl model too!

  37. Madeline says:

    You pulled it off — great shawl! This is a pattern worthy of selling.

  38. Wendy
    Will you be sharing where the pattern for you shawl will be located on Ravelry?


  39. Watch the prednisone. It can make you hungry, moody and makes your body swell. My husband took it for Crohn’s Disease.

    Your projects are gorgeous, btw. Maybe I should try knitting on the meds!
    .-= Nathalie´s last blog ..Free Chocolate Fridays =-.

  40. Lucy, Dahling…you’re gorgeous to be sure…but I get all twitchy when I see you laying on those amazing knits!
    There is a skein of that lovely Ella Rae included in the prize package on my blog Go enter!

  41. At the risk of being boringly repetitive, the E’s Shawl is truly awesome, a real work of art. And the color is warm and appealing. Congratulations are in order.

  42. I love this shawl–the pattern and the color. Absolutely beautiful and a work of art.

  43. Wow! Beautiful~

  44. I’m afraid to ask what happens when the prednisone runs out.

  45. Oh Wendy, that shawl is just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing with us – and I’ll watch for the pattern. I think I might like knitting with the slightly heavier than lace weight yarn. I’ve been frustrated a few times with the really fine stuff. Maybe I just like sock weight better! Hope Lucy enjoys the catnip party!

  46. Your shawl is beautiful! Definitely on my list to do! This must be the summer of the circular shawl. I’m working on the edging of my Girasole and just bought the yarn and 5000 beads for Shipwreck. Looks like I have at least 2 more to knit coming up – I’m anxiously waiting to see how you finish out the Chaos shawl.

  47. The Exonumist shawl is amazingly spectacularly beautiful!!! Wow!

  48. The Exonumist’s Shawl is beautiful! Can’t wait to see the pattern but how do you do that so quickly? And not feeling well?

  49. Sarah W. says:

    Gorgeous!! Yay for knitting enhancing drugs.

  50. Gorgeous shawl and even prettier with Lucy on it. πŸ™‚ So happy you are considering selling it through ravelry. That is such a boon for those of us living outside the States–especially when some stores don’t mail to Australia. Ravelry sends updates directly to us if there is a change in the pattern and of course it is instantaneous instead of waiting weeks IF the pattern is available by mail. I bet your international fans will be thrilled.
    I recently had to take many doses prednisone for my asthma and I, too, had power knitting nights when I couldn’t sleep, but had a great time knitting by the fire. Strange how that worked. I did half of my Girasole that way.
    Congrats on your excellent shawl(s) and I look forward to knitting one of yours soon.
    Hugs to you and Lucy from way down under.

  51. Chrissy says:

    Just delurking to say that’s a beautiful, beautiful shawl and Lucy is a very discerning pussy cat. Love to see your designs.

  52. Exonumist is STUNNING!

  53. Love the finished project! Fantastic! I’m with Carol and would like to have any tips or hints you have for steam blocking with an iron. This is still kinda new to me and I need all the guidance I can get. Back to lurking and waiting patiently (not!) for the next shawl to show it’s face. πŸ™‚

  54. HeatherB says:

    Beautiful, just beautiful.

  55. fibercrone says:

    Beautiful! I’ll be looking forward to the pattern. I do hope you try using Ravelry. It’s not just that it is so simple to buy a pattern through Rav, it’s the extras, like having an automatic record of purchases so I don’t have to look through folders on my computer to see if I actually purchased a pattern or just thought about purchasing it. I also love the automatic email system notification of pattern updates and errata corrections.

  56. Very pretty shawl! I was wondering how you block it with the steam iron as well. Do you put a damp cloth over the whole thing? Do you still need to have it pinned out overnight?

    Also, a viral respiratory infection should NOT respond to antibiotics. Antibiotics are for bacterial infections…the mechanism of action for those drugs is that it blocks a receptor on bacterial cell membranes that causes the bacteria to be unable to replicate. Viruses do not have this receptor, therefore it won’t work. Steroids are artificial hormones that will increase the immune response, allowing the white blood cells in your body to increase and kill the virus particles. A responsible doctor should have 1st prescribed the steroids. rant over. (biochemist who deals in antibiotic-resistant bugs, and viruses made stronger by antibiotics)
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..1, 2, 3, 4….. =-.

  57. Knittingvt says:


  58. Wow, that shawl is gorgeous! I’d never had a huge desire to knit a circular shawl, but you might have changed my mind with this one. I’ll look forward to the pattern. I’m so glad I’m already on Ravelry! πŸ™‚
    .-= ConnieB in Ohio´s last blog ..It just keeps getting better….. =-.

  59. That shawl is gorgeous! I really like the edging. Sorry you’ve not been feeling the best, and I know just what you mean about steroids. Hopefully they helped your knitting *and* will make you feel better!

    I’m imagining what a kitty on catnip could do to the shawl whilst using it as a party rug. I’m remembering back feet kicking frantically at anything within reach. But Lucy is so dainty, surely she wouldn’t mangle your new shawl!

  60. Will this start the trend of kntters taking steroids to enhance their performance? πŸ˜€
    .-= Janis´s last blog ..i am going out to see what i can sow =-.

  61. Isn’t that just the nicest yarn to knit with its so reponsive to the stiches. I just finished a Shoalwater shawl in that same colour and I’m ready to knit with it again right now. Gorgeous yarn. Want more.
    .-= Needles´s last blog ..Building a Mystery =-.

  62. Oooo! Lovely shawl – I especially like the last shot – “Ragdoll shown for Scale”. (Lucy’s such a help!)
    .-= CraftyGryphon´s last blog ..UFO Friday – not going in the right direction. =-.

  63. Just be careful when coming off the prednisone! Those very high, active days can turn into a depression slump.
    (lovely shawl BTW :))

  64. Yes, prednisone is quite the miracle drug. Glad you’re feeling better.

    I always fly through Philly on my way to DC. Guess I need to schedule longer layovers so I can check out Loop.

    Shawls, as always, are fantastic!

  65. Amazingly beautiful. And after all that work and time I love how you let lucy lay all over it!

  66. Gorgeous! I love how the variegation in the yarn plays up the patterning rather than detracts from it.
    .-= Seanna Lea´s last blog ..slip slip bake =-.

  67. It’s BEAUTIFUL!!! If I (or anyone I knew) had a reason to have this I would be lining up for the pattern. Alas, I don’t. As usal, Lucy looks gorgeous modeling it. Have fun at Loop.

  68. Gorgeous ! Magnifique ! Splendide ! as we say in French. Very very beautiful design.
    .-= Clau76´s last blog retour =-.

  69. Looking forward to meeting you at the Stitch Party tonight. Loop is awesome!
    .-= Christy´s last blog ..Swifter, Higher, Sleepier =-.

  70. Michele says:

    Your E shawl is just gorgeous and I can’t wait to see the Order-to-Chaos shawl!! I had never even thought about knitting a circular shawl until I saw yours, and now I’m anxious to try it. I like that they are in yarns heavier than lace weight, too. Thanks for the inspiration! Looking forward to the patterns for my to-do wish list:)

  71. That is beautiful Wendy.

    I hope you are feeling better. My friend Maureen is visiting her sister who lives 4 blocks from Loop in Philly. I told her to come over and see you, tell you I sent her, and buy the book!
    .-= Alice in Richmond´s last blog ..7.13.09 Bag Squared =-.

  72. Beautiful shawl, and love the color! You’ve inspired me to finish the edging on my Girasole tonight. My Mom took prednisone a lot–it leaches calcium, so you might think about supplementing for that. I’m glad you are feeling better! Have fun on your trip!

  73. madonnaearth says:

    Wow! Well done on that shawl! I love the edging, especially. That can make or break a shawl sometimes.

  74. Exo = hands down GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    .-= danielle´s last blog ..Well, not good news =-.

  75. Uh, of course a “Viral Respiratory Crud” would not die, “Not Even With Masses of Antibiotics”. Who on earth gave you masses of antibiotics for a viral infection?
    The shawl is gorgeous! Love the colour!
    .-= TracyKM´s last blog ..Oooohhh My Brain =-.

  76. Your shawl is absolutely gorgeous. Can’t wait to see it in the ravelry patterns store!

  77. I’ve been trying so hard not to buy yarn lately, and especially blue yarn, of which I already have rather a lot. I’ve just fallen over very badly, and it’s all your fault πŸ™‚ That Seven Seas is really irresistible.
    .-= Helen´s last blog ..Anhinga Takes Off =-.

  78. Oh my, your E-shawl is just beautiful. I can’t believe the change blocking makes. I’m a convert! Thanks for providing the larger pictures. I love the way the color changes in the yarn change around the shawl. Wonderful! When you get a chance, I’d love the hear if you steam iron block with a clothe or holding the iron a few inches above the shawl. Thanks so much. I love the Order to Chaos shawl as well. Great name.

  79. Theresa in Italy says:

    Pretty! Lucy seems to think so, too!

  80. It’s gorgeous, congratulations
    .-= Karoline´s last blog ..Spot of Summer =-.

  81. That is one fabulous shawl. The combination of stitch patterns is very pretty, and the color is beautiful. Definitely fit for a cat’s rug.

  82. Sharen Warren says:

    Beautiful shawl – great color & the patterns are perfect together. You’re right about the prednisone—I took it once for a severe respiratory infection too. You are truly amazing; I’ve been faithful to the Girasole and am finally down to the last chart before the edging, while you have finished two shawls and started a third!

  83. I am also a round shawl fan and looking forward to your new patterns. We need to remember to do a drug screen for the knittng Olympics. The Winter Olympics are here in BC next time!
    .-= Angie´s last blog ..Back From Camp =-.

  84. margieinmaryland says:

    Love the exonumist’s shawl. The color is one of my favorites…

  85. That is lovely. You do such beautiful work.
    .-= marjorie´s last blog ..Dropping the Ball =-.

  86. I so hope you do write up order to chaos- I want to the shawl strictly based on the name! I love it, and I love the center pattern as well- I’ll keep checking!

  87. PLEASE sell the order to chaos shawl pattern. I think it’s incredibly beautiful already!!!

  88. Holy moly, what amazes me is how fast you got this done. The edging alone would have taken me a month, assuming I finished it. I have one in my UFO bin awaiting the next 1000 rows. Bravo!

  89. That shawl is stunning!! The color is fabulous, and the design is gorgeous. Shoot, another thing to add to my to-knit list.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..I’m Falling Behind =-.

  90. OMG that is just gorgeous. Knitting on steroids, is that legal in the US??!
    .-= Lorette´s last blog ..Oh Yeah, The Blog =-.


  1. […] 23, 2009 by tamsie WendyKnits has posted photos of an incredible shawl that she designed and knit. I am always astounded that […]