My current work in progress:

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



I returned home from my trip to Loop in Philadelphia last night, totally exhausted but very happy.

If you find yourself in Philadelphia, don’t pass up a chance to visit Loop. It’s a great shop filled with wonderful yarns and friendly people. Craig and his staff are great.

I traveled up via Amtrak on Friday — and the train was actually five minutes early! Craig picked me up at the station, took me by my hotel to drop off my stuff, and then headed over to Loop to sit and knit for a while before the Friday night Stitch Party.

Yes, given the choice of resting in my hotel room for a couple of hours and hanging out is a yarn shop, I will always choose hanging out in a yarn shop!

I re-connected with some old friends and made a bunch of new friends at the Stitch Party — and even made some good progress on my knitting.


Saturday morning I taught a class on toe techniques for toe-up socks, and in the afternoon a class on heel techniques, both of which went really well, thanks mostly to the fun, talented knitters in the classes. Either that or I’m a genius teacher. And I know better than that . . . 😉

All too soon it was time to head back home. I’m always torn after a quick trip like this. On the one hand, I can’t wait to get home and see Lucy, but on the other hand, I’m having a great time and just want to stay and play in the yarn.

Some yarn did come home with me, though . . .

Carol stopped by on Saturday and gave me this:


A skein of her gorgeous Black Bunny Fibers hand-dyed Alpaca Shetland Lace yarn — it’s 90% alpaca and 10% shetland wool. 1300 yards — enough for a good-sized shawl. The colorway is “Hot Lips” — isn’t it amazing? I’m having a lot of fun thinking about what it’s going to become!

I also acquired this:


Two skeins of merino sock yarn from Colorful Yarn, which is local to Eastern Pennsylvania. I love getting local yarn when I go on these trips, and this yarn is really lovely. And in semi-solids! What’s not to like?

Lucy got a prezzie:


I think she likes it. 🙂


Hey, thanks for all the lovely comments on my Exonumist’s Shawl. I’m very pleased with how it came out, and I’ll get to work on finalizing the pattern since so many of you indicated that you want it — and thank you so much for that!

There were several questions in the comments about how I steam-block with an iron. Brace yourselves — I don’t use a damp cloth, I don’t hold the iron a couple of inches above the shawl. I set that sucker to full steam and iron the crap out of the shawl while pressing down on the “Shot of Steam” button, while stretching the shawl out with my free hand. My iron is a Rowenta, by the way, and it steams beautifully.

Okay, back to laundry duty!


  1. I am waiting with bated breath for the pattern. I am very happy you had a good time. Enjoy the laundry. LOL
    .-= Stacy´s last blog ..Hmmmm….. =-.

  2. Beautiful yarns – love the colors!!!! glad you had a great time in Philly too!
    .-= Susan Mohr Krupke´s last blog ..just for fun =-.

  3. I’m normally in the Philly area only to visit family in the ‘burbs, and don’t get into the city, but I may have to, to visit Loop.

    Lovely shawls, and I’m sure you’ve given a lot of people apoplexy with your blocking description.

    And kudos to Stacy for making it “bated breath”, as compared to the too-often-seen “baited breath”. My inner spelling/grammar geek loves it!

  4. I love that you “…set that sucker to full steam and iron the crap out of the shawl …” A woman after my own heart 🙂
    .-= kmkat´s last blog ..What happens. =-.

  5. I shall knit anything with a name like “Hot Lips”. hehehehe thanks for the great post!
    .-= Nicole Snow´s last blog ..Crafting brings us closer together =-.

  6. nice lil trip!
    .-= turtle´s last blog ..Just Canning =-.

  7. Yikey! You are a “go for it” kinda blocker; I’ve always steamed from on high, no cloth. But never touching the yarn. You’re either scary, or inspiring! I may have to try that…
    .-= pdxknitterati´s last blog ..Tokyo! Culture shock… =-.

  8. What great yarn!! I love Hot Lips. Can’t wait to see what it is.
    .-= Tiffany´s last blog ..Franklin the Cowboy =-.

  9. Muriel Correa says:

    I’m so glad you had a wonderful time and I love the yarn you came home with!!

  10. Lucky Lucy! I need to make some of those for my kids!
    .-= Valerie´s last blog ..Rain, rain, rain… =-.

  11. Wendy, what is the name of the PA local yarn? I assume you bought it at Loops. I will have to make a trip to Loops when I visit my kids. And I love you Toe up Sock book. I am making Cable and Lace now and love you patterns and techniques.
    .-= Sheila ´s last blog ..We are moving to wordpress =-.

  12. I opened my mail for this end of day “fix” and nearly lost it with your last comment….

    “There were several questions in the comments about how I steam-block with an iron. Brace yourselves — I don’t use a damp cloth, I don’t hold the iron a couple of inches above the shawl. I set that sucker to full steam and iron the crap out of the shawl while pressing down on the “Shot of Steam” button, while stretching the shawl out with my free hand. My iron is a Rowenta, by the way, and it steams beautifully.”

    You are going to have to tag comments like this with PBR ( pee before reading)*.
    Yes, you need to publish the last 2 shawls, I’ll need something to cover the wet spots now!

  13. hee hee! glad she liked the mousie!

  14. anne marie in philly says:

    sounds like you had fun!

    hope you didn’t miss me too much, but my asthma was not cooperating on friday for a trip into town. but you got to see my dear knitting group member carol, and you made some new friends.

    steven and meredith say: “lucky cousin lucy got a felted mousie…all we got was a clean kitty box!”

  15. The shawl came out beautifully. The colours are perfect for the patterning too.

    The new yarns look really good too. I can’t wait to see what you do with them. I finally managed to have a look at your book (no bookstore here) and I love it! Very nice looking and the patterns are beautiful and read nicely.
    .-= Dorothy´s last blog ..One =-.

  16. Rowenta irons are the best! They can be expensive but they’re worth every penny or perhaps I should say dollar! I have one and it doesn’t leak and the extra steam is significant! I originally got mine to block smocking but now I use it for blocking my knitting.

  17. Thanks for telling all about steaming! I love it!

  18. I’ve actually never received any yarn for review, probably because the yarns I review are of little interest to most knitters (cobweb and gossamer). And I am Not Famous, so why waste a skein?

    I’m beginning to suspect that the store owner was Making Stuff Up. In any case, I told her she could send me anything she liked and if it was wonderful, I would talk about it for free. The entire proposition made me feel squirmy, if you know what I mean.

    Love the Hot Lips!
    .-= fleegle´s last blog ..A Sticky Wicket =-.

  19. I’m behind on my blog reading so this comment is for last two. The Exonumist Shawl is beautiful and I will be wanting that pattern. I love Lucy’s toy too. What a cute little mouse! Glad your Philly trip was fun.
    .-= southparknitter´s last blog ..On the go =-.

  20. Looks like Lucy is pleased with her new mouse! Very cute.
    .-= Dee´s last blog ..Friday Foto – Week 4 =-.

  21. I normally wet block my shawls, and I can’t imagine that steaming them vigorously is more likely to damage the shawl then soaking them and draping and stretching them out as much as humanly possible.

    Heck, if I had a Rowenta I’d probably try at least one to do the same thing! My iron is too weak willed to do that job properly, so wet blocking it is.
    .-= Seanna Lea´s last blog ..slip slip bake =-.

  22. I think it is the knitters slogan, “I want to stay and play in the yarn”.
    It’s what I think every day before going off to do computer work. Looking forward to the Hot Lips shawl. 🙂

  23. Thanks for sharing how you “block” your shawl. I’m on Chart G of my Girasole, and was starting to have faint qualms about how I was going to block the darn thing. Of course, my yarn doesn’t steam worth a crap, which I discovered while trying to iron hubby’s dress oxford shirt (it spits like crazy. The iron, not the shirt.) So I guess I’d better research Rowenta irons and see how much one is going to set me back.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..I’m Falling Behind =-.

  24. Julie Lovelace says:

    Hey Wendy ~ Any chance of you doing a You Tube of your steam-blocking process? I’m a relatively new lace knitter and haven’t quite mastered the blocking process. Would love to see how you’ve managed with just two hands and a really nice iron. Me, I just drape the wet thing over the curtain rod and hope for the best (which ain’t much!). Thanks for considering youtubin’ it.