My current work in progress:

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


The First FO of 2010

I knit the last 6 rows of my Swallowtail Shawl and blocked it on New Year’s Day. Here it is pre-blocking:

And here it is blocking:

And being modeled by Gwendolyn:

I used a 150-gram skein of Sea Silk, and worked an extra five repeats of the main body pattern. I estimated well, because this is what I had left after binding off:

Fifteen grams of yarn!

Several of you asked what “nupps” are. Here is a close-up of the nupps:

Nupps are little mini-bobbles. These are worked by doing a k1, yo, k1, yo, k1 all in one stitch on the right side, and purling 5 together on the wrong side. They give some people fits because of the purling 5 together, but because I’m a fairly loose knitter, I don’t have much of a problem doing that. It helps to have a really pointy needle!

Here’s my new work-in-progress:

This is the start of an Aestlight Shawl, which I am making from Dragonfly Fibers Dragon Sock in the “Starry Night” colorway.

Thank you!

Thank you for all the wonderful birthday wishes you all sent me — in the comments here, on Ravelry, on Facebook, and on Plurk. I had a great day. It almost makes up for getting older. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lucy rang in the New Year in the manner in which she plans to continue for the rest of the winter:


  1. This is really beautiful! Thank you for posting this and your modifications because I was just wondering if I could work swallowtail into more of a proper shawl and less of a shawlette.
    I love nupps! I know most people hate them but I actually find them rather fun. I’m looking forward to seeing your aestlight, I have that one in the queue also.
    .-= Spooky´s last blog ..Jaywalking (and tree pics!). =-.

  2. Beautiful shawl, as are all the shawls you knit! I note that you sometimes use superwash wool in your shawls. I’ve always thought that superwash wool, or wool combined with synthetic fibers, does not hold the blocking well. So, I tend to shy away from that combo. What’s your opinion?

  3. I like the nupps, they look really neat!

    .. and I’m curious – what does that pillow say behind Lucy? I see something about cat hair..

  4. I’m glad to hear you had a wonderful birthday. Swallowtail is beautiful in pink sea silk! The pre-blocking vs. post-blocking photos never cease to amaze me.

  5. I keep moving Swallowtail down my queue because of the Nupps. I keep telling myself they can’t be any worse than p 3 tog tbl.
    .-= southparknitter´s last blog ..Christmas Knitting C minus 30 =-.

  6. Holy cow where was I? Please accept my best belated Happy Birthday wishes.

  7. Wendy, I did not know that it was your birthday. Glad to hear that you had a wonderful day. By the way, it was also my birthday. The nupps are really nice looking. After seeing this here, I am going to try my hand it it. Thanks so much.

  8. Happy belated birthday! Celebrating is good. I’m currently looking at getting older as a triumph.

    Was the magic number of 5 repeats enough to make the math for the border work? I’ve heard all kinds of rumors about how difficult it is to upsize Swallowtail.

  9. Happy Birthday Wendy!

  10. I love the Swallowtail-I keep reading the directions, then thinking, “Oh, just one more shawl for practice…..” Yours looks great and I love the color.

  11. Beautiful! I really need to make the Swallowtail. I have this beautiful bamboo that it would be lovely in.
    .-= Seanna Lea´s last blog ..working on a wrap up =-.

  12. I love your Swallowtail shawl! I’m not normally a bobble sort of person – but those nups are really pretty. Makes me want to make one… someday ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Mandi´s last blog ..In the Christmas-Knitting Groove =-.

  13. crazycrafter says:

    Wow! I did not know that it was your birthday! Happy Belated birthday. Are you a New Year’s baby like my cousin? I love how the shawl turned out . . . it’s amazing what blocking does to shawls, isn’t it? Blessings,
    Hannah, age 12

  14. I knew the Swallowtail would be perfect for Gwendolyn! It’s really pretty. Speaking of birthdays . . . I have a “golden birthday” this year . . . 10-10-10! And I finished Isholda. Much smaller than it should be . . . guess who didn’t do a swatch first???
    .-= Cathie Jones´s last blog ..Jazz~N~Aweigh to Florida and Beyond =-.

  15. ….. and then I called it Isholda! Sheeesh. It’s the Ishbel by Ysolda.
    .-= Cathie Jones´s last blog ..Jazz~N~Aweigh to Florida and Beyond =-.

  16. I am so glad I was not the only one who did not know what nupps were. I just didn’t ask!! I always remember your birthday because it is the same as mine!! Want to exchange numbers? I am 55. Lucy has the right idea on life!!!

  17. The swallowtail is beautiful! I think this may be the first pattern with nupps I’ve seen that I like.

    Happy belated birthday!
    .-= Virginia´s last blog .. =-.

  18. I love it. The color is just perfect. I have to go see where that one is at in my queue and move it up.
    .-= Madame Purl´s last blog ..Happy New Year =-.

  19. Shirley A Ryan says:

    I just have to know…what doe’s Lucy’s pillow say? I can’t read all of it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Kathy M in SE VA says:

    When I read the comment about your birthday, I had to look on FB to find out your day. Yours was yesterday and mine was today. Frankly, I don’t much like the after-the-holidays birthday, but having them is better than not having them I guess. Having just done a couple of lace pieces, I cannot help but admire your tenacity in getting such beautiful pieces done so quickly! What do you do with all the shawls? Gifts? Displays? Exemplars for classes?

  21. myra Harrell Fleming says:

    You do such amazing work…! Love the variation.

  22. Happy belated birthday!
    .-= kmkat´s last blog ..It’s time for… New Year’s resolutions! =-.

  23. I think Lucy has the right idea!
    .-= Ida´s last blog ..New Year/New KnittingQ(tm) =-.

  24. Thank you so much. Now I know what to do with the 150 Seasilk I just ‘had to have’. Your shawl is gorgeous. Happy Birthday and a Cheery New Year!!

  25. Ooohhh, pink sea silk! That will be so nice and soft to wear! Happy belated birthday!
    .-= Michele In Maine´s last blog ..Red Floral Accessory Case =-.

  26. Wendy,

    The number of shawls that you’ve finished is amazing to me (this coming from someone who had 12 solid hours to knit a basic adult hat and is still not finished….any FO of mine is cause for a happy dance!) I’ve digressed…

    This has led me to wonder…Have you kept all of the shawls for yourself? If so, how often do you wear them? Are they a regular accessory in your wardrobe?

    Happy New Year!

  27. Your work is beautiful. I don’t know how you can knit so fast. Of course, I’m getting
    old and I am ill so I don’t do anything fast anymore. You know the turtle always
    wins the race. I’m sorry I didn’t know it was your birthday. I’m glad you had a
    good one. Happy Belated Birthday!!!!!

  28. Happy New Year! Just had to mention that I’m feeling very sentimental: That “starry night” looks just like my dear Marlene Dietrich Katz; in the cold gray of winter, I always miss her the most. Next to the pumpkins of Halloween, or maybe the sunny patches of Spring blossoms, or the dancing pixies of refracted summer sunlight. I guess, I miss her all the time actually.
    But it’s always happy to see Miss Lucy. Thanks as ever for the great pix.

  29. Wendy! This is one pretty, pretty shawl. I really like your choice to knit it in rose.

  30. I think “nupps” sounds nasty!
    .-= Leslie´s last blog ..Vegetarian Moussaka recipe =-.

  31. I am working on a shawl with 7 st nupps. It was giving me fits, despite my pointy needles…til I decided to p3 or 4 together (whatever decided to happen for each), then do it again, then psso. They are messy enough little lumps to begin with that the psso ones look about the same (in my work, anyway) as the p7tog ones.

    But, most importantly, it kept my hair on my head, where it belongs, and my sanity intact (well, as intact as it was to begin with, anyway!)

  32. AHA that’s what nubbs is…like a Picot~

    re: Swallowtail shawl : absolutely GORGEOUS! (and Miss Lucy too, of course~) ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Sandra´s last blog ..ManyhorsesMane says I’m REALLY getting back to work now, PYL~kthnxbye! =-.