My current work in progress:

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


Seriously Simple Shawl and Seriously Fabulous Needles

I have the pattern all done for the Kauni shawl and available free to you all, here:

Seriously Simple Shawl (pdf)

It is also available from my Free Patterns Page and I put it up on Ravelry here for your queuing pleasure. Have at it!

There was a question in the comments about how scratchy the Kauni yarn is. I had mentioned that it does soften up a bit when you soak it pre-blocking. Yes, it does soften and bloom, but it is shetland wool. And shetland wool is always going to be a heckuva lot scratchier than — say — merino. The scratchiness of the post-blocking shawl does not bother me, but I am not much bothered by wool scratchiness. If you know you have a tendency towards sensitivity here, you might want to avoid it for garments worn next to the skin.

As always, your mileage may vary.

Something Cool

A while back Signature Needle Arts very kindly offered to send me a sample circular needle to test drive and let me pick exactly what I wanted. Here’s what I chose and what I just got:

This is a size 6 (4mm) with 5″ long stiletto tips and a 32″ cable.You can pick your needle length (4, 5 or 6″) so you get a size that best fits your hands. I like the 5″ length best. You can pick the pointiness of your needle — it looks like right now you have two choices: middy or stiletto, but I believe there is also a blunt option on some of their needles. I’ll always go with stiletto because in my mind, the pointier the better. And you can pick your cable length — 24, 32, 40, or 47″. You can request a custom length as well, but that’ll cost you an extra $10.

I very sneakily requested a size 6 with stiletto tips because that’s the size I use most for my fingering weight lacework. Always thinking here . . .

Last night I sat down to test-drive this beautiful needle. Did I like it?

This morning I ordered the same needle configuration in sizes 5 and 7. Oh yeah, I liked it!

The tips are delightfully pointy and the needle is as smooth as silk.

The cable is thicker than that for most circular needles, but is very flexible, and the join between cable and needle is as close to perfection as is humanly possible, I think. I love my Addi Turbo Lace needles, but I think I love this Signature Needle Arts needle even more. Yeah, they are pricey. But you are getting quality for your money.

I understand these needles debuted early this year and were yanked because of some problems with the joins. Obviously, those problems have been fixed because, as I said, the joins are fantastic.

I have achieved Needle Nirvana.

Current Knitting

Since I finished knitting the Kauni Shawl a couple of days ago, I have started a new project.

This is the Elemental Boatneck pattern by Hannah Fettig that was in the Summer 2009 issue of IK. (Ravelry link here). The pattern calls for Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy yarn, but I am using Rowan Lenpur Linen, which is 75% viscose and 25% linen. I’m using shade #569 — a nice moss green.

I am still in the middle of the horror that is 252 stitches in the round in a twisted rib pattern — I need three inches of it before I can start the body pattern, which is linen stitch (slow to knit, pretty to behold). The sweater is knit in the round up to the armholes.

I wanted something relatively easy and mindless to knit to take with me to TNNA this weekend.

Speaking of TNNA, I’ll be at the Unicorn booth from 11am til noon on Saturday, so if you are there and attending, stop by and say hi! The rest of the time I’ll be free range, either limping around the Convention Center or collapsed in a corner. Feel free to say hi in either of those cases as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lucy is tutoring me in the fine art of napping.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing the beautiful shawl pattern. You are talented AND generous ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you are loving the Ferrari of knitting needles. I have a size 5 circ from them and I love it like crazy. Have fun at TNNA!
    .-= CraftyPancakes´s last blog ..Starts with the letter ‘C’ =-.

  2. Thanks so much for the lovely shawl pattern. I enjoy reading about what you and Lucy are up to! When are you doing a shawl book?

  3. Thanks for sharing the pattern- I’m also loving my
    Signatures so far! Happy knitting!

  4. I am utterly shocked that your new sweater is green.
    .-= Leslie´s last blog ..A project befitting the skein =-.

  5. Celestine Getty says:

    Thanks for sharing the shawl pattern. I really like the pattern.
    I think I am the only person on this earth who does not like the Signature needles. The stiletto are too pointy for me because I push off with my index finger. Also I find them heavy however, shen I tried them at MD s&w, I did like the idea that they come in shorter lengths. Maybe if I keep trying them I can warm up to them.

  6. I bought a pair of Signature circs when they first came out (same as yours except they’re 6″ needles for my big hands). Loved them, but not with laceweight yarn because the join was just a little bit bumpy. So I used them for heavier yarn instead.

    When Clara Parkes ran her review of them recently I found out they had pulled the initial run and reworked the join for the very problem I was having. I contacted them and they let me return my pair for a replacement with the new cable/join. The replacement is on its way to me now and I can’t wait to try them out on Malabrigo lace for my Geodesic cardigan.

    The only thing I wish is that they had contacted me to let me know there was a replacement program. If I hadn’t read Clara’s column, I never would have known. I get lots of promotion emails from them, so I know they have my info. Oh well, all’s well that ends with awesome needles! ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Cindy (maxfun)´s last blog ..St. Paddy’s Day hit & run! =-.

  7. Shirley. in PA says:

    Thank you for the free shawl pattern. I have 700 yards of Audrey, a Shaeffer blend of merino and silk in Bluebell hand painted colorway that will look great in this simple lace design. Your have always been so generous, I really learned a lot from you. Have a great time at TNNA.

  8. Thank you for a great pattern-lot’s of possiblilities to try with yarn changes, etc. We appreciate your creativity and generousity! Really.
    .-= Cindy in FL´s last blog ..Saying Kitty Goodbyes! =-.

  9. I bought one of the earlier Signature circs. They were wonderful except for the join but even that was not troublesome except on lace weight. I was going to order another set anyway but discovered that they were temporarily unavailable. I had my name on the email list and ordered another circ in a different size as soon as the email notification came. The new ones are even better.

  10. so thrilled that you finally came into the “light” with the Signature circs – I dare you to try their DPNs (bet you could find some at TNNA to try out) – and for anyone who’s interested, they’re now testing sizes US3 and US4 – cannot wait for those to roll off the production line! They are indeed heaven on a cord ;o)
    .-= margaret´s last blog ..Back to the Blanket … =-.

  11. ps – thanks SO MUCH for the free .pdf! it’s just wonnaful!
    .-= margaret´s last blog ..Back to the Blanket … =-.

  12. “the horror that is 252 stitches in the round in a twisted rib pattern” You are waaay more woman than I am, and I’d say you deserve those $ignature circulars. But darn you for tempting me!
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..It’s SOCIAL networking, not PSYCHO networking =-.

  13. Thanks for the shawl pattern, I had two skeins of Kauni beg to come home with me from the last Stitches I went to and I think that pattern will be lovely in one of the colorways. I have a set of the straight and dpn from signature and enjoy them, but hadn’t considered the circulars yet. Food for thought with two events coming up. I guess I better start saving! Enjoy TNNA
    .-= Denise´s last blog ..part II =-.

  14. You are lucky you didn’t get the first generation. I really dislike the join on one side of mine…and sadly too late to exchange.

  15. Carol B says:

    I got that exact combination of SNA circs when they first came out. I guess I got lucky, because I haven’t had a problem with the joins. I was going to order more, but they got swamped and stopped taking orders, and then stopped again to rework the join. I’ve been meaning to get some more – aren’t they fabulous?!

  16. Wendy,
    Thanks so much for the free shawl pattern-I have some great Noro that is calling out to be used for it.
    Wow, it’s hard to beat the Addi Lace Turbos, but…….

  17. Thanks for the lovely pattern! And thanks for the heads up on the texture of the yarn. luv.m.

  18. Thank you for this pattern. I have a ball of Zauberball lace that I can’t figure out what to do with. I think it will become this shawl.

    I haven’t tried Signatures yet as I also love the Addi lace but I think I am going to have to try some.

  19. Thanks for sharing the pattern. I’m just getting into knitting lace and I’m loving it (that is when I’m able to get beyond row 9 of the pattern I’m trying…….grrrrrr…..)

  20. Love the shawl and thank you for the pattern. The needles sound divine but the price out of reach for me.

  21. Kathy Sue says:

    Thanks for the pattern, I have printed it and put on top of my pile. I have some yarn I could use to do color changes. I especially like the edge pattern. I really wish that you hadn’t said that about the Signature circs. I am trying to resist them. I have gotten a couple Darn Pretty circs that are Darn Good, and have a nice sharpness to them, and are half the price!! Keep on knitting!!

  22. The pattern is lovely, thank you!

    Have fun at TNNA
    .-= Virginia´s last blog ..Tiny Tea Leaves =-.

  23. Beth Wilson says:

    Can’t wait, can’t wait …. to start the Kauni shawl !! Even though the list was endless before seeing such a gorgeous project all else dropped a notch and as soon as it arrives will be, immediately, on the needles. Thanks sooo much for the pattern !! Yep, those needles are wonderful !!
    You are just the Energizer Bunny of knitting …. and whenever I’ve had even an inkling of thinking to take a break all I need do is read what you’re up to …. sooo
    inspiring !!
    And Tessa, like Lucy, is all set to try out the Kauni yarn …..

  24. oh, those needles are going on my Christmas list. Anyone up for Christmas in July? I’ll be curious to see how you like the lenpur linen — I LOVE the way my Elspeth Lavold Hempathy is wearing — it just gets softer and softer with each wash.
    .-= Wool Free and Lovin’ Knit´s last blog ..June baby sweater =-.

  25. thanks for the pattern!

  26. Wendy, many thanks for the shawl. From a distance, doesn’t it look as though it has little kitty footprints all over? Perhaps you should change the name to The Lucy Shawl??

  27. anne marie in philly says:

    the needle is green…imagine that! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    regina hebert, miss “nature buttons” herself, will have a booth in aisle 15…drop by and introduce yourself and tell her I sent ya!

  28. claudia says:

    Thanks for the pattern – couldn’t wait till you posted it! It will be my next project…if I can find the “right” fibre in my stash! The Signature needles look awsome – want to have some too, hopefully I can find them somewhere in Germany!
    Thanks again for the pattern!

  29. Have fun at the convention! Thanks for the shawl pattern! And Lucy is, as always, adorable!

  30. cecilia says:

    Thanks for the info about the signature circulars. Now, I plan to give them a test drive.
    Thanks for the pattern, plan to rip out what I started and use your pattern. cd

  31. Thank you for the shawl pattern, Wendy! Love, love, love free patterns.

    The Signature dpn needles are WONderful for sock knitting, too. I bought one pair and I’m definitely a convert. Now, I just need my ship to come in so I can buy a full set!
    .-= KateinIowa´s last blog ..It’s June and it’s Friday! =-.

  32. I’ll admit that I won a set of Signature dpns last year and I haven’t had a chance to use them yet (mostly because I’m afraid to use them during my commute in case I lose one!). I’m hoping to start a new pair of socks soon, and I am going to use them. They are beautiful!
    .-= Seanna Lea´s last blog ..the farmer’s market =-.

  33. The shawl is beautiful, indeed. Thank you so very much for sharing it with us. I’m nearly finished with my very first lace shawl, Cleite (which I’ve also written about in my blog), and am eager to try another. I will confess that I’ll probably take a break and knit something non-lace next though!

    The new needles sound fantastic. The more I knit, the more I appreciate the subtle (or not-so) distinctions among needles. Always learning…. ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Mary Ann´s last blog ..Random Thoughts of a Knitter in June =-.

  34. Thank you for the review of the Signature circs. I’ve been waiting to get a set, having heard that they were improving the joins. Maybe I’ll knit a Kauni shawl when my order arrives.
    .-= Dawn Draper´s last blog ..Clambake =-.

  35. That pattern is gorgeous. Hannah Fettig always creates the nicest things.
    .-= The Unraveled Librarian´s last blog ..Wildlife in the Gulf =-.

  36. Hester from Atlanta says:

    Seriously Simple Shawl pdf isn’t working correctly. When I clicked on it, the page read a bunch of symbols. I tried a few other ones to see if the problem was from my end, but the other patterns seemed to work fine.

    Thank you for all the goodies you post for us. Best- Hester from Alanta

  37. I have size 7’s in the circ’s and love, Love, LOVE them. Like you, I plan on ordering the 5’s and 6’s soon, but because of the price, I do have to pace myself. Now if they were at Estes this weekend, I would so be buying some more, but my understanding is that they won’t be there.

    I also have a couple of sets of their dpn’s and Love those almost as much as the circ’s and may end up with a couple more sets of those in size 2 and 3 (US).

    It’s about time you jumped on the band wagon. ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Lynda´s last blog ..Working on the house =-.

  38. Thanks for the freebie.
    I am using my Signature 4mm circs on the Austin Hoodie and I gotta say the cable is quite good, a bit chunky that Knit Picks but looks very sturdy.
    .-= Jocelyn´s last blog ..And one more time … =-.

  39. Oooh, those Signatures sound awesome, I have needle envy!
    .-= kala´s last blog ..Giveaway Time! =-.

  40. fibercrone says:

    So glad you posted about Signature circs. When I get around to trying nupps it will be with the Signature stiletto tips. A little serendipity came with today’s post. When I clicked to check your blog I was wondering which needle size you use most often for fingering weight shawls. After reading you blog and saying hello to Lucy, I was going to open your patterns to see but, voila! you read my mind.

  41. I would love to try those Signature circs but $40 for a knitting needle seems so extreme to me that I can’t bring myself to do it. I’ll stick to Addi Lace for now. Maybe the Signature folks will have phenomenal success and lower their prices. Maybe pigs will fly…

  42. Thank you for sharing the pattern and for the yarn information – always useful to know the itch-factor!

  43. Have a great time at TNNA! Am now convinced I have to get a set of the Signature Circs – you have never steered me wrong (and I love their dpns).
    (Elemental has been on my queue for some time – I’ll enjoy watching you knit it! Then maybe it’ll finally make it onto MY needles! *wink*)
    .-= Knitnana´s last blog ..Indian Food & Knitting… =-.

  44. Thank you so much for sharing the Seriously Simple Shawl pattern. Blessings from Kentucky!

  45. Mary Deveney says:

    I love Lucy!

  46. SandraPurl says:

    Love the shawl and would love to make one!!!!!

  47. If only more people would hear about this..

  48. I just recently signed up to your blog after getting your sock book. I have started a pair of socks and they are terrific, can’t wait to finish them in time for holidays (in case of cool nights). I have also started the Woodland Shawl in linen and have made it half way. Thanks for inspiring me to trying something new. Wendy

  49. In the instructions for the cast-on, what does it mean to “Knit up 1 stitch from each garter stitch ridge on the long edge of the strip you have just knit”? I tried googling the phrase “Knit up 1 stitch”, but got nothing useful. I understand how to knit, but “Knit up”?? I’m baffled.