My current work in progress:

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


My Little Helper

I really don’t know what I would do without Lucy.

As you can see from this photo, she was hard at work yesterday, making sure that my shawl stayed nice and flat during blocking. What a little trooper!

And here is the shawl being modeled by Gwendolyn:

And the back view:

Unblocked, it is about 23″ long, and because of its shape, it stays nicely on the shoulders.

There was a question in the comments about the difference between a shawl and a shawlette.

I tend to say “shawlette” when I am designing something that can be knit from 100 grams of sock yarn — 400 yards or so. I don’t know of nay hard and fast rule about what makes a shawl a shawl and what makes a shawlette a shawlette.

But just to be different, I am calling this one a “shoulder shawl.” Its official name is “Woodland Walk Shoulder Shawl.”

The Last Hurrah

This weekend I am taking a quick trip down to Richmond. I’ll be at The Yarn Lounge on Saturday, July 10, from 1 – 3pm, signing books and hanging out with the knitters. I hope I’ll see a lot of you there.

I call this the last hurrah, because as some of you already know, I’ve had to cancel all remaining travel (including my trip to Europe for KnitNation) due to ill health — doctor’s orders. I am both completely bummed out and slightly relieved, because I was beginning to realize that I can’t manage the rigors of travel and teaching at this point.

Lucy sez:

I want Momma to stay home all the time!”


  1. This is a very nice design…ever so much nicer to have 5 pieces instead of 4. I’ll look for the official pattern now that you have given it an official name. Ravelry?

  2. Wendy maybe Lucy is helping you because she wants something for herself. The newest shawl looks beautiful and the new Loopy Ewe yarn looks great.

  3. So sorry to know that you’re having to cancel your trips due to your health. I hope your medical people will be able to help you get well and healthy again soon.

    Thanks for all the pretty designs, and when you publish this shawl(ette), I’m adding it to my collection of Things To Be Knit (TBN). Take care of yourself and let Lucy help you feel better.

  4. Love the shawl/shawlette and the way it is shaped to stay on the shoulders!
    .-= Sheri at The Loopy Ewe´s last blog ..Full to Overflowing =-.

  5. Blue is Gwendolyn’s color! What a lovely piece of needlework.

    Take care of yourself, lady!

  6. It’s gorgeous! I can tell Lucy did a lot of the work. That cat is a genius!
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..This is why I keep my camera handy =-.

  7. I think it’s way past time for you to knit something for Lucy!
    .-= Tamsie´s last blog ..nora =-.

  8. So sorry to hear your health news. Will keep you in my prayers. Love the shawl, as everything else you knit.
    Question–I worked CeCe and do not like the increases in that underarm panel. Drooped all those panel sts. down and reworked the increases to blend with the lace.What did you think of those increases in the stockinette )-:

  9. Beautiful design. Lucy is a total trooper.

    And I’m really sorry to hear about your health. I hope that you get it resolved sometime soon. Please take care of yourself. And if there’s anything us fellow knitters can do to help, let us know.
    .-= Virginia´s last blog ..The weekend =-.

  10. Oh my… I think this is my favorite shawl yet! Can’t wait for the pattern!

    I’m so sorry that you’re having to change your plans – I hope you recover quickly.

  11. I am very sorry to hear about your health problems. I hope you will be fine very soon.

    I also like the new shoulder shawl and the color is perfect.

  12. Love the shawl and await the pattern. Knitterly hugs for the ill health.

  13. So sorry to hear about your health. Canceling is bad enough, but you want to do it on your own terms.
    The shawl/shawlette is beautiful.

  14. So sorry to hear of your health issues – hope the lack of travel will speed your recovery. I love the new Shoulder Shawl – in particular the way the back hem is an even horizontal line. The back view almost looks like a sweater instead of a shawl/shawlette

  15. Beth in Seattle says:

    What a bummer that you have had to cancel your travel plans. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. I like the lace motif & shaping on this new shawlette.

  16. Kathleen says:

    Your new creation is lovely, as always. (My personal preference is for a circle or squared-off shape rather than a long triangle pointing at my least favorite feature!) I will be adding the Woodland Shoulder Shawl/ette to my ever-lengthening list.

    I tend to think that a shawl could be big enough to go over the head, just from historical context, but that may not be exactly right.

    Follow Lucy’s lead and relax and heal.

  17. Celestine says:

    How Beautiful. I can see in the design why you choose the name you did. Can I borrow Lucy to help with my next shawl?
    We will be remembering you in our prayers while your health improves.

  18. anne marie in philly says:

    such a helpful little kitteh! and a VERY pretty shawl!

    sorry to hear about your canceling your teaching gigs…I know that decision did not come easy for you. ๐Ÿ™

  19. 1horsetown says:

    Sign me up for this pattern when you get it ready. Love the shape.

    I used to block doilies on the carpet. My cat would sneak over there and pull all the pins out. So I’d end up with a half blocked doily and a floor covered with pins!

    Sorry to hear about your back issues. Mine is also getting to the point where something will have to be done. k

  20. Mary Pat says:

    This is the best shawl yet!!!! I’ll be looking forward to the pattern.

    I’m glad that you have decided to take care of yourself. There isn’t anything that is worth making yourself sick. Hope that more rest will give you some relief.

  21. the shawl is gorgeous.

    I hope that you start to feel better soon – I hope that between you and the doctor that you are able to find a happy resolve – sending hugs and good thoughts your way ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. I send you prayers and best wishes for a speedy recovery. Love the new shawl, can’t wait for the pattern.

  23. patricia says:

    Another beautiful shawl! It’s a good thing Lucy’s there to hold it down and keep it from flying off!

    Here’s hoping for lots of rest and relaxation and good health!

  24. The shoulder shawl is beautiful. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had to cancel your trips. Be good to yourself.
    .-= Ida´s last blog ..Another Sock- and a Tool Kit =-.

  25. Very sorry you have to cancel your teaching and traveling; I can imagine your disappointment. Here’s to a return to good health.
    The shoulder shawl is a winner!

  26. I’m so sorry your summer plans had to change and I hope that the investment of rest will give you a healthy outcome. Perhaps you should have a British tea party with some friends to recognize how internationally loved you are.

  27. I’m sorry that you had to curtail your travel schedule. I hope that it helps! The new shawl is nice–I just order a couple of colors to try out a pair of striped socks.

  28. WOW. There’s something very retro and structured and Mad Men about it. If Jackie O had worn knitted shawlettes this is exactly what she would have worn.

  29. I noticed that Gwendolyn is modeling without anything underneath, is that because the east coast is melting this week?

    Sorry to hear you’re not feeling up to snuff, but was wondering if you could give up the day job, could you travel & teach? If you made it to the west coast, a bunch of us would happily sign up for the classes….

  30. Jennifer Y says:

    The shawl is beautiful! You’re absolutely talented! Can’t wait for the pattern to come out.

  31. I just purchased your new book because I love the Serpentine Socks I just
    finished from your previous one, and find your patterns so appealing. Your instructions always seem to contain the small details and hints that make it possible for me to get through the more complicated places. The one time I got stuck your e-mail response to my question was almost immediate. You give so much to us knitters, please do whatever you need to do to get yourself back to a place of good health. Your efforts are much appreciated and we like having you around, and
    feeling good!

  32. So sorry that your health is serious enough that you must cancel a trip to Europe! I hope this will give you time and space to come back to health.

  33. I am sorry to hear of your ill health problems leading to cancelling part of your teaching schedule. I’m hoping your good health returns soon. I’ve never been able to attend any of your book signing and/or classes but I do enjoy and learn so much from your blog. Hopefully you’ll continue posting and be “on the mend”, as my dad used to say. Sally

  34. Wendy in Cambridge says:

    I love the new shawl! I’ll be waiting for that pattern to be released for sure.

    So sorry to hear that you’ve had to cancel your trips and teaching gigs. I know Nurse Lucy will take very good care of you, and hope you’ll be much better soon!

  35. I’m very sorry to hear that you are not going on your European trip! I was so excited for you when you told me all about it at your Fibre Space book signing. I hope you are feeling well very soon!

  36. So sorry that you are having health issues. Hope you are back in fine form soon.
    .-= Rose´s last blog ..Summer Update =-.

  37. Deborah says:

    take care of yourself, travel can wait. health can’t.
    lucy will no doubt be a source of comfort. i like how the new shawlette brings out lucy’s beautiful eyes!

  38. Beverly (db81971) says:

    I LOVE this shawl, and I can’t wait for the pattern to be released. I’m really sorry to hear about you having to cancel the rest of your year. I was unaware that your health was getting that bad. I knew your back was bad, but not THAT bad. I do wish you the best of health. I have always wanted to meet you in person as I treasure your patterns and blog. Maybe one day…

  39. I love the finished shawl! Looking forward to the pattern.

    Also sorry that you have had to cancel your trip due to health issues. Please get well- there will be other trips!

  40. Be well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. Kitty J says:

    Please get well soon you are important to all of us.

  42. Collette says:

    I’m sorry you’re not doing well. Please rest and take care of yourself. You know, because I love reading your blog and isn’t this all about me??? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously, I’m glad you’re getting a rest even if it is being thrust upon you.

  43. Sorry to hear that you haven’t been feeling well. Snuggle up with Lucy and let her take care of you! Your designs are so inspirational!

  44. catspaw says:

    Cindy and I are looking forward to seeing you next weekend but it’s such a bummer about your having to cancel the England trip.

    Hey, how’s Teddy? Haven’t seen him in a while. Not that I covet him or anything, just wondered how he was.

  45. Annette says:

    Sorry to hear of your health problems. Hope things will be looking up for you soon!

  46. in my best paris hilton voice “loves it!!” that shawl is great, just about could wear it as a cardi.. add some buttons and wa~la.
    .-= Vicki´s last blog ..Baylee =-.

  47. This is my favorite shawl so far. I can’t wait for the pattern! I need some alternative uses for the nine million yards of sock yarn I own. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  48. The new shoulder shawl is so pretty.

    Hoping your healing is swift and complete, Wendy.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..4th- 60th- 80th =-.

  49. Mary Tole says:

    First, I love the shawlett, 2nd Lucy’s eyes do great things for the color and 3rd I’m so sorry to hear you are having health problems and I hope they improve soon. So sorry you had to cancel your trip to Europe, must have been a disappointment. One good thing, Lucy will enjoy having you home more. Best of luck.

  50. Connie G. says:

    Love the new shawl/shawlette, but sorry to hear of your health problems. Hope you’re better soon.

  51. Lovely Shawl, great helper. Bummer about the grounding; but sometimes it helps to have a nagging decision settled. Good mojo.

  52. Wendy, hang in there! We can only do what we can do. Focus on getting better… and KNITTING! Love the shawl, by the way!

  53. Beth Wilson says:

    So excited to see you on Saturday at The Yarn Lounge !!
    (Tessa just wishes Lucy could be there …. )

    I really think this is your most beautiful shawl …. exquisite as always !!

    Tae special care of yourself, Beth

  54. This is a beautiful shawl-I appreciate seeing how it drapes on a ‘body’. I think all shawls should be this shape-it is very flattering-excellent design! Hope the rest will restore your health.
    .-= Cindy in FL´s last blog ..It Works- =-.

  55. Hoping you feel better feels like not enough, though I do hope that good health wings its way to you. Maybe the Lucy treatment will works its magic and you’ll feel back to 100% in no time.
    .-= Seanna Lea´s last blog ..Tuesday- =-.

  56. michele says:

    Take care and thanks for all you do!! You’re amazingly talented (as is Lucy in relaxing).

  57. Unfortunate that you are having to cancel future travel/teach plans, learned several new things when you came to Charlotte Yarns and will miss any near future experiences for more of your wisdom, also thanks for answering my question about shawl/shawlette, love the new pattern, especially displayed on Gwendolyn and will add it to the list of TBK’s which always seems to be growing. Hope the medical folk can do their magic quickly

  58. I love the color blue in your beautiful shawlette.

    The rest of this comment is totally off subject of your blog post: Have you heard the rumor that Verizon plans to start selling i-Phones in January? If I remember right you are a Verizon fan.

  59. Susanne says:

    Can’t wait for the pattern on this one! Gorgeous. Sorry you are having health issues, hoping that staying home with your “assistant” and KOARC will help.

  60. Beautiful Shawl. I also appreciate the hard work Lucy does for you. I mean, shawl holder-downer and a nurse!!?? Well, she certainly is a trooper. I completely understand why she would need frequent naps. She is Super Puss! Here’s to hoping you have good health real soon Wendy. Don’t like hearing you are not doing well. Nope, not at all. Please rest and be well.

  61. Irishwasherwoman says:

    Do take care. Wishing you all the best.

  62. Sorry to hear you’re not feeling better yet, but hopefully the rest will work its magic. Or maybe just spending more time around Lucy will do the trick ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..Head pets and a few random stories =-.

  63. Caty Bach says:

    My cat, Ivy, died last week…she was nearly 13. I will really miss her help with keeping the knitting that is drying from floating off into the air.

    Sorry, very sorry, to hear about your health! I do hope that you mend and can do more of what you like to do.

  64. Wendy, your newest creation is beautiful, and clearly, Lucy thinks so too! I do hope your good health returns, and that you’ll soon be able to do all the things that you love, and that we all appreciate so much!

  65. Hope you feel better soon!

  66. Elisa Olvera says:

    I’m very sorry to hear that you’re not well, but a good rest with needles in hand will do wonders for you! I love the Shawlette! I’ve been looking for a pattern to wear over summer dresses and was thinking of knitting a bolero, but I haven’t found the pattern that speaks to me. I wanted something light & lacy, something suitable for the hot summers here in AZ. When I saw this I realized I’ve been looking for the wrong thing. This is just what I’ve been looking for!

  67. If only we could all have a Lucy to ensure our blocking success. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    The shawl drapes beautifully–I love the shape.
    .-= The Unraveled Librarian´s last blog ..Quick Alpaca Knit =-.

  68. Hope you feel better soon. It’s a shame that KnitNation wil be without your skills.
    Please take care of yourself and thrive. We love you.

  69. Nothing to add over what everyone else has said — the shawl is beautiful, but we’d expect nothing less of you. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you get your health sorted out soon, so you’ll have the choice to travel, if you want to. Lucy, take good care of Mommy, okay?
    .-= Connie B. in Ohio´s last blog ..Nine years later =-.

  70. jo morgan says:

    Wendy, I was sorry to read that you had to cancel your travels due to health issues. Please take care of yourself and know that all of your readers’ good wishes and positive thoughts are with you. Hugs, Jo

  71. I’m so sorry you are having such a time. I hope doctor’s orders help you feel better fast!
    Our kitties are such helpful critters! *wink*

  72. The shawl is beautiful! Take care of yourself and I hope that you’re feeling better soon.

  73. Leslie F says:

    Sorry to hear that ill health is cutting into your activities. It’s rough when the mind is willing, but the body can’t get into gear to go!

    Take care. Hope the health issues don’t cut into your knitting.
    Hugs and Smiles,

  74. Hope you’re feeling better soon ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m sure time spent with Lucy and her wonderful new woodland shawl (which matches her eyes so purrrrr…fectly) will do you the world of good…. also extra time for projects and blogging ^..^

  75. So sorry you aren’t feeling well. don’t commend much anymore because we went back to dial up-so slow!!!! I’m at work now so….. mice playing or something like that!!??

  76. I’m so sorry to hear about your health problems. I hope you will be better soon.

  77. kleewong says:

    I am saddened to hear that your travel has been curtailed, but please don’t let that get you down. Your blogging and designing allow you to share your incredible gift and spirit with all of us mere disciples. Feel better!

  78. Val Champ says:

    Lovely Shawl Wendy, I am wondering if a person could put a button or 2 at the top?

    Sorry to hear that your travel plans are cancelled, sometimes its for the better. Hopefully it will give you a chance to rest, to heal and to have “quality Lucy time.”

  79. fibercrone says:

    I’ve been wondering how you were able to keep doing so much โ€” knitting, designing, traveling, teaching, writing, publishing, blogging and working full time โ€” but am glad to hear you are going to follow your doctor’s advice.

  80. Theresa in Italy says:

    Take care of yourself! Love this shawlette, have already got it in my Ravelry library.

  81. Sorry to hear you’re having to cancel your trips, Wendy! But good for your doctor, and for you, for taking care of yourself. Health is so precious, and so fleeting!

    Your new shawl is just lovely. And Lucy, as always.

  82. Barbara says:

    I love this shawl, and am adding it to my queue. Travel is so difficult, it doesn’t usually go well unless one is in top form (as the British would say!). Hoping you’ll get the pressure off and be able to do what you need to do to optimize your health.

  83. Hope that taking some travel time off will make everything better! And I love the shawl. Hopefully, I’ll get the hang of lace and can whip it up soon.

  84. Scarlettcrafty says:

    The lovely shawlette is inspiring! I’ll have to contact the Loopy Ewe soon.
    And Lucy… well, she is the BOMB- so beautiful stretched out over the sweet shawlette! I miss having a cat around the house. Soon we will have another one or two. Three dogs at present. One is kinda cat like but, not exactly- no purring, plenty of sleeping. Enjoy the blog very much! Thanks to YOU & Lucy, of course!