My current work in progress:

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


KnitCircus Giveaway!

The Fall issue of KnitCircus went live today!

The magazine is free to read online. Subscribers have access to the full pattern collection and extra articles for each issue. You can also elect to purchase a single pattern collection for an issue. Both the one-year subscription and single pattern collection prices are very reasonable — check out the information on subscribing here.Β  You can preview the patterns in the free online version.

If you turn to page 31, you will find an article written by yours truly. πŸ˜€

I am now a regular contributor to KnitCircus — you will find an article by me in every issue.

Which leads me to a question for you all:

Are there any topics you would like me to write about in upcoming issues?

If you have any ideas for article topics, please leave them in the comments. To sweeten the deal, I am authorized by KnitCircus to give away 2 free one-year subscriptions and 5 free pattern collections from the Fall 2010 issue. I’ll have the Random Number Generator choose the winners from among the comments with article suggestions left on this post. The winners will be chosen by noon Eastern time on Sunday, August 8, so get your comments in before then, please.


Thanks for weighing in on the Great Button Dilemma. I had actually chosen which buttons to use before posting the choices yesterday, but was interested to see what you all thought. I didn’t keep a running count, but it looked like more of you preferred the Celtic buttons to the Sheep buttons. Be that as it may, the Sheep buttons, which I purchased from The Rams Horn Studio, will be going on the sweater. I’ll save the Celtic buttons, which I purchased from The Millinery, for another sweater.


In Pi shawl news, I have completed the “increase to 576 stitches” round, so things are slowing down considerably.

According to the pattern, this design takes just over 1300 yards. A skein of Wollmeise lacegarn (the yarn I am using) has over 1700 yards, so I could make this a little bigger. I’ll see what I think when I get a little further along.

In yesterday’s comments, Andi asked:

Can you offer up an easy way to start circular shawls.Β  It seems as I have 12 fingers on each hand when I try to get started and then my frustration level rises to the “throwing of the object” level.Β  Any suggestions?

This shawl starts with 9 stitches, so what I usually do is cast on 3 stitches on each of 3 dpns, using a longtail cast-on. At this point I will usually simply join and start knitting in the round.

But for whatever reason, the start of this shawl was very fiddly. So I cast on 9 stitches on 1 dpn and knit one row plain across. Then I divided the stitches over three needles, joined, and started knitting in the round.

By doing this, I had the stability of one knitted row already on the needles when I joined in the round. After joining, I started knitting what would be the wrong-side (if I were knitting back and forth) as my right side, but I rather like the look of the tiny circle with the purl bumps for the center of the shawl. If it bothered you, you could purl across your cast-on stitches so that what becomes the right side is knit.

Some tips — a circular cast-on is much easier on short dpns. If you have the little 4-inch long glove needles by all means, use them! You will also find it easier to execute on wood needles than metal needles, because the surface of the wood has more grab to it and will help to keep the stitches from sliding off.

While I have 4″ wooden needles in some sizes, the only dpns I have in the size I am using for this shawl (U.S. 6) are 8″ metal ones, so my start was extra-fiddly. Hence the knitting straight of the first row.

Lucy Sez:

“Cross-eyed? Who’s cross-eyed?”


  1. I would like to see an article on colourwork. It terrifies me yet I love the results. I have tried but my tension is always super tight, so it intrigues me when it is included in socks. They would be baby socks if I made them!
    .-= Sarah (welshmillie)´s last blog ..5 things i am grateful for sunday =-.

  2. Just caught up with the blog. Love the yarn for the pi shawl. Perfect fall colors.
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..Naughty- Naughty Sheet Music =-.

  3. I think you should create an article all about Lucy πŸ™‚

    I’ve started my circular shawls using two circs and it feels less clumsy to me, have you done that as well?
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Thirty Minutes =-.

  4. I would like to see more articles on intarsia. I love the color of the yarn you are using for the pi shawl! Stunning!

  5. I would like to see an article on the suitability of various fibers for certain projects. For instance – when might you want to choose a cotton yarn versus a wool yarn for socks? Do you just choose because the fiber would keep your feet cooler/dryer, or should consideration be given to whether it’s a lace sock versus a ribbed sock? Are threre certain manmade yarns that would be recommended for certain projects? What drawbacks do certain fibers posess that should be taken into consideration when selecting yarn for a project? That sort of thing.

  6. I agree…colorwork! I find it very intimidating!!

  7. Barb Harger says:

    I wonder if Lucy sees double? LOL Double pretty wool, now that would be something..hehe! Lace knitting, knitting all in one piece with no seams. I hate sewing seams, except maybe my top down socks’ toes!

  8. Blocking would be a cool article! Can’t wait to read the current one!
    .-= LaLa´s last blog ..Episode 19 – Where We Are Subdued =-.

  9. Along the lines of Norma’s comment – I would like to know how you can determine which type of yarn will give your the desired drap. I knit a beautiful wrap, and blocked it with no problems. I use it primarily at work where the air conditioning is arctic. The wrap was mid-thigh when I brought it in, it is now mid-shin. It has grown in length so much. Now I am thinking maybe I should not have blocked it, it would have reached the pattern measurments on its own. It’s not cotton by the way, it is merino – which is why I am so confused by how the drap has changed. I don’t think a swatch would have tipped me off either. An article on drap would really be appreciated.
    .-= Beverly Love´s last blog ..Checking In =-.

  10. Congratulations!! I’d enjoy reading your take on the process of writing a book and how you choose patterns to include and such. I know you’ve written about this but I’d like to read about knitting and how you decide what to knit as far as gifting. I struggle with that one. Thanks!

  11. Yo Beach says:

    Oh Miss Wendy, I’d read just about anything you write.

  12. I would LOVE an article explaining exactly how to alter a crew or other necked pattern into a V necked sweater. I grok the generalities, but when it comes right to it, I’m not sure how to do it.

    Looking forward to looking at the Circus.

  13. You may have done this already but I’d like to know more about how you put stitch patterns together and how your aesthetic works.

  14. Oh, I find cablework intimidating. I’ve experimented a little bit, but anything like doing a scarf, socks or a sweater with cabling means I make a different choice on pattern, sadly.

    Also, the colorway of your shawl is amazing! I have a love for orange colorways, and that is just lovely! I can’t wait to see it finished!
    .-= Lee´s last blog ..Goodies! =-.

  15. Gosh, I don’t know … I love all your writing, so I’m sure what you do will be great. Can’t wait to read the articles, but heck, a magazine would be fun on the elliptical every morning too!

    .-= Virginia O’Connor´s last blog ..Oohhh … see the new pattern search options on Ravelry! =-.

  16. I’d like some instruction on using kitchner stitch when the two pieces are not knit in stockinette. Does this make sense?

  17. I’d like to read an article about your design process for your lovely shawls. How do you choose stitch patterns for them? How do you know the math will work to make the size and design you want?

  18. I think I would like to see your take on steeking.

  19. Thank you so much for your beautiful patterns. I recently adapted your basic gusset heel into baby socks and enjoyed them very much. I have been knitting socks for several years but I love your patterns.! Could you please write an article on baby things?

  20. It would be cool to be able to follow you step by step through an entire design. Especially how/when you get to the point where you decide to frog it! (Not to jinx you, and of course you wouldn’t be able to predict when that would happen, so it might take several projects to actually show this.)

  21. Darleen G says:

    I agree with Janet B. I would love to know how you pick your lace patterns for your shawls and how you go about adjusting the lace patterns to shape the triangle and crescent shawls.

  22. Chrystal says:

    I would love to know more about converting a sock pattern that is top down to a toe up. Thanks to your wonderful books I an completely hooked on toe up. Thank you

  23. lynda hitt says:

    I’d like for you to explain how you choose the method of grafting for which item. For instance, when do you use a three needle bind off or Kitchener.

  24. I would love to read about blocking lace.

  25. I’m looking forward to reading your KnitCircus article, since I knit from charts whenever possible. A future article about socks would be great. And, thank you for the circular shawl cast on information – very helpful.

  26. Kitten With A Whiplash says:

    I would like to see a good pictorial article on stranding with more than two colors per row. How to avoid excessive bulkiness, how to keep tension, when and how to catch long floats (1 color at a time? multiple strands?), whatever else would be good to know. I’ve searched all over the web and recources are few. What’s been done in print isn’t always available. Thanks for asking and thanks for the giveaway.

  27. Hi, did you know that some bamboo skewers you find in the grocery store are pretty dang close to a size 6? (I’ve also seen some size 4 skewers) Add a razor knife and emery board (I like the ones with 4 or more grits) from the dollar store and you’ll have more 4 inch needles than you know what to do with!

  28. I’m really looking forward to reading your articles in Knit Circus.

  29. Robin May says:

    how about a basic sock heel tutorial? I am still struggling to make decent looking heels.

  30. I know you wrote 2 books about socks, but I would really like an article about gussets in toe-up socks. A lot of patterns leave that out but we run to high insteps and hubby had ankle surgery as a kid, so we can’t skip them. If it’s already in one of your books I’m sorry, but I’d like to know how to change an afterthought or short-row heel to a gussets. I like the sheep buttons better, something s little different. Would Lucy like a platonic long-distance boyfriend. I have a Siamese/tabby mix boy who could use a pen-paw. Aqua is two and we call him the little hedonist, so I suspect he would fit in perfectly with Lucy.

  31. I’m printing out your article at the moment — I’ve been having trouble making the charts from what you’ve said in the past; maybe this time I’ll get it.

  32. I would love to see an article on how to effectively photograph a knitted item (for designers and those just wanting to show off their work).

    – Maura
    .-= Maura van der Linden´s last blog ..Now Set Up to Bid on Projects =-.

  33. For those of us in warmer climates, some options to a wool shawl, particularly in the summer time. Would a cotton blend block the lace in a shawl properly, and if yes, what kind of blend? Your knowledge is so vast, I’m sure you will know :). I learn a lot from reading your blog every day. Thanks, Wendy

  34. An article about choosing a yarn that has the right kind of drape for a shawl or shawlette would be interesting.

  35. Kristin Fitzgerald says:

    I’m a novice. I’ll read anything!!!

    kristinfitzgerald (rav ID)

  36. I’d love to see an article with a little bit of knit history, perhaps some turn of the 20th century or early 20th century, from when knitting was so so popular.

  37. I tend to rewrite patterns to eliminate seams but I know that sometimes seams are needed for the fit or drape. Is there a way to tell in advance which patterns can go seamless & still look good?
    .-= PlainJane´s last blog ..Yet Another Month Gone By =-.

  38. I’d like an article on how you design your own lace and/or sock patterns. Especially focused on how you get the designs to flow and coordinate across the piece.

  39. Looking forward to your column in Knit Circus. Something on charting lace would be useful.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win a Knit Circus subscription.

  40. Your article was very good, I’ll love to see one on blocking. The sheep buttons were a good choice.
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..FO- Storms of Jupiter =-.

  41. I’d like to hear more about your thought process on designing. Where do you r ideas come from. What inspires you, etc.
    .-= Valerie´s last blog ..Sneaky sneaky =-.

  42. Blocking shawls would be an article that I would find useful

  43. I’d also love a colorwork article. I seem to do fine with fair isle, 2 colors per row. But throw in that 3rd color and I’m a mess. Especially if the 3rd color is just a stitch here or there.

  44. How about an article on chosing the right project to build skills?

  45. i would love to read something about designing especailly socks… how you come up with your stitch patterns and what not.

  46. Kathy Sue says:

    Wow, generous of KnitCircus!.I would STILL like to figure out a way to Kitchener without having a stroke. Also, designing the start of half circle or triangular shawls–how to fit it into the stitch pattern you have chosen to begin with. After I get that down, it seems the rest should be easy–you just need the right number of stitches in the following patterns, and maybe figure a way to ease between the two designs, right?

  47. Aunt Colleen says:

    I’d love to try lace but I’m afraid! Lace cast ons? Lifelines? And hints like today’s handy insights on casting on a few stitches for a circular start.

  48. Free patterns? Did you call my name?

  49. My grandmother taught me to knit and I must have been a “natural”, but I’m at a loss about how to teach my grandchildren. Any tips? What’s a good age to start them at it? (I’m thinking it has something to do with the size of the hands and dexterity….)
    .-= Jakki Mitch´s last blog ..End of the month update =-.

  50. I agree with Iris – I would love to see an example of your design process, from the very first initial steps to the finished product: how you begin with your idea, etc.
    .-= Ana in Austin, TX´s last blog ..Why I will never rule the world =-.

  51. I think I would like to see an article on blocking or possibly choosing the right sock pattern for the sock yarn (multicolors, variegates, etc.). Also, an article on converting cuff down socks to toe up would be fabulous. Thanks for the opportunity to win Knitcircus.

  52. Congratulations on the magazine article. I loved reading it. I’ve been doing charts in excel and can’t find all the symbols I’d like to use. Your article was very helpful.
    I’d like to see an article on how you match the yarn (fiber content, color, etc) to the pattern for socks. I know some yarns are better suited for certain patterns but any tips would be helpful.
    .-= SusanB-knits´s last blog ..SOCK VOTING!! Please vote =-.

  53. definitely colorwork. I have no idea how to even begin!

  54. Something about how to seam not stockinette or how to kitchener purl stitches or knit/purl patterns? It doesn’t seem to be covered very often and I would find it super-useful!
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Finished objects and the Ravelympics! =-.

  55. I would like to read about how to combine colours, resources available in the net, and also about the scary process of steeking!

  56. Wow, I loved your article in this issue. I think whatever you write about is going to be really informative and helpful, especially if it’s anything like that.
    But, since I have to come up with an idea (especially after looking through that issue…if I don’t win one of the pattern collections I think I’m going to have to buy one!), how about advice on choosing and substituting lace patterns…or maybe on how to incorporate shaping into lace.

  57. I would love to see an article on stranded knitting or how you go through the design process. Although one about the Life of Lucy could be cute πŸ™‚
    .-= Dragonfly7673´s last blog ..Little Bear =-.

  58. I loved your article on creating charts in Word, since it seems to be something we all need to know how to do!

    For future articles, I’d love it if you could cover some of the more in-depth things that go into designing, like characteristics of swatches that tell you how it should be used . (ie: your swatch is loosey-goosey, try some lace! but to make sure it doesn’t fall apart, be sure to incorporate Stich X)
    .-= Pandorasslave´s last blog ..Some more Pictures =-.

  59. I’d really like an article on simple colorwork! You’ve done such beautiful work with color in the past, it’s all so intimidating for a beginner!

    Or perhaps an article on knitting for men? Men’s patterns are sadly so limited these days!
    .-= Malika Watson´s last blog ..Baking perfect excuse for a knitting break =-.

  60. I love your article in Knitcircus #11.
    I have Word 2007 and thats a little different, but I am using your article to try to find out how to use my Word for creating charts.
    I would very much like to read more about software for designing and other more specified technical articles
    I actually made a subscription today, so dont take me in on the giveaway πŸ™‚
    .-= Ann´s last blog ..Ude godt- men hjemme……………… =-.

  61. Stacy and the rugrats says:

    I would love to read about the process when you create your shawls. How do you choose what stitch patterns you will use in each section? And do you have a formula you often use?

  62. I’d like to see an article on increasing and decreasing while keeping a pattern stitch going. I think a lot of knitters struggle with it.

  63. patricia says:

    Colorwork- stranded/Fair Isle in particular. Tthat’s the one big knitting skill I have not yet tackled.

    Lots of good suggestions- I’ll have to subscribe if I don’t win just to read all the potential great articles!

    Not you Lucy, I’m the cross-eyed one! (amblyopic left eye)

  64. I would like to know how you design shawls. You make it sound so easy!
    .-= Cathie Jones´s last blog ..On The Press =-.

  65. I think it would be great to have an article on how you design a project. You know “doodle it up”. Do you draw yourself a chart or just wing it?? Does that make sense.
    Okay, also stranded knitting too. That is another good topic. I can’t spell fair isle so I put stranded knitting – ha

  66. I’m too brain dead to come up with a suggestion today, but hope I can still be in the running for a subscription! Congrats on the new gig!

  67. Thanks for featuring this–somehow it had escaped my notice!

  68. Henrycat says:

    Would love to win a subscription or a pattern collection. I look forward to reading your articles, too. I would be interested in reading about how you design a lace shawl, what sorts of things you think about and how you choose the motifs, etc.

  69. I would love to see something on converting top down socks to toe up, customizing a sock pattern for a longer/wider foot, converting a seamed sweater to a seamless, anything on colorwork, and matching fiber types to patterns. Love your article on the charts! wouldn’t have thought of using word!

  70. I am interested in reading about how you budget your knitting time. You seem to complete so many items to my few in the same amount of time.

  71. I love the sheep buttons, so am glad you chose them. Thanks for the great hint on the CO for a circular shawl. I have had trouble with that, too. Your PI shawl looks fabulous. I have some great lace weight, so I may try it.

  72. I haven’t come across anything you’ve written that I didn’t find interesting, but I too would like more information on blocking and colorwork would be lovely also.

  73. Robin Diebold says:

    I would like to see some designing your own pattern tips

  74. Jennifer says:

    I’m a beginner too and I would think a colorwork article would be interesting too. I love the colors on your PI shawl!

  75. I would (Of course!) love to hear you talk about socks, shawls, and other things that you design, why you love to knit, and also how you approach colorwork πŸ™‚

  76. I would love an article on how to choose yarn, colors weights substituting one for the other . etc.

  77. Funny, I had just read the KnitCircus Magazine and your article and then I read your blog. I have found it a really neat magazine. I would like more articles on designing, choosing fibers, blocking, and finishing. Anything you write makes it sound so easy.

  78. I agree with some of the previous suggestions for articles on how you design your shawls, blocking lace, and how you decide which yarn would be the best choice for a specific project. The one thing I struggle the most with is sizing (which is why I don’t knit much in the way of sweaters and such) because I never know what size to make–I am invariably in between two sizes and can’t ever make a decision I feel good about in regards to size (even after swatching). So an article on your thought process in choosing what size to make when you get ready to knit a sweater would be interesting (at least to me).

  79. I’d enjoy an article on seaming or better yet , sweaters without seaming. I always put off seaming sweaters and it is easy to put off. Socks are so much easier!!! πŸ™‚

  80. I would like to know more about how different fibers tend to block out and change with wearing. I found out the hard way about silk growing. I know we should always block a swatch, but a large piece of clothing may behave differently than a swatch.

    I didn’t know about knitcircus. I already bought and downloaded the patterns. Great value!

  81. Irishwasherwoman says:

    I agree with the suggestion of following you throughout a design. I’d love to learn how knitted garments are constructed. I’d also like to see something of resizing patterns, especially taking something that’s made for a child and turning it into an adult garment. So many of the things that I like are child-sized. I’m jealous!

  82. RaeEllen says:

    I’d like to see you write on how you finish a project. No matter how I finish, I am rarely happy with the results. Setting in sleeves and knitted on bands are the bane of my knitting. The picture you post always look perfectly finished and tailored.

  83. Anna Housholder says:

    Yes, I would also like to see an article on intarsia.
    I would like to win a subscription of KNIT CIRCUS, THANKS for an opportunity to do so!
    I, also, have never heard of it before.

  84. Karen May says:

    Your Pi shawl is absolutely gorgeous!! I love the color of that yarn and yes, I was one of those who thought it was a cinnamon bun. Do you think you could write something about joining yarn invisibly in lace knitting. I don’t have a clue as to how to do it without anything showing! Thank you.

  85. Love the color of the pi shawl. Congrats on the column.

  86. I’m off to look at Knit Circus! Thanks for the link.

  87. Being a novice knitter (& having recently discovered the online knitting community), any articles would be of interest to me! This season’s KnitCircus is the first issue I’ve read and it looks great.

  88. I’m afraid I’m picking the wrong season for this, but I’d love to know more about the newish non-wool fibers, such as bamboo,tencel, or the soy yarns and blends containing them. Do they stretch in wearing? Are they blockable? What about dyeing, and how are they to knit with or spin?

  89. I’d like to see an article on designing lace or knitting lace.

  90. As Anne S above asked, I’d like to hear any and all thoughts that you have on lace knitting. Though you’ve been away from it for quite some time, you are also a wealth of knowledge on Swedish knitting. Something Bohus-y would be interesting.

    I’d absolutely love anything the random number generator might bestow upon me. PICK ME!

  91. Thanks for the daily day brightener. Love Lucy.

  92. Ooh, me! Pick me, random number generator! Me! lol
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Cooking in the yarnhoardin household =-.

  93. I’d like to see something on backwards knitting or colorwork. Those are on my list of skills to learn.

  94. I’d love to see more on blocking. Your blocking techniques seem to be perfect for lace especially. Love your blog and Lucy too!

  95. I, too, am terrified of Colorwork… a well-written article on it just might persuade me.
    .-= Alissa´s last blog ..NYC Day 1 =-.

  96. Buttons! Seriously, write about buttons–how you decide which is the perfect one for your project, how you attach them, and oh yeah, how to make the perfect button hole.
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Run for your lives! =-.

  97. I am constantly amazed at how quickly you complete your projects. Do you have any tips on how to knit faster?
    I also struggle with memorizing patterns. That is probably due to my lack of talent at “reading” my work. How do I look at what is on my needle and determine what I did….

  98. Great article on creating charts with Word. I do something very similar, except I use Excel. Word lets you write the whole pattern in the document with the chart.

    I’d love to see an article about designing a pattern with multiple sizes.

  99. Would love to be considered in the giveaway! So glad you chose the sheep–I love the sheep buttons! Beautiful shawl too.

  100. Anything to do with socks, designing especially, as well as colorwork, and steeking would be helpful! Thank you for this opportunity!