My current work in progress:

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


Another Session of Qs and As

There were some good questions in yesterdays comments, so let’s address some of them here.

Debbie asked:

My question now is how do you decide when to move it to the circular needles?

This depends on the weight of the yarn you are using, needle size, and what length circular needle you are using. That’s helpful, isn’t it?

I moved my pi to a 16″ circular when I had 144 stitches, and to a 32″ circular when I had 288 stitches.

Hannah asked:

I hate to ask this, but I must. What do you do when you discover you have made a mistake or two? For example, I discovered a couple of times that I was short a stitch (probably a YO). I also discovered a couple of times that I had one stitch too many. When I got to the even rounds (all knits), I simply corrected the number of stitches I was supposed to have. Is this OK? Or are you supposed to unknit and reknit? I am wondering if you just make the correction by adding or subtracting a stitch here or there that the pattern may not look right when you are done with the entire project. I hope you tell me to just keep going and not worry!

Keep going and don’t worry! 😀

I think they way you dealt with your anomalies is a good way. Now, if you had a huge honking glaring error that jumped out at you, screaming, you might want to frog.

Barbara commented a little later:

I, like Hannah, have had a character mark or 2 and did not frog to correct since it was merely a stitch or 2 but did run into a boo-boo that was not easily fixable as I began part row 3 of the lace/part 2 so was a big girl and frogged to the start.

Yep, that’s the way to go.

And Pattie said:

Twice on row 7 of chart B I forgot a YO, didn’t find it until row 9 when I didn’t have enough sts. I dropped the sts down and knitted back up just the sections where I flubbed. I used a smaller needle and now I can’t see where the problems were.

I normally count on the plain row to be sure I have the right #-much easier to pick up the YO on the subsequent row than to do it 2-3 rows later.

For part 3 I’m using markers every 18 sts so they don’t drive me nuts!

Counting on the plain rows will keep you sane. and it’s easy to do if you are using stitch markers. Like Pattie, I am using stitch markers every 18 stitches and it is no problem to count along as I knit the plain rounds.

Jeremy said:

Usually when a stitch count is off the problem is a missed yarn over. When I come to that spot on the next round I pick up the yarn right below where the yo is supposed to be and knit it. There is a slight variation in size but not that noticeable and a lot better than frogging all the way back to the mistake.

I do this too. I do miss doing a yarn over from time to time, and it is very easy to just lift it up on the next round.

Dorothy asked:

With stitches growing in numbers and trying to keep it all straight My eyes want to give out. Where in the design is a good place to stop when you need to take a break?

I think you can take a break on any plain round. Make sure you know exactly which round you are on before putting it down.

Mary said:

I have read that superwash does not hold its shape after being blocked but bounces back to whatever it was beforehand and so is not a good choice for lace. Madeline Tosh Light is a superwash, so I am assuming that may not be true when choosing yarn for a shawl.

This is not my experience. I’ve made many shawls from superwash wool and they have all kept their shape beautifully after blocking. My swatch that I knit from the Madelinetosh Light Fingering has not changed at all in the almost two weeks since I blocked it.

Lucy is still keeping an eye on her fuzzy rat.


  1. Oh, so nice to see what multiple rounds of part 3 are going to look like! Very nice.
    I’ve found that counting on the knit rows has worked well. I missed several yarn overs in part 1, and just picked up the running thread and now couldn’t find them if I tried.

  2. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all of our questions. I sure do appreciate it.

  3. I just knit a sweater in Madelinetosh Light, and while it’s more slippery than non-superwash wool, I kind of have doubts as to how washable it really is. The fiber will definitely felt a little when they rub against each other as you pull the yarn from the ball, for example. In my experience, fingering-weight yarns that are supposed to be superwash but have this sort of quality tend to block out fine in lace shawls. And you wouldn’t want to machine-wash your lace shawls anyway.
    .-= Anisa´s last blog ..Sleepy Monkey =-.

  4. Aussie Rosemary says:

    Thank you for your detailed answers. A lot of interesting stuff.

  5. What woudl Lucy do without the rat? I hope you have a “backup rat” just in case!

  6. I wanted to comment on the superwash issue…I have shawls that I do in superwash (sock yarn, just about all) do eventually shrink up a bit. They just need to be restretched, however, I have a non superwash need restretching too. Now the amount of time would be many months (if not a year or more), that it takes to not be as crisp as freshly blocked…. 😀

  7. My experience is that if you put a damp cloth (I use a sheet or pillowcase depending on the size of my shawl) over the blocked and dried shawl, then iron with no steam on the highest setting until the cloth is dry, that it “kills” the superwash and actually keeps the block much better than just blocking itself (although I haven’t noticed a huge bounce back from shawls I haven’t done this way).

  8. Great Q & A, Wendy. Thanks for answering my question. Now another one on the same issue. I did switch needles when I got to 144, but the shortest I have of the size I’m using is 29″. So, I’m struggling until I get to the 288, hopefully today. My longest are 39″. Will that be long enough to get to the end of the shawl, comfortably, or should I be looking around for something longer? How long?
    .-= Debbie´s last blog ..Shawl progress =-.

  9. awesome q&a as always – one more question for you – if you were to do extra repeats in any given section, how many would you do to make it uniform to the other sections? Not that I’m going to do so, just being curious 🙂
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..And So It Shall Be Knit =-.

  10. About needle length–I just finished knitting a border on shawl with 852 stitches and used a 32″ needle (4.5 mm with fingering yarn)!

  11. Thanks for the help; this is great.

  12. Thank you so much for this design. It has been so easy to follow and even works in cars and trains for ease of knitting. I am getting my courage up to do either EZ’s original or Jerod Flood’s shawls. Thank you again. cecilia

  13. I have learned that when knitting a long project, if you put in life line where you
    are sure they’re are no mistakes, you will always know that the mistake is after
    the life life. The life line is just a piece of yarn threaded through the needles and
    your last row without an error. It usually works for me.