My current work in progress:

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


Wispy Cardi

First of all, I want to let y’all know (in case you didn’t already) that the Knitgirllls have posted Episode 24, the one they recorded last Sunday night with me and Lucy. I’m afraid Lucy rather disgraced herself. She was in a cranky mood so she just makes a brief cameo appearance at the start.

I finished up my Wispy Cardi last night.

I made some mods — I added 5 stitches of garter stitch at each front edge of the bottom section so it wouldn’t curl because I knew that would drive me nuts. Because I did that, I moved the increases to inside that garter stitch border. I also made it 3″ longer than the pattern directs.

I couldn’t really tell you what size I made. I started out making the sleeves the width of the size 42 as I wanted it to not fit too tightly, particularly since I was planning to wear it over dresses. However, according to the schematic on the pattern, the size 42 has a back width between the sleeves of 28″ so I made mine way less wide. I checked the designer’s blog for info on the sizing, here. My actual back width, measured as she described (Put your arms at their sides.  Start at the side of your left arm, then across the back of your arm, across your back, across the back of your right arm, finishing the measurement at the side of  your right arm.) is about 20″. As I mentioned in a earlier blog entry, I knit the sleeve/body in two pieces and joined then at the center back using a three-needle bind-off. I knit each side back (after you work the sleeve bind-offs) for about 11″ so I’d have a little ease.

To be honest, I don’t really like this sweater.For one thing, it is seriously frumpy looking from the back.

It’s really my own fault — I should know that a shrug with a “skirt” hanging off the bottom is going to look odd. I tried it on pre-blocking, which was a mistake. After steam-blocking it looked a little better, but I’m still not crazy about it. It accentuates the girls a bit too much for my liking. Not the look I’m going for when I dress for work. Here’s what it looks like with a dress I’d never wear it with — but happened to be what I wore today.

But I’ll try it with a few different dresses and see what I think. I may have a dress or two that it’ll work with.

I had 5 skeins of Tempted Lovely Grrl for this project, and I started a new skein for each piece of the upper body, so I wouldn’t have to join in any new yarn. Then I started another new skein when I picked up and knit the ribbing, and continued using that skein for the “skirt” of the sweater. I did use up that skein and had to join in a new one. I used less than three skeins of my yarn. Plenty of leftovers to make a shawlette, as well as a toy for Lucy, since this is her favorite yarn!

Mmmmmm . . . Pi!

Thank you all for your lovely comments about my completed Shetland Pi. I must say, this has been the easiest and most enjoyable knit-along I’ve ever done. You guys are fabulous — pat yourselves on the back, please. But only if you can do so without dropping any stitches, okay?

April had a question:

When blocking, is there an easy (or easier!) way than using so many pins? When blocking a straight-sided shawl, stretching it to size and pinning always seems to make points on the side.

Well, there’s more than one way to block a circular shawl, but in my opinion, pinning it out with eleventy-billion pins is the easiest way. Do any of you have any ideas for an easier blocking method?

Lucy sez:

I’ll take the Wispy Cardi off your hands. It would be fabulous on me. Or rather, under me.”


  1. Circular blocking wires are available from Lacis. I have some but haven’t tried them yet so I don’t know how effective they’ll be. To be honest, when I block circular shawls and such, I don’t pin them much but just stretch them out without pinning, then go back to them often and readjust them. A steam iron completes the process. It helps that my blocking board (a piece of foam insulation board) is a little sticky so the shawl stays put.

  2. I think the Wispi is beautiful.

  3. I love when Lucy says fabulous; it gets me every time.

  4. Sorry to hear the Wispi is not a success for you. I loved your Victoria cardigan and started my own after seeing your finished product so I’m doing a Victoria-Knit-After-Wendy instead of the knit-along shawl. I hope it will work as well for me. I’m halfway up the back so maybe I’ll finish it in time to wear it this winter. I’m not a fast knitter.

  5. I really enjoyed episode 24!! I especially loved seeing all your awesome sweaters♥ Even if you don’t especially like the wispi, I am sure you and Lucy will find some use for it. In the photo it looks great♥ btw..the pi is gorgeousssss♥

  6. I’m always amazed at how fast you finish your projects! I have all the supplies for a Pi shawl (thanks for the pattern!), but I decided that I have to finish a couple of projects that have been languishing before I get to start the Pi – kind of a reward system. I’m getting there!

    I hope you don’t mind my saying so, but the Wispy DOES look kind of strange from the back. Maybe it looks better in person?

  7. I’m slowly moving along on my Pi (just started section 4) but I got sidetracked by my Neck Down Cowl Collar Pullover. Your Pi is loverly! Wispy is very pretty, even if it’s not quite to your liking.

  8. Lucy, you voiced my thoughts!! When momma said she didn’t like it, I thought “Lucy will…” Wendy, I agree about the girls thing. Anyway to adjust what looks like wings at the bottom of the front? And personally, I like the back. Maybe because I really like the color of the yarn. But if you ain’t comfortable in it, you will never wear it, so just cut to the chase and give it to Lucy.

  9. It took me a while to figure out how to wear my wispy cardi (and I’m a wee bit bustier than you are, judging by your photo), but once I did, I had a hard time taking the darned thing off.

    For one thing, I made the skirt portion a lot shorter than you did, and that helped. It made it feel less frumpy and more, well, wispy.

    Maybe take a look at the way people wear theirs on Rav? (under Whisper Cardigan) That’s what sold me on knitting the thing in the first place. The way it was originally styled in Interweave Knits was really frumptastic, and I hated it. Then I saw people on Rav wearing it and adored it. Go figure.
    .-= Virginia´s last blog ..First Day of Kindergarden =-.

  10. Just knew Lucy would want you to give the wispy to her — she may have been doing mental telepathy as you made decisions about how it should turn out – just so she could have the FO — my thoughts are – love the color – would like to see the wispy from the back as you wear it – and since you won’t be looking at the back – wear it in good health.

  11. Well it looks fab on Gwendolyn!

  12. Cute! I wish I could whip out knitwear as fast as you do (hmm, maybe if I spent less time in front of the computer…)

    I love the front of the cardigan, but yeah, the back needs… something. I wonder how just the shrug part would look on its own?
    .-= Hissy Stitch´s last blog ..A textile history gem in the desert- Théâtre de la Mode at Maryhill =-.

  13. I loved the Wispy Cardi! Especially the color! Wanted to get the pattern after seeing your finished Wispy, but I agree, I think the back needs something but not sure what. Will Lucy share?

  14. re: Do any of you have any ideas for an easier blocking method?

    OK, don’t laugh, but I do this with all my crocheted doilies: after I wet them in prep for blocking, I whip them around like a pizza pie dough…that quick-stretches the stitches out real quick, and also is sorty like a spin-dry cycle in the wash machine-whips all the water out of that thing~ then I lay it flat on a towel and hand-flatten it, again, like a pizza dough~

    …the image of this happening with a circular shawl, well, what went through my mind was priceless…had to share 😀

    Wispy Cardi is lovely!
    .-= Sandra´s last blog ..Baby Rhonda Winter Socks =-.

  15. I understand what you mean about the Wispy Cardi. I wanted to knit it, but after looking at more photos, I did not think it would be a good look for me. However, I still have an odd attraction to it, but think it will pass when I find a pattern that is better suited for me.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Possibilities =-.

  16. I was going to suggest you give the frump sweater to Lucy…and she agrees!

  17. I know you are super fast! My Wispy/Featherweight got pushed to the backburner, though it might have gotten more love if I had used sock yarn rather than lace weight.
    .-= Seanna Lea´s last blog ..knitter dreams =-.

  18. I think Lucy has the right idea. Sweater knitting can be sooo frustrating, even when you know exactly what you’re doing (meaning you, not me!). I recently finished a cotton cardigan for myself, measuring the whole way, and it fits my 84 pound daughter better than it fits me (I will not disclose my weight, but for the record, I did make a size XL! What’s up with that?). Check out the Plucky Knitter’s Dark and Stormy cardi – it looks really good to me!
    .-= MicheleinMaine´s last blog ..Yarn Balls Mini Bag =-.

  19. Re: blocking straight shawls: I use dental floss. Run a very long piece down each side. Secure the top end by multiple wraps around a blocking pin. Pull the bottom of the floss very tightly and also secure. On the other side, do the same thing, only stretching for the width. Then, just a couple of pins on each side, just enough to maintain the width. All done!
    The Pi is gorgeous! And I love Lucy.

  20. You are without a doubt, the most productive knitter! Your cardi looks very nice on you from the front. Can you add an attached decorative belt to hide the waist stitches; or just remove that section and knit to match the rest of the back?
    Have you considered knitting Lucy the “celestine_sox” pattern (free from Berroco or e-mail me and I’ll forward the pattern) with her favorite yarn. It’s a 10 pointed star and would be great filled with fiber and catnip.

  21. The cardi looks fantastic from the front but I agrree the back looks a little off. I had planned to make this but now I don’t know. Lucy is looking so cute!! The colour is gorgeous and from what I can see looks great on you as well.

  22. Courtney Neuschwander says:

    I’ve a few friends that block their circular shawls by folding them in half over a blocking wire and pinning out the half circle. It’s half as many pins to work with because you can pin through two layers at once, and it doesn’t take up quite as much space.

  23. April Phillips says:

    Wow – I love the comments on how you block your pieces, everybody! And Elaine – what a great idea, using dental floss to block straight pieces. I will definitely be using that one in the future! Thanks!

  24. Phyllis D. Wright says:

    Thanks so much Wendy for the post about the Knit Girllls Weekend in DC. I was under the weather all week with a cold and it turn out to be the pick me up I needed to get start on my weekend knitting. I starting knitting and felt like I was there with three new friends. I’ll be spending the next 23 nights catching up one the past episodes. Thanks again ladies I loved it.