Winding up Wednesday: The Sacre Couer Shawl by Nim Teasdale 

This past week I made the Sacre Couer shawl by Nim Teasdale. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry. I actually started this shawl in August,  but lacking yarn, I had to make it a spinning project before it could continue as a knitting project.

Week before last I finally got around to spinning up enough yarn to finish my little shawllette. When I sat down to finish I discovered a dropped stitch that wasn’t easily corrected.  I also decided to change the colorway. So, I embraced my inner Kermit and frogged the whole thing, and bought some beads. This is my first beaded project. 

The pattern 

The pattern is very flexible. It’s designed to make anything from a small shawllette or scarf to a full cuddle up with a throw sized shawl. Since this piece was always destined for the Etsy shop, I decided on a shawllette / scarf size. 

There are two options for the cast on. The first is a garter tab, which is not my style. The second is to cast on nine stitches. So, me and the Old Norwegian cast on got busy. The beginning section sets up the correct number of stitches to begin knitting the Arch Lace section. This is one area where the shawl is flexible. I like the fact there is a chart of how many set up stitches you need before knitting the first lace chart. It took the math out, and that’s always nice. 

The Arch Lace section was easy to knit through while watching a documentary on the christening of Edward, the Boy King. I did two complete repeats, and then the first eight rows again before moving onto the Stain Glass lace chart.

Uh? What?

And that’s where this shawl took a left turn. Well, specifically it took a left turn at a downhill gallop heading into a fence with a busted bridle at row nine. No matter how many times I knitted and frogged, I just couldn’t get it to work. It became a jumbled mess. I even frogged out the Stain Glass section twice and started again. Finally I decided to stop before building a bonfire, dancing about like a mad woman, and using the pattern instructions to light shawl and knitting needles ablaze. 

I finished out the piece to row nine, and used a 3/5 picot bind off. Then I blocked the entire piece, and breathed a happy sigh of relief. 

Good Parts and Lessons 

I really do like the way this came out. I do plan to use the pattern again, up to row nine, that is. I’m wondering if there is a misprint in the pattern. Overall, it’s well written. I printed the pattern off ages ago, so it’s very possible it’s been corrected. Or, it could just be a case of my dyslexia kicking in, which is very possible. 

It was also good to try beading. Beading definitely slows knitting down. It basically doubles the time. So, unless it’s a wedding piece, beads just aren’t happening in my studio. If you do bead work,  bless you. You’re a more patient soul than mine.

My big take away is the next time I decide to do a lace pattern I’ll use an acrylic test yarn before breaking open my handspun. Test knits aren’t just for designing. Fortunately everything turned out well and this lesson wasn’t too costly. 

Until Friday,

In all you do, craft no harm 


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Winding up Wednesday: Shawl Collar Vest by Jennifer Miller 

As mentioned in this week’s Sunday’s Sassy Stitch and Spin I made the Shawl Collar Vest by Jennifer Miller. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry, and it’s a great pattern, too. I enjoyed making the vest and it’s quickly become my new favorite around the house item.

The Yarn 

I rarely make heavier weight yarns. I enjoy working with sport and dk weight yarns the best, and frankly I enjoy size five to seven needles the best. They’re the perfect size in my hands. But occasionally I’ll do a bulky or heavy aran weight yarn. That’s exactly what I made one afternoon. 

I had texel wool laying around in my studio. It’s a short staple, maybe two inches, and it was heavy on the vm. I ran it through the picker, and then carded it up on my hand carders. I spun it slubby and squishy and then did a traditional three ply. 

I also dyed it, and didn’t like the color. So, back into the dye pot with rit navy blue and a few tightly tied places to preserve the pink it went. It’s not exactly like I wanted, but it’s a wearable color on me now.

This was another fleece most people would trash, and now I have a comfortable bed jacket! A little work goes a long way with a lower grade fleece.

The Pattern 

The pattern is actually the exciting part of this project for me. I’ve never knitted a sweater or garment other than shawls, hats, scarves, socks, and gloves. There’s something about fit, sleeves, collars, etc that intimidates me. Nevermind I can knit up Estonian lace like nobody’s business, a collar makes me think twice. When I saw this pattern I thought, “this is exactly what I need”. 

The pattern is incredibly simple. It’s all worked in ribbing, and the sizing is extremely flexible. It starts out flat to create the yolk and arm holes and then joins up into knitting ribbing in the round. All together it took maybe four hours.

I did run into one snag that’s completely on me. I did my typical backwards loop cast on. When it came to picking up stitches and keeping the ribbing lined up I ended up with a line on the inside.  I think if I had gone with a long tail cast on it would have worked out better. Oh well, next time. There will definitely be a next time. I’ll also make my vest longer next time. I didn’t have enough yarn to get a long line like I typically wear. But those are my issues, and part of the learning curve. 


As knitters we sometimes get into ruts. Oh, look, another shawl, just like the five others not being worn. Sometimes we just need to do something different, get out of the comfort zone, and be daring. Okay, we just need a new pattern that’s not too difficult. For me, this was that pattern. 

This experience has also given me a jumping off point to explore other sweater and vest patterns.  I’m seriously considering a traditional pull over sweater as a February 2018 project. 

Chunky yarn can be fun. There was something intensely gratifying about seeing so much progress in so little time. I was watching McLeod’s Daughters while knitting this, so I was knitting casually. I’ll definitely be looking to balance out my projects portfolio with these sorts of patterns in 2018.

Have a marvelous week!

In all you do, craft no harm 


P.S. I’m in no way associated with Jennifer Miller. I just REALLY enjoyed knitting this pattern!

Sunday’s Sassy Stitch and Spin: Deep Freeze

Winter has finally arrived to our little cove and driven me inside for the yearly hibernation. We aren’t expecting a day over forty degrees until March or night above freezing until April. I don’t know how our northernmost neighbors cope, but around her we snuggle in and wait. 

Oh, I’ll still be out to see my sheep, love on hens, and train my riding steer, do chores and what not, but the days spinning on the porch or knitting under the pear tree over over until late spring. I’m so looking forward to getting some serious knitting accomplished and starting the winter spinning campaign before next year’s shearing in May. So without further Adu here’s this week’s Saturday’s Sassy Stitch and Spin!


This week’s spinning Project is to finish up the Jacob ewe fleece from last week. There’s less than a pound to go. This particular ewe belongs to my neighbor at Spring Rock. She had a skin issue, and I snagged a free fleece on shearing day. I did have to heavily skirt this fleece, but I am pleased with the over all results. The fleece was divided into two portions: dark and light. The sheep is freckled, which means there are black specks throughout the cream wool. This creates a lovely heathered oatmeal yarn. I was thinking about using all of this fleece as warp, but I think part of the yarn will end up in my new socks!

I decided to card this particular fleece on my curves hand carders. The fleece is short, and even after sending it through my Little Dynamo picker it was a bit “farmish”. I found carding sorted out the majority of residual rubbish. The singles are a traditional long draw, and the final yarn is a fingerling Navajo three ply.

The black wool from this sheep is brown headed into lilac. It’s not a true lilac, yet. I think the color is lovely, and I’ll continue with the same spinning style and weight for the entire fleece.

My next spinning Project for this week is to finish up this gorgeous lilac Jacob fleece from Jackie. Jackie, a ewe, died several years ago and I’ve been putting off spinning her fleece. The white section of wool is already sitting by the loom waiting for me to finish up the warp. But the lilac, well, that’s going into something special: my current shawl project. It’s surprisingly soft, but then again she was still fairly young. I’ll be using her wool in my current knitting project.


It’s been a while since I took on a lace shawl. I found the Sacre Coeur shawl pattern on Ralvery and knew it was perfect for my next shawl project.

There are three patterns in the shawl so I decided to use three different yarns, all handspun, of course. The first is some Shetland I traded Romney for. It’s a beautiful moorit. It’s spun dk weight on a drop spindle. The Arch Lace section is some of Charlemagne Bolivar’s second fleece. It was spun on my antique wheel, Abigail, from homemade combed roving produced on my Indigo Hound hand combs. I used copper, spinach, carrot tops, some holly hocks, and coffee in an iron pot and lots of patience to concoct this color of green. I don’t think it’s a repeatable colorway.

The next section of lace will be Jackie’s lilac wool that I’m currently spinning. I am keeping a bit of it for my next color work project, but her lilac is a perfect color. I’m still debating to put on beads or not. But that’s a decision for another day.


This week I started and finished my new sweater vest! I was in the mood to make something chunky and quick. I chose to use some texel i had just laying around. The pattern is the Shawl Collar Vest on Ralvery. It’s also a free pattern. I did make the shoulder portion longer than instructed, but my shoulders and arms are pretty stout for my frame. Lifting hay bales will do that. I didn’t have enough yarn to make it as big as I’d like, but honestly, I’m very pleased. I do plan to use this pattern again, and make a few as gifts. It’s quick, easy, and the sizing is flexible. If you’re looking for an easy and satisfying sweater pattern, this is it.

Also completed this week is my new scarf. It’s just a simple lace border with plain garter stitch. It’s made from the very first fleece i ever processed. Interesting enough, this ram also ended up as the foundation ram for most of my flock. This scarf is part of a fleece study that will take several years to complete, and you will be hearing about my study periodically. But in the meantime, I’m enjoying my scarf!

That’s it for this week’s Spinning and Knitting. Don’t forget to check out our brand new podcast on YouTube that airs today and feel free to leave your current projects in the comments below!  See you next week.

In all you do, craft no harm

Moriah and the flock