24 May 2010

Slow but steady

7 Small Shawls: T - 222 days and counting down.

Progress was slow today. It seemed that I was looking at this view a lot.
I have decided that the trouble really began when I tried to think out some technical issues with a foggy brain, instead of just winging it. Because, dear readers, I am apparently a knitiot savant. If I don't think about the technical side -numbers, stitch counts and the like - things just seem to come together correctly. So much for planning! :P Maybe I'll have a bit more brain tomorrow. I hope?

Shawl #2 starts with a provisional cast-on, from which both sides are knit out, and then stitches are picked up around the side. This is sort of the idea here.
And this is how far I got with it before I went to pick the boys up at swimming.
This isn't too terribly bad, considering the number of times I ripped it out because it wasn't quite right. I figured out how to disguise the half stitch offset when you pick up the stitches from the provisional cast-on and work the opposite way. Woot! I love little geeky details like that. :)

I'm farther along now, and I think it's going well. The construction of this one is a little different, and I'm not quite sure it's going to work out as envisioned, so I'm going to hedge my bets. I want to get another shawl to my test knitters as soon as possible, and if I have to rip this one out, there needs to be a back-up. So tomorrow I'm going to start swatching another design. The construction is simple, but the stitch pattern will need some serious tweaking. And it's a great excuse to use my Flamingo Pie Starry smooshy yarn.

In other news, I blocked my garter stitch Merope! First, I soaked it in my favorite wool wash, Kookaburra. I love love love the smell of the tea tree oil in it, and it almost makes blocking a pleasure!

When I block, I always soak for at least half an hour in cold water with wool wash and then squeeze as much water out as possible. Being careful to support the wet piece, I transfer it to a towel, wrap it up and walk on it to squeeze the excess water out. Works like a charm! (I admit that I love the smell of Kookaburra so much, I use the towel for showering afterwards).

I really don't enjoy blocking, in fact I avoid it for days after finishing a shawl, but I hadn't remembered how easy this one is until I actually got my blocking wires and t-pins out. This version has a reverse stockinette i-cord bind off like Brandywine, which I love for blocking!
I ran wires (mine are tig welding rod) through the tube the bind off creates and then down the sides through the points in the edging. I just placed it on a clean dry towel and pinned it to the carpet. A small shawl like this one can easily be eye-balled and tape measured for correct dimensions.
Presto! The whole process, including pinning it out, took less than 15 minutes.

The forecast for tomorrow: rain. I'm looking forward to some smooshy swatching.

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Anonymous Tangled In Blue said...

It's karma. You're designing a shawl for smooshy/starry; I have it in my stash (in several colours no less) - looking forward to this one particularly. I'm hoping one of the shawls will be a shallow triangle - my favourite shape, but the one I'm worst at designing on my own ;-)

11:06 PM  
Blogger Bonny said...

Don't you love the magic of blocking? It makes lace come alive!

Your Merope is beautiful and so is your Brandywine.

Just curious: how do you choose the names for your shawls/projects?

11:47 PM  
Blogger Laura Sue said...

So, I caved and bought the booklet. Can't wait for the patterns! Squee! Unfortunately, I don't have all that much sock yarn in my stash. What's up with that? Guess I'll have buy some......

9:03 AM  
Blogger Yarnhog said...

The picture of your notes almost made my ears bleed. I guess I'm still not a lace knitter.

It is looking lovely, though!

10:14 AM  

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