13 July 2010

Killing it softly

7 Small Shawls: T - 172 days and counting down.

No, the title isn't a reference to the song contest. :) I'm just channelling 70s music again. Yikes!

So...yes! You all were correct: Movin' Out (Anthony's Song) by Billy Joel was the somewhat oblique reference. I had an :ahem: 8-track tape of The Stranger. Heh heh heh. When it died, I bought an album. A vinyl one. :) But enough of that tangent! The first reference was to Le Freak by Chic. I went on over to random.org and plugged in the number of commenters who talked about Billy Joel, and up popped A Crafty Lawyer's number!. So, my dear, you are the new owner of a Fiori di Sole pattern! I'm afraid you'll need to wait a little bit until it comes out, but nonetheless, it's your yours yours!

Back to killing it softly....

The one thing that isn't completely optimal about using sock yarn for shawls is the seriously bouncy nature of merino sock yarns (great for socks but not so great for keeping a lacy block). Even the superwash ones bounce back after I block them. You can see here that my Brandywine is plumping up instead of laying properly flat. Hmph.
So I decided to re-block and "kill" it, according to a friend's instructions. Happily, a small shawl like this is super quick and easy to block. First, I submerged it in my very favorite wool wash (Kookaburra) and let it soak through. I rolled it up in a towel and walked on it to get the extra moisture out. With larger and less delicate items, I spin them in the washer to get rid of the excess moisture. I pinned the shawl out on the floor on top of a towel and let it dry over night.
The next morning, I heated up my mother's old Rowena steam iron. And when I say steam iron, I mean steam iron. This thing packs a punch!
I pulled out an old bedspread, wet it down and spun it in the washer. It would have been easier to use a spray bottle, but all of the spray bottles had inexplicably disappeared into a alternate dimension and were never to be heard of again.

When the bedspread was just damp, I laid it over the shawl. I turned off the steam feature on the iron and just used it on its highest setting. I ironed the shawl through the spread. It sizzled. It popped. It sputtered.
When the spread was dry over the shawl, I removed it and let the shawl dry out completely and cool down. When it was thoroughly and completely dry, I unpinned it. Just look at that drape!!!
So far, so good. It hasn't bounced back yet. Fingers are crossed! One word of warning: do not do this with synthetics unless you want a melty puddle. There are other ways to kill acrylic, dear readers. (btw, did you all see Saloni's kind blog post about Brandywine? So sweet of her!)

In other news, the sekrit project is winging its way to a new home. Yay!!! More yarn for another stealth project came in today, and yarn was ordered for yet another. I'm really excited about these two projects! I cast on for the Maia fingerless mitts today. I am so thrilled to be knitting on these! I have some wholesale orders, both pin and pattern to catch up on, and I need to finish writing up the sekrit project pattern. Meanwhile, stage 1 of my summer pins & lace club shipment is going out on Thursday. Several of you have asked about signing up for next year. Although it's not open yet, I will announce it here, in my Ravelry group, and on my announcements list. I'm so excited that you all are interested! Thankfully, this weekend is not a swim meet weekend, so much catching up will be accomplished.

Lastly, here's a question for everyone: should I have a Facebook fan page or are there just so many now that they're annoying? Inquiring minds want to know. :) More tomorrow!

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Blogger Michelle said...

I, for one, don't do Facebook....

10:11 PM  
Blogger Sile Convery said...

I've had the same FB question myself. And since you go me on Twitter.....

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Helen said...

Romi I simply don't do Facebook.
Love the newly blocked Brandywine. I may redo mine! I've worn it at various shows this week, and it's been much handled by those wanting to look at the pattern.

11:58 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I say go for FB, it's a great marketing tool. Thanks for the tips on blocking sock-yarn shawls, by the way!

5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. Mine has been getting bouncier too. And I spend no time on facebook. Ravelry is more specific to where I want to be.

5:45 AM  
Blogger RoxanneZYG said...

I'd love to see your updates on Facebook if you want to - seems like a lot of knitters are over there - surprised me!

5:49 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Who has time for facebook? Too many.

5:52 AM  
Blogger Alexander the Great said...

I think that the majority of people who are interested in you and your various crafts are on Ravelry/Twitter, and I don't know how many more people you'd reach on Facebook. To me, it seems like it would just be one more thing you have to keep up with, but you could always try it and then if it's more of a hassle than it's worth, just pitch it. However, you can advertise on Facebook for pretty cheap, but again, I don't know how many people you'd reach past the people you already reach on Rav/Twit.

6:33 AM  
Blogger Ariane said...

I think you should have a FB page. Why?
1- Even more visibility
2- You can easily link your post (and the images show!)
3- People can easily add comments on your link
4- Everybody is on FB! (well... ont everybody but... you know what I mean!)
5- I would totally add you to my fanpages!

6:39 AM  
Blogger Connie said...

I don't do Facebook personally, but I've seen designers do it and I think it helps them. Just another channel for publicity. That Brandywine is lovely!

6:44 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

I need to bookmark this post so I know how to kill my shawl. Oy...how odd that sounds. LOL! Not sure, though, if my Brandywine will need it. We'll see. :-)

7:09 AM  
OpenID meshugemoo said...

No, to the FB question. Twitter pulls me in and it's so much easier to see new additions.

My Mom always thought the "steam and iron" method was called blocking. Everything she knit was steamed to within an inch of its life. LOL. Your resulting drape is just beautiful.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Ólöf said...

My goodness your stuff is amazing!

9:40 AM  
Blogger Skylark said...

Nix on Facebook for me.

Twitter - yes, love seeing you there!

9:52 AM  
Blogger Abby said...

Facebook and Twitter don't appeal to me but then I already know about you so if you think it might generate more customers, go for it.

One question about this killing thing--does it need doing each time the shawl is washed and re-blocked? I would love to knit a shawl for a friend who is dealing with a serious illness but I know she won't be blocking a shawl so if this keeps the shawl opened up after subsequent washings that would be perfect. If it doesn't last, can you suggest some other way to accomplish what I'm after? Thanks, Romi.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Yarnhog said...

I don't do Facebook myself. My 13-year-old son keeps trying to convince me to set up a page, but I just don't see the point.

I would have passed out when I heard sizzling and popping coming from a lace shawl. You are a far braver knitter than I!

11:16 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Lovely drape on the Brandywine!

As for FB - I don't think it's strictly necessary. However, you could use it as an aggregator for your blog and Twitter posts. Some people may prefer to use FB that way than checking 2 separate places? I think you can set it up to do it automatically, too, so it shouldn't be too much more work.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love facebook. Def. do it. The shawl looks beautiful.

4:25 PM  
Blogger robin said...

No to fb I find it incredibly annoying

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Madeline. said...

Lovely photo on Saloni's blog! You're as beautiful as your mother!
Brandywine is even more special "blocked to kill."

8:27 PM  
Blogger Mia said...

FB can be a tricky issue. But not every knitter is on Ravlery. Surprise!! And there are some of us who are not as active over there for many reasons. I personally got tired of the drama on many of the message boards. I go on to Rav to check out new patterns a a few message boards and that is it. I tend to spend more time on FB now. I used to be fairly active on Twitter but the outages and following too many people made me realize that I didn't need it. I know others who no longer use it. One has even deleted her Twitter account.

There are tools for FB that allow you to publish notices when your blog is updated. That would be the way to go. Ask Roxanne about how many knitters who are now over on FB. Using the tools, you can upload once and be published on FB. But you can try it for awhile and see how it goes first.

5:11 AM  
Blogger Kookaburra said...

Wow, that is beautiful! And thanks for using Kookaburra! We are glad it's your favorite too!

4:52 PM  
Blogger Anni said...

Have read about 'killing' the fabric but not tried. May try it on one of my small shawls first. Does it make the need for re-blocking less likely, ie will the blocking last longer?

9:29 AM  
Blogger Thérèse said...

I like FB pages fine - both as a fan and as a page owner. And I've just found a nifty way to offer the FB page content to folks who don't like FB, using Posterous. I post to Posterous, and it automatically posts the same content to the FB page. (My posterous page is here: http://knitfinder.posterous.com)

1:19 PM  

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