Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Blocking time !

I cast off my Lonely Tree Shawl last night. I must have been knitting  tighter than the pattern called for since I made it through all 3 charts and a bunch of extra garter rows on only 3 balls of yarn. I thought for sure I'd use all 4. Oh well, I'm going to block it as aggressively as it will let me and we'll see what kind of size I end up with.

Here's a photo of it pre-blocking. It's a pretty small shape only 34 x16 roughly. I love the way the leaves scrunch up on one another and almost look like scales instead of leaves. I'll have to look around to see if there's actually a stitch pattern that looks like this even after blocking.

After this photo was taken, the shawl went right into the washer that was filled with COLD water and some Soak! I love this stuff. It softens up almost any wool and really helps the fibers relax. I almost always block my knits in the washer now that we have a top loader again. I fill it up on the delicate cycle then stop it. Once 15 minutes have passed I turn it onto the spin cycle and when it's done the knit is very dry without being felted. I usually don't even need to use any towels to dry it off.  It works great. I'd only caution you to make sure you shut off the washer after it fills with water, and then manually turn it to spin cycle. Otherwise if you forget and it goes through the whole wash cycle it might start to felt your knit and that would be sad for everyone!

Just out of the soak it had already grown to 46 x 18! YAY! Now it's time to test out that blocking board I showed you how to make the other day.

It looks like I need to invest in some blocking wires if I'm going to keep knitting lace shawls. I used just about every pin in my arsenal and there's nothing straight about that top edge. Good thing it won't really matter once it's being worn.  Since the fan was already out I decided to set it up to help expedite the drying time. It is amazing the difference a little air movement can make, especially on such an open knit.

I've blocked this to it's max at a whopping 57 x 28. This is a pretty huge increase from it's original size and I think it will be quite wearable this way.

This was a super enjoyable knit for me. I didn't feel stressed or annoyed with it while knitting. I enjoyed knitting the lace from the charts and I think I only see one big mistake in the lace, which doesn't even bother me. YAY! This was the first lace project I've been able to knit while watching TV! I was even able to bring it to a party and to the playground and was able to knit while talking with friends. AWESOME!

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