Sunday, April 27, 2008

Shawl Status

Ever since finishing the Flower Basket Shawl I have been working on the Icarus which I plan on wearing to the wedding on May 31st. It's been pretty slow going since I've been under a lot of life pressure. There's been stress at work, but mostly we have been spending all of our time searching for a new place to live. Last week we finally found a place and put down the deposit. We've spent some of the past 2 days packing boxes to move to the new place, and the rest of this month and into May we're going to be packing more, moving, and unpacking. So all of this means less time to spend knitting. Hopefully I'll still manage to get the shawl done in time for the wedding, and not blocking it the night before the wedding!

I wore the flower basket shawl to the bridal shower, and it was a hit! People were impressed and it was very comfy and fun to wear. I've gotten a lot of compliments on the shawl, and it makes me pretty proud that my first lace at this gauge was received so well! The Icarus is being knit at an even finer lace weight, so hopefully it will come out just as nice and be just as impressive.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Flower Basket Shawl

Over due post! Last week (April 14th) I finished the Flower Basket Shawl. Usually, I do a sewn bind off because it leaves the edge nice and loose, which is what I wanted with this. However, binging off some multi-hundred stitches this way is less than efficient, so I did a regular I don't know what to call it bind off, and went up 2 needles sizes. All proud of my finished shawl, I spread it's ruffly self on the bed to take a pre-blocked picture and measurements, and then threw it in a sink full of water and Soak for 15 minutes before pulling it out, squishing it in a towel, and attempting to block it on the floor. I pulled out my blocking wires for the first time (yai!) however it was not a successful block. In the time it took me to try pinning, undoing, repinning, and readjusting, the whole thing dried, and I was still not getting the pretty little peaks that were supposed to be there. It took me maybe an hour and rug burns on both knees to decide that maybe I needed to undo the bind off, and redo it with a much looser one. I stayed up late picking the stitches apart (which probably took another hour) and then redid a nicer bind off. Really now, who among us has not ever stayed up late just trying to do one more row, get past this one part, or finish the whole thing because "I'm so close!!" Even before re-blocking, I could tell that this new bind off was going to be a lot more successful.

The lesson I learned this time was that blocking and getting the peaks works MUCH better if you bind off correctly. It also takes less than 1/4 the time to do. Don't make the same mistake twice. I'm pleased with this, although because "it's only a shawl" I didn't do a gauge swatch, so when I took it off the needles, I didn't know how big it would be. Jon said it looked like a cape. This instantly led my mind down the lines of purple-flower Bat Girl!! I didn't say it out loud, but the image is still there and amuses the crap out of me.

Onto the pictures!


Closeup of blocked detail:

Showing the back being worn just before the shower:

And a side view to see the belly... oh, and the shawl!