Monday, 21 November 2011

Old stuff

There has been very little knitting these last few days and I do mean very little.  It seems as if I just get settled down to have a quiet moment and I am on the run again.  People around here are actually expecting meals.  On time.  And random water runs.  And snow to be shoveled.  

What is up with that is that Mr. Needles is home from a small surgery and scary bout of infection and so I have extra stuff to do.  These are very good things, but it all is cutting into my precious knitting time.  The whole 3 sweaters before Christmas is going to be a real challenge yet.

Since there is only so much of the Remix sweater that I can do in a day  - its less elastic fibres are messing with my hands - I'm planning to cast on for the last sweater of the group.  It is made of pencil thick yarn on larger needles so I expect the knitting is going to be speedy.  I hope that the different yarn and needles will mean that my hands feel stresses in different places and I can keep going just a little longer.  If I can do that, I might just make this puppy on time!

In lieu of actual grand knitting quantities, I have a long unfinished task to show you.  

 I had to move it from where it had lain dormant these long months.  As I picked it up, I realized it had a stong and not so pleasant odour.  It was a blend of the oil scent from its weaving designed put up with a little sheepy Eucalan on top.  Not good.

A complete and long rewash was in order.  I gave it a second good soak in some Dawn dish detergent.  A good long soak.

OK, I forgot about it for the better part of a day.  Then soaked in rinse water several times.  It now smells a little Dawn like but trust me, that is much much better than before.

I had to do it in two steps.  I ran out of pins!  I never run out of stuff like that, but I had to pull every pin to task for this mammoth job.  I obviously need more pins!

I also did not use the blocking wires. The blocking wires took so long to set up, and there wasn't enough rods to do it all in one shot.  I ran threads through the various parts of the shawl.  One set ran around the centre of the shawl and another just before  the final lace edging. The threads did the bulk of the job of opening the lace.  

Its was interesting using lines to block. The last time, when I blocked the centre of this shawl, I blocked it fairly hard.  The candle flame pattern needs a really good blocking to lie properly, but that firm blocking meant the shawl was going to be a monstrosity. It would swamp it's eventual owner.  Using the lines, I was able to control the outgrowth of the centre a little better.  It is a little smaller than before 
but the lace looks beautiful.  

It is about 65 inches by 78, still a very large shawl.  To try to block it square would be brutal on the yarn.  I simply should have knit the centre 2 repeats longer.  And that note, is going into the book.

I loved every step of this shawl and I can see me doing another for myself.  


Brendaknits said...

Laughing about the smell. Last spring, about to put away my knits, I read somewhere that a bit of Irish Spring soap would prevent moths. I slipped chunks into each bag of knits. Well - let me tell you - that soap has a distinctive smell. I know why the moths wouldn't come near it.

Sandra said...

I love seeing lace blocking. There's something about stretching out those motifs and seeing them come to life.