Wednesday, April 29, 2015

It never gets old

Blocking lace, that is.

I took a single skein (550 yards) of white, lace-weight, merino wool (Monocacy, from The Knitting Boutique).

Then I knit it into Evelyn Clark's beautiful Swallowtail Shawl. The nupps went much easier after I remembered that they rhyme with soup, not cup. (That's a joke, son.) After dropping one of the five purled-together stitches repeatedly, I did some research online. The crochet hook method was appealing, but a little awkward to execute, since I am left-handed (and crochet left-handed). The method that worked best for me was to k1, yo, k1, yo, k1 into 1 st, then yarn over again and pass all 5 stitches over the yarn-over one at a time. Then the next st in the pattern is a yo. This made the purl-back rows even simpler, and I couldn’t see that my nupps looked any different for doing it that way.

When it was done, I gave it a good twenty-minute soak, rolled it in a towel, threaded it onto blocking wires, pinned them out and went away.

I love the moment when it is completely dry, I put away the pins, draw out the blocking wires, and hold it up. Magic.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Classics

I knit Flore. It was no small matter, turning this:

Knitwhits Freia Handpaints Worsted Cotton Mini Skeins

Into this:

Tina Whitmore's Flore

And now the little one has sworn off hats for life, or at least until she can choose one that her parents don't approve off. Never mind, little one, there are other hat-loving little girls in my life, and it will find a good home.

It was, in fact, part I of an experiment, to see if Flore could be made out of wool. Flore is such a difficult hat - at least it seems to have given a lot of Ravelers trouble - that I wanted to make it once strictly as written, before branching out. The last, most crucial step in the process is ironing the hat. Without it, the hat doesn't work. So the question will be, can I steam block wool enough to make the hat work without "killing" the wool. It remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, a new grandnephew put in an appearance, and I quickly turned some classic material:

into a classic blanket:

This is Diana Mathews' Sleeping Beauty Baby Blanket. I liked this pattern very much and would make another one without hesitation. It looks terrific even in unblockable acrylic!