Thursday, April 03, 2008

We Have Shawl

Ah ha! Finally, after two weeks, we have the Dome Black Rose Forest Canopy Shawl. (That is a Forest Canopy shawl made from the Black Rose color of Kay's Dome Hill Yarn. It's finished.

Here is is before blocking, a lifeless (not very pretty) lump of shawl measuring 43" across wingspan and 23" down the spine.

Here it is after the magic of BLOCKING, measuring 66 wingspan and 31 spine.

Ta da! Done. I love it. It's going to be visiting the Knitting in the Heartland conference at Kay's booth (Dome Hill yarns) on Saturday. I'll be bringing it home Saturday night and giving it to Aunt Renee in St. Louis the next time we go back there.

Now, there's a particular knitter in our group who was asking me about blocking shawls the other day. For those who already know how, you can skip this part. But it's really easy. Heck, even I can do it!

Give It a Bath - You take your lifeless, Ugly Duckling shawl after you've finished and cast off, and you carefully and lovingly place it in your bathroom sink in some tepid water (moderately warm/lukewarm) with just a dollop of Euculan wool wash, or whatever is your favorite wool wash. I prefer NOT to use W**lite wash. I try to soak it for about 15 minutes. Then rinse with cool water.

Wrap It in a Towel - When you pull it from the sink, have a thick cushy clean towel or two to wrap it in. Avoid wringing it out - just maybe gently squeeze the water from it, but then place in it the towels and just blot it until it's damp but not WET. Then carry it, still wrapped in the towels, to your blocking area.

Lay It Out Select a smooth surface, preferably a carpeted floor, mattress or blocking board where it rest for about 24 hours. It helps to also have a yard stick or other way of measuring. Lay the shawl out flat and shape it with your hands at first, lining up the spine of the shawl in a straight line. Smooth the shawl out, especially making sure that the top of the shawl is smooth and in a straight line.

Pin It At this point, some people prefer to use blocking wires. I have a set myself that I bought for about $20 from Joanne's on sale with a coupon. The blocking wires can be helpful, especially for getting that top line straight, but honestly, I tend to just use t-pins and straight pins to pin it in place. When you are doing this, make sure you pay particular attention to pinning each scalloped edge. The photo here shows that I've actually pulled that little scalloped edging OUT so that it form a pretty point like it's supposed to. Place pins as needed to help the lacework expand but not be stretched TOO tight.

Let it Rest for about 24 Hours, or Until Dry. Then you just remove the pins and you have a finished shawl to wear and enjoy. Note that each time you wash the shawl, it's a good idea to block/pin it again in a similar way. Once you get the hang of it, the blocking is pretty easy and fast.


Kay said...

Wow, it turned out great! Don't tell me again what a slow knitter you are ;-)

Laura said...

Even unblocked, it's gorgeous! You did great!

Carol said...

WOW! That turned out great. I am really impressed. I love the color variation.

ColorJoy LynnH said...

Congratulations on your finished project. It's so cool how blocking changes lace!

Elysbeth said...

I love the colour striping, subtle yet visible. My birthday is in December if you feel the need to gift me some Dome yarn.