theraineysisters knitting and so much more

July 21, 2008

From Susan — Deer Readers

Filed under: Wrapped in Care — lv2knit @ 8:36 pm

I really learned a lot about deer!  You are all very knowledgeable.  Thank you, and I will never divulge if I made my DH pee in a bucket or cut off his hair :)!  Maybe the Irish Spring Soap is the easiest way to go…we’ll see!  He doesn’t have a whole lot of hair…but oldest daughter is in cosmetology school so I think we may have access to an unending supply!

Are you sitting down?  I have a finished object!  It has been so long I hardly know how to act.  I was so overwhelmed by the excitement that I immediately gave the thing away!  It was always destined for the Wrapped in Care Project.  I thought I better make at least one shawl, seeing as how shawls have been arriving from Canada and the UK!  There are at least 11 shawls so far.  I am amazed and touched at the response.  Dee — the chaplain collecting and distributing the shawls — said that when the first woman received her shawl, she wrapped herself up tight and would not let it go.  She had suffered not only the loss of her baby, but her mother as well.  She really needed a big hug and the shawl provided it.  I don’t know who will receive my shawl, but I hope she feels the warmth and care that I tried to put into every stitch.  And please check out this stunning work of art by Soo.  She designed this shawl and knitted it for Wrapped in Care — thanks, Soo!

I knitted my shawl using the Adamas Shawl pattern.  It is a very nice, basic shawl pattern.  I would recommend it highly, especially for the advanced beginner.  The instructions are both charted and written out long hand, so it will cover both preferences.  She included all RS and WS rows on the charts as well as the edge sts.  She also included the second half of the chart even though it is an exact repeat so the knitter could follow it better. 

The bad news is that I used cheap acrylic yarn so it would be “easy care” 🙁 .  I realized that I am a yarn snob for a reason.  The yarn, Caron’s Simply Soft in Country Blue, was not bad to knit with and the color was actually pretty, BUT it did not block very well because it is acrylic.  I am so used to wool and other natural fibers that block beautifully that it was a bit of a come down.  It takes as long to knit something out of crap as it does out of wondrous yarn, that it really does not pay to use crap. 

Here it is: 

It looks pretty good pinned out, but it kind of flopped when I unpinned it:

You can see that the points are mere blips!  Also, this pattern looks much prettier and more delicate in lighter weight yarn. 

So, that’s what I’ve been up to lately.  I don’t mean to focus so much on charity knitting, but it is what I have been finding myself doing the past few months, so bear with me.  I’ll be back to knitting for me again come the fall, which I hope will bring some interesting projects!

Sally will be back on line soon after dealing with a computer malfunction of epic proportions.  My knitting peeps always enjoy her posts the best (I think I’m insulted!), so I hope she returns soon.


  1. Perhaps the shawl would be even more lovely in a different yarn, but it really is lovely out of the acrylic. It will wash well, and the recipient will feel the warmth, for sure.

    Comment by twinsetellen — July 21, 2008 @ 10:23 pm

  2. Soo’s project is stunning. So is yours, but wow-it makes me want to take crochet lessons. I love the Adamas shawl. I’ve still not started mine but I will this week. Your warning about the yarn has been heard. Do you think a superwash wool/acrylic blend will block better? If not, maybe I’ll knit a traditional prayer shawl.

    Comment by rudeek — July 21, 2008 @ 10:49 pm

  3. The shawl looks beautiful! Have you considered “killing” the acrylic? Here’s a description from Donna Druchunas on blocking an acrylic shawl:
    scroll down to the bottom of the page.

    I haven’t knit lace with acrylic yarn so I’ve yet to try technique but if it works well it would be a handy trick for gifting easy-care shawls.

    Comment by Christina — July 22, 2008 @ 3:17 am

  4. I think the shawl is gorgeous, and will be so appreciated.

    Comment by Toni — July 22, 2008 @ 4:31 am

  5. Even though it did not block as you wanted it, that’s not the part that counts. The part that counts is that you knit it with compassion for someone suffering a loss. It will be more appreciated than you can possibly imagine.

    Comment by Pam/2muchfun — July 22, 2008 @ 11:13 am

  6. I had the same problem with my shawl. It made me feel like I wasn’t donating a “good” shawl.

    Comment by Monica — July 22, 2008 @ 1:14 pm

  7. Your shawl is beautiful! Have downloaded the pattern and think it will be my next one. My prayer shawl (Eunny’s Print o’ the Wave pattern) is all wrapped and ready for the post office in the morning. I used Dream in Color’s Baby yarn and it really was a dream to work with. I have seen firsthand the grief and agony these families go through (retired NICU nurse) and know the comfort these shawls will bring. Thank you for introducing me to this incredibly worthwhile cause.

    Comment by Elaine — July 22, 2008 @ 1:24 pm

  8. I love your postings as much as Sally’s! And now I’ve got to bookmark this shawl pattern for my Ravelry queue.

    Comment by Maureen — July 22, 2008 @ 1:49 pm

  9. I think you’re too hard on yourself – it’s a BEAUTIFUL piece of knitting and someone will be beyond words when they get it – if you wanted to, though, you could add a bit of crocheted trim around the edges, making the points a little more pointy… but I say it should be exactly the way it is – it’s really amazing and you should be very proud of yourself

    Comment by Kyle Kunnecke — July 22, 2008 @ 3:46 pm

  10. Lovely shawl! As Christina has pointed out, you can ‘kill’ acrylic to hold the shape of the lace permanently and it also sets a permanent drape in the FO. I regularly do this with baby blankets and little lace jumpers for kids – it works well and the moms are grateful to be able to machine wash the finished product.

    Comment by Tess — July 22, 2008 @ 5:05 pm

  11. First, I love your posts, so stop that nonsense.

    Second, I understand what you’re saying about the acrylic not holding the block and the pattern looking nicer in a laceweight yarn. However, laceweight yarns make a lacey, fragile shawl, not one you want to wrap up in. They are not substantial enough to make someone feel hugged, IMO.

    I say ya done good.

    Thank you for the post – I’m finishing up my Little Lambs afghan and was feeling like it was time for a Me project. Not quite yet, though. 🙂

    Comment by Kerry — July 22, 2008 @ 6:48 pm

  12. Susan- Au contraire- we like you both equally. How could you choose one Rainey over another?

    Someone will treasure the shawl, and the fact that it’s washable. I don’t give anything to anyone unless I’m sure they
    know how to launder and take care of it. No one understands wool anymore.

    Comment by Lorraine — July 23, 2008 @ 9:56 am

  13. Susan, Your shawl is beautiful and will be well appreciated. Love can be made out of any fiber.
    PS: I love your posts.

    Comment by Michele with one L — July 23, 2008 @ 12:25 pm

  14. The shawl is lovely, and I am sure it will be treasured — but I sympathize with your feelings about acrylic. I just used acrylic to make washable stuffed toys for the grandkids, and now I wish that I had at least used superwash merino. You are sooo right that the time investment is the same, and that is actually the greatest part of the cost.

    Comment by Astrid — July 23, 2008 @ 2:58 pm

  15. Yeah, I see what you mean about the edges not holding the shape. Honestly, people who don’t knit are not going to notice. They are going to love the color, softness, detail of the pattern (maybe?), and the fact that someone made it for them.

    I think it’s gorgeous!

    Comment by Liz — July 24, 2008 @ 10:30 am

  16. It’s lovely!!!

    Comment by Romi — July 27, 2008 @ 10:59 pm

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