theraineysisters knitting and so much more

August 8, 2008

From Sally — Premature Blocking

Filed under: Paisley Long Shawl — surly @ 9:01 am

I’ve been nervous about my Paisley Shawl. Despite reader assurances that it “blocks long,” I had a few doubts. For one thing, when I finished the first half of the shawl it was 27 inches wide and only 18 or 19 inches long. When finished, the shawl is supposed to be about 77 inches long and 29 inches wide. I’ve knit a lot of shawls and I know how much lace blocks, but the proportions seemed odd to me. So, I did a “partial block” or “block as you go.” I briefly soaked what I had knit and then did a quickie block. (As you may recall, this shawl is started in the middle on a provisional cast on; I bound off the finished half but left the provisional cast on in place when I did this block.)


It will work. Here is the partial shawl on Lucy (yes, I know — she needs some clothes. Susan keeps telling me that.)

When I finish knitting the entire thing, I’ll do a more exacting block of the entire piece. At least I now know that the knitting is not in vain.

I’ve already undone the provisional cast on and placed the shawl back on the needles so I can knit the other half:

It’s going to look very odd as I continue knitting. One half will be blocked and the other half will be a shriveled mess.

In the meantime, Susan and I are both getting very excited about our fall projects. More on that soon.

July 30, 2008

From Sally — Where in the World Have I Been?

Filed under: Paisley Long Shawl,Sally's Ode to Joy — surly @ 2:59 pm

Whew. I’m back and I finally have a computer. We went on a long drive cross-country to see my parents, my daughter (and my little assistant), and my husband’s family. Too much driving — once was definitely enough. We did have some fun along the way.

That wasn’t the most exciting part of our trip. That honor goes to suddenly coming across a tractor trailer wheel lying on its side in our lane on Interstate 80 with a huge truck in the lane next to us and a ditch on the other side. More thrills in those few seconds than in my entire paragliding. Fortunately, our car was drivable, just barely, and we made it home. Le sigh.

On the road, we saw some famous people:

More important, my hands are feeling much better and I’ve been able to do some knitting. While on the trip, I finished one of the sleeves to my Ode to Joy short cardigan (aka the Bolero).

I’m feeling a little bit unmotivated to pick up the stitches for the other sleeve. I added about two inches of length to the sleeve by doing additional rows of each color sequence starting about three inches from the top of the sleeve. (You pick up and knit from the top down.) The first one was a slo-o-o-o-w knit and I think I’m associating working on it with spending hours upon hours in the car. I need to get over it and just do it.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on the Paisley Long Shawl from Fiddlesticks Knitting. It’s a lovely piece and a relatively easy knit even though the lace is worked on both right and wrong side rows. You start in the middle of the shawl using a provisional cast on and then work your way to each end. I’m on the large set of “Paisley” patterns (on my first half of the shawl).

I’m making my shawl out of Wagtail’s 4-ply Fine Kid Mohair in Midnight Red (100 grams equals 410 yards). It’s a beautiful yarn with a nice sheen, but now that I am working on it I’m a little concerned that the color is very close to the Zephyr I used for my Peacock Shawl.

I do wonder how my shawl, which looks even more shrunken and misshapen then most unblocked lace, will ever resemble the beautiful model. Let’s cross our fingers.

P.S.Tangled Yoke: Someone asked about the bobbles on The Tangled Yoke. I’m not sure I understood your question — there are only bobbles at each end of the design as you go around the yoke. There aren’t bobbles elsewhere in the cables.

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