Thursday, August 22, 2013

Finished Shawl and My Improvised Blocking Mat and Wires

Finished Shawl and My Improvised Blocking Mat and Wires
I finished my Over the Moon Shawl from my Sock Yarn Shawl book.  It went from this:
to this:
Isn't it beautiful!?  I love it!  And I can't believe I made it.  There are a few mistakes but you can't see them.  The wool is so nice and It blocked out beautifully.
I wasn't sure at first how I was going to block it as I don't have blocking wires or a blocking board.  So I improvised.  I went to Target to look in the toy aisle for the foam alphabet blocks that I'd heard some people used but I couldn't find any.  However , a few aisles over I discovered foam yoga mats that were 65" by 24".  Perfect size for my triangle shawl and the price was right; less than $20.00.
At home I had crafter's wire from my jewelry making supplies so I cut a piece 60" long.
I thread the wire thru the top of the shawl and pinned it to my yoga mat with t-pins.  The pins go easily into the mat and stay put.  Even better you can write on the mat with a pencil so I was able to mark the measurements for the shawl on it and stretch it out.

I pinned the shawl to the mat and the mat fit nicely on my craft table so I was able to leave it out to dry. 
 Fabulous!   When I was done the mat rolled up nicely to be stored away. And now my shawl looks great and I can't wait to wear it. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Shawl Frenzy

Shawl Frenzy

  I started 6 shawls and have been working on them all at the same time.  Why start so many at once?

 It all started when I bought the book:   Sock Yarn Shawls by Jen Lucas.  I want to make almost every shawl in there!  The shawls are made with sock or fingering yarn which I had a lot of leftover from my sock frenzy.  So I go to the Knitting store to buy circular needles  and I end up buying a gorgeous ball of wool/silk in oranges and browns.  But it was a little too heavy for the shawls in the sock yarn book.  Then I go looking thru my craft room and I find the Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls book by Martha Waterman.  In it there is a fabulous and easy triangular garter stitch shawl pattern perfect for that wool/silk yarn. So I cast on.  That’s one.  


Then I look thru my stash and I find lots of lovely lace weight yarns I had bought several years ago but didn’t make anything.  So I take a pretty pale lilac wool and cast on For Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Pi shawl found in Knitting Around.    I like this one because there’s no thinking, just knitting round and round with the increase rows spaced out geometrically.  Perfect for long car drives.  That’s two.

Back to the Sock Yarn Shawls:  I found a website that has wonderful sock and fingering yarns called CandySkein  .  Beautiful  dyed wools and wool /silk blends with yummy names like Grape Soda and Bananas Foster.  So I buy the Bananas Foster ( shades of yellow wool and nylon with a little brown)  and cast on  for the Over the Moon Shawl.  So pretty and  an allover patterned lace.  I work on this one when I can sit and concentrate and mark off each of the rows as I go.   That’s three.

 I also bought the Grape Soda yarn which  is wool and silk in a wonderful shiny pale purple.  I cast on  for the Ardor shawl in the sock yarn book which is garter stitch body and a lace edge, but now I’m thinking to change to the Ladybug shawl instead in the same book because it’s stockinette body with a lace edging and I thing the stockinette better shows off the yarn..  That’s four.

Then I signed up for a class at Craftsy called Shawlscapes with Stephen West.  And I’m making the Boneyard shawl which will be a thicker warmer shawl knit of some lovely wool with just 10% silk in it in Double Knitting weight.  This is another easy shawl , great for car knitting.  Since we’re driving two hours tomorrow to Rehobeth Beach , it will be perfect to work on.  That’s five.

Finally,  I started a crochet shawl in a fingering weight grey wool with pale pink in it.  The pattern can be found on Ravelry and it’s called Elise Shawl.  That’s six.

I like to have several going at once so I can explore different techniques and compare them.  I really like how quick the Elise shawl works up so I may make one for each of my daughters for Christmas.  Or maybe I’ll make them each  aBoneyard shawl cause that one works up fast too. 

That’s what I’ve been up to in July.  How about you?