Sunday, May 2, 2010

Here Comes the Sun

Pattern: Vernal Equinox Shawl Surprise [Ravelry link]
Yarn: Cotton-ramie blend recycled from one of my favorite sweaters, lost to a stain I couldn't get out
Yardage: best estimate, 987 yds
Needles: US 5
Size: 78" wide x 38" deep
Would I knit this pattern again? Given its size, probably not!  But the pattern itself was fairly well written, with lots of alternate instructions for customization, so I would definitely recommend it.

Because I missed this beauty during its time as a mystery KAL, I jumped at the chance to participate in a KAL for it hosted by the Lace is My Bitch 2010 group on Ravelry.  Because I have another KAL that started yesterday, I got this done a week ahead of schedule, so I may be the first one done!

The knitting itself was finished on Friday, and after I got home from work (12:30 Saturday morning) I spent nearly two hours finishing the crochet bind-off, washing, and blocking the shawl.  I'm a fan of wet-blocking, so I tried that first, even knowing it was a cotton-ramie blend--I was hoping the fact that it was mostly cotton would mean it would take to wet-blocking well.

It didn't.  By this morning, it had sprung back considerably, looking nearly as kinked and rumpled as while it was on the needles.

Lesson learned, I pinned it out dry this afternoon and proceeded to "kill" it, something I didn't even know you could do until a few weeks ago.  I set my trusty iron as high as it would go without using steam, and patiently pressed my shawl.  It worked!  It's got magnificent drape now, and there's a slight sheen to the yarn that wasn't obvious before when it was kinky.  I'm in love.

Blocking it once before, I had the opportunity to decide to try a different way the second time, and not doing it at two in the morning also made my mind a bit clearer.  I didn't like the effect of having every chain loop in the bind off pinned out, so when I redid it today, I pinned each scallop out at the center, then added one pin on each side of the center until I liked the way it looked...three wasn't enough, seven too many, but five, well, I liked five just fine.

Hooray for learning new things!   Now that I can make lace out of man-made fibers, the world of thrift shops is my oyster....

1 comment:

  1. I love taking things down and rekitting them into something better. Oh, your shawl is beautiful ! You really out did yourself on this one. I have this pattern and didn't dare join either KAL because this would probably take me forever. Nice photos too !