Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sometimes It Is Easy Being Green

With the VES behind me, knitting has slowed down chez Avrienne, but not come to a complete stop.  The reason I sped ahead of schedule on that shawl was to start a new shawl KAL on the first, and start it I did!

I love the point on circular shawls were you can just barely get it onto a circular needle instead of dpns, and when you do, it blocks itself.

But what most of my crafting time has been filled with over the past few days is this:

Napkins!  Recycled napkins!  Mother's Day gift napkins!

These are 10x6" pieces of knit fabric finished with zigzagged edges, all neatly folded and bundled up with ribbons from my ribbon stash.  I'm quite proud of my thriftiness, the only new material involved in this project was the thread!  The top two fabrics came from pajamas I was given that I didn't like so much for various reasons, but the fabric was soooo soft, so I kept them thinking I'd make something out of them someday.  The bottom three are all made from shirts of my mother's, who cleaned out her closet last week and unloaded some of the stuff on me, either to wear or to recycle.

And though I don't have a picture of this, I wrapped up the whole bundle in a very large and colorful clothing store ad that came in the mail today, and tied that up with a stash ribbon too.  I feel quite green today!

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....