Friday, December 3, 2010

A Finished Project!


I finished knitting the triangular shawl that I started while visiting my father in the hospital, worked on at the Knitter’s Review Knitter’s Retreat, and finally finished last week. The shawl requires 4 skeins of Quince Tern (a fingering weight yarn that’s 75% soft wool and 25% tussah silk). It follows a simple 8-stitch pattern that is repeated for 6 rows, then offset for the next 6 rows. The edging is worked simultaneously with the body of the shawl, then incorporated into the bind-off edge to be continuous around all three sides. 

When I took the piece off the needles, I was surprised to see that the bind-off edge (which I thought would be the straight side at the top of shawl but forms the two ruffly sides in the photo below) produced a more pronounced “V” shape than the two selvedge edges (the two straighter edges in the photo). Veteran triangular shawl knitters probably know to expect this, but I was afraid that my triangular shawl would have four corners.


With a bit of a sinking feeling, I soaked the piece for 20 minutes, spun out the water, and set about blocking it. The thing about blocking lace shawls is that it’s absolutely necessary, but it’s fussy work that takes a lot of time and requires a large, empty space. My friend Lori has an entire bin of finished lace shawls (at least 20) that just need ends woven in and blocking. She says she prefers knitting lace shawls to blocking them, and after inserting blocking wires through every blessed edge stitch, I understand what she means.



Fortunately, the wires did their job—the stitches opened up beautifully and a perfect triangular shape was revealed. Unfortunately, the shawl was just too big for me to get a decent photograph, even when standing on a step stool. You’ll have to wait until Quince’s photographer Carrie Bostick takes a professional photo. This is the first project on my list of things to do for Quince & Co (see November’s post titled Back to Knitting)—it should be available from their website in a few weeks.



By the way, I still haven’t heard from Debbie, the winner of Getting Started Knitting Socks. Please, Debbie, contact me so I don’t feel like the girl who hosted a party that nobody attended!

5 comments:

Lori Gayle said...

Great looking shawl! You probably would have finished sooner if I hadn't distracted you with British TV and chai.

For the record, the bin has 18 shawls: 17 knitted and 1 woven. I have 2 on the needles, so maybe I should hold a contest when the unblocked counts gets to 20? :-)

adriene said...

Whoa... that's a lot of stitches to thread a wire through! I guess there's an advantage to knitting shawls with points, isn't there! I love the colour choice - so elegant!

cat@catbordhi.com Bordhi said...

Hello Ann---I still remember admiring your shawl-in-orogress at the Knitters Review retreat, and wondering if a photo could ever capture how beautiful the actual fabric and pattern really are. I shall keep my fingers crossed that Carrie succeeds! That yarn and your design were mesmerizing. Wish everyone could see it in person.

Virginia said...

The shawl is lovely! And yeah, blocking them is a total pain in the, well, knees, if I'm going to be completely honest.

I put on some really upbeat music that I can sing to, and commence blocking (singing, blocking, and sometimes forcibly dissuading felines from parking themselves on the shawl).

Knitfrenzy said...

I would love, love, love a copy of Knitting Green. We are building a "green" home in Missouri - totally off grid - and Knitting Green fits the theme perfectly and has oh, at least a dozen things in it I want to make! The Bike Basket Purse, the Back to Nature Hat, .........Terri in Missouri