Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Elven Grandmother and the Forest of Pins

My Haruni is done, and it is quite possibly the piece that has required the most number of pins for blocking I have ever done. Check out that forest of pins:

I tried to use my blocking wires to pin it out, but it just wasn't looking right. I ended up using a single pin for every single loop. Every. Single. Loop.

I also stabilized the centre with pins so that I could stretch it out symmetrically without warping the shape. It took me about two hours (with a dogwalk in between) to get it all pinned out to my satisfaction.

Now that it's all blocked out, I am truly astounded at the power of blocking, especially for lace.

You may recall what it looked like in progress:

Once it was off the needles, I ruminated about how small it looked. It looked positively tiny to me, even when I stretched it out by hand to see how tall and wide it would be. I ended up not using up the whole skein of yarn, and I bemoaned the fact that I probably could have made it larger by adding one more repeat of the first chart before moving on to the second. I sighed, and just resigned myself to the fact that I'd made a tiny shawlette.

Thank goodness the blocking proved me wrong.

I don't have any photos of me wearing it yet, since every time I go to take photos of it, I've been distracted by things like dinner, sleeping, or television, and then I run out of daylight. I do have to say that it's a fun thing to wear, and I'm pleasantly surprised at how well the leaf patterns are showing on it, even when I wear it against my grey coat. It truly is a pattern for the variegated yarns for which I have such a weakness.

Speaking of, I'm totally in love with the yarn that I'm using for my new project. I loved it before, but when I wound it into a yarn cake, I was particularly smitten:

This is the skein of Pagewood Farm's Alyeska 5 in Fabulous Fall I got on my last trip to L.A., a wool/cashmere blend. It's not just the colours that have me going, but I think the cashmere is giving this yarn a beautiful sheen that make the colours glow. It's been such a pleasure to knit with so far.

I only have one skein of this stuff (it was pricey), but I think it'll be perfect for Etta, a slouchy hat that is simple enough to knit, but has lace bands every so often to keep it interesting and to break up the colours a bit. I can't find a photo to link to right now, but you can be sure it's lovely, and it'll be my first foray into the world of berets and slouchy hats.

The weather has been really cold the last few weeks, and it's given me the perfect excuse to knit up all my thicker yarns. It's somewhat stressful, because I want to be able to give these thicker knits a bit of wear before the weather gets warmer. I might be one of the few people who is really not minding the weather right now... but it's best not to say so around here, because most are totally sick of the frigid conditions.

And if it gets warmer? Well, then... it just means I have lots more springtime lace projects to get working on. And you know what that means?

It means I better go out and buy some more pins.

5 comments:

  1. Heheh, love the word "shawlette".

    And that's incredible! I now understand the power of blocking myself, despite hearing you talk about it on many an occasion. Awesome!

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  2. Yeah, it's still technically a shawlette, since it wouldn't really work to keep me as warm as a shawl would (which would be big enough to wrap around me like a coat), but it's waaaaay bigger than I thought it was going to be, for sure!

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  3. Wow your grandmother is beautiful! I like how you block it to curve. As with all your shawls/shawlettes it is gorgeous.

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  4. Thanks! It actually seemed to block naturally into a curve. I think you can actually force it to have a straight edge, but I just went with what the shawl wanted to do!

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  5. how pretty! it has blocked out wonderfully!

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