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October, 2011

  1. Show & Tell: Blocking a Circular Shawl How-to.

    October 18, 2011 by enid

    Time flies when life keeps ya busy. I had every intention on returning sooner to post more things, but here I am few weeks later, and barely delivering on my commitments.

    One commitment I did deliver on was this beautiful piece of work.

    Vortex Shawl

    Vortex Shawl knit by Mary Sledden

    Nope. I didn’t knit that. Wish I had it was absolutely gorgeous. But I will tell you what I did do. 😀 I blocked it.

    The dreaded blocking. When I first started knitting and started attending knitting groups, I would hear this topic a lot. I thought to myself “blocking? What is this blocking?” They would talk about blocking wires, and pads, and blocking pins. Then I started to catch on. Wait! What? You mean after I knit some thing, and tuck/weave in all the ends, I’m NOT done?!? There is more? So I started to ask questions and looking up articles, and then I started to work on projects that needed that extra BAM! after I finished it. Like a scroll pattern scarf, and the Clapotis, and a Lady Eleanor. After these I thought, “I got this.”

    A month ago, a friend of mine was on the tail end of a very long casting-off process, a circular shawl. We all know what it’s like to be just at the end of a project. It seems like an eternity, and then comes the blocking. She was working on a deadline, and was dreading the task. So I volunteered. I didn’t even think twice, until I got it home and she brought the blocking wires and her mats over. Then I thought, oh boy what did I get myself into.

    But then after a good night sleep and a good idea how i was going to delicately tackle this circular giant. The plan like most projects, wet, extend, stretch evenly and let it dry. So here we go!




    I gave a good soaking in cool water and wool wash. Eucalan to be exact. I threw in a little white vinegar to set the color in since in the first rinse there was quite a bit of color run off.

    Wires in and stretched.

    The nice thing about this shawl was that it had sections. The sections were small enough, that I ran the wires along each section and pinned them out.

    Admiring the stitches

    Pulling it taught, but not too much. We don’t it to rip apart. The project was big enough that I took a water bottle and tiny cap full of eucalan, and spritzed the piece as I went along and then again sprayed the whole thing after everything was in place.

    I turned the ceiling fan on and waited and admired. By the time my girlfriend was done with work at the office, Vortex was done drying and ready for pick up.

    Pattern:  Vortex Shawl by Kristina McCurley

    : US 7 – 4.5 mm
    3.75 skeins = 870.0 yards (795.5m)
    :  she threw a brick