First of all, thank you all for your comments and feedback about my new blog theme. I’m still considering it; I’m a lot more excited about this new theme without the screaming title, but I love the idea (suggested twice) that I forego the title altogether, and add one in as part of my header photo instead. I just have to figure out how. (Preferably, without having to buy any new software….)
Secondly, I have taken another brilliant piece of blog comment advice, from Jennifer, and knitted a flower to match my new shawl. I have enough yarn for another one, and with some wire threaded through to keep the petals in place and the two flowers together, I think this will be an excellent little complementary accessory.
And finally, my shawl is now at the blocking stage. I’m doing a wet block, where I wash it (very gently), squeeze it as dry as possible, and then thread wires through the edges and pin them in place. If all goes well, it yields a neat, even set of stitches and lace that maintains its (stretched) shape.
You can see here that I’ve blocked my new shawl into a semicircle, with a little ruffly garter stitch along the bottom edge that was not part of the original pattern. I know the ruffles are a little silly … but I like them, so I knit them.
For me, blocking – or the second step of the process, anyway – always brings to mind the words of the great Elizabeth Zimmerman, which I love and must share.
When far from home and wash-machine I have been known to sally into the out-of-doors with my dripping sweater in a salad basket, landing net, or pillowcase, and swing it around my head in an apparently lunatic fashion, to extract the water by centrifugal action, ending up by rolling it in several towels and even more loonily jumping on it. Anything to get rid of as much moisture as humanly possible, short of putting it in the drier. There is nothing more disheartening for a sweater than to lie in a sodden heap for any length of time. It can bring wicked thoughts of shrinking into its woolly little mind, as well as the idea of letting its colors run, just to spite you. Actually, contemporary wools are remarkably and wonderfully color-fast, but sometimes knitters are seduced by nameless bargain-wool, and then anything can happen.
Elizabeth Zimmerman, Knitting Without Tears