Thursday, August 18, 2016

Blocking Magic, Stash Enhancement, and Schmutz

Even though blocking takes away from my knitting/spinning time, I love the magic that it works. When the shawl was finished on Tuesday, it looked okay, but it was still a bit lumpy-bumpy and definitely didn't have the drape I wanted. Blocking fixed that. I wasn't even super aggressive in my pinning, either. I ran a couple of blocking wires through the top edge, pinned the two sides and the middle, and then pinned out the bottom edge along either side of the center by putting a yardstick in line with the side and center pins and pulling the fabric out to meet it. After drying overnight, the shawl finally had the drape I was looking for.

I've still got to get real shots of this shawl, but you can see how nicely the cables opened up and the garter stitch relaxed. I'm quite pleased.

In my excitement over finishing the shawl on Tuesday, I neglected to share my stash enhancement from the weekend. In addition to the fiber that you saw on Sunday, I did pick up a little bit of yarn (I figured that there are some things I won't be able to get locally once my LYS closes, so they are acceptable additions to my stash at this point). First, I picked up two Wonderland Yarns mini skein sets to make Rainbow a Dancing Leaves Cardigan. I gave her several options and this was what she picked.

If the colors look familiar, it's because it's one of the sets I used for my Zeccola Cowl sample (though that used the sport weight version -- this is fingering).

I also bought a skein of Arne & Carlos Regia sock yarn, which I'd been meaning to try for while. It's nothing particularly fancy as far as fiber content goes, but sometimes self-patterning sock yarn makes vanilla socks much more exciting.

Finally, as soon as the shawl was off the needles, I wound up my yarn and cast on for the sample for the penultimate pattern in the collection, a cabled scarf. I am once again using Shetland from the Ross Farm, this time in a lovely moorit color.

I really love this yarn -- it's fuzzy and squishy and even makes my hands soft while I knit with it, as it still has a bit of lanolin in it. It is, however, a real farm yarn. There's quite a bit of VM in it still (most of which falls out on its own; the rest is easy to pull out), so I'm finding that I'm a bit covered in "wool schmutz" every time I knit with it. It's not a big deal to me, but I noticed yesterday after my lunch break at work that I still had some fuzz on my black t-shirt, so I suppose it's better to wear a light color when I'm knitting with this yarn!

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