Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Blocking My First Shawl!

A little while back, I bought what I like to call my giganto-ball-o-yarn!  It's actually a yarn from Feza Yarn, specifically their Alp Oriental brand.  I loved the blues that this ball had on it's surface, and, judging by the tassels provided, figured that the interior colors would be spectacular as well!

I looked around at some different patterns that use this yarn, trying to decide if I wanted to make a bag or a hat or a jacket or something.  I finally settled on a 1-skein scarf pattern and got to work!  The pattern was very simple, even though I had to adjust my original number of cast-on stitches to allow for my smaller needles.  I was using size 15 needles, and yes, even those were smaller than the pattern called for!  Anyway, adjustments made, this shawl only took me about a day to knit up!  Once I had finished, I realized that, with a project like this, I needed to go ahead and sink block.  What's sink blocking, you ask?

Well, that's where you fill the sink up with tepid water and Eucalan and immerse your project.  The most important thing to remember is DO NOT AGITATE THE PROJECT.  You'll felt the yarn.  Anyway, you let it soak for at least 30 minutes, and then you drain the soap water and refill the sink with clean tepid water.  Then you let the project soak another 30 minutes or so to rinse.  You might have to do this twice.
Once that's done, you drain the water yet again carefully remove the sopping wet project from the sink, being careful not to let it hang and stretch.  Next, gently spread it out on a towel, still being careful not to felt the yarn.  Then roll it up in the towel and step on the towel to get all the excess water out.  This is also a great way to get part of your floor clean! 
Finally, you stretch your project out on a blocking surface (indoors, out of the sun) and pin it if you want to.  I spread towels over the top of my kitchen island and used that!  You let the project air dry and then you're done with blocking!
So, I'm allllmost done with this shawl!  I'm still going to add the fringe to the bottom, but that won't take long at all.  As I mentioned previously, this shawl is really more of a shoulder wrap.  I love the colors and textures in this project and am so excited to be almost finished!


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