Monday, May 11, 2009

The Difference Between Cooked Noodles and Pretty Lace

OK, here's an in-progress shot of the shawl, see how it's all lumpy, bumpy... the stitches are pulling together so it's pretty small and looks messy?

That is why we let lace soak and then block it before it dries completely. Usually this is done on a foam board, with big pins and wires...

You stretch it out, pin it in place and then stretch and repin. If you want a soft block you might just stretch it once. If you want a hard block you keep stretching - first one side and then another - lace can usually stretch a LOT. Once you have it how you want it, you just let it dry. When you unpin it and take the wires out it might relax a bit, but it will still hold the shape and be pretty.

Once blocked you can see the empty space that makes lace look so nice.

Isn't it purty? :)

The shawl didn't take all of the handspun yarn, so I wanted to make something else with it. I looked around a bit and found a pattern I liked, and then did something completely different.

Not completely different I guess, but I did change a bunch for this pattern - some details are on my ravelry page.

This Mothers Day was pretty low key, but we did go on a family bike ride, since I got a new bike! I still need to put a child seat on it for the little guy - already ordered. The girls have been riding the past couple weeks to knitting time at the library (1.5 miles one way) while I've been pushing the stroller and walking. In anticipation of my riding too I thought I better get them used to carrying their own books and knitting. So we (they helped choose the colors) used my leftover Lopi and made these two backpacks.

Here's another shot of Lily's. She decided to have me make hers second, so all the bugs would be worked out of the pattern I was adapting.

I still need to sew on big toggles or buttons, but right now I clipped one of my stitch holders there and it worked fine (I just want them back sometime).

One of my birthday presents from my sweet husband was a 3 month membership to Yarn Pirate's fiber club. I got my first shipment a couple weeks ago.

It's called Sweet Pea, and it's already on my little spindle. I broke it into 16 little balls and I'm just working through them one at a time.

I'm also working on some Superwash I had ordered a while ago from The Loopy Ewe that I'm spinning up using my Spindlyn. Aside from those two spinning projects I'm down to one knit project currently.

That one knit project is my socks. I had gotten both of them past the heel (toe-up) and when I counted the cable twists they didn't match. I then compared them and figured and tried to make sense of it - undid the offending one and redid the increases and heel. I then counted - I had undone the wrong one. I then undid the other one and redid the increases and heel and they now match fine.

The other sock is just a pattern or two shorter, but now I can pick up either and just knit on them whenever. I have the four row pattern memorized, and it's very easy to tell which row I'm on. I'm just knitting until I'm a lot closer to running out of yarn (since they are using separate balls of yarn).

I'll keep working on these - but I will be starting another teddy bear and a lace scarf soon!

1 comment:

the boogeyman's wife said...

the shawl looks great - i like the blocking shots. how easy was using the wires? you've had a lot of stuff going on, it's fun to catch up on your projects.