Friday, July 25, 2008

Sea At Sunset Complete

My first ever lace project is off the needles, blocked and complete!

Pattern:Seascape by Kieran Foley
Yarn: Gossamer from Knitpicks (Discontinued), 100% Merino Wool, Just over 1 skein
Needles: Knitpicks Options Harmony Interchangeable Needles, Size 4.

I didn't do a gauge swatch on this project (will I ever learn?). If I had, I would have probably gone up one size on the needles. Come to think of it, I think it is going to be my new policy to start one size larger and swatch since it is apparent that I am a tight knitter.

Seascape Complete 1

In addition to being my first lace knitting attempt, it was also my first excursion into the world of blocking my knitting. Up until now, I had not knit much that deserved blocking except socks. But I have read and seen pictures of what blocking does to a knitted lace project and I wanted to try it for myself.

I started out by gathering all my supplies and equipment.

Blocking Seascape 2

Lace Blocking equipment-
Foam Board
Wool Wash
1/16" Welding Wire, 3 ft
measuring tape
quilting rulers

Next, I gave my lace a bath in a basin using tepid water and wool wash. I let that soak for about 30 minutes and then gently removed it from the basin and laid it flat on a towel. I folded the towel over the lace and walked on it to extract any excess water, since you want it to be damp and not dripping.

Blocking Seascape 3

After the water was extracted, I placed the lace on top of the foam boards. Next I stringed the welding wires through the four edges of the lace. This took longer than expected since I had not filed the points of the wire. Patricia says to buy jeweler's files, but I was lazy and I paid for it with my time. The project actually dried in the time it took me to string the lace.

Blocking Seascape 4

After all the edges were strung I had to mist the project with water to re moisten it. I then began stretching the lace out. This was fun to see the Yarn Overs open up and the pattern emerge even more than it had before. I pinned the wires in place using the t-pins and went to bed. In the morning it was dry and I unpinned and removed the wires. I was amazed at how light it felt.

Blocking Seascape 7

A note about the pinning surface I selected. I selected craft foam boards since I could easily pin into them with the t-pins. An unforeseen thing happened with these and I would not recommend using them or use them again. When they get wet, they curl up. It worked out ok but I will definitely get something more durable before I try lace blocking again.

1 comment:

brownII2 said...

I'm not much for the color purple, but this is a lovely stole! You did a fantastic job! As for the citrus yarns, (I'm not a knitter, please bear with me) perhaps you can make small bookcovers, coasters, or perhaps edge handkerchiefs with them. I have several hankys that have been edged with a rather thick strand of fiber. I'm not explaining myself very well at all, but the hankys are nice. I believe you'd have to crochet the hankys, but the effect is rather comforting. (at least to me!) By the way, I'm a friend of Patricia's, and I've known Kyle since we were kids. My name is Cathryn.