Monday, October 7, 2019

blocking shetland

In the big push to block all of the finished yarny things I have, I got down to the last one - the Shetland shawl. Initially my thoughts trended towards putting it off some more to avoid the back breaking work of kneeling on the floor and pricking my fingers on more pins than I thought I even owned. But I persevered because I totally want to wear this thing. 

Again, I count myself lucky that I have my craft room now. I had the floor space to put together nearly every single foam board I have into a gigantic square. That's 6 feet square. In the end once I got my blocking wires in I decided that the wave edging didn't really need the meticulous shaping I was thinking of doing and that it would be just fine using only blocking wires thank you very much (indeed this is true). 

Of course the blocking really makes this design look impressive. The lace just doesn't shine the same way all squished up. It needs the magic of water and wires to really find itself. Above is the center panel fir cone motif, and below are the inner and outer border sections followed by the wave edging. I like the geometric borders more now that I see them in context. While knitting them I have to admit I wasn't too sure how it was all going to work out, especially after knitting the fun, curvy, organic center panel. The one thing that terrified me while blocking this was wondering if I had dropped a stitch somewhere while picking up the live edges for the last border. One stretch and there goes the stitch zipping out through the shawl! I'm pretty good at fixing those types of things if I drop while knitting, but this pattern is so complex I don't think I'd be able to recover. Thankfully no stitches were dropped. Phew. 

The wave motif is quite possibly the most impressive thing about the shawl aside from the size. I'm amazed at what a few well placed decreases will do. It's a for real wave. All the way around. Whaaaat. I just ran the wires through where I thought the crest of the wave was for each repeat and called it good. I was considering lots of pins to make it rounded but then I thought of how the ladies that make actual Shetland shawls stretch them out on great big wooden stretchers and decided that they probably didn't bother worrying about that kind of shaping. Also inspired by them, I did block quite aggressively, pinning out to almost 6 feet square.

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