Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Yes, I do knit

Okay, so I haven't posted any knitting in a while. I swear I have been knitting daily. Really. I'm not kidding you.

Posting here -- well, that's another thing. I've got a few baby gifts in the works that I can't show just yet because they are gifts.

Then there's the hanky I posted last week. That's for a wedding coming up, but it's not really a surprise.

Then there's the sweater I made for Teva Durham's next book. That's a secret project I cannot share; but it's lacy. That's all I can tell you!

However, I have no excuse for not posting about this shawl sooner. My knitting pal Bill was going to visit his daughter. He's a great costumer and knows quite a bit about knitting, but he didn't think he would be able to complete this shawl in time to bring it as a gift for her birthday.

At first I was a little hesitant about the woolly yarn, but Bill loved the color and thought it would be perfect for his daughter. Also, he thought she would appreciate a warmer shawl.

He was right. It just goes to show, a good design is a good design. The Paisley Long Shawl looks great in laceweight linen or in heavier wool. It's a winner, either way, in my book.
It took me a little over a month complete it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

More Hanky Panky

I finished this hanky for my friend's daughter who is getting married in a few weeks. The edging is in natural silk to match the silk shawl she will wear.

The hanky blank is hemstitched: it has holes stitched all around the hem, making it easy to add edging.

The pattern is from an old crochet book. It was designed as a fancy doily edging, but my friend wanted something dramatic, scalloped and elegant, and this fit the criteria.

I had to do a little calculating to make the edging fit this smaller square piece.

I used a size 6 steel crochet needle and the fine Henry's Attic undyed two-ply silk. The silk is fine enough to use with this hanky. However, even finer cotton cordonnet (size 30 or finer) would be a more traditional medium.

For blocking, I washed the hanky in cool water with a drop of soap and then rinsed. I anchored each hanky corner in place on my blocking board with pins and pinned out every single little picot point.

After letting it dry completely overnight, I unpinned it, gave it a light spray starch and steam ironed it gently. I also steamed in the quarter folds to make it lay nicely.

Before storing, it's a good idea to repeat the blocking process but omit the starch, as it would cause yellowing with age.

I was certainly channeling my great grandmother while I was making this!