Monday, May 27, 2013

Evenstar with Blocking Notes

This is Evenstar, a shawl designed by Susan Pandorf.  The yarn is Findley, by Juniper Moon Farm, and I used a size US4 needle.  I first used Findley to knit the baby afghan sample for Tanis Gray on the cover of the first Findley pattern book. The yarn is one of my favorite laceweights.  The wide variety of colors and the yardage are excellent.  I used over 3,000 glass Miyuke seed beads in the edging, knit perpendicularly, joined to the body of the shawl on every other row.

The overall size is 56" diameter.  It is larger than I thought it would be, but I tend to block strenuously to open up the lace.

Blocking Notes:

I soaked the shawl for a few minutes in lukewarm water and a drop of Dawn dish washing soap. I rinsed it in water of the same temperature, and squeezed out the excess water gently (no wringing). I spread it out over a towel, rolled it up like a jellyroll, then squeezed the towel as hard as I could.

I pinned it to a piece of berber carpet I keep rolled up just for blocking big lace items. To make it round, I tied a white piece of yarn to a locking stitch marker and anchored the marker to the shawl's center with a few pins. I tied a knot at the other end of the string, at about 28”, and used it as a compass. First I divided the points into four sections, and I stretched out four individual corner points to the same radius measurement. (The shawl is circular, but when you pull and pin the first four pins, it looks like a square, so I call them corners.)

Then, I pinned every other point in between the four main corner pins, using the white string to keep the same radius. I pinned the remaining points, again using the white string as a radius measurement.

After all was pinned, I adjusted a few of the pins to make sure the points looked even and removed my makeshift compass. I sprayed the whole shawl lightly with water and let it dry overnight.

The next day, when the shawl was dry, I sprayed it lightly with Niagara spray starch and let it dry for a couple of hours with the pins still in it.. I only do this if I know it’s likely I will wash and block the shawl again after using it. If it’s going to be stored, I don’t starch. Starch can cause staining and it also attracts bugs.

To store it or to transport it, I prefer rolling it around a cardboard tube. This helps prevent creases and wrinkles. For very large items, I fold them first in a tablecloth and then roll them around a tube. The whole thing can be then wrapped in tissue paper, the ends of the tissue stuffed in the holes at both ends of the tube.

1 comment:

Mereknits said...