Thanks Jacinta, for that moniker! And thanks to all of you for the very nice comments on Inky Dinky!
At 4:00 this morning I was on my hands and knees, unpinning Inky Dinky to release it from blocking.
(Lucy was so excited. “It’s 4:00 in the morning and instead of going to work, Momma is going to spend the day playing with me, dragging those alluring long wires along the floor!”)
Inky came to work with me. This shawl is freaking huge! Here is less than half of it.
And here it is, trying to hide the mess on my desk. I think after seeing the state of my office, it was embarrassed to be associated with me..
But when it realized I had no plans to clean up, it gave up and relaxed on my office chair.
I’ll take it to KH on Wednesday evening and see if I can get two people to hold it out so I can photograph it and get the whole thing in one shot.
Yes, I do tend to be over-zealous in my blocking. I know I blocked it out a bit larger than the pattern’s stated finished dimensions. Which reminds me of a question from the comments:
When you block, do you use starch or anything to help it stay in shape? I use starch so thick on my doilys that they are stiff as a board. Can’t do that on a shawl do how does it stay stretched?
Nope, nothing. I let the item to be blocked soak in warm water with woolwash for 15 to 20 minutes, rinse it carefully with warm water, then gently squeeze out as much water as possible.
Then it gets pinned out. For Inky Dinky I used both blocking wires (to get the nice straight edges of the rectangle) and pins (to pin out each point of the edging).
I noticed that it seemed dry in a couple of hours, but I left it pinned out overnight (hence my 4:00a.m. unpinning). When I unpinned it, I noticed that it bounced back and shrunk a wee bit, but that, I think, is because I pin it out to the maximum I can when it’s wet.
Inky Dinky is 100% alpaca, which blocks and retains its shape very nicely, as does wool. Cotton does not, does it? I’ve never knitted any lace from cotton, but I wouldn’t think it would. Hence the starching of doilies, right?
Some notes about Inky Dinky:
I used three full skeins (of Cherry Tree Hill Suri Alpaca in the “java” colorway) at 437 yards each, plus less than 100 yards of the fourth skein.
It was for the most part fun and easy to knit — I just got a bit bored on the “spiderweb” sections because I had to knit the same 32 row chart a total of ten times.
A nice feature of the pattern is that the edging is knit along with the body, so when you are done, you are done. You start by knitting the bottom edging (with mitred corners), pick up stitches along the straight edge of the edging, and knit the body up from the bottom, knitting the side edgings as you go along. When you are done, you just need to knit the edging along the top edge. Virtually painless!
My new lace project is being knitted from the Gold Hill Helen’s Laces I purchased at Knit Happens last week. It’s a design I’m creating as I go along — a combination of leaf and tree motifs. Here’s an extreme close-up:
I Love Wild Fibers
Wild Fibers Magazine, that is. Have you seen it? The description on their website says:
Wild Fibers Magazine is an exciting new publication for fiber enthusiasts of all kinds. From raising cashmere goats to knitting with yak, Wild Fibers provides a comprehensive look at all levels of fiber production from around the world.
It was Audrey (I think — right, Audrey?) who mentioned it to me a month or so ago, and I immediately ordered a subscription. L-B kindly got me some back issues to read, and the first issue of my subscription, the Summer 2005 edition, arrived over the weekend.
Now, I don’t own any fiber animals (apart from Lucy), nor do I plan on acquiring a flock or a herd anytime soon. But the photos and articles make wonderful reading, and there is, of course, some knitting and spinning content. I brought my copy to work today and during lunch I read a delightful article about Pygora goats. I never knew the little critters existed before, and now I am besotted with them!
Lucy doesn’t get it.