Thank you so much for all the nice comments about the Fir Cone Wrap!
This morning at “holy-crap-it’s-early o’clock” I unpinned it, pulled out the blocking wires, and released the Fir Cone Wrap from its bondage.
Here it is, being ably modeled by the lovely Gwendolyn.
I am extremely pleased with how this turned out. It’s always something of a crap-shoot knitting lace in a variegated yarn, but the simple all-over pattern seems to be just the ticket for this colorway.
The measurements pre-blocking were 18″ by 56″ and after blocking it grew to 25″ by 66″ — just about perfect for me. I like rectangular shawls to be about as long as I am tall, and I am 65″ tall, so this worked out well.
The Sea Silk blocked beautifully. I soaked it briefly in warm water with Eucalan, then gently squeezed out as much water as possible. I used blocking wires held in place with pins and blocked not too severely. Silk doesn’t have the stretch that wool does, so it didn’t block out as large as it might have if I’d made it with wool. I left it pinned out for about 16 hours. It was bone-dry when I unpinned it, and I was pleased to see that as I pulled the pins out, it didn’t bounce back to a smaller size.
To recap, this wrap was knitted from Handmaiden Sea Silk in the “Paris” colorway, on 3.75mm needles.
I’m putting the finishing touches on the pattern, and I’ll post it as a freebie tomorrow.
I have to say, Lucy was extremely “paws-on” all during the blocking process. As soon as I put the wet shawl down on the carpet, she had flung her furry little body on it. As I was threading the blocking wires through the edges, she was helpfully batting the other end of the wires. And as I pinned the wires in place, she was head-butting my hand.
In short, I couldn’t have done it without her.
Shawls for Beginners
Michelle asked me for recommendations for first shawls and yarns to use.
I think a good shawl for a lace newbie is one that doesn’t have a lot of complicated construction, like knitting on an edgiing after completing the body. So, the pattern for the Fir Cone Wrap will be a good one — the edges are simply garter stitch, knitted as you go. Other good beginner shawls are the Leaf Lace and Flower Basket Shawls, both by the extremely talented Evelyn Clark.
As for yarns . . .
For a first attempt, something heavier than laceweight. One of the nice things about the Evelyn Clark shawls I mention above is that they are written for several different weights of yarn.
If you are unwilling to make a shawl in a heavier yarn because you really want something light and airy, just go up to fingering weight. I’ve knitted a number of shawls from fingering weight wool, and they are beautifully light and airy. The Sea Silk I used for my Fir Cone Wrap is, I think, closer to fingering than laceweight.
Looking For One Perfect Button
And it doesn’t have to be the fifth element.
Okay, peeps, I’ve googled my fingers to the bone. I’m looking for a button. A button that’s 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter, to use in conjunction with a loop as the single button closure for a knitted jacket. The fabric of the jacket is handpainted purple/lavender/blue tussah silk:
I’d love something handmade, or something antique. In my mind’s eye, I see and irregularly-shaped purple shell button, or a one-of-a-kind glass button. Alternatively, an antique filigree or engraved silver button.
I’ve spent a fair amount of valuable knitting time searching for such a button, to no avail. I’ve searched eBay, and a bunch of button sources.
Do any of you know of a source for uber-cool one-of-a-kind buttons? Or do you happen to make one-of-a-kind uber-cool buttons? If so, leave me a comment!