21. May 2009 12:26
Especially if it's your OWN handspun!
I finished my Sunshine Shawl last evening before bed, and blocked this morning. Before blocking, I soaked the finished shawl in a bowl of lukewarm water for an hour or so. Some people like to put a drop of wool wash in the water too, apparently to help the water soak in more completely (soap makes water wetter! or so my highschool science teacher believes) Since I forgot to add the soap component, I counteracted the blunder by simply soaking this puppy longer than necessary. It's beautiful and sunny outside today here! the sun's rays made the garter stitch bumps glisten like pearls in the soaking bowl. Darn camera wasn't able to convey though.
The blocking process is always a neat transformation for me. The lumpy, bumpy, uncontrolled look of unblocked lace kindof scares me. Honestly, if you left a piece of knit lace unblocked... you might think your lace knitting skills
sucked needed more work... but after the soaking, and careful laying out, measuring, pinning, standing back and admiring - the real beauty emerges. The geometrics of the design, open areas and more densely stitched areas seem to pop right out and things flatten and elongate in ways that you could have only imagined before blocking.
It seems that the long stretches of colour lined up beautifully throughout the whole project. Gentle stretches of lime, sage, teal, blue, purple, yellow, and various shades in between. The barberpoling effect of the 2-ply yarn helped ease the colour changes, and blend the transitions between them. I think I made a wise decision choosing the larger needles for this shawl too, since my yarn is a little heavier than laceweight, more of a sock weight give or take. The blocking process really opened up the "holes" of the Yarnovers and made the ripples stand out nicely.
I must admit, I am overly impressed and satisfied with myself today. Not to toot my own horn, but I LOVE working with the yarn I have spun. I'm not sure if its the fact that I have such high stakes in it... aka carded, drafted, spun, drooled, plied, skeined, knit... or if it's just that I am not used to working with such interesting and unique products. (Handspun vs Bernat? c'mon you gotta be kidding here!) It seems that I become very attached to the projects I am making lately too. Mark asked me last night if I was going to sell the "Sunshine" shawl, and honestly I'm not sure I would be able to get enough for it to equal how much I love it. True, I probably won't wear it myself, and I'm not sure I have the strength to give it away yet, but selling it? I will have to think about that one. Honestly, if I keep producing homemade goods at the same rate as the last few years, our home will be brimming! But I'm not sure I am willing to part with any of the stuff yet either. crafty packrat.
When Sunshine finally dries and I can peel her off the bed... I will try and take a few more pictures!