Yay I finished something!
To tell this story properly, I have to go back a fortnight or so to when I decided to find these mitts a new home:
I finished my Endpaper Mitts ageeees ago but never really wore them as they were a little tight on me – you can almost see it in the photo – how stretched the pattern is – doesn’t really do them justice.
So the lovely Noemie agreed to take them off my hands – but insisted I choose some yarn from her stash in exchange. So I chose this beautiful Madeline Tosh Sock yarn, in a colour called Denim. Having never used her yarn before, I was keen to try it out.
I’d already decided that I wouldn’t use it for socks. Ideally I like my “sock” yarn to have a little bit of nylon in it, or to be made of something a little sturdier than merino. I will use merino for socks, but not usually a 2-ply (although I have used Koigu for socks before). Plus I thought with the colours and skill of dyeing, it would be wasted on my feet and should belong around my neck.
A quick Twitter convo revealed that Rock and Purl was in need of a tester for a new shawl pattern. I duly offered and got cracking last Saturday lunchtime. I’d knitted about half of it by midnight, when I went to bed. On the Sunday, I got six rows into the final chart of 22 rows, but had to go to bed due to having work the next day. (Having to work sucks, doesn’t it?)
It’s really strange how some patterns just fly off the needles? This one I’m certain went super fast because there’s a choice six different charts – and by the time you start to feel like you’ve had enough of one, it’s time to move on to the next. It’s always nice seeing how the transitions between charts work too.
So by Tuesday night I was ready to bind off – I bound off using the one in the pattern and broke out the blocking wires. Now the problem with my lace knitting is that I need a super duper loose bind-off to allow me to get pointy points and due to me being an idiot, I hadn’t done that.
Cue much cursing after attempting to block shawl – I could get the top edge straight and the sides did NOT want to pin out at all.
So Wednesday night, I ripped back the bind-off, spliced in new yarn and bound off using Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. And here’s what it looked like as it was drying:
Check out my perfectly straight magical top edge:
This was my first proper occasion using the blocking wires I bought from Hulucrafts, but I am definitely a convert. Big love to the wires. (I bought this deluxe kit, but there’s a simpler one available.)
I LOVE it. The pattern as it’s written gives you instructions for both a sock and lace weight versions – and also of where to add beads in the final chart if you would like. I do wish I’d put beads on mine, but I had none suitable and I was keen to get finished. My plan is to knit another from some handspun laceweight at some point and bead that one.
Now I did use a larger needle size than the pattern called for. The pattern says to use a 3.25mm needle – but my yarn was quite a bit thicker and I like my lace very open – so I went for a 3.75mm needle. I almost went up to 4mm, but after redoing the bind-off I was left with 13g of yarn – which or may not have been enough to compensate. I’m glad I didn’t risk it – would have been awful to run out of yarn and it’s come out an amazing size.
Pre-blocking it 34″ by 17″. After blocking it grew to 46″ by 22.5″ – almost a perfect triangle – which is lovely for the symmetry of things like this.
So yeah! Pretty much a shawl in a weekend (I bet I could have done it if I’d started on Saturday morning or Friday evening) – not bad going.
And how about some obligatory outdoor shots?
You can see my Ravelry page for this project here.
Ruth will be releasing the pattern soon for charity – she has worked super hard on it and this pattern is a bit of a big deal for her in a couple of ways, so make sure you all go out and buy it!