Saturday, February 09, 2008

Blocking Day (picture intensive)

9:25 a.m.

I’m ready to block the Evolution Pi shawl. It’s soaking in a Eucalan bath at this very moment, getting all soft and squishy and nice-smelling. There’s just one small problem.

My office is too small for the shawl to be comfortably blocked. I need a minimum of six feet around. If I take all the boxes and shelving units out, I could do it, but where would I put them? I could move all the living room furniture out of the way, but again, where would I move it to?

I’m wondering if I can fold the shawl in half and block it that way? Do you think it would hurt it? Adversely affect it?

I’ll let you know what happens. *keeping my fingers crossed*

1:40 p.m.

The shawl is drying on the office floor. I did have enough room... barely. I tried blocking it folded in half, but it just didn't work very well. So, I tried it full out. It worked. It was a little cramped while trying to pin it all out, but I managed (and only pinned my finger once, badly enough to draw blood). I would have taken a picture, but the camera batteries were dead. They are now recharging.

It did not block out as large as I had anticipated, but it's still a good size. I thought it might be 6.5-7' across, but it's about 6' across. That's good, because I'm 5'4" across (arm span, that is), so it gives me plenty of width. It took almost an hour, and 98 pins, to block the shawl. It's gorgeous. Really, it is. I'm pleased with how it's looking.

So why do I not sound ecstatic? Well, I've learned a valuable lesson: when doing a spit splice, no matter how felted the yarn appears to be, make sure you make it a long enough, and very strong, splice.... or leave tails that can be woven in later. Why, you ask?

As soon as the batteries are charged, I'll show you why.



You can see how little room there was for pinning out the shawl. A couple of detail pictures:

Batwing Lace Center panel:

Vine Lace, moving outward to the Feather & Fan section:
Modified Van Dyke edging:

And then, the reason for my disappointment:



So, what happened? I had to splice the yarn at this point. Apparently, I didn't splice it very well and in the course of blocking it, the splice separated. Had I noticed it sooner, I could have blocked it a little less strenuously. However...

I do have Rena Crockett's most excellent little booklet, "Flawless Knit Repair" and will attempt to repair this shawl flawlessly. Or as best I can. I've decided that, since this is a Me shawl, it doesn't have to be perfect. The shawl itself isn't perfect (yes, there are mistakes in it.. your knitting doesn't have any???).

And here's the shawl, unpinned and draping on my ancient sofa. Other than the hole in the edging, I really am happy with this shawl. I'm seriously thinking of knitting myself another one, perfect this time. *grin*


Robbyn, there's a box of tissues on the table; no drooling on the shawl!


  1. Is that ever a lovely shawl, Ev! So sorry about the hole but I'm betting you can fix it so nobody will ever notice. Instead of a spit splice I prefer a "sewn splice" which uses a needle to stitch one end into the other (like a half-Russian) and then if it felts, give it a spit-felting too. If you make the join long enough it seems to hold pretty well, even on superwash wool.

  2. That is VERY beautiful. Such a shame about the hole, hope you manage to fix it to your satisfaction.

  3. Wat een enorm mooi en groot project. Gewoon zeer daooer dat je er aan begonnen bent en afgemaakt hebt!!
    Jammer van het gat, maar dat kun je wel maken denk ik, zo handig ben je wel.
    Echt zo ongelovelijk mooi!

  4. Ev - I hope I'm enough of a knitter to know not to drool on the shawl :)

    It is a stunning piece of work - all the more so because of that awful little hole. I know you've already fixed it - you're amazing - but I would have been so discouraged.

    Now, are you going to write up a pattern?

  5. Ev - I love it! I'm a sucker for any Pi shawl, but I think your choice of colors and patterns is excellent. I don't think I've ever seen "batwings" before - I like it. I just finished a hap shawl with F&F border and I really need to do it again so I can learn to do it correctly. (G)

  6. OH MY! That is gorgeous!

    Thanks for stopping by the blog. Don't be a stranger...


  7. Wow, that is beautiful! You really did a super job on this shawl. And I see from the more current photo that you were able to fix it. Again, wow!