February 22, 2007

Forest Canopy Shawl Blocking

Sock Madness begins March 10th.

This fast-approaching date is turning out to be a powerful motivator. I want to finish as many projects as possible before I throw myself into the sock competition.

I have more or less finished the Pea Pod set in Blue. The sweater is done, done. (I'll have pictures soon.) But I still need to block the hat. I've gotten fixated on my idea of using a nerf ball as a round blocking surface. I think I'm going to need to go to Toys R Us to find a suitable one. I have a Toys R Us near my house, but I'm procrastinating going because I find that store always to be a bit of a hassle.

And I have basically finished my Forest Canopy Shawl.

Here it is blocking.

Isn't it pretty?

I'll get some action shots when I unpin it and clip those ends.

I loved making this shawl. I loved it so much, I'm actually a little sad it's over. The pattern is wonderful. This was my first, triangular shawl. It was not exactly my first lace, but if feels like my first, proper, lace shawl. I should mention that this is actually the third time I've finished this pattern. But this one pictured here was the first one I started. I cast on back in November. I got going and was instantly in love with the pattern. When I decided to keep this one for myself, I put it aside and made two others as Christmas gifts for my Mom and MIL. The two I gave away were made at a larger gauge, so there were fewer pattern repeats to get them the size I wanted. But this one, I made with DK weight yarn, on size 5 needles, getting about 5 spi. I did the main pattern repeat 19 times. It has blocked out to about 62" across the wingspan and 29" down the back. That was about the barest minimum size I wanted for this. I suppose I could have done one or two more pattern repeats to get it to about 64" across. But at well over 300 stitches per row, each repeat was taking a long time and using lots of yarn. And as I said up top, I've got Sock Madness breathing down my neck. I'm going to need to wrap up in this lovely, finished shawl to knit socks!

Oh, and the yarn. I must tell you about the yarn. Gorgeous, yummy, Filatura Di Crosa Trilly. 50% Cashmere, 50% Silk. Sadly, this yarn has been discontinued. I got it at half price when Webs had it on closeout. It's all gone from Webs now, but I think there's still some out there on Ebay. It is so beautiful and soft with perfect sheen and drape. The color is a soft heathery teal color. I think it's neutral enough to wear with lots of things, but distinct enough to stand out as special. So while I'm sad to no longer be knitting this shawl, I'm thrilled to pieces to have the FO all for me!

Between the perfect pattern and the perfect yarn, I found this shawl to be really wonderful "comfort" knitting. The pattern was simple enough to memorize, but complex enough to hold my attention. I found I could knit on it and maintain a conversation at the same time. Yet when I was working on it quietly and alone, I did not feel bored. I enjoyed watching the shawl grow and feeling the soft yarn slipping through my hands. I enthusiastically recommend both this pattern and this yarn.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about what I'm working on now.