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Monday, September 19, 2005

All Dressed and Ready to Go

Happy Dance!!! Birch has now been dressed (blocked) and I'm quite pleased with the result.

The photo makes it look a bit like the shawl is draped behind the horizontal bars of the towel rail but this is an illusion created by the sheerness of the Kid Silk Haze and it is actually in front.

This is the first time I've done a full immersion blocking. I was a little bit nervous about doing it at first but it was fine. I didn't have any Lavender Eucalan so I used a few drops of gentle hair conditioner in tepid water. According to Sharon Miller, a minute amount of either ph balanced baby shampoo or hair conditioner are both fine to use for the fashion knitwear but not for the heirloom items when a gentle wool wash like Eucalan is called for. After soaking it for a while, I then rinsed it in the same temperature water and wrapped it in a large towel to gently blot up a lot of the moisture.

I used my dressing wires from Heirloom Knitting for the first time. I found them a bit awkward because the sides of the shawl are of such a length that none of the wires alone were long enough and I needed to thread various combinations of longer and shorter wires through to cover the distances involved. The fact that the wires weren't one continuous length made it a bit difficult to manipulate although the rigidity of them was fantastic for making sure that I ended up with a perfect isosceles triangle! I think, next time, however, I might use fishing line like Kate did with Hyacinth or smooth yarn as per the Yarn Harlot's method. I bought a cheap king sized duvet which I'll keep especially for blocking purposes. The photo below shows Birch in the process of being blocked.

After about four hours, it was dry and I was able to take the pins out and remove the wires. I was really pleased that Birch ended up the exact measurements post blocking as stated in the pattern. It made me feel somewhat better about frogging it and restarting it on the smaller needles!

Now I'm concentrating on trying to finish some of those WIPs lest they become UFOs. I'm also awaiting with eager anticipation the Harvest Hip Knits Silk so that I can begin the autumnal clapotis.


  • At 9:23 am, Blogger Daisy said…

    Birch looks SO fab! :-)
    Have you tried Wool Wash (from Lakeland Limited)? It comes in big purple bottles and is supposed to be PH neutral and kind to the environment. So far I've used it only with shop-bought woolly jumpers but it's been fine (and has a nice lavender smell).

  • At 3:33 pm, Anonymous Claudia said…

    Wow Hazel, I am totally impressed. I've done a couple of shawls, but nothing on the order of Birch. I also loved reading about your trip and looking at the other yarns and the petrifying wall. Too cool!

  • At 5:44 pm, Blogger Daisy said…

    Have you seen the knitting emoticons at the top of the sidebar on Woolly Warbler's blog - they're really really really cool!

  • At 6:46 pm, Blogger Marie said…

    I am really impressed with the extra effort you have put into this, with the frogging-and-gauge issue, and blocking it in accordance with all the rules! And the result is perfect! Mine seem sloppy in comparison..

  • At 11:14 pm, Blogger e's knitting and spinning blog said…

    Beautiful! Wonderful accomplishment:-)

  • At 10:57 am, Anonymous Emma said…

    Your Birch is gorgeous !

    The Lakeland woolwash is much the same as Euclan.

  • At 12:41 pm, Anonymous Andrea said…

    lovely knitting Hazel ... would have been wasted in a raffle - enjoy wearing it now you get to keep it!:)

    Good Luck with your first knit group meeting. Register your group with Laughing Hens and you get a package full of knitterly goodies!

  • At 5:03 pm, Anonymous Mary said…

    Beautiful knitting. I can't believe you were thinking of giving it away! Interesting to hear your experiences with the blocking wires. I was thinking of getting some, but may hold off for a bit and try some of the other methods.

  • At 2:28 am, Anonymous Kris said…

    That looks great. Your lace knitting is inspiring! Love the color, too.


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