KnitYoga

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Beaded Lace Scarf Blocked


Okay, so after subjecting you to the sight of wasp larvae, I thought I'd show you something a bit prettier - the finished and blocked Heartstrings Beaded Lace Scarf.


It's only relatively recently that I really understood just how much a good blocking can transform a garment especially if it's lace when it really opens up and shows the pattern. What comes off the needles as a crumpled mess goes through a complete metamorphosis post-blocking (a wet blocking that is). Until I knitted River, I was afraid to fully immerse a lace item in water dreading the outcome but I took the plunge, literally, with River. After I saw the magic that occurred after a good wet blocking, I was convinced and now, whenever I knit lace, as soon as its off the needles I can't wait to get it wet! As a lot of you will know, it has to be done very carefully though. I decided to photograph the process and post it on here just in case there's anyone reading this who, like me before I knitted River, is a bit unsure as to how to wet block or hasn't yet had the confidence to do so. The only trouble is that I forgot to take a photo of it when it came off the needles (doh!) so you'll just have to believe me when I say it was, indeed, a crumpled mess.

So, here it is soaking for half an hour in tepid water and a very small amount of Silk & Wool Wash. Some people use Lavender Eucalan but I just use Persil Silk & Wool Wash because I can get it from the supermarket and it seems to work fine.


Then I rinsed it in the same temperature water being very gentle and not wringing it at all but gently pressing water out in between soak and rinse. It's important not to shock the material by a change in temperature so best to make sure the water's in the sink at the right temperature first before putting the item in. After it was rinsed, I placed it on a large very absorbent bath towel.


Then I wrapped it up in the towel so that I could gently press water out of the scarf which would then be absorbed by the towel.


It was then ready to pin out. I suppose, ideally, I would use a blocking mat which has lines on it to help guide straight blocking, etc, but I've never found one big enough in the UK. A second option would be one of those really thin mattresses but I don't have one of those either. So, what I use is a duvet that I keep especially for blocking and I use it on top of the bed. The fact that it's not completely flat doesn't seem to have caused any problems. So, here it is pinned out at the points and I used a tape measure to get it to the blocked length and width stated in the pattern.


When it was completely dry, I removed the pins and voila!


For some reason, I was under the impression that I'd need two skeins of the Posh Yarn cashmere/silk laceweight so bought two but I still have 10g of the first skein left despite the scarf being quite a generous size at 60" x 11". I don't think I'll be making another beaded lace scarf with it any time soon though. Any ideas as to what I CAN make with it??

I'll leave you with a close up.


I'm really pleased with the way it's turned out and hope that, provided I can get permission from the designer to sell it, someone will be prepared to pay a reasonable price for it at the cancer charities craft fair in November!

23 Comments:

  • At 8:45 pm, Blogger ra said…

    that's VERY pretty. It's so true about blocking, it makes an enormous difference. I think the first thing I blocked was the Claptis I knitted for my sister's Christmas present and it looked fab. It was quite funny to hear the designer on a podcast a couple of moths later saying that it wasn't supposed to be blocked!

     
  • At 10:25 pm, Anonymous Dipsy said…

    Oh, I'm so very impressed by your scarf, it's such a beauty and certainly a true work of art!
    It's amazing what good blocking can do to knitted items and vice versa, what "bad" blocking or none at all can take from an item! When I think that I never used to block my knitted stuff until, like, 2 years ago - well, you can imagine it!

     
  • At 10:59 pm, Blogger Cherry Rolfe said…

    Its a shame you don't want to knit another because it really is very, very beautiful.
    Thanks for the wasp info. Still pondering.....

     
  • At 12:27 am, Blogger Wannietta said…

    very nice!!

     
  • At 7:55 am, Anonymous Annarella said…

    Hazel, you've done an oustanding job, so happy to see it completed, it's absolutely stunning. I think the beads worked perfectly with the yarn (must order some!), so a huge round of applause to you!! xx

     
  • At 9:22 am, Anonymous Dee said…

    That is GORGEOUS!

     
  • At 10:51 am, Blogger Mary-Lou said…

    It's lovely, well done! What about a fichu / samll shawl with the remainder (but no beads this time!)

     
  • At 10:54 am, Blogger Daisy said…

    Thank you for the blocking photos! It makes it looks distinctly less scary. Sometime I'm going to try knitting lace...

     
  • At 12:52 pm, Anonymous Anne said…

    That's a great tutorial, thanks - I keep wimping out of blocking - finding enough space where small hands won't get in the way is tricky, but a dedicated duvet should work.

    And the scarf is very very beautiful.

     
  • At 4:43 pm, Anonymous sharon said…

    You should be pleased, that's a really gorgeous scarf!

     
  • At 6:38 pm, Blogger Tusa said…

    That is gorgeous pet! I am just learning the joys of blocking.

     
  • At 9:05 pm, Blogger KnitNana said…

    Oh my. That's just stunning. I love Heartstrings patterns...suspect you've just hooked me on another one!
    (((hugs)))

     
  • At 1:23 am, Blogger PBnJ said…

    It came out so very beautiful! Congratulations on a job well done!

     
  • At 7:18 am, Blogger Seahorse said…

    That really is stunning! It was interesting to read about the wasps below. We found two HUGE (but thankfully empty) wasp's nests in the false ceiling of our ensuite bathroom when we moved in. I'm not sure how the previous owners can have failed to notice them when they were active :0

     
  • At 8:05 am, Blogger Sue said…

    Absolutely gorgeous! I know what you mean about blocking - I still can't get over the difference it makes.

     
  • At 9:08 am, Blogger All the Way With Knitting said…

    Hi Hazel..beads secured ! Won't make it to the Post Office until Monday .No worries about payment take it as a donation to your charity work.angie.

     
  • At 11:09 am, Blogger acrylik said…

    Wow, that is so pretty, I am in awe! I really hope the designer will give permission for you to sell it, as it will be as big hit.

    Thank you so much for all the blocking tips, and I'm really pleased to have seen the pic of your River too, as that has inspired me to keep on working at mine.

     
  • At 1:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So beautiful and inspiring. Well done. And thanks so much for the blocking tips.

     
  • At 4:25 pm, Blogger Piglottie said…

    What a beautiful scarf. Lace is a bit beyond me at the moment, but one day! Thank you for the step by step instructions on blocking. I hold my hand up to never having dared to fully block something, but now feel much more confident after reading your instructions and seeing the pics.

     
  • At 12:23 am, Blogger Rain said…

    It's breathtakingly beautiful and well worth the time you put into making it.

     
  • At 2:49 am, Blogger dreamcatcher said…

    The scarf is absolutely beautiful :-) Blocking is a wondrous process indeed. I've blocked a few things now and even with a garter stitch scarf it can even out the edges and transform the look of a piece.

    If you can't think of anything to do with the PY laceweight I'll make you an offer for it :-)

     
  • At 11:23 am, Blogger Marie said…

    it's stunning!!

     
  • At 11:25 am, Blogger José said…

    It's beautiful :)

     

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