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!