That’s No Moon!

Every once in awhile its important to challenge yourself, and you have to understand that masterworks don’t just appear, its something you have to attempt.  For lack of a better option to call them… I call the knitting ones my Knitting Opuses.  The last one was my two color brioche shawl.  I have had “Knit a Herbert Niebling lace” on the opus list for some time, and had gotten as far as tracking down the one English translation book and added it to my library.  The knitting group on Rav started talking about doing an informal KAL and so I finally jumped in at the end of March.

And in true “This is why we block/blocking is magic” fashion I bring you the before and after of blocking my Glocinella.  Blocking added 18 inches!

Now I see you saying… “but Carla, that doesn’t explain your title” and so I bring you to the second part of this post.  Maybe you are sitting there thinking that lace is old fashioned for old ladies with candy dishes and its just not you.  And you are right, lace can indeed be girly and frilly and formal.

But you are also wrong, because at your house when you are an adult you can decorate how you want and have ice cream for dinner.  Parents have been telling their kids that for ages.  When my husband finished his 39 inch Lego Apollo Rocket, I told him the dining room table would be a nice place to display it (The model breaks down into its respective parts and the moon lander fits inside too!).  It certainly is.

And yet, That’s no Moon!

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Next Up:  More socks, a knit basket and a worsted weight lace shawl!

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Block and Load!

So I really liked the yarn I used for my Spring Thaw Shawls, (which was Paton’s Lace btw) although with the mohair it does have a bit of a halo that may not be ideal for all designs, and its a bit more crabby about any frogging.

Since it had worked out so nicely, I bought some more in other colors.  A simpler repeat pattern lace shawl is actually an ok trip project since you only have to pack a skein or two to work the whole project.  Whilst I was on holiday I started up a Vernal Equinox Surprise Shawl, and based on its name I decided to go with the “Sachet” color way, which is white and sage and plum.

I cast off on the 5th.  The thing with lace is it benefits incredibly by blocking, but non-knitters or newer knitters don’t always see how you got to pile of yarn fluff to the more nice looking lace.  So I’m going to start out this post with an unblocked photo.

Taken at night with poor lighting.

Taken at night with poor lighting.

Issues of lighting aside, it does look like a lace shawl, not super lacy but its not something repulsive either.  And then you block it.

For the record, it is an overcast rainy day, but the lighting is better.

For the record, it is an overcast rainy day.

And it goes from this textured ripply shawl, to a true lace shawl.  And like the Grinch’s heart, it can grow a few sizes too.  You does not need to be super fancy pants to achieve a good block, though to be honest it may help; I don’t know.  I just use towels and Sewing Pins and sometimes a few bits of old school acrylic yarn in the case where the edge is super loopy like this one.  The yarn is my blocking wire that stretches the loops out evenly so I don’t have to pin every single loop out.

There are several different types of lace repeats in this shawl

There are several different lace repeats in this shawl

This shawl was a bit difficult for me to finish… not because of the pattern, but because I wasn’t really making it with a giftee in mind and started to have good ideas about what I wanted to do with some of that Alpaca yarn I just got.

I didn't even finish trimming my cast on tail before this photo.... ¬.¬

I did not even finish trimming my cast on tail before taking this photo…. ¬.¬

But I don’t like to leave too many projects undone, so I finished it up, and it shall be folded up nicely to await the perfect person for it to go to.

That's right... I can fold half circle lace shawls AND fitted sheets.

I can fold half circle lace shawls AND fitted sheets.

Knitting with recipient in mind is a huge motivator for me, but sometimes you find you need to use your yarn and just knit something, and in the long run it seems to work out alright.