Monday, October 20, 2008

Finished Faroese shawls, Blocking shawls, a Cabled Tam Design

Regina (Rubicon on Ravelry) finished her Woven Diamonds Faroese...I think it turned out stunning!

She made a couple modifications to the pattern, if you are on Ravelry her notes are here:
Rubicon's Woven Diamonds Faroese.

I failed to show a photo of Fran's Woven Diamond Faroese. Fran was the first one to work the pattern - as a matter of fact she was the one who admired my blue one and encouraged me to write it up.

You can see Fran's shawl on her blog here:
Fran's Woven Diamonds Faroese

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am working on a shetland style shawl design in Jojoland fingering weight wool. I have yet to find just the right edging so I have put this project on hold as I await Nancy Bush's new book, " Knitted Lace of Estonia " I'm hoping that there may contain an edging that will work or a stitch pattern that will inspire me to create an edging. In the meantime I blocked the shawl to see how the size is working out and to determine how wide the edging needs to be.

I used to block my shawls on towels laid over the carpet in the spare bedroom (which was once my sewing room and has since become the stash room). However, we have a little Yorkie named Buddy....

who was making a mess of the carpet when no one was looking and had to pull it up.

When we did that I could see that I wasn't helping the situation by blocking on it. Sometimes I spray my shawls with water to re-dampen them once they are pinned out, and that was also leaving water stains on the carpet backing.
Recently I found some interlocking mats at Big Lots (I also saw the same ones at Tuesday Morning).

I bought two sets at a very reasonable price. They seem to work great for blocking, I can pin into them and still shift the whole surface around if I need to. The wrong side of the mats is smooth. They did have a very strong rubber smell when I first opened the package but that seems to have dissipated.

Last year I took a fair isle hat class at Kirkwood Knittery taught by Brooke Nico.

I wasn't too fond of the result on my first attempt, so that that first hat lives at the shop. I had much better luck with my second design and also made matching fingerless gloves (background is brown shetland wool and the patterning consists of many different pieces of leftover variegated sock yarns).  Not one to wear hats, I found that I really liked the way this one looked and it didn't smash my hair too badly.

To block this tam none of my plates were the right size (of course not); instead I made a 10" diameter circle out of cardboard and covered it with plastic wrap.  Stretching the tam over the cardboard form, I threaded a piece of waste yarn through the edge of the ribbing (this works great if the edge is worked with a tubular cast-on) and drew it up into a small circle.  This was much better than using pins to keep the hat on the form while it blocked.


The last few weeks I've had an idea for a cabled tam inspired by the celtic cables in Viking Patterns for Knitting by Elizabeth Lavold and the patterns charted by the girl from auntie for her awesome designs.

I worked a few swatches and a prototype just to see how cables might work:

    I bought a skein of Classic Elite's Alpaca Sox at Knit and Caboodle to use for the actual tam in a soft gray color. Next I worked a portion of the stitch pattern as a fingerless glove to determine the gauge. Then I played with the stitch pattern in excel for many hours to decide on the best way to work it. Finally I cast on and knit, this is the result:

    It didn't turn out exactly as I'd pictured it, still deciding if I ought to publish it or not - leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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