Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Cast Off From Peacock Island

The epic knitting of the Peacock Feathers shawl, including cast off, was completed Sunday night at 11 pm. I blocked it last night, and it's gorgeous.

I washed it last night and rolled it up in a towel to get some of the water out of it. I left it rolled up at the back of my bathroom counter out of reach of the wet-wool-loving- dog until I was ready to pin it out. Imagine my distress when I went into the bathroom to find it unwrapped and laying on the floor. The Evil Wild Dog of the Prairie had gotten it down. My heart sank - would it have a big hole in it like she left in my slouch hat?

I pinned it out on my bedroom floor. Shana watched the process with interest as my beautiful shawl emerged from the mass of wet wool. She had to leave the room several times because my tugging on it was making her nervous. No giant chewed up hole appeared. This is why Roxy was still alive this morning.

Instead of the straight bottom edge it's generally blocked out to I went with a more scalloped edge that I think brings out the "feathery" look more. I think it worked out well, and I can always reblock it without the scallops if I change my mind. Watching the blocking, Shana now understands why I don't make lace shawls as gifts. They simply take too long to knit, and have to be blocked out with 55,000 pins any time you wash them. No matter how appreciative a recipient may be of their beauty, I think she would be cursing my name when she tried to pin one out.

Some final thoughts on the project: I do have errors that I did not go back and fix. In a few rows my decreases did not line up exactly. I was concerned that they would be really obvious, but not enough to tink back to them. I generally corrected the position in the next repeat and went on. In the blocking I was able to "fake" them into line a little better where they were obvious. I can see them when I am looking for them, but are otherwise not obtrusive. I counted every repeat every time on both sides, and had the stitch numbers on a sticky above every row through the whole shawl. I have come to terms with my inability to memorize lace repeats, and in any event every row was different on this particular project. The yarn, Super Due Merino from Madil, is very fine and did not bloom noticeably on washing. It shows off the pattern beautifully.

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