I’m a Blocker!

Warning: LONG post ahead, with lots of photos.  Grab a cuppa’, and a snack too, and read on.   

It’s been a great weekend here at Haddon Wood.  Friday night, I blocked.  I mean, I REALLY blocked.  (And for the record, how cool is cool water?  Should my hands turn red from the chill?)  Unfortunately, there’s no photo of Sissy standing in the midst of it all, with me screaming “get down!”  so a word to Anne and any other houseguests, this gal is agile and athletic.  You’ve been warned.  For the other basset-savvy folks, I did come to my senses and gently place her in the floor rather than encouraging another wild leap, but…

(Yeah, if you look hard you can see the wrapping paper box there under the bed, or rather, not quite under the bed…)  The blocking wasn’t scary at all, thanks to Mr. Puffy’s mom and the Yarn Harlot’s great instructions (scroll down for the blocking post).  The results were SOOOO worth it. 

So, the scoop:

 

The blue wrap was done in Debbie Bliss alpaca silk on #8 Bryspun straights.  Sigh.  I’m glad there’s some left over, because I might have to make myself a hat out of this.  Yum!!  The only complain is that if I’m gonna’ fork over my money for a premo yarn, should there really be two joins – knots, at that – in several of the 8 balls I used?  I loved the The Princess Lace Wrap pattern (see Ravelry; my desktop isn’t cooperating with the PDF file link), and would do it again, but I might make it a 3-5 stitch border, because even after blocking, I think it’s not as “flat” as I’d like. 

The shawl (and special thanks to my assistant there…) is the Forest Canopy Shawl in Mirasol Hacho on #7 Knitpick Options.  I used the steel tips because that’s what I had, but I’m ordering the Harmony set VERY soon, as lace has *PERHAPS* eclipsed socks in my knitting passions.  There were no problems with the sharp metal points only because Hacho is such a tightly spun, sproingy merino.  Had I been using something like the alpaca silk mentioned above, I’m quite certain there would have been problems.  (And Bryspun, why must you make such weird [read: awful] circs?  I don’t like that flat join you and Susan Bates Quickslivers use, but I love nothing better than Bryspun straights…)  I’ve already commented on this, but a pattern that is well-publicized as perfect for lace beginners should have said in bold print somewhere that the shawl was coming together from the neck down.  I would have thought I was just a dolt, but I know Jeanne is no slouch, and she had similar problems with another shawl, her first neck down…  As for the yarn, while I love the colors, there are so many soft and wonderful merinos out there, so I’ll only come back to Hacho again if the colorway is the only one that will do.  It was just a bit rough for me after Malabrigo and the alpaca silk, plus the skeins are a little short at 137 yards.

Next we have the zippy quick Dog’s Paw Lace Scarf.  Ravelry says the pattern is available HERE, but it’s not there at the moment.  Nice little garter stitch lace here.  I went out on a limb and changed things up on this one.  The pattern calls for a mohair blend laceweight, but I wanted something a little bigger and bulkier for the nameless owner to be. (Note to those thinking I’m knitting for them – don’t be too sure of yourself.  My intent is to surprise and delight you, even though you MAY see your gift on the blog first.)  I used #10.5 bamboo straights and Bernat’s Soy blend yarn.  Sadly, it doesn’t block worth a hoot, and it specifically says no iron, so I’m at a loss for shaping those yarnovers into perfect paw prints.  I did like the yarn; it has a bit of fuzz to it, as all soy yarns seem to, but I considered that a plus with this pattern.  I could have stopped with ten repeats and used just one skein, but I went for 12.

While this isn’t a FO, I wanted to go ahead and get a good shot while the sun was out.  It’s my first crocheted scarf, and I adore it!  It’s quick, and I cannot tell you how delighted I am to be able to make shells.  You see, my favorite baby blanket (deserving of his own post, which lives in draft form, but I digress) has a shell border.  I’ve decided that since I remember rubbing the shells as a little girl drifting off to sleep, they’re going to be the border for my Oh My blanket, which will end on the current round, to assure that I have enough yarn for five double crochets per shell all the way around said blanket.  It’s done in Bernat’s cashmere blend, and I wasn’t as impressed with this one.  It’s soft enough, but the pretty, rich brown has some very obvious flecks of white here and there.  (See above – third shell on the right section.)  No, it’s nowhere near the price of cashmere, but geeze…  I don’t know that I could gift it, it’s that obvious.  But, since it’s for me and I have so little time invested, even after adding another row in the center, it’s fine.  I chained with a J hook and the rest is done with an H hook.  We’re into the second ball, and the third might be needed to finish the shells… dunno.

Wow, that’s a lot to read!  I’ll save the post about my sweet package for tonight or tomorrow.  I have to go get ready for a meeting, but it’s at Starbucks, so if I haven’t finished the scarf, it will go with me.  If I have, I’ll drag something along to start, because Mommy to be of the Oh My is going to be at the same meeting… 

Hope you’re having a great weekend too!

22 comments on “I’m a Blocker!

  1. crimsonpurl says:

    Luckily I was already eating lunch with you updated! LOL

    Thanks for the great blocking links!

    FAB FOs!!

  2. Wow – gorgeous knittng! I’m a crocheter, but I love all those beautiful knit shawl patterns out there. Too bad about all the knots. At least with the cheapie yarn I find that it either has tons of knots or none at all.
    Great job on the one skein scarf~ Those seem to be very popular and look really nice. Congrats on learning shells!

  3. gaylen says:

    Apparently, ask and you shall receive. Great job getting Mother Nature to cooperate with the sunshine.

    Have a great meeting. Oh, and I’ve found that while crocheting may be quicker it seems to take more yarn. g

  4. Aviva says:

    What nicely done work! And while you showed off your work of the WE so may I. I hope this will work:

  5. Nancy says:

    Oh Channon, they are all so lovely! You’ve been knitting! What a great!!! blocking job. Welcome to your new lace addiction. It is so fun, (once the frustration stops!) and after it’s blocked, it takes on a whole ‘nother personality. I had to laugh at your comments about Sissy. I was watching the dog Whisperer Friday night and there was a segment about a 10 month old Basset, stubborn as all get out, who needed help. Good episode.

  6. Mary says:

    Oh my gosh absolutely gorgeous girl!! I love the first shawl and love the color of the second one!! The paw prints is really pretty and I saw them 🙂
    Great job on the crochet, you are doing fantastic with that!! So glad you had some sunshine to help…Great job all around!!
    Hope you have a great evening!

  7. Anne says:

    Well aren’t you little miss crocheter 😛

    I kid – they all look beautiful dear, but I already told you that. And I finally got a spot of sunshine here as well – perhaps Mother Nature figured she’d give it to all of us who’ve been in the stupid dark clouds fofr the last week.

    Beautiful gifts – I’m quite sure the recipients will just adore them.

  8. kaet says:

    Those are all gorgeous, and I’m impressed at how well blocked they all are. One day I’ll really learn how to do that! (And give myself the set-up for it.)

  9. grace says:

    Even Tommo drooled over the blue of your shawl, I am a big Debbie Bliss fan, YOU DID outstanding work on all of your projects Chan, I am just awestruck by the sheer beauty. I personally really like the Mirasol, I am using 5 different shades in a Wool Peddlar right now, and enjoying it alot but so many yarns and so many projects. I hope everyone loves their gifts, I know I would!!!!! Have a Chai for me at Starbucks, I think i miss that the most being sick!

  10. holly says:

    You have been a busy girl. Well, you answered my question, is lace taking over socks. Wow, I don’t know if I have the patience for lace, but I do want to try it.

  11. Anita says:

    WOW!!! You amaze me again! You are a knitting & crocheting fool!!!! 😉
    They all look so pretty I can’t choose a favorite! Ok, my fav is your helper there, how’s that? 🙂
    Crocheting is so much faster than knitting… I’ve been thinking of pulling out my crochet books and doing a project or two so I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something!!! I just can’t seem to finish any knitted project lately except dishcloths!

  12. Paula says:

    oooh I love all the beautiful lace!
    I have to hunt down that dogs paw pattern!
    I am still quite lace phobic but I have to see a lace Therapist at my LYS so I can make a nice sumer lace scarf for my Mrs. Marple read/knit pal.

    P.S. We have the very same bed spread!
    Oh and you have been tagged!

  13. Bubblesknits says:

    Those look gorgeous, Chan!!! All the lace knitting you’ve been doing has made me cast on for a little lace scarf. 🙂 We’ll see how bad I screw it up. lol

  14. Amanda says:

    Look at you go! Great job on your crochet – you’re really getting the hang of it!

  15. Rachel says:

    Beautiful knits! I see the lace bug has got to you too! I did the Forest Canopy Shawl as my first lace kni last summer and fell hard for it! In fact, I have 3 lace items on needles at the moment!

  16. Dianne says:

    Holy cow, that’s a lot of knitting and blocking…and crochet – I’m impressed! You do beautiful work – absolutely exquisite!

  17. nichole says:

    GORGEOUS work…….. love it all! I can’t wait to know who all the lucky recipients are!!! 😉

  18. Ria says:

    Oh, I adore the pattern for the blue wrap. I’m going to have to knit one for myself one of these days!

    This is the best thing about knitblogs. So much inspiration for projects!

  19. MrPuffy says:

    Wow – so beautiful. I definately need to knit a Forest Canapy Shawl! Really, just stunning knitting! I love the blue DB alpaca/silk too. Good choice on that.

  20. fireflynights says:

    Looks like you’ve been really busy. Too bad the Dog Paw scarf pattern is no longer available. That’s a nice one.

  21. StarSpry says:

    Yeah for blocking! Everything looks so beautiful 🙂

  22. Criquette says:

    What a beautiful job you’ve done on everything, especially the blue alpaca shawl and the forest canopy shawl (which I would love to make – if I had the attention span for lace, which I don’t).

    I had no idea bassets were such excellent jumpers!

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