Knitted: Shawl For Yang
I recently made this shawl for one of my work colleagues, Yang. Yang is always complaining that she is always cold in our office and asked me if I would make her something. After her nagging me, I finally gave in and said that I would make her a wrap/shawl; a good excuse to give me something to do on the train.
After searching through Ravelry for patterns I decided on the Passe Partout by Maanel. It looked like an easy make yet had some interesting sections. After checking with Yang if she liked the pattern, which she did, off to get some yarn.
I noticed that Lincraft had a sale on yarn, so off I went in search for some. I took some photos of some colours and sent these to her and she picked the grey. For some stupid reason though, I didn't look at the composition of the yarn and as it felt soft assumed it was wool.. Got home and only when I started to knit, did I look at the label - 100% acrylic.. Ugh.
It didn't register when I bought it that 6 balls at 100g for $23 was cheap. Idiot. But in the end it wasn't a problem.
It took me two goes to get it started but after that there were no real issues. The only issue I had was the with the middle "spine" and the way the pattern was written. I kept forgetting to do the right stitch and there were a few times I had to undo a few many many stitches to just redo one. I did towards the end learn how to undo stitches directly above the mistake and turn a purl into a knit or vica versa.
The pattern itself was pretty easy; just a whole heap of knit and purls. People thought there were cables on it, but they were in fact just ribbing and every couple of rows, you moved the ribbing over. As it was a shawl it was triagular in shape and you increased stitches every rown and in the end I ended up with 317 stitches on my needles. I mostly knitted this to and fro to work on the train. That is the one thing about knitting (along with crocheting), it is very portable and therefore I do a lot of knitting on the train during winter.
So once it was knitted up, time to block it. After soaking it in tepid water for 1/2 an hour, I squeezed the water out and placed it on some floor mats I bought for this purpose. I also used blocking wires for the first time and they really helped. Basically you thread it through the edges and then pin it to the mats. You don't need as many pins as you would without the wires, and you don't end up with scalloped edges, which you tend to get with you use pins alone.
At first I misread the pattern and blocked it in the wrong shape, but I eventually worked that mistake out.
Here you can see the weird shape I first blocked it as.
Now one of the problems with knitting in winter, is that sometimes it takes ages to dry anything. The weekend I tried to dry this was just blah. There was no real sun and no heat and it wasn’t that cold either that you could put the heater right up, so it took 2.5 days to dry. On the Sunday I ended up hanging it on the line (excuse the bins in the background).
And here you can see that I blocked it to the right shape. The wires made it easy to keep it in shape whilst hanging. This helped heaps with the drying. I found that the water worked its way to the bottom section and this took a bit longer to dry.
But once it finally dried, it was really soft to the touch and a lot bigger than before I had blocked it. I did think that it would be a bit bigger (the pictures on the website certainly look that way), so was a little bit disappointed in this respect.
So once it was completely dry, I wrapped it up nicely and wrote out the instructions on how to care for it and took it to work and gave it to Yang. She loved it; wore it all day and paraded it around the office, and now I received a few other requests for one; I won’t be making them!
For my efforts, Yang has bought me a crochet class, lucky me!
Next project another cowl for myself – one with some substance..