Thursday, January 13, 2011

The miracle of soap and water

I know I thought it might take me another year and a half to have enough time to block my Flowing River shawl but when Miss Kitty kindly obliged me with an extra snooze in her cot on Saturday morning I decided to strike while the baby was sleeping, and dunked my little scrumple of squiggly blue knitting into a bowl of lukewarm water and grapefruit flavour Eucalan.

One squoosh in a spare bath towel and we had some damp yarn ready for an appointment with my blocking wires, some t-pins and the floor of my sewing room, prepared for the purpose with another fluffy blocking, sorry, bath towel.

And lo and behold, by the miracle of soap and water and an overnight rest on the floor ...
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... he had turned into a beautiful butterfly.  Hang on, wait, that's not right.  Sorry, reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to Kitty every night before bed is clearly addling my brain.  It had turned into a beautiful light and lacy shawl.
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The pattern is the Flowing River shawl by Goddess Knits.  The only modification that I made was to use 3.75mm needles rather than 5mm.  I don't know whether I'm using much finer yarn than the original (it's Fyberspates Fairy Lace) but I didn't think that 5mm needles would give me sufficient distinction between the yarn overs and simple blocked stocking stitch to make all that effort worthwhile.
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At this smaller gauge the distinction is much clearer and I can see from Ravelry that I'm not the only one to make that substitution.

The side effects are rather predicatable - firstly I used a lot less yarn.  I'm not sure how much less because the battery in my scales has died and I haven't replaced it yet but I've still got a good hunk of yarn left in the ball.  If I were to guess I'd say I've used half the skein or thereabouts.

The second result is that the shawl is not the huge sweeping gesture size that the original should be.  That's not to say that it's small by any means and it will still wrap around my neck as a generous size scarf (which is how I tend to wear my shawls).

All in all I'm pleased with the finished shawl and pleased to have finished the shawl - it's a win win situation.  If I were ever to knit it again, and I think that's unlikely, I'd use a slightly thicker yarn and 5mm needles for a huge shawl; I think it could work quite nicely in sock yarn if anyone happenned to have 1,000m of sock yarn lying around.

And because no blog post is complete without it, I leave you with a gratuitous Kitty-pic:

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Complete with baby drool for added cuteness!


  1. Two wows in this post...first, you finished something requiring this much attention with a newborn. I'm speechless! And just a wow on the shawl. It's gorgeous!

  2. Lovely shawl but lovelier baby. I find that I wear small shawls and give the big ones away. I don't go anywhere that needs a bold statement but i have a use for things that dress up a T shirt.

  3. gorgeous, and a very beautiful shawl. She's such a happy little girl.

  4. Such a stunning shawl, absolutely beautiful.


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