Saturday, June 16, 2012

One thing at a time

This week there are two finished objects, and one new project. I'm pacing myself, working away one at a time at the projects in the unfinished pile, the Work in Progress's that have slipped to the bottom of the queue. Doing so has resulted in one finished project, the linen lace edge that was started at Knit Camp way back in May. I cast off Friday, woven in ends yesterday and blocked today. The next project in the queue is the Hope-he-never-needs-this hat, which is finished, but not blocked. And within a month there is a secret swap project needed ... so I'd best queue that one up next. I have the pattern, and the yarn, and all I have to do is knit it ... and such things don't knit themsleves.

 So here is the lace edge all done. At knit camp 2012 we were presented with two options, to knit the lace and then stitch it to a hemmed circle of linen or to hem a circle of linen using blanket or buttonhole stitch and then crotchet an edge that could be picked up and knitted on on to. I liked the idea of when something is done it is done, with no seaming or sewing - so I went with knitting on my lace as I went.
 Once knit I the lace needed blocking, although there is something charming about the deep relief of the leaves - especially when viewed from the wrong side. Mid way through working the edge I had steam ironed it, as it is linen, just to see the effect.
 First I drew a circle in chalk on my blocking board that I thought would be the right size to block to, but I underestimated and had to draw a slightly larger circle. Then I pinned the quarter points, the eight points, then all the points in between.

One of my favorite subjects at high school was one called 'Technical Drawing'. I loved it, we spent our time learning how to draw with great accuracy and detail all sorts of things. Plans, elevations, perspective views, unfolded or 'developmental' explanations, exploded views. I loved the large sheets of heavy white paper, the use of special pencils, and scale rulers, and the sort of planning and understanding that had to happen before one started drawing. I liked that the final drawing was a graphic representation of something. Most of all I liked the tools, the specialist little boxes of drawing equipment like this extending compass, or circle maker. I've kept all of that, in its little rounded wooden box, and love any excuse to drag it out and use it. Yes I could have used a plate ... but why when I have tools like this?

At this stage it looked pretty good .. until smallest cub said "what is this?" and pointed at a few teeny tiny loose loops. She was helping me pin out the points, Little cub has a keen interest in blocking, I think it may be her favorite process. I must admit that I am always slightly in awe at how simple washing and stretching can open out the lace pattern so cleanly and clearly. Whomever discovered that technique deserves some sort of knitting honor.

Argh, there was a dropped stitch, three loose loops, which I've secured with a few pins, and once the lace is try I'll secure them by weaving a thread through them and secure it neatly. No one will ever no, expect, me, little cub and all of you.

Take care, we have a fantastic frost outside this morning, the kind that leaves the road white and sparkly, so I'll be staying safe in side and warm most of the day, but the sky is blue and the sun is shining so it will warm up slightly.
na Stella


Walden said...

Lovely and I love the idea of this experiment.

KathyR said...

Wow! What a difference the blocking made. Lovely beforehand but superb afterwards! (we will totally ignore the dropped stitches - they mean nothing!) I can only hope that mine will look half as good when it finally gets done. Unfortunately so many other things have somehow sneaked ahead of it on my to-do list which need to be completed in a more timely manner. Sigh.

rozemie said...

indeed, what a difference blocking makes ! it's gorgeous, you did a wonderful job !

Knitting Linguist said...

The lace turned out so beautifully (barring that small little dropped stitch snafu - but it sounds like you've got that under control)! I love the color. And I think Rick would be envious of your compass - he was on the hunt for one just the other day (I am not quite sure why).