What to muse about today?

May 31, 2013

ShawlFinally, I have time to write up some details about the shawl I made for my mom for Mother’s Day.  There is a bit of a back story… There was a co-worker who was in hospice after a long battle with cancer.  I was going to crochet up a quick lapgan or blanket for her, so got a pound skein of yarn.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get enough time, but still had the huge ball of yarn.  With Mother’s Day approaching, I switched gears to creating something for my mom.

I found the pattern on the Caron site, and although it was for a scarf, I thought it would make a lovely shawl.  Doubling the width made for a snuggly sized shawl.  Initially, I had an extra three stitches once I finished the foundation row.  It seems I cannot count properly.  Thankfully, I was able to undo the slip knot and unravel them without having to rip out that first row.

IMG_0198The pattern wasn’t too complicated, a four row repeat that had a rhythm to it, allowing me to work it up quickly, without needing to read the pattern every few stitches.

Another thing that was great about this project was that I finally “got” the stitch diagrams.  Up until this shawl, they were just pretty pictures, that really didn’t help me much at all.  Now, it’s a wonderful key.  There’s a clarity, where the written pattern may have been unclear, I can see exactly what to do thanks to the diagram.

As the shawl got longer and longer it became apparent that I would need to block it once I was done.  Most of the projects I’ve done really didn’t need blocking.  Stu’s scarf, the african flower baby blanket, for example.  I’ve never blocked anything as big as this would be.  Thanks to Google, I found a way to make a home made blocking board, so went and got some check material and some pins.


One pound and a half of yarn later and I was done, and ready to block.  I set up the dining room table as my make-shift blocking board (towels under the check material, clamped to the edge of the table) and pinned the wet shawl down. I left it pinned to the table overnight, and probably should have left it another day, as it was still a bit damp, but I needed to wrap it up!  I had worked until just about the last minute.

Blocking really opened up the lace pattern, and squared it up.  It wasn’t much fun, but it was worth it.  I know that for Ashlin’s blanket, I will be blocking all the squares first before sewing them together, and the shawl I will be starting shortly, will also need to be blocked.

Anyway, My mom really liked her shawl, and I feel very proud of it too.  It was a learning experience, which is always a good thing.