[knitting] Dane Shawl

I talk about "blocking" shawls and wanted to show this important and necessary finishing technique. When I finish a shawl, it might look something like this:

Dane Shawl

It's a small, puckered thing. First I soak it (Eucalan is my soap of choice because you don't need to rinse it out) in a bucket of warm water. I let it sit at least 20 minutes, but usually I forget about it and it can be in there for more than an hour.

I take it out, roll it up in a bath towel and step all over the bath towel to press all the water out. Then I put the wet shawl on the blocking board (that big board with a grid) and figure out how I'm going to pin it out. I can usually use wires along the top line but finishing the bottom edge depends on whether I want points (never!), scallops (usually) or a straight edge (not as easy as it sounds).

For this shawl, I used wires all the way:

Dane Shawl

So what the means is, I'm sat at the table with a wet, floppy shawl in my left hand and a wire in my right, going over-under-over-under-over-under into hundreds of stitches. I used to do this kneeling on the floor and it was back-breaking work. It still is, but it's a little better being able to sit in a chair and work at chest level.

And if I want to a decorative loopy edge, I've got to thread the wire through hundreds of more stitches:

Dane Shawl

I still use a few t-pins to get the wires to bend/angle how I want.

When everything is in place, I leave it for a couple days to dry. And I loooooove walking by and seeing it:

Dane Shawl

Blocking is a pain in the ass but it needs to happen to open up the lace and make the shawl look the way it's supposed to.

My details for this shawl:

Pattern: Dane Shawl (Ravelry link)

Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, 1 skein. This is easily the nicest sock yarn I've used for a shawl. It's 100% merino. Other sock yarns I've used for shawls have had some nylon for strength (because, yeah, the yarn is for your feet) and those yarns haven't felt super cuddly around my neck. This Malabrigo Sock is perfect for shawls. I almost wouldn't want to use it for socks because after the soak and towel stepping, the yarn acquired a bit of a halo- so it might be prone to pilling.

Needles: US 6 (4mm)

Mods: Changed the yarn-over spine to make-1 left, make-1 right:

Dane Shawl

Was afraid I would run out of yarn so I only did one row of the edge chart, purled back, then did a stretchy bind-off.


Still working on the red Ishbel. Then I need to start thinking about larger shawls. This Dane was my 6th finished shawl for the year. I need to have at least two that surpass 546 yards to complete the 10 Shawls in 2010 challenge.

1 comment:

Sara said...

Oh, that is beautiful!!! You do such lovely work...