Sarahs knitting shawls: Out with more of the old

To kick off the new year in style, I decided to finish off a project that has been lurking in my UFO stash for a veeeeery long time- the Light and Up shawl. I had a concern about how the lace section’s yarnovers lined up, and instead of frogging that last couple of rows and double checking the stitch counts, I set it aside and started at least five new projects. It’s not a great way to get a project finished, but boy, was it a productive couple of months!

IMG_20160102_140144Here’s the view from yesterday afternoon, when we got back from Knoxville. I got a fair amount of knitting done in the car, and rather than fixing any questions about yarnovers lining up, I just kept knitting. Full steam ahead! So much so that I missed a couple of rows! I decided to be excited about progress, rather than worrying about following the pattern perfectly, and it was a good idea. Then, in the spirit of moving forward and making things up as I went along, I decided to do three repeats of two lace rows each rather than two repeats of three rows each. I’m not sure what it is about that arrangement that I like better, but I do, so there it is!

IMG_7671 So I finished the shawl with its three repeats of two lace rows, and set about blocking. The way I blocked my last shawl worked beautifully to accentuate the points along the bottom of the lace section, but for a straight edged bottom edge like Light and Up has, it just couldn’t work. I’d basically need a pin for every other row, which I wasn’t going to bother doing.

IMG_7674 Since I don’t own special, dedicated blo0cking wires, I went with some plastic-covered galvanized wire that I bought from a hardware store about ten years ago. I’ve used it for about two projects in that whole time, so I had plenty left.

IMG_7679 Much better! I’m excited to see how well it worked, and if I end up needing blocking wire for future projects, I think this will serve that purpose nicely.

I could have waited for the shawl to dry before making the finishing touches, but I was excited about the momentum, so I went ahead and made the tassels to attach to each corner. I know there are pompom makers and tassel making equipment of various kinds out there, but I devised a pretty solid way of making tassels using what I have on hand.

IMG_7681 To set the length of the tassel strands, I chose a cylindrical object of a certain diameter. In this case, a pillar candle worked incredibly well. I taped a strand of yarn along it lengthwise, to make sure it could tie around all of the individual strands once everything was in place, and got to wrapping.

IMG_7683Once the strands were all wrapped up, I slipped everything off the candle and tied it up tight.

IMG_7686 Here are the three bundles, ready to be tied.

IMG_7689 After tying around each bundle, I folded the strands down and tied around the whole thing. Since the yarn I’m working with is not incredibly strong, I tied around the bundle first with some nylon beading thread- it stretched a little bit, but certainly wasn’t going to break no matter how tightly I tied it.  Over top of the nylon thread, I tied the tassel with the matching yarn, and finished everything up.

IMG_7693 The ends were all trimmed, extra strands were added to the top of each tassel, and they are darling!

IMG_7694 I couldn’t wait. I attached the tassels even before the shawl was dry.

It’s a wonderful feeling, to be done with a project that took a lot longer than expected. I’m excited to start the year off with a successful project, and I can’t wait to wait this lovely scarf. The tassels are just so sweet! There will be photos of the finished, dry, be-tasseled shawl tomorrow.


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