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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Some Details About the Flower Basket Shawl

Not Kristen asked about the purpose of blocking and I replied in the comments, but in case others are interested:

In this case, it is to open up and show off the lace. If you look at the first shot, the lace was kind of bunched up and compressed. After you block the lace (wash, pin out and let dry), you can see the pattern and it makes it appear "lacy," the fabric becomes light and drapey. Until it is washed again, it will hold its shape.

In other garments, the blocking is used to even out the stitches and make the fabric lie flat. Stockinette stitch, for instance, which is what a plain knit sweater is made out of, has a tendency to roll in and up. This makes sloppy edges, and also makes it difficult to sew up. Blocking is also used to shape the garment to the dimensions required.

To give you an idea of the difference in dimensions in lace, the FBS was about 45" across and 23" deep before blocking and finished at 68" across and 31" deep after blocking. The difference is not so great in non-openwork patterns.

As for the Mystery Stole, I am not alonging very well. I would have needed four hours of knitting time on this project alone, daily, to finish clue three before this Friday's clue. It takes me about an hour to do six rows. I am doing 84 rows fewer than the pattern suggested, and that shorter length will take me about 56 hours of work. I have done 28 rows out of the 336 of the main panel. I'm assuming that this Friday's clue will simply be a repeat of the beginning trellis lace pattern, for symmetry, and that the following week's clue will be the lace edging on either end. I will not be finished by July 15, I can tell you that.

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