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Return From Siberia

October 2, 2004
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Siberian Winter is done and blocking.

These photos are pre-block, I will try to get a blocking photo of it in the morning before I pick it up – it is huge so it’ll be a challenge to photograph, I think mine has blocked at nearly 5 feet square.

This is a detail of the center panel pattern.

This is a look at the border pattern and the edging together.

I had to try twice to get the final edging corner graft right. I did it once last night, and just wasn’t satisfied at all. It was a big clunky edge and not lined up properly at all. So this morning I took my life in my hands and undid the grafting. I had a DP needle on hand and caught up each stitch as I released it from the graft, and I was able to reassemble the last knitted row without having to tink back. Luck was with me for once! Then, I used a very small DP to carefully pick up one loop of each of the stitches cast on to start the edging. Then the graft went together just fine and I was MUCH happier with the result.

Vital statistics: Started May 30th, finished today, size 4mm/6 needles and Lisa Souza’s wool laceweight yarn in ‘garnet’. There were at least 3 others on Fibertraditions knitting this shawl with garnet (I’m the 2nd one to finish), and one person knitted Flirty Ruffles with it. Yummy color. My favorite knitting sessions with it were the ones where I was drinking red wine at the same time – this is done just in time for fall weather to set in.

Other things afoot here: Now that it is my lunch hour knitting, the Dale 109 lace cardigan has two fronts:

It has been mostly not worked on since I started it on June 12th so it needs some attention. The yarn is Alpafina in cream, which is making a nice fabric. I am expecting it will relax a little in blocking so I’m not worried that these pieces seem a little narrow.

Emily’s pair of navy blue socks is maybe 1/3 done – I’ve stopped the first sock after completing the heel and started the second one to be sure I use the yarn evenly on both in case it’s not enough.

Making a sock this small is odd. I have 48 stitches of circumference and I’m knitting K2P2 ribbing throughout. I decided to use the heel that Nancy Bush calls ‘Dutch’ – where the heel is formed by having a small strip of stitches in the center that stay constant while the other stitches are decreased toward it until they are gone. There are lots of good descriptions to be found so I won’t get more detailed than that. The bottom line is that on this sock I had a heel strip of 6 stitches, so when I finished turning the heel there were 6 heel stitches left. I had knitted a one inch heel flap so I picked up 10 stitches on each side for the gusset, leaving me 26 stitches total on the heel. What this meant was that I only had to work ONE gusset decrease to be back to my 24 stitches for the heel side of the sock. I guess that must be an occupational hazard of doing a Dutch heel on a child’s sock?

Finally this is the center panel of my Faroese shawl out of the silk-from-hell. I have 40 rows done. This just isn’t going to look like ANYTHING until it’s blocked, so take it for what it’s worth.

There’s also a mitten on the needles but you can’t see enough of the pattern yet to make it photo-worthy. It’s the ‘Selbu’ mittens from Folk Mittens, in royal blue and cream anonymous worsted weight wool. I’m a little behind on Stephanie’s mitten mania but I’ll eventually have two mittens, really.

Finally – a shot of where our handknitted socks will soon be displayed. We’re clog-wearing girls here.

Happy feet to all, and to all a good night!

Update In The Morning

I had to rearrange the furniture in the basement to have a spot wide enough to lay down my 6 feet of blocking surface. You may or may not be able to tell in the picture that there is a ‘seam’ in the blocking board that runs up where the left edge of the center pattern is. That is the edge of the four-foot righthand section of the board, which is a 4×6 sheet of styrofoam insulation covered with a blue and white plaid sheet. If you can see that, you can see how there’s almost a foot of shawl extending to the left beyond that seam. The lefthand side of the board is made of two 2×4 remnants so that I could have a flexible size. I got the idea from Myrna Stahman’s shawls and scarves book. One thing she omits though is how you get the cloth to stay stuck to the styrofoam! Staples don’t work… I ended up with duct tape and I’m hoping it holds together at least somewhat.

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7 Comments
  1. vanessa permalink
    October 3, 2004 5:33 am

    wow caroline! stunning! and miss em looks so tall 🙂

  2. October 3, 2004 6:44 am

    Caroline, it is totally exquisite. Makes me want to go back to work on my shawl.
    Congratulations on another fantastic piece of work.

  3. October 3, 2004 8:25 am

    Wow! You have been one busy bee. The siberian shawl is beautiful. And when did Miss Emily get so big?

  4. October 3, 2004 8:00 pm

    That Siberian Winter shawl is incredible!

  5. October 4, 2004 5:54 pm

    beautiful shawl!!

  6. October 8, 2004 5:55 pm

    Beautiful work–you are so talented. I hope I can get to this point someday! 🙂

  7. October 9, 2004 12:05 pm

    It’s beautiful, Caroline!

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