Thursday, August 30, 2012

High Hopes

Hi Knitters,
It has truly been one of those weeks.... 

I know everyone is busy at this time of year so I won't go into detail. It's just all of that regular old end of summer, beginning of the school year kind of stuff.

However, in the midst of the chaos, I am pleased to say that I did finish blocking one of the most stunning items I have ever knit. The perfect yarn for the perfect pattern has happened with this knit.

Here is the information for this incredibly beautiful shawl:
Pattern: My Hope by Laura Linneman
Yarn: 1 skein of Cakewalk Yarns in Footsie (463 yards of fingering weight), in the Smirk colorway, I had plenty left over at the end.
Beads: 2 tubes of size 6/0 from JoAnn's in the Amber colorway
Needles: US size 5, 32-inch circulars 

I held the stitches on the cable needle to the front instead of the back. I found this easier to handle.
I did a yarn over after the first stitch and before the last stitch on the odd rows, and then dropped the yarn over on the even rows. This makes for a stretchier top edge.
I blocked the shawl with a straight edge at the top instead of the recommended crescent shape. I wanted as much length as possible. I used a straight blocking wire for the top edge. I also blocked the rest of the shawl quite vigorously, stretching it as far as it would go and then used pins to make the small points on the bottom edge.

I feel like every aspect of this shawl is absolutely beautiful. The beads, the yarn, the open cable crossed stitches.... perfection.

Thank you, Laura, for an amazing design that has done so much good for the Make a Wish charity.

I have to say at the end of nearly every cable cross row, I never ended up with the right number of stitches. I never counted the stitches once after I cast on. I found this amusing and just kept going. I simply crossed whatever stitches I had remaining at the end of the row. It is supposed to be a 3 by 3 cable cross. I had many 2 by 2 and 1 by 2 at the end of the rows. You can't tell a bit, honestly. The fact that I got to freely knit this without any worries about stitch counts makes me love it even more. It worked out great.


The shawl is light as air and the beads add the perfect amount of heft at the edge.

Beautiful, simple garter stitch in between open cable crosses... Laura is a genius. Those flecks of color sprinkled into the shades of gray added such an element of fun. Cakewalk Yarn is so dreamy. I wish you all could try it at some point. It is a special treat to knit. Rose, the dyer, is a true talent in the industry. 

I used all of my blocking pins, every one. I pinned out each point, stretched to the limit.

Above, you can see the shawl blocking. See those empty tins that hold my blocking pins? I pinned along the top blocking wire to hold it in place as I stretched and stretched the yarn to the limits. I love doing this process of blocking and pinning. It is so exciting.

The mittens that snuck into the lower corner are for a new pattern coming up. More on those later. Aren't they cute?

I recommend the My Hope shawl to anyone interested. I loved everything about this pattern and I love the finished shawl even more. The cable crosses are not difficult and I got way better at them by the end of the shawl. I was really quite fast at the crossing of the extended stitches by the time I got to the edge. You can do it!

I need a long weekend and I am sure you do, too. I'll see you on the other side, Knitters. Take care of yourselves.
best, susie
p.s. I just got invited to a super cool knitting retreat in another country and I am going! The hosts are posting about it next week so I can share at that time. I am so honored and excited and I can't wait to tell you all about it.