Posts Tagged ‘blocking wire’

One Project off the Christmas Knitting List

I’m the first knitter on Ravelry to finish (or even start) the Diamonds in the Ruff collar.  The pattern was published last March in Defarge Does Shakespeare from Co-operative Press, and I want to thank Heather at Craftlit for getting me hooked on both the series and the publishing company.

Diamonds in Ruff materialsKnitting

This is the project which helped me improve my beading method. As I mentioned before, I picked up the seed beads from Bead Biz.  I also got ribbon, focal beads (rose and leaf) and hook and eye clasps from Jo Ann Fabric, and just a couple of beads from stash.

There was lots of beading involved in this one, so the knitting took longer than such a small project normally would.  Not that the beading was that difficult, but it made the project completely non portable.  Too much set up before knitting and clean up after, too many little bits to make a mess.  So I could only work on this one at home.  It took me nearly three weeks from cast on to finish.


I have heard many people say unblocked lace supposedly looks horrible, but honestly, I just don’t see it myself.  It’s bumpy, true, but I usually find it interesting.

Diamonds in the Ruff Unblocked

This is another piece I blocked using wire.  I threaded one thin wire through the cast on stitches and the other one at the end of the “A” chart.  I threaded a thicker wire (because I was out of the thin ones) through the bind off.  I pinned the first two to the target measurement, and stretched the remainder of the ruff out to really display the lace.

Diamonds in the Ruff blocking


Once the piece was blocked I stitched 3/4″ ribbon to the wrong side, and sewed two hook and eye clasps on.  If I do it again I’ll leave slack at the short ends of the ribbon, and attach the clasps between the ribbon and the lace rather than on top of the ribbon, but it is acceptable as is.

Diamonds in the Ruff baubleMaking the faux clasp was a lot of fun.  I took a large silicone stitch marker and crocheted around it with the Knitpicks Gloss Lace I’d used for the ruff, beading as I went, and left a tail, which I then beaded.  I attached a second length of yarn and beaded it as well.  Then I sewed the whole assembly onto the ruff so that it hides the hook and eye clasps.

The final product is a very dainty and delicate piece, almost more jewelry than anything else.

Of course the person I’m giving it to probably expects a much bolder ‘infinity scarf’, so I bought one at Kohls to give her as well.  Because if I gift this to her and she seems disappointed I might just have to kill someone…

Diamonds in the Ruff FO

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the last Michelle’s Assortment name that pattern giveaway, so I entered the next one (20 December).  I’ve missed some, but I’ve caught a couple of the Knitter’s Pride series of giveaways (20 December) and the Phat Fiber Edgewood Garden Studios BFL roving giveaway (also 20 December).


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The Pineapple Sunrise

Pineapple Sunrise TequilaYarn

Kauni - lowI finished the shawl.  It used 533 yards of Kauni, so about 4/5 of the skein.  This might leave enough for a small project left over, or a portion of a larger one.  I’d love to see how it felts up.

The FO is a tiny bit rough, and very warm.  I think it will be perfect over the sleeveless dress on chilly evenings, so it definitely does the right thing.  I’d be happy to work with this yarn again.


Pineapple - unblockedI Promise You Pineapples looks pretty right off the hook. It’s absolutely gorgeous after blocking.

I’m still feeling my way around blocking wires.  It’s sort of fun to realize how many choices there are in the blocking process.  I know that I can re-block if I don’t like the final effect, so it’s a low-stress, high impact stage of finishing.

Since the dress that I made this to go with has a triangular neckline, I decided not to really curve the shawl.  I also chose to align the pineapples themselves rather than the curves on the shawl edge.  Finally, I decided to pin out the center portion of the fans rather than every shell within those fans.  The end result makes me happy.

Pineapple - blocked

I plan to wear this next weekend, along with the dress.  Hopefully I’ll get some usable pictures of me in it.

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All Blocked Out

Project Completed

At the end of April I posted about my plans to wire block the Belle Greene shawl once it was finished.  Now it’s two months later and the shawl is done.

Honestly, I do like the way it looks right off the needles.

Belle Greene curveThe lace has a lovely organic look, and the back of the shawl has a really pretty curve.  It’s enjoyable as is, but I decided I want the more classic look for this, with the open lace and the straight back.   The way to get that is to block it, and I had no intention of pinning out each and every point in the border.

Belle Greene soakingSo I soaked it first, then threaded the wires through the garter stitches and the points.

Belle Greene garter wireThen I did the same thing with each of the individual points – you’ll notice there are two different weights of wires here.  The curve was just a bit too long for two of the heavier wires, but using a third seemed overkill.

Belle Greene point wireSo I stretched out the whole shawl until I was happy with it.

Belle Greene blocking Yes, if you look very closely and critically you can see it’s not perfect.  That’s OK.   I’m still the kind of person who feels I deserve a pat on the back just for doing all the finishing stuff at all…    I can always re-block the shawl if it starts to bug me…  Maybe I’ll do that before next years Sheep and Wool, because I expect them to notice all the little imperfections.

As soon as it was blocked I wore it to trivia.  It must have brought me luck, because I got the final question, and propelled our team to victory!  Here I am with the shawl (and ‘photobombed’ by my friend Colleen)

Belle Greene worn

I have to say, when I’m wearing it I don’t notice any of those imperfections at all…

Blog Contests and Yarn Giveaways

I didn’t win the ‘yarn chicken’ giveaway from PDX Knitteratti.  No new giveaways this time.

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  Status of Current Projects

Goat Bag cast on


After studying the swatch, I’ve decided that 4.5 mm needles work just fine for a bag.  I’ll be knitting a No-Sew Felted Bag by Invisible Insanity (she had documented it on her blog, but that seems to be no more).  It’s an interesting design, one with end tabs

which become pocket flaps.  Rather than using a combination knitted on/crochet provisional cast on I’m just using a knitted on cast on, but I worked it over two needles held together for the provisional portion (the second one being a 3.25mm).  I’ve also got two whales of reverse stockinette bordering the flaps, to make it easier to pick up the bag body later on.

Expect future posts which show this better, along with other modifications as I get to them.  The body of the bag is straight stockinet

te, so I’ll be adding in some colorwork from 150 Scandinavian Motifs to give it some action.

picotty with heel


The picotty socks are my current relaxing project. Something I can pick up and work on when I’m tired or distracted, but still want something to keep my hands busy.

I’m working them in tandem, so when I finished the foot on the first sock I switched to the second.  I’m just in the middle of the heel of the second sock.  It’s sort of fun to see how the crochet version of the short row works.

Belle Greene final stretch


I’m coming down to the stretch on the Belle Greene shawl.  There are only a few more inches of the beaded border to knit on, then it’s down to the wire…  I mean, time to break in the new blocking wire set.  Once that’s done I’ll have to track down a black light and see if I can get it to really glow.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I won the Mont Royal sock pattern from Snapdragon crafts.  These are beautiful,  and I can’t help remembering the last time I was in Montreal*.  I’ll have to decide whether I want to do these in wool or in cotton, but they would look amazing in spring green.

I entered PDX Knitteratti’s ‘yarn chicken’ giveaway for a random element of her stash.  No end date posted, but it will be soon.

Happy 4th

That’s it for now.  I’m hoping that the rain is done and we can enjoy our cookout this afternoon.  This year I’m contributing BBQ spareribs, squash, cherries and blueberries, all from local farms.  I hope all of my countrymen enjoy a beautiful and fun holiday.

* We went to Mont Royal to scatter my great aunt’s ashes.  There is a surreal and funny story which goes along with that.

The family didn’t have the permits to do this, it was probably not legal at all, but it really seemed the best way to say goodbye. So we went up there with the ashes, and said our goodbyes, and cast the ashes into the wind… which blew the ashes back into our faces.  It also blew the ashes into what had looked like an abandoned car, but then two rather confused heads bobbed up…  I think we had interrupted something romantic and/or clandestine.   My cousin, David, is a film writer, and I’m sure this scene will make it into something or other, sooner or later, because it totally fits his sense of the perverse.

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