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Monday Muse March 24, 2014

Chic Knits Knit Blog

blue, blue Monday

because once was not enough…

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Tips Tuesday: How to Block a Shawl February 18, 2014

If there’s a windy windy rain storm going on outside,
the best thing to do is get cozy,
then get busy…

Today in Portland, after bundling up in some comforting wool, I got to it.

I’ve been finished knitting my 4th ALBY shawl for quite awhile but have been putting off blocking it because, ew, blocking.

The first three Alby’s that I made were blocked upstairs in the attic – on the carpeted floor. This was the biggest area I could find that wouldn’t be disturbed while the shawls dried to measure.

Several times during the mulitple blocks, I felt time stand still – had to keep pinning and re-pinning, all while crawling around on the floor. Torturous.

{hint: don’t wear skinny jeans while doing this – heh!}

It seemed to just go on and on and on, like my own Personal Ground Hog Day, Shawl Style.

Never again, I vowed.

Tips for Shawl Blocking on the Chic Knits Knitting Blog

This time around, while I was soaking the shawl, I did a little more surveying around the house looking for someplace I wouldn’t exhaust both my back and my patience.


Tips for Shawl Blocking on the Chic Knits Knitting Blog

The dining room table.

Evolution: the very first surface I used to block on was a big cardboard box that I’d flattened. I thought it would be good to pin into and protect the carpeting. By the time I got to Shawl #3, I’d quit fooling around and was now the owner of a rubber play mat made of interlocking pieces that you could build-to-size for any blocking project.

Why not combine the two to protect the table AND be able to walk around the entire thing while shaping and pinning…

Handy-Dandy Shawl Blocking Tips:
clockwise from l. to r. Upper Picture

  • Soak the shawl in some warm, slightly soapy water for about 1/2 hour, then rinse.
  • Place out on a towel in general final shape then roll in towel to remove excess water. I find this “pre-shaping” trains the fiber to want to go into the blocked shape more easily.
  • Remove from towel and place on blocking surface in final shape, anchoring with a few T-pins to match pattern schematic dimensions. Thread blocking wires through outside edge then start pinning out points.
  • Adjust as necessary so all points are as equal in size as possible and no stress or mis-shaping is appearing on other areas of shawl.
  • Let air dry.

But wait, I forgot something – here’s the real secret to my success…

Can’t wait for this to be ready to wear – it is made from some very lovely comfy yarn – Bare Naked Wools Breakfast Blend Fingering (in Oatmeal) and Araucania Ranco (in Navy). perfect to Mind the Gap I’m feeling inside here today. :)

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New Threads Friday February 7, 2014

Chic Knits Tauriel Cardigan

Sometimes the better part of valor is to just look your nemesis in the eye and and say game on, WINTER!

While we kept waiting (and waiting) for the weather to follow the calendar here in the Pacific NW, Mother Nature had different plans.

So, inspired by my drafty old house and the need to have a Comfy Cozy refuge from the storm, I started knitting.

After sketching and playing around with a huge swatch, TAURIEL took off…

I needed something simple, quick and lovely –

The design uses worsted wool and #8 (5mm) needles for a peppy gauge that makes that sweater sooner rather than later and features inclusive detailing with a modern but easy, chain-cable motif to keep it interesting.

Best of all? NO SEWING: when you’re done, weave in a few ends and WEAR IT!

introducing … Chic Knits TAURIEL

Finished Closed Chest Measurement
34 (36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 48, 52)”
Yarn – Worsted Weight
900 (950, 1010, 1060, 1120, 1190, 1265, 1350) yards
Gauge: 18 sts / 24 rows over 4″ St st

click HERE for more details and to get the pattern….

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