Thursday, August 6

Blocking the Swallowtail

I finished knitting my Swallowtail shawl in a haze of decongestant on Monday. I am so pleased with this project. As my first triangular shawl, I wasn't entirely sure how it was constructed. Logically I knew, each row increases from a central point, but my brain needs to see something before it believes it.

I sort of winged this entire project. I didn't use any stitch markers or lifelines, didn't highlight or write on the charts, didn't even use anything to mark what row I was on in the chart. I kept saying "I just want to get started, I'll fix that stuff up later". And then I was done. And it worked!

I broke out the blocking wires purchased almost a year ago at Stitches Midwest for the the time. Let me say, once i figured out how to pin and pull them to stretch the fabric, I will never block something without them again.

The yarn I used (Wisdom Yarns Poem Sock) is marketed to use as a sock yarn. Obviously, I guess. It is a loosely spun single with 25% nylon. It didn't seem like it would be very sturdy for socks and this suspicion was confirmed while blocking. My yarn tails were almost fragile while wet, and one kept disintegrating in my hands. Luckily I left them extra long. I was concerned about how aggressively I could block it without damaging any of the stitches, so I probably erred on the side of caution.

Here is the unblocked shawl:

Swallowtail shawl before blocking

Here is the bizarre milky purple color it turned the water while it was soaking:

dye running
What's up with that?


Swallowtail shawl blocking
On old maroon towels, to avoid any chance of dying the carpet.

With cat anchor:

Swallowtail shawl blocking, with cat
While still damp. Crazy cat loves water.

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