Gin. Knitting. Monkeys. What more could you ask for?!

01 September 2006

Blocking wires?! We don't need no stinkin' blocking wires!

Okay, so it doesn't roll off the tongue like swatches (we don' need no stinkin swatches!), but you get the idea.

One of my three best friends is celebrating her 40th this weekend. Usually, she just gets a present from me whenever, because she recognizes and accepts my inherent inability remember who has a birthday and when. BUT, b/c it's a big one (for her, anyway), I figured I'd do something a little more proactive.

Fortunately, I had picked up some LOVELY Himalayan recycled silk sari in beautiful vibrant colors, which reminded me totally of Miz Ell. I didn't want to make a bag (having just finished Teacher M's bag), and that was about it for sari silk patterns. So I decided, hey, I've never made her a scarf! (I think...) I wanted something lacey enough to show off the beautiful yarn, but woven enough to keep the silk pieces from copiously shedding. One early attempt was with Ms. Wendy's wrap, but the beautiful wrapping stitch was lost in all the slubbing of the yarn. I tried a number of drop-stitch-type patterns, but wasn't thrilled with any of them. Despite all the press my so called scarf is getting, although gorgeous, it just wasn't right for this yarn. Thanks to HOURS spent on my favorite pattern searching site KPC (you know, click, back; click, back; ad infinitum), I *finally* found a pattern that I liked. Carpathia. It even has a cool name.

Fortunately, its an easy to remember pattern, and I was through two skeins in no time (well, about 12 hours). The hard part was the blocking.

Since this is my first real lace-type project, I have no stinking blocking wires. I tried the DIY route by straigtening out wire hangers (NO WIRE HANGERS!!!!) that I had to steal from the Jman because, well, I don't use 'em. But they were too thick and caught the yarn too much.

Then I had a brainstorm (so to speak). Since this was knit up on US7s, I had all these smaller circs just lying around. Waiting to be blocking wire...

(See the cannibalized wire hangers in the foreground? Four soldiers gave their lives for this project!!)

Here's a closer view

It took two days to dry, and I forgot to take a picture of it last nite (thanks to Satchi making me drive out to THE VALLEY!!!!) But I hope to have pix of the finished product and the happy recipient on Tuesday.

Until then, have a safe and wonderful weekend.


At 3:40 PM, Blogger Sachi said...

:-P Nice scarf, though.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Ana said...

What a great idea!
You know I bought blocking wires a while back and have never used them.

Before I had them I thought this is the answer to all my blocking problems, but I guess not. But just having them in case I ever need them they are waiting. But the circular needles look like a very good way to go.

The scarf is very pretty.

At 10:27 AM, Blogger miss kendra said...

i will have to consider this, if i ever actuallyblock anything properly.

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Laurie Ann said...

They actually make blocking wires? You mean, stretching things out on the back of your sofa isn't the proper technique?

At 7:41 PM, Blogger tk said...

blocking wires?? i've never heard of

At 11:02 PM, Blogger sappmama said...

Love this Carpathia pattern. Circs as blocking wires -- YES! Genius.

Anywho, very nice 40th b-day gift.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Love that Sari-Silk yarn. It reminds you of me? Hmmm? Bright colors, wild threads running every which way? That reminds you of me?
I have a few skeins of this yarn too. I haven't done anything with it yet. Mine is kinda' scratchy for a scarf. Is your Sari-yarn soft?

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