Friday, 3 June 2011


That's a Finally Finished Object.

I cast on for a Muir Shawl in September 2010. I actually finished it a month of two later, folded it nicely and sat it down where it stayed, unblocked and with ends sticking out, for about six months.

I'm really not very good at finishing. It's the most boring part of knitting in my opinion.

But, last week, I sucked it up, decided I wanted to wear it out of my birthday meal and started soaking.

Blocking it was an absolute nightmare. It was quite late and I was very tired - this was the day in which I worked for eleven hours and had to deal with a child protection issue as the last thing of the day (so I took it home, of course), followed by my belly dance class (I can't even remember what we covered I was that tired) followed by a well needed glass or two of wine - so I just wanted to pin it out quickly and head to bed. I had convinced myself that because it is rectangular and has no crazy points or similar, it would be easy. You'd think I'd never blocked before or something!

Instead what happened was that the edging was happy to be stretched and pulled all over the place, but the middle section did not like this at all. I don't think it helped that because the laceweight I'd used is very very delicate, the thing was drying very quickly as I attempted to block.

Eventually I gave up trying to stretch it and just pinned it into a vague rectangular shape and went to bed feeling defeated. I was even more disappointed when I checked on it the next day and found that where I had pinned, the shawl had pulled in around the pin leaving little spikes (you can see them in the above photo). These have more or less worked themselves out now and I decided I could wear it to my birthday meal.

This is, without a doubt, the hugest and most delicate shawl I have ever made. I mostly want to frame it and never wear it for fear with will get snagged on something and unravel into a million ends of thread. It's 30 inches wide and about 6ft long (my tape measure doesn't stretch that far, but I'm 5ft7 and it's longer than my arm span).

Two days after my blocking woes (there may have been a slight temper tantrum somewhere in there too), I drove down to London to visit my family. When I got there I was presented with my birthday present and I could have cried.

A set of blocking wires.

For more stunning FO's, visit Tami's Amis.

p.s. I just read this through and noticed it didn't make much sense in places. I've corrected those I picked up on, but there may be more. I am on day two of an epic headache, so I think I'm just babbling now.


Cris said...

It looks amazing and very VERY delicate. Like you, I'd be worried I'd snag it hehehe gorgeous work

Calophi said...

Hahaha, blocking wires a little too late! I say, re-block!

Chrisknits said...

It's beautiful. Likely the issues you point out will not be evident when it's worn. Wear it with pride and joy!

Tami Klockau said...

It's gorgeous! You should be proud you took it out and finished it after all this time. Wear it and enjoy!

SillyLittleLady said...

This is such a gorgeous shawl! I hope you get lots of use out of it :)

Affiknitty said...

I've always admired that pattern and I think your FO came out beautifully. At least you won't go through that again now that you have your birthday present! I hope you get a lot of use out of the shawl.

Sandy said...

It looks like a beautiful pattern though, very dressy. Is it possible to blog again when you're not tired?

P'cess said...

It's gorgeous and I'm completely inspired by your ability to time travel from September 2011 back to May to fill us in on all the details! ;)

Good work girl! Reblock with wires, a clear rested head and a nice glass of wine!

Anonymous said...

I am the same way. I am terrible at weaving in ends. My Lizard Ridge blanket can tell you all about that!!

Kathleen said...

I often get stalled on the finishing-bits of projects, too.

I'm sorry this one was so frustrating (and I hope maybe it will like the blocking wires and reblock politely!), but oh my goodness, is it beautiful. I understand your desire to frame it and keep it safe entirely. So delicate and lovely!

Ms C @ HappyElastic said...

It's beautiful. I did have to laugh at you getting blocking wires after all that effort. Were you expecting them or was it a surprise?

chemicalika said...

@ P'cess - I don't know what you're talking about, it clearly states 2010 up there and I would never make such a gratuitous error, even with an epic headache (now gone thank goodness).

p.s. Sept 2011 is a good month, I think you'll like it...

@ HappyElastic - It was a complete surprise. I was expecting a shawl pin which I had asked for and received and so was very confused when my sister said she would give me my present when I went to visit because it was too awkward to post (I was trying to envisage a giant shawl pin or something). I was very thrilled though.

And to everyone who asked - I will attempt to rebloack when I get back home (as well as possible reblocking every shawl I've ever made).

Nicky said...

I agree with the others -- it's gorgeous.

If I were you I'd re-block. That shawl is amazing and deserves to be worn