first lace

Yay! I finished my first ever lace piece. Isn't it purdy? It's the Branching out scarf on knitty. I used Fleece Artist Kasula (special purchase through a yarn co-op) colorway Mahogany. It's a DK weight 100% mohair, and I really liked knitting with it. And I LOVE the color, shiny rust and gold. It's scratchier than I thought it would be, and knitting with it left me covered in mohair, but it was softer and less fuzzy after I washed it. I used size US 9 wooden needles. Those worked well because I didn't have to worry so much about stitches slipping off the needles, but the ends were pretty blunt, so made some of the decreases challenging.

I knit this as a birthday present for Stacey, and since she turned 31, I did 31 repeats of the pattern. It took about a week for me to finish, knitting just a few hours each night. The key step of course was blocking it at the end. My dirty little secret is that I've never blocked anything ever before. Shhh. Don't tell anyone. I've mostly only made felted bags, soakers, longies, hats and booties before, so nothing really seemed to need it. This scarf definitely did, and it made such a difference.

Check out this "before blocking" photo. I knew I needed to cast on loosely, and originally I had planned on knitting with size 8 needles, so used a size 10.5 needle to cast on. But then I changed my mind and used the 9s, so you can see how the cast on edge pulled in. The blocking fixed that. You also just couldn't see the lacy pattern clearly until it was blocked. So now I'm a blocking convert, and I surely will do it more often. I wonder what happens to blocked items next time the item is washed. Does it go back to being all yucky?

My next project I've got going is a shawl for my grandmother. Started it a few days ago, it's looking okay, but it may end up being way too small because the yarn I'm using is a very very fine laceweight yarn. We'll see.


Kirsten said...

I like seeing these lace pieces, the scarf and the shawl in the next entry. I haven't worked up to buying a wool lace yarn yet, but I will soon. I saw a beautiful purple at a local yarn store and just barely pulled myself away without buying it.

Korin said...

I'm making this for my mom's birthday :) but she's turning 60, and there is NO WAY IN HELL i'm doing 60 repeats! :D
Yours is gorgeous!