Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Blocking Gracie

With GS Gracie off the needles, it was time to block (or, as they say in England, to dress) the shawl. After blocking Scheherazade, I thought this one was going to be simple. It didn't fit on my blocking board, but it wasn't too big for the bed in the guest room, so with a beach towel laid out on the bed, I headed to the sink with Gracie and some shampoo to give it a quick wash. The rinse water was bright green – as was the second rinse, the third rinse... Off to the internet to check out excess dye in hand-dyed wool. "Heat and acid" they said, so the next washing was in warmer water with a little white vinegar. This looked like it could be a very slow process, so Gracie and I headed to the laundry room and the washing machine. Set to soak on the Very Delicate setting, with a little white vinegar in hot water, the washing machine took charge as I nervously waited, jumping up every time the sound changed to make sure it didn't actually spin after the water drained out. (Visions of a felted blob danced in my head.) One more rinse in warm water and – voilĂ ! No more green water! The final test would be the color of the yellow beach towel after the shawl finished blocking, and in fact, there was no hint of green on the towel.

It took two days to dry, but finally Gracie was ready for the official photo:

Pattern: GS Gracie, by Myrna Stahman, in
Stahman's Shawls and Scarves
Yarn: Hand-dyed Merino wool from Uruguay, purchased from 100purewool on eBay, single ply worsted weight, approx. 1100 yds
Needles: Denise size US 8
Blocked size: length 30" (center back) x 84" (wingspan)

The yarn is delightfully soft and snuggly. I have a feeling that Gracie and I are going to be spending a lot of time together this winter.


Rosie said...

It looks great Joyce! Make sure you bring it with you to the Retreat. We are great at enabling each other.

Leanne said...

It's gorgeous! Love the style, love the colour. I think I'm going to need to knit me one of those - my to do list just keeps getting longer and longer and longer!

Anonymous said...

I've knit lace with that wool too. It is so soft and pretty. Here's mine: