Struttin’ my stuff

A few weeks ago, I finished knitting the Peacock Feathers shawl!

Looks like a mess, doesn’t it?

I carpet-blocked as I added the crochet edging. I used the same hook size as needle size (2 mm) but added 10 chains per loop. You can sort of see the subtle color shifts (almost stripes) in this photo.

I washed the piece and let it dry. On Juno’s recommendation, I bought interlocking foam floor covering pieces as a blocking surface. I purchased the alphabet and toy sets because we were expecting little kid visitors then, and I thought it might entertain them and thereby serve a double purpose. Having heard horror stories about back pain after pinning pieces on the floor, I pinned it on my dining table (and smugly felt nary a twinge).

To block, I started with the washed-and-dried shawl and put a pin in each corner. I bisected the distance between each pair of pins with another pin until I caught every edge loop. I steamed the shawl several times and let it dry under tension. I wove in the last few ends (I never weave tails until the piece is blocked), clipped the tails, and breathed a big sigh.

Dimensions: 64″ (top) x 32″ (center)
Needles: US 2 (2 mm)
Yarn: My handspun (Chasing Rainbows bombyx silk top, colorway “Moody Blues,” spun with a Bosworth mini spindle, plied [2 ply] with a Bosworth midi spindle)
Weight: 65 g (2.3 oz)
Approximate yardage: 715 m (782 y)

Some closing thoughts: 1) I spun this without a standard and was pleased to see that I can get a consistent grist even when “winging it.” 2) Silk is highly susceptible to static. This shawl does not flutter freely, it clings to my clothing even when I walk quickly. 3) Thank FSM that this blocked large enough to not be a giant arrowhead pointing to my butt. 4) I bought the white shirt seen above specifically to provide contrast with the shawl and bring out the stitch pattern. Yes, I’m that vain.

I guess it’s time to get back to Matt’s sweater! Have a great weekend, everyone.

58 thoughts on “Struttin’ my stuff

  1. It is magnificent, as everyone has said. I’m about to start the same pattern (w/commercial yarn). It’s interesting to see that you only put the foam squares at the mid-point and the outer edges. That’s clever, I would have made a big rectangle, wasting time and possibly squares. And doing it on the dining room table? Priceless tip, thanks (and my back thanks you, too).

    I seem to remember you were worried about the dimensions, but it seems it came out perfectly sized. Did you make any adjustments, or was it just a function of using your own yarn?

  2. Absolutely gorgeous!

    I’ve had that pattern for a while, but have been overwhelmed at the thought of the lace. This just may inspire me to start up though!

  3. Hi Juno,
    Many thanks for having me look at your blog. One of these days (ha) I might get time to spin,or knit, maybe both. I always love t see what people do with the fiber. And this is an especially wonderful treat! I’m with the writer who found amazing what one can do with two sticks and caterpiller spit!
    Best, Nancy

  4. That is what a shawl should look like. Good call on the shirt. That’s not vain, that’s styling. Going to all that work then hiding it against a dark or matching backrgound would be criminally insane.
    So very, very well done. Congratulations.

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