Thursday, July 15, 2010

A New Scarf

I finally finished this scarf/shawl (Juno Regina, made in Misti Alpaca laceweight, 2 skeins) just before we left for holidays. The extended warm weather invited blocking, so after soaking the scarf in a Eucalan bath, I spent 20 or 30 minutes running a strong thread 'round the edges, then pinning it into shape. The interlocking foam pads we got last summer for a sitting-up-and-beginning-to-crawl baby are productively re-purposed as a great base for holding the pins. Of course I layered an old towel underneath to soak up excess moisture.Between the fineness of the laceweight and the warmth of the sun, the drying happened quickly and the lace pattern emerged clearly into its charming filigree out of the looks-like-ass (Yarn Harlot official knitters' terminology) confusion of yarnovers and knit-three-togethers of its pre-blocking self.

The brisk wind that speeded the drying along also littered the blocking pad and shawl with all sorts of organic material from the surrounding trees, various small cones and seed pods especially, but these shook off easily once the dried shawl was unpinned.
Although I made this myself, I have to eschew any false modesty right now. I think this is absolutely gorgeous!
And it's not really my own horn I'm trumpeting, as I simply executed the stitches, one after another. Credit for the gorgeousness has to go to the artistic vision and the mathematical patience and precision of the designer who first imagined, then graphed, this pretty piece, Miriam Felton. (I've also made Miriam's Icarus shawl, also a beautiful pattern)
Alpaca has so little "memory" or bounce or body or whatever you want to call it, that I'm wary of it for sweaters unless the pattern is well-designed with the fibre in mind. But I absolutely love it in a scarf, especially in laceweight. Ethereal as this scarf appears here, it will offer considerable warmth this winter, yet if I choose to wear it loosely wrapped, it will drape perfectly without over-heating me. Not that I'm impatient to try it out -- I'm quite enjoying being warmed by the sun for now.
What about you? Finished any satisfying projects lately? Or are you also simply enjoying the sun's warmth and basking in summer?