Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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Secret of the Stole: Finished and blocked

Blocking is a process in which you stretch a knitted item into its final shape and size, using water and rust-proof pins. This process is not an easy one when you live in a small space and don’t have a large floor to pin stuff on. I bought a couple of foam interlocking mats and blocked my stole yesterday– the foam mats made it easier to tack the pins down (and gave me a pinnable surface when the stole was too long to stay on the carpet!)

You might remember the finished, unblocked picture I posted earlier:

I didn’t mention it before, but the little beads of light you can see on this picture (most noticeable on the left side) are, in fact, beads that I knitted into the stole. I have now determined that I love beaded stuff– people will be lucky if they don’t get beads on their gift socks.

Anyway, notice how it looks like a dark, closely-knitted scarf in the above photo? When blocked, lace turns into lace. It also usually gets bigger.

My stole is 95″ long, almost 8 feet, and 19″ wide. It’s knit in Knit Picks Shadow, which is an inexpensive but soft yarn from knitpicks.com. The color is “Vineyard,” which is a lovely dark purple. I love how this piece looks and feels on me. It’s big enough not to feel like it’s “too small,” but fine enough to feel feminine.

I am almost done with Clue #2 of the second iteration of this stole. The second one is knitted in a finer yarn and a lighter color, for my sister’s birthday (I already spoiled the surprise by showing it to her, and she was delighted). It will have the same pattern, but will look much more delicate and lacy, I believe. Since my goal is to finish the second one in time for her birthday, I will be working on this stole with great dedication in the month of December. I will then take a sock break, then return to lace for a bit– I have something really pretty I want to work on.

In between these, I’ve also been knitting something silly/crazy/fun for my mom, using big needles and bulky yarn. When you knit lace long enough, you feel like it’s going pretty quickly. Then you switch to bulky stuff, and realize that the bulky knitting really flies! I do that periodically, just to keep my hands happy.

PS: I found something to do in 2008. I just haven’t decided if that’s something I want to pour my energy into.

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