Of Beads, Epic Bind Offs and Blocking

Of Beads, Epic Bind Offs and Blocking

After 5 months my Citron shawl is finally finished!  Don’t get me wrong, the pattern itself is not a difficult one, and I know some people can whip one of these out in a week or two.. however, for me the mountains of stocking stitch was just too much for my rather short attention span.

Pattern is from Knitty, Winter 2009.  Citron.
citronbeadscitronunblockedYarn is handspun BFL/Angora and BFL/Angora plied with Silk.  All singles spun on spindles, then plied on a wheel.

Modifications: I added 2 sections so as to use up all the yarn.  I also added 2 rows of beads, and beaded the bind off.  Let me tell you, beading a 740+ stitch bind off is a little mind melting.

citronblockedI have to say this, however, blocking things properly make a tremendous difference in how they look when they’re done!  As you can see in the unblocked photo, the edges are uneven, and the ruffle is all over the place.  After blocking, it sits beautifully.  I’ve worn it twice this weekend (sorry, no action photos yet), and have received multiple compliments on it, including my mother wanting to receive it for her birthay in 6 weeks… not another one like it, or anything else knitted, mind you.

photoreblocked You may remember my Photosynthesis Shawl, I had originally blocked it with pins only, no measuring and I’m sure I was quite timid in my attempt.  While I had my wires out, after the Citron was done, I thought I’d reblock the Photosynthesis.  This is it, laying out after being unpinned and unwired.  It did NOT have this definition after the first blocking.  I have fallen in love with it all over again.  I’m still amazed that I made this shawl.

I have decided that blocking is totally essential, and as my friend Donna (aka Randomknits) said in her presentation to the Guild a few months ago “Blocking is the difference between homemade and handmade”.

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