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We arrived home last night at about 1AM, after a grueling day of flying during which I managed to put the final stitches on my Swallowtail Shawl. This morning, I woke up bright and early, eager to block it. I find blocking lace very satisfying in its ugly-duckling-to-swan transformational magic. First I laid it out unblocked to show you the “before” shot.

All crumply and the lace pattern isn’t so visible. My plan was to show you the “ta-da!” after shot once it was all stretched out for blocking. So I soaked it for a bit and squeezed out as much water as I could, pulled out the old Dritz pins and started pinning.  I’m not much of a knitter either in terms of skill or frequency so I don’t have any fancy blocking equipment- just sewing pins and the old futon.

Once I had it all pinned out, I turned my back and walked halfway across the room to grab the camera to take a “blocking in progress” photo (yay!  Dan got a new one to replace the broken one so hopefully no more camera phone photos!) and when I turned back to the shawl, I saw that something had changed in those brief 3 or 4 seconds…

Can you spot the difference? Yes the lace pattern is now all opened up and stretched out nicely, but there’s something else going on in this photo. Look carefully at this next one and tell me if you see it:

Wow, Sasa, that shawl is still wet! Since when does she have any affinity for damp things?? This feels a lot like the last time I blocked a Swallowtail Shawl.

I’m thinking that maybe it’s just a part of the pattern that isn’t mentioned in the instructions.

Well, she’d better enjoy it for now because once it’s dry it’s getting shipped off to my mommy, cat hair and all.

And so I pick up my knitting needles for the first time in months and months. I don’t think I’ve knitted anything since finishing a Ticuna scarf for Dan last summer. I bought two hanks of Berrocco Ultra Alpaca Fine in a beautiful shade of rich peacock blue, which I’m going to knit up into a Swallowtail Shawl (design by Evelyn Clark) for my mother. I think she’s going to love this color.  My camera phone does not do it justice:

Here’s the swatch from the Berrocco site, which is a smidge greener than the yarn I actually have in front of me:

As with sewing, my knitting skills are decidedly intermediate. But the Swallowtail is a relatively easy knit as far as lace shawls go. And it has added benefits for other members of the household as well. As you can see, Sasa was very much on board the last time I knit a Swallowtail for my sister. She especially enjoyed the blocking process:

I expect that things will go similarly this time. Fortunately, my mother is used to living with a certain amount of cat hair, and I do not think a little more will deter her from wearing it.

About this blog

The Selfish Seamstress loves to design and sew garments, but only if she gets to keep them. I'm Elaine, known in the online sewing world as elainemay, and welcome to my selfish sewing blog.

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