Friday, February 17, 2012

Goldfish, Tunisia, and a Query About Blocking.

My Objects of the Week! :D  I finished up the goldfish I started way back in January.  I decided that a rainbow mohawk of fins was in order.  The fins were interesting to attach---the pattern called for doing a line of surface slip stitch (once the fish body was already finished up) and then crocheting into it.

I also made a stack of Tunisian crochet dishcloths from this interesting pattern.  I had a hilarious false start wherein I invented a new stitch---Tunisian back post crochet!  Since I learned the Tunisian simple stitch about a year ago and hadn't done anything with it since, I forgot that you go through the two loops of the vertical bar created by the stitches, not in back of the whole thing as with posted crochet [with which I'm more familiar].  So I was really confused for a while as to why my dishcloth looked nothing like the others on Ravelry.  I may actually try the wrong-technique I was using again sometime, as it created a super plush fabric that might be good for hotpads and stuff.

I love the texture that Tunisian crochet creates, and this pattern was one of those "bet you can't eat make just one!" things.  I chained 10 (rather than the suggested 15) for the two bigger cloths, so I was able to do them on a standard crochet hook instead of a heavier, wrist-hurtier real Tunisian hook.  But I might brave said bigger hook and try a hat next.

The (almost) FO I'm most excited about this week isn't mine, however.

 My mom made an Ishbel!  It was (she says) the hardest thing she's ever knit, and she's never frogged so much in her life, and the most exciting part?  It's made from silk yarn that she spun and dyed herself.  I can't believe how light and amazing and beautiful this thing is, and it's even blocked yet.  Which brings me to my query---if any of you have experiences/advice/tutorials to share about blocking a silk lace shawl, I'd love to pass them along to her.  Neither of us has ever blocked anything before.  

I actually just started my own first Proper Shawl that will Need to Be Blocked (more on that if I have time on Wednesday), so I'll be back with more queryin' whenever that gets finished---mine is in wool sock yarn, so I imagine it will be a different process.  I'm nervous and excited in advance!

Linkin' up with FO Friday and Fibers on Friday, as per usual. :)


  1. Your mom's shawl is gorgeous! I have no advice on blocking, I am at this very minute blocking my first ever triangle shawl. I expect she will need far more pins than she suspects.

  2. I blocked a lace shawl once and it was quite simple. I used t-pins (borrowed from work but likely an get them from any office-supply store) and foam interlocking floor mats for kids (can likely get at Walmart or similar stores). My shawl had points so I pinned them all and then went around again and moved the pins to stretch out the points until I was happy with them.

    I've posted a couple links below that may be helpful. The first one uses blocking wires.
    The second talks about measuring (which I didn't do, I just did it by eye) and uses pins. The two links are also different in that one soaks the garment then uses a towel to squish out the excess water (this is what I did) and the other sprays the garment with a spray bottle. It seems there are many techniques, I'd google it yourself and find one that you think will be best for your project!

    P.S. be sure to take before and after pictures of the blocking!

  3. Ishbel is gorgeous! Blocking always terrifies me, although I've done it a few times now, and it's getting less scary. :) I love the goldfish and his rainbow fins are awesome! I love the dishclothes - Tunisian is on my "too try" list :)

  4. Love the rainbow mohawk. And your mum's Ishbel is beautiful