At 3am this morning, Sylvia came into being.
It was a bitter-sweet moment to cast off. I seem to have put so much of myself into this shawl that it’s almost a part of me now. On one hand, I was delighted to finally be rid of this project (and finally be able to wear it!) On the other hand, I was sad to see it coming off the needles.
I have to admit I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into when I started this design. I thought it would be an 8 ball project. 16 balls of Stansborough Mythral 100% wool later… What I thought would take me a week to knit ended up taking nearly four.
There’s something about hand knitting that is intensely satisfying. To look at a project and think that the entire project was made by you, that every detail was crafted stitch by stitch with your own two hands. The fact that I planned and put together all the elements of this shawl adds even more to my happiness.
I have to tell you about the blocking bit too. Cheryl at Stansborough informs me that to get the best out of this yarn, you need to soak it in hot water after you’ve finished knitting. She also advised that you can spin it on a regular spin in the washing machine, and hang it (!) up to dry.
So… with bated breath, I filled the tub with what I figured to be hot water (I measured the temperature after I’d put the shawl in: 38C/100F). I left it soaking with wool wash for 10 minutes. Then I drained it, and put it in my front-loading washing machine on a 800RPM spin. 9 nervous minutes later… it came out light, soft, and perfectly beautiful. With even more lustre and drape than before. You’ll see post-blocking photos when I release the pattern.
I was too chicken to hang it on the line to dry though, so it’s drying on a rack on my deck. I can tell already though that I should not have been worried. This wool has a durability and strength to it that will allow it to keep its shape well, and I doubt a hanging on the line would do anything bad to it at all.
Pattern will be released soon!