Summer’s Dim

With six inches of snow over the weekend, summer seems but a distant memory.  Kind of how I feel about knitting Simmer Dim.  Last July.  It was a wicked fast knit.  Like, a week.  All except for the picot bind-off, which seemed to take a week in and of itself.  But such a pretty edge.  An edge that would have to be blocked into hundreds of little points.

One stitch at a time - while dry - saves work when wet!

But why slave over a wet shawl with a gazillion pins when you don’t have to?  Once again, it’s a lifeline to the rescue.  All I did here was run a long cotton lifeline through every single point in the exact same part of the point stitch.

When you’re

Connected and ready to go

finished, you have all of your edge stitches connected through one lifeline with very long tails.  (The long tails are key ~ remember, you’re going to be stretching the piece significantly.)  Off to the warm bath with you!

At blocking, I

Simmer Dim - the whole shebang

usually start by marking the center of every piece with a wire spine.  It helps me keep things even, whether it’s the depth of the piece on either side of the midline, or the length of the “wings” or any other measurement.

Here’s where the lifeline magic

Let the lifeline do the work

comes in.  Because all of the points are connected by an inelastic thread, I don’t have to pin out every. single. one.  Sure, there’s some adjustment along the way.  (I’ve always maintained that blocking lace is a process of adjustment, not absolutes.)  But moving four pins around sure beats moving 40!  And the lifeline keeps all of the points within a section at pretty much the same depth.

A fine point

48 hours later, this is what you have.

So here is the official 411:

Yarn:  Knitting Notions Classic Merino Superwash Sock in the colorway Atlantic found in the KR Retreat Stash Lounge in 2010.  Thank you to the kind knitter who left it there.  The color was inspiring.

Pattern:  Simmer Dim by Gudrun Johnston (currently only available through Ravelry)

Gudrun is a terrific designer who writes clean patterns that practically knit

No socks out of this sock yarn

themselves.  I know when I choose anything of hers, I’m in for a thoroughly pleasant knit.

Pattern modifications:  None, other than blocking more aggressively than many others did.  I suppose I could have gone up a needle size since I used less than

Summer's gone, Simmer Dim is left

2/3 of the skein, but I’m happy with it as-is.  The depth at the center point started at 12 in, but post-blocking, grew to 18 in.

Project marriage score:  9  The yarn performed what it was asked to do nicely.

So back to where I started, yes, I finished knitting this in July.  It has waited patiently over the seasons while other projects have commanded my knitting attention or the guest room I needed to block it properly.   As I pinned it out the other day, I was reminded of a knitter Ann Budd told me about, who has a trunk full of unblocked shawls.  She loves knitting lace, but hates blocking.  So she knits them and tosses them into the trunk.  That struck me as terribly sad.

I greatly enjoy the blocking process.  It’s just my small house is making square inches challenging, more so since Santa’s last visit.  With a family trip coming up, nothing else will get blocked for awhile.  The guest bed is needed for suitcases.  But I’ll have a new shawl to pack.

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6 Responses to “Summer’s Dim”

  1. nancy Says:

    Wonderful post and tutorial.
    Simmer’s Din and you will be lovely together.

  2. Pat Says:

    What a great idea, Owl. I’ll use it on my next project, which will be made from Tess’ red silk lace weight (from this year’s stash lounge) for this very same shawl.

  3. AngieSue Says:

    Love the lifeline tip! I’ve only used blocking wires but this idea seems just as good if not better.

  4. marfa Says:

    Momma Mia, dear pal, that is one gorgeous & beautiful shawl! Some knitting pals have told me I should not knit a shawl w/superwash sock yarn: you have proven them wrong !

    XOXO

  5. bullwinkle Says:

    Lovely! The color reminds me of old ice (Antarctic/Arctic iceburg ice). Your blocking makes the shawl more delicate and open than the pattern pix. I must remember this when looking for patterns.

  6. mk Says:

    Beautiful!

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