Thursday, 20 December 2007

Murphy's Monster

Here’s another project that has been hiding for a while...

It’s based on an old doily pattern ‘hemlock ring’ that was very cleverly adapted and expanded by Jared at BrooklynTweed to make a blanket/throw kind of thing. His is very lovely and earthy and neutral – with beautiful photos as ever - whereas this one turned into a bit of a crazy 70s style beast that was photographed in the dark at the last minute before wrapping!

I still haven’t quite got the hang of making the mental transition between what yarn looks like in a ball and what it will look like when knitted up. I really like the variation of colours in the balls of multicoloured yarns when you see the strands all wound up next to each other, but I’m often not so keen on the way the colours separate out into stripes as you knit back and forth with them. This particular yarn is Gedifra Chandra shade 7607 – a kind of woven chunky cord. I probably should have knit it on needles bigger than 6.5mm but was too impatient to get started as usual :) There are 4 more balls (7613 purples/greens) in the stash which I’m thinking of making a loosely knitted scarf or something with.

I had interesting experiences trying to get the beast into shape once it was finished. Fresh off the needles, it was very bunched up and curly because of all the increases and decreases in stitches. The whole notion of blocking knitting to set it into the required shape is a bit of a mystery to me, and I came up with a sort of cheaty way of doing it by pinning the throw to the carpet with drawing pins and blasting it with shots of steam from the iron. It must have been quite a sight because I got myself into all sorts of positions that wouldn’t have been out of place in a game of twister whilst trying to hold down and stretch out parts of the throw. Couple that with simultaneously trying to control the iron and avoid the drawing pins which were pinging up out of the carpet and flying all over the place, and you’ve got an extreme knitting situation!

Here’s a pic of the shaping in progress. I’ve already been over the whole thing so it’s less curled than it was originally, but you can see the near end is quite flat and nice, whereas the bit further away still needs a lot more pulling and steam blasting. It’s all done for now, but I think it could probably do with a more severe blocking at some point in the future.

Anyway, I’m describing this object as a throw for sitting on the grass in the sunshine with. It’s a Christmas/leaving present for Jane – who is probably going to be making the most of the Australian summer very soon! It is made by starting off with just 8 stitches in the center of the blanket, and knitting round and round increasing a few stitches every now and then. By the end I had well over 300 stitches on the needles and used more or less all of the final ball just to do a round of decorative bind-off!


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Di said...

Oh my gosh!! It is absolutely amazing! I love it and I am sure Jane will too! I hope she's booked a ticket to your place! Have a fabulous Christmas and see you in the new year!

jane said...

I love my blanket, thanks Louise! I like the crazy 70's colours and patterns too. Maybe I'll make it home one day and be able to sit on it out by the pool in the sunshine. Mwahahahahaha.