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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The last thing I blocked was a Bookmark

Yep, lots to learn.
The last thing I really blocked, T-pins and all, was some lace bookmarks I'd knitted.

(That was also the day I learned that Gryphon has "Magpie" tendencies. He walked up, looked over what I was doing, took a sniff, gently grasped a T-pin in his mouth, pulled it out and turned to leave with it. I was a bit astounded (and impressed) with his chutzpah, but I grabbed him firmly and relieved him of the sharp, pointy thing. {sigh}).

I've mentioned before I inherited this yarn. A friend travelled back East to visit family and came back with 2 skeins of Gentle Breeze Alpaca yarn indicating that I was gifted with the opportunity to do some knitting with her cousin's alpaca handspun.
By the way - the yarn is blended from three alpacas: Alagash, Harpo, and Caesar. (I love that the spinner noted from whence the fibre came!)

I was a bit boggled. I hadn't knit with handspun before and the looseness of the twist confounded me. I contacted the cousin and she indicated she'd like a scarf knit from the yarn.

I contacted spinning friends for pattern suggestions and began exploring Raverly for scarf pattern options. I tried multiple patterns, swatching several times. I even started the scarf on a few patterns but ripped back when it didn't seem to work well with the yarn and my knitting expectations.

I finally settled on the June is for Jag pattern by Lorena Haldeman, but it came out huge in this yarn. So I modified the pattern, casting on fewer stitches and tweaking the edging. And I liked the outcome.
I worked on it on and off throughout last year and finished it at a retreat earlier this year.

I then turned my mind to the 2nd skein of yarn. Another scarf?
Honestly, my first thought when I'd seen the yarn for the very 1st time was: "Cowl".
Another perusal of Raverly and I settled pretty quickly on the Squishy Cowl by Thayer Preece.

I swatched and then decided to log the cowl project as one of my Ravellenic projects. And I carried it with me to a quilt show and cast on a while after the Olympic Opening Ceremonies had started.
I was beyond pleased...the Squishy Cowl pattern is perfect for this yarn.
It was a quick knit and I finished it the next day.

Today, I blocked both projects with an eye to getting them shipped back East to the spinner of the yarn.
I put both pieces into cool water with a teeny bit of soap and left them to soak for a bit. Later I pulled them out, did a general squish to remove the bulk of the drippy-ness, and rolled them up in towels to remove even more of the water.
Because Gryphon is much more sneaky (and faster) than I am, I did the blocking outside. ;-)

Sadly, I noticed that I proved I was human near one end of the scarf...it's missing a purl bump ridge. {rats}. But blocking has been achieved.
Now to ship!

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