Monday, March 20, 2017

The Finish

I made it in to "Nome" about 40 minutes before the Red Lantern. Saturday was an epic knitting day and I'm glad everything worked out so that it could be an epic knitting day. I just knew the sheep shearer was going to call and say he was on his way...

I guess technically it's not really, really finished until the ends are woven in, but I purposely didn't weave my ends in.  Take a look at the really, really wavy patterning and the wonky ends.  If that didn't block out nicely.....well, I was prepared to frog the whole thing and make something else. I'd been psyching myself up (or maybe out) the entire race.

By the time I got into the Wool House and folded it up, I was sort of willing to accept the wavy patterning.  Even not flat, it's still pretty.

The two ends though?  Ugh.  That just won't do and I couldn't imagine...and if it wouldn't...I was already trying to think up a different way to re-work the ends.  

Block on with confidence.  It's wool.  Give it a chance.  Yeesh, lady!  And into the washing machine it went.  

I soak large items in the washing machine with moderately warm/hot water and a little Mrs. Meyer's laundry soap.  I then carefully spin it out, just like washing fleeces, pull it out, refill washer with plain water, resoak and spin, pull out, refill with warm water and a little Mrs. Meyer's fabric softener (My name is thecrazysheeplady and I have an addiction to MM lavender ;-), soak for a couple minutes and spin.

At this point I had to locate my blocking pins.  That I hadn't used since...when?  When was the last time I actually finished a project?  Oh yeah, the Baaxter blanket from last Iknitarod.  Yeesh... Finally found them in the office (?) and moved on to blocking.

Would it block out to my satisfaction?

Yeah, I guess I'll be weaving those ends in ;-).  Whew!!!  

Team Shot

And that wonky end?  I have no idea how it blocked out straight, but it did.  And easily.  I'm surprised I have any friends left after so much whining about it :-o.

The reason I was going to be so willing to rip it all out and make something else was the yarn.  I love this yarn.  I love how it looks, feels, knits, shows patterning.  It may be my favorite yarn I've ever spun and knit with, all because of a little hint of Cotswold blended in.  

There wasn't anything wrong with the straight Liddy yarn, but for this particular project, I needed to think outside the box.  Or at least outside my head.  It's important to put all the pieces to the puzzle together correctly.  Knowing how different fibers work, how they might work together, is all part of the fun.

I tried to pick some pictures that look how the yarn feels.  Can you see that little hint of fuzziness (technically called halo)?  Can you see a tiny hint of shine (technically called luster)?  I will do this blend again.

In fact, I think I'm going to try a little of Bullwinkle and Levi this spring.  Putting dark gray and white together might be too weird...but it might be pretty...  Heads up - don't answer your phone if you see it's me calling ;-D.

I love how this picture looks so much like drifting snow.  Or an icy river.  This project, Stories from Snoqualmie Valley, was the perfect Iknitarod challenge.  While I'd liked to have had more time to watch the race in real time or chat with the Ravelry group, I liked the "checkpoints", the "landscape" ,the section of endless "miles of snow".  It felt like I was right there.

I'd also planned to tell some stories of my own.  Or Liddy's, I should say.  Even Buddy has some stories.  That he's happy to YELL ALL THE TIME ;-D.  Are you tired of hearing about all this or would you like to read a couple stories?


  1. Absolutely gorgeous... got to love blocking. :)

  2. Yes, let's hear some stories! Beautiful finished project.

  3. For all your anguish, it turned out SPECTACULARLY!! Just gorgeous. And yes, stories, please. As many as you can.

  4. Of course, stories! Buddy and Liddy stories since they are the main characters in the project this year. OK, OK, any stories will be fine. Great job! (Those are kind of wonky blocking pins, or maybe I just use the wrong kind of pin. What are they called?)

    1. You gotta remember who you're dealing with. Those are floral pins :-D. I don't know how I thought to use them, but I've been very happy with them, especially for round parts and long straight parts. The boards are house insulation. Redneck knitting at it's finest ;-D.

  5. The beautiful white is so awesome. You do wonderful job when washing the fleece. Your stories are always the best. Hope 20 has been busy recording.

  6. Stunning finished piece!!!
    Remember to label the lantern with the year and wool.
    More stories would be delightful!!!!

  7. Just gorgeous Sara -- and always ready for more stories!

  8. Beautiful yarn, beautiful shawl!

  9. So, so nice. !!! Love the yarn, love the pattern, love the way it turned out..... Halo, shine, everything. (Red lantern stitch marker?????? !!!!)

    Of COURSE I want to hear more stories. I never get tired of what you write........ :-)

  10. Tired of bitchin about yarn/knitting????? It's why we come here. So we know we aren't alone :D

  11. Beautiful! What talent! It's enjoyable to watch you create and reach your knitting goals, however the sheep story details are easier for me to follow than your patterns. No matter what you share, your energy is the sweetest ! Thanks!

  12. Most Lovely. So happy YOU are happy!

  13. Your shawl is so lovely and you will thank Liddy and Buddy whenever you wear it. The pattern makes me think of ski runs.
    Your stories are why we read your blog and we are grateful that you share your farm life with us.

  14. It's gorgeous. It truly evokes the snowy Alaskan expanses traverse by the mushers and their dogs. The yarn glistens like snow on a bright, frigid morning.

    I have a Teeswater/Corriedale lamb fleece to spin. Hmmm...

  15. Beautiful spinning! Beautiful knitting! Equals a total beautiful shawl :-) You should be so proud! And of course... More stories are in order.

  16. Gorgeous! From lamb to sheep to spinning to shawl! I can't believe the difference pre- and post-blocking. I can see why you were worried!

  17. Beautiful shawl! Of course we want more stories!!!!!

  18. stunning and gorgeous!!! I love the photos showing the blocking progress :)

  19. Stories please. And the shawl is gorgeous. Trust the sheep I say.

  20. It really turned out well. So beautiful. What was all that fuss about? :-) I just love cables done in natural wool.

  21. Congratulations on the beautiful shawl. It doesn't matter what you write, it's all great. I love your blog.

  22. I love that shawl- it looks so soft and cuddly I just want to wrap up in it- and of course that means that you did it right!


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