Isn’t this the most amazing thing ever?

Not my knitting–obliterated by blocking are nearly a dozen fudges. I mean the fact that this shawl is off the needles and blocked.

I am thrilled to death. Right now, I expected to be glancing balefully at my corner piled high with UFOS and shuffling along on the Fiery Bolero. But the yarn gods are benevolent. The Malabrigo came in early, and in my elation, I whipped out the last few rows, the edgy bit, and bound off in three days. Staying up until midnight watching Arcade Fire on Austin City Limits helped. Arcade Fire is one of those bands that you can’t really appreciate fully until you have seen them perform, and they really kicked it out that night. I was hugely impressed.

But anyways. As part of the FO ritual, here are the specs:
Pattern: Icarus Shawl from the Interweave Knits Summer 2006 issue
Yarn: THREE skeins Malabrigo Laceweight in Bergamota. I do not recommend using anything dark. This yarn is a little slippery, and most of my fudges were the result of losing a yarnover and not discovering the fact until 2 rows after it happened.
Needles: There’s always lots of discussion on what sort of needles to use, metal vs. bamboo, ultra-pointy tips or not. I did ok with plain bamboo Addis. The tips were not inordinately pointy, but they worked for me. I do not recommend using metal needles with this particular yarn, as per my above note on fudges, but a longer wire would be good. After the first few repeats of Chart 1, the whole thing started bunching up on the needle and it was impossible to see how my gauge was holding up.
Blocking: threading string through the eyelets while wet, tugging the ends tight, and setting it aside to dry works just fine.

My favorite part of this pattern is that it impresses the heck out of people. My Linguistics classmates had been monitoring my in-class progress, and asked me to bring “the red thing” in when I was done with it. I did (shamelessly), and they oohed and aahed in amazement. I take no credit in such success. The pattern is elegant and elegantly written. If you 1. can read a chart, 2. buy good yarn, and 3. have boatloads of patience/are a glutton for punishment, you can make this.
Of course, there’s no need to tell everyone else that.

After I got it off the needles, I agonized over the pronounced bimp at the base:

But blocking evened that out.

Here’s a detail before blocking:

And one from after:

And a closeup:

(This last picture best approximates the actual color of the yarn.)

Yes, I am totally enamored. But I was so totally in a rut, and after that bit of instant gratification from the Acorn hat, this was just the boost I needed to get me going on the Fiery Bolero.

AND I just got off on Thanksgiving break. The best way to see the effect this had on my mood would be to look at what I was playing on iTunes: yesterday I had Yellow, Despair in the Departure Lounge, and Sailed On in the lineup. Today? The Colour the Colour the Colour with All for You, Sofia and Seven Nation Army thrown in for good measure. This is the teaser–that little taste of freedom (and pie) to keep us going.

The end of the semester IS incredibly close. Beginning Tuesday, we hit the short, steep slide to finals. After that: winter break. Not quite the Holy Grail that is summer break, but at 65 degrees, I’ll take it. Repeat: 20 days, I can make it another 20 days. Just 3 more weeks, and I get my brain back.

Happy knitting with cranberry sauce.

One response to “POW!”

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