WORKING REPORT – LACY SCARF, FULLED PILLOW II

I continue to make progress on my two at-hand projects.

Lacy Scarf

I finished the center strip of the lacy scarf on Saturday night. The center strip took almost one entire skein of the hand-spun lace weight Merino. That rate of consumption put the last stake in the heart of my first choice of edging (with minimal modifications). I did’t think I would have had enough yarn to do one that wide.

So as I predicted, it was back to the drawing board. I spent my knitting time on Sunday and Mondaymessing around with stitch dictionaries bothhard-copy and on-line, usingthe little bit of yarn leftover from Skein #1, swatching out possibilities. Disappointment. Overall, I felt like a cable TV viewer – I’vehad hundreds of choices, but nothing to watch.

I started with several possiblities from books, then tinkered with them. I even drafted up a couple ideas from scratch.I wanted to use diagonals and/or diamonds to mirror the motifs on the scarf end. The thing should be rather demonstrative as the bulk of the body is so plain. I neededmy edgingto be no wider than 12-14 stitches at its widest point. Asawtooth or point detailwould make going round the corner easier.

After extensive fiddling with dozens of patterns (enough to actually wear out my short length of practice yarn from all the knitting up and ripping back), I cycled back to my original pick.It had the best combo of diagonals and I liked the balance of opage to openwork areas. All that effort wasn’t lost though. What practice did do was give me a better feel for how patterns can be changed around. My initial efforts at modifying the pattern book original were pretty tame – taking out a small insertion detail. This last time I chopped it right in the middle of a vertical pattern element, narrowing the thing down by half. As you can see, it’s working:

Stitch counts on the eding range from 10 to 15 (the body by contrast is 27 stitches wide, butbecause it’s a ribbing, it looks narrower than that).

To attach my edging, I’m using the same pull-a-loop method employed in the Forest Path Stole. It’s fussy, but it makes a very airy join, with no heavy column of attachment stitches. I will work from the point shown, rounding the first corner to the center of the end. Then I’ll weigh my remaining yarn. That should give me a handle on yarn consumption. If I’ve used more than a quarter, I’ll rip back and slash another three columns from the edging’s repeat, then begin again.

Fulled Pillow II

The fulled pillow went through five wash/tumble drycycles over the weekend, keeping company with the family’s regular laundry. I didn’t expect much in terms of total shrinkage. I’ve used this yarn before and it takes quite a few tries before it’s sufficiently de-lanolined to full.

It did start to fuzz up around Wash #3. I can still see garter stitch ridges, but the individual stitches are getting harder to spot. The pillow has also begun to get denser, and a small bit of shrinkage has occurred, but it’s not worth photographing yet.

Original dimensions were 26 x 14 inches (66 x 36 cm). Right now it’s roughly 23 x 13.5 inches (58.4 x 35 cm). I do note that the yellow stripes account for about half the shrinkage so far. The blue and green ones haven’t tightened up as much. I’ll keep washingthe pillowuntil I’m satisfied but as laundry is only done on weekends, you won’t be hearing about this piece again until next week.

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