I finished my Solaris a week or so ago; here's a pic of it blocking on my living room floor:
It turned out huge, but I love the size! That rug is 9 feet long, so the shawl is about 7 feet from tip to tip. This is my regular blocking space, the thick wool rug covered with a towel makes a perfect surface to pin items. For Solaris, I did not block with any tension. I merely let it soak in warm water, squeezed gently to remove water, then laid out in the desired shape and let dry.
I'll let you in on a little secret for "squeezing gently to remove water". If you can set your washing machine to a gentle spin, it's a great way to remove excess water after soaking. I've successfully used this for even delicate lace items, but I would test with your own machine first. You're not agitating in the machine, merely spinning, and the centrifugal force removes more water than you ever could by rolling in a towel or "squeezing gently".
I did not check my gauge before knitting this, and ended up needing a third ball of the main color. Now, before you scold me - I expected this. When knitting shawls, the finished fabric is more important than the gauge. Because I was using a wool/linen blend, I wanted a fabric with drape, so I needed to have a loose gauge to achieve that. I knew the shawl would end up larger than the pattern, but again, I wanted that result. Because shawls (and scarves and wraps) don't need to FIT, knitting a fabric you are happy with is more important, and the pattern can be adjusted if needed for the size.
On to our July KAL - because July is a busy month with holidays, camping, StevenBe workshops, etc - we've chosen a simple, one skein project. Kookaburra, is a pattern I designed and offered for free for my birthday last month, but the pattern is still available free when you purchase a skein of Kookaburra yarn! And, the yarn is on sale for just $20! We hope you'll all take advantage of this great special and knit along with us. The pattern is a great introduction to lace knitting, but it's interesting enough for even you seasoned lace knitters. You can see all the available colors here.
For those that are more adventurous, this pattern can be knit with any weight of yarn! We'll need to make some adjustments (needle size, number of repeats) and I'll be explaining how to make those in a future post. Since I've already knit this with Kookaburra yarn, I'm planning to use a different weight, so you'll have plenty of support of you decide to take the more adventurous path!
Stop in with your finished Solaris shawls - we love show and tell - or if you're out of town, send us a pic or link our shop with your project post on Ravelry.
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