Monday, July 06, 2009
I made this shawl for my sister for her birthday--it's one with a zero in it, but I'm not saying anything else in that regard. The pattern, Clara Parkes' The Secret of the One Skein Shawl is available free on the web.
I knit this shawl from two skeins of Red Heart Soft, which my mother gave me several years ago. It's an acrylic that feels a bit like cotton to me. To permanently block acrylic (so that it retains its drape and shape) I pin the article out to the size and shape I want, and gently press (not iron) it through a wet cloth, . Once it's blocked, acrylic will retain its shape forever, so it can easily be machine washed and dried. Natural fibers have to be re-blocked each time you wash them.
This ease of care, and its ready availability at thrift stores and garage sales, makes acrylic yarn a good choice for some projects. There's also a lot of it already floating around in the world, and if you find the right project for old acrylic, I say knit 'em if you got 'em.
I'm developing a real love for knitting shawls. Simple patterns yield very nice results, and there is something meditative about the repetitive plain stitching. This particular pattern is knit from the top down, and the predictability of the increases is meditative. It's excellent TV/ movie/ reading knitting.