Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hello possums!

A couple of months ago, a friend, Lady S, went home to New Zealand and when she returned, she bought me a lovely yarny present (she's a good egg, Lady S).
It's possum yarn! Made by Touch, a fab NZ yarn company - 40% possum, 60% wool. And unbelieveably soft!! I was tossing around ideas of what to make with it with Bells and one of us thought of the Forest Canopy shawl, and Bells made me cast on! (she's a bad influence, that one!).

A good choice! While it does look a little stripey in pictures, in real life the colours are more subtle and blend together well, and since the lace is so simple, it just works.

And blocking is magic (except for the sore back)!
Here are my blocking tools:
Foam mats from a $2 shop (discount store) - I bought two packs, I think they were $4/pack, and they are great as you can make all sorts of shapes with them for blocking awkward sized things. And my lovely blocking wires which I bought last year from Yarns Online.

Yarn: Touch possum yarn, 1 x 100g skein. I thought the yarn was a sportweight (the label suggested 3.75mm sticks) but I think it's really a DK/8ply.
Pattern: Forest Canopy Shawl by Susan Pierce Lawrence. An excellent first lace pattern, as so many have said before me. I did about 5 or 6 extra repeats to ensure I used up all the yarn.

Sticks: KnitPicks Harmony options, 4.5mm. I really should have used 5mm sticks, I think, but as I thought it was sportweight, and as I was already using the 5mm sticks on another project (which project, to be honest, I'm not exactly sure!), I decided on 4.5mm.
Time: 9 September 2008 - 22 October 2008. I could have finished it earlier than that, but I had a break to work on some other deadline type projects. I picked it up on a whim this week and thought heck, that's not long to the finish line, so I went for it!

What I learnt: I should have listened to my instincts about stick size - even though I made the shawl bigger than the pattern, it's still quite small (about 120cm/47" wingspan). And that weighing the ball after each repeat is a great way to ensure maximum skein usage.

This is all I was left with when I cast off (and I wasn't sure I was going to make a big sigh of relief when I did!).

Also I learnt that taking pictures of yourself in the mirror is very difficult!!

Now though, I'm really hankering for some fine lace knitting...but that's another post!


Michele said...

it turned out really well! but after knitting lace with DK i can see why you're thinking about lace weight.

2paw said...

Nothing Everage about your shawl, Possum!! I would Gladi-ly take it off your hands!!! What a great blocking base idea too.

Lynne said...

Ooo so pretty. And what an inexpensive and versatile blocking mat!

Anonymous said...

It's absolutely gorgeous! I love the variegated yarn with this lace pattern - the two work really well together. And I can't believe how quickly you made it!

sweetp said...

Stunning!! WoW. I bet the yarn is gorgeous to touch, possum is soooooooo soft

Really Ok for a beginner? I'm on the hunt for something to do for the summery lacy thingy, and I havent done lace before

Alwen said...

It looks almost Fair isle, the way the colors come and go!

Donna Lee said...

Somehow, it's hard to picture possum being soft. THe colors are great in that shawl. It looks gorgeous.

Bells said...

oh so am I!

It's beautiful. I love it.

kgirl said...

absolutely gorgeous! I've never seen possum yarn dyed up - I've only seen it au naturel

Georgie said...

I dont think I can top 2paw's comment - that's a corker!

Its gorgeous, so soft and subtle. Lovely.

MadMad said...

Wow! Gorgeous! Someone was just telling me that possum there is not the same thing as possum here. Which is a good thing. Off to google it...

Ann said...

It's so gorgeous & I love the colors! You have done a fantastic job & those foam blocks are great. I have to go & get some.