Longevity Shawl Knit Along - Day 2 and Finale

Longevity Shawl Knit Along: Day 2

Longevity Shawl Knit Along: Day 2

Hello Knitters - It's KnitDocDonna back for Day 2 and the finale of the Longevity Knit Along.  
Today our knitting agenda will be as relaxing and enjoyable as it gets. Savor this, you've earned it.  New skills learned and a beautiful project crafted from an equally beautiful fiber. 

What we'll cover today:

  • Ruffles
  • Blocking
Longevity's Ruffle

Longevity's Ruffle

Creating Longevity's Ruffle
One of my favorite ruffles is more of a fluted edge than a ruffle. It's feminine without being fussy and very easy to knit.  It also molds beautifully during the blocking process and keeps its shape when worn.

So, let's look at the pattern and find Ruffle Row 1. We'll be increasing in each stitch across with the exception of the first and last stitch.

How the Increase is Done

KF&B = knit front & back (shown in images above)

Are we ready to ruffle?  Great,  as you work across the ruffle rows there are a couple of points that might be helpful:
Don't count your stitches.  There will be way too many.  Just sit back and enjoy the stitching not the counting. Yes, all these stitches will fit on our needle.

Ruffling does take a lot of yarn & time, but we'll have more than adequate yardage to finish our project, ruffle and all., and our end result will really be worth the time spent getting there. Ok, now we're ready! Let's work across that first row.

Here we are at the end of the first ruffle row. (image above, left) Does everyone's look like this? Yes, then time to work our remaining rows (2-4) and then bind-off on row 5. The image (above, center)  shows the ruffle beginning to reveal it's shape. 

The bind-off edge stitches often appear smaller than the main stitches. Counter this by working the bind-off edge with a larger needle. Experiment by going up needle sizes until you get the stitch size that is most appealing.
— Knitting Doctor Tip

You will only need one needle tip of the larger size, so if you have an interchangeable set why not just pull out a larger point, pop a point protector onto the end and you have a straight needle with the perfect tip for the bind-off (image above, right).

My Longevity Shawl WIP

My Longevity Shawl WIP

Finishing Longevity
Cut yarn and secure the yarn end. but do not weave it in yet.  We'll we be weaving after our blocking and then you'll see why.


Blocking
What It Does
Now it's time to unfurl Longevity's wingspan and stretch it to full height. We'll accomplish this by giving it a full wet blocking (aka a good soak). Aside from the ability to control our shawl's dimension, wet blocking will allow our fiber to relax and bloom showing off it's full beauty. Wet blocking will also even out most minor stitch imperfections, too!

Tools
Only simple tools needed for blocking:

  • Vessel ( basin, tub or  bucket)
  • Bath towel (big & thirsty)
  • Wool wash (no-rinse)
  • T-pins
  • Tape measure
  • Blocking boards or additional towels
Don’t have blocking boards available? Well, you just might have this. When I don’t have my boards I’ll pull out a yoga mat and use that as my blocking board. If I have a really big project, I might use two.
— Knitting Doctor Tip

How To Block
Soaking

  1. Fill your basin/vessel with tepid water and add a drop or two of a no-rinse wool wash (image, above left).
  2. Immerse Longevity pressing your hand over the garment gently (once or twice is good) to release any air bubbles, then allow it to relax in the bath for 15 min (no longer).
  3. Drain the water and gently lift the garment onto a bath towel as above.  Fold the towel over in thirds and then just roll into a jellyroll shape, pressing out the water as you go (images above, center and right).

Pinning

  1.  Lay out your blocking boards or prepare your surface.  Find the middle of your surface and mark with a t-pin (image above, left).
  2. Find the center of the shawl and line it up with the t-pin. Secure (image above, right).
  3. Stretch our the wingspan and secure at either end.
  4. With your hand smooth the shawl from top to bottom until you reach the specified length and pin.
  5. Do the same with the sides, smoothing into shape.

Measuring
Now that we've set the initial layout we're going to refine  our dimensions  by checking each side of the central spine stitches to make sure they match.

  1. Measure the wingspan on each side of the center stitches and adjust if needed.
  2. Pick a spot about halfway down Longevity and then measure each side of the center stitches and adjust if needed (image above, left).

Molding the Ruffle
Molding the ruffle is very easy and fun. The process is just lifting the fabric from below and pressing around your finger (image above, right).

If you need to re-mold a ruffle or two after it is dry, lay Longevity flat, dampen the area you wish to re-mold by spritzing the area really well with water and allow to dry!
— Knitting Doctor Tip

Final Step
Hardest part.  Leave it alone for 24 hours so it really dries!
Tick Tock.......Tick Tock...........24 hours?  Yes?  

Then unpin and weave in ends. Knitting Doctor Tip: Weaving in the ends after blocking will result in a much more attractive weave, with no puckering!

Time for my favorite part, . . it's time for the unveiling!
Our  Longevity ..... isn't it lovely?

Our time together has come to an end. Many thanks for knitting along with me and I hope you learned a thing or two.  Until next time.

It's KnitDocDonna wishing you nothing but perfect projects on your sticks!