It took me about 2 weeks to knit my scarf in the Old Shale lacy pattern. I could only knit a few pattern repeats each day and since I wanted the scarf to be long, it seemed to last forever. But finally I made it!
As Anita pointed out on her blog, the Old Shale pattern is often mistaken with Feather and Fans lace stitch, but it’s not exactly the same. Since both of these are traditional Shetland patterns, I’m sticking to the correct names and call my scarf Old Shale Scarf. Here you can find a little more about the differences in these two stitches.
I used Debblie Bliss Rialto 4 ply for my scarf – I had a lot of this yarn left from my Walk Along top so I could knit a large, warm scarf to wrap it around my neck and feel warm and comfy even on the coldest winter days.
Once it was finally finished, it looked like this:
The pattern gave my scarf a nice “3-D” texture, and made it very squishy and warmer than it would have been knitted in a flat stitch like stockinette. Despite being quite bored while knitting it, I loved the final result.
And then I decided to trust the label and machine wash it in 30 degrees Celsius. Which was definitely a mistake. When I’d taken it out of the laundry, it looked like in early stage of felting, it shrank, became flat and unpleasant in touch. I spent almost an hour stretching it, untangling the yarn when it was possible and generally trying to save it. Usually I’m not very worried when something like that happens – it’s only things after all, life goes on when they get damaged – but this time it made me really upset! Probably because I spent so much time knitting it and it used up over 600 metres of merino yarn, and also partly because I’m not in the best mood in general so I took it worse than I would have normally. Luckily though I managed to save it – the process of felting was just in the initial stage, so it wasn’t ruined completely. It’s just not as nice as it had been before, it still feels flat and less soft and squishy. Oh well…
Don’t mind the difference in colours, it’s caused by different light (the one on the right is very accurate). I’m also not sure if the flattened texture of the washed scarf (on the left) is visible on the photo in comparison to the pre-washed version (on the right). Maybe it needs to be touched to really feel how different it feels, but trust me, it really does feel different and it’s smaller than before.
I wonder what caused it? Is my washing machine simply not too reliable and not delicate enough on its “delicate” programme? Is it the lacy stitch that doesn’t take machine washing too well? Whatever it was, I’m not sure if I’ll ever risk the same again, even with superwash yarns.
Anyway, the scarf is ready, it’s still good enough to wear it, so with my last skein of Debbie Bliss I made the Azure Hat with mock cables. Such a lovely and easy pattern, I enjoy mock cables as they look great but don’t require cable needles so the work goes much faster. I started it slowly at first, but then yesterday hurricane Ophelia hit Ireland causing the lock-down of the country, so I took a break from work as well and spent the day knitting.
This new set is going to replace the Bubblegum set in my wardrobe, because I gave it away for the charity auction. I am happy all in all, just regret damaging the softness of the scarf.
Other than that, life goes slowly over here. Moods are still low, and my Other Half has to go to Greece this week to be there with his parents. Things are bad with his Dad’s health and the only good thing is that he can work remotely from home when necessary, connecting with the work PC, so he’s able to stay there for some time when they need him the most.
It’s one of those times in life when I can really appreciate knitting and crochet as a source of comfort and escape – even if temporary – from life’s problems. Hope that everyone can find something like that!