Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thread! She Said


Last Thursday I finally began to tackle the fringe on the bamboo baby afghan. A project which I had been avoiding as it had me flummoxed. Still does to some extent but as I play with it, experiment and figure out solutions it becomes less intimidating.

That same evening I also began to work on the silk shawl which is for my MIL birthday in late April so my ploy to deprive myself of the joy of plying the hook until I'd completed the drudgery of fringing the afghan could no longer be implemented without risking not finishing the shawl in time. But I have to keep working on the afghan as it is weeks past the time I'd hoped to have it in the mail. My grand-nephew is approaching 3 months old and spring is nearly upon us and this is a spring and summer weight afghan.

So I've been alternating between the two all week and have completed 3 iterations of the pattern on the afghan--an iteration being the ten rows of alternating five pastels with white. A very minuscule portion of the 15 iterations + 5 row each of the 40 inch sides have. But this week hasn't been about quantity but rather quality and discovering the best method and process.

I've still got some kinks to work out. As evident in the closeup below, just the handling of the afghan while working on it loosens the loop holding the fringe piece on. Sometimes to the point of the ends working themselves more than halfway back out of their noose and often, irritatingly, causing the four threads to shift off center so their ends are no longer flush and the whole piece has to be removed and reattached.



Obviously this won't do for the amount of handling a baby afghan must be able to accommodate but I knew this before I began and had a plan based on instructions in a book of patterns for edgings to tack each piece down with a slip stitch or single crochet stitch after a whole side was completed.

I'd hoped to avoid having to keep a ball of thread attached to the afghan as I worked to attach the fringe pieces. But now that is appearing to be the most likely solution--to tack them on with that crochet stitch once every iteration say. First though I am going to see what happens if I use only three threads instead of the four I've been using. Maybe that fourth thread, which actually adds two thread thicknesses inside the loop, is too much.

If that looks to make enough difference without making the fringe look skimpy, I'll then have to loosen each loop and tease out one thread on the 30 odd I've already attached.



Meanwhile, I've done 20 rows of Solomon's Knots on one leg of the silk shawl and 18 rows on the other. The plan, which isn't a pattern I'm following but something I'm making up as I go, is to sandwich ten rows of the larger loops between ten rows of the smaller on the two legs of an L shape with equal length legs. The legs are to lie over the shoulders leaving the V hanging down the back. I haven't yet decided if there will be a fringe. That will at least partly depend on how much thread, if any I have left after finishing the L. I can't get more of this hand-painted silk thread as each of the nearly $50 1100 yard skeins are unique.

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