Eyelet Lace Cable Afghan

It took three months, but I finally finished the afghan for my son's Christmas present. Cables, oy!
I used Galway Highland Heather pure wool. Plymouth Yarn sells it. I used 10 skeins, each 210 yards. I'm not sure I will use this yarn again as it irritated my forearms and made them itch pretty badly after an hour or so. Thankfully, no rash.

I would like to wash it now and I'm looking for suggestions. I am planning on soaking it in my washing machine but not spinning it. After soaking, I am going to rinse it and then add some fragrance-free hair conditioner to soften it up a bit and maybe make it less irritating. I understand that wool has barbs in each hair and that can cause it to be a bit annoying on bare skin. My son will be using it while wearing sweats, so I'm too concerned about it.

My question: Should I just dry this as I would a sweater and should I block it? Any tricks as to an easy way to do both?


Eyelet Lace Afghan - Wool


ronhuber's picture

I think I would block it. Perhaps because blocking would enhance the lace and cable. If you spin it a bit you can pin it out on your bed and it will be dry in a few hours. It is gorgeous. What a handsome colour.

CLABBERS's picture

Thanks, Ron. I appreciate you kind words and your suggestion. Do you think I should put plastic under it or just pin it to the comforter?

ronhuber's picture

I always spin my things and they are just damp so I just pin it on top of the comforter. Even damp lace can be stretched out nicely and dries quickly.

CLABBERS's picture

I took Ron's advice and gave it a good washing and a healthy dose of unscented hair conditioner and blocked it. You were right. The blocking opened up the lace stitching much batter. I am hoping that the little scalloped edges from the blocking pins will settle down after a bit, or I may just steam the edges a little.

The color doesn't show correctly in this picture but that's because of digital photography on an iPhone.

Thanks Ron!

eyelet lace cable afghan blocked

ronhuber's picture

Beautiful and I think a scalloped edge is quite classy.

kiwiknitter's picture

That is beautiful and must give you much pride. I have learned that washing and blocking, even if only by laying it out and smoothing it, makes the final product much nicer.

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

CLABBERS's picture

Thank you Jesse. I am humbled by your kind words.

Tallguy's picture

Oh, yes, you must always block all your knitting. By blocking, I mean that you use water to finish your item. It might be steaming, or misting, or soaking, or washing with soap. Yes, you should spin it out after rinsing -- it will then be damp enough to work with. You can just lay it flat on a smooth surface, smoothen with your hands into the shape you want, or pin it out. For long straight edges, use blocking wires. I have used long thin knitting needles!

But you did a great job. Yes, it takes time -- but look at the result! Stretching it out does open up the design, and looks much much better! Your son will appreciate it for a very long time! And wool will last almost forever.

CLABBERS's picture

I had a fun time soaking and then getting it void of liquid enough so it wasn't dripping. It was like kneading the largest hunk of dough for a huge loaf of bread. My arms were very tired afterwards. I enjoyed the results. The lacing really opened up and gave the afghan a much better appearance. I mailed it to my son yesterday.

I am now knitting a garter stitch scarf knit on the diagonal just to knit something easy. It is turning out well. I wanted it to be a handsome scarf for a dear friend of mine and I think that uncomplicated stitching, when done well, can be stunning in its uniform simplicity. It's all just a matter of perspective.

Thanks for your kind words of praise. I enjoyed making the afghan.