I think that having a sunroom might be good for carding. On a sunny day, it gets up to about 70 in there, and the opportunity to enjoy some sunshine while it’s 14 degrees outside is a nice incentive to actually get out there and make a batt or two. 

Branden picked up some Oxi Clean at the grocery store this weekend, so I did a little washing yesterday, and have some very crisp, crunchy linens as a result. These are pieces made by my grandmother and great-grandmother, from linen made in Italy and sent to the US as a wedding gift for my great grandparents. My mom is cleaning out her attic, and passed them on to me at Christmas.

They’re in pretty good condition, but had some yellowing and staining from years of use. I washed them all over the holidays, but thought that an actual cleaning agent would help. I can’t believe how beautifully they cleaned up! I didn’t take a “before” pic, but this doily had several ancient coffee stains, and now it is bright white again. It was a little odd to be treating fragile, handmade things by throwing them in a pot of boiling water, but they came out really well. I still have some ironing (and a little mending) to do, but I’ll post photos when they’re finished.

Jocelyn kindly reminded me that I should probably actually document the manta ray before consigning it to the knitting scrap heap, so I took advantage of today’s sunshine to take a few photos.

The shawl itself is basically a square knit on the bias, with one corner cut out to leave a front opening.

The green section in the center is a deep shawl collar, which I really love, but which came out far too short in the final execution. I really want the collar to extend all the way down to the waistline, which would involve making the cutout a lot deeper so that the front panels are longer. I’m not sure why the neck hole is so far forward; I had intended for it to be centered, but must have made a mistake somewhere when calculating how many stitches to put on the holder needle, because it’s really about 2/3 of the way to the corner rather than halfway in between.

The back panel, I love. It’s almost exactly what I was hoping for, and I think it would wear really nicely, if the front were balanced to match. I’m pretty sure that I will knit a version of this again, but this one isn’t working…quite. I think it will be a really useful piece of clothing, once I get the details figured out.