Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Second Most Scary Thing About Knitting

I've got my Copycat Sears Cardigan blocking on a towel on the floor of my living room. I knew I had to block it. I mean, it's just what you're supposed to do.

I really didn't want to do it. I'll happily block scarves, hats, shawls, blankets, but sweaters... oh my goodness. It's scary. Think about it: you spend all these hours knitting away, carefully following (or, in this case, reverse-engineering) a pattern, measuring, trying it on... and then, you're supposed to give it a bath??? I think not. All I can imagine is a big pile of wet, squishy wool, slowly turning into a pile of wet sheep.

I've run out of wool for this project (again), but I've only got the button bands and one pocket border left to do, and I figured that it would be a good idea to block it before I put the button band on. I reasoned with myself, talked quietly to myself while I did it. "People do this all the time. You need to do this. The seed stitch will relax if you do this, and you'll get that extra length you need. You wanted that extra length, didn't you?"

Into the water it went (along with some wool wash). Gently dunked it. The wool sucked up all the water in the basin. I added more tepid water, little by little, until it was completely saturated. I gently turned it over in the water, lifted the sleeves, repositioned it without swishing or agitating... breathe... breathe... Then, after a couple of minutes of it soaking, I dunked it into the water again.... more breathing... please don't felt...

I found the neck and did the snake squeeze - hand under hand, squeezing water out without letting any part of sweater dangle. I rested each freshly squeezed part on the sink. Squeezed each sleeve, then down the body.

I got out a big towel and carefully laid the big, soggy lump of wool in the middle of it. I rolled my neck and my shoulders. So far so good. Carefully arranged the soggy wool into something that looked like a sweater. Took the short edge of the towel and started rolling it all into a jelly-roll. Hubby walked by. I waved him away... this is not for the faint-hearted. I knelt onto the jelly-roll to squeeze out more water, reposition, knelt again.

Hubby let my doggie out for his evening commune with the trees. I went into the living room with another towel, my wet jelly-roll and a pin cushion.

And there it lies. My doggie keeps eyeing it, like he'd like to go and rub his whiskers all over it. He knows better. It's mine. Hopefully, it'll dry enough overnight so that I don't have to worry about it. I've already threatened hubby that I will hold him personally responsible if anything happens to it.

Of course, if my doggie decides to sleep on it, I suppose it won't be the end of the world. I can always re-block it.

Besides, who could stay angry at this face?

Oh, as for the MOST Scary Thing About Knitting, well... it's steeking. I can't talk about it, though. It makes me faint and woozy, and it's far too late for that sort of thing!


Zaneta @ Runner's Luck said...

Hi! :) I found your blog through your RAK wishlist on Ravelry! I can honestly say I have never read anything quite as entertaining lol... I was chuckling the whole time because I just recently blocked for the first time and was thinking/saying the same things! :) Thanks for sharing your blog with me!
superwoman4002 on Rav :)

Nancy said...

All hail those who can block! Maybe this is why I dont' knit sweaters, hmm.. Saw your wish on the RAK list and had to check out your adorable dog and discovered a lady who also has a gift for writing, along with some beautiful knitting projects!

dragonflydreams on Ravelry

Joanne said...

Blocking isn't that scary! Be BRAVE! If sheep felt this way about the rain, well, they'd all keel over in their pastures. :) I'm glad to hear you jumped in to block your sweater and I'm sure it will come out just fine! (oh, and I block my sweaters on the guest bed to avoid unfortunate dog encounters. Harry likes to sleep on sweaters. Oops.)

Thanks for your sweet note on my blog about the milk chocolate Icelandic fleece! I hope it will grow up to be yarn that is blocked into a lovely cardigan...

Anonymous said...

I also found your blog through Ravelry RAK. I loved your description of the whole blocking adventure. I was smiling as I read it, knowing that one day I will be doing the same thing when I finally manage to get my sweater done. (and knowing it makes me nervous too!) I hope to see pictures of the sweater soon.
imablondie on Ravelry
P.S. your dog is adorable!

AdrieneJ said...

He is far too adorable for his own good! :)

merryamethyst said...

I'm here via the Rav RAK list as well...

I can totally sympathise with your blocking experiences - my first was when i spray blocked a bamboo cardigan. horror of horrors, it ran color! luckily i was used a colored towel. but overall, i liked what blocking did for the pieces, and i found it easier to seam as well.

as for angel face, CUTE! u r lucky he is a good doggie - mine is a bratty tom who would just go ahead and curl up on the pieces, and then look up at me thru his eyelashes.