> To Knit is Divine: Blocking problems

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Blocking problems

I finished knitting Scheherazade (aka Mystery Stole 2) sometime last week, but I've been suffering from blocking anxiety ever since. I've never blocked anything this big before. My first issue was where to block it. I played around with a few ideas, and then decided the only viable option was to use the bed. So I needed to do it early morning to give it time to dry before bedtime. I'm on vacation this week and have had the intention of tackling it every morning, but I've been sleeping in and by the time I get around to it, the morning is half gone.

But this morning I was up bright and early, so I decided that I there was no point in having knitted it if I wasn't going to block it, so I had to put my fears aside and tackle it. I started with a nice cool soak.

Then I stripped the bed and put a spare blanket on it. After squeezing the stole in a towel to get rid of the excess water, I spread it out on the bed and started to pin it out, with the help of the cotton yarn I had strung through the straight edges.

And that's when the problems really began. The stole, once wet and stretched out a bit, is longer than my bed. I tried going corner to corner, but it is still longer (and of course, I forgot to take pictures at this stage!) What to do, what to do?

I'm not sure how well this is going to work, but I ended up folding the stole in half and blocking it that way.

It's 20" wide and 84" long!

I have been doing some other knitting as well. I have one finished sock. I'll model them once I have the other one finished.

I've also been working some more on the shawl that I was working on before I got sidetracked by the stole. But alas, I was knitting away and the cord separated from the needle

But of course this didn't happen at the end of a row like the picture shows. Oh no. Couldn't be that easy. No, it happened in the middle of a row (while I was sitting in the doctor's office waiting room, no less) and I had to perform emergency knitting life-saving techniques. I managed to get all the stitches back on the needle and mark the section so that on the return pass I could check all my yarnovers and make sure I wasn't missing any. Fortunately, it's a fairly simple repetitive pattern, so it wasn't too difficult to do.

I'll need to try crazy-gluing the needle back together. Meanwhile, now that Scheherazade is finished, I've switched over to the needles I was using for that to finish the shawl. I'm not sure when to stop knitting it. It's a triangular shawl, using some stitch patterns from Barbara Walker. I'm not yet a good judge of how big to make something so that it blocks to the size you want. I think I'm almost there, but I'd rather it be a bit too big than a bit too small, so I'm keeping going. I'll stop soon though.

I'm also working on a baby sweater that I think is going to be adorable. No pictures yet though.

And I've been practicing knitting English style without letting go of the right needle. I want to do some Fair Isle knitting, which I've always avoided because every time I try to work with two colours, I get annoyed at how slow I am. I'd like to be able to do it with one strand in each hand, but I'm so slow at English style, that it drives me nuts. The reason I'm slow is because I let go of the needle with every stitch. I don't need to do that with Continental, so it goes much faster. Therefore, I've been practicing knitting English with just using my finger to throw the stitch. It's awkward, but getting a bit smoother. I know it will come with practice.


Anonymous Chauntel said...

WOW! Your Scheherazade is gorgeous in that green! And that was one near miss disaster with your needle breaking, away from home in all places! Great knitting!

12:00 PM  
Blogger Shez75 said...

Just wanted to say hi, and your stole is beautiful! Even folded in half. I'm also doing the Stole Along and also in Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud. Mine is done in Iris, doubled.
SO glad you were able to save the shawl from the needle disaster! That can be kind of heart stopping!
Welcome to the world of blogging! Be careful, you'll end up reading more blogs than you knit.:o) They're addictive.
Sheri in GA, USA

4:25 PM  

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