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Block me, Amadeus

Frenzy of housecleaning yesterday. Floors waxed, boxes unpacked, dark spaces between furniture and walls investigated, stored clothes aired and refolded. That is, all those things would have gotten done if I weren't a mere evolutionary step removed from a raccoon distracted by tinfoil and gotten all sidetracked by any and everything that seemed marginally more interesting than changing the filter in the range hood.

I think this was my first finished object ever. I've been knitting for at least fifteen or twenty years, since I was a wee small kid - I have vivid memories of trying to figure out how to fix a dropped stitch in the blanket I was making for a baby doll I had - but I had this bad habit of never finishing anything. At fourteen, I'd blow my allowance on Wool-Ease and overdue fees from the library; at sixteen I'd blow my Starbucks paycheck on Rowan magazines and that beautiful 4-ply botany wool they used to produce; at eighteen I discovered Noro. I've probably started hundreds of projects, knitting and ripping and rewinding until the poor yarns waved white flags of destroyed elasticity and fiber fatigue. Thus it was that a lot of self-manufactured fanfare went along with my finishing this sweater, on a trip to California, four or five years ago.

Too bad I don't care for it at all. It's from a Jaeger pattern book, in that peculiar papery silk/cotton/polyamide Trinity yarn (my first - and last - impulse to spend big money on manmade fiber). Nothing about it is right for me - it's too short; the cable panel down the middle and the high neck aren't flattering; the knitting isn't smooth or even; the fabric is fairly delicate. But, I knit this before I believed in blocking (forgive me, O blocking sprites!), so I'm hoping a soak and aggressive pinning will even things out and give it a bit of fluidity in addition to correcting the size issues.

I found my Flower Basket Shawl, too, crumpled in a heap on top of one of my bookcases. It was in a bad way:

I didn't block it enough before, and the spring in the yarn (100% wool, if I recall) had drawn it in to become a lumpy little mess. Another sacrifice at the altar of T-pins and Woolite:

Much better.

I know I've pimped this before, but the Yarn Harlot's lace blocking method is genius. Fewer pins, straighter edges, less making of the crazy.

I've gotten a lot done on the Union Square pullover, too - the body is blocking, and I've started the sleeves.

Speaking of which, do you think the bell is a little too big? They're beautiful and graceful and all, but I fear it won't be quite so elegant when the cuffs fall in the spaghetti sauce or knock over a glass of wine or simply give a general effect of a little girl trying on her mom's fur coat. I'm thinking of taking the suggestions from some of the good ladies at the Union Square Knit Along and modifying it for a cuff caston of 72 stitches rather than 92. I was looking forward to knitting a pattern exactly as written - and this is a well-written, interesting pattern, indeed - but I guess it's not to be.

I'm working on my Craftster shrug, too:

I'll block the bejeebus out of this to even the cables and give the thing drape. No chunky knits, ever!


Hello, I love the sweater you knitted at the top of the page, it came out beautiful and I love the cable pattern. I was wondering if it was possible to email the pattern to me or to let me know which booklet the pattern was from. Thank you, Candice

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