Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Magic Trick

I've finally finished my Lucy scarf, and it came out looking like this:

Huh.  Not quite what I expected.  Two balls of fingering-weight yarn and it is kind of short and scrunchy-looking.  I'm not a tall woman, so a shorter scarf is OK but this wasn't exactly what I had in mind....

That, my friends, is where blocking comes in.  Having never "blocked" something, I had to read up on the subject.  The Yarn Harlot sings the praises of blocking, and her stuff always looks amazing.  So she must be onto something.  So out comes my dog-eared copy of Stitch n Bitch, so I can figure out what to do.

First, Lucy gets a bath.  SnB calls for wool wash or some mild shampoo.  Having no special "wool wash" I opt for the mildest thing I can find:  baby shampoo!  Here goes nothin'!  I always say a prayer and cross my fingers whenever I'm about to do something that seems nutty like this.  (like closing my eyes and hoping for the best while plunging a knitted item to be felted in a washtub of hot, soapy water)  In reviewing blocking techniques, I especially liked the line "Agitation is to wool like garlic is to a vampire." 

Lucy needed to be rinsed twice. She also demanded the use of three towels!  I also learned an important lesson:  wet wool STINKS.  The smell of progress is not a pretty smell.  Luckily it dissipates quickly.  Either that or you hold your nose every time you walk by it while it dries!

I set up the ironing board in the dining room, as there isn't a lot of clear table space in a house with two adults and two children.  I laid it out on the third towel of the night, and gently tugged it into shape.  I checked it several times, then allowed it to dry overnight.

Voila!  Just like magic. Blocking....I'm now sold!

1 comment:

Moe said...

I think I need more knitting lessons! That looks fabulous!