Friday, 30 January 2009

Another Non-Update

I wish I were more like the Yarn Harlot and had more to say about my knitting, unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of having a job and a life that consists of knitting, knitting people, fibre, and books, so I have a lot less material to work with. Since I haven't found a way to type and knit at the same time yet, I can't plead to take my knitting to work with me.

I'm still working on my Winter Branches sweater. It's a lot further along than the pictures, but the weathers horrid (cold, grey and no snow), so new pictures with decent light are out of the question. I'm hoping to finish it this weekend, or maybe early next week.

I have a question for you more experienced knitters: Is there a great advantage to blocking sweater parts before sewing them together? I've only ever knit a sweater in the round where blocking the pieces was out of the question. It seems to me though that if one sews the pieces together and matches up the bits (like incs and decs with each other) it should come out all right without blocking. I'm hoping you all say this is so because I have no blocking board and nowhere to leave two sleeves and a front and back for a couple of days while they dry. With T in the house, that's just begging to have at least part of it eaten.

Speaking of which, there are very few things in this country that can be purchased inexpensively. One of them is fortunately yarn. I managed to rewind the several balls of wool which T tried to eat and was happily knitting along when I got to a fresh, non-eaten ball of wool when the yarn end hit the fan. OK, it didn't actually hit the fan, but it might as well have. They're centre pulls, only the centre doesn't always want to be pulled. I tried to get it out properly for a while, but when that didn't work, I resigned myself to yarn barf. I pulled out the whole center, searched for several min. turning what could now only be termed a blob of wool this way and that, only to find that the end was inexplicably hiding somewhere in the outer portion of the yarn. I finally found it, but by this time it was running through several blob layers, none of which seemed to make any sense at all. It was like they had given the wool to T to play with before taking it back and wrapping the outer layer around the blobs to make it look good. 20 min. later, I looked at the wool, realized that it was going to take me at least another hour to get it unraveled, considered that I have at least 6 balls too many for the sweater, and realized that at $3 a ball (or $3 an hour for the very unsatisfying and frustrating job of unraveling a blob of wool), it just wasn't worth it. It took a minute, but I finally managed to part myself from the blob by depositing it in the trash - and then promptly ensuring that T cannot get a hold of it. I have no desire to have to even explain to a vet how he could possibly get 120 yards of merino wool into his intestines. It's gone. I feel horrible for the waste, but it really just wasn't worth it. Really. It wasn't. And maybe if I tell myself that 100 times, I might actually start to believe it.


  1. I have found blocking post-seaming has always worked fine for me. My seaming is never perfect, so blocking helps those imperfections out. Plus, do a lot of stretching and pinning when I block and I've always feared that blocking the pieces individually would make for non-matching edges - I know they'll all match before blocking. And I always suspect that if I did block beforehand, I'd end up blocking again after because of all of the above reasons. And I do not love blocking enough to block something twice. So yes, I am all for blocking the final piece.

  2. I never block before seaming, but then again, I am a truly lazy knitter.

  3. I've done the same thing with a jumble of yarn, even some that wasn't wasn't exactly cheap. There comes a time when your time and sanity is worth more than getting frustrated by a huge mess.

  4. If I absolutely have to, I block before seaming (ie. if the pieces did not knit up to dimensions). You'd be surprised at how well the pieces do match up, plus the trick is not to block the living crap out of the thing, but get it to the dimensions you want/are called for, and then pin the crap out of it to hold it in place while it dries. I don't have a blocking board either so usually usurp the kitchen table (as I did for the Charm Wrap) or the tops of the washing machine and dryer (closeable with a door). FOrtunately for me though, my dog is interested in the blocking process (I kid you not!) and likes it when I pin things out and keep coming back to check them. He's never been interested in eating my yarn, knitting, or jackets. Want him to come over and train T? I find that using plastic bags on newspaper on towels helps the pieces dry faster--not sure why. See Knitty's old article on blocking; v handy. Good luck!