Thursday, October 25, 2007

Benefits of Blocking

I tried to come up with a clever title for this post -- you can see where that got me. I'll probably come up with something incredibly witty and brilliant next time I can't sleep.

On with the post:

In case you're like me and haven't had tons of experience, and wonder if blocking is really worth all the fuss... here's a good example of when it is.

As is obvious to most, I'm sure, the part nearer the needles is unblocked; the section furthest from the needles was blocked and dried about a week ago.

What a difference a little water, some pins, and a few days make.

I blocked this still on the needles because I wanted to make sure the yarn would block well -- otherwise I was going to have to find a different pattern and/or yarn, which I've already been through a few times. The scarf is for a friend and I want it to be as special as she is so I'm not taking any chances. Full story in another post, but for today I just wanted to show the benefits of blocking. You can see the difference it makes in appearance; what you can't get from the photo is the feel -- the yarn became softer and much more supple after blocking. I'm extremely happy with it.

Special thanks to Laura and Nora; they both encouraged blocking in comments to one of my earlier posts. That was part of what inspired me to block the scarf at this point; I probably wouldn't have thought of it otherwise. As it turns out, the scarf would have been fine, but I'm glad I did this, and I'm a convert to the benefits of blocking!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Yes, that means exactly what you think it means: I finally got my invitation to! If you've been invited, you can find me as naturegirl... if you haven't been invited yet, you'll have to wait until you are, or until they open up the site to the public. At that point you won't have to be a member to browse, so it will give you a chance to look around before joining if you aren't sure it's for you.

I don't have much posted yet but I've been looking around and generally am pleased with what I'm seeing. I especially like the way you can catalog your projects, yarns, patterns, etc., and see them all easily.

If you're on Ravelry, I'd love to know your user name so I can check out your projects.

In knitting news, I'm slow, slow, slow to make much progress on much of anything. My socks have been set aside while I work on things for other people: a set of dishcloths as a "Happy Remodeled Kitchen!" gift for a friend (completed and given); a scarf for a Christmas present; a shawl for my mom.

gift dishrags

The scarf that's a present has gone through several changes. I decided I didn't like the first pattern I picked for that particular present (multiple reasons, but I still love the pattern, from
The Knitter's Bible: Knitted Accessories, the mighty mitred squares scarf). I tried a couple of other patterns and wasn't happy with them, either... finally decided the yarn was all wrong (Noro Kureyon in a colorway that just isn't hitting me right now that I'm working with it -- probably the only colorway they make that I don't like!). Found a pattern I thought would be perfect for my friend and bought new yarn at one of my favorite LYS, Knitting on the Square in Chardon, Ohio (hi, Kate!). Knitted several swatches and got into the scarf several inches before I decided the pattern wasn't working for me -- but I still wanted something with a strong nature theme. Poked around the internet and found Vogue Knitting's Lace Leaf Scarf (photo here) in the Spring-Summer 2005 issue; tracked down an issue on ebay... just got it Tuesday so now I'm ready to swatch and knit. I think I'm finally on track... but does anyone else go through so many changes for one gift? Sheez.

I'll spare you more stories that don't amount to any real knitting. I hope to be knitting more now so maybe there'll be more to show and tell soon.

See you at Ravelry!