Everything else can wait until I finish this row…

Block Party!

Over the weekend I had a one woman block party – WOOT! Not only did I work on my report on blocking for the Master Knitter Program, but I also blocked two finished projects.

For those that don’t know, blocking is the finishing touch on a completed garment  Once you’ve casted-off your last stitch you’re not fully done with it.  You need to weave in your ends and then block out your pieces so that they have a finished look.  I don’t think I’m explaining this correctly to those that don’t knit and read my blog, let me demonstrate instead.

The first item I blocked was a scarf that I made for myself (Pattern: Inside-Outside Scarf, Designer: Elise Duvekot).    When I casted-off this scarf the garter stitch edge curled under the main body of the scarf, blocking it solved this problem.  Blocking it consisted of me washing it, laying it out on my blocking mats,  pinning it down and the letting it sit over night to dry.  That allowed for the garter stitch edge to lay flat and the scarf grew in length and width.

K1B Scarf Block 1

Here is what the scarf looked like before blocking. Notice how the edges are curled up.

K1B Scarf Block 2

Here is how it looked once pinned out. Pinning it allowed me to make sure that it had the same consistent width and it grew in length from 7 feet to 9 feet!!

The second project I blocked was a baby cardigan that I made as a gift for one of my husband’s fraternity brother (Pattern: Jubilee Cardigan, Designer: Cecily Glowik MacDonald).  This little cardigan was knit up in a week but unfortunately I won’t be able to gift it (I will have to tell you all of the troubles I had making it in another post).    But the important reason why this project needed to be blocked was because of the lace bottom half.  When you knit lace garments 9 times out of 10 the design is lost if not blocked.  Blocking lace projects allows for the design to bloom, without doing so the eyelets wouldn’t open up to show off all of your hard work.

Jubilee Block 3 Jubilee Block 1

It was great to feel like I accomplished something over the weekend.  I hope you have your own block party soon!

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<3 is such an awesome website for yarn addicts. Today someone that lives in another state messaged me for help understanding the sweater pattern that I made for my husband back in December. Ravelry is so great for uniting the knitting community and the knitting community is so awesome! I have contacted designers for help on Ravelry and it’s always a good place to find solutions to knitting problems. Which is where I am going to go now and try to find the answers of question #3 in the Master Knitting Program which relates to tension. If I knew how to correct tension problems my projects would be much more smoother.

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My needles runneth over with yarn

I am currently experiencing an optimistic flow for making new projects.   At my Thursday knit night I actually casted on a swatch for a top down sweater.  Still haven’t found the right needle size,  but the effort is there.  About a week ago I printed out a pattern and dug out my stashed yarns for fingerless mittens.  A week or two before that  I made about 3 new swatches for the master knitting course and I think I might do some reading today in order to answer some of the written portion.  I am on a roll!

I am also really scared right now.  I just threw my lap top case into the washing machine – I am felting! ACK!  It is so hard to do something that you have been told repeatedly not to do.  This reminds me of a modern art exhibit that I went to while visiting family in Brazil back in September.  The artist had covered the floor of his display with broken glass and you were encouraged to walk on it, through and around the barriers he had on it.  Throwing my knitting into the washer is making me relive that experience and it makes me cringe.  You are not supposed to step on broken glass and you’re not supposed to throw your knitting in the washing machine – I don’t know how I am going to last through this wash cycle.

Well, actually I do.  I know that I have to open the machine every so often and check on it.  I was also told to put the knitted project inside of a pillow case so that the excess fiber does not clog up the machine.  And I am washing it only with like color clothing.  I know that denim would be ideal, but I  didn’t want to risk the blue staining the tan colored yarn.

OOoh kay, deep breaths, those are the normal sounds of the cycle.    So here are some photo of what the laptop sleeve before this experiment:

Laptop Felt 2 (2)

Sometimes I love the inside look of colorwork knitting as much as the as the outside pattern. I worked really hard to make sure my floats were even!

Laptop Felt 1 (2) Laptop Felt 3 (2)

It measures roughly 13 inches  x 17 inches (with about 2 inches for the flap).  It is currently too big and flimsy to be an effective lap top sleeve, so the felting process has to happen.

Here is the  project during, after one short cycle:

Laptop Felt 4 (2) Laptop Felt 5 (2)

And this is the final product after two short cycles:

Laptop Felt 8 Laptop Felt 7 Laptop Felt 6

It is near perfect!! A little cinched in at the middle, but that’s not so bad.  It measure 12 inches x 15 inches (I don’t think I measured it in the same place as before felting) , leaving enough room to carry a little extra in with my laptop.  I just need to take a sweater brush to remove some of the pill to make the pattern is more visible, then wait for it to dry.   Not sure about doing a lining for it.  I also didn’t make button holes, so I have to figure out a closure.  If I can bring myself to use a needle and thread then maybe a zipper would work.   I really hate sewing, for now this will have to do.   I can’t wait to take it to class on Tuesday!


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