Blocking under the infuence of a hot flash

Kimono Shawl by Cheryl Oberle knit in Brooks Farm Solo Silk on US size 7 needles

We are not a patient people. That we are also knitters is one of the great ironies, though, I suspect the craft's calming aspects lulls us sufficiently to handle inpediments with more grace than say, sitting in traffic on a sweltering afternoon.

One would think, then, that after spending two or three hundred hours knitting six feet of lace that 20 minutes with blocking wires would be a small impediment to finishing such a lovely piece.

One would be wrong.

Yesterday after soaking the above in Eucalan and spinning it out in the washer, I laid the shawl on an old blanket in the second bedroom and began the heinous process of inserting blocking wires into the its edge stitches. The instructions included in the kit indicate that the blocker should collect every stitch on a piece of lace onto the blocking wires. After about four eye-blurring minutes it became clear that had I been pinning the stole, there would be no picking of "every stitch," so I began inserting the wire into stitches at one-inch intervals. The effect: A perfectly defined edge.

By the time I ran wires down the length of the now seven-foot stole, I was overheating and hyperventillating. Antone had the temerity to stride across the expanse of my knitting and found himself unceremoniously tossed into the hallway, scolded, door slammed in his face. I plucked another wire from the container, breathing heavily, and with about as much finesse as one would use to gut a turkey, I began ramming the wire through stitches on the second side. "It's wool," I thought to myself, sweating. "It'll snap back."

Once the horizontal lengths of the shawl were thus trussed, I made a feeble (feverish) attempt to ensure that the shawl's width measured 22-inches. To do this properly, one must painstakingly inch a yard stick down the length of a piece and pin the shawl into the appropriate dimensions.

I lay the yard stick down in two places. Wildly divergent.

"Forget it!" I thought. (Actually, "forget" was not the verb that came to mind.)

I fled from the room; Antone on the other side of the door looking unabashed--me very bashed.

But it looks none the worse for the wear, does it?

Comments (1) -

July 27. 2009 19:15


I know nothing of the technical aspects of your story.  But the end result is still a beautiful piece.  Relax over a nice glass of Chianti and enjoy!

John |

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