Monday, August 31, 2009

Block Party

No loops-through-loops action this week. Just a weekend long “block party”. Four projects finally got blocked, at least one which had been waiting for more than a year.

First arrival at the party was Surf. Yes, I know I said this project would be done last weekend, but it turns out that I had some good reasons to jump back into the waves. For starters I’d forgotten to crochet the edging around the cuffs. Oops. The second discovery was that the back edge didn’t really block flat, observed when I picked the cardigan up from the blocking towel. So I tied the button bands together with spare yarn and flipped the cardigan face down on the towel. I shaped it without pins and then the offending seams were steamed.

Now I have an excuse to show you the back of the sweater laid out flat! It’s my favorite part. Check this out:

The buttons went on after blocking to avoid thermal shocking the glass. Of course I have to show them to you. The picture’s below. I’d stashed these lovelies quite a while ago. They were a Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Fest purchase that I put aside for just the right project. The creator is called Moving Mud and consistently has one of my favorite booths. I was thrilled to pieces to see how perfectly they matched the Surf Cardigan. Plus here’s a nice symmetry… Anyone who’s stood in the ocean surf on sand has felt “moving mud”.
I won’t bore your with going into yet more detail about this project. The details are in other places on the blog. Feel free to comment with questions, but beware that I could type about this adventure for pages and pages!

One point worth noting... I’m going to try to post a project on Ravelry for the first time next weekend and this project will be my guinea pig. I’ve decided to give it a fancier name. If you search for it there look for “Rhythm of Surf”. Seems more elegant than my lazy nickname based solely on the yarn colorway name, (Fiesta Boomerang Surf.)

Looking back to the first picture you’ll see a single sock lurking in the corner. This is finally the completion of an experiment that I mentioned in a post in January ‘08. I wanted to see if these top-down Rocking Sock Club Summer Sock cuffs could be blocked after the foot was knit. The big trick was to turn the socks inside out. Then the cuff was steam blocked without pins and wires. I steamed, shaped by hand, and then steamed again. It worked out fine and the set matched. Here’s a finished cuff close up.
The next arrival at the party was this Cashmere Koigu scarf, also knit over a year ago. (Cashmere Koigu is available exclusively from String in New York City.) You can check it out as a WIP on my posting on December 14, ‘07. I’ve actually worn this scarf for two winters in its tightly rolled form, almost like a 1.5 inch diameter boa. The yarn’s feel and color were irresistible.
This muscular length of rope fought me all through the blocking process. (Seems there’s a trouble-maker at every party!) The only way to lay the scarf out flat enough to pin it was to switch to a wet block approach. Hours after blocking it still seemed springy when I tugged on it, so I steam blocked it as well. Here’s a shot of the neatly folded, well behaved results:

Fashionably late at the block party was this amazing lace scarf, the diva of the group. The pattern is “Hydrangea” from Fiber Trends and the yarn is called “Dawn”, a 50% merino / 50% silk blend, from Naturally New Zealand yarns. I ordered both from the Yarn Barn in Kansas. (Their catalogue was just irresistible.) This celebrity is shy of paparazzi so this picture is not that good.
Hydrangea was knit sometime in the window of silence that happened while I was recovering from my stem cell transplant, so I don’t think there are any other blog posts about it. I did enjoy knitting it, and it was certainly the project I needed at that time.

You can breathe a sigh of relief. I have no other projects queued for blocking. Next posting will have to be good old fashioned, loops-through-loops knitting.

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