Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Power of Water and Wool

I've been teaching myself knitting for a few years. I've made a few items, most of which I felt were unwearable. The one that is wearable I made in a class and I didn't use wool that was (picture me saying this with my nose in the air) Up To My Standards. In other words, it was mostly acrylic but that's what they sold us for the class.

Last fall I started a new sweater with some lovely purply wool that I found. I've knitted and knitted and FINALLY finished it the other day of the snowstorm. Then I did a great thing. I followed instructions - probably for the first time in my life - and blocked the sweater. I wet it and got rid of the excess water, and blocked it on a blocking board using blocking pins.


It actually came out looking like a sweater. I'm wearing it now, it's warm as all get up. It looks pretty good on. It's not too big and the sleeve don't hang funny.

So now I've gone back to the other purple-mohair sweater that I knit (which looked as if it would fit a monster with arms coming straight out from somewhere between it's shoulders and it's waist) and am blocking that. If it comes out wearable - then Hallelujah - miracles do happen.

You true knitters probably know all this already. I knew it but didn't believe it, but there really can be magic in the reaction between water and wool.


Lori ann said...

yay! congratulations mim, a sweater! more photos! that is a lot of work, and you deserve to have it admired.

blocking is a magical miraculous thing. i'm so glad you've discovered it. not everything knitted needs it, but when it does, wow!

i think you should knit with whatever you love, but just like a beautiful meal, it's only as good as the ingrediants you use.

happy knitting!

kj said...

there is no end to your talents and your interests.

do you know that, mim?


PAK ART said...

It's beautiful! I know nothing of the knitting world, but blocking sounds like a pretty slick trick.

marianne said...

Never heared of blocking before so I learned something this Sunday morning :) I looked it up and watched a YouTube video so now I know.
Love that color and I am happy it turned out so good because I know nothing worse than putting a lot of time and energy in something and that it looks like sh...
The sleeve looks nice but now I am curious about the whole sweater...

Have a nice Sunday♥ I know you will be warm ;)

Jos said...

Blogging is sooo educational! I didn't believe it about blocking either. Am off to dig out that unwearable sweater I knitted eons ago and see if it's salvagable. Thanks for the tip Mim. xx Jos

Robin said...

Ah, you know I am the resident non-knitter (or seamstress) in our group.... but, I admire those who can! I love this sweater.... the texture - and - of course - the colour! I am saure it looke gorgeous on you! BRAVA!


♥ Robin ♥

studio lolo said...

I do NOT have the knitting/sewing gene. I wish I did.
Do you know I actually FAILED sewing class in home ec? I couldn't even make a blasted apron!

But I got an "A" in cooking, thank goodness. That saved my overall home ec grade :P

I'm so happy you were miraculously impressed by blocking, and that you can actually wear and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Art day soon?


Baino said...

What's blocking? The only reaction I've had using water and wool is the ability to shrink a size 12 to a size 6 or felt it. I'm tragic at knitting. No patience I fear. Then wool makes me itch so perhaps it's just as well.

Lynn said...

Such perfectly even stitches!! Bravo for learning blocking!
I hope the purple one comes out as hoped for. My mom was an excellent knitter and I remember the smell of wet wool as her pieces lay drying to correct shape and size.
However, she did one send me a HUGE sweater to Israel when I lived that that the whole kibbutz probably could have fit in together. LOL
Today I spent enjoyable time embroidering stitches on some of the loveliest gold and turquoise gauze fabrics....thanks. xoxo

Katiejane said...

This sweater looks GREAT! I know how to crochet, but not knit, but I know how labor intensive it can be. You did a really good job on this. About the blocking, I bought a pretty sweater from the store a couple of winters ago and mistakenly put it into the dryer. Well, now it fits Barbie! Live and learn.