The Magic of Blocking

dsc02710Don’t you love to see a lace project blossom into “beautiful” as you pin it out and block it? Yes, the blocking process takes some (backbreaking) work. Yes, you do need to invest in quite a few T-pins to block a Girasole. But OH is it ever worth it. I had to leave mine all pinned out on the floor for an extra day, just because I liked walking by it and admiring it.  My hubby said, “I can’t believe that’s what you’ve had in your lap for 6 weeks!”  He’s right. On the circular dsc02712needles, it just looks kind of like a balled up bunch of yarn. (Well, it IS a balled up bunch of yarn.) Of course Gracie had to keep a close eye on it to make sure that it didn’t get up and walk away. (Note the cat toy in the corner of the photo. She even stopped playing with her toy to assume the position of Girasole Guard.) After watching it for awhile she knew it was safe, so she walked right over the top of it and plopped her fluffy self down in the very middle. (Yes – I know I have a double YO in one spot where there was only supposed to be a single. But honestly, since that’s the worst of the mistakes on this biggest-lace-project-I’ve-ever-done, and since it’s fixable, and since this blanket stays with me, I’m ok with it.)

dsc02721I’m still going back and forth about which yarn I want to use for the shawl version that I want to knit next. You all keep picking such fun choices that it makes me stop and re-evaluate my decision every day. I have 3 different choices sitting in my Loopy cart, waiting for me to decide.  I’ll keep you posted. For those of you who have bought this same Cascade Eco-Alpaca for your Girasole – isn’t it hard to put down? The whole reason I decided on this for my first one was because I had to stick my hand in this yarn every single time I walked by the shelves that house it here at Loopy. FPS. I’d like to make a sweater out of it one of these days, too.

dsc02723In other yarn news, we have lots going on! I’ve been meeting with yarn reps and sending in orders and the boxes continue to arrive. (Wait til you see some of the new things that we’re bringing in. You’re going to love them!) One of my reps was here yesterday and he stood in the middle of everything and said, “It’s so big and bright and full and clean and colorful!” It’s always fun to share the in-store shop with people who appreciate it. 🙂 (Like Jaci who made us all say, “awww!” by getting all teary when she walked dsc02724into Loopy Central on her Spring Fling shopping trip. After ordering from us for so long, she loved seeing it in person. She took a photo of herself by the sign and sent it to her Teen-age Daughter, telling her that she had cried. Teen-age Daughter immediately texted back and said, “OMG. You did NOT!”  I guess Teen-Age Daughter wouldn’t have been touched by the tears like we were….)

Sheri whowishesyoucouldALLcomeshopinpersonhere!


  1. Oh, Sheri, your Girasole is so pretty. Are you brave to have Gracie on top? You are very trusting and/or Gracie is a good kitty! Do you think a beginner lace project person could handle such a project. So beautiful!

  2. Sheri, that is AMAZING!! You should be so proud! Did you measure it? I’m trying to decide if I should make one…I need to make some more progress on Shawl That Jazz first.

    That is crazy beautiful.

  3. Your girasole is beautiful sheri! I am still debating with myself whether i want yarn to knit a girasole (and which yarn at that .. there is so many choices ) or vol 3 of the barbara walker dictionary’s ( or maybe i will skip vol 3 and buy vol 4 first .. i am undecided on that too) for my bday. The kids are no help, they just roll their eyes and say”whichever mum”.
    Gracie is a beautiful girl and ever so helpful, you realise that girasole might have flown away without her help ? (can you tell i get this kind of help alot too?)

  4. BEAUTIFUL!!! Well done!

    And I can’t wait to get a chance to come back to TLE!! What a glorious shopping experience that was! Though this time, I’m getting me an auxiliary mug! (Did I mention that I ADORE the one from Fling?)

  5. GORGEOUS!! I am SO proud of you… it is just beautiful.
    Addictive, isn’t it? The blocking is tough but so worth it, as you said. Wow. Sheri. It is just lovely. Enjoy and be proud of your accomplishment!! On to the next one… right?

  6. Your Girasole is just beautiful!!! It looks like I’ll have 3 cats helping me block mine. My yarn from TLE came today and I love it…Loopy Legends Laurie’s Carolina Morning. I can’t wait to get started.

  7. So Sheri, what size needles did you use? I’ve seen a couple comments on Ravelry where people have said they would do the blanket on US 9s the next time so that the finished blankie didn’t feel so “fragile.” I can’t wait to start mine!

    My kitties love to test drive all my blocked projects too. That’s like reading on the bed where they come in and and zero right in on the book – plop! Right in the middle 🙂

  8. Sheri, you are so 100% right about the MAGIC of what blocking does to transform lace. More than with any other type of knitting that I’ve done, I truly consider blocking to be part of the *making* (as opposed to merely the *finishing*) of a lace object.

    Meanwhile, on the twin subjects of (a) taking over the living room for this type of enterprise, and (b) cats who want to get involved (when perhaps they shouldn’t), please see my recent multi-part personal saga called “Blocking the Princess” (

    Happy knitting,

  9. Your Girasole is just beautiful! Teen-Age Daughter turned 15 today! If I’m lucky enough to come to The Spring Fling in 2010, I’ll probably cry again! TLE is beautiful.

  10. Sheri – your Girasole is stunning!!!! I love it 🙂 Thank you for “talking” me into it. I sort of wish I got for the blanket, but I think the shawl size will be big enough.

  11. Sheri, Your Girasole is AWESOME! My Cascade ECO-Alpaca arrived today in the Natural colorway. It’s so so soft, can’t wait to get started on my Girasole.

  12. Absolutely beautiful Sheri. What a great accomplishment. I am still trying to decide if I really want to do it or not. My track record for finishing large projects is very bad. OH well, just a process knitter, but I reallly love that. Hugs

  13. Absolutely stunning. Are you just wrapping yourself up in it and walking around, like Linus, loving on your blanket? I know I would be!!

  14. Hi Sheri, it’s stunningly beautiful. I’m thinking about doing a shawl-size… she says as the swallowtail she’s making for her friend is glaring at her… I really wish I lived closer to come check out your store. When my little boy is old enough, I see a fun train-trip in our future.

  15. Wonderful Girasole, Sheri! You’ve definitely conquered lace now! Remember when we used to commiserate with each other about lace-knitting? Those days are certainly over for you!

  16. I know DH and I had a lovely time at the actual Loopy Ewe when we traveled to St. Louis last October. Wish I had thought to take documenting photos, though. It was the yarn fumes, I wasn’t responsible for my actions! 🙂

  17. Just Beautiful! Now that it’s dry and blocked do you still feel that you’ll use 10s next time? Is the fabric firm enough so you don’t feel it will stretch?

  18. I think Gracie is the crowning touch on your Girasole. Nothing says perfection like the addition of a little kitty fur. 🙂

  19. How sweet! Spending all that time on a blanket for the kitty! Or, at least she thinks it’s all for her!

  20. I was so anxious to see your Girasole after it was blocked,it is absolutely gorgeous.!
    I am so thankful for the opportunity to be able to have stopped by your shop on Monday and purchase the yarn for my Girasole ( Dream in Color- Flame Season). The first hank is wound and I am ready to start.

    Everyone at The Loopy Ewe was so nice and helpful,it was the highlight of our trip.


  21. Sheri you’re Girasole is fabulous (aren’t they all?)! One correction to your letter…the pattern is written for 1800 yds of worsted, or 1150 of FINGERING (not laceweight). Didn’t want your Groupies to be confused…laceweight might be a little fragile to show off the pattern…

    Oh, and you’re getting Alchemy Juniper ~~sigh~~

  22. Sheri, aboslutely stunning. My order is on its way! This will be my first KAL and my excitement is building- hope I can produce a stunning Girasole as well. I am so proud and happy for you!

  23. Beautiful!!! I will definitely have to knit a Girasole down the road. Still probably won’t try to get in on the KAL but loved yours. I’ll probably make a shawl. Izzy would have plopped herself down in the middle too.

  24. would so love to go shop in person, le sigh! Your blankie looks beautiful!! Your cat looks a bit fearful to curl up on it though! smile

  25. Oh, Sheri, that is stunning! What a beautiful blankie! Thanks for coming up with this KAL! I love the look of the blanket, but I’m going with the smaller version, mainly because of the blocking. I can’t see pinning out such a big piece in this house. Not with the tile floors and the curious Newfoundland. And I’ll probably cry too when I finally get to visit Loopy Central in person—if only because of the jet lag!

  26. One day I will come to shop in person. I seriously thought about it when i found out my Flatts were opening their summer tour there last week but it was the same weekend as my local knitting retreat. 🙁 Another time….. 😉

    Your Girasole is amazing! I think I’ve decided on shawl size…now to decide on yarn. Hmmmm……

  27. WOW!! That is GORGEOUS! Beautiful kniting, Sheri!

    I’m looking forward to whenever I can get back to St. Louis and visit Loopy Central. It is a happy place for me, for sure.

    I can’t believe I am going to try and make this !!
    amazing what we can do with sticks and string !!
    I am nervously excited !!!!

  29. So pretty! I love the huge lace projects, so I really need to do this one. I have that yarn I bought last year from you for a cardigan that I’ve never gotten around to making. It is certainly enough yardage!

  30. The shawl is a treasure. And if I lived closer, I would visit every day (and bring cookies!).

  31. Wow Sheri!!!!! That is so beautiful. Did you measure it after it was blocked? I am curious to know how wide it was. Great job and what an accomplishment.

  32. Beautiful! I’d love to come shop in person, but I fear it would cause the same problem I have on the site — too many choices! (And of course, not enough money or time.)

  33. Absolutely gorgeous! Now I’m more inspired than ever. My yarn should arrive today so hopefully I’ll be able to get started soon. Thanks for the inspiration! I agree with Jaci, seeing the TLE in person does bring a tear to your eye. It’s very awe-inspiring. 🙂

  34. Is it me? But I can’t find the dang cat toy. I think I would cry if I ever made it into the Loopy Ewe – – I know I would definately cry if there was also Wollmeise to be had. Just a dream, just a dream. Sigh.

  35. Sheri, your Girasole is gorgeous. I tried to cast on for mine this week while I was in Florida celebrating my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary, but it was too hard to concentrate after spending 12+ hour days at Disneyworld. I’ll try again this weekend. 🙂

  36. I’m so envious of your Girasole…quite a undertaking! This is knitted by the woman who has only single socks???? Hmmmmm.

    Seriously, it’s beautiful:-)

  37. Wow!! How wonderful it is, and how huge! Exactly how huge is it? I’ve started mine and am afraid I don’t have room to block it. As it is, I have hardwood floors. How is that going to work? Yikes!

    I’ve got it! I’ll wrap it up and send it to you to block. Gracie would love a second one to perch on!

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