I’m always excited to see how something will block out, when I’ve been working on it in my lap for a long time. Some patterns knit up more stretched out, but some look like a puddle of curls. Blocking Knits is so rewarding. My most recent one was my August Camp Loopy project – Song of the Sea Cowl out of Wollmeise Pure.
Here is what it looked like when I bound off:
Here is a blocking photo:
Here is what it looks like now:
Blocking knits is pretty magical, right?
Another key thing for blocking is letting your knitted piece soak in a sink of water for 30 minutes. You’ll want to use Soak or Wollmeisenbad, as both are specifically formulated for knits and hand washing. Letting the piece soak means the fibers can relax and open up a little, before you work on the blocking.
After the 30 minute soak, rinse your piece, roll it up in a clean towel to squeeze excess moisture out, and then spread it out on blocking boards (you can get ones that are made for blocking, or look for something like this at the hardware store.)
Pin the edges out with stainless steel T pins or blocking pins, being careful to line up edges in a straight line, pinning each point in a picot-type edge bindoff, etc. Here’s a picture of my 3S Shawl with picot bindoff project, before, during and after. It really does make for a beautiful edge
It’s worth every minute you spend on the blocking, because you end up with a beautiful, professional looking garment.
We have a contest winner from last week, and a new contest for this week (still celebrating our 13th anniversary month!). Plus a free pattern with purchase from Dream in Color for the week – see below.
Last week’s winner: Janet from KY, whose favorite childhood book was Black Beauty. We’re sending you some beautiful knitting books, Janet!
This week’s question (leave a comment to enter): tell us about your pets. Dogs? Cats? Iguanas? Goldfish? No pets? Here’s a picture of our three cats, watching me leave for work one morning. (Ollie in front, then Lexi, then Gracie. Paul would be happier with two cats. I’d be happier with four. So we compromised. Although I have kind of promised that when 13 year old Gracie is gone, we’ll stick with two. Promised-ish. Two-ish.)
To help celebrate our 13th anniversary, we are offering you this fun free pattern (called Sarabelle) with a Dream in Color purchase. (A special thank you to them for sharing the pattern, so we could share it with you!). If you purchase a skein of Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere or a skein of Dream in Color City from us (because you can knit this cowl in either weight), we’ll email you a copy. Just leave us an order note telling us you’d like it. Offer good 8/16/19 – 8/23/19. As soon as this came into the shop, we all got skeins of DC so we could make the pattern. It’s just beautiful.
Hope you have a great weekend!
I have an 11 yo cat- Pepper. I call her my house leopard. Like a leopard, she has spots and lurks in the underbrush (under the bed, chairs, etc) and attacks. Jumping on your back while kneeling/bending over is her specialty. Pepper is part Siamese, part tabby- blue eyes, striped points, spotted flanks, and white toes. She’s a lot of fun and still has the energy of a kitten!
Pepper the jumper! Our Lexi likes to jump on backs, too. Scared my mother in law one day….
Two sweet girls~Bella (miniature schnauzer) and Lexi (Maltese). My constant companions and part of our family!
They do become such an important part of the family, don’t they?
I do miss my cat Taz as he was sometimes the only thing I talked to in the mornings. He went to cat heaven several years ago so we are empty nesters. I might finally have all the cat hair out but I do miss it and him. I get them in pairs so we would automatically be a two cat household from the getgo.
I think two cats are always more fun, so good choice.
2dogs….a terrier mix we adopted. He, and his sister, were rescued from the mean streets of Stockton when they were only a couple of months old. Ralph can be a bit quirky but he is a good guy. Then Bella, a German Shepherd who we got when she was 4 was given up when her owners were being transferred back East and they could not find anything to rent that would accept a GSD. Beautiful, too smart for her pants, and ditzy as can be, she and Ralph bonded immediately (they are both the same age)
How nice that they bonded. I’ll bet they love being friends!
I have a beautiful cat, Lucie. She’s a Russian Blue with dilute tortillas coloring. She is such a good girl and rarely messes with my knitting. She just sleeps on my lap and snores.
Tortie not tortilla ♀️
Ha – I figured!
Oh, Russian Blues are so stunning! (My Oliver the tuxedo, also snores.)
I have 2 dogs: a very sweet Rescue Mutt, “Rhubarb,” and a Boston Terrier who is both very cuddly and very naughty, “Olive.” My husband is STILL untangling the yarn that Olive mangled last week (while he was in the room, no less. That is why he is The Untangler).
My sweet senior Boston Terrier, Alex is my knitting buddy. As a pup he lived to “capture” balls of yarn and shake the life out of them. With age he has mellowed and is willing to simply watch them bounce around on the floor.
Well that’s much better for you, right?
When my daughter was diagnosed with cancer the only kitty we had living with us was Winkie who was very stand offish and unfriendly. DD really needed a sweet and cuddly kitty. We were lucky enough to find Kitten Love. He is as sweet and loving and huggable as they come. He was her ideal “cancer kitty”. Her husband does not like kitties (can you believe there are non kitty loving people??) so when they got married Kitten Love moved in with us. He is now 15 years old and getting lots of love and hugs from my daughter’s kids.
Aww – glad he can pass the love on to your daughter’s kids. That’s perfect.
Hello TLE! I have the most beautiful black cat and her name is Audrey. She likes to talk and talk and talk! Wish I could send you a video. She’s waiting for me by the door when I get home and she tells me all about her day. I can hardly get a word in edgewise!
You can send me a video – I need to see her and hear her talk!
Archie came to me with the name Bruno. Nothing against Bruno, but Arch is a West Highland White Terrier. A white dog named brown bear?
As he was partially bald, due to medical issues that often accompany rescued dogs, and I’m Scots, he became Archibald. He doesn’t seem to mind.
As long as there are cookies following walks. A place on the bed; he’s an excellent hot water bottle in winter. Regular mealtimes, he’s happy. Plus with proper care his skin issues are much better.
Rescuing any animal saves a life. Archie’s unconditional love cannot be beat.
I love my dog even if he is a West Highland dirty terrier at the moment.
It sounds like he knows how very loved he is 🙂
I have a six pack of cats! I’m crazy and I know it Buffy is the oldest at 13, she doesn’t really like other cats which is too bad really. Enki is next, he’s an SPCA baby, my friend dragged me to a valentines adoption event so she could adopt a cat and I ended up with a kitten…. Osiris is number three, he’s a foster fail by proxy (my mum fostered him), then comes Tamar who is my partner’s princess, she is a tiny fiesty Devon Rex. The last two were also SPCA sourced, they are litter mates called Storm (he’s white) and Vader (he’s black). I acknowledge 6 cats is a lot and I have definitely maxed out! I also have two beautiful bunnies, Ivy is a Flemish giant and Kitty (male and not a cat) is a half giant. The best evenings are when the cats and bunnies are all together in the living room chasing each other through tunnels. #catsnotkids
That sounds so fun – love that they all chase each other around!
No pets–just six kids!
That probably keeps you busy enough!
I have two cats , a mother and daughter,. Stormy ( half Maine Coon) and Fiona. Fiona likes yarn but won’t get into often.Stormy could care less about it.
Maine Coons are so majestic looking.
I have no pets but aspire to have a dog one day to join on some outdoor adventuring.
I know a lot of dogs would love that kind of a life!
We have Lucky, a remarkable cat who makes me laugh every day. He’s chock full of personality and so cute.
Our cats have such personalities, too. Non-cat owners don’t realize how funny and entertaining they can be!
My lovely pets are my rescue cat named Brynn and my “still a puppy” one year old English springer spaniel named Griffith ~
he comes (or not) to a variety of nicknames. Brynn is about seven and although Griffiie has been trying to make friends for over a year she still hisses at him regularly and has decided to use the kitchen island as a refuge. Needless to say, it isn’t a calm existence but we love it because they keep us feeling needed and loved. Nothing better than Brynn as a heating pad on a chilly knitting and Netflix evening!
I love your sweet Brinn with the beautiful eyes. And happy Griffie, too!
No pets, but I pamper my families and friend’s pets. Some of my favorite are my son’s border collie, Lilly, who will put her paw over your phone if you don’t pay enough attention to her, and my other son’s cat, Sparkplug, who taps my son’s mouth with his paw when he wants to eat.
Your sons have fun (smart) animals!
I have a one year old sable & white smooth collie and a 12 yr old orange and white cat. They sort of match, which was unintentional, but cute. My knitting frequently ends up with extra fibers…
Ha – you just need to knit with orange and white yarn then, Lisa!
We don’t have any pets due to my husband’s allergies. But we keep thinking of getting a Labradoodle with which he might be okay. So maybe someday.
I’ve heard they are good for allergies, so I hope that works for you.
We have quite a few animals at our house, all of whom selected or adopted us – 5 Chihuahua mix dogs of varying sizes and ages, 1 Australian Cattle Dog mix, 1 German Shepard mix and 2 cats. There is lots of love in our house and they help keep us warm in the winter! LOL!!
Sounds like a wonderful, happy family!
Love my two rescue dogs! First one is a beautiful border collie who is probably smarter than I am. He loves other dogs so I looked for a little buddy for him. I found a very mistreated little white dog who was in such bad shape he had to be tranquilized and shaved. He only weighed 9 pounds – half of his ideal weight. The two are best friends and the little one turned out to be a beautiful purebred Bichon Frise!
I love that you made sure they each had a friend!
We are down to one pet, a one-eyed painted turtle named “The Professor”. She was about the size of a dollar coin when I found her one day in April, 2004 and she was stuck to some mud and it was snowing. I thought I was picking up a turtle shaped rock, so I was surprised to see her bright red bottom shell as I turned her over. Her right eye was blown out from the nearby construction or perhaps being run over by a bicycle and she has some lasting brain damage as well because even though I always give her floating food, she swims to the bottom to look for her food EVERY TIME I drop it into her tank! When our poodle Indigo was still alive, she took her turtle sitting duties seriously when I cleaned the tank and put the Professor in a plastic box she learned to escape from. Indigo would bark at her turtle ward when she escaped and follow her around the kitchen!
I’m wondering if The Professor will live as long as that baby snake you found and kept for 30 years??
I have a 2 yea old welsh terrier, Persistent. Who at times lives up to her name. And has been known to lay across the treadles of my wheel when she thinks it’s time for bed.
That does sound like a good name for her 🙂
I have a little gray female kitty with big green eyes and the heart and soul of a lion. She will growl if someone walks past too close to the house. After her brother crossed the rainbow bridge she made it clear she relishes being an only cat.
I love that she growls! Such a good watch-cat.
Salem just came into our lives, she is a stunning 3-years old Bombay cat and my husband and I fell in love with her instantly. We knew her from before, she used to be part of my daughter’s household but it came to be a bit much for her so we adopted her. She speaks to us constantly and loves to play with yarn, especially the one I’m knitting with.
Sounds like you needed her and she needed you. I love cats who talk!
My dogs, Boo and Dallas, are Mini American Shepherds. I’m completely non-biased when I tell you they are the smartest, best behaved and most beautiful dogs ever! I also have angora rabbits. The rabbits are show animals but they are also pets. They beg for head rubs and I use their wool to spin yarn and knit.
I had to look that bread up. Wow – they are beautiful!
Boomer exploded into my life in January! He is a sweet Black Lab and we love a lot of the same things, like long walks, snuggling and snacks!
He’s a cutie 🙂
When our 17 year old Kitty Kitty went to Kitty Cat Heaven back in 2006, we decided no more Pets, except for Pet Rocks and Stuffed Toys. Then, about a year ago, our daughter needed one of her cats to be re-homed due to a nasty neighbour and council by-laws… so Miss Subaru la Pussy Cat moved in to our home. We are enjoying her company. She is adjusting to her new home where she is the only kitty and seems to like this. Subaru is named after a Japanese Manga character and is Japanese for the Pleiades Constellation as well. Subie is a good kitty, loves being scratched under her chin and being with us. She has Denys well trained to open the door for her during the day so that she can go in and out at her whim. Subie is a brown tabbie and has really pretty markings. I am glad we relented and welcomed Subaru into our home.
I’m glad you relented, too!
We have a fabulous hound/terrier mix named Nikki-Q. She’s currently hanging out in front of my desk at work – yes, she’s good enough to come to work. She’s a great, independent dog, as long as she doesn’t meet other dogs. That’s her one fatal flaw. But we love her, and are happy keeping it a one-dog household.
Nikki-Q – cute name. Does the Q stand for something?
We have a young dog – a mixed breed named Coco. She’s about a year and a half old and keeps us busy. We also have a 2 year old cat named Pippin. Coco and Pippin actually get along pretty well. My daughter would love to get another cat, but I think that might upset the balance, so we’re sticking with what we’ve got.
That is definitely something to consider – upsetting the balance. Glad they have each other to interact and play with!
I have a 9 year old Shit Zu that only weighs 8pounds and is the sweetest dog ever. Her name is Roxy. And we also have a black lab that is 5 and still acts like a puppy. Her name is Jet.
Little one and big one! Love the name Roxy.
We have 2 dogs. They are standard wirehaired dachshund from Canada. We always had dogs since we been married, 36 years this month. But these 2 are characters, very playful, sweet, stubborn and funny. Hexe, the female is the alpha dog and is 4. Hexe’s mom is a litter mate to Odin’s dad, so we cal them the cousins. Odin is 3.
We’ve always had animals, too. I can’t imagine life without them, can you?
We have a senior German short-hair pointer named Coco who is all chocolate (except for a very white muzzle) and a long haired tuxedo cat that we rescued from the pound after our 19 year old cat went across the rainbow bridge last fall. Tippy would sleep in my lap while I knit. Jackie can not be trusted around yarn, stitch markers, row counters, etc. We also have birds, squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, possums, and deer. No bears, thank goodness!
Someday when I’m in town, I want to meet your sweet rescue cat, Diana!
We currently have 4 cats. Miss Karma was adopted as a companion for our dearly departed Molly. Molly was not impressed and quickly determined that “Karma was weird”. After Molly crossed the rainbow bridge Miss Karma was an only kitty for a couple of years, then one day we lost our minds and, after thinking we would adopt a single kitten, we adopted the whole litter, Melody, Samantha, and Oliver. After seven years Miss Karma still thinks we were crazy, but we love them all.
Aww – I love that you adopted the whole litter!
I don’t currently have any pets, but I grew up with a beautiful chow chow mix dog and a palomino quarter horse. They were my favorite thing about growing up!! Once I owned a cat, but I found her to be a dreadful roommate!!
Are Chows the dogs that have black tongues? Also, my favorite horse at camp when I was growing up was a Palomino. Beautiful horses.
We have Daisy, our pug. We call her crazy Daisy because she’s such a nut. She keeps us on our toes!
Crazy Daisy 🙂
We have two orange tabbys – Oscar and Chester – and a 2 year old Newfoundland named Ludo!
No pets right now but I will be getting another Norwegian Elkhound this winter or next spring (possible two!). I do miss my dogs!
I don’t know if they would count as “pets” but 3 wild pygmy rabbits have adopted my yard in the last two years. They are so cute!
Well I would mentally adopt them and consider them pets, so I say yes! 🙂
I have a tiny 14 year old parrot named Pepper. He is a Pacific Parrotlet, the second smallest of all parrots. He weighs 28 grams, about the same as a first class letter. He is green with some grayish blue on his head and some blue on his wings and his tail. He says several words including tweet; pretty, pretty; good boy; and kiss, kiss. He likes nothing more than sitting on my lap and getting scratched on his head. I call him my winged dog!
Aww – he sounds adorable. How long do parrotelets live? I know some birds live a long time!
I have a 15 year old yellow lab named Nikki, who we got with her sister Jenna when they were six weeks old. Nik is a Marley wanna be. She’s eaten everything you can imagine- socks, underwear, Swarovski crystal beads, my mother’s watch and even a set of screwdriver bits. Nowadays she’s limited to her dog food, cheese balls and the occasional stray French fry.
Labs do like to eat, don’t they? Glad she is limited to dog food, cheese balls and french fries now!
We have a little orange girl, named Briar that we bottle fed with her sister, Yoda. Yoda passed 2 years back and it’s hard to believe Briar is 10 years old. She’s a lap cat to the max. Thank heavens she’s little! She’s my golden child.
She sounds like a sweetheart. 🙂