Blocking Knits (and a CONTEST!)

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:

Blocking Knits The Loopy Ewe

Here is a blocking photo:

Blocking Knits Song of the Sea Cowl The Loopy Ewe

Here is what it looks like now:

Song of the Sea Cowl The Loopy Ewe
Song of the Sea Cowl The Loopy Ewe

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

Blocking Knits The Loopy Ewe
3S Shawl The Loopy Ewe
Blocking Knits 3S Shawl The Loopy Ewe
3S Shawl The Loopy Ewe

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!

Sheri notacrazycatladyuntilyoubuytheminsixpacks


  1. Decoy: My yellow lab ❣️ This quote sums up my feeling for this 115lb, 2yr old “puppy.” I had no idea how much you could love a dog…. “Whoever said Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, never had a Labrador.”
    IMG_1918.JPG. IMG_2265.jpg

  2. We have a wonderful marmalade cat. He starts meowing at 9:30 every night to tell us it’s bedtime and he loves hand knits.

    1. Better that he tells you when it’s bedtime, than when he thinks you ought to get up in the morning!

  3. We are currently down to one lunatic macaw, plus the wild critters in the garden. Eagerly awaiting the day my living situation allows dogs again.

  4. We have only two cats now. Casper, my hubby’s flame point Siamese, died at the age of 15 in July. Remaining are Victoria (Torrie), my Tortie Point Siamese, age 15, and Archie, a 15-lb. 10 year old Tuxedo…handsome and in charge of the house!

  5. Allergies force us to love the bunnies in the yard, the occasional owl or hawk, and our visiting fox. I think the bunnies count as we feed them in the winter. Please don’t tell my neighbors! 🙂

  6. notacrazycatladyuntilyoubuytheminsixpacks

    I guess this makes me a crazy cat lady…I have 7 cats! They all happened by accident! We have Calvin, Ivy, Nala, Simba, Jay, Rosie and Claire and I couldn’t imagine life without any of them! They all help with my knitting projects and are the most efficient quilt inspectors!

    1. I love that you have seven cats. I only meant “crazy” if you buy six at a time. But come to think about it, that sounds fun, too!

  7. We have 4 dogs — 3 Clumber Spaniels & 1 Field Spaniel. (Happy to send pics!) They are delightful companions, coming up with new ways to be naughty every day it seems. The Clumber Spaniels are white, so naturally, their favorite thing ever is…mud! I also have a couple that like to steal knitting– they take it outside to “study” it. Extra incentive to keep project bags tucked away when not in use.

    1. I had to look up Clumber Spaniel, too. BIG spaniel – definitely send pics. And yes, project bags are a good thing when you have pets who love yarn…

  8. I currently have one cat, Cass (Cassidy Casper Casius Charlie Christopher Cat) who (as of yesterday) is 19 1/3 years old. He was preceded by Benny (Benjamin Bradley Balthezar Buford Batholemew Brat) who made it to 18 1/2.

    Cass is fascinated by yarn and loves to sit in my lap whenever I attempt to knit, crochet, or hand sew something.

  9. Myles is our black miniature Poodle. He is an only dog. Previous to him we had 2 Yorkshire Terriers and a standard poodle. We are totally dog people.

  10. I have 2 old cats; 12.5 and 16.5 years. They are both huge pains in the behind, but I love them both. That said, when they are gone I will get an easy maintenance goldfish instead.

  11. At the moment I have 6 cats… 1 indoor only, 2 indoor/outdoor (as far as the deck), 2 friendly barn cats who come in the basement for bad weather, and 1 feral cat who hides from people but follows the barn cats in on occasion.
    My dog died of cancer just before Christmas and I’m waiting for the right rescue to turn up – one always does.

    1. I’m so sorry about your dog. I’m glad you’re keeping your eyes out for a new one to show up. (Can you also send one to “show up” at my house, so I can claim we have to adopt it?)

  12. We are normally cat people. We have lost both of ours within the last year, and we haven’t been ready for new ones yet. I’m kind of wanting a smallish dog like a Corgi, but husband reminds me they need to be walked in February…in the freezing cold…or in the rain and snow. I usually change my mind pretty quickly after that.

    1. Oh, I’m so sorry about your cats. Hard to lose two in the same year. And yes, that’s a good point about walking in the winter time. But I’ll bet it would still be worth it.

  13. Her Royal Highness, Cinder, is the princess of the realm, better known as our house. She is a lovely gray Maine Coon Tabby mix. She rules the house with her sister, Snow, a Siamese tabby mix, who’s a true princess, too. For you see only princesses are allowed in our kingdom.

  14. We have two pets: Polly & Gracie. Polly is a rescue kitty. Her mother was by killed a car before her eyes were even opened. My friend nursed Polly and her 2 siblings until old enough to be given away. Gracie is a rescue Pit/Retriever/Dalmatian/Boxer/Husky/Boston Terrier Mix. Yes! We had her DNA-tested and cracked up over all her breeds. She looks like a Golden Retriever with a very thick coat of fur and a Pit-sized head! She’s a very good dog and, believe it or not, we actually get a lot of compliments about her good looks. My husband & I love both pets!!!

  15. Cat, 2 of my own, 2 of my late sister’s, all of them interested in knitting or at least in the yarn that makes their eyes dance.

    Sheri, your Song of the Sea is breathtakingly gorgeous. The design is beautiful, the yarn choice perfect and the knitting is flawless. And the picot bindoff shawl leaves me speechless. So want to knit that!

    1. Thanks, Kathy. You totally should knit it. It goes super fast. (And it will be entertaining for your four kitties.)

  16. We have two dogs right now, both rescues. A blue healer cross and a schnauzer mix. We lost our oldest dog just last week and we’re so sad. He was a little black schnauzer mix and was a rescue too.

  17. I have four cats – Smacky, Karma, Kit, and Bob ( who happens to be a girl) – and between them have hair in white, tan, brown, black, and ginger, so nothing is safe. There is also always someone available to lay on my knitting or my pattern. And then there’s Henry, my horse. He’s supposed to be a majestic Friesian, but he can’t stop smiling at the camera, which is absolutely ridiculous and I’ve ruined him. But I love him anyway!

    1. Thanks for the link to Henry. He has a great smile! And you’re the third person I know who has a female cat named Bob. I love it.

  18. I have two kitties. Maggie is a tuxedo and Oxford is a tabby. I adopted them both from a wonderful no-kill shelter in Houston called Friends for Life. They’re sweet, fun kitties who get along really well most of the time – just like brothers and sisters.

  19. I’m a cat mommy. My current boys are Sunny, a 5-year-old shelter kittey and the darkest black cat I’ve ever seen (he came with the name), and Bill, a 2-year-old gray tabby whose foster mommies named his entire litter after the Weasleys; his littermates were Fred, Ron, George, Molly, and Ginny.

  20. We have three rescue dogs, Cooper, Riley and Hannah. They are all very mixed breeds, each one 60+ pounds of pure love. Riley is my official hat model. If I had a favorite, she would be it. A good hat model is hard to find.

  21. Oh my gosh! Ollie could be the twin of one of our cats! We have two cats – one carbon copy of Ollie (Solstice) and one grey short hair (Hoku). We were just laughing about Hoku tonight. She loves to be petted, but has a preferred petting spot, on one rug in the living room. She will actually lead you there (assuming you follow her:) if you try to pet her anywhere else in the house! Cats are so weird sometimes!

  22. I have always had a dog. I can’t imagine life without one, although my old guy says our dog is our last dog. We’ll see about that. My current dog was my 50th birthday present. She is a golden doodle named Liberty, born on July 7th. Most of the time we call her Libby. Just like with human children, her full name is reserved for when she needs a little scolding.

  23. I can’t have pets in my apartment, and I’m so very grateful to folks who allow me meet and greet their buddies while they are out walking around SF. It’s a real blessing.

  24. We have had many pets in various combinations over the years, but currently the only one in residence is my 23-year old python.

  25. We have cats and dogs..always have…Currently the cats are Abbie and Clair, both rescues and the dogs, Ed-grrr is a golden lab and something mix, also a rescue and Chica a mini Australian Shepherd who was a gift from my God-daughter. never dull in this house….at least I can spin both of the dog’s fur…like I need more spinning fiber!

  26. We have no pets, unless you count dust bunnies or fruit flies (peach season). We do hope to get a dog soon, though.

  27. We now have a 9 month old Great Pyrenees/Newfie mix puppy! After living with a senior Border Collie for years, Jilly, the pup, is quite a challenge. But so much fun.

  28. I have two dogs. One is a 12 year old Boston terrier and the other is an 11 year old Scottie. I think about getting a third but haven’t pulled the trigger yet.

  29. I have two rescue pups, they are the loves of my life, I cannot imagine not having them. They make everyday an adventure.

  30. I am currently pet-less. But the three German Shepherd Dogs that have owned me in the past are all memorable. Gwendalyn, Gisela, and Stonewall but always called Wally! Each one an individual and each one loved.

  31. This house has seen 2 chinchillas, 2 cats, and a dog. I’ve also had bunnies and a hedgehog. We currently just have the dog and a stray cat that’s adopted us as her family. I do keep eyeing the bunnies at the local pet store though…

  32. I have a 18 mo old Golden mix I adopted just over a month ago. He’s a handful but is great company. Not to mention motivation to get out and walk and play! I lost my 15 yr old collie mix in March and the house just got too guilt and lonely!

  33. My first pets were 2 cocker spaniels. BJ and April were wonderful and slept with me on either side of my legs so I couldn’t get out of bed.
    Then we had a Cockatiel, named Harpo. He learned to talk and liked to watch TV at nite while sitting on my shoulder.
    My last pets were cats, Tiger and Punkin. My kids each had a cat so we had 4 cats in the house and they all played together. When I moved to FL. I had no pets. All the cats had crossed the rainbow bridge. I’ve decided that I don’t want to be responsible for anything or anyone so no pets! i miss my kitties but like no litter box.

  34. We have 2 rescue dogs – a Doberman, named Annie and a crazy hound mix named Turk. I can’t imagine a life without dogs!

  35. I have no pets currently in the house…unless you count my husband…ha ha! My Grand puppy is only 15 minutes away so I can feed my puppy fix often.

  36. I live with two elderly cats…Moxie is a tuxedo who has a cute “chirp” meow. Caramel is a tortoiseshell whose meow gets more insistent (and loud!) the older she gets!

    1. Cute name – Moxie! And our cat Gracie has also gotten louder as she has gotten older. She and Caramel out to be friends.

  37. It’s a zoo here 🙂 I have an African Grey parrot that is 28 years old, I got her at 2 weeks. My dog is a Carolina Dog, Kokopelli (Pelli). A tortoiseshell cat named Merlin, an Abysinnian named the Great Cat Ra, a formerly feral long hair named Dori. Oh, and a foster kitten named Haribo.

    1. And is that foster kitten going to be a foster fail? (That is why I cannot foster. It would always fail.)

  38. Arlo is my rescue dog and I am his rescue person. He came to us after living on Houston’s streets, then “rescued” into a very high-kill “shelter” and then driven to a Boulder rescue group. He had heartworm and was nearly hairless. After a year of very painful treatments and good care, he is healthy and happy. He rescued me from deep grief over the loss of a beloved rescue Cocker Spaniel. Arlo is not conventionally beautiful at all but, to me, he is handsome beyond words.

  39. I have a big fat cat named Jack. I had a 2nd cat when I brought Jack home, Thunder, who I had to have put down in March. I’m trying to figure out if Jack prefers to be the “only” in the house, or if he’d like a friend. If I do add a 2nd, I’d get a girl and name her Jill so I’d have Jack and Jill.

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