Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Blocking = Magic

If you were to call me a "risk taker" it would give those who know me in real life a good laugh. If you were to suggest that I don't follow the rules, no one would believe you. I drive within 2-3 miles of the speed limit 99.% of the time. I measure precisely when I am cooking. When I use the Veet (fabulous stuff, by the way) I set a timer for the prescribed minutes and then remove the foam promptly. I am a ruler-follower by nature. I love a nice, neat plan. I make people (for example, my husband, and perhaps others) a little crazy sometimes with my love of the rules and the plans.

So strangely enough, I am for the most part a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants sort of knitter. I basically follow patterns and I usually do the finishing the way the instructions, umm, instruct. Frequently, however, I do not use the called-for yarn or the required needles. Sometimes I stockinette where I should garter and visa versa. Things generally work out for me doing it this. Of course, it is infrequent that I do particularly complex projects. The scarves and felting projects of this world are fairly forgiving.

When it comes to our friend the Daisy sweater, however, my natural instincts are kicking in. I have followed every direction to the letter. (Ok, ok. I did make a yarn substitution but I also did three gauge swatches before starting and the gauge was spot on. So that doesn’t count.) Monday night, I finished the sleeves and started picking up the stitches on the neckband. First, though, I blocked the little tiny sleeves. Have ya’ll tired this blocking thing? Indeed, blocking is just as fabulous as all the rumors say it is are. Seriously. After the blocking, all the heebie-jeebie, rolly-poley stockinette was miraculously board-flat. They were transformed into the Nicole Richie of knitting. Magic. I’m telling you, actual knitting magic. I think Laurie is on to something about the magic and the knitting gnomes.

All the reports you have heard about the crazy California weather are not exaggerations. It is miserable. Today it is “only” 108. I think yesterday was the 11th day in a row of over 100 degree days. And in case you have never experienced heat like this, you should know that the difference between 108 and 113 isn’t that different. It is just freakin’ hot. And all of this wouldn’t be quite so bad if it would cool off and night.

I give you this weather report to say: Tuesday night, our air conditioner went out sometime after we had gone to bed. Not only was it not blowing cold air, it was actually blowing hot air. It was nearly 90 degrees in the house at 11:45 p.m. It was a long night.

Now we are staying with friends until the A/C is fixed. They are very sweet people and they keep their air conditioner set on 68. Who knew that this was a quality I would value so highly in my friends? We are very, very lucky in that we were able to get someone out to the house tonight instead of having to wait until some time next week. Keep your fingers crossed that it is something simple that can be fixed quickly.

I am taking a brief (very brief) hiatus from the Daisy sweater because I am working on a small dishcloth project for Dorothy’s possession-less friends (scroll down to the July 20th post) and I need to get this done and in the mail. If you haven’t, you should really go over and visit the Mason-Dixon Knit-a-long. Specifically, this recent post from Francie. I do not know Francie except from this single post but obviously she is some sort of genius-mad scientist type. Those polymer clay mitered squares are crazy-loveable. I’m going to have to figure out how to make some of those.


Dorothy said...

Thanks for the link!
You're right. You fall in love with the great yarn you found at a yard sale and the darn company has discontinued it years ago. The woes and heartbreaks of knitting.

Laura said...

Kristy Kristy Kristy! I tried to comment a few days ago on a previous post but blogger was being a booger and wouln't let me.

So wow - your ankle! YUCK! BOO!! So sorry. (((Hugs)))

And the blocking - it truly is miraculous. Blocking makes you say Wow. Wow. Wow. It's saved many a garment from the garbage - blocking has. Because so often it looks like garbage before blocking. :)

Take care - keep a good attitude about the ankle - and keep on posting when you can! Ever decide what to do with those two skeins of Silk Garden? :)