Monday, January 20, 2014

The Miracle of Blocking

Day off today, which is funny since I don't work.  The kids have off for MLK day, so I get to stay home. There has been a flurry of knitting at my house.  I have (drum roll please) seven completed items for January. I am loving making small items like hats and cowls and fingerless mitts, using up stash yarn and making very welcome, warm items.

It is going to get freezing cold here again this week.  Temps below zero with lots of wind.  Yeah for wool!

This weekend we watched the playoff games and I knit up a storm.  This knitdown is really making me happy and I find myself planning the next project using up yarn in my stash.  The problem is I keep finding more and more oddiments that need to be destashed.  Here is the winding station I have set up on my dining room table with a few of the skeins waiting to be turned into yarn cakes to use in up-and-coming projects.

This is not, however the yarn I am using for the January Small Knits Throwdown .  That consists of yarn left over from finished projects where more than a skein has been leftover, or a project that has sat in my craft room so long, the recipient has outgrown it.  I am teaming these oddiments up with new patterns.  Although a few new yarn projects may creep in, such as the new hat for hubby since he lost his.  I had to buy a skein of Cascade Aran in grey and I made him a Windschief hat over the weekend.  What a fast knit!  I may have to make this hat for all the boys in the family.  It is good looking and snug like they like their hats.
I think I am going to make the matching cowl for hubby.  He's not so sure he will like it (is it too girly?)  but I think it will be a nice warm addition to his outdoor gear and won't get in his way like a scarf does.

Here are the items I have complete so far that I have not posted:


I have enough of the white yarn left to make matching fingerless gloves using the Koolhaas pattern that will make a really nice set of hat, cowl and mitts.  The Snuggly Cowl and the Magnolia hat used up the leftover
yarn from my Central Park hoodie with this much left over
I wasn't going to make the Elephant hat because it was a little small.  I probably should have made it 4 years ago when elephants were her favorite animal.  She is now into dragons and cheetahs.  However, I have a long queue of fair isle sweaters and hats that I have waiting and I haven't done this technique in a number of years, so I decided to make the hat as practice.  I added an extra row of border between the two elephant motifs and used a size larger needle.   I think I held my yarn a bit too tight with the large elephant motif but by the time I got to the small elephants, I had relaxed a bit and loosened up my tension.  I don't have a before picture, but when I finished I wasn't terribly pleased, as the stitches were a bit uneven and wonky.  As the yarn is a washable wool, I wasn't expecting much after blocking, but boy was I surprised.  The yarn relaxed in the bath and the hat is beautiful.  

Something I am really learning, especially as I use up yarn that has been sitting around for a while, blocking can be your finished garments best friend and make you look like a superstar knitter.

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