Apparently, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Earlier last week you learned that I aspire to make Anne Hanson's Honey Baby shawl as my challenge knitting for 2011-2012. Something I learned at Knitting Central is that you should always read your pattern before you undertake any knitting project. It's sort of like a roadmap. You should look it over so you know where you're going. So I did this with Honey Baby. I printed it out and tried to read it. I was slightly overwhelmed by all the lacy goodness. So rather than focus on the pages and pages of YOs, K2Togs and PSSOs, I read the one prose paragraph and had an "aha moment"
Anne very clearly tells us the answer to the question we've all been asking. How exactly should we block our projects?
Soak shawl in lukewarm water with a small amount of wool soap added for approximately 60 minutes or until fiber is completely saturated. Rinse and squeeze out excess moisture by rolling the piece in a towel. Stretch slightly (keep some of the fabric density) and pin piece to the finished measurements on page 1. Allow to air dry completely before unpinning.
Well, I'll be. There it is -- as clear as day. I must confess, I've never been much of a blocker. I don't knit much lace (which I do block), and I knit sweaters in the round, if at all. But I thought Anne's directions were as clear and specific as could be, so I followed them to a T.
Here are three strips of my Sampler Blanket soaking in the sink with a bit too much wool soap. Note to self - less time use a little bit less soap.
I may have forgotten to roll my strips in a towel. Oops! I placed the blocking wires along the lengths of each strip and blocked them uniformly. I was quite pleased with how they turned out. Now I just hope they'll "air dry completely before unpinning"... which by the way, has to be before tomorrow's 9:30 a.m. class.
Thanks Anne! You're a lifesaver. I haven't even actually committed to the Honey Baby (except for purchasing the yarn and the pattern) and already, I've learned a great deal. This is going to be a very positive relationship. Just think of the things I'll learn when I actually start knitting on Honey Baby.