|Oops! I can see that I need to re-shape this to taper the body properly before it dries. The beauty of wet blocking is that you can mould the wool, or "bend it to your will" in the words of EZ.|
You'll just have to wait to see the simple antique brass buttons I have for it. How do I wash my woollies? Fortunately, I still own an old-fashioned top-loading washer, the kind where you can open it up mid-cycle and control what's going on inside. I start by filling it with about 8 inches of warm water and a squirt of Eucalan. Then I gently add the sweater, squeezing it a bit to make sure the air bubbles come out and the water is fully absorbed by the fibre. I leave it to soak for 15-20 minutes with the lid open so that no other family member will accidentally start filling the machine with their own laundry. Then, I turn the dial to "spin", close the lid, and let 'er rip. The important thing is that no agitation occurs. The newer front loading machines don't work the same way; even the "soak" cycle on them involves some degree of agitation and it's enough to felt non-superwash wool.
Earlier in the day, I wove in all the loose ends. Usually when I do this for a garter stitch garment, I weave the ends up and down, following the garter stitch. However, with this wool, I discovered that the most invisible method was to weave "in the ditch", carefully catching just part of each stitch like this:
Here's the jacket just before it had its bath.
Can't wait to show you the blocked version, complete with buttons.
In between weaving in the ends and wet blocking, I hopped on my bike, rode downtown, took a shuttlebus for $1 and ended up here. What fun it was! This was the day to go--before the weekend crowds. I bought some local wool and alpaca, as well as some carded and dyed fleece for spinning, ate some french fries, watched the dogs, and generally had a great time before taking the shuttle back into town.
My only regret? I missed the sheep to shawl competition. It's tomorrow.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please make sure you are using the updated version of Harriet's Jacket from Ravelry. There was a typo in the first version that went out, which was quickly corrected. You'll know you have the right version if the last round worked before the divide is an EVEN rnd, leaving you with purl bumps facing on the right side.