Friday, July 12, 2019

Festina Lente

When you're working on a new sweater, perhaps sensing the first inklings of momentum, it can be difficult to take time out to wet block the work in progress. In a top-down sweater, I usually do this at about an inch past the underarms (and again, later, about an inch before where I want the hem to fall), and in a bottom-up sweater, I block at about an inch shy of the underarms. Why not knit all the way to the underarms or hem? Because nine times out of ten, the wet blocking will cause the work to grow to the desired length, and who wants to have to rip back? I'm a lazy knitter!
Here's my latest design having a nice soak in some water and Eucalan.

There's no need to break the yarn to accomplish any of this; simply leave it attached, but keep the remainder of the ball dry outside the bowl of soaking liquid. I usually wait at least twenty minutes for the wool to fully absorb the water, then gently squeeze the water out, wrap the knitting in a towel, and jump up and down on the towel to get out as much water as possible. Finally, I lay out the knitting on a dry towel, patting and moulding it into the desired shape and size. A measuring tape is essential. In our un-air-conditioned house in summer, the piece will be dry by tonight. In the meantime, I'll do the sleeve calculations and cast on with dpns for the first of those. Back in a bit...