Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanks, Herc!

Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father; prepare to die., Thursday into Friday morning, Hercules decided that some ghost of Thanksgiving past wanted him dead. Since he sleeps in-between Todd and I, his quickest path to make a panicked exit was via MY FACE. He missed gouging out my right eye by about 1/4 inch. I don't know if you can see the little puncture marks around my eye. But he did manage to give me a loverly slice on my right cheek. Awesome.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Forgot About This

Hey everyone! A few months ago I was asked to give a little interview about this blog on Blog Interviewer ( It's super short, but it's finally up and the link is finally working!

Also, thank you to whoever it was among you all that the nominated me for this. Apparently, you have to be identified by others as someone who might be worth an an interview. So thanks!

Here's the link.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Thrilling Conclusion to the Blanket Saga

Much like the original Star Wars trilogy goes the story of the smocked diamond baby blanket.

First, there was Episode IV: I introduced the blanket, explained where the pattern came from and how interesting and lovely it was. (Incidentally, I DID win that old Paton's pattern booklet where the pattern came from. There are some really neat patterns in there, particularly the bed jackets, which were oh so popular in the 1930s and 1940s.) But...these aren't the droids you're looking for....

Then there was Episode V: the dramatic and tense episode, where the joy of the finished product was quickly dashed by the blocking horrors caused by the evil Darth Wires; I lost a hand and then Orson got frozen in Carbonite.... Ok, not really.

Um, MOM! I am NOT frozen in Carbonite!

Now I give you Episode VI: good wins over the evil blocking wires and there will be a mega Ewok dance party at my house this weekend. Bring snacks and a panflute! \m/ \m/ (throws up the horns!)

So, it finished blocking and I removed the wires. It looked like I dragged the corners and one edge through the La Brea Tar Pits. I didn't know what to do to fix this. Spot cleaning didn't seem ideal. So...I tossed it in the wash. Now, it was superwash merino. And I used the most gentle cycle possible --- "hand wash"--- on the washer and gave it a double rinse to make sure all the detergent residue was gone. I'm not sure what I was so hesitant about because it washed up beautifully.


It also stretched out a lot. So a 29 x 29 blanket was now 38 x 38. It looked like a lace kerchief. Not so great.

I tried to hand shape back into a square, as you can see in the pictures. It looked ok; it was mostly square. So I left it there to dry and started another little project (which I will talk about later on). After about 40 minutes or so I started to think that I didn't like how the blanket was going to turn out. So I went back to it, picked it up and then tossed it into the dryer and prayed that the Force would be with me.


I used the "angels-blowing-swan-feathers-around" intensity on the dryer (actual setting: delicates) for about 20-25 minutes. I waited on pins & needles to see if I totally ruined this thing or it would come out looking like a washcloth. I mean, I've heard that superwash doesn't necessarily mean superdry. My socks take a beating in both the washer & dryer because Todd launders them. And he puts everything on the "construction-worker-concrete-and-mud-encrusted" industrial setting. But, the socks that I've made are with a wool and nylon blend, so I imagine that helps. This yarn was 100% merino wool.

DING! Dryer cycle over. Did Han & Leia get the shield generator down???

Why, yes, they did!

I am amazed, pleased, and extremely lucky that the blanket turned out as nicely as it did:

The yarn totally blossomed out and the pattern just pops right off the surface. The stitches seemed to tighten where they needed to and to spread out where necessary. The yarn overs around the diamond parts look especially good and even now. It's soft as a cloud and the size is just about what the original blocking was. I don't know whether to credit the yarn or the decency of the washer/dryer (probably a little of both). The yarn is Queensland Super Aussie. I HIGHLY recommend it. I got mine from Webs.

I have to say, I was a little worried about the diamond parts. While I was knitting them and even during the first blocking, they looked very lumpy and irregular. Plus each diamond's tip was a p5, which looked strange and loose no matter how tightly I pulled the yarn. Looks great now. I can't believe it.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Dear KnitPicks:

"The first time you use your blocking wires, wipe them with a soft cloth to remove manufacturing residue."

With regard to the quoted sentence above, which is directly from the product description on your website: Yeah, please put that on the tube that houses the wires... in bold... and in size 96 font.

Also? "Manufacturing residue" doesn't quite cover what it really is: BLACK MACHINERY OIL. Which, by the way, never really comes off entirely, despite SEVERAL vigorous wipe downs.

Very disappointed that I threaded one of these filthy wires into the IVORY MERINO BABY BLANKET THAT I SLAVED OVER FOR 2 MONTHS because you didn't put the "wipe that shit off the wires" warning on the tube.

Sigh x 10000000,

An infuriated knitter.