A few years ago now, I was sitting in a waiting room while my car was getting an oil change, and I was knitting away on a pair of fingerless mittens. I believe this was the time it took them four hours to do an oil change, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is, I was there long enough for several sets of people to come and go, and one of those sets of people included a woman who was thrilled to bits to see a younger person knitting. She asked me what I liked to knit, and I said that I knit just about everything but clothes, but I did like to knit shawls. “Oh,” she said, “I knit a shawl once, but it looked awful, so I just put it in a drawer.”
“Did you block it?” I asked.
She gave me a blank look.
Sometimes I think about that woman. I wrote down a whole bunch of information for her, things like blocking and Ravelry and the times we meet at the library, but I’ve never seen her since. I hope she went home and looked up blocking, at least, and blocked her shawl. Because blocking, like turning a heel (every time), is Knitting Magic.
Wave Maiden came off the needles crumpled, wrinkly, and small. You remember?
Saturday morning, she got a bath and a block.
I have an assortment of blocking paraphernalia now, wires, flexible wires, and a lot of T-pins. The paraphernalia doesn’t speed up blocking per se. Wave Maiden was a fairly simple shawl to block, and it still took me 40 minutes to get her laid out just right. I think when I did Priest’s Moonshadow, it took me over two hours. But wires mean you can get away with only 24 T-pins (I counted when I took them out), instead of hundreds, and they help with nice crisp lines, so I’m really glad I made the investment (and put the flexible ones on my Christmas list; thanks Mom and Dad!). Once she was laid out, then it was just waiting, and this afternoon, she was dry.
For such a simple combination of stitch patterns, the effect is really magical. There’s a great deal of wave going on in this shawl, and I’m really pleased with the colour as well. And after blocking, it is by no means too small. But I had to create a fairly impressive tower of books and boxes to get you a half-decent photograph.
With Dad here tomorrow, maybe we can get a better one. 🙂
Anyway, Wave Maiden. Two thumbs up from this knitter. Just a pleasure from beginning to end. Can’t wait to wear her.