So here’s one of the things I’m still learning, Blocking.
Blocking is the arse-pain of finishing a project I’ve discovered. So yesterday I planned to really begin wrapping up my Folkloric Tunic (design by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton) and it would be my second sweater ever. First one, also by Hamilton, Benedikta, was in a slight need of blocking upon full completion, but was wearable as it finishes having the sleeve seams sown. This one, not so much.
So yesterday I finished weaving in my ends which is no small feat on this pattern. I then went to measure where to begin sewing sleeves to body pieces and wowzers the measurements are off.
Thankfully, I’ve watched a thing or two on blocking and tho there are no blocking instructions I’m guessing with this knit you really do have to block it first.
For those who don’t know, Blocking is when you set the fabric you’ve just made into its desired shape. So, when you knit, you’re weaving the yarns together and quite usually, they may look fine, but generally, if you don’t set they’re shape, they just don’t look quite right, and if you’re sewing them together it just won’t work. So, sometimes a spritz of water will work but from what I’ve had to block so far a gentle dampening/soak is better. Then, you gently tug and pull the piece into the correct measurements, pin it, and let it dry.
So, this is sleeve one, obviously of two, pinned and drying. I still have three more pieces to do this process with and frankly, am considering going to the dollar store for more of these foam pieces so I can get on with this. (Believe it on not for smaller, grided foam blocking pads at the craft store you pay, get this, $6.49 each, for one little pad! Why would anyone pay that!) At this rate, I’m Days and days away from sewing it together. Some days my patience is thin just because I get scared I’ll never finish it. The foam doesn’t allow as quick of drying as you’d think in such a dry climate.
Anyway, I really want to see this sweater finished, it could have been done months ago, literally. I stalled for so long on finishing the last few rows. I think some times I stalk because I’m afraid of failure. Does anyone else do this? I’m honestly scared that when I’m done it won’t be good. I’m afraid it will be dreadful and I’ll never wear it or find someone who fits it. This is silly. Sometimes you do fail. It’s part of learning and growing. I would never think of myself as a perfectionist but then I have this fear of non-perfect. For days now I’ve been wearing my Benedikta sweater. Pretty much since returning from Florida. It fits very large on me, but, it was a one size fits all sweater. It’s perfect for just wearing when you jump into your car and drive kids to school or work and you don’t want to wear a coat but it’s minus 10. It’s light enough I don’t get hot in it when I’m around the house. The only thing is, I wish it were just a little smaller. I get compliments on it every time I leave the house in it tho, so it must be a good piece of knitting. Funny how critical I am of my own work. I wanted an unusual and beautiful piece, in fact, I always want an interesting piece when it comes to anything I spend my time on. I can buy ordinary. But within this desire for something unique there is a large margin for error. Reading & translating the patterns into full-fledged pieces means learning as you go. Mistakes will be made. Things will need to be backtracked. And then reknit. It’s part of the process. The scariest thing is when you’ve put that much work in and then, you are at the moment of finalizing. Will it have been worth it?
Folkloric is an unusual piece in the first place. It’s romantic & quirky. Not your average sweater. Will it work on me or for anyone I care enough for to give it to? Will it stretch out too much, be too big, not big enough…? All this has stalled me for months on the project. I truly fear failure. It’s many days worth of knitting & the cost of the materials, all sectioned off into amounts that would not conveniently unravel and become another project easily.
How I hope this sweater is wear-worthy when it’s done.