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Checklist: How to Soak a Handknit in Your Own Backyard


Dear Kay, Whenever you’re in the backyard on a spring day with a handknit just completed and in need of a good soak, there are a few things to remember in order to slam dunk the handknit-soaking process. Weather. Sunny day makes it more pleasant. After being indoors for four months straight, it is shocking to discover that an entire new season has shown up. What is with all these buds and shoots? Those fetching small birds dangling...

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The Fog of Wool

Dear Ann, It’s Wednesday and I’ve just finished hooking a small rug and I’m still floating on the fumes of my Saturday at Rhinebeck, aka the New York Sheep & Wool Festival, aka my annual renewal of my vows to knitting. I know that, for people who don’t (a) live in the Northeast and/or (b) organize their personal, family and religious calendars around knitting, Rhinebeck is a kind of Emerald City that they read about...

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Putting the Genie Back in the Bottle

Putting the Genie Back in the Bottle - 1

Dear Ann, You are the Prophet of Block-it in America, and I am your devoted acolyte. Blocking is the way to true handknit salvation. It makes the nicest, most even garter stitch plump up and look even nicer and more even. It takes the scratch out of Noro Silk Garden. It straightens all wobbly lines. It is a chiropractor for biased stockinette. But blocking wrecked my State Street Cowl. Here we see the State Street Cowl, pre-blocking. Note the...

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Settle Down Now

Settle Down Now - 1

Dear Ann, I seem to have caused some freaking out with my reference to putting the finished sample for the Mitered Crosses Blanket in my so-called foreign washing machine. I need to clear this up, stat, before the knitting police haul me away. 1. Why did I refer to my galley-kitchen-sized stacking washing machine as “foreign”? Longtime readers will remember an incident with my prior washing machine, the venerable Herr Miele. Like...

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Blocking Day

Blocking Day - 1

Dear Ann, I am blogging right now because it seemed like a bad idea, even to me, to stand in front of the little foreign washing machine for 39 minutes. That is not going to get me anywhere. (Back with you in a minute–just going to check. –OK, 28 minutes left.) Today is Blocking Day! Here we see a corner, resplendent in applied i-cord. (No staples, duct tape, or cream cheese was used in the production of this blanket.) Here we...

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The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part - 1

Dear Kay, Pins and needles over here, just pins and needles while I’m waiting for the Diminishing Rib Cardigan to finish drying. Will the mighty redemptive power of blocking redeem this foldy curly neckline? Remember, this is what it looked like before I soaked, pinned, and quietly begged the neckline to behave: I think this neckline thing is going to work out OK, now that I’ve enlisted the 18-pound Portable Blocker. Please note...

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