I really enjoy knitting, but I don't enjoy blocking the finished product. Blocking puts the finishing touches on knitting. You soak the completed project for a few minutes, gently squeeze as much moisture out as possible, then I roll the knitting into a big beach towel to get the rest of the excess water out. I then pin the item out on foam boards and let it dry. This can take care of rolled edges, and it can also open up lace knitting so that the pattern is easier to appreciate. Here's a photo of me blocking a lace scarf I made.
|Blocking a completed scarf.|
I had some projects that needed blocking, but I only gathered the intestinal fortitude to get 'er done last week. It's slow, tedious work, and I only make it harder for myself by waiting until I have four or five things lined up that need to be done. I might just learn one of these days...
I thought I'd show you one of the things fresh off the blocking boards. I've always loved Irish knitting with all those cables going every which way, so I decided that I'd find projects that had me working with cables more. Sooner or later (probably sooner), I'll work on a really complicated piece because the ones I've worked on so far have really been enjoyable.
I wanted cables with bling, so I went to my yarn stash and chose a sport-weight acrylic yarn in gold, complete with a gold metallic thread and gold sequins. The yarn is a Michaels in-house brand that's been discontinued, so I'm glad I stocked up on the various colors when I did. The pattern I used is called Londinium Cable Scarf, and as I began to knit, I didn't like how tight the knitting was, so I started over with size 8 needles instead of the recommended size 6. (I must finally be getting more comfortable as a knitter, since I'm changing yarn weights and needle sizes whenever I feel like it!)
You may or may not be able to see the pattern in this photo. See the four rows of cables? There is also another cable working its way up and down through the centers of each one. I found myself knitting the cables too tightly, and I had to rip everything down to the beginning and start again. But now I know that the stitches in cables like a little elbow room so they can show off!
I tried to take another photo that showed more "bling" but with very little success. At least some of the sequins decided to flash! I've almost convinced myself to give this one to Barbara Peters as a gift. She likes wearing long scarves that usually have a bit of sparkle or are made from interesting fabric. I keep chickening out, so if I actually do it, I'll let you know!
Now... what have I been watching while I've been working on these sparkly cables? A British crime drama on Acorn TV called No Offence. Here's the synopsis of the first series from the Acorn website:
When I mentioned on Facebook that I was watching No Offence while knitting one evening, my UK friend in Durham was so pleased because she'd been enjoying the series, too. Now we've both got a mutual friend in Minneapolis watching it and agreeing that it's addictive.
I've really been enjoying No Offence. The humor is brilliant, and the plot can change direction on a dime-- from laughter, you can immediately turn to stunned shock.
I also like it because I love British casting. The primary lead, Joanna Scanlan, would never have gotten the role in Hollywood. She's too "old," she's too "fat," and she's not "pretty/sexy." All I can do is give Hollywood the good old Bronx cheer. Joanna Scanlan is perfect.
I've also been enjoying it because everyone "sounds right." Now, this only makes sense if you know that my husband, the imported Englishman, was born and raised in Rochdale, a town right outside Manchester where this series is set. After being with his family and spending most of my time in the north of England, that's why No Offence "sounds right." (It's also one of the many reasons why I love Vera.)
So... if you're looking for a good cable scarf pattern, try Londinium, and if you're looking for a good crime drama to watch on the telly, try No Offence!