Sunday, 19 July 2009

Rain, rain and more rain!!

What a weekend it's been! We've had SO much rain here, it's just been heavy shower after heavy shower, so it limited what we could do really. I was tempted to go to one of those 'pick your own' farms, but boyfriend wasn't too up for it... We did find a Mirabelle plum tree just up our road, so I'm super pleased about that! Can't wait for the fruit to ripen so I can make some nice jam!

Anyway, have been doing lots of knitting. I found this pattern for a dog shaped draught excluder and it looked so cute I just couldn't resist. I'm not too sure if the pattern is correct because what I'm getting is a little different from the photo... I have to say, I started knitting not very long ago (around last winter), so I'm slowly (but surely!) improving my skills. I started with a simple scarf, then moved on to a slightly more elaborate one (see photo, it's a zigzag pattern, it's made with cotton tape and Rowan wool, I absolutely love it!), and then I made some baby booties. But I'll come back to those some other day. Anyway, I need help! I need to block some of the body parts of my dog (this sounds a bit weird I know!) and I've never done this before. I'm slightly confused by the whole process, could someone please tell me how to do it properly? Thank you!


Ragged Roses said...

Hello! Welcome to blogging! I'm sure you're going to have lots of fun. Good luck with that knitting, you're a brave woman! I'm afraid I can't help at all, just about manage a straight up and down scarf! Looking forward to seeing your end results

Ali said...

Ah the mysteries of blocking! I've only been knitting a bit longer than you, but here's my advice.

Pin the relevant dog part to a towel, pulling it gently into the shape you want it to be and uncurling the edges. Then squirt it with water from a plant mister until pretty damp and leave it to dry flat until totally dry. When you unpin it, it should keep the perfect shape. Blocking makes it much easier to seam your knitting.

You can also pin then waft with a steam iron without touching the knitting, but I'm always too chicken to do it that way.

Good luck!

Rowan said...

Hi Louise,

I've just found your blog and love it. Your scarf is so beautiful and delicate.

Regarding blocking, I am far from an expert so read this at your peril!:

Basically, the idea of blocking is to stretch a piece of material so that when it gets washed/worn/stretched in future etc. it won't stretch any more than how far you have shaped it. I tend to plunge items (clothes, blankets, hats are all the same) into luke warm water (not cold, and not hot which could both damage certain yarns), leave them 15 minutes (apparently this is about the length of time cotton takes to fully absorb water), rinse, not worrying too much about wringing things out, then gently stretch out and pin onto a towel on the floor. This will kill your knees and neck, especially when using about 200 pins on the blanket I just did! It should then dry naturally in the air and you can just unpin it. Your dog sounds great! It might not need blocking as it probably doesn't have to be an exact size.

I haven't been knitting all that long myself.

Looking forward to seeing your blanket one day!

Take care,

Rowan said...

By the way Louise, I noticed that you work in London. I don't know if you work anywhere near Hammersmith, but if you're interested I run the Hammersmith Stitch N' Bitch on Tuesday nights from 6-8pm at Caffe Nero, 1-5 King Street, Hammersmith.

We'd love to meet you if you're ever free for a fun evening!

Janet said...

Hi just wanted to say i found your blog and looks to be interesting, so good luck with it! Love the scarf you have made, did it take long? Looks quite a complicated pattern.
Best of luck. x

Lou said...

Hi Janet! I've tried leaving a message on your blog but I'm having trouble with internet explorer and blogspot... argh!!! The scarf was actually not that complicated at all. It's done on size 15 needles, which gives it the lacy look. I got the pattern from a book from my local library. I could have a look for it next time I'm over there if you're interested?