crafty christmas: herringbone cowl+how to block your knitwork

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i found this lovely pattern on one of the best knitting blogs: the purl bee. if you knit, you probably need to make it your new year’s resolution to make absolutely everything on their blog. seriously.

as soon as i saw it, i knew i wanted to make it for my sister-in-law, valerie. it just reminded me of her.

seeing as i was going to have to learn a new stitch, and this scarf is HUGE, i got started in early november. i did not anticipate that it would take me forever to complete it. sheesh. consider yourself warned, this thing is huge, and harder to knit than most projects i’ve completed. it took me three weeks and i was knitting it every time my hands were free. by the time i was ready to cast-off, i actually forgot how to cast-off, ha.

after i figured out how to cast-off [which is a little funky with this pattern anyway], i tried it on, and it was too small. and i was all, “whhhaaaaatttt?!? this thing did not just take me three weeks to knit only be too small.” i followed the pattern exactly, so it was a little frustrating.

it was at this point that i remembered the most magical thing you can do to you knitting: blocking. i had never blocked anything before, but i had heard that this extra step can make all your knits look uniform and perfect and it can help shape your work as well. and since i needed all of those things for this piece, i decided to go for it.

i googled how to block knitwork and most websites instructed the following:

  1. dampen the work with cold water
  2. lay out on a towel
  3. use t-pins to shape the work
  4. let dry completely
once it’s completely dry, the knitwork keeps the shape you want it to. 
in true lisagrace style though, i came up with my own way of blocking. : ) mostly because i really needed this scarf to be stretched out. because this was an infinity scarf, i hung it [dampened] on the rod i have over our washer and dryer. i safety-pinned the sides together so that it wouldn’t curl as much and i stuck my rolling pin through the bottom to make it nice and stretched. 
it worked like a charm! as soon as it dried completely, which took about 24 hours, it looked great and was stretched out perfectly! 

so there you have it! and if you’re wondering if all of this was worth it, i would like to officially reassure you that it absolutely was. i loved giving this to my sister-in-law! and i loved the learning process, too!

disclaimer about this herringbone stitch: this stitch is way easier to do in the round. i think it’s possible to do on straight knitting, but i don’t know how.

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One thought on “crafty christmas: herringbone cowl+how to block your knitwork

  1. Michelle

    I blocked my Cowl the way you have it in your picture and it work so well!! My friend said she had problems with a line on the sides of her cowls when she blocked them. Mine was perfect! Thanks!

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