Posted in Knitting

Will blocking fix this?


My current project is a hot mess. At knitting group this morning, I told my friends that the only reason I’m finishing it is because it’s 100 percent cashmere, and I can’t let that go to waste.

I’m working on Carrie Bostick Hoge’s  Lori Shawl from her wonderful book, Madder: Anthology 2/Simple Pleasures. I saw a sample of the shawl at Tolt Yarn and Wool in Carnation, Washington (if you ever get the chance, GO THERE!), and I knew I had to have it. I’m working on the smaller-gauge version, knit with lace-weight Habu N-86 Pure Cashmere, on size 2 needles, too, which I hate.

But it’s pretty cute, right? It’s a right-angle, garter-stitch triangle, with two-thirds knit in gray and one-third knit in cream. I did the same colors as shown at above, which will fit right into my wardrobe.

The problem is, my version looks nothing like it should, and I have my doubts that blocking can fix it. Here it is in progress:


Yeah. And last night I found two more dropped stitches. It really looks horrible; I’m hoping a good soaking and blocking will help, and that this yarn has a pretty good bloom to help hide some of the problems.

This little knit shawl pattern has been in the works for quite some time, traveling with me in my purse. After a few rows, I had to change needles because the Addis I was using were too slippery. I switched to my Chiaogoo Spin bamboo interchangeables, which were better with this fine yarn. But I didn’t notice until much later that the new needles had loosened up my gauge. You can see in the photo above where I changed needles. One of the sweet ladies at a knitting retreat said I should think of the first few rows as a border. Done!

I’ve been working on this shawl pretty steadily for the last few weeks, and I think I can see my feelings in it. The loose gauge represents down days, thinking about my old job that I miss and pondering my future, and the tighter portions may have been knit while I was watching election results or the news. It’s interesting to actually be able to see my emotions in my knitting.

Two nights ago, I pulled out the shawl and discovered that one of my needles was broken. Argh!!!!!! I must have stepped on my knitting bag or something.

Broken needle.jpg

Huge bummer, and the only other size 2 needles I have are the Addis, which I ordinarily LOVE, just not for this project. But I had to switch back, and my gauge is a bit tighter. I just added the cream yarn, so maybe the tension issue will be hidden in the color change. Or maybe not.

I’m going to finish this sucker and wear it, regardless of the finished look. It’ll definitely be better than it is now, because it couldn’t get much worse, and it will be a reminder of this hard time in my life, and that I came out fine on the other end. Because I will be fine. In fact, I’m enjoying my leisure time and feeling better every day.

I’ll post a photo when it’s done.

Until next time,





I'm a crafter, knitter, writer, gardener, and cook. I'm the editor of the website, and also a Stampin' Up demonstrator. I'm married to a wonderful gal, Mimi, who shares my interests in papercrafting, knitting, travel, but not so much with the cooking.

9 thoughts on “Will blocking fix this?

  1. Darn in the dropped stitches (trying to drop back and pick up a stitch in cashmere is going to ladder tightly) and give it a good wet block – it will be fine. After all, once it’s been worn a couple of times it looses that freshly blocked look anyway. It will still FEEL amazing.


  2. Kathleen, it will be beautiful, and the cashmere alone will feel sooooo nice! Great that you’ll have it done soon! I must not have read your info correctly, as I didn’t realize you were a papercrafter as well. I’ll head there next!!!


    1. Oh, yes, Kris! I love paper crafting and I sell Stampin Up stuff. I’m deep in the middle of making Christmas cards, and I’m getting ready to teach a card class this weekend.


  3. How can I read others comments? I’d love to learn from others’ blocking successes.

    When I hit “read comments” it wants me to leave a comment.


    Sent from my iPhone



  4. You are such I great knitter it is interesting that even you have projects that are a “hot mess”! I know how you feel about putting your everything into a job you love. But everything happens for a reason. I know something amazing is in your future! Believe it! Believe in you! 🙂


  5. Thanks for sharing Kathleen. It’s comforting to know that even experienced knitters like yourself have projects that are not always perfect. I think once it is washed and blocked the the errors will not be that noticeable to anyone but you, others will be admiring the whole garment while as the knitter of the project you are looking at each stitch. Glad you are starting to feel better.


  6. I just knit Andi Satterlund’s Fandangle hat for my 14-year-old, who is so fond of Christmas that she is probably an elf who wound up with our human family by mistake. 🙂 Anyway, the colorwork, especially toward the top, didn’t look good. Carrying the floats, too tight, carrying floats across the magic-loop span and wishing I had 12″ circulars in US5…you get the idea. It looked bunchy and weird. Long story short — soaking and blocking it made it practically perfect. I will never fail to be amazed. 🙂 Here’s hoping for similar good luck with yours!!!


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