Monday, 29 June 2009

Lessons in Blocking Crochet

Remember the Chevron Lace Cardigan I posted about a week or so ago?

Back then it looked like this.

Chevron Lace Cardigan - Bathroom Portrait

Mine, now that it's dry, is considerably longer. You would expect it to be longer now that it's finished, washed and blocked, wouldn't you? And it is. But it's too long. Or at least it was until about half an hour ago.

I'm not going to show you what it looks like now because it's sitting on my lap slightly unravelled. I finished it on the weekend (is the crochet equivalent of Off The Needles actually Off the Hook? If so, I like it!) and, very happy with the length, proceeded to soak and block it.

I watched it, as I laid it out on a towel, almost growing before my eyes, much like when Kylie blocked her Liesl last week. These lacy cardigans seem to take on a mind of their own once they hit the water. It's most disconcerting. You think you've got it all sorted; you get everything as right as it can possibly be and then the damn things go and expand on soaking.
It's not right.

Even Sean, who claims to have little to no views at all on what is right and wrong in the world of clothing declared it too, too long. We're talking below the butt too long which was not, as you can imagine, what was intended.

So right now, my lovely cardigan, is on my lap, ready for reworking. All I've done is unravel the band and 3 inches of the bottom. Oh the joy of top down garments! If this was worked from the bottom up, we'd be having a whole other conversation right now.

Was it the gauge? I don't think so. If anything my guage was slightly tighter than required. Was it the needle size? No, I went down a hook size. Was it the yarn (Bendigo Luxury)? I don't think so although I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has found it grows.

I think it was just that it's fairly open crochet. Lots of room for those holes to drag down.

But it's at times like this that the words of author Peter Carey flow through my mind. I'll paraphrase what he said when asked how he felt about rewriting drafts of his novels. Imagine, if you will, that he was a knitter, or croceter, and not an author.

"I figure we knitters do this stuff, we knit stuff and if we can knit stuff, we can knit plenty more. I quite enjoy throwing away good knitting."

Well it's not quite the same thing - I'm not throwing anything away, but I am undoing many, many stitches in order to get the cardigan right.

And that, in the end, is what really matters. Getting it right. A girl's got to be happy.

Finished garment photos to follow!