Oh, hello! Here we are. Right where you left us. The entire house is completely rearranged and half of it is repainted. You would not know it, looking at the pets. Or maybe you would, since rearrangement does not suit the dog, for one, and now that we are on the other side of chaos (just working on the room details now — yay! — will show you soon), she is exhausted and has barely moved in a day and a half. Moving every piece of furniture to a new location and painting = dog with perpetual worried expression/exhaustion from worrying. Poor little honey. Yesterday I sat for about a half an hour with her, belly up and flopped across my lap. She snuggled in so completely I had to keep checking to make sure she was breathing (head thrown back, paws dangling). But I do believe that most of the chaotic chaos is behind us and we can start settling in. So sorry to be gone for so long but I have not had a minute of quiet, and I can't find anything now (cord that connects camera to computer). But again, now it's just fussing with the details — and I am so, so, so much happier with the new arrangement!
How I had time to finish this sweater, started two weeks ago, I really don't know. All I can say is that it went super fast, was the most beautiful little cardigan pattern I have seen in a long time, and was pure pleasure to knit. The pattern I used for this is called Style #6043-87 by Bernat, and is from a 1960 (Ravelry says this pattern is from 1970 but my copy definitely has a copyright of 1960 . . . ) pattern book published by Bernat. I saw Crackerjack Knits's beautiful version on Ravelry a few weeks ago and found the pattern on Etsy. I will give you all of the details about my version once I put the buttons on, but today I just had this urge to show you the sweater before blocking.
MINIATURE. Of course, this is a ribbed sweater, so it is going to shrink up a bit because of the ribbing ('cause that's what ribbing does). But still I thought it would be fun to look at it before and after (and, I guess, during) blocking, just to demystify the process for anyone out there who is not sure how to wet block. For what it's worth, this is how I do it, anyway.
First, you put a blocking board on top of your dog because she is too tired to move. No, first you get your sweater nice and wet in your new shower (because when they put the sink back in they did something to the stopper because now water is leaking everywhere so you shouldn't use it until it is fixed — sigh). Anyway, ramble ramble: Get it wet. Don't worry that you are going to felt it, or ruin it, or whatever — cold water and a run from the bathroom to the blocking board is not going to felt your wool. I have talked about how to block at length in this post (and details about where to get a blocking board are there, too). Having a blocking board is just super awesome. It folds up and gets stuffed in the closet when I'm not using it. It has a printed grid that helps me keep everything straight. ou can pin right into it. It has a nubby surface which holds things while you pin. Once the little sweater is wet, I toss it on the board and open it up and find the center back. I center that on a grid line. Then I just basically find the side seams (I did this seamless, so there were no side seams, but I counted ribs to figure out where they should be) and start generally pinning everything into place. You can get a feel for how big the sweater wants to be. I try to stretch it comfortably — not toomuch, not too little. The water and the stretching help the yarn relax; I spray more water on it if it's starting to dry out while I'm working. As I pin, I try to keep everything symmetrical, of course, and shape it in a pleasing way. With a circular yoke, the bottom of the sweater wants to be a bit A-lined, so you work with that.
Stop to kiss snuggly pets as necessary. Man, they are so darn sweet. Pinning this thing literally took me close to an hour. I am slow. That was the slowest I've moved in five days. You have to have time to do this, and go slow, and re-pin when necessary. It's not a rush-rush procedure, but I figure I just spent who-knows-how-many hours knitting the thing, I don't want to give it short shrift on the blocking (because the blocking is where the magic happens). You want to take your time with this.
Use a lot of stainless-steel pins. Any other kind will rust, and you don't want that. Pin your center front opening very straight — the grid really helps with this — and make sure that each side is even in length, and that the sleeves are the same length, and that the neck opening is centered, and that the shoulders have the same pitch. Stuff like that. You do one final bit of fussing just to make sure, then just let it dry for a day or two, depending on your climate. I absolutely can't wait for this one to dry. This is the first baby sweater that I have found myself wanting an adult version for. I think I would wear this every single day. I haven't decided what kind of buttons to put on it yet.
What should I call this one? Any ideas? #6043-87 (what a romantic name!) just is not doing it for me. But my brain is stuffed with all of the dust bunnies that came out from behind the entertainment center when it was moved, and I can't think.