Wednesday, June 06, 2007

As Dorothy Parker Once Said ...

As Dorothy Parker once said
To her boyfriend, "Fare thee well."
As Columbus announced
When he knew he was bounced,
"It was swell, Isabel, swell."
As Abelard said to Eloise,
"Don't forget to drop a line to me, please."
As Juliet cried, in her Romeo's ear,
"Romeo, why not face the fact, my dear"
It was just one of those things
One of those crazy flings . . .

Oops. Wait a minute. That has nothing whatsoever to do with what I planned on saying! Once I typed the title for this post, however, I couldn't stop myself from singing a bit. (It's a good thing you're out of earshot, because believe me when I tell you that I'm using the term "singing" loosely!)

What I actually set about to say is that I believe it was Dorothy Parker who said, "I hate writing; I love having written."

That's the way I feel about blocking. I hate blocking; I love having blocked.

Now, I try my best not to be judgmental, but I have to say that anyone who claims they enjoy the actual act of blocking is either a liar or in need of some serious therapy. Alright. Alright. I take it back! To each his own, I suppose.

I do understand a bit of the pleasure of blocking, but for me the pleasure is not at all in the act itself. The pleasure is in the unfolding and realization of the piece. The joy is in the first glimpse of how my finished project will look that begins to shine through as I block. I relish the feeling of anticipation and - on occasion if I'm fortunate - the glimmer of pride. I even enjoy the occasional mounting sensation of fear and impending doom when that glimpse of the finished project showing through is less of a "shine" and more of a glaring blaze of my own ineptitude staring me in the face, indisputable and inevitable, mocking me. Despite the uneasy feeling that comes with the realization that something has gone terribly wrong and unnoticed along my knitting-way, there is still some inexplicable pleasure in the experience of watching the tragedy unfold. It's part of the miracle that we call Blocking.

But the act of blocking itself? I take no pleasure in it. Endless pinning, stretching, smoothing, measuring, and general fussing. No thanks! I do it because I must. If I didn't, I would have either a huge pile of unfinished items or drawers full of crooked, lumpy, misshapen garments and accessories.

I suppose you've guessed by now that I've just finished blocking a piece. It's the lace scarf of my own design in my FF Laceweight Merino in the Hendrix colorway that I posted about last week.

Here's a long shot of it, which is a pretty terrible photograph, but lends to my blocking diatribe since it shows that looooong length of the scarf that required 7,634,842 pins.

You can also probably see in the photo that my distaste for blocking shows a bit. I'm certainly not the most meticulous blocker! I'm more of a "that's good enough" or "that's straight enough" kind of a blocker.

Now that this task is behind me, I have only to wait until tomorrow and then pull the pins out and I'll have a finished project. Now that I like!

I'm cautiously optimistic that I will be pleased with how it looks when set free from its prison of pins. Here's a closeup where you can see a bit more detail of the stitch pattern.

And a closer-closeup:

That's about all today on the knitting front. I've continued to make a very small amount of progress on the socks and ripple afghan that I have on the sticks, but I'm about ready for another project. I have something on its way to me in the mail that may help me in deciding on what that project will be. You'll just have to wait a few days to see what I have coming! If you're thinking that it must be books that I have on the way - since I asked all of you for recommendations recently - you would be wrong. I did finally order a couple of your recommended books last week, but get this: The anticipated delivery date from Amazon is in mid-July! Hmph!

Alrighty now. Time for me to sign off. Happy Knitting to all and to all a goodnight!


Micki said...

Get thee some blocking wires! :)

The scarf is so lovely, though. I'm sure all the arduous pinning will be worth it.

~Tonia~ said...

I agree. You need blocking wires. It makes the entire process easier. Not that I like blocking, but the wires do help, especially with lace.

Thwe scarf is very lovely. I am sure taking out all the pins will be much more enjoyable.

Fiberjoy said...

Love the Hendrix colorway. It's a very lovely scarf.

I have yet to block anything - I'm looking forward to blocking the Red Sweater as much as having a tooth drilled.

Lynne E. said...

Blocking wires, blocking wires, blocking wires! Wires are a pain to thread through the edges, but the job goes quickly--especially if you're an indifferent, that's-good-enough blocker (like me)--and you get straight edges with only a few pins. Wires cut 75% of your blocking time! You can even make your own wires--they need to be rustproof, and smoothed at the ends, is all.

Your scarf is beautiful!

Elisa said...

Blocking wires - get fluxless welding rods instead. I bought some at my local Harbor Freight for less than $10 and they work extremely well. Not that I'm cheap or anything - but it leaves me lots more $$ for FF yarns!

Katinka said...

"I hate writing; I love having written."

LOL, I share her sentiments. :P

I always balk at the finishing of projects (seaming, weaving in ends, etc.). I don't postpone it indefinitely, but it's not as fun, and I usually can't do it while watching television. ;)

Katinka said...

Posted too soon! I meant to add that your scarf looks purdy. :)

Martha Brody said...

I just got home to find my cashmere laceweight waiting for me, and all I can say is OMG! It is beautiful, just beautiful - now to find a project that's worthy.

anne said...

oh man, you GOTTA check out for books. much better deals, MUCH faster shipping.

sigh. i actually do like blocking; i find it peaceful. it forces me to slow down my usual frantic dervishness to a nice methodical pace.