It’s Magic

Blocking, that is.

I knit a piece of lace. Knit and knit and knit and knit. I’ll spread it out over my knee or on a table, trying to see what it will look like when it’s done. I get hints, I have dreams and visions, but trying to picture the whole completed piece just eludes me most of the time.

So, Wisteria Garden was all done and looking like a skate (thanks for the image, KnitGeekery!). I gave it a nice long bath in lukewarm water, wrapped it up in a towel and had my husband stomp the excess water out of it (this is his favorite part).

We hunkered down on the floor and threaded the blocking wires through the edges. Then we smoothed and stretched and pinned and fussed and measured and stretched some more.

And then finally there it was, the vision I’d been trying to conjure:

All the wobbly stitches smoothed out, the yarn-overs aligned themselves, and any resemblance to a sea life just disappeared.

The border, which seemed tedious when I started it, really ties things together.



Everything seems to grow out of the center stitch, which marches bravely along from the point to the neck.


It looks nothing like a skate now. It looks like a shawl.


It’s magic, and it never gets old.

Project Details:
Pattern: Wisteria Garden Shawl, by Amy Swenson
Yarn: Zen Yarn Garden Sea Lace, colorway Tyrian, nearly 1200 yards
Needles: US 2 (2.75 mm) for the knitting, US 0 (2.0 mm) for disaster recovery
Final Size: 70 inches along the long edge, 36 inches along the center line.

This entry was posted in Lace, Year of Lace 2009. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to It’s Magic

  1. Alwen says:

    It is magic, and it's nice to see as I'm so close to the end of my stole. Right now it's looking like a fluffy green skunk cabbage! I can't wait to make it look like lace.

  2. Karen says:

    Hey, I didn't say it would be a *permanent* skate! :DSeriously, isn't blocking the most amazing thing? It's truly my favourite part of lace knitting. Congratulations on a beautiful piece of knitted art!

  3. Chandler says:

    Oh, it's so lovely! The only real-no-kidding lace shawl I ever made was for my wedding, and I was almost in tears because I just couldn't believe that it would block out of its sea-blob shape. And then it did, and the tears turned into tears of joy and wonder. This stuff is truly magic!Your finished product is beautiful. Is "skateling" maybe the baby term for shawl? Kind of like gosling or duckling? Hmm.

  4. KT says:

    It's lovely. Great work!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Congrats and three HUGE cheers for ajob well and beautifully done! Magicand wonderous. Love you, Mum

  6. drkknits says:

    its such a great process isnt it, and look at your wonderful result! just fabulous, well done!

  7. Anna says:

    Beautiful!!! And even though I'm amazed at the shawl, the fact that your husband helped out blocking makes a greater impression on me. 🙂 I hope you get to wear Wisteria lots and lots and lots. 'Cause it's supposed to be seen, and ooohhh'ed and aaahhh'ed at.

  8. damn, that's *fine*Well done you!

  9. janel says:

    gorgeous! I love blocking, it's my favorite part of a lace project.

  10. Rose Red says:

    oh my goodness, it is just gorgeous!and did you say your husband helps you with the pinning out etc? Wow, he is a keeper, that's for sure!

  11. Yarn Mafia says:

    you have to bring that to knitting so we can see it! It blocked out amazing! You are fabulous.Miriam

  12. essjay says:

    So very lovely! Blocking is truly magic!

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