We’ve all made items that we’re proud of, and let’s be honest, it feels really pretty darn good to get complements on our handiwork. Whenever I’m complemented, I smile and say “thank you”. However, I’m laughing inside thinking to myself; “if they only knew of all the other things I’ve made that didn’t turn out so good”. Trust me, for every successful piece I’ve made, I could show you an entire drawer full of failures! Over the years, I learned a lot of little tricks on how to turn some failures into successes - you know, making Lemonade out of Lemons! For example, if my sweater came out a little too small, I can block the heck out of it to (hopefully) get it another inch or so bigger. If my sweater came out a little too big, I can sew a few running stitches in the right places and make invisible gathers. Same method for too long sleeves. There’s all sorts of things you can do to MAKE it work!
However, recently, I made a fatal mistake. Right now, it seems insurmountable, but maybe after the sting of failure wears off, I’ll come up with something!
Last week, I finished knitting the Garden View Shawlette in the prettiest pale blue cotton. This was one of the most fun knits I have done in a long time, and my mistake was not done in the knitting, but in the finishing process.
The only blocking method I’m comfortable with is soaking my items in the sink with water and a little wool wash (or hair conditioner). I usually let it soak for 10 minutes or more, squeeze out as much water by hand as I can without wringing it, then roll it up in a towel to get more moisture out of it. I lay dry towels on the floor (I have a large 3rd floor room in my house that doesn’t get much use, so this is the perfect place for me!), then I lay out my item and push and pull it into the shape it’s supposed to be, and leave it like that until it’s dry (usually a few days).
When it came time to start blocking my Garden View Shawlette, I realized that I had another item (a placemat) that needed to be blocked as well. Since “thrifty” is my middle name, I figured “why not just do these 2 pieces together!”. Well, I checked on my shawl and placemat last night, and much to my horror, there were spots on my shawl! See them below (you look, I’m still too traumatized!)
I screamed – I yelled – I even threw in a few swear words for good measure! Nothing changed the fact that my shawl is basically ruined. I’m not 100% sure, but I think the placemat might had bled a little during the soaking and left the offending spots on the shawl. ! I didn’t notice it when I was laying it out to dry but I can’t think of any other explanation! As far as I know, no one in the household has been on the 3rd floor in days, so I can’t imagine anything happening while it was there. It HAD to have been from the placement, and perhaps we should change my middle name now to “bonehead”!
P.S. Here's the stupid placemat: