Monday, July 03, 2006

Perfectionist: On the Block

Saturday was laundry day:
I attempted to steam-shrink the button band on the Philosopher's wool cardigan (I attempt this everytime the iron is out. I think it might be getting smaller...gradually...)
I washed the Kyoto Asian-Fusion sweater, and attempted to shrink the 6 inches of ease I factored in. I did this with the dryer. I think it may have shrunk a tiny tiny bit.
And: I washed and attempted to block the Lotus Blossom Tank. Now, I figured I made this with 1 inch ease, and I should have made it with 1 negative inch ease. I also wanted to flatten the rolling neckline and maybe shrink up the gapey armholes. Just a wee bit of blocking magic, I figured, and since it is Merino wool, I thought it would be an easy task to bend it to my will.
Not so.
I washed it gently in the sink with cool water. I bunched it up while still in the water, and squeezed the excess water out. Never once did I pull it out of the water or otherwise attempt any action that would stretch the garment. Remember, I was trying to shrink it by 2 inches. Just a simple 2 inches!
I lay it out on top of the dryer. It had grown. It had grown by 10 inches of ease sideways, and I can't even begin to tell you by how long. Maybe a foot. The lace was huge gaping holes, holes too big to wear to work. Especially if it turned out to be the size of a potato sack.

I panicked. I assumed I had ruined the damn thing and I threw it in the dryer with the Kyoto, a few towels, my jeans, and various non-knitted laundry (what?! Non-knitted laundry?!?) I checked them every few minutes while I ate ice cream from the carton. And I am supposed to be a vegan.

The Kyoto shrank a little bit, but is still large. The tank shrank back to its pre-wash sizing, complete with 1 inch positive ease, gapey armpits, and rolled front edge.
My conclusion? Too damn bad! Get used to it!
(And I am knitting everything one size too small from now on! It is easier to stretch than to shrink!)


Stilaholic Nartian knits said...

Oh my on the LBT and Kyoto blocking incidents! I was going to knit the 38" size in Kyoto (2" negative ease), but I wonder maybe I should knit an even smaller size to get even more negative ease?

Just saw your comment and read your blog today so I will definitely get started on Kyoto this weekend! Just gotta finish 1 more kiddie hat and the petal bib first.

Kel said...

I do tend to knit very very tight, not factor in the difference between a flat gague and circular needles, and overestimate how large I am, so it isn't all the pattern! The second one is truer to gague, but the recipient lives too far away from me to constantly check the fit. Oh well!

larissa said...

I'm so glad I found your post about this. I've been thinking about knitting the Lotus Blossom in Zara myself, so I will definitely heed your advice!

Kel said...

Hehe: May my overgrown tank blocking experience help! Also check out the Knit-Along for some great sizing advice and a chart of the lace. Most people added an inch to the stockinette, or found bust shaping and smaller armhole pickups necessary. Good luck!