About Me

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Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
SAHM obsessed with yarn, beads and avoiding housework.

Monday, June 27, 2011


I have been AWOL for a few months, I know. Sorry if you were waiting breathlessly for my riveting posts. My SIL asked some questions about blocking and I just finished knitting the Echo Flower Shawl by Jenny Johnsen with Knit Picks Shimmer Hand Dyed Lace Yarn in Eucalyptus and took pictures of the whole blocking process. So, here is how I block a finished lace project.

First, here is a picture of the shawl just off the needles.

Notice how small and crinkly it looks. This is why we block it. So the first step is to get it wet. I do this by soaking the item in cool to lukewarm water and a little wool wash.

I let it soak for an hour or so. When I am ready to block, I take it out of the water and gently squeeze out some of the water. Then I get a clean towel and lay it on the floor and place the shawl on one end of the towel, thus.

Then I roll it all up.

Once rolled, I step on it. This squeezes out most of the water which the towel soaks up.

Then it's time to pin it out. These are my tools of choice. I have some blocking mats, although you don't have to have them. You can just pin it to the bed. I also have some blocking wires which help keep the shape more uniform and help you get straight lines, but all of that is possible with just pins. The pins are kind of a must.

Here is the damp shawl before pinning.

If you have blocking wires, you sort of weave them through the stitches where you want them. I put them along the top of the shawl so that it would be nice and straight.

Once it is threaded, you pin it down along the top then start on the points. Normally I would use wires for this part, too, but I did it with pins for the demonstration. I started with the center points at the bottom, pulling them out nice and tight. Then I did the points between the center point and the top of the shawl.

Then I pinned out all the rest of the points. Here's a closer look.

At this point you can fiddle with it until it is the shape that you want it to be.

Now, you wait for it to dry. I turned on my ceiling fan and it was dry when I checked it about an hour later. Depending on how thick your yarn and how thick your knitting, it can take longer or shorter. This is a lace weight, so it didn't take very long at all.

Once it is dry you start removing pins. This picture shows how the points stay after removing pins.

And here it is with all pins and wires removed.

And now you are done!

There are other methods of blocking, but this way has never failed me. It is a bit different if you are blocking pieces of a sweater. I don't usually need pins for that, I just soak it and lay it out.

I love how my shawl turned out. The flower pattern got repetitive and boring, but it is so worth it for the end result. It is a gorgeous pattern.

Good luck with your projects. Hope they block out well.

Monday, October 25, 2010


If you were looking for another reason to become a knitter, crocheter or spinner, have I got a fabulous one.

Ravelry Swaps

Ravelry swaps are like secret santa all year round with so many different themes, price ranges, and interests you just can't go wrong! I just finished my first swap and it was so amazingly fun, I can hardly contain myself. Putting a package together was a blast. And then, as if that wasn't awesome enough, my package came today!!

Look at the amazingness! Those little yellow faces are so cute I might die. And there's handspun! Handspun, people! It doesn't get better than that. Not to mention that this person was so in tune that I got nail polish and Halloween socks that will be perfect for my costume this year.

Seriously, I know that there are those among you who have been saying, "If only I had a really good reason to start knitting/crocheting/spinning, I would." Here it is, my friends. Wait no longer. Go, sign up, cast on and swap!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Return of the Inspector!

To round off this delightful month, the dreaded house inspector returned. This time we actually received the letter in the mail and had enough time to arrange babysitting and work our arses off (almost literally, mine is screaming in pain) cleaning the house. I cleaned from 8 to 2 with a short lunch break. But, it is clean.

Ryan said she was very nice (I couldn't stay. Being at home while I am inspected causes a nervous breakdown. I like to avoid those) and we passed all points except the washer and dryer area which they have gotten very strict on because I guess they recently had a renter have a fire. But, it's no biggie. We just have to fix it before next inspection. I'll probably do it next week. I am exhausted and Lizzie's birthday is this weekend, also the Taos Wool Festival. Ya, it'll have to wait. Too bad. :)

The sad thing, besides the soreness, is that I am so exhausted from the work that I can't knit. I want to desperately, but I can actually barely move my arms to type this, and the needles just seem so heavy.

Tonight will be a super easy dinner, and early to bed. Waaaaaaaay early. Like, maybe even now.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Murphy's Law

This month has been a textbook example of Murphy's law.

1) First, the silver car broke down, twice. The first time it cost us $800. The second time was free because the morons at Pep Boys did something wrong. But the second time Ryan was stranded on the freeway and I had to pack up the girls and go get him, during rush hour. It would be funny if it wasn't so recent.

2) Next, this month I have had a cold and two, yes TWO periods in one month. Not helping.

3) Last week, the blue car broke down. We think it is the starter, but we haven't taken it in. Can't afford to. See #1.

4) A few days ago Lizzie lost her glasses. They have dropped into some kind of warp field and are completely gone. We have torn apart the house looking for them. They are nowhere. And we cannot afford to get her another pair. Again, see #1.

4) Yesterday, my washer stopped working. I was trying to wash a normal load and it decided not to spin it out. My jeans are floating in soapy water because I just can't face what a mess it would be to take them out. I know I should, but see #2

5) These are all in addition to the normal problems like tight money, a husband who is unavailable because of work and school, young and hyper children who are methodically destroying the house and everything in it, as well as major depression and anxiety problems. I'm really not sure how much more I can take.

I just did another podcast episode and I feel really anxious about it. I have no reason to be. It's not really a special episode. I just feel so inadequate and stupid today. But then, because of this horrible month, I feel that way every day and I really wanted to just get an episode out anyway. I am just so tired of the insurmountable obstacles. Gosh darn it, just leave me alone!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Arrival

This is our new kitten, who doesn't have a name quite yet, but she will soon.

I love her to death!

possible names are:

1) Bastet - Egyptian cat goddess
2) Calliope - Greek muse of heroic poetry (I mainly just like how it sounds)
3) Kami - Japanese giant catfish who causes earthquakes (I dare you to look at her and not laugh out loud at this)
4) Ky-Lin - Chinese unicorn with yin yang balance
5) Maneki Neko - Japanese lucky cat
6) Nyx - Greek goddess of night
7) Kali - Hindi for black or dark one
8) Sable - y'know, cuz she's black
9) Sucki - Algonquin for black

Feel free to weigh in with your opinion or suggestions. :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

A bit of Lace

I finally took some pictures of my Brandywine shawl by Romi, made with Manos Del Uruqual Silk Blend in the Abalone colorway. I really love how it turned out. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

DSPS and Chronotherapy

Have you heard of Stumble? It is this very, very cool thing. When you sign up or download it or however it works (my husband did it for me, don't know the process), you have a little button on your browser which says "Stumble". When you click this amazing little button, you are whisked away to sites on the interwebs which match your interests. (It's not psychic, you have to tell it your interests). Mine are knitting, jewelry, psychology, writing and I think religion or something like that. So whenever I click the button I am taken to an awesome site that I probably never would have found otherwise.

So, I was stumbling earlier and a site popped up which talked about Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS). Now, you already know that sleep and I have a very strained relationship at the moment, so my interest was piqued. I could have written the list of symptoms. It is exactly what I have been experiencing. So, the treatments for this have nothing to do with medications. And it's not really like I am going to go around saying "I have DSPS!" But, I am going to try the Chronotherapy suggestion to try and get my body back on a normal sleep schedule.

The Chronotherapy schedule looks like this:

Day 1: Sleep at 4AM, Wake at 12 noon
Day 2: Sleep at 7AM, Wake at 3PM
Day 3: Sleep at 10AM, Wake at 6PM
Day 4: Sleep at 1PM. Wake at 9PM
Day 5: Sleep at 4PM, Wake at 12 midnight
Day 6: Sleep at 7PM, Wake at 3AM
Day 7: Sleep at 10PM, Wake at 6AM

It is a little intense, but I really feel it will work for me. Plus, with my husband's current schedule and my oldest in school, it pretty much works out that no children will be neglected during this. My little one has been taking a nap with me every day since the older one started school, and it works out schedule-wise that whenever my husband has to be away from home, she and I can take a nap together. It really is the perfect week for this to happen, and I just found this today. Serendipitous? I think so.

So, I sit here not feeling any guilt at all for being away at 2AM, which is amazing. I'll let you know how it goes.

FYI, there is a new podcast episode up, so check that out if you are so inclined. And I will leave just one more note to say that I started a project today which involves cashmere and silk. I am in heaven!