Sunday, January 9, 2011

Taking My Own Advice

In the past couple of days, two people have mentioned to me that sweaters they've made from superwash merino/cashmere blends have grown on them after a wearing or two. I told them that I'd heard that a quick trip through the dryer could help -- wash the sweater, spin out as much water as you can, and dry the sweater on low to medium heat until it's damp, but not dry. Then block as needed and dry flat.

After I washed and blocked my Dark and Stormy for the first time, I was concerned that it would be too big. I even noted in my last post that it had grown more in the wash than my swatch had led me to believe. So it was with trepidation this morning that I took the now-dry sweater, sewed the buttons on, and slipped it on.

Suspicions confirmed. Sweater too big. Longer than I wanted and much bigger in the shoulder/upper arm area. Sigh.

So I took my own advice. I plopped it back in the bath, squished out as much water as I could, then put it in a large mesh bag. Rinse/spin cycle in the wash. About 15 minutes in the dryer on low heat. When I checked it, it was still pretty wet, so I let it go another 8 minutes on medium heat. A quick prayer to the yarn goddesses, then I took the sweater out and laid it on the blocking mats.

I know you can't really tell from the picture, but much better. It's two inches smaller around and a good three inches shorter, looking no worse for it's adventure.


And a closer-up shot of the buttons, which I got in DC at Looped Yarn Works:

So I still have to be patient while this dries -- again -- to see how it fits.

As this was drying, I've been working on more stripey socks and, yes, Paper Crane. I'm determined to get that one done, since I'm so close. Look for that to be finished and blocking by the end of the week.

Then I get to cast on for something new!

In non-knitting life, January has been very good to Jr. Jr. He was in the school's Geography Bee on Friday, as one of 5 fourth graders competing against 5 fifth graders for the school championship. It was a nail-biter. He was up against the younger brother of the boy who beat Sr. Jr. a few years ago and who went on to the state bee, as well.

This year for the first time, the bee was being held as an assembly, with all of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders watching. Very nerve-wracking! He looked so nervous up there that I thought he was going to throw up. Mr. T and I kept trying to catch his eye to give him our support, but he didn't look our way.

After getting the first two questions wrong, he ran the table -- and won! I couldn't believe it. I was just hoping he'd get one or two questions right. Now he gets to take a written test to see if goes on to the state bee in Richmond.

Then Saturday morning his basketball team had their first game of the season. After going down 14-2 in the first quarter, the team came back to win, 26-25. I was really impressed with how much Jr. Jr. had improved since last year. The whole team looked great.

I am very, very saddened by the shootings in Arizona this weekend. I've looked at some of the YouTube postings by the alleged shooter, and he certainly appears mentally ill. I don't know if he was influenced by some of the inflammatory and violent political rhetoric that has been proliferating in the last couple of years, but I fervently hope that the people who spout that kind of rhetoric will re-evaluate their tactics. They may claim that they're speaking metaphorically and that they don't condone violence, but their words say otherwise. And they need to realize that those words and images may reinforce and inflame the anger among people who can't control themselves or who are easily led.

Like the Sheriff in Arizona said, and I'm paraphrasing, speech may be free, but it has consequences.


kippi said...

I'm going to try that with my MCN sweater although I don't really want it to shrink much in length. WIll worry about it tomorrow. lol

Congratulations to the Geography Bee winner! That's all kinds of wonderful.

It's so sad about the AZ thing. I feel mostly for the parents of the young girl who went with the neighbors to the event. With regard to the long as there are puppeteers there will be puppets.

Tracey said...

The sweater looks gorgeous. I am hoping I see it wandering around town one day!

Loren T said...

Thanks, Kippi and Tracey!

Now all I need to do is sew up Paper Crane.