What I’ve Been Working On
In this midst of all my blog touring, book promoting and class debuting action, I’ve been happily stitching away on a Peanut Butter Cardigan of my very own (here’s my project page). I’m teaching it as a class at Yarnivore, which has also provided an opportunity to work through some of the other sizes. I’m not sure everyone knows this, but a pattern is usually crocheted in one size and written for whatever the desired range of sizes is. With faith in math and technical editing, everything should work out for each size, but occasionally there are flukes. I’ve found a few and while most of them are small, I suggest you check my errata page before you get started on this one, just in case. I hate errors as much as the next person, but they happen and are easy to correct before you get started.
If you would like to crochet a Peanut Butter of your own, and want some company, I noticed the Clothing Crochet Along group on Ravelry is working on PB (I’m flattered!)–so feel free to join in and earburn me if there’s anything you have trouble with.
I intended to share a bit of the process with you while i was making this one, but it always gets a little boring and I forget to take pictures, so you will have to settle for these pics of my blocking process. I bought a set of blocking wires last year–how did I ever live with out them!?!? Wires or not, blocking really makes a huge difference in your finished piece. Wires make it a little easier, because you can thread them in and out along the straight edges of the piece and get an even stretch, rather than having individual pins pulling at various stitches along the way.
And you can see here the difference between a blocked (right) and unblocked (left) piece. Depending on the stitch pattern, it can be a dramatic or subtle difference, but I find that hands down, my work always looks better when I block it. If you’ve always been resistant to block, I urge you to give it a go. And if you need a better handle on what exactly blocking is, and tips and tricks for doing it, you might want to check out my class, Beyond Rectangles–I teach a whole lesson on how to block.
I always block my work before I sew it together, because it makes it easy to see if there are any inconsistencies (for example, an extra row worked on one piece, etc). For this reason, I’ve actually started leaving my ends unwoven *just in case* I need to fix a mistake–then I weave them all in once the piece is sewn up correctly. Ahem, I don’t even weave in my end seams until it’s all sewn together and correct, because I have learned that lesson the hard way.
Blocking before you seam makes sewing MUCH easier, because all of the pieces are the appropriate size and you won’t have to spend time trying to evenly fit awkward edges together. At this stage, my Green Bean Cardigan is all blocked, sewn up, and finished–but I’m actually going to re-block it to clean up the edges. Then, hopefully very soon, I’ll wrangle someone into taking a photo of me wearing it in blazing 100 degree temperatures. Won’t that be fun! Be sure to stay tuned for it.