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This morning I took a handknit directly off the blocking board and looped it around my neck, reveling in the way blocking transforms a piece of knitting.


This project illustrates once again the mighty redemptive power of blocking as pertaining to Fair Isle in particular. Before:




I guess I understand literally how this happens—soaking a long while in cold water and soap with puff up just about anybody and anything. Still, it’s a sort of magic to see all that lumpy, pinchy, warbly knitting tidy up and behave. It may be my favorite moment in knitting, seeing a piece of Fair Isle turn into itself.

Back in the spring when I started it, this Pine Bough Cowl by Dianna Walla seemed like an awfully chunky handknit. I stash-busted some Cascade 220 worsted for this bit of impulse knitting—you know how it is when you see a pattern, stop, drop everything, and cast on? There were moments when I questioned the wisdom of such a heavy cowl, knit in the round to create double-thick Fair Isle. Today, with it being 3 degrees outside and all, it is doing the trick without a blink. It’s a half inch thick, this thing, windproof.


No fake chinchillas were killed in the manufacturing of that hat, I promise!


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