Friday, January 8, 2016

Blocking the Hell out of It

I have finally finished a shawl I have been working on since last July.  It was fiddly and I would put it down for long periods of time while other projects caught my attention. 

While away for the Christmas Holidays I brought it along, and picked it up, and kept at it until it was finished early this morning. 

It is a very complicated lace pattern, but what with the yarn I used and the needles I used the lace pattern is not really showing up. 

I also ran out of yarn so it is much shorter than what I envisioned. 

However, I believe if I 'Block the Hell Out of It' it will be beautiful and functional and lovable.

I wonder if one can block the hell out of my life?

Blocking requires soaking the finished object until it is wet through and through. 

I can do that - what with my swimming and all.  I can soak myself through and through.

Then the soaked garment is placed on a blocking mat and stretched and pulled and pinned into place with wires and pins and measuring tape and a few good curse words thrown in.

Usually when I block a shawl I get almost to the end of the pinning and then realize it isn't quite working out and I have to unpin and start again. 

This endeavour usually involves taking up all the floor space in my 'crafting' room, or taking over the kitchen table for a day or two.

Once you start blocking something you often notice the mistakes you have made.  There they are, staring up at you, and you know there is no way to hide them.  You also know that some well meaning fellow knitter will likely see the mistake and point it out to you when you pass it around as a show and tell at your next knitting group evening. 

So ya, like life.

You work on your life, sometimes more, sometimes less, and then some phase of it is finished and you look at what you have produced and sometimes the intricate work is hard to see.  Sometimes the mistakes are hidden, and sometimes glaringly obvious.  Sometimes it seems too small for all the effort you have put in, and sometimes?  Sometimes it is just not what you expected it to end up like and then you have a few options. 

Rip the whole thing out and make something else.  This doesn't translate so well into life.

Block the hell out of it and hope it transforms.  Hmmm.  This might translate.

Put it away and just forget it ever happened.  Tempting, but not really a good option.

Gift it. 

Or maybe in life it is just to look at it as a gift.  What have I learned from this experience?  Will there be a time I look back on it and am grateful for what it has taught me? 

If it is a gift, shall I just wear it and talk about it and share it with the world?

So, first things first.  I am going to block the hell out of this shawl and see where that takes me.

And while I do so I will ponder the current project that is my life and see if I can soak it, and wire it and pin it into something I can live with. 

And if not?

If not, I will just have to continue one stitch, one step, one breath, one day at a time and welcome what is coming towards me and be grateful for those moments that are filled with grace and hope and love. 

And faith. 

Faith that nothing is unsalvageable. 



  1. this is a beautiful metaphor for life. But right now I feel as if I have felted.

    1. perhaps you have felted, but felting makes a strong fabric that wears well through what life brings towards us.

  2. It looks beautiful and the pattern is very intricate. Just like life :)

    1. True words. True words. Intricate indeed. Life, I mean.

  3. I often wish we westerners had centuries of understanding of wabi-sabi , like the Japanese, or Voltaire's "Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien" at our core.

    1. Yes! I had to look up the translations but they are very apt.


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