vortex street pullover


I’ve completed the Vortex Street Pullover– just in time for my trip to the Orkneys.  I will post pictures soon.  I’m still not sure what I think of it.  It looks lovely– it’s a beautiful pattern.  I just don’t know if it looks lovely on me. It’s really meant for a taller, broader person.  I modified the pattern a lot– as the original armholes were actually under my bustline, but it was difficult to modify the length given the central panel’s complex design.  So, it’s more like a minidress on me.

Hmmm…maybe it will grow on me, because I won’t be growing into it.

This is the Vortex Street Pullover from Nora Gaughan’s Knitting Nature, being blocked.

Now, I’ll have you know, I’m not a blocking kind of girl. I confess I rarely block anything I knit. All those pictures in “How to Knit” books with a perfectly knitted piece pinned to an ironing board covered in graph paper? Well, just the idea of that gives me the creeps. And I don’t own an ironing board. I might have an iron, somewhere–

I realized while knitting this sweater I would have to block it. Despite all the mindless knitting or maybe because of this, there was something very seat-of-the-pants about this pattern. My gauge was all over the place and because of the design, things had to line up. I tried changing needles sizes, tried adjusting my tension but it was all pointless. My gauge still varied bizarrely. I knew blocking would be the answer.

When I have blocked things, I usually spray them with water, but I knew that wouldn’t be enough for this. The stockinette was curling, big time. I wet the whole thing in the tub and watched it stretch out to my dismay.

Once I got it on the towel it was wet, long, disastrous. I got out my tape measure and for the first time in my life “blocked pieces to measurements” as the pattern suggested. (Hey, I rarely use patterns because I’m crap at following them.) I was amazed that I was able to actually mold a 23″ sleeve back into a 19″ rectangle, and I was able to match up the size panels with the central aran panel, which was my major concern.

I don’t think I’ll be pinning any knitting to graph paper anytime soon but I’m beginning to see this whole “blocking” thing as less of an anal-retentive mythology and more as a tool. Now if I can only get used to the smell of wet wool.