The Horror of Blocking

Not Blocked

I am now one of over 8000 knitters that have made the Ranunculus Sweater. I thought it would be a great layering piece not only over this long white blouse but maybe over a blue or black summer dress to protect sunburned shoulders from the evening breeze. I took this picture before I blocked the sweater because I am always frightened of what might happen during the blocking process.

I waited until my husband went for his evening walk. I wanted to be alone while I blocked it in case something horrible happened. I plunged the light airy cotton candy yarn into the water and thoroughly soaked it. When I pulled it out, it looked like a half drowned wet cat. I was horrified. The yarn was matted and heavy. My first thought was “it’s ruined.” Fortunately, there was another voice in my head that told me to gently press out the excess water and roll it up in the towel I had prepared. I followed my instruction and soaked the first towel. I laid the sweater out on a dry towel and it was totally misshapen. I found the schematics and gently pulled and prodded it into the correct size trying not to panic. I kept telling myself the yarn would regain its fluffy nature once it dried.


The sweater is still drying but the details of the design were enhanced by the blocking process. I took that soaking wet mess and shaped it into the same dimensions as the schematic. That’s when it hit me. Transformation into something better is messy and can be terrifying, but the creator is there willing and able to gently poke and prod us back into shape. We just have to say yes to God.

Published by Julie Cicora

I'm an Episcopal Priest that loves using knitting as a spiritual discipline.

6 thoughts on “The Horror of Blocking

  1. As a dedicated lace knitter, I can attest to the magic of blocking, or dressing as it’s sometimes called. That lace shawl that took weeks to do and ended up with 800 stitches comes of the needles looking like a tissue that went through the dryer. But then, get it wet, lay it on the blocking boards, stretch it, pin it, stretch it, pin it, then leave it alone for a day while you ease your aching back. Once it’s dry you have an airy, soft, ethereal piece of knitted art. Magic!


  2. It worked and is beautiful!! I have been using my 2 sacred words “Trust” & “Grace” whenever I am in fear or apprehensive and questioning my newest knitting adventure!!!


  3. I love your analogy about the process of shaping. We just need to trust and things will turn out, maybe in a different way than we were able to imagine.


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