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  • O Ye of LIttle Faith (or, The Magic of Blocking, Again)

    January 04, 2013 2 min read

    Here it is: The modified "Baktus" scarf that is one of our First Friday projects for January. Super-easy knitting, it's a long garter-stitch isosceles triangle working in the uber-yummy Fibre Company "Terra," a gorgeously colored blend of baby alpaca, wool, and silk. The drape is wonderful, the softness is wonderful, and the proportions give you so many styling options. I'm very very happy with it.

    I have to confess, I was not at all in love while I was knitting. Yes, the yarn was great to work with, and the color ("Beet," a rich, true magenta) a pleasure to see moving through my fingers. But honestly, it's a big garter stitch triangle. And the charmingly rustic spin of the yarn made the garter stitch look, well, lumpy. I was kind of embarrassed. And a lot of people came into the shop, and asked what I was knitting, and looked at my lumpy garter stitch triangle-in-progress, and mumbled something polite and turned away looking at best confused and and at worst kind of curled-lip disappointed.

    But wait! Then... Then... I finished. And gave the sad, slubby magenta triangle a nice warm bath, and blocked the beejesus out of it on the blocking boards in back. A warm overnight nap on the board, a quick un-pin this morning, and a miracle! The fabric was transformed. It's still wonderfully soft and luxurious, and the color is still intensely yummy, but now it's drapey, silken, and oh, so wearable. By some blocking wizardry, the lumps vanished, the fabric slenderized, and the proportions became just perfectly easy to style, and truly flattering as both a warmth scarf and a fashion scarf.

    I really, sincerely recommend this project. Sure, it's "just" garter stitch. But man oh man, is it nice. Very high return on a very low-stress knitting investment. I've written up a modified version of the "Baktus" instructions to make it even easier. Linda Dunlevy was one of the "what are you knitting??" people from last weekend, and guess what? She saw the scarf again after blocking, and immediately picked out her color of Terra and cast on for one of her own. That's a vote of confidence!

    So come pick your color. Cast on three stitches (yep, three stitches), and go.
    You'll be glad you did.

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