Blocking wool ……before and after

Knitting wool items look so…so…much better when they have been blocked. The samples show unblocked section and then after the blocking process. I use the wet block method exclusively and sometimes an additional blast of steam in selected sections.

Wet blocking consists of submersing the item in lukewarm water. I add a mild soap and gently hand wash, rinsing out the soap completely. Towel dry to absorb most of the water and then lay out and pin onto a blocking surface. Let air dry. Most often, nothing else is needed to produce a fine looking item.

 My blocking surface is a styrofoam insulation board readily available, very reasonably priced from Home Improvement Centres.

Pattern: Cats Paw scarf. A free pattern from Kris Basta.




The after:



Readers………..this may be of interest

OverDrive Big Library Read

Are you participating in the Big Library Read? Join readers from around the world March 17-31 as we read and discuss Shakespeare Saved My Life by Laura Bates brought to you courtesy of our friends at Sourcebooks. Titles are guaranteed to be available at participating libraries with no holds or waitlists. Search our list of participating libraries to see if your location is part of the fun.

This uplifting story of friendship is about Shakespeare professor and prison volunteer, Laura Bates, who taught Shakespeare to inmates in supermax solitary confinement. Here she meets inmate Larry Newton, and their years-long friendship grows, bonded by the bard. Read a sample.

An eye-opening study reiterating the perennial power of books, self-discipline, and the Bard of Avon” -Kirkus

And don’t forget to share the Big Library Read with the other readers in your life.

Happy reading,

Team OverDrive

What to Read Next 

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure

The Paris Architect
by Charles Belfoure

The Heir by Grace Burrows

The Heir
by Grace Burrows

The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow

The Forgotten Seamstress
by Liz Trenow

Finished with the Big Library Read selection and want more? Check out our BLR read-alikes!

    Browse More     



The Road



Start your own Book Club

After Big Library Read wraps, consider one of these titles for your own discussion group. Read More



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FS: Hinged ribber comb for Knitting Machine



For Sale: A hinged weighted ribber style comb.

Most useful for even weighting across the knitted work. Especially useful on long pieces, when moving the weighting upward nearer to the machine bed and not wishing to snag the knitting.

The wire and tynes are calibrated for the Standard gauge 4.5 mm machines. It can be used on all knitting machines. Most users do not bother with inserting the wire. The flipped weight holds the work in position.

$50.00 US plus shipping. (Estimated @ 20.00)

Location: near Toronto


Felted Pin Cushion in an Artisan Bowl

  • A felted Dryer ball in a handcrafted bowl and being used as a Pin Cushion

The dryer ball is handmade by winding random pieces of wool over a wool core. Soak in the wash mashine and wash with clothes to activate the felting process.  When you are satisfied that it has felted adaequately, tumble dry in the dryer. This process may need to repeated a few times to felt the ball.

On this particular ball, I liked how it showed the strands of yarn. On other balls that I have made, the yarn strands disappear. Some people will needle felt the ball, others will knit a jacket for the ball.

I must mention that wool or another animal fibre is needed, not acrylic.

  • What are dryer balls? They are felted balls that put into the clothes dryer to enable better and shorter drying time along with the reduction of use of fabric softeners.

FREE Crochet Earwarmer/Headband pattern

Any yarn, any sized hook.

Crochet a “chain” long enough to go around your head. Some like it looser, others tighter. Approx 18″.

This band is crocheted flat and the ends joined to complete.

Row 1: the chain, approx 18 inches.

Row 2: slip stitch or single crochet into each chain. Turn.

Row 3: chain 3, double crochet into each chain across width. Turn. 

Repeat row 3 until you feel that it is wide enough for your taste.

Last row, slip stitch or single crochet into each stitch. Fasten off at the end. I crocheted 10 ridges. 

Join the narrow ends together, and then gathered them so it looks like the picture.

The yarn in the picture is using a Briggs and Little, 2 ply, 100% woo, that was hand dyed with food grade dyes to give it a mottled denim look. 5mm crochet hook.  100 gram hank/skein produced 4 headbands. The bands were washed , treated with fabric softener, and air dried on the hat block.

Canadian Living Magazine article…… benefits of knitting

4 health benefits of knittingAside from allowing you to create beautiful pieces of clothing, knitting can also be beneficial towards your mental and physical well-being. Here are four ways knitting can benefit your health.

By Kate Daley

More Humidity needed?

In the depths of winter, our Canadian houses become very dry, the lower the outside temp, the drier. Today -14C.

One solution that I use, is to wash some wool sweaters and air dry them. I soak them in warm water with a bit of detergent meant for delicates in the washing machine. No agitation. Then, spin on the delicate setting, rinse and spin again.
Here is a photo of a draped sweater over a hassock. The mid afternoon afternoon sun is playing tricks with my light for taking a picture.



How to BUY a Knitting Machine.

Knitting machines are complex bits of machinery. They require a learning period and are offered in a variety of degrees of complexity. Metal based or plastic, some for thin yarns and others for thicker yarns.

DETERMINE: your wants and needs. The following website has a few articles about the various machines. Do take the time to read, I’m not repeating that valuable info in this posting.

A NEW machine can be purchased from a few Distributers in North America. Since there are very few Knitting Machine Dealers/Stores, it will most likely be by MailOrder and should arrive in good order. When purchasing a new machine there is peace of mind that the machine is not malfunctioning and problems are due to operator error.

PRE-OWNED knitting machines are available. Some are beloved, well cared for and others are dusty, dirty and damaged with pieces missing. This will be reflected in the Asking Price. Many Brands have not been manufactured for over 10 to 20 years. Parts are in limited supply or NOT available at all. Some buyers need to purchase a PARTS machine.
Keep in mind that these are machines, even though many are perfectly running and functioning, they are usually 20 to 30 years old, the Electronics, the Plastics and rubber is also that old. They can be brittle, hard and discoloured.

DEMO: If a seller can provide a demo of a machine, that is a bonus.

PHOTOS: are nice including Close ups. Sometimes, the closeup makes the item look worse than it is in real life.

EXPECTATIONS: A knitting machine with all the parts included. There is a picture in the front of the manual that shows ALL parts that were sold with the machine. Most of them are CRITICAL and All MANUALS that came with the machine. Without them it is very, very difficult to learn how to operate the machine without some sort of Lessons. You Tube is not enough.

Manuals are available on the Internet. It is well worth to print out all 80 pages or so.

SHIPPING: a PRE-OWNED one will not likely have the original cardboard boxes and ones would need to be constructed. These machines usually travel on a conveyor and drop into bins during shipping. They are NOT manually handled. Extra protection ( solid styrofoam) for ends of the machine is prudent for a successful delivery.

A Road trip is worthwhile.

There is no perfect knitting machine that will do everything. The Hobby plastic bed Machines such as the Silver-Reed LK150 or a Pre-owned Brother 350 are good entry points for learning how to use the Knitting Machines.

For Production use, a Metal Bed machine is the best choice.

ENJOY the journey………..using a Knitting Machine is a wonderful hobby or occupation.

Yet Another Canadian Artisan, 2015
Mary Anne Cutler