I recently read how the Yarn Harlot ignored the instructions that said to "wet block the cuff." In response, the Knitting Goddess tossed her and the entire contents of her canoe into the river. I read this account with great interest and sympathy. After all, would I have wet blocked the cuff? Doubtfully.
But I'm really not that bright. I should have thought more carefully after reading that. But no, I didn't. I laughed heartily and sympathetically, and went about my business.
Last night, I picked up my treasures from the State Fair. As an aside, I've had nightmares since dropping them off that I would A) space off the pick up dates or B) misplace those receipts that allow me to pick them back up. So on the first of two pick up dates, I was THERE. Finally, Roxxy came home, the bunny came home, I can give away the baby hat and socks, and most of all, finally I can wear my Fearless Striped Sox. When I had these items in my hot little hands, I turned over the entry tags and read the comments on the back. On the bunny, (3rd place ribbon) the judge had suggested I work on making my edging stitches neater. Good point. Had I, when I was making Bunny, thought I'd be entering her in the State Fair, I'd likely have been more careful. As it was, I was stealing moments between all the other things that had to be done, and just finished her as quickly as possible. On the baby set, (2nd place ribbon) the judge wrote "nice work", which I accept graciously and gratefully. On Roxxy, the judge wrote "very interesting", which made me howl with laughter. "Interesting" is often used to mean "I totally don't get it but I can see you put a lot of effort into it." I want to say it often applies to some one of an older generation commenting on the artistic efforts of some one of a younger generation, such as our 60-something former Library Director trying to find something to say about our 21 year old art student's installation, however, with me pushing 40, I'm flattering myself to think I'm a member of a younger anything. Still, I'm convinced the judge belongs to an older generation. It could be the style of cursive employed. Maybe I'm engaging in stereotypes here... but I've digressed. On my fabulous fearless stripes, which earned an honourable mention, the judge wrote "Not blocked properly." That was it, my metaphysical toss in the river. The State Fair instructions say clearly to block all items. And you know what? I have never ever seen blocking do anything for socks. The socks were shaped just how I wanted them to be shaped, laying flat and nice and I thought they looked perfect. Apparently the judge could tell that I'd skipped this all important step.
I arrived home full of curiosity, properly put in my place, with the determination to block one sock and see how the results compare to the original. Probably the yarn would bloom and grow, like edelweiss. But that was last night. You know what? Screw that. I'm wearing these socks. I've waited MONTHS to wear them. I've got this brand new green lime shirt to enjoy, and it just BEGS to be worn with my Fearless Stripes.
PS Don't tell that judge, but I didn't block the baby hat and sox, either. The ones that got second place.