Now comes the challenging part

The final trip around

This is the part I struggle with, the part I almost always mess up. Usually, it’s too tight, almost never too loose. It always looks a bit wonky, but that also can be attributed to my lack of precision with blocking just yet. It’s the best part and the worst part. It’s the bind-off.

I did it. After a disappointing evening that left me not working on the project for two hours, I finally charged ahead with the knitting with a screaming headache. One of the best tricks I ever learned was knitting without looking at the needles, or knitting by touch. My eyes strained to focus on up-close things like my knitting, but I could have the TV on and felt fine. So, I pulled out this handy-dandy trick and forged ahead. Before I knew it, I was on the last 5 stitches of the last knit row!

That can only mean one thing: time to bind-off.

I’ve done a lot of research on lace knitting while working on this project. There are two things I know for sure I will face here at the end.

1. The bind-off needs to be somewhat loose and flexible. This is not the time to pull snug to make a neat looking edging. In fact, there’s almost never a time when I should be pulling tight. However, if there’s ever a time to be loose, it’s lace.

2. The lace project will look ugly before it’s blocked. I’ve had this one hammered into my head. It will look like a bundle of mess. There’s no getting around it. That’s why we block. It’s a tough thing to come to terms with after the hours put into a project.

The bind-off for the Hemlock Ring Blanket by Jared Flood is very easy, but it is also very time-consuming. You work across 4 stitches at a time, and with over 560 stitches total, that takes a while. I tried to work on it last night, but had to give up and go to bed. Tonight, I’m going to try and finish it, if not at least get close.

Then, my only conundrum is how I will block this. I don’t have those nice foam blocks, but I do have a very stiff and sturdy futon I might be able to use, if it’s big enough. I feel like that’s an issue to worry about tomorrow, though. First, I have to get through these last 500+ stitches and weave in all of the ends.

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