Friday Gauge Check: I can fix this in blocking, right?

Ah, blocking.  The step of the knitting equation that can be best summarized as, “And then, a miracle happened!”

Well, not really.  Blocking can be relied upon to open up lace patterns, smooth down and even out an occasional weird-looking stitch, sharpen corners, make a project a little bigger, add some structure, and straighten out curling edges.  I am assured it can turn a freshly bound-off shawl from a pile of yarn to a beautiful heirloom lace object.  Blocking can’t erase mistakes, but it can make them less evident.  And that is all wonderful.  Proper blocking is the last step in the process, the graduation ceremony from WIP to FO.

What blocking does to knitters is give them permission to make mistakes.  Project a little too small?  Block it.  Laying funny?  Block it.  A sweater big enough to use as a bedspread?  Block it – and then give it to someone else.  That ship has sailed.  While proper blocking can’t fix a dropped stitch or a mis-twisted cable, it can hide a multitude of sins.  Blocking is the closed closet door in the tidy room; it suggests that on the other side of the door, the closet is just as neatly organized as the rest of the room.  You know that you seriously considered moving the armchair in front of the closet to make sure the door doesn’t pop open, and it took the full force of your weight to get the door closed in the first place, but nobody else will ever have to know, because that door is shut.  The recipient of your beautifully blocked gift will never know that you spent six hours in a frenzy of knitting the night before to get the damned thing finished, and half the stitches were weirdly shaped and the other half were grubby from when the dog laid on them, because now it looks absolutely perfect.

I’m probably musing on blocking this morning because I’ve hit the point in the moving process where I just want to be done with it.  I’ve sold nearly every piece of furniture not immediately being used (and some that were), I’ve given away ridiculous amounts of clutter, I’m still selling and sorting and planning and packing, and I keep finding more things hiding in corners and in closets that require some sort of decision to be made on its destiny.  If I put four beautiful handmade walking sticks up on Craigslist, would anyone buy them?  What about this box of assorted shiny rocks, or this statue of Kwan Yin (didn’t we get rid of all the statues of Kwan Yin? where do they keep coming from?) or these candle holders?  Should I just dump them on a charitable organization and let them sort it out?  This is the moving equivalent of the knitting black hole, the spot where you just keep knitting and it feels like you’re not making any progress.  Yes, I’ve sold things!  I’ve given things away!  LOTS OF THINGS!  Things are gone!  Why doesn’t the space look any emptier?

I’ll be over here, sobbing in the corner.

Okay, I’m a little better now.  I just needed a minute.

I’m sure I’ve talked about this to the point where everyone is sick of it by now, but moving with Isabel was always a tremendous ordeal.  At some point during the process, I would have always pushed myself to the point where I was literally sobbing with exhaustion.  I didn’t know it was a real point, prior to Isabel.  Life lessons, guys.  Life lessons.

This move is not like that at all.  Jack is working ridiculous amounts of overtime over the next two weeks, so I’m handling the bulk of this selling-giving away-throwing out decision making myself, but he trusts me to do it and he’s helping every chance he gets.  This move is not an Isabel move, not by a long shot.

However!  I do have to keep in mind that moving, no matter how badly you want to do it, is still stressful.  This is a thousand times easier than any move with Isabel, absolutely – but it’s still inherently difficult.  It’s okay to be stressed about it, and it’s okay to want to to be over.

And really, in the long run, the little decisions I’m making now won’t matter.  Two weeks from now, I probably won’t even remember what I gave away on Craigslist versus what I dumped at Goodwill, and five or ten bucks one way or the other won’t make a huge difference.  It’s okay to give up and just call Habitat for Humanity and arrange for a pickup.  It’s okay to let go, and do the stuff that matters, and let the rest of it take care of itself.

Knitting and spinning are keeping me stable and sane.  I’m working on the second Swan Maiden Mitt, I did about half a pattern repeat on the Argyle State scarf, a few more rows on the leg of the Scottish Boxes sock (I know), and I cast on a baby blanket for my brother’s baby.  I don’t know if she’ll live to see it finished, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing (sad to say), but I have to try, at least.  She deserves that much.

Well, I have another bookshelf sold, and the dishes packed to go tonight.  (One kitchen cabinet COMPLETELY EMPTY!)  Progress is being made.  All I have to do is remind myself of it.

Goal for the week: keep going forward.  One more week closer to the end, and the end is very nearly upon us.

Have a good week, kids.  Check your gauge in the comments, or tell me your moving horror story!

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~ by Amber on August 19, 2011.

9 Responses to “Friday Gauge Check: I can fix this in blocking, right?”

  1. I’m thinking maybe we should empty everything so that you know there’s nothing else to come out? But that might make it worse.

    • No, I really think that would be overwhelming. What I need, I think, are more going-out boxes so I can start seriously sorting.

  2. I’m not big on moving either. But then, for a military brat, I didn’t move *that* much- just four times. The first move I was only three, so I don’t remember terribly much. All four were Military Moves, which (as you know) means you box your crap yourself, but you’ll have people to physically relocate it for you (whether you *want* those people to do that is another matter entirely).

    My dad is of the “throw it out” school of thought. His mother is the sort who would throw Waterford crystal in the garbage if she didn’t want it in the house anymore. Dad will take ANY excuse to take a space down to Tibetan Monk-levels of emptiness. He doesn’t even like to hang pictures on the walls.

    I can not begin to imagine doing all that BY MYSELF. The last two moves it was Us Kids plus grandparents/neighbors/friends helping unload crap. Maybe it’s time to call in the reserves if not the literal marines? Sounds like you could use a hand- or at least a pleasant diversion!

    I could tell you some truly fabulous stories about moving my maternal grandmother. OMG. She and Isabelle had the same sort of clutter problem; she wanted to keep ALL TEH THINGS including the moldy newspapers in the basement that dated from the early 1960s. x_x;

    • All my local friends have jobs, so recruiting help isn’t really an option – that, and I’m the one who has to make the decision as to what’s going to happen to everything, so I don’t know that there’s anything that anyone else could help with.

      Fortunately, our space really isn’t that big, and we don’t actually have THAT much stuff, even though it feels like it.

  3. -hugs- I feel you! When Chris and I moved, he left a month before I did, and I did all the crazy heavy lifting. BFF and I packed my house and the 16′ moving van (that I drove) in two days, and did most of the unloading the minute we got here. Chris overheated and really didn’t move much. Kelsey and I slept HARD that night. And well into the morning! So, you have my sympathy. ❤

    Keep me updated as to when you're leaving and when you happen to be passing through! I'd love to see you guys for coffee or lunch. 🙂

  4. I … sympathize. My move is on Sunday, and I plan on doing more purging after it than right now, so I’m not really doing as much of the “this needs to go” anymore. Though I’ve already done several cycles of that over the past five moves and definitely feel the “Argh, I’ve gotten rid of so much, why is there still so much here?” feeling.

    Kind of reached the so-exhausted-I-was-so-moody-I-kept-bursting-into-tears point on the last move, and haven’t actually fully recovered my energy levels from that since it was in April, so it’s been pretty hard to get myself to do much (also trying to avoid stressing myself out that much again).

    Anyway, hope your move goes smoothly, and I probably ought to get back to mine.

    • Thank you, and best of luck with your move!

      It feels like every time I’ve moved in the past, there’s the post-move purge, as you figure out what doesn’t fit in the new space or you open the random box of stuff and wonder why you packed it in the first place. (There’s a “packing zone,” I swear, where you just start throwing everything you touch into a box without giving any consideration as to whether you’ll want it when you get there or not.) This move, we’re not bringing anything that won’t fit in my little hatchback, so every single object has to be seriously considered. If I don’t love it, it’s not coming.

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