Now all we need to do is hang it up and wait for it to dry.
You may have noticed I haven’t said anything about getting your fabric wet yet. That’s because I do not like weaving the wires through damp fabric. It just feels icky in my hands (and it’s harder to take decent pictures of damp fabric, but that’s probably only a problem for me).
If you don’t mind working with damp fabric, you can run the wires through while it’s damp. Or, if you don’t like it either, you can totally get it wet with the wires already in it.
Whether you do it before or after you put the wires in, toss it in cool water, let it get absolutely soaking wet (which takes a while for wool, you can squeeze it a bit to hurry it along, but if it’s not soaked all the way through to the very core of the yarn, it won’t hold the block nearly as well), scoop it out, and squeeze out the excess water. You can fold it in a towel and press on it to get even more water out if you’re in a hurry (be careful not to crease your wires if you put them in there first).
Then find something long and skinny and thread it under the wire at the top of the cowl. I used knitting needles here, but you can use pencils or dowels or the rod off a cat toy or chopsticks or a ruler or whatever you can find. Then do it again going in the other way to make an X.
Now find something to suspend that X from. You just need something small enough to go inside your cowl and tall enough to hold the bottom off the ground. I usually use a roll of paper towels. This time I’m using the cardboard tube some paint brushes come in. You can use a vase or a jar or a glass or anything that will let the fabric hang free while you wait for it to dry.
Just like with getting it wet, this can take a while. And also just like getting it wet, if you take it off before it’s completely dry, it won’t hold the block as well. So do your best to be patient (you can set it in front of a fan or near a heating vent, depending on the season, if you’re in a hurry).
But I promise the wait is worth it.
P.S. This cowl is called Evolve, and it’s currently available in Jen Arnall-Culliford’s lovely book, Confident Knitting. Later this year the rights come back to me, at which point I’ll release it individually. As part of the prep for that, I got another sample knit, and I’m using it to show you how I block things like this.
Don’t worry, I’ll come back and tell you when the pattern is available individually. Chances are good that will be September, but these last few years have left me wary of promising any specific dates.