Sunday, December 27, 2009

Saved by Blocking

And I do not mean the project. I tend to procrastinate about blocking because I find it tedious, but I was determined to block the Josephine shawl before the holidays were over. What could be a better time than Christmas morning since we had our family Christmas early? I got out the blocking board, put it on top of a sheet--the board is never quite big enough--on the guest room bed, and ran lukewarm water and Eucalan into the deep sink in the laundry room. Because this yarn was pretty much an unknown, I was a little nervous about the process. When I turned off the water, the faucet kept up an occasional drip, and I worried that too much dripping might felt something. With that on my mind, I walked back into the kitchen and sat down at the table for lunch. I was, however, keeping an ear out because I was listening for that drip. After a few minutes, I thought I heard a trickle, but I wasn't entirely sure--the television was also on. Then I was sure, so I rushed out to "save" my knitting.

It turned out not to be my knitting that needed rescue. The pop-off valve on our hot water heater had popped, and it had also blown the tube that would have carried the overflow safely outside. Fortunately, we have a big square pan with an outside outlet that the heater stands in. The trickle rapidly turned to a gush, filling the pan more rapidly than the exit pipe would allow, but it was not yet full. DH quickly cut off the water supply until we got things under control. We are without hot water until Monday when the plumber will come, but we also got a good deal on a new water heater yesterday. If this had happened on a work day, or if I had not been listening so diligently for knitting disaster sounds, we could have had a real mess with some damage to other parts of the house.

I did pin the shawl out, but I haven't been back to the bedroom to check on it. I suppose I need to do that today. The natural dyes did not bleed, not even the indigo which rubbed off on my hands while I was knitting.

My husband always says that the hot water heater is the one appliance that we never think about. We conscious of heat and air conditioning, of the cooking appliances and the refrigerator, but the hot water heater sits there quietly doing its thing year after year with the end product taken for granted. I guarantee that when that hot shower becomes available, I'll be properly thankful!

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