Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Basics of Blocking

 First of all, don't let the name scare you. Blocking is really simple and Easy!
What is Blocking? Blocking is setting fibers (such as yarn) by either wetting or steaming. (Isn't that simple?) Once you have knitted your masterpiece sweater, you notice the ribbing is not laying flat or the shoulders aren't quite as smooth as you would like. That is where blocking comes in. The properties of animal fibers make them especially good for blocking. That does mean you can't block cotton or synthetic fiber, they just don't respond as well.
First Step: Wet your wool. Submerge your knitted item in lukewarm water and let soak for a few minutes. Especially if it is an easily felted fiber or yarn, you will just want to let it sit, not swishing or scrubbing needed. Once it is thoroughly wet and the fibers have relaxed, remove from the water and squeeze out. I think it is too soggy or it is a large item like a sweater, I will roll it in a towel to remove more water.
 Second Step: Lay flat on a surface. (This might be the tricky part. Finding a good surface to lay it on.) For scarves and small items I use my ironing board. You could also use a table or bed, laying a towel down first. Lay flat and make sure edges are flat, pin if necessary. (This is where an ironing board comes in handy.) As you can see in the picture, the edges laid flat by themselves pretty well.
Step Three: Have patience and let it dry for a day or two. I would also recommend flipping it once. I usually do this after it is mostly dry, so the movement doesn't mess any of the edges up.

 Step Four: Wear it with Pride! Or in the case of this scarf, give it to a friend. (And no, Kerri was not the friend. She is just the model.)
Isn't she doing a good job?
 
Did that yarn look familar? I posted about it here- Hand Dyed With Fun. It was Our friend's yarn and I knit it into a scarf for Christmas for her. Looks a lot different, doesn't it?

4 comments:

  1. Thank you! Blocking does scare me, but it really makes the difference, the knitted piece then looks so much more professional. Kerri is a wonderful model!!

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    1. There really is no need to be scared of blocking. Like most things in knitting, you can be as much of a perfectionist (and use a zillon pins) or be lazy (and just flatten it out to dry) and it will certainly look better then before blocking!

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  2. P.S. The first picture almost looks like youa re washing vegetables

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