Saturday, 28 December 2013
To block or not to block that is the question.
I'm a blocker, I block my hats, blankets, whether they be knit or crochet and any little baby knits, such as jumpers, cardis, leggings etc.
Blocking just gives everything a professional finish in my opinion. It relaxes the fibres of wool, and makes your work soft and drapey, it also has the advantage of stretching your work, should you find your items, a little small or tight. There are so many different ways you can block your knitted/crocheted goodies, but I am of the type that finishes the item off, then blocks on completion.
There are others that block their knitting piece by piece before sewing the garment up. There are crocheters that block by square before crocheting a blanket together......not me.
I like to unpin the item off a towel or blocking board and know that it's finished.
Just thought I'd give you a quick look at how I block.....I finished a couple of little cardigans over the weekend, and I just wanted to show you the before and after shots.
As mentioned, I had sewn the little cardigan up, except I hadn't put buttons on it....they did come last. Buttons are always last, because sometimes with blocking you do have to do a bit of stretching and maneuvering and the buttons can end up in the wrong spot, just saves having to un do the buttons and replace.
Firstly I knit all the pieces of the little garment. The knit is patterned with little fleur de lis in it, as you can see they are very hard to see....the fibres of this wool are all tight.
All little pieces sewn into place and ready for blocking.
I don't do anything special when blocking. I have a stash of normal sewing pins with coloured tips (so I can see where I've placed them on my knit), a polystyrene board with an old towel on it (this acts as my blocking board and works a treat). A spray water bottle with just room temp water in it and that's it.
As this little garment was quite squished up, I did spray it damp first so it was more pliable, especially the back of the little garment, and then just placed it flat on the board, and started pinning into place.....Nice and flat, without stretching the rib, but trying to get as much of the pattern to sit flat as I could.
I'll just let you know, it took a good 20 minutes to block this little 3M to 9M cardi into place. I moved, straightened, stretched, flattened and just played around with it till I was happy with it....It looked like this.
Once flat and pinned, then I get trigger happy with the water bottle and just spray until the knit is damp to wet to the touch. I then like to pat the water that sits on top of the wool into the item, and then give it one final spray again. I then leave it until it's dry to the touch, unpin and usually then just pop it on the back of a chair, or the top of the clothes horse so it gets some air around it.
And then, once dry, it's beautiful and flat, soft as butter, and very drapey, and the patterning opens up so you can see it in all its knitted beauty......lots of relaxed fibres in this little knit!!
I did two little cardis, in the end!
The process I use is the same for blankets, nothing changes.
Hope I'm being helpful here, some of you will be au fait with all of this, but for those that don't....You learn something every day!!
Any way, I'm done for the evening. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and I probably will be back in 2014....weather permitting.....loving this hot weather a little too much!!
These little cardis, are for sale, and you'll find them in my Etsy store. The link is at the side of the page.