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.
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
I'm looking over a 4 leaf Clover!! I sold my 100th Clover pattern over the weekend, well officially it's now 105!.....In my eyes a milestone. I'm truly grateful for all the wonderful purchases, feedback, photos and love for my little Clover pattern, and also to those that have purchased a completed hat, there really is a lot of Clover love going on, she says with a big smile!
One of my favourite blogs On The First Day of Marriage has a little Clover hat going on, little Miss Phiney looking as warm as toast, all snuggled up in wool and big thanks to Nell as well........I look at the images and I just wish for Winter as we head into a scorching 40c day tomorrow!!
So if you are after your own Clover pattern, I've popped an image on the right hand side of the page which you can now click and it will take you to my Etsy store.....Again, the wonderful Katherine Heise from Heise Photography took that perfect image, you may also know her from Lamb loves Fox as well.
I'm going to sign off now and I don't think I'll be back before Christmas....So I will thank you all for popping by my little blog, may you and yours have a wonderful and safe holiday season and I will see you back in 2014.
Warmest wishes to you all.
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
It's coming to that time of year where I spend days upon days making quilts.....I have at least 2 quilts to complete over the Christmas break....I need to finish Niece No 2's quilt....being bogged down at work, hasn't been helping me to keep up with time lines.
I've managed to get most of my knitting orders done....and thank you to so many understanding customers who have told me they don't want their hats till the New Year, it then only leaves me 5 more to do before Christmas. The pressure has been lifted
I've also been making some little pixie hats....Trouble & Striped I call these little hats, just because of the cheeky, bright and colourful nature of them.....nothing sweeter than little bubs all wrapped up in organic merino. It's far from hat season here in Australia, but I figure, the more I do now, the more 'ready to ship' stock I have available once hat season comes along in 2014
I've also worked out my next "knit your own" pattern for end of January, start of Feb...I'll keep you updated on the pattern progress. I won't be revealing which pattern I'm going with just yet. Like to keep some things a surprise!
Also thanks so much, for all the new fans that have joined my blog here....It's so very lovely to see. When I started this blog, I really didn't think anyone would read it, but I'm humbled by its members and its readership.....it warms my heart.
Well that's it for today....short but sweet. I'm actually home from work today. I slipped down the back stairs in my apartment block last night....the stairs where wet, it was dark.....suffice to say I've had to make a trip to the Osteopath this morning....no major damage done, just feeling a little sore and sorry for myself.....sitting for long periods of time is not making things easier either. Anyway.......
Hope all is well in your part of the world.