Thank you again! I thought I was just an untidy knitter. Faht away dahlin. I am very late coming to this blog post but have thoroughly enjoyed what I’ve read throughout. You will have a good idea of how your whole project will respond to blocking (a possible big change in gauge after blocking, for example). It’s solid. That’s just the way lace is. I also wash and block a large gauge swatch for anything that is going to be sweater like. I need to do that and reclaim the yarn. The whole concept is bizarre. If the stitches are too few, then your stitches are too big and you need to go down a needle size. I appreciate your time and effort spent to educate, inform, and of course, amuse us, your devoted readers. Also makes zippers easier to install. Here’s why: Imagine a sweater front that’s supposed to be knit at 4.5 stitches per … Blocking is a hot-button topic, and you make it so friendly and accessible. What an adorable little sweater, I need more little girls in my life… As for buttons, I often find myself going for wood or shell (depending on the character of the person receiving it). I’ll try them out on my next project. You really always wash them first? Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you really understand what you’re speaking about! Be sure to check it after every 6 minutes. Blocking turns a project into a garment. I’m late reading this entry and all the comments. I hope we get some in action shots, if the parents are amenable. OK a new phrase for me then Thanks Vicki, Deanna, & Alicia. Um in Part 5 what do you mean you fart with the sleeves to make sure they’re the same? one year ago I saw a beautiful mystery sweater online and decided I was going to learn to //really// knit so I could make one for myself. That helped a lot. What Types of Knits Should be Blocked? Will they be mad if they ever wash it? Seriously, why are you yelling at people? Thank you. I am going to try soaking longer and see if that helps me out a bit. = ). I just love that you used the phrase fart around with the sleeves. (My button vote is for teeny little wooden button, to make the cardigan look like a springtime woodland.). I never thought of measuring sleeves/pieces, great advice. I’d also like to know how to handle super wash in garments other than socks! Pardon my adoration, I know I sound like those weird spammy messages. which is what i use 95% of the time, with the hats i make and then give away. Stretching out is a form of blocking, you obfuscate the issue, and are disengenous to those you state don’t know the difference. As it is..I am currently taking the Craft Yarn Council instructors certification and the gauge portion of the assignment was the most important part in my mind. Sweaters that expand when they hit water are just revealing what’s been true about them all along – and if you didn’t block them, then gravity and movement would have just revealed that a little more slowly while you were wearing it. Yup, but usually the first time is the hardest, and after that it’s just lying it flat in a tidy way. But, what about the bottom line? Not a typo 2) I knit my sweater in three pieces: two sleeves and the body (i knit the back and fronts in one piece). I vote for plain so they don’t distract from your lovely knitting. I could not agree more with every single word. Submerge your sweater in the water and gently press it and/or turn it as needed so the water is able to fully penetrate the garment. LOL. Blocking a small swatch also cannot possibly be replicated over a wide area. What I really mean is, it’s too small. Knitted things drying all over the bedroom. THANK YOU now let’s talk more about this. This only works if I can leave the house immediately after, so I don’t have to listen to the pawing at the door, the meowing, and the Complaints to Management that the DOOR IS CLOSED, FIX NAO! Blocking is not Stretching. Great information, as always. Thank you for the blocking lesson! Thank you for clarifying the difference between stretching and blocking. ANYWAY! I didn’t refresh and as usual I’m late to the show. I will also print this and add to the tech binder. Thanks again!! Thank you!! It’s amazing how many misconceptions there are about blocking. Wooden buttons! Thanks for this post. Light blue buttons to bring out that part of the colorway. I am a fan of blocking for the same reasons you stated. Some yarn, if poorly spun, will create bias in the fabric, and you won't see it or know if it can be corrected by blocking until you block. but little daisies would be cute too! The ‘pat’ is the thing. But at any rate, clearly a lovely post and one that will make many knitters’ work much lovelier. If you’re not blocking, then the odds are that they’re not a much better knitter than you. (Dyeing Yarn With Drink Powder) | Casey Kay B,, Possibly the most spoilt bears in Wales | A Motley Yarn, Summer School – Blocking | Pantsville Press. Blocking works for lots of reasons, but including: part of what holds a fiber together (not the yarn, but the actual individual hair fiber) are molecular bonds that are broken by water. I worry if they wash and dry flat the points will disappear and I can’t ask them to return it to me. This is such a spot-on, important post! Finally finished my maple leaf shawl! They always know where you DON”T want them to lay! If you have a sweater or garment that gets way, way bigger after you blocked it (and it’s not superwash, which can be unpredictable) then you had a sneaky gauge problem. Please also talk over with my web site =). 1/2. Thanks for any advice you can give me on this! I have a sweater dress! However, for others, "practice and wait" isn't such sound advice. They had a knitting problem you’ve just discovered super late. And use a dinner plate to block berets. I see so much over blocked, stretched and distorted fabric. My first sweater I washed and then ‘steam stretched’ – think heat, and heaps of water/steam applied to the garment – absolutely horrible! I really love it when you do these tutorials with pictures. (Dyeing Yarn With Drink Powder) | Casey Kay B, Pingback: Block Party | katie's photo project, Pingback: Look Ma, No Holes! It’s been done for years but I rarely wear it because it’s just kinda meh. I do know when I first started learning to knit, it seemed as though people were equating blocking and stretching, and it was extremely confusing for me at first, but eventually, I got the hang of it. It makes a huge difference in gauge swatches too – I just tend to be lazy in that respect and often will throw caution to the wind and not wash my swatch because I’m too impatient to get started. You can also see how the fabric will look after being knitted up with your chosen yarn and needles. And my step 9 involves 2 cats, both of whom love knitting. I’m so glad you wrote this. I vote for bright pink buttons! I figured you would like to know. Robyn: i assume we’re speaking of wool here, not acrylic. Nothing is wrong with this sweater though. Considering we have never met – and I have no idea who you are – I do have to wonder who named you the Babywear Police. Good thing I’ve recognized that I like bad boys, and naughty yarns, or I’d have ended up with worse in the husband arena and given up knitting! some wool-washes are no-rinse. I have begged her to let me take home her cowl (or other piece) and block it, but she just laughs. I am a blocker but still enjoyed every minute of this and learned a couple things. Thanks !! It shouldn’t need that.” So many people talk of blocking sorting out their stitches. Maybe also because it snowed again yesterday, that could have something to do with my desire for color too! Maintaining a record of all those dimensions. My knitting looks pretty good. The bath has smoothed and evened the stitches, helped the yarn settle in to its new shapes, and finished the wool. I am a believer in blocking but wasn’t aware of the value of soaking the finished product vs steam blocking, which is all I ever knew about until quite recently. No? Thanks for the tutorial! Blocking knitting can also help to solve some size problems, particularly with sweaters. People tend to be asking about the one where the fabric is pinned out and stretched. Love the sweater. Hope you know how much your archives come in handy for everyone. The process is not complicated, and the results are well worth the effort. For a lot of stuff, washing and laying things out nicely is all the blocking they need. (Fingers crossed that my gauge comes out the same after blocking!). You’ve convinced me. Yes. I don’t know who started the idea that blocking and stretching are the same, but I think it screws a lot of knitters up, because they think that if something doesn’t need stretching, then it doesn’t need blocking – which is totally inaccurate. 3. A ranch-style house is perfect for a multi-cat household. 3.0k. If we knitters were more honest..a great many more projects would be finished and proudly displayed on Ravelry. Pingback: Summer School – Blocking | Pantsville Press. I would suggest natural wood buttons with cute details. Do you always have to use some type of wash in with it, then, and not just water? I finished it two days ago! (You can usually tell that without the tape – but still.). Overall, a better fit. I finished a BSJ once with ribbons for fear of getting the wrong buttons. Convinced? Remember, blocking is finishing the work, and if it ain’t clean, it isn’t finished. Other kinds of garments will take more effort, or time, but really there’s not much that isn’t improved by this simple sort of blocking, if that’s all you have in you. My very first wool sweater is not quite done. No matter how much you block that cowl, it’s going to coil up like a cannoli as soon as you unpin it. My mother’s knitting was (is) really beautiful as was my mother in law’s and my neighbour’s. © Copyright 2020 Golden Peak Media. . Thank you thank you. Here’s my headless body wearing the sweater before blocking. So based on the comments, I’m assuming that the answer to my question “When so I add buttons to the baby cardigan I just finished?” (my first sweater!) I sometimes feel that my sock fits perfectly and when I block them they seem to loose a bit of their elasticity. I just became a grandmother to a little girl. Pingback: Kool-Aid Does What? I filled the (clean) sink (I’d use the bathtub if my sweater was bigger) with tepid water and a little wool wash. (I like Soak and Eucalan equally – depending on what I’m washing.) includes 2 illustrations, click any illustration to enlarge As to the "why" of blocking: here is a "pocket hat" (made of wool) before it is blocked:Here's the same hat after it is blocked: I believe these pictures speak for themselves, and hope that you will consider blocking your newly-finished woolen knitwear to get a similar improvement in looks. Big changes in size. I block the pieces before I seam too, but never thought to block as I go to check for size – good tip. I hope so. I’ve been using my son’s empty bed while he’s away at college, but he’ll be home in a month and I’ll have to find another cat-proof place. To properly age myself, the dolls we have are the originals, I like seeing the dolls in photos in EZ books. Not that I’m bitter or anything. When everyone starts blocking their knits, the derogatory “home made” label (applied to hand knits by the muggles) might slowly disappear. Little yellow duckie buttons would be nice if you have them. The force applied to a small area can be relatively even, however trying to re-apply this over a wide area like a cardigan this is bound to be irregular and inexact. It’s still in pieces because, since it was my first sweater with sleeves, I haven’t the heart to tear it out. Keep your measuring tape handy and pat the sweater into shape. Promising review: "I bought this cashmere V-neck sweater in multiple colors and I absolutely love them all! I seem to remember some very pretty yellow and lime green ones that should be perfect…or are you really just looking for an excuse to visit the button shop again??? on Sparkling Jewelry for Going Out or Going Zoom, on Jewelry Artist Podcast: Theatrical Flair with Sarah Cathcart, on Fall in Love with Yarn: Visit Your LYS, Easy Colorwork Technique: Mosaic Knitting, Lisa’s List: 6 Armholes and How to Make them Work for Your Body, Worry Less & Knit More: What to Knit for a College-Bound Kid, When Knitting for Others, Skip the Surprise Factor, Sparkling Jewelry for Going Out or Going Zoom, Warmth from a Maker’s Hands: The Gift of Charity Knitting, Jewelry Artist Podcast: Theatrical Flair with Sarah Cathcart. There’s something called “killing” acrylic that you can do with steam/heat that makes it lie down forever, but it’s a one way trip, and you should experiment with a swatch first. Any chance you’d consider doing another on weaving in ends? Go here and have a look at how Judy Gibson did it. Hopefully they’ll see the light. Thank you for the link to the informative post on rowing out. Clear, yellow flowers! Pingback: These are my confessions… | hardknitlife. Blocking. That phrase takes me back. Buttons – depends what is likely to be worn on the other half? How many times do I have to point out that baby knits with buttons are a CHOKING HAZARD?? Blocking will not make this fit. What colour do you think? When swatching, I typically look for the needle size that gets me to between 3 1/4 and 3 1/2 inches (wet) instead of 4. Billblok Hobbyist General Artist. Thanks for a great post! Sometimes it has spinning oils or sizing in it, sometimes it sat on a shelf for a while, and it certainly picked up oils and dirt from your hands while you were working on it. You have taken all the scariness. Excellent instructions. So, here we have a wee sweater. That fits what happens perfectly. I failed the human verification test the first time I tried to post and this time it wanted me to identify a robot. I have never blocked – not that I have knit a lot – but have been very afraid of the whole process. It’s possible to get … It needs blocking again. I’d been hung up about the style of blocking I used to do, ie in separate pieces before sewing together as a whole garment. This was very helpful and i’m planning on blocking a cardigan i finished knitting for the first time. Science. Like flowers in a meadow. These jeans (Fitted Skinny Jean by Forever21, $15.50) help section off your figure, drawing the eye toward your shapely stems. The most important finishing step is wet-blocking the sweater to set the lace and relax the fabric into shape. Also, I assume that step 9 is the hardest part of blocking this sweater. Wet Blocking . Always. Even if I am going to steam block something, I wash it and let it dry first – then go in with the steam. Pingback: Blocking- a little sweater | Yarn Harlot | Knit It Up, Pingback: FO: Neck Warmer » Anna's Creative Corner. Are you positive about the supply? No blocking at all and yes, pure wool. Hmmm. Okay, I have to admit, my brain is going to socks. Blocking and stretching are not synonyms. What a lovely little sweater. ... it is entirely possible to have a pre-blocked gauge of 18 sts = 4” but after blocking the measurement can increase to 14 stitches = … This step-by-step guide is terrific, and I know it works. I always block on top of my washing machine and/or dryer; they have a nice flat surface and the door to the laundry room prevents feline incursions! Just because I can’t leave well enough alone. I’m theorizing that there’s a tiny of bit of slack in each knit and (especially) each purl stitch that really multiplies over the course of an entire garment. If you have a sweater or garment that gets way, way bigger after you blocked it (and it’s not superwash, which can be unpredictable)  then you had a sneaky gauge problem. Lovely, just lovely. I remember from one pattern to block aggressively. Turtleneck Soft Touch Ribbed Knit Sweater in Light Tan. By stretching the fabric during blocking, all the yarnovers open up to reveal an airy, lacy fabric. Gauge is an interesting little phenomenon. You can shrink sections of a sweater, like … Finished Object. I set up a fan to blow over the wet item. Glad to see my basic blocking process is pretty similar to yours. We may have a link change arrangement between us! I learned especially about the need to really soak the wool. I pat and push them until they are. Thanks ! Thank you for the clarification. Clearly, it wants to be untidy. If they are going to be worn with darker leggings, then a moderate inbetween colour of leggings and cardigan. I have a nearly-finished sweater to block, and since it is always going to be winter in Boston, I will take care of business tomorrow. I’ve now got a moss stitch cowl I knit for my Mum soaking in the sink. I can never figure out whether people who say they don’t block, or they “only steam block”, just don’t ever wash their knitted things?! Easy as that. We farted with things. But now that I’ve taken a few classes and have done some reading I’ve seen the light. Pingback: I love my new sweater Mommy! I didn’t block either one because I wasn’t sure they would keep the blocked shape. Step 8: Finesse. Would look fantastic! We do and they are not the same thing but are all called blocking. I was surprised to see others refer to it as a British thing! For a simple stockinette sweater, it may be sufficient to simply pat it into shape, with approximately the right body and sleeve width / length. She’ll look darling in it. when you have no experience, and you want help from your mother, don’t pick a time when the household is in full swing with other things. hide. It’s fantastic! Swatches are a lot like my ex-husbands. Thanks for the tutorial. Now I just leave it to dry – which in my house involves. To avoid this, choose a different stitch pattern or work it in the round and sew the ends closed. Sweet blue buttons would be nice. I learned that I have been instinctually “blocking” my work for years for all the right reasons. This makes it much easier to match up the rows perfectly and avoid dealing with the curling edge of stockinette. Excellent lesson! Good luck! ), Deep Woods Toque Knitting Pattern Download, Basic Finishing Techniques: Transform Your Knitting with Blocking and More with Tanis Gray Video Download, Learn the Importance of Gauge Webinar with Simona Merchant-Dest, Interweave Knits Workshop: Blocking Knits with Anne Hanson Video Download, Rambling Rose Cardigan Knitting Pattern Download. Perfect timing for me, thank you. Karin, Pingback: Blocking And Gauge Issues | The Knitting Theologian. Ballon blocking is great for hats. I learned that the hard way when my first sweater out of super wash grew three sizes when I wet it. It turned out the size of a bedspread after blocking, which is what I use it for, since it is too big to wear. I am glad I stopped avoiding this issue and just faced it square on. I loved your lace blocking, and I need to make a circular lace blocking sheet like yours, it is brilliant! | alottastitches, Pingback: Wee Cria KAL — Finishing | Yarn Buyer. “Oh, no if you need to do that then there is something wrong with it. Also if you block as you knit, you see the growing issue early, and at least you only have to reknit one piece, if it didn’t show up in the swatch. Have I made you a believer in blocking knits? I had a terrible experience washing and blocking a sari silk scarf that had been joyously fluffy, then looked comparatively like straight hair after a day out in the humidity once I’d blocked it. If I’m out of wool wash, I use shampoo to wash. I am in shock and awe. Also, I had not thought about the dirt from the yarn and the processes that occurr in knitting that make blocking so important. I think white buttons. You’ve inspired me to go back and block it. 2.5k. by folding in half, stretching out, pinning – after a soak of course), and thought I could have done a better job. Anyway. Thank you! I don’t always block, but now I realize I really should do it. Also there may be a yarn over after the two stitches to make it look a little fancier. My entire world has been turned upside down. Remember true thing #2 above? Some people would like this fit. Existing without the presence of solutions to the difficulties you have solved all through your entire write-up is a crucial case, and ones that might have negatively damaged my entire career if I hadn’t come across your blog, Your email address will not be published. Step 3: I lay a clean towel down somewhere flat and big enough, and start blocking. I was planning to wash and lay flat to dry – expecting to have to stretch it to size as I thought that was what blocking was all about. Hey, frequently I receive a 403 error when I view this webpage. Silver buttons. The most important part of blocking has already happened for this sweater. She was the tall redhead in the pink raincoat. I fart with the sleeves to make sure they’re the same, folded truly along the midline of the sleeve. I loved your tutorial. The purpose of this step is to make the fibers tighten up, which will result in your sweater becoming shorter and thicker (or simply shrinking). When you get the fibers wet, some of the molecules are slipping and sliding around. In the sea of green… | Knitting & Quinces, I love my new sweater Mommy! Thank you for the tutorial! This sweater has no elements that I want to stretch (like lace) and nothing that needs opening up. Light blue buttons, to bring out the beautiful little bits of light blue in the sweater. After looking through the world wide web and getting views that were not beneficial, I assumed my entire life was well over. Not all the bonds holding the molecules together are broken by water, but some of them are. I would definitely block and not too gently. I wore the sweater anyway, but it taught me a lesson. I learned how to knit in high school a million years ago and from then on just shlumped along on my own so I’d never heard of it. 1) If i don’t have special wool wash, then can i use regular shampoo and rinse it out afterwords? Something about dyer-drying most of the way fights the superwash-grow issue. I have the perfect buttons! Is there a difference? $59.90. Thank you for writing this. Query: When I have a garment that needs seaming, I block before sewing it up, to make sure that the front and the back are the same length and such. Also, after washing, there will be some memory of the previous blocking, but you may have to pin it out again. The director will block the scene, choosing where the actors go, and putting things in their proper place – and that’s a good comparison for knitting. All right, there you have it, and I have an almost finished sweater, so I’m off to root through the button bin until I find two perfect little ones. Needless to say, it’s better to swatch and get the correct gauge before making the sweater than it is to stretch it to fit afterward. Knitting is far more of an art than the science people have tried to make it become. I’m a believer, having seen the huge difference it makes. you didn’t mention rinsing out the wool wash. do you? They do not mean the same thing. I am … You have to spend a lot of time writing, i know how to save I always wash acrylic & dry in the dryer – had no idea that was ‘blocking’. I’m sure any buttons you choose will look just perfect! That keeps them from curling. Here’s a short list of things blocking can (and can’t!) Buttons – perhaps a cooling bit of sage green for accent? I have a friend who does really nice work, but she refuses to block. Shrinking Sections of a Sweater Prepare a basin of water. I’m also lucky because I have a workroom that my cat can’t access. What about toys, do you block them? for the buttons – I’d vote for a soft greeny/blue. I think the fabric looks better already. Stephanie, great post as always, and even though I’ve been blocking for ages I learnt something – essentially, don’t touch the fabric when it’s wet other than to lift it out (I have been swishing and rinsing to properly ‘wash’ it, which may be part of my getting-a-larger-garment problem). Should I seam the sweater together and then block it, or should I block each piece separately? And they won’t know how to block. . Oh, and for hers I used little blingy buttons… But I also knit hers a beautiful crimson red. and love the reference to the filthy lies an unwashed swatch can tell (and of course, even the best-cared for swatch in the world is still a potential lier, but let’s pretend this isn’t so for this afternoon so we can knit in peace. Right now I’m lucky to get four hours sleep each night. Thanks so much for the blocking information. Yarn is effected by the spinning process, often compacted – and it doesn’t reveal  its true character until it’s been washed. Is that not necessary? a new reader. Front edges to front edges, patting them into nice straight lines, sleeves extending at their natural angle, I pull a little horizontally, at the bottom edge and the cuffs of the sleeve, for this sweater I don’t want those parts to pull in, but flare a little, so I show the edges how I’d like them to be, fully releasing the cast off edges. The sweater is beautiful. All right, here we are. Amazing! I would love to knit it for my new grandson. 1. Some you mention finishing and wearing when you’re on the road. If you find that it’s still too big to consider putting it … Thanks Stephanie. Now i know I need to re-knit it ( for the third or fourth time) with more picked up stitches because blocking won’t stretch it out to its proper size!! And then, as it dries and the water leaves, those bonds are restored – but those molecules bond up to whatever’s closest to them now. Stockinette stitch worked without any borders is always going to curl. I am wondering how to block an afghan that will be approx 48″x58″using Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn (a worsted weight 80% acrylic and 20% wool). I’ve heard the phrase “the yarn blooms”. Reply. I notice you blocked after sewing together, I’ve always done before. I’ve seen it. I’m slowly figuring it out, and definitely blocking more than I used to, but would love more awesomely helpful posts like this. What pattern is this, for the baby sweater? Or blue or green. Knit Your Love Cardigan in Pink. Make them reveal as many of their filthy lies as you can – before they sucker-punch you after the fact. My lace looks like pretty lace on the needles. Fun! As you can see, the only places that needs to … GREAT article! Step 6: I make sure it’s all lined up. I had the same question.. thanks for clarifying. Using the garment you've chosen that fits you best as a template, pin it to the larger garment with big T-pins, just like you would a sewing pattern. Thanks Gorgeous cardigan!! I learned so much! Here is the unwritten rule: If you're going to wear something bulky on top -- like an oversized sweater -- stick to keeping a fitted bottom. I just finished a sweater last night, tried it on, took a picture and put it away in my sweater drawer. And I’m also reminded that I need to swatch…the other thing I strongly dislike. Judy! If you find that you need to decrease the sweater's width by two inches, then mark one inch on each side of the sweater. Regular Price $52.90. With lace I use a bit of conditioner in the final rinse. I wait for things to sink of their own accord, and that usually tells me that they’re good and wet. Originally from Chicago. I’d struggled to understand how blocking as a whole garment could work – Voila you have shown the light and I am happy. I used to think that my stitches were soooo uneven until I started washing my just-finished knits. Does it matter whether I also had to add something like a button band? What a great tutorial! I definitely think either a teal or a light blue button would be good. You have helped me understand the difference!! (I like to do one last trim of any fledgling tails after the sweater is blocked and dry.) I love blocking work – it feels very therapeutic to have it all nice and shiny looking when you put it on. Note: Acrylic (and nylon and polyester) yarn shouldn’t be routinely steam blocked – it’s heat sensitive, and can create permanent changes in the yarn. I think purple buttons would be nice – like crocuses popping up amongst the early greenery. great post on blocking. And 2) Should I use pins, steam, both, or what?! Unlike horseshoes and slow dancing, close doesn’t count in knitting. Reply. Cookie Statement Terms & Conditions. For a lot of people, knitting tension problems go away after they've been knitting for a while and their hands start to get used to how tight the yarn should feel when they pull their stitches through. Again: Almost always -sweaters and garments that get sloppy and loose after washing/blocking aren’t a sign of a blocking problem. Seriously, I’ve yet to get a swatch to tell me the truth about my gauge, blocked or unblocked. It’s also a lot smaller than my (washed and blocked) gauge swatch told me it would be. . Let’s get this spring thing going! There are two main methods for fixing a too-wide sweater. Wrong! Is that a typo or a just a phrase I’m unfamiliar with. Great reference tutorial; thanks! For example, if you’ve chosen a pattern or type of stitch that curls, unless you’re using a fibre that’s easy to convince and has little mind of its own (think of silk here, and the way it just lies where you put it) blocking will not fix the problem. Great post Stephanie, This post is going to be about blocking a wee sweater, not blocking all the things in the whole world. If it still a little baggy, simply repeat the washing and drying process but set your washing machine to a hot wash. Steph is right you know…bad gauge! 58 comments. I have made lace shawls with blocked points for charity auctions and gifts. I vote natural, light wood buttons. greeeeen, or blue, or whatever the streaks are colored in the yellow (it’s hard to tell for sure on the screen). Stranded colorwork in particular benefits from a good blocking to even out the stitches and make a more cohesive fabric. Thanks!! What might you recommend about your post that you I’m always afraid I’ll feel them or that I didn’t do enough and they’re going to unravel. The company also offers their medical solutions such as face Nothing like a good show and tell to make a point. My swatches almost always lie because they’re so much smaller than the actual garment I’m knitting. That’s my go to yarn with five boys who fight over the last thing off the needles that’s kid sized. The same sweater, after blocking It lies flat, curves appropriately and the stitches are even. Some knitted fabrics curl because stitches have a flat side and a curved side, and if you put all the curves on one side then that thing is going to curl up, and blocking can tame it a little, but cannot change that reality. This works about 98% of the time. Now I see why I need to block my garter stitch cardigan soonest! I always use the term “hand made” or ‘Custom”. Short for fiddly-fart around (variation of fiddling with something). I would look for pale yellow buttons. Sale ends soon: Knit Your Love Cardigan in Ivory For Kids. It’s like the difference between home-made and hand-crafted. So many clever knitters (in the feats they understand and perform with the stitches) but very many of them do not make nice fabric and hope to block all those imperfections out. Blocking involves cleaning. 1/2. Buy Magritta Women's Casual Color Block Tops Crew Neck Sweater Long Sleeve Tunic Loose Blouses and other Pullovers at If it’s mostly stockinette (or any stitch that has most of the purls on one side and knits on the other) it’s probably always going to curl a bit. These days I’m looking for any excuse to use Laura Sheppard’s handmade pottery ones (they’re available on Etsy under sheppardhandmade) I think a couple of these might be perfect on your Tiny Tea Leaves. Some tips from the sock goddess would really be helpful!!! Awesome post, and very informative. Someone paid $$$$ for it. (And she’s canadian, too. Then I put it on a towel on the floor, roll it up inside, and press on the towel to dry it a bit. I say a light pearl blue. 2. ), A great little tutorial. That was great! Jo-Anne: I have a cowl I just blocked, and the edges are still curling. Or possibly a greeny-blue if you have them. Are the sleeves the same length? Posted by 4 days ago. This is one of those minor details that is very good to know ahead of time. Have you read anything about Catherine Lowe’s opinions about blocking? I love blocking – it’s like magic! I could not be happier. Are the two fronts the same length? If it’s good for my wool, it’s good for the sheep’s. Because this sweater has such an open fabric, you’ll want to be careful not to block it too big. Notice the warning about the huge file size of the high res photo, 150K, yes K, which was huge in the dial-up modem era! share. Step 5: I close the front, lining up the necklines front to back, and making sure that I’ve closed it so that folds at the sides fall between the decreases that tell me where the sides are. Luckily I had some educated “blocker” friends. Blocking will not fix essential problems with the construction of your knitting. I do not admire the look of pinned out blocking. Can’t wait to see how much more I like it…. Stay up to date with the latest content, educational resources, promotions and special news from our partners. report. I have blocked many things, but often depends on the yarn. The roundness of the stitches makes it look like you’re getting gauge when you’re really not. She attended your Boston booksigning and mailed the book to me in Illinois. So superior all round, really. Blocking can sometimes involve stretching, like with lace, but most of the time it’s important to remember that blocking in knitting is like blocking in the theatre. Tomorrow I will block the little sweater I have waiting for a baby to give it to. Classic white pearl buttons. Once you finish that, cut out the extra material on the inside. Hey, I have that doll! I am cursed with v loose tension so often have to go down a few needle sizes and even when I wash my swatches, they don’t always tell the truth. Tra la, I thought. Really well-done, Steph…convincing, (side-by-side photo at the end helps a lot!) Blocking involves: Measuring all dimensions of a garment prior to cleaning. Did you know that you block quilt tops (flimsies) before layering and quilting? Mother of pearl buttons would look really good! For acrylic, washing and drying is usually all the blocking it needs. Think of blocking as an activity that is all the stuff that you do to a project after it’s done – not just something you do with pins and wires. The joke was on me because the tot in question was very petite and grew into my jacket by about age three – wasn’t putting things in her mouth by then except her thumb now and then. darn it! Learn how your comment data is processed. I think a pair of vintage silver/grey/metal buttons would look amazing on that gorgeous little thing. Knowing how big she is, someone must have made that sweater too big on purpose. xx Thank you xx. I’ve came upon till now. hbspt.forms.create({portalId: "6817144",formId: "f0f8d4c4-aae0-4df9-9443-19046428d6cb" Two of my favorite things making so much sense together! Everyone says that top-down sweaters are the best, because “you can try it on as you go!” But if you don’t really achieve the proper gauge until after it’s washed, then how exactly is trying it on as you go supposed to be enlightening? Apr 11, 2019. Just a few questions: Thank you for the tutorial. ECOWISH Women Sweater Long Sleeve Color Block Knit Pullover Sweaters Crew Neck Patchwork Casual Loose Jumper Tops 4.2 out of 5 stars 255 $31.97 $ 31 . How It Turned Out. I am firm believer in blocking everything. I know some of those blocking=stretching knitters. The suggestion i see most often is to soak as usual, but toss in the dryer until just damp & lay out as usual. Hi, It is a vital step in the lace knitting process; do not skip blocking lace! All that work, for me ruining it by zealous ironwork. Many of us just want to knit; when the knitting is done, we feel that the project is done. If you are afraid of the blocking it is because….well…come on now…Prof. Acrylic totally looks better after blocking. Thanks! no flipping the sweater over to let it dry completely on both sides? Great job and beautiful. Oooh… I’d love to see blonde or goldish wood buttons. That is what people need to concentrate on. It’s perfect. | Rakish Looking Craft, Blocking And Gauge Issues | The Knitting Theologian, Blocking- a little sweater | Yarn Harlot | Knit It Up, Kool-Aid Does What? 97 $36.99 $36.99 I just donated a gorgeous wool lace shawl with many points to Go Red heart health auction. If you have a wool sweater that's too big—like a hand-me-down, thrift store find, or weight loss leftover—you can try to shrink it with these tips from weblog Put This On. In the sunshine–if I were silly enough to leave a wool garment in direct sunlight. It came out beautiful, and thanks for talking through blocking things that aren’t lace, the sweater bug has bitten me lately, and I’m a bit scared about how to wash things! Blocking knits makes for a smoother fabric and easier seaming. I will certainly be doing this with future projects. Also, seriously? (This is 100% always true when we’re talking about stranded colourwork. Especially on socks with contrast heels and toes? Remember, don’t stretch out any ribbing while you are blocking as it will lose its elasticity. I tossed the sweater on top and walked away. One scarf is make w/100% bamboo and the other is a hand spun angora with a little merino thrown in. Thanks! (I had a sleeve… accident… when I washed a pullover last week, and they were significantly shorter on the seam side than the top!). , Pingback: In the sea of green… | Knitting & Quinces. Lay your sweater out on your blocking boards (or mattress, or carpet) and using your hands push it into shape. You’re a gem. Measure how many inches you want to shrink the sweater. I always think it is going to stay too damp on the other side. I missed seeing your initial blocking post, so I’m asking my question now. Nice to know what I did wrong there. I just completed a small sweater for my daughter and thought, “I don’t want to block this. I liked the “yarn with opinion”. Pingback: Seven days, seven links | Knitted Art. With a little care and attention, you can transform a crumpled piece of knitting into a beautiful showpiece.Even though … Now it’s a nice straight line. Knitting done these days is often pretty ugly. Thank you so much for the explanation with pictures. Login to post a comment. You can’t make a sweater 6 inches bigger than it was originally knit—it’s simply not possible. You are always so kind and so informative, and hilarious on top of those. I usually overshoot and knit a size that’s too big, so this one will turn out just right. British English expression that means to muck about with or mess with. Blue for the sweater and YES you MUST block. However, this only works for very small adjustments; if the sweater is just too small and you get stuck when trying it on, blocking will not fix it. in couple of minutes, just search in google – k2 unlimited content. You put the garment over the balloon and blow in up gently till you have the right sizeand fsten off. Step 4: I spread out the back. Eucalan and Soak are no-rinse, which is a joyous thing. Bookmarked. Just be careful about how far you infalte the balloon so as to be sure not to stretch the rib / edge. (I know that link is sort of old school, but it’s still pretty awesome. Required fields are marked *. Soaking the project helps even out the overall tension, allowing the stitches to settle in together. Step one: Bathtime. Tips for blocking tube shaped lace? I think the button choosing is the most fun! Thanks. Many times I hate the yarn texture when I’m knitting it but after blocking? Springy green colour for the buttons. Blocking your test swatch is highly recommended. What a great demonstration of blocking. Fill your basin with lukewarm or cool water (not hot) and the proper amount of wool wash, as described on the bottle. It’s so empowering! Excellent tutorial for blocking – it will make believers out of the those non-believers for sure! And when I wash mine, I soak and squeeze (in a towel) just as you do, but usually hang them over the edge of something to dry. Lace is the most dramatic example of what blocking can do. Blocking can smooth out stitches, but it won’t magically fix uneven tension. Can I have some pointers for a god gauge swatch? (For you more buxom lasses, this can be a good way to get a better fit through the bust.) I love your new book! This was one of the most helpful posts on blocking! I previously thought I didn’t block my sweaters because I didn’t pin them or use blocking wires and I felt like it must be that everybody else was doing it right but me, or something, but I did make them come out looking right. Right? I learned from your post that I should be a bit fussier when I lay out the garment. Stephanie or anybody, do you have a solution for this? I feel like I’m missing something obvious. A thousand thanks. Actual question – I have a lace cowl knit in the round, in a tube. I just wanted to leave a marker here to let you know that I used this excellent post as my how-to manual for my first major project, and it worked like a charm! It’s just not finished. This may have something to do with his increase in size from when I started the sweater. I just finished a baby sweater, it came out well, but it was a bit wonky, especially the sleeves. Buttons: blue (or possibly green) mother of pearl! Same reason, to square everything up and make it easier to work with. Nice to know how to do it properly. If your sweater is too small, it’s best to frog it and reknit it at the correct gauge or pass it along to someone who fits into it. Your garment was knit too loosely. It has been suggested to me to use a blown up balloon, but that seems rather fragile. ... 4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely but too big. Some fibres shrink, making your pieces too short and meaning you need to add length. Yes, it’s old school–my knitting site has been online since before some current knitters were born (1994). Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 21, 2018. I … I was super excited to see you knitting this sweater, and then tickled pink to find out how you blocked it. I’d vote for pale yellow buttons, flower shaped if you can find them. Very persuasive tutorial–the finished sweater clearly looks much better! It’s important for knitted stuff to be fully wet to both get clean and be persuaded, and wool in particular takes a while to get really wet through. Apr 12, 2019. They look great but are made up of nothing but lies. This finally clarifies (and demystifies) blocking for me. It is also not possible to measure consistently and accurately. Be especially careful to place the template equidistant from both sides of the garment. If they are different sizes (such as the front is longer than the back), blocking can be used to stretch the smaller piece so that it matches the larger. Big deal, you say. Thank you! Best wishes. But would you speak sometimes about choosing buttons for baby clothes (no choking). Apr 12, 2019. Thanks for the inspiration! I don’t usually block socks – I sometimes manage to wash before giving, but they are often last minute. I still consult this post every time I block something. fantastic points altogether, you simply gained Folks in Maine ‘Fart around with stuff’ all the time. Josiphine: While you’re at it do you want to give me tips for blocking lace in the round? If your knitting is “rowing out” or showing dramatic gauge differences between your knit and purl rows, you’ll need to adjust your knitting style. . Blocking is finishing the piece, and that usually means a) getting it clean and b) putting all the elements in their proper place, whatever that place is. That’s a pretty big change for ten minutes of effort. I’m hopping off now though! Just thought I would mention that an acquaintance of mine has knit several scarves with that stitch combination, using wool & angora, & the scarves are much improved with blocking since the design is more transparent. Excellent post. Thank you, I have just been looking for information approximately this subject for ages and yours is the best I’m almost done with a sweater that is “rowing out” which has never happened to me before. I re-block the assembled garment as you describe. Before blocking, lace looks like a sad, shriveled-up heap of holey knitting. If a I knit a sweater in pieces so it requires stitching together, I block the pieces first before assembly (usually with mattress stitch). Would you agree or have I been an idiot? Hello guys, I’m a new parent and I’m trying to get my two month son to sleep through the night. Adorable sweater – I think I need to give that one a whirl. Usually with stockinette lace shawls the first two or three stitches on either side are garter stitch. I like that they are form fitting. I love patting everything back into place, so therapeutic. 4. I am one of those who thought blocking/stretching were the same thing. Judy’s on Ravelry as TiaJudy. Stretching is not blocking. The fact that you compared blocking your knitting to blocking in theatre makes my heart sing! I vote for celadon green buttons. | Rakish Looking Craft. Okay, this explanation is the first thing that’s ever convinced me that I should actually block a swatch. I don’t block my socks, but I do wash them and lay them flat to dry. Glad I read this before asking it again! That blocking won’t change the essential character of your knitting? I am not going to re-do it, but will wear it anyway because I love the pattern and the color. In that case, it’s not just tidiness. I took it off the needles, wove in the ends, tidied things up and placed it on the table, letting it be what it wants to be. I had never heard that before. At best, you’ll just stretch out the stitches in a most unattractive way; at worst, you’ll stretch the yarn to its breaking point and destroy your sweater. I took baby sweaters out of the bag of stuff I have knit for a non-profit and blocked them. From knitting to jewelry, new patterns to timeless tutorials, our experts have you covered! Lambness, that was the first question asked and answered up there at the top. Distorting and pulling at a fabric is an anathema. One thing I noticed is that you weave in the ends before you do the wash. I’ve had issues with puckering when I do that so I put off weaving in the ends until later. Lace. Sometimes swatches lie because knitting is three dimensional. As a matter of fact, this sweater has that delicate ruching on the yoke, and if I stretch it, it won’t be as textured and pretty. Thanks! This afghan has a deep, detailed pattern ( ) that will definitely need special attention with blocking, I’m thinking. Pingback: A Shepherd in progress | Knit Oxford, Thank you! See the little spiral? The most obvious (although not the most knitterly) method of fixing this is to get yourself to a … I made the same sweater for my daughter (her first knit sweater from me) and now I’ll know how to appropriately care for it! My Secret Weapon Tulle Maxi Skirt in Cream Dots. Maybe a mossy green? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on whether to block before sewing up or after. Now, I’m off to re-knit a swatch for a shirt that I’m halfway through- and I’ll block it this time! Similarly problems with rowing out can’t be fixed with blocking, and only very minor problems with fit can be truly fixed with blocking – if a sweater’s too small in the bust, then you can stretch it there, but the fabric is going to look different in that area if you take it too far. Milky green buttons – matching the yellow/green in the sweater. I learned some good tips from this post. Special Price $39.68. Gauge matters! Beautiful sweater – such a bright, cheery bit of spring. Wash the sweater on a hot wash cycle if it is still too big. And yes, I once killed some Acryllic. When the work flattens out – through washing or wearing, then you discover that your gauge was way off. I just washed them and set them to dry just so and it seemed to do the job just fine. I noticed this: The knitting was twisting a little, the sides weren’t even. . However, i do wash and dry every hat i make before i send it off to charity, so does that count? Step 9: Keep the cat from lying on it until it’s dry. Are there any tricks to avoid colours bleeding for stripes that involve light and dark colours? It’s just lovely! e.g. Reply. People don’t wash their knitting when they’re done? To spray block your sweater, you will shape the garment or pieces first and then wet them. I just dropped an alpaca sweater into my newly cleaned sink. All the socks we’ve seen you knit, I can’t remember you mentioning blocking them. I’m knitting a sweater now and am about to do a kerchief so I’ll see what difference that makes. At best, you’ll just stretch out the stitches in a most unattractive way; at worst, you’ll stretch the yarn to its breaking point and destroy your sweater. thank you Stephanie…. I have (my first) sweater I’ve been working on for a year, and even though I’ve followed the directions to a T I just can’t get the button band not to be alls scrunchy. My biggest challenges are 1) WHERE to do this? You said superwash is unpredictable… Any tips for working with it? I understood the importance of blocking from your mitten blocking tutorial a while back but this helped with more details. It’s close enough, right? It’s cashsoft (or something similar) after all…. My mother says knitting fabric stretches because it is done on too big needles for the yarn. I’m going to state an uncomfortable truth here. I’ve always rinsed after Eucalan, but happy to learn to save a step. do. White pearl buttons would look very classic on that lovely sweater. I also firmly believe in blocking so my only weapon is to keep in mind how much my knitting usually grows and knit everything proportionally smaller. I had the same question. To reiterate, Soak and Eucalan are non-rinse, bless their hearts. What should I tell the recipients. I had no trouble with “fart with the sleeves.” And I just wanted to say here in New England, some of us have been known to use the phrase, “fool-farting around,” as in “I fool-farted with the sleeves.” People seem to have no trouble understanding it. Horizontal knitting. So. I will definitely have to try some of the Soak, though. If you find you have to make the garment smaller or shorter but there are large folds proving the garment is too big, there are still alternatives (noted below*). It really paid off. My table is not big enough and I don’t have carpeting! Look for anything that isn’t quite right. I think a different color would detract from the dye variegation and adorable rucheing at the top. Great post, btw – I am a blocking believer (especially of the swatch) but nice to see the change. I blocked it flat (ie. I think that you should use a bright spring green! Wet blocking knitting is an appropriate method for blocking man-made fibers, novelty yarns (except for some very delicate novelties that may fall apart when wet—check the label for care instructions and don't wet anything that says it shouldn't be wet) and some wools and wool blends if done carefully (remember heat and agitation can cause wool to felt). Or does it make a difference? It looked great already and I wasn’t going to bother but point 3 has changed my mind. They’re just doing the last step that you’re skipping. SeriousJupiter. The only thing I’ve blocked in my whole life is a very fancy and finicky lace shawl, which I far and away consider the best piece I’ve ever made. ), I love Laura’s buttons! However, blocking knits can make a huge difference in how the final project looks; it adds that last bit of polish that changes your knits from looking “homemade” to “handmade.” It can also fix some of your knitting problems. just made some days in the past? I knit a pi shawl out of the Icelandic wool you are thinking about from Schoolhouse Press. Getting gauge but not the right fabric. That you should basically knit your swatches and garments tighter than called for by the yarn or label and stretch the dickens out of them to get them to the right size? And if other people see weird patterns, oh well. Don’t you still have several sets of buttons left from the layette set you made a while back. I have discovered more than once that until it is blocked, a sweater is merely a collection of knitted pieces I’ve sewn together. Also doubles as pj's of course. You can’t make a sweater 6 inches bigger than it was originally knit—it’s simply not possible. I sew up other knitters work for a living so I really understand the need to block a finished project. Oh no! I’m in favor of any color that is not white, grey, brown, or dead yellow-green, so…sun-yellow for the buttons? (Sometimes if things don’t get really wet because you were rushing you can have poor results.). Everything I make looks so much better after blocking, even if it is only a simple rectangular scarf. Your post has push me into blocking my Egeblad doily today. 19 st and 24 rows to 4 inches on US 7 (4.5mm) needles, in Double Seed Stitch, after blocking. Like green onions . Step 2: I retrieve the wee sweater from the sink, and hold it all together, all its parts supported, and squeeze out the water gently. Blocking is the final step of making your project. (That’s because of #1. Blocking and yes I use that term about stretching out knitting and pinning it, not finishing or shaping your knitting which is entirely different, was not used by regular knitters of yesteryear. Lace needs to be stretched in order to see the open work and details. Your garment was knit too loosely. Thanks. Also, I block on the top bunk of my kids’ bunkbeds and make the kid who is taking that bunk (they like to mix it up) visit Sofa City. Just blocked a Sasha doll sweater for my sister, this is really an excellent tutorial. This is the reason that you wash swatches. I am going to print/save this for future projects. I see a lot of interesting posts on your blog. When I block I usually use a handwash wool detergent that I always do need to rinse out and it would be swell to get to skip that step. Be more like me . I never blocked anything, except the occasional bit with the steam from an iron. Yarn is dirty when you are done with it. In fact I put it to an elderly relative and her words? You converted me! Do you block socks and if so do you use the sock forms? The side seam picture was very helpful. I am thinking of blocking it again. ‘Fart about’ means mess about. It’s stretching.). Blocking makes items go from home made to hand made! More than happy … but happy sounds less creepy than I’ve made you my new best friend. Save: 25 % off. People should learn to make a beautiful fabric before going off and doing clever things but basically ruining them. Do you have a round shape you use upon which to block? My stitches are even textured and neat. Still, it does need to be washed, and then … blocked – I’m a convert! I’ve been knitting steadily for 10+ years and was blocking before, but this post changes everything. Turn the sweater inside out, and start sewing vertically along the one-inch mark. Thought I was done. For some reason, they don’t always believe me, but they always believe the Yarn Harlot!!!!! Can you please tell me what pattern you used to knit the beautiful baby sweater you used in your tutorial – Blocking – a little sweater. ::sigh:: Reformed. save. I actually wish I had something freshly completed so I could just go block it right now! So, even with a yarn that doesn’t bloom or stretch or anything after a wash, and even when it isn’t lace or anything that needs to be helped in opening up – that’s why blocking with a good soak and dry helps the knitted fabric to get much more orderly. My house permanently smells of damp wool and wool wash, which I find rather lovely. . The only way I know, and I have tried many, is to let it dry somewhere that has a door you can close…, Or dry it in the room where the dog sleeps (hoping the dog doesn’t develop a taste for your FO overnight…).
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