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ABC's Mom
11-25-2012, 12:03 PM
This is the first time I'll be blocking anything so not sure what the best way to do it.
One of the gals at my LYS uses a steam iron with the yarn a little damp and does it on the WS.
I've also seen it done by dampinging the whole thing and pinning to a towel.
The yarn is a worsted weight 100% wool that is hand washable only or dry clean.
I'm almost finished with my daughter's sweater, one sleeve to go, so will need to do this soon so I can finish by Christmas!!
Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

suzeeq
11-25-2012, 12:30 PM
Rather than steaming it first, you'll want to wash it anyway - things pick up all sorts of stuff while we're making them, so you might as well clean it. Just hand wash, squeeze the excess water out by rolling in a towel, don't wring it. Then lay it flat to dry, patting into shape, you don't need to pin it.

ArtLady1981
11-26-2012, 07:42 PM
Sue's advice is great....but I'd like to add...it's best to block the pieces individually before seaming.

suzeeq
11-26-2012, 08:02 PM
See, I don't knit sweaters in pieces so once I'm done knitting, the sweater's done and just needs to be washed...

ArtLady1981
11-26-2012, 08:27 PM
See, I don't knit sweaters in pieces so once I'm done knitting, the sweater's done and just needs to be washed...

Oh, gotcha! :thumbsup:

I mostly always 99.99% of the time knit in pieces. I don't like one piece top-down construction for myself. I'm okay with the body being knit in one wide piece, bottom-up, until the armholes shaping whereupon the upper body for Back, Left Front and Right Front are then knit individually. Then sleeves are knit separately, preferring flat construction, cuff up... rather than in-the-round.

Pieces lend themselves to greater blocking parameters and possibilities. But I have 3 blocking versions depending on the.project,.the yarn, etc.

My newly knit sweaters never need cleaning cuz I got them soiled during knitting, but certain yarns SURE DO NEED CLEANING, especially natural colors where the animal fibers weren't given more BATHS. Malabrigo Merino (natural white) will turn your wash pan water to a mocha color from the hidden filth that still lingers inside the yarn, prolly from the fields where the animals rolled around!

Did our knitter mention how her son's sweater is constructed? One piece? Separate pieces?

suzeeq
11-26-2012, 09:36 PM
Well mine may not be so dirty, but washing it helps even out the stitches too. She didn't say what pattern she was going to knit.

ArtLady1981
11-26-2012, 10:27 PM
Well mine may not be so dirty, but washing it helps even out the stitches too. She didn't say what pattern she was going to knit.
She mentioned needing 'to do sleeves next'....so right away I'm envisioning separate pieces for the whole thing.

I agree with you about blocking....it evens out the stitches. That's why I also block cotton knits, bamboo, all of the plant fiber yarns.

If I used acrylic, I'd block it, too!

ABC's Mom
11-27-2012, 08:36 AM
Sorry I didn't mention what pattern I was using or that yes it indeed is in separate pieces. I was planning on blocking them separately before putting them together so it will be easier to seam.
The sweaters I've done before were both blends that didn't need blocking as well as top down.
The pattern I'm using is Madison by Dolce. The bodice is a TWL alternating rib with the cap of the sleeves also in the rib pattern. Took me awhile to figure out the wording on the shaping of the back as it's worded differently than others I've worked with before. But I'm finally almost finished!!! :woohoo:

ArtLady1981
11-27-2012, 01:58 PM
Sorry I didn't mention what pattern I was using or that yes it indeed is in separate pieces. I was planning on blocking them separately before putting them together so it will be easier to seam.
The sweaters I've done before were both blends that didn't need blocking as well as top down.
The pattern I'm using is Madison by Dolce. The bodice is a TWL alternating rib with the cap of the sleeves also in the rib pattern. Took me awhile to figure out the wording on the shaping of the back as it's worded differently than others I've worked with before. But I'm finally almost finished!!! :woohoo:

Oh I love that pattern design! Very classy. The faux smocking on the upper body yokes is so eye-catching yet simple!

I found the design at Ravelry, and although it seems to be in a book, the designer is selling the pattern as a pdf single! Yay!

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/madison-7

ABC's Mom
11-27-2012, 05:35 PM
Oh I love that pattern design! Very classy. The faux smocking on the upper body yokes is so eye-catching yet simple!

I found the design at Ravelry, and although it seems to be in a book, the designer is selling the pattern as a pdf single! Yay!

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/madison-7

That's where I got the patterrn. Had some difficulties with the wording on the armhole shaping for the back. Finally got it and the fronts went much easier.
The sweater is done in charcoal using "Shepard's Wool" made here in Michigan. It's not "fluffy" like the yarn shown in the picture, but then my daughter isn't the fluffy kind of woman.:teehee:

ArtLady1981
11-27-2012, 06:32 PM
That's where I got the patterrn. Had some difficulties with the wording on the armhole shaping for the back. Finally got it and the fronts went much easier.
The sweater is done in charcoal using "Shepard's Wool" made here in Michigan. It's not "fluffy" like the yarn shown in the picture, but then my daughter isn't the fluffy kind of woman.:teehee:

I think that is every knitter's toughest step.....deciphering the language and expressions in the pattern itself! It's not the actual DOING of the knitting.....it's UNDERSTANDING what you're supposed to do!

I finally quit knitting the sweaters of one of my all time favorite Swedish designers. She writes up her designs in Swedish, but somewhere in the translation....things go awry. Plus, you can always count on errata, especially if the design is newly released. Gah! I was ALWAYS scratching my head...."is this just a language thing....or is this an error?"

I'm sure your daughter's sweater will turn out beautifully in the Shepard's Wool. It will last longer, wearing well without a thousand pills that age a sweater prematurely.

Be sure to post final photos for us, eh?

And, what is your Ravelry handle? Or, if you'd prefer not to publicize it, 'friend' me over there....I'll friend you back!

nittineedles
11-27-2012, 06:42 PM
Malabrigo Merino (natural white) will turn your wash pan water to a mocha color from the hidden filth that still lingers inside the yarn, prolly from the fields where the animals rolled around!

:ick: That's disgusting! If I should ever buy that I will wash it before I use it.

It's not so bad when I'm picking through a raw fleece, you expect that but not at Malabrigo prices.

ArtLady1981
11-27-2012, 08:17 PM
:ick: That's disgusting! If I should ever buy that I will wash it before I use it.

It's not so bad when I'm picking through a raw fleece, you expect that but not at Malabrigo prices.

Oh let me show you my photos! You're gonna die! :passedout:

This is my "natural, un-dyed" Malabrigo yarn, all wound up in a nice neat cake!
http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2327/2457455806_a090b659ec.jpg

This is the "wash water" after I had soaked and slightly swished the Fronts and Back of my Viveca cardigan. The 2rd "rinse" (after the wash) finally came "clear"...no murkiness.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8062/8225782596_9b60eb4ee4.jpg

This is my Viveca cardigan...blocked and seamed! Cast-on to final photo was July 23-Sept 7...not long at all.
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3161/2836819103_20fa27bcdd.jpg

Who knew that so much dirt was hiding inside the fibers of that beautiful white "cake" of Malabrigo!!??

Jan in CA
11-27-2012, 08:59 PM
Eww. :zombie: I've heard this before though with various yarns. As gross as it is I don't think it would stop me from buying a yarn.

ArtLady1981
11-28-2012, 10:17 AM
Eww. :zombie: I've heard this before though with various yarns. As gross as it is I don't think it would stop me from buying a yarn.

I agree with you, Jan. I would purchase natural Malabrigo again. In an way, the 'earth' that came out into my wash pan that day brought to my mind the visions of this white sheep who gets to enjoy his environment! I wasn't put off at all, but I was surprised because my hanks were so pristine looking! Add to that, I knit fast, finish quickly, minimal handling, no laying around, no smoking. So the 'earth' was definitely in the yarn from jumpstreet. Alllllll the way from South America! Or, wherever.

I've since read that the kettle-dyed Malabrigo doesn't have quite the amount of earthiness embedded because of the extra bath it receives during the dying process.

BTW, the natural, undyed, white Malabrigo is much much softer than the dyed Malabrigo, btw. Which is why I purchased every hank that Halcyon Yarns had in stock. It's hard to find the undyed natural color. So I still have a little hoard of it. :teehee:

Jan in CA
11-28-2012, 06:08 PM
Softer...good to know..:thumbsup: I bought some Madeline Tosh Sock last night for a scarf for my hairdresser and it feels heavenly! :inlove: I'm really think seriously of getting so e worsted weight for a sweater at some point.

ABC's Mom
11-28-2012, 10:04 PM
I think that is every knitter's toughest step.....deciphering the language and expressions in the pattern itself! It's not the actual DOING of the knitting.....it's UNDERSTANDING what you're supposed to do!

I finally quit knitting the sweaters of one of my all time favorite Swedish designers. She writes up her designs in Swedish, but somewhere in the translation....things go awry. Plus, you can always count on errata, especially if the design is newly released. Gah! I was ALWAYS scratching my head...."is this just a language thing....or is this an error?"

I'm sure your daughter's sweater will turn out beautifully in the Shepard's Wool. It will last longer, wearing well without a thousand pills that age a sweater prematurely.

Be sure to post final photos for us, eh?

And, what is your Ravelry handle? Or, if you'd prefer not to publicize it, 'friend' me over there....I'll friend you back!

It's the same one I have on here. Makes it easier that way, not so many names to remember.:wink:

Jan in CA
11-28-2012, 10:18 PM
I found it! There aren't spaces or punctuation on Rav so you always have to take that in account when you search. My name is JanCA.

ETA- I have a bunch of friends that I have no idea who they really are because of the name change.