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View Full Version : I'm a blocking convert!


Arugula
01-05-2006, 06:56 PM
I have now made two sweaters, one for each of my sons. I was disappointed with the fit of both. Then I hand-washed them and blocked them. Wow, they drape so nicely now, they are no longer too short and they look marvelous! I am so impressed, especially since I was using a wool/acrylic blend (more wool than acrylic but still). I'll be blocking all my pieces from now on ;)

Lana
01-05-2006, 07:52 PM
When I learned to knit the directions said to block. So I did.
It makes the fabric look so much nicer.

I use very thin, long knitting needles to pick up the selvage sts to keep the sides straight. (Does that make sense?) And always measure to make sure like pieces turn out the same. :X:

gardenmommy
01-05-2006, 10:06 PM
So what happens if you might spill something on a sweater or other previously blocked item and it needs to be washed, do you have to reblock every time?

Or felted things? What if someone with the wonderful FT clogs spills his/her coffee on them or steps in something smelliferous and they need washed? I suppose you would wash them in cold and then reblock?

Ingrid
01-05-2006, 10:13 PM
There is a huge difference when you block wool for the first time. I posted before and after pictures a while back--the sweater went from lumpy and bumpy to smooooooth.

I rewashed my felted clogs in hot water and they were fine. There is a limit as to how much things will felt. When I've washed my previously blocked wool sweaters, I've laid them flat to dry and they've retained their shape. I wasn't too sure about this myself, but when I took it out of the rolled up towel, it appeared to be the same size as it was when I wet it, so I gave it a shot. The superwash wool sweater that I washed in the machine looked great, too, after laying it flat to dry. Except where the cat curled up on it. :rollseyes:

Arugula
01-06-2006, 09:47 AM
My second sweater just finished drying and it is BEAUTIFUL.
:heart: :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart: blocking :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart:

Cristy
01-06-2006, 09:16 PM
explain this blocking phenomenon please....

Ingrid
01-06-2006, 10:38 PM
When you knit with a natural fiber, or when you knit lace, you blocking will make it relax, look smoother, and fit better. When I knit Fair Isle sweaters in wool, I wash them and put them on a wooly board--a rack that stretches them out to size and smoothes out the stitches. Lace looks like a jumbled mess until you wet it and stretch it out--pinning it to size--then it looks beautiful. Acrylic doesn't block, but often washing and drying it makes it look better, too.

Here (http://knittinghelp.com/knitting/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3646&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=blocking) is a post I made a while back that shows the difference before and after blocking on a sweater I made. It was superwash wool, and I put it on the wooly board. I washed it again last week, but was able to lay it flat to dry.

There's no law that you have to block anything, but it can make a big difference.

CarmenIbanez
01-07-2006, 02:52 PM
WOW WOW WOW. I just looked at your before and after pictures. WOW. Can you get these types of results with synthetic fibers as well? WOW!

VictoiseC
01-07-2006, 03:43 PM
When I learned to knit the directions said to block. So I did.
It makes the fabric look so much nicer.

I use very thin, long knitting needles to pick up the selvage sts to keep the sides straight. (Does that make sense?) And always measure to make sure like pieces turn out the same. :X:


Lana.... do you mean after you wash the sweater you insert the straight needles on the sides as it drying? I never heard of this, it sounds pretty neat if a little troublesome.

Yeah, I gotta start blocking more, I always block socks, never hats. Just working on a vest now for my dh that looks a tad small but I think if I block it I can make it a little bigger. hope hope (otherwise it's MINE).

Don't think you can block synethics at all, nothing would happen. that's why WOOL REIGNS! (I use a little acyrlic mixed in sometimes though)

VictoiseC
01-07-2006, 03:55 PM
BTW INGRID! What a beautiful sweater that is! Really really gorgeous. I forgot to tell you how much I adore your sweater you wore to Northampton also.T Really you are such an artist. I hope I can get to your level in my life. :thumbsup:

CarmenIbanez
01-07-2006, 03:59 PM
Are there blocking instructions on this site? I was just looking at my books and I'm not sure that I have a really complete idea of the process?

Cristy
01-07-2006, 10:44 PM
It was superwash wool, and I put it on the wooly board.

WTHeck is a wooly board?!?!? Perhaps I'm asking questions about a topic that I need to wait on...I don't understand what the board is and exactly what you do to "block" something.

Ingrid
01-07-2006, 11:37 PM
This is a sweater on a wooly board. The sides are adjustble so you can make it any size you want. It's not absolutely necessary for Fair Isles, but I was afraid that after all that work I wouldn't be able to make it look good.

Lana
01-08-2006, 12:31 AM
I knew I was going to learn a lot here. I had never heard of, or seen a wooly board, 'til now.
I gotta get out more. :roflhard:

I rarely knit with wool, because most of my knitting is for my other hobby: collectable, life size baby dolls. I use moderately priced yarns for them.

I steam block, holding a steaming iron about 1/2' above the pinned out pieces before I stitch them together. (Being very careful not to touch the iron to the knitted fabric!)

Ingrid, where is the wooly board made? Now that's something I could have used when I was still knitting adult size sweaters.

Ingrid
01-08-2006, 12:37 AM
I got the wooly board on line--I can't remember from where, though. I did find it by googling.

humblestumble
01-08-2006, 02:24 AM
http://www.camillavalleyfarm.com/knit/woolyboard.htm

I am in love with this...I HAVE to have one...

Lana
01-08-2006, 07:26 AM
Thanks for posting the link. What a fasinating piece of engineering.

Ingrid
01-08-2006, 09:20 AM
That's the place where I got mine! It's really rather simple, but well-made.

CarmenIbanez
01-08-2006, 02:32 PM
Wow Ingrid, those sweaters are SO beautiful. You do amazing work! I am definitely going to start blocking my natural fiber work. What a difference it makes!

VictoiseC
01-08-2006, 02:47 PM
Oh geez, I'm just about to finally get a yarn swift and now you show me this fantastic piece of work: The Wooly Board. It's so cool. WHY does it have to be so expensive!!!! That would be great to own. Hmmmmmmmmm
thanks INgrid :rollseyes:

cheesiesmom
01-08-2006, 03:18 PM
It reminds me of my mother's curtain stretchers, which I wish I could find for lace knitting. I just don't have any where to block anything except on towels on top of my washer/dryer. (The cats still find it.)

Ingrid
01-08-2006, 03:19 PM
:roflhard: Happy to be of service! ;) I hesitated to buy it because of the price, but I figured that I will have it for the rest of my life, and it will make all the time spent on a sweater even more worthwhile. I'm very, very good at justifying purchases I make for myself. :oops: