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View Full Version : Yikes! I'm afraid of blocking! This is normal, right?


Anastasia Beaverhausen
12-05-2006, 05:13 PM
I want to make this scarf for my dad with andean treasure in charcoal grey/mystery (except I want to malke it 2-3 times longer and I think I'll leave off the lovely flower!):
http://www.islandofmisfitpatterns.com/2006/10/04/dee-luxe/

It says to lightly block and, being brand spanking new to knitting, I've never done that before. I have visions of a soggy, misshapen scarf. Do I *have* to block in order for it to look as nice as the picture? I read the tutorial on this site but wanted your opinions as well. How should I block it (if I have to) with andean treasure which I think is 100% baby alpaca?

CarmenIbanez
12-05-2006, 05:28 PM
Trust me. The newer you are to knitting, the more blocking is your friend. It is very very simple. Here (www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter02/FEATdiyknitter.html) is a great article.

Blocking fixes so many mistakes and uneven stitches!

Also, This old post by Ingrid shows the remarkable difference that blocking can make. (www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3646&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=blocking&start=0) This post is what inspired me to start blocking my work!

cookworm
12-05-2006, 06:20 PM
Carmen is 100% right. I'm not a very seasoned knitter and I'm still kind of afraid of blocking, but I've found that every time I block something, it makes it look so much more finished. And also, you're able to manipulate sizing a bit too. I made a hat for my husband that was too big, but was able to adjust it by blocking and it was fine, and it made my knitting look a lot better than it really is. :teehee:

Your scarf will be "soggy and misshapen" when it's wet, but once you block it, it will dry beautifully into shape.

Here's information from the Morehouse Merino website about blocking lace shawls and scarves that I found helpful. I haven't made big items like sweaters or anything yet, but I've used this same method for blocking other things because the whole pinning thing really had me scared to try, or, you can use whatever blocking method works for you. As I mentioned, I'm not an expert knitter; maybe there are different methods that are better than others to block? :??

Scroll down on this page to see segment on Blocking Lace Shawls and Scarves (http://www.morehousefarm.com/Knitting/Tips/LaceYarn/)

Blocking Lace Shawls and Scarves

Please note: the following washing recommendations apply to Morehouse Merino Lace Yarn. For shawls, scarves and lace creations made with otheryarns, refer to the yarn manufacturer’s washing and care instructions.

Soak your lace creation in warm water, add mild soap [at Morehouse Farm, we use Palmolive(R) Dishwashing Liquid]. Let it soak for a few minutes. Then rinse in same temperature water as washing water. Squeeze out as much water as possible (you can use a towel for this one: wrap shawl or scarf in towel and squeeze—don’t wring—towel to remove as much water as possible from knitting).

Unwrap shawl or scarf from towel. Now lay it flat on a large surface. Most shawls are about 80” long, about the length of a bed. So a bed might be the ideal place to use for blocking a large shawl. Cover bedspread with a sheet to create a smooth surface (don’t worry about getting the bed wet: thin lace yarn absorbs very little water and after squeezing most water out of it, the shawl or scarf is damp, no longer wet).

Now stretch out scarf or shawl to final width and length. This process takes a little patience, since the knitting wants to return to its un-stretched condition. Just keep stretching it until it remains in place. We don’t use pins to block shawls. We find the process of pinning too tedious and we don’t like the scalloped edge it sometimes creates (especially if you are not using dozens of pins). For triangular shawls, use corner of bed for tip of shawl and stretch tips along side and bottom edge of bed. Sometimes it helps to keep shawl in place by stretching it slightly over edge of bed. Let it dry.

Anastasia Beaverhausen
12-06-2006, 10:53 PM
WOW, that is a HUGE difference! I may block a ribbed scarf I made (first project) bc the ribbing is pulling in and you can't see that it's even ribbed. I wonder if blocking would make it slightly pulled apart so you see the ribbing!

Thank you!

Do I need to use pins to block scarves? Is there something else one could use besides pins? Would you say just spritzing is a safe bet or is it sometimes not enough?

CarmenIbanez
12-07-2006, 03:26 AM
Do I need to use pins to block scarves? Is there something else one could use besides pins? Would you say just spritzing is a safe bet or is it sometimes not enough?

It really depends on what kind of fiber you are using. Knitty has a great article about it. But I am too tired to find it.

cookworm
12-07-2006, 09:09 AM
Here's (http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter02/FEATdiyknitter.html) the article--it's the one Carmen posted above. It's really helpful. :wink:

CarmenIbanez
12-07-2006, 12:22 PM
I was so tired I didn't realize I had already posted the link!!! :roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

12-08-2006, 05:44 PM
I have one other question regarding this blocking. I've blocked a few little things but I just made my first sweater (well I made one 15 years ago but I forgot everything)

I'm about to seam it up. I've noticed the sleeves where I'll be putting in the seam are really rolled in at the edge. So, I know some patterns or people say to block before seaming. Thing is, (I did read that article posted here)
it's Peruvian baby alpaca so they said it's fragile, will stretch.
Should I just spritz the edges a little while pinned down but not too much
or go ahead an seam first, block later or not at all? It doesn't look like it needs blocking except for those rolled edges on the sleeves.

?

CarmenIbanez
12-08-2006, 05:48 PM
I would say do it just like you suggested. Lightly spritz and pin the edges. It is so much easier to seam when the edges are all blocked.

12-08-2006, 05:56 PM
That was quick!!! Thanks so much. I kind of suspected it might be but didn't know if it was worth the trouble. I guess I don't like to block much. Ha.
But I'll get used to it!

Thanks again C. :hug:

ArtLady1981
12-28-2006, 06:03 AM
HERE IS THE BLOCKING "UPSIDE" FOR YA!

Whilst waiting for your Blocking Process to come to completion, you are FREE to start another project with NO GUILT!

You can 'get out of' the current project gracefully (arenlt you finding it a little tiresome by now??) without guilt and begin the delicious steps of a NEW PROJECT :heart: ...which you have probably been toying with in your mind as you knit the final pieces of the current project! And you were dreading :doh: the final seaming stages!

WELL WORRY NOT! :eyebrow:

Start your new project! Knit the swatches for your new project, get your graphs highlighted and whatever steps needed for the NEW PROJECT! You may even get started with the knitting!!!!
:muah: