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Old 04-01-2008, 01:26 PM   #26
ArtLady1981
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MANY ADVANTAGES OF BLOCKING
Originally Posted by suzeeq View Post
That looks very nice. Why would you need to block it? I don't block things, primarily because they're acrylic or cotton, and don't find I need to. They're the size I want because I use my own gauge instead of trying to match a pattern (which I only use as a basis anyway), though the sts even out a lot with washing. But your piece look really good to me.
Blocking serves more purposes than sizing. Please believe me when I say...blocking improves the appearance of the garment tremendously, regardless of fiber. The overall finished surface improves greatly! I rarely block to change sizing, or to make pieces match in size. My method of knitting rules out mis-sized pieces in the first place. With this particular CPH, another perk of blocking is that the fibers will bloom and become softer to the touch. Donegal tweeds are kinda scratchy, until after blocking! They significantly improve after hand washing in UNICORN FIBER WASH & RINSE prior to seaming. I pin out the pieces on the blocking board, using blocking wires for the straightaways, and leave the entire mess til bone dry. (I've seen too many CPH's on Ravelry that are horrid in appearance, not due to mistakes in the knitting or yarn choice...but because the garment was not 'finished' with blocking. Hey, but who's asking me? They're happy. I'm happy.)

This baby set, made for a girlfriend's 1st DGD, was knit with acrylic yarn. Blocking improved its appearance a lot! I blocked the hat on something round that was head-size, and misted it down.


This is a photo of a sweater set I made my DGS's for Easter a few years ago.
The yarn: Cotton Patine
, by Elsebeth Lavold. Blocking perfected the finished surfaces tremendously. Single ply yarns are lovely, but they can knit up weird and unruly. Blocking tames that! Every stitch gets into line during the blocking process.


Here is a photo of a sweater set I made my DGD's. The yarn: Rowan All Seasons Cotton. The sweaters were perfectly sized, but the blocking totally improved the stitches! The blocking was used to "polish up" the appearance of the garment! Whenever possible, blocking occurs before seaming.


Here is a photo of a Viking Knits sweater that I blocked, of course. It was knit with Lousia Harding "Grace". (70%merino/30%silk blend) The sweater was the right size...but the st st was all wonky. I just hate that. Single ply yarns are notorious for knitting 'wonky' in st st. But blocking saved the day! I couldn't believe it solved the entire issue! The surface of the st st is now perfect. Smooth and finely shaped stitches throughout!


The photos below show a baby set I knit last year. The yarn is cotton: Elann's Lara. St st and cotton, aaargh! So many stitches are wonky. The surface of the st st is not even and smooth...UNTIL AFTER BLOCKING! I was so happy with the surface appearance after I blocked the pieces! (I block before seaming) Then, with this baby set, I laid damp handtowels on top again and left til dry. Voila! Like magic! The st st looks like a machine knit! I was pretty bummed out before that.


Can ya tell that BLOCKING is a pet peeve of mine?
Hope you're not sorry you asked!

Perhaps this post about blocking helps someone. I have photos of my DD's CPH on the blocking board, which I will post later in this project. The photos show how the blocking wires are threaded through the edge stitches; and several other blocking tips for the CPH.
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Last edited by ArtLady1981 : 04-01-2008 at 07:09 PM.
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