It depends

Do I block my swatches? Eh, depends on what I'm using them for! In this case, I was checking to see if I liked this stitch pattern with this yarn for a pair of socks I'm getting reknit. And since that was all I was doing, I totally could have just taken the wee crumpled bit of business (photo two) and stretched it out between my fingers and said 'yup, that works' and carried on. But that only works because it's a yarn I'm familiar with, getting turned into a thing I'm familiar with, where the sizing isn't super important. [...]

March 11, 2024|

Variations on a theme

You know how I've been telling you to block your knits?  And showing you how much of a difference it makes? And perhaps you recall that the project I knit most recently was a bit willful when it was on the needles?  Right.  So you might imagine that this one also benefited greatly from a little relaxing bath. Huge difference, very very little effort.  Compared to how much time it takes to knit something, the time to block it is negligible.  I'm going to harass you into doing it if I possibly can.  (Though i have to say I'm tempted [...]

May 7, 2014|

I do, and you should too

To everyone who says 'mine doesn't look like yours,' I have a confession.  Mine doesn't look like mine either until it's blocked.  Shall I show you? See how one of those is all lovely and flow-y and smooth with clearly defined stitches, distinct ribbing, and pretty flared edges?  And see how one is a twisty, crumpled mess of disappointment with muddled lines and no flare to be seen? Yeah, the only difference is that the first one has been tossed in the sink for a bit of a soak, gently patted into shape, and left to dry.  Total time expended, [...]

April 6, 2014|

Truth in Advertising

This is for everyone who writes to me and says their knitting isn't as pretty as mine.  I'll let you in on a little secret.  Mine isn't either.  Or rather, the knitting when it falls off the needles isn't as pretty as the carefully blocked and enthusiastically lint rollered knitting I usually show you in pictures. So just to make everyone else feel better, I'll show you the before shot.  Ends flapping in the breeze, crown all wrinkly, stockinette less than smooth. It always looks like this at this stage.  Always.  If your knitting looks like this, you haven't done [...]

February 25, 2014|

Put a pin in it

Please do not suggest that I have been lazy with my blocking.  I may laugh manically and chase after you with a t-pin. Oh, and pro tip, the snow will re-wet your knitting, so be a smart kid and be sure it's cleaned off and dry again before you pull out your pins.  Not that I'd know or anything...

January 28, 2014|

The Proper Tools (with Eucalan Giveaway)

This Friday and Saturday, I'll be off clambering over buildings, perching innocent friends on precarious railings, and spending way too much time lint rollering other people.  In other words, it's the photoshoot for KCC3.  That means the last few days have been a giant blocking extravaganza here at  Chez Violence. Just because I'm currently going a bit crazy doesn't mean you should suffer though.  In fact, I've actually got a little treat for you.  Read on for a giveaway of one of my favorite blocking goodies. (Knitting pictures kept intentionally tiny because while I love you all, I don't want [...]

October 10, 2013|

Pin Me Down

So let's talk about blocking. You know those stitches that just, by their nature, don't want to lie flat?  The ones that have a bit of ripple and curve to them?  Yeah.  There are a few ways you can go with them.  You can force them flat when you block, or you can exaggerate the the waves.  I think both can be fun, but what about you guys.  Would you freak out if the blocking instructions wanted you to do this? You'd need either several (oh, maybe 12?) straight needles or a set of blocking wires or some super skinny [...]

August 15, 2013|

On the Value of Following Instructions

You know how that last instruction in most every pattern is something to do with blocking?  And you know how you may occasionally want to blatantly ignore that instruction?  Mmmm, yes.  Next time you're tempted to do that?  Remember this picture. Same yarn, same needles, same knitter, worked the same week.  One blocked and one not (yet) blocked.  Which do you think will look better on? The goal is to have these blocked and dry for Sunday morning so The Boy and I can go traipsing around this neat half-collapsed greenhouse and take some pictures.  Should be cool, if we [...]

March 14, 2013|

Why Yes, I am Rather Exacting

I explained last time how I deeply truly love flared cuffs.  They fit beautifully, make my hands look all pretty and girly, and are ridiculously convenient.  The only thing they have against them is that they can be tricky to block.  But no more, I have found the solution. Graph paper and shampoo bottles.  No really.  Hear me out.  The problem with blocking cuffs like this is getting the flare nice and distinct and even.  To do that, you need a way to make it bigger than the part on your wrist, and you need keep the points uniformly spaced.  [...]

February 27, 2013|
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