So I've talked before about how I really do think you should be blocking your hats. And I definitely practice what I preach. You've never seen a hat in a pattern photo that wasn't blocked (and blocked firmly at that). But something we haven't talked much about is brims. I like folded up brims, and I often like fairly deep ones (this one is approaching the upper limit of brim depth acceptability, but I like it, so I'm going with it). Now if you use twisted stitches on your brim, your fabric is likely to bias a bit. And really, [...]
We've talked about this before, but just for the record, I'm still strongly in favor of blocking your cowls. And I'm still absolutely convinced this is the best way to do it. I started by threading blocking wires through the fabric at the top and bottom (you can hold them closed with a paperclip, or you can just keep threading the ends through until you've used up the whole wire). Then I used long needles tucked under the wires to make spokes at the top, and set the whole thing on a roll of paper towels. There's some flexibility here. [...]
A fold here, a tuck there…
So when the knitting's done, you do a little magic, and end up with something like this. Which sure, it's cute enough, though a bit ruffled. Well you know what I'm going to tell you to do. You need to block that hat! And for this one? For this one we get to use a whole new blocking prop. Marbles. Yes really marbles. I'm every bit as amused as you are (quite likely more). And when it's done? Well when it's done it's rather delightful. And yes, yes there will be a pattern down the road (almost certainly in July). [...]
Blocking 201 – Flared Cuffs
So, I've given this lecture before, but everything you knit can benefit from being blocked. Everything. And if you've been around long enough to hear that lecture, you've been around long enough to know about my love for flared cuffs. So of course I have a way to block them too! Let's break this down. You've got a few goals here. One is to stretch the lace out evenly so you can see the pretty stitches you worked so hard on. Another is to make sure the wrist is nice and straight. And the final one is to have the [...]
So, I hear from a lot of you that you're scared of blocking or that it's hard or that you just don't want to do it. And I sympathize...but I sort of need you to get over it. If you have the skill to knit the thing, you have the skill to block it. And your knitting will look so much better if you do. I promise. Remember, at its heart, blocking is just 'get the thing wet...let it dry in the shape you like.' That's it. That's the minimum necessary requirement. You can get all fancy and use pins [...]
Before and after (or why you block your swatches)
So we talked about this before with this yarn, but it really does something magic when it gets wet. Take a look at the differences between this shot before and after I soaked it. Before: And after: And yes, I know it can be a bit hard to see in pictures (it's more dramatic in person). But look especially at the stretches of stockinette at the broadest part of the leaf. See how it's filled in? And the spaces between each leg of the stitches are much smaller? And the holes made by the yarnovers are more distinct (because the [...]
Blocking 201 – Hats
So instagram seems to be a place that starts all sorts of fun discussions. I posted a blocking picture of a cowl the other day, and that turned into a post about blocking cowls. Now the same thing has happened again with a picture of a hat. I mentioned how important I thought blocking was, yes even for hats, and some folks asked just how you block a hat, so I thought I'd share. But first, how about a little reminder of just why it matters. I promise those wouldn't be *nearly* as pretty without a good blocking! Now I [...]
Blocking 201 – Cowls
I posted a rather unassuming little picture on instagram a little while ago, and from the comments it got, it seems like you guys are as into blocking as I am. So, as instagram is a bit impermanent, I thought I'd come chat about it a bit here too. This is how I block cowls. Let's break that down a bit. I've got blocking wires (mine are from Inspinknity) threaded through the top and bottom edges. Here I've passed the wire through the tips of the scallops because I want to emphasize the wavy edge. If I wanted a smoother [...]
This really has more or less just fallen off the needles. It was faster than it has any right to be (even if it is only a tiny bit of knitting). The first one has now had a proper blocking and had its ends all tidily tucked away. Number two is off the needles (and here is shamelessly showing off its insides...which really I think are rather nifty) and waiting for its turn to be blocked. And speaking of blocking, I've found the easiest way to do these is actually over the top of a one liter water bottle. Depending [...]
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