This is why

The cursed Victorian lampshade? Yeah, this is why you bother! Just look how nicely that sits when you take it off the wires.⁠ Totally worth it!⁠ The pattern is Evolve, and it's in all the usual places (or wander over to patreon, anyone there can just have it). Just pinky swear that you'll block it when you're done!

August 5, 2023|

Cursed Victorian Lampshade

Cursed Victorian Lampshade 101, aka how to block a cowl! So, the new cowl is lacy, which means you want to block it under tension. And a lot of times that would mean pinning your fabric out on a blocking mat. But a cowl is a tube, so if you pin it out, you'll end up with creases along the sides where the fabric is folded. But there's a better way! If you run a wire through the top and bottom of the cowl, use those wires to push the fabric out in a nice big circle, then make a [...]

August 2, 2023|

Blocked, and not

You know how I'm always um, let's say 'encouraging' you to block your knits? Yeah. Here's why. This is the same pattern (Constellate, it's not out now, but the clever among you can probably guess that this little stack of goodness means it will be soon), knit in the same yarn (Seven Sisters Arts' gorgeous color wheels). Just one is blocked and one isn't (yet). The blocked one is just so much smoother and more even and more orderly, all for about 5 minutes of effort. And yeah, every single time I do something like this, I get someone piping [...]

July 8, 2023|

Gizmos

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, [...]

February 2, 2018|

Blocking

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.  [...]

January 14, 2018|

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).  [...]

June 14, 2017|

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 [...]

May 12, 2017|

Option one

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 [...]

May 10, 2017|

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 [...]

November 14, 2016|
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