Blocking your knitting- Vol 1: Wet Blocking
January 12, 2011
Often when you are finished knitting you find yourself with a piece that is not quite how you imagined or doesn't fit as well as you had hoped. All the knitting down the drain you think as you plan to frog your project. Wait- All you really need is to properly block your knitted project. Wet blocking will bring out the details in lace, adjust fitting issues and show off the cables to best effect. Wet blocking is simple and to those detail-oriented folks, immensely satisfying.
Start by fully submerging your knitting in the water and gently (especially for wool-you don't want to felt it) squeeze to saturate every fiber. You will probably see air bubbles escape. Then leave your knitting in the water for 20-30 min. Drain the sink or bowl slowly and then carefully squeeze out extra water. Don't wring the fabric, just lightly squeeze.
Lay out your towel on a flat surface and open it fully if needed to accommodate your project or fold it in half width wise for small pieces. Carefully lay out your piece on the towel and gently shape it so it is laying flat. Roll up your towel until the whole towel is rolled up. Apply gentle pressure to squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Unroll your towel and lift your piece on to your blocking board. Start by pinning the major corners or points of your piece (for a shawl the top 2 corners, for a sweater the shoulders and neck line). Using a ruler gradually add more pins until your piece is fully pinned and shaped to your satisfaction.
Now comes the hard part: waiting. Put your blocking board in indirect light so it will not fade but will use the warmth to help it dry faster. You must wait until your piece is FULLY dry. Don't pull out those pins until you are very sure it is dry and then wait a little longer. The bigger the piece the longer the wait. It is worth the wait since you will be rewarded with a beautiful piece of knitting that fit better and looks amazing.
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