BLOCKING

Blocking a finished knit item. I used to avoid it like the plague, or make projects that did not need blocking.

I don’t know what my aversion was to blocking. I think it matched with those people who do not like to work in those little bits of yarn from changing colors or adding a new skein.

I, however, like to get those bits of yarn worked in.  I do not like to wait until the end of a project to do so. I work them in as I go along. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to see my project looking clean and neat as I knit along. It also can be a real ‘pain in the butt’ if I have to rip, which is a fairly frequent occurrence for me.

Oh yea, blocking! After joining my knit group and receiving some expert advice I no longer feel the fear of blocking, but look forward to it, knowing that it gives my FOs that final, expert finishing.

Today I am blocking my third tunic top for the year!

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Right now it just looks like a giant rectangle. I hope once it is blocked and I try it on, it will look better.  I knit it sideways, knitting the front and back at the same time. The pattern is appropriately called ‘Side to Side Pullover for Women’ from Patternfish. Instead of sewing the side seams closed as the pattern calls I did a three-needle bind-off, which means I did a provisional cast on.

The yarn I used is Fibra Natura, a bulky cotton/linen blend knitted on US#10.5 needles. This left the neck edge a bit rough, so I did a single crochet around the neck opening. I am okay with the bottom looking a bit rough.

I did some internet search to check out how to block this type of fiber. There are a lot of opinions out there!

I found a site by Vogue Knitting with an easy chart to follow. I would include the pic I snapped, but not sure if that would be a copyright infringement.

Basically the chart states that for a cotton or linen fiber you can either wet block or steam block.  After some thought, I decided to try a steam block for a couple of reasons. One being, that I have not tried this technique before and second, I have a very good iron that has a steam feature.

I placed a towel over my blocking board, then proceeded to carefully pin my garment down. I used the steam setting on my iron and very careful held the iron above the garment and slowly steamed small sections at a time.

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I also used the handy-dandy steam button to help infuse steam through both layers. I patiently went over the garment several times.

I am hoping that the zillion little extra steam shots will be sufficient to infuse both top and bottom pieces. Now I patiently wait for it to dry, maybe a bit of fan action will help.

Blocking done, I try it on and have a very awesome dress! Damn, I need to get better at figuring out gauge. I think part of the problem may be the fiber content of this garment along with being knitted sideways changes the stretchiness. Since this was knitted sideways, there will be no ripping out.

However, a quick hem will do the trick.

Completed just in time for a trip to Phoenix in a couple of weeks.

HAPPY BLOGGING!