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Do You Block?
I'd like to get some advice about blocking
KarmenG
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KarmenG  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/7/07 8:19 PM

I've read and heard differing opinions about blocking finished knitted items. I've just finished a scarf and wonder if I should block it? According to what I've read, to block it I'd hand wash, roll in a towel, and dry dry flat. It's an Adrienne Vittadinin yarn called Mimi. Fiber content is 27% Angora 26% Wool 25% microfiber 22% Viscose. The label says handwashing in cool water is OK. I'm just wondering if this is advisable before giving the scarf as a gift.

I'll probably knit a test swatch and do a trial run. But I'd like to get some veteran knitters' opinions on blocking in general.

Thanks

Jill Giard
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In reply to KarmenG


Date: 2/7/07 8:30 PM

There are lots of ways and reasons to block and you will find it necessary for almost every project. I block just about every project at some point in it's progress. My exception is items that are to be felted. Know that different fibers respond in a number of ways to different blocking methods. Get a good reference book and read up on it. The method you describe will work just fine for your scarf. Good luck!

Elona
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In reply to KarmenG


Date: 2/7/07 9:21 PM

I've knitted for decades, and I used to block completed garments religiously. Now, I only do it for things like shawls, where you really force the item into shape.

My best friend is a knitting instructor, and she says that her blocking technique consists of laying things out, with pins if necessary, and giving them a light mist with a spray bottle. She settled on this after getting a shock or two after doing the traditional block that you describe on some of the newer fiber blends.

cnp71203
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cnp71203
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Date: 2/7/07 9:27 PM

I'd block it. You don't even have to pin it unless it's lace, or need a major blocking to help with the size (more of a concern for garments than anything else), just wet it, lay it out on some plastic if you can, and set a fan to blow over it. It shouldn't take too long to dry that way.

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I'm crystalnickel on Ravelry!
My Crafting Blog: http://cnp71203.blogspot.com/
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KarmenG
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KarmenG  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/7/07 10:52 PM

Thanks for all the good hints.
What is the purpose of blocking? I think they are...
(1) to place the item into finished shape, and allow it to dry that way
(2) to set the stitches and allow the piece or garment to sort of settle-in.

Any others?

Thank you again..

Marji
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Marji
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Date: 2/8/07 9:36 AM

I know that the knitting forum is new here, but there is such a wealth of information and discussion on all things knitting at knitters review.
You will find more there about blocking than you'll ever want to know.

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Marji
http://fiberartsafloat.blogspot.com

MacLaren
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In reply to KarmenG


Date: 2/8/07 3:57 PM

I've blocked sweaters when the pieces are finished but before I sew them together. It helps to shape and flattens the edges that want to roll up and make things difficult, especially for set-in sleeves. I use the "pin and mist" method. For small items, I pin them to my big ironing board, mist, and leave them there to dry.

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Chris

cnp71203
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cnp71203
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Date: 2/8/07 10:33 PM

I wet them down entirely, but generally just because it's a sweater, and eventually it's going to need to be washed, and I'd hate to have put a sweater together, wear it a couple of times with a great fit, then wash it and discover it's stretched so that it doesn't fit any more!

Karmeng, I'd say that is a good list, and I'd add to it the ability to see how your piece is going to behave after washing. Some yarns (like cotton and alpaca) may stretch after washing.

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I'm crystalnickel on Ravelry!
My Crafting Blog: http://cnp71203.blogspot.com/
My Website: http://cnp005.250free.com/

KarmenG
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In reply to Marji


Date: 2/11/07 9:39 PM

Wow - thanks for the great link. Lots of info there.

KarmenG
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In reply to cnp71203


Date: 2/11/07 9:46 PM

Results of my blocking...I'm offering this infor to other beginners....
This scarf was knit in an open lace type pattern with chunky tubular wool yarn on size 15 needles. I pinned the scarf to my ironing board and made sure the edges were straight. The ends are on the diagonal so I pinned those in place to "true up" the diagonal angle. Then I misted the scarf with warm water and patted the stitches with my hand. I could see the change - things matted a little and looked more uniform.

Next I lightly steamed (with my iron, but no pressure) a swatch I knit exactly like the scarf and compared them. I liked the steamed version - it caused the wool fibers to cling a little and made the whole thing look more polished - more finished; not as if it was just taken right off the needles, so to speak.

I let it dry over night flat (with pins in) and was delighted with the results. The edges stayed straight and the whole scarf looks gift-worthy. So I can definately see the the advantages of blocking.

Thanks for all the tips everyone.

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