Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Art of Blocking Finished Knits

I had alot of anxiety regarding blocking when I was going to try my first time.  I read and checked various blogs.  I compared and looked for answers and ultimately said oh what the H@@@  let's give it a try.

I tried and what do you know it worked.  Each time I block my scarves or sweaters I get better at it.  In order to block you really don't need anything special.  I thought today after looking at some finished knitted projects that I would try to give my advice to the art of blocking.  After all you only need a few pins to start. The pins that don't have the meltable colored balls on top are the best. Trust me from experience. 

The first important thing to remember is what type of fiber are you working with.  Each fiber reacts individually to blocking and it is important to determine if blocking is right for your fiber.  For example, when blocking cotton, I tend to pin it out and then steam it with my iron lightly - I stress lightly - you are not ironing it.  If you are working with a merino or wool, I tend to put the item in a knit garment bag (got one at the dollar store) and throw it in the washer - on delicate cycle with a little woolite or other gentle cleanser.  Make sure you do not use hot or warm water!!!!  Very Important.   Then when it is done.  Pull it out and start to pin. 

Pin to what you ask.  You really don't need one of those terrific boards (although knitpicks and webs has some really nice ones).  I use my ironing board (get an alternate pad) or my counter, table with a towel.  I don't tend to measure and check and measure and pin.  I tend to use my eyes but you can do the alternate pinning measuring and so on if you choose.  The most important thing is to remember what you are trying to achieve with blocking.  If you want to elongate the stitches then pull length wise.  I mean pull that is the point.  My friend calls it aggresively blocking.  If you want to widen the stitches then pull width wise.  An example of useing the art of pulling in the right way is my MoonLight shawl -

For this shawl what I wanted was a circular motion.  I achieved this by pulling lengthwise and equally pulling width wise.  I first pin one end.  Then move down the shawl a little at a time and stretch length wise and width wise.  Each time I adjust the pins to make sure I am achieving the look I want.  Once done , this was the result.  If you are working on a lacy open shawl scarf or sweater, the point to remember is everywhere there is a hole on the edge stick a pin.  The point is to accentuate the details of the lace not just flatten it.  The holes (or eyelets) add detail and should create a flowing dainty look.  For example -

Look at Raindrop and see the gentle waves on the top fo the shawl.  This is achieve by placing the pins on the point you want to pop out.  Then I place additional pins to create the gentle swoop instead of a sharp edge. 

Hope this helps a little with the blocking.  If you are in doubt with how to do it, create some swatches with different shapes and patterns and give it a go.  You may be pleasantly surprise how fun and thrilling it is!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Started new scarf with cashmere!!

Today I started a new scarf with some cashmere I ordered from Colourmart.  So lovely!!  Can't wait to see how it evolves.  So far I like it.  Hope to have it done this weekend and then back onto the green sweater.  Tonight I went off to my son's open house at school.  As usual it was fun.  He is doing great for the most part so I am really happy about that!!!!

Did some more laundry, it never seems to end and am now watching CSI with my son.  And my cat -

Here is a pic of Morti - my baby

Isn't he cute!!!!

He is such a big baby.  He needs a hug everyday or he follows me around until I pick him up. 

Well off to knit again!! It is relaxing and I love to create new designs so I enjoy it!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Introducing Frost

Here is Frost.  The latest pattern for fall.

I really like how this came out.  The yarn purchased at Colourmart - http://www.colourmart.com/ is terrific.  I will have to get some more in another color.  After washing it was so light and flufy it is perfect for this scarf.  The pattern is available on Etsy and Ravelry so take a look and see if it is the right pattern for you.  Well I am off to knit some more and do some laundry.  :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

So the time is NOW!!

Yes the time has come again when knitting is in fashion .... so to speak.  I mean only that you will not sweat pounds away when knitting.  Even though I knit year round and some may look at me funny when it is 90 degrees and I am still working with Alpaca.  I love the fall when I no longer get those are you out of your mind stares. 

Last week I received two packages that I am so excited to receive.  The first from Knit Picks with so much wonderful lace yarn.  They were having a sale.  :)

I also recieved some great stuff from Colourmart - they were not have a sale but their prices are like having a sale everyday anyway :)

I just finished my first project with the Colourmart yarn - it is blocking as we write.  I was so impressed with how it cleaned up.  I know they say it has oil on it from the machines but I can never see it.  This time I put it in a sweater bag and washed it in the washer on delicate with woollite and wala -   it bloomed up like there was no tomorrow.  It is so soft and squishy and I love it.  Tomorrow I will list it on Ravelry and on my etsy site for sale -- It is a fun, easy and fast shawlish/scarf named Frost

The next item I am working on is a soft green more of a celery color sweater.  I like it but I am still working on the body part so we will have to see how it works out.  After that I will start another project but, I am still thinking what I want to do next!!

Last night I was working on an Ebook.  I am not sure if I should publish it or try to get it published ... Still thinking it over.  It is a collection of leaf scarves and I am naming it at the moment - Twisted Leaves..

Off to knit.....:)