Blocking My Knitted Projects

For some odd reason, I was nervous about blocking. I didn't realize how simple the process was and how it made the knitted piece look so much better. I'm now thinking I should go back and block some scarves I knitted years ago that have always curled up (how annoying!).

This week has been my "lazy" week. I put lazy in quotes, because that just means I don't have much for meetings this week, except for one with the doula this evening. I had finished knitting the pieces I needed for my first baby sweater and had finished the baby hat. Both needed to be blocked before I could go any further. And, since I has also finished up some leaves, I thought those were small enough and quickly made, so I could afford experimenting with them in case I made some horrible error.

I has recently bought a hand-held small steamer from the hardware store for real cheap ($10) and had yet to use it. Pulled it out the box, quickly read through the instructions and pinned down my leaves.




Easy, peasy!!! It took more than ten minutes for the steamer to get going. It heated up just fine, but there was a wait before the steam busted through for the first time.

The curled edges of the baby hat seemed to tame down like magic!



Now all that's left to do is tucking in those loose tails (after shortening them, of course). And then, I have to add some sort of strappy thingys. I can't decide if I want to knit a cord or braid some yarn. Here's the free pattern.

Next up - the pieces for the baby sweater.



These needed to be blocked before I could sew the pieces together. It's a simple five-rectangle pattern and just right for someone who's never ventured into knitting sweaters before.



I had to block again after I had sewn the pieces together. Now, I'm working on some little white flowers to embellish the front of this green sweater. I think it will be perfect for our little Spring Baby.

For those of you who have never tried blocking before or have been intimidated, or rather, just feeling it is not necessary (which I felt for a long time, in fact the whole time I've been knitting which is over 10 years now), I strongly encourage you to give it a try! I learned to knit from a friend over some beers on a random Autumn evening. I remember it was at the end of the last century, with Y2K looming in the future, and the general desire to have some survival skills. What better for this cold Minnesota environment - making warm clothing with two sticks and a ball of yarn.

I eventually took a class a few years later that taught me how to read patterns. Since then, I've been improving my skills, inspired by some great bloggers and the great resources available on the internet, primarily YouTube where technique is concerned. It's just in this last year that I've tried some more complicated patterns. I think because of both Kat and Anise. Hey, Anise (!) you should post some pictures of your knitting projects on your blog!

I've got to end this soon and now because the doula will be here in an hour and I still have to get dinner started. But before I go - I think knitting is more than just a cool, fun DIY craft. I still think it is a survival skill, something that more of us should try!

Comments

  1. Its amazing how blocking can change a piece isn't it? I usually just use my iron on a steam setting but having a steamer would be great!

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  2. Wow! Your projects are impressive. Knitting has always been one of those things that I say, "Some day I'll learn how to do that" but never have. Is it difficult to learn? I've tried sewing in the past and failed miserably. I fear the same may happen with knitting.

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  3. Hi Kat. Yes, having a steamer seems easier to me than using the iron, mostly because you can press the steamer right against the knitted piece. I really wish I had taken the plunge and done this before!

    Hi Lani! I think that knitting is much easier than sewing. Also, it so much more portable. You could knit anywhere, in any campground. You could be picking up patterns from the internet or from books found in libraries at the various towns you end up in. Whenever we travel, I try to find a yarn shop and buy some yarn which just makes a little extra special. I think you are totally set up to start knitting. It would be a great way to spend some time in all those places you travel to! You should try it. And, having a baby has really sparked some new project ideas!

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  4. What a mighty fine job you've done!! I'm impressed with your knitting ability!

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  5. Hello Greenwoman! It's so nice of you to leave all these encouraging comments! It's so good to be interacting with you here! I wanted to say thanks for the nice wrods about my "talents", but my best talent here, in regards to knitting, is following directions! :) Hope all is well for you! I'll email soon!

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