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Brooklyn Knit Chick

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ode to Blocking

What takes a nicely knit piece and turns it into a PERFECT piece? Blocking. I was shocked recently when one of our regular customers (you know who you are) admitted to me that he never blocks his pieces. I just finished blocking the top of the Feather and Fan Cardigan. I used my two new toys - the blocking wires I bought with my niece Alana's gift certificate (THANK YOU) and my new blocking blocks that one of our teachers, Hannah, turned me onto.

They are called Knitter's Block. They are interlocking blocks that you can put together in a variety of configurations (more about that later) with an absorbent side.

The interesting thing is their blocking method. It comes with a large cloth. You pin your piece in place, and then (depending on the fiber and pattern), you either steam block it, or spray the whole piece with water. Here's the interesting part. You then take the cloth, get it good and wet and cover your piece. When the cloth is dry, your blocking is done!

Here's my sweater pinned in place in the lovely evening light:

My other new (I don't know how I ever lived without them) tool are my beloved blocking wires. I bought a full set that has straight wires in two different lengths, and flexible wires. These were PERFECT for this project. They helped me create a straight edge for the side of the cardigan and take out the large swag that happens with feather and fan. Here's a close up:

The only drawback to the Knitter's Blocks is they are not built to be put together in any configuration. As you can see from the shape of the upper bodice of the sweater, what I needed was a T shape, like this

The blocks however, only fit snuggle one way. I had to kind of force them, and it didn't really work perfectly

Never the less, the next morning, I removed the dry cover to reveal my perfectly blocked piece

So here it is, the finished upper bodice of my cardigan. Now I just have to knit the miles of stockinette . . . kill me now.

Speaking of kill me now. . . my brother agreed that the 11" wide scarf he wanted was insane. I ripped out the scarf and recast it on for a 9" width. Still REALLY wide, but not a baby blanket. I also changed to US 17 instead of 15 which made it more flexible and drapier. It will still be the world's warmest scarf

It looks like I'll have two whole skeins left over. I bought 4 back in the day when I thought I was making the insane 11" wide scarf. I have a crazy plan for it, but more about that later.



  • The Knitter's Blocks are really cool! But, can I share a much cheaper alternative? I use a sweater drying rack, which is made out of mesh, and does not lie on the ground. Air circulates underneath and drying is super quick!

    Good luck on all the stockinette.

    By Blogger Veronique, at 9:56 AM  

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