Blocking for Blockheads
Blocking has been one part of the knitting process that has always been mysterious to me. None of my books have detailed instructions about blocking. I had the idea that I should wet the garment, arrange it in the shape it should be and let it dry. But how wet? Should I do it before or after the garment was assembled? Should I pin it?
This weekend I finished the garter stitch cardigan I've been knitting for myself from this free pattern from Lion Brand. And I determined to learn everything I could about blocking the sweater correctly. I surfed the web and read a number of articles on the subject. My favorite is this one from See Eunny Knit
Armed with all this information, I set out to block my sweater pieces. Since I'm knitting with a wool/cotton blend -- Main Line from KnitPicks -- and since I didn't trust myself not to burn the heck out of myself with a steam iron -- I decided to go with wet blocking. Above you see the pieces soaking in my bathtub.
Next, I spread trash bags on top of the quilt on the bed in my guest bedroom. I started pinning. The bed made a great place to lay out everything. The pins sank into the quilt and held. I worked about an hour getting this all in place. I liked that I could even pin places (often where the thread is knotted on the backside) where the ribs were crooked.
I left the pieces on the bed with the window open. They should be dry enough by tomorrow to sew together. Then I'll need to sew in the zipper and put on the trim.
I'll let you know how it goes. Do any of you have tips for blocking?