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 Blocking
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1792 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2013 :  4:48:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just read "Knitting Daily" and this woman knitted a beautiful sweater. When she mentioned blocking, this popped into my mind:

HOW does one block a sweater (or anything!) with pins? If you pin the pieces down, the edges are going to "scallop", aren't they?

I thought about buying one of those sweater blocking frames, and realize that buttoning a cardigan around it would do the same thing. So I soak the sweater (usually knitted in one piece, bottom up), stretch it some and lay it out on a drying rack without pinning it down at all.

Is it better to thread a blocking wire up the edge of the piece, and then pin the piece down just inside the wire? I mean, HOW do we DO this??

I look forward to hearing anyone's thoughts about this!

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.

eldergirl
Permanent Resident

USA
1802 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2013 :  6:46:27 PM  Show Profile Send eldergirl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What a great question!

What I know about blocking a sweater is that it used to be done piece by piece, and the best way was to use blocking wires. These are threaded up the sides of the front and back and shoulders, pinned to size, and the curved edges could be sort of mooshed into place by hand
or were threaded with the thinner wires, and curved,

Doesn't that sound easy? Any child could do it? Ha! And what about drop shoulder sweaters, or as you ask top-down sweaters????

I still think one would use blocking wires with ingenuity, but I want to know what other, more modern knitters do. All my stuff is pretty old-fashioned!

Best wishes,

Anna

Life is beautiful.
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Grand-moogi
Seriously Hooked

Australia
783 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2013 :  05:56:26 AM  Show Profile Send Grand-moogi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We just rinse and towel dry and leave it to dry pinned onto our blocking boards which are really very large plastic foam mats that we got in a hardware store. We use pins - lots of them but they do not cause looping - at least I don't think they do. I am trying to remember. I cannot remember it being an issue. You should not stretch it out too much. The idea is to let it find its correct shape, not to distort it. Just put lots of pins about an inch or half inch apart. If you get little loops they are only very small and disappear when you sew up.

I knit a hug into every stitch
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Janettoo
Warming Up

63 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2013 :  6:46:28 PM  Show Profile Send Janettoo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If the sweater is lace or a stitch that needs to be stretched, if it is knit in flat pieces, I will block the pieces before seaming. I use blocking wires and pins where it would fold for this. If it is knit in the round, I will also use blocking wires and pins.

If the sweater doesn't need stretching, just smoothing, I lay it or its pieces out flat after washing, and smooth and even them up. Then I just let it dry, without pins or wires.

Janet in TN
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
542 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2013 :  2:46:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If one uses ENOUGH pins, there are no scallops or points where the pins hold it down, or not on the ones I've blocked. I just keep adding more pins between the pins.

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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eldergirl
Permanent Resident

USA
1802 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2013 :  8:15:50 PM  Show Profile Send eldergirl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was checking the replies tonight, to learn more, and just remembered the solution my beloved Scottish mother-in-law provided:

You lift up the corner of the carpet where the high-traffic area is (this was 50 years ago), put down brown paper, or newspapers (ink didn't run then).
After moistening (or washing) the sweater, lay it down, patting it our and smoothing it , put paper over it (to keep it clean), put back the carpet, and voila! in a day or two, the sweater is flat, dry, just like it has been ironed, but without the heat.

After bending over got to be a chore, I bought one of those net sweater dryers with legs, and a blocking board. But the old way was so practical, and cheap!

Anna



Life is beautiful.
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dschmidt
Permanent Resident

3972 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2013 :  06:10:45 AM  Show Profile Send dschmidt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Having just bought and used blocking wires, I'll say they were the best purchase I've made in a long time. The price is is in the "luxury" range but so worth it. Anna, I love the carpet method.

Donna in VA

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