Alrighty, as I mentioned yesterday, today's post will be a blocking tutorial. My new pattern Robbie the Robot finishes better if you block him before you make him up (but he will finish fine if you don't block him too). Since I have been afraid of blocking for the last 12-13 years that I have been knitting and I have recently discovered how delightful blocking really can be I have decided to share with you a quick, easy, blocking run down.
Disclaimer: Blocking is not something to be feared, it can actually be quite fun with the right tools. Take this from someone who until last week had never successfully blocked anything but instead always wound up with a big, soggy, curling mess.
You will need:
*Your item to be blocked
*Something to pin your item to (Knitter's Blocks, blocking board, kids floor mat, towel, spare mattress, etc)
*Pins (I use simple straight pins since that's what I have from sewing but I would recommend "T" pins)
*A source of water (steamer (this is mine), iron with steam, a sink)
This is Robbie's pre-blocked head. Notice all the rolling going on? Yeah, we don't want that.
If you are using the sink to get it wet, go do that now (if you are blocking wool make sure not to rub it around once it is wet or it will felt).
1) Take your item and pin it down. I started on the left side Robbie's body and worked my way around the rest of him from there. Pin to the dimensions you want your finished item to be, in this case I pin the 6 squares to be as square as possible and all about the same finished size.
2) Grab your steamer (or iron with steamer) and wave it all over your item. I get pretty close but I don't actually touch the item, I just hit it with a lot of steam. Which I really enjoy. You just want to make sure that your items are pretty damp to the touch. (Obviously people using the sink to wet your item skip this step)
3)Let your item dry. Be really, really sure it is dry. If you are thinking, "I don't know, maybe it isn't that dry," don't touch it. Leave it until it is fully, completely, for-surely dry and then remove the pins. Voila: nice flat finished knitting.
How easy is that?! Literally three steps to knitting flatness. Amazing! And even more amazing that I refused to do something so easy and so cool for so long.
So, go now and find a project you can practice your new-found skill on. I recommend Robbie the Radiant Robot by Rebecca Danger.....