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a corner in one end and pulling the yarn through the hole.

May 2004 Tips and Ideas
cont
Blocking no miracles
We are sometimes tempted to correct a knitted piece that is too narrow by
blocking it, pinning to the desired measuremetns, hoping it will be the shape we wanted.  It may look great before removing the blocking pins / wires but all too often will when worn, fall to 2" longer when worn without any additional width at all.  This is particularly true if the piece was not knit to a firm enough gauge.

     This question appeared in a recent Knit U post: "I am knitting a summer top with Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece (80% cotton/20%wool). What is the
best way to block out the pieces?"  Joan Schrouder gave us permission to print her response.  Thanks, Joan!
      Joan's suggestions:  "Wash, rinse, spin out excess water, lay flat to dry, pulling edges smooth.  Use blocking wires if necessary. Cotton sometimes dries stiffly when done like this, but getting the edges smooth in preparation for seaming may be
preferable.
     After the garment is sewn/knitted tog, you can dunk in water again, squeeze out and then dry in the dryer which should soften it. Some like to partially dry in the dryer, then take it out while still just slightly damp and lay out to measurements. You can try different ways to see what you like and that work well.
     Some knitters don't bother pre-blocking the pieces, but do the sewing first, then block the final garment. If the edges are already pretty smooth and the size right-on, and the particular stitch patt doesn't seem to require blocking, then skip that part.
     You can also do steam-blocking either pre- or post-seaming, but never do it
on knitting that hasn't been recently cleaned as the heat will permanently set in any oily substances (hand lotions, cookie crumbs <g>, etc.)   
     If you still have your gauge swatch, you can try any of these methods on it, which is a good idea anyway when working with unfamiliar yarns/fibers.  Many times, you'll find that it may not make a huge difference which method you choose, so the whole process will become less daunting. On the other hand, it'll help you avoid those unexpected surprises that could doom an otherwise fine piece of knitting.

      "The back piece of my sweater came out too narrow.  Can I fix this by blocking?"  It can be a temptation to correct a knitted piece that is too narrow by blocking it, pinning to the desired measurements, hoping/praying that it will be the shape we wanted.  It may look great before removing the blocking pins/wires but all too often will when worn, fall to 2" longer when worn without any additional width at all.  This is particularly true if the piece was not knit to a firm enough gauge.  It is best to avoid this problem
by
checking your gauge frequently while the work is in progress.  Transfer the knitting from the needle onto a piece of cotton yarn smaller in diameter than the working yarn
and take the relaxed measurement.  Don't be afraid to unknit if necessary -- it's better
than knitting a beautiful sweater that you can't wear because it doesn't fit correctly...
June 2004 tips and ideas

    You've probably heard the term "Superwash" used daily in your yarn shop.  So,
just what

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