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.

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. The cloth on the blocks helps grip the pieces and absorbs water. I love it!

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 (and it’s a SUPER minor one) 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, but it totally worked.

Never the less, the next morning, I removed the dry blocking cloth 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.

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