blocking your knitting with guest jane richmond #sskal

some of you are coming up on the home stretch of your summer sweater knit along projects and one question we hear a lot about in our ravelry group during this time is blocking. how to do it, why to do it, the methodology behind hit, drying times etc.

i was super excited when my bestie and partner in crime jane richmond offered to guest post on this important subject because if you knit - you will need to know how to block and block properly.

build your own custom blocking screen by jane richmond

i'm so super jealous of the sweet set up jane's got going on that puts my poor methods to shame. mind is blown. after you're done reading the post you can find the tutorial on how to make your own sweet blocking set up just like jane's over on her blog today! 

aside from wearing my knits when they are done blocking i have to admit that one of my favorite parts of blocking is not the blocking itself but the soaking. i love the adrenaline rush from taking that item you've SLAVED over and plunging it into soapy water. it's scary and fun all at the same time. i'm also obsessed with what i use to soak my knits. currently i am IN LOVE with eucalan's newest scent - wrapture. obsessed. i've been finding myself hunting around my condo looking for things to block in this lovely scent. in fact i had a handful of samples of wrapture and i'm almost all out. time to buy a big bottle :) think of it as shampoo/perfume for your hand knits. the magic potion to put that extra bit of va va voom to your hand knits! i also really like the brand SOAK as well. i recommend both for your hand knits.

strathcona by jane richmond
strathcona by jane richmond
so while i daydream of my knits soaked in wrapture i'll let you hear from the lovely jane richmond and her awesome tips on how to block your knitting! let's get soaking!

let's hear from jane....

Fairly recently Shannon had a blocking emergency. It was the day before a photo shoot and she realized she hadn't blocked her knitting so she immediately wet blocked it and laid it flat on her living room floor to dry. By 10 o'clock that night the garment was still damp. After a quick phone conversation, it was decided, I would come and rescue the knitting with the promise that I could have it dry by morning. I kept my word, the crisis was averted, and it got me thinking about putting together a tutorial on how I like to block my knitting. 

Ready? Here we go!

blocking your knitting with guest jane richmond #sskal

1) I fill the bathroom or kitchen sink (depending on size of knitted item) with tepid water and a no-rinse wool wash such as Eucalan or Soak.

blocking your knitting with guest jane richmond #sskal

2) I toss in my knitting and squish the soap suds through the fabric. 

blocking your knitting with guest jane richmond #sskal

3) I let it soak for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. 

blocking your knitting with guest jane richmond #sskal

...I always set a timer otherwise I forget all about it!

blocking your knitting with guest jane richmond #sskal

4) Then I drain the sink and squish out as much excess water as I can. It's important to squeeze only, DO NOT wring out your knitting!

blocking your knitting with guest jane richmond #sskal

5) I lay the item flat on a dry towel and roll or fold it up. If you are blocking a sweater or other large piece of knitting try to support the weight of the entire piece when transferring it from the sink to the towel, that way you won't stretch out the fabric accidentally as wool can get very heavy when it takes on water.

blocking your knitting with guest jane richmond #sskal

6) I jump around on the towel to squeeze most of the remaining water out of the knitting. I recommend doing this on laminate floor in your kitchen or bathroom otherwise you'll end up with a wet spot on your carpet!

blocking your knitting with guest jane richmond #sskal

7) Then I unroll the towel and bring my slightly damp knitting over to my blocking area. I've heard of people blocking directly on their carpet, on towels on their bed, on blocking mats, the possibilities are endless really and we as knitters are creative by nature. I like to use window screens which I set on top of my Costco drying rack, this way the entire piece can lay flat and still get air circulation from above and below. Pieces dry in a flash this way and if I have a very urgent deadline I'll set up a standing fan and it does the job in half the time! Just recently Chris and I put our heads together to make a custom drying screen for my knitting (as seen above), if you'd like to see how we made ours you can find the full tutorial on my blog

blocking your knitting with guest jane richmond #sskal

8) Once I've laid my piece out flat I use a measuring tape to ensure I am blocking to the intended measurements.

And that's that! Easy peasy.

Blocking is a great way to help your knitting look it's best. Even if a pattern does not require it as one of the finishing steps it's always nice to give your finished work a little soak to even out the stitches and allow the yarn to bloom and soften. 

Thanks for having me on your blog as part of the Summer Sweater Knit Along Shan! It's always a fun time dropping in on this wonderful space 

yay! thanks for stopping by hun! if you wake up tomorrow and that screen is gone you know it's at my house! lol!!!! wink wink... you can find all things jane richmond here:

what do you use to do your blocking? do you have a fave method or wash that you are loving? let's chat blocking!!!

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