Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Phildar Cardigan cont., or, somebody blocked me!

Over the weekend I took your advice and got up the gumption to block the Phildar cardigan. In water, even. I used my fabulous common sense skills and figured that if I ever wear this thing, I will eventually need to wash it, and so will have to wet block it at that point. So I went ahead and did a trial run.

(Thank you, by the way, for all the helpful comments last time!)

And I took pictures for your benefit. (This is just what I did for this piece. YMMV and all that. For a really good blocking tutorial, look here to the master.)

First I gathered all my tools.
blocking tools
Blocking wires purchased for this momentous occasion, yard stick with centimeter marks since this is a European pattern, measuring tape, lots of pins, thick towels, garbage bags and the pattern.

Then I set all of the pieces to soak in the sink with a little Eucalan for good measure.

Once the pieces were thoroughly wet I pinned each out one at a time. First I rolled them in the towels to get as much of the water out as possible. Then I inserted the blocking wires into the straight edges. Because of the ease provided by the ribbing, the pattern didn't call for waist shaping. This really saved me a lot of pins. And then I pinned out the shaped bits.

I know some people prefer to block on towels, but I think garbage bags on carpeted floor or a spare bed provide the best surface. Since towels absorb water, it seems that it would take twice as long to dry. But, hey, that's just me.

I like... blocking wires (39)

The most difficult part of the blocking was squishing the pieces down to the appropriate dimensions. Before they were blocked, the pieces were too narrow and too long. During the blocking I stretched them to the appropriate width, but had to prod and coax them down to the right length. But that's what blocking's for, right?

When the pieces were dry, I found that all my fears of flattened ribbing were unfounded. The ribbing sprung back nicely while still keeping the right size and shape. Hoorah!

Seaming and all other finishing duties have commenced, interrupted only by NaKniSweMo. With luck, there will be two sweaters finished chez Librarian Knits in November! Stay tuned.

Have a great week!