Transcript: Mythical Makers Episode 6: Blocking Myths and Methods

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Babs Rudlin: Hi there, and welcome to the Mythical Makers podcast! These are weekly ramblings from myself, Babs Rudlin, Fiery Phoenix and…
Karen Moffett: I’m Karen Moffett, Mama Dragon.
(short musical clip)
 Karen: Welcome to Episode Six of Mythical Makers Podcast. Today we’re gonna be talking about blocking, and why you do it, and how you do it, and whether you should ever skip it.
Babs: But before we get there, what’s on your needles, Karen?
Karen: Today I’m going to be casting on a pair of socks to test for Babs!
Babs: Yay! And this week, I don’t actually have socks on my needles, which is a shock, but I don’t.
Karen: (gasps) Yeah, that’s not ok! Like, you’re challenging my entire worldview! (both laugh)
Babs: Well, I’m challenging your worldview for good reason. I’m actually knitting up some gauntlets for the um, the Get Your Tits Out Initiative. [link below]
Karen: You’re gonna share a picture of those!
Babs: We definitely are. On the first of July, this pattern will come out, and along with the accompanying colorway, ah, from Giddy Aunt Yarns [link below], and um, with nobody in the Collective is actually releasing anything until the first of July, and then BOOM! It will be released upon the world, en masse. I think there’s over two hundred people taking part at the moment, I think, at the last count.
Karen: Wow!
Babs: It’s really cool. Um, there’s gonna be…
Karen: That’s awesome!
Babs: We’re gonna be recording some um, podcast and videos, um, interviewing other people who are taking part in the collective, so they will come out around the first of July, ah, so that people actually understand what we’re doing, and why and how, and why different people feel affected by it. So, I’ll put a link below this, this podcast, so people understand, or if they want to find out more, they can. That’s what’s on our needles, but when we finish creating something on our needles, or our hooks, then we’re supposed to block it. And some people never, ever block, <harsh intake of breath>, some people block everything, some people don’t know how to block, some people block to death, some people barely block, um, and there are some people who are confused by the amount of times I’ve just said “block” in the last sentence, because they don’t even know what I mean by blocking. (Karen laughs) So, do you want to start with your, with your amazing explanations of what things are, Karen? And then we can talk about the different ways that you can and whether we think you should, and why and so forth.
Karen: Well, blocking, there are, there can be a lot of different techniques for blocking. Sometimes it depends on what yarn, what your yarn content is, um, what the fiber content is, how you would treat it, and sometimes it depends on what type of project it is. You know, whether it’s a scarf or a hat or a, a garment. Um, but, for the most part, blocking is meant to get your stitches straightened out, get them all regular, so that if you have, you know, a few slightly larger stitches and a few slightly smaller stitches, it kind of evens those stitches out, so they’re, you know, closer to the same size. So if you’re not a very consistent knitter, you know, like we were talking about in the last episode, um, with your gauge, if you’re not super consistent about the size of your stitches, blocking will help to even that out a bit. Um, but also, if you are doing a lace project, blocking is just magical. Because it opens up the stitches, it, it spreads things out, so that you can see all the little openings and crossings, and knit twos together and all of that kind of stuff that creates the lace fabric, and it helps to really allow you to see the pattern of the lace.
Babs: It is. I’ve got um, I’ve got a few videos showing how I um, how I block, and the magic of blocking. So why I block. And, until you have ever gone through the blocking process, you’re not gonna understand why people refer to it as magical. And it truly is. You go from a small bit of something that you’ve created…
Karen: …and all lumpy and weird looking…
Babs: Exactly. Especially if it’s lace. To something that is just stunning. And it looks so professional. Um, it looks like you’ve bought it in a store, it looks like it could be a piece of artwork. I mean, blocking photos, have a look on Pinterest. Um, take a look, just because, even the blocked item looks beautiful, and then when you take all those pins and wires out, you’ve just got this flowing, gorgeous piece of fabric that will retain its shape and its beauty, and it’s something, it truly is, magical is not an understatement, when you go through that process. (Karen chuckles) You know, the before and after photos…
Karen: Yeah.
Babs: …of blocked items, are amazing. Um, so I strongly advise people to go through it…
Karen: Especially with lace.
Babs: Yeah. Of course, you have to be very careful with, but again, you can still open up a cable, when it’s blocked, so that you can actually see the intricate weaving, interweaving effect of, of cabling. You can see that really cleanly. But you’ve gotta be very, very careful with how you block, so you’re not squishing that cable texture flat. You still want to have that, that texture there. You don’t want to stretch it too much. So do you want to explain how somebody actually blocks? Or at least the first traditional way, with the sort of dunking and washing and squishing. How somebody would, would block wool, for example.
Karen: Okay. Well, wool, um, wool is a little bit easier. It takes a little bit longer maybe, but it’s easier to block than acrylic is. Um, because with wool, all you have to do is get it wet, a lot of times you’ll soak it, to make sure that it, that all of the fiber gets, gets good and wet, and then you um, squash it out, roll it up in a towel, try to get as much water out as you can, so that it doesn’t take as long to dry, and then you’ll pin it out into the shape and size that you need it to be. So, you know, like in the last episode when we were talking about blocking [swatching], you might just be working with a small square. And so you wanna make sure that your sides of your square are straight, and your corners are, you know, ninety degrees, so that you’re not, you know, blocking a parallelogram. (laughs)
Babs: Yes, you don’t want that.
Karen: Because that’s, that’s not what you want. Um, because that’s gonna mess up your gauge, and that’s, like we were saying, that’s really important, especially if you’re working on a garment, something that needs to be fitted. Um, so you just, you just pin it out into the shape and size that it’s supposed to be.
Babs: Yep.
Karen: If you’re blocking a piece of acrylic, it’s going to need to be steam blocked. And if you are lucky enough to have a steamer, um, which I highly recommend, you can get some relatively inexpensive ones, so if you work with acrylic a lot, it’s totally worth it, to get, to get yourself a small handheld steamer.
Babs: Where I’m based in the UK, we generally don’t have enough sun to be able to have a long, um, a long water blocking season. Um, and it just takes a lifetime for anything to dry, and it’s, it’s murky and it’s foggy and yuck and it doesn’t dry. So I tend to steam block the majority of my stuff. Unless it’s the summer, in which case it all goes outside in the back garden, and just dries within seconds, because the sun actually works for maybe two weeks out of the year. Um, but other than that, I do a lot of steam blocking, so I’ll definitely put some links in to the steam block, the steamer gun that I use.
Karen: Uh huh. Yeah, I love my steamer. I actually do steam block most of my stuff too. So, the wool you can get away with the wet blocking, the acrylic requires steaming. But the wool can also be steam blocked. Yeah. And then when you’re working with mixed fabrics, when you’re working with mixed fiber content, it just depends on the fiber that you’re working with. You know, how much, what a percentage it is, and whether or not it requires steaming.
Babs: And do not use an iron and then press your, your…
Karen: Right! I was starting to say that. You can use the steam on your iron. Um, but you do not touch the iron to the fabric. Especially if it’s acrylic, because it will melt it, to your iron, and that is definitely not what you want. Um, but also, it can flatten the stitches out, like you were saying with cables, it could do, and it’s more or less permanent, so you don’t want to do that. It’s not really something that you can undo.
Babs: No, and if you are…
Karen: So you have to be extra, extra careful.
Babs: If you’re really unlucky and you’ve got an acrylic, you can just burn straight through that, and it’ll just melt away, if you use an iron and just touch onto it, you can just have a massive, melted mess in the middle of your, your piece. So you really don’t want to be using an iron if you can avoid it at all. And you certainly don’t wanna be pressing, even if you’ve got something in between. If you’ve got some paper in between, wax paper or something, that’s not gonna be enough to protect the um, the texture of the stitches that you’ve created. So you will just squish them flat. One of the things that mum does when we go round um, shops to look at jumpers, she’s like, “No, that’s been pressed to death. No, that’s been pressed to death.” She won’t buy it if it’s been crushed during its blocking process. She just refuses point blank to buy it. Um so, that’s her rule, that’s fine, you don’t argue with your mum. (both laugh)
Karen: But yeah, the steamer is totally worth the investment, um, I think I paid maybe thirty or forty dollars for mine. Um, and it’s got a nice sized reservoir, so I’m not constantly refilling the water while I’m working on…because a lot of times, I’m doing something big, like a, a shawl, the shawl-blocking frame that I have, there’s a tutorial, I think it’s a Knit Picks tutorial, um, for how to build that frame. And it’s very, very simple and straightforward, but it is the bomb when you are trying to pin out a large shawl. Um, a lot of people I know will, will use their guest bedroom bed, or something like that so that it can be, you know, out of the way, because like you said sometimes it’ll take quite a while to dry, um, but I love my shawl-blocking frame. It was totally worth the time that it took to build it, and um, I use it every time that I do a big shawl.
Babs: Awesome! Oh, can you send us over a photo, as well?
Karen: Oh, yeah! Yeah, yeah, I’ve got a few pictures of, of uh, shawls on the frame.
Babs: That’s cool. That will be great. Um, that was the other thing that leads into my next question, which is the stuff that you need to be able to block. I know that you can buy blocking pads, which are sort of foam pads…
Karen: Mmmhmm.
Babs: …but I have to say that I went to a second hand, I went to a charity store, a second-hand shop, and um, I got some kids’ playmats, and they’ve got letters and numbers that can sort of pop out of the midle, which is a little bit irritating from time to time, ‘cause they pop out when you don’t really want them to, but they work perfectly, so I, I’ve got twenty-six, thirty, well, thirty-six of these squares, because obviously there’s the full alphabet, and then zero to nine. Um, so I’ve got quite a large selection of these, which you can, they’re like jigsaw squares, so you can just mix and match them to make the shape that you need for the item that you’re, you’re blocking. And then you can put your pins in it quite happily, without it just stabbing through into the floor or bed, sofa, or tabletop, wherever you happen to be pinning, or blocking. So, so that’s what I, I’ve used. Um, and I use any pins that I can get my hands on. Now that’s not smart, because then it ends up really hurting my fingers when I’m taking them out. Putting them in is fine, but taking them out can really hurt my fingers. Um, and then you can also get those uh, those blocks that have like three or five pins built in to them, so they’ve got a sort of rectangular head at the top…
Karen: Yeah.
Babs: …and then there’s multiple pins, so you can put lots of pins in place in one go if you need a straight line. See, I’ve never used a blocking wire, but I’ve heard lots of good things about blocking wires for creating a lovely curve on a shawl?
Karen: I do like my blocking wires. Mmmhmm. They’re good, yeah, exactly, they’re good for when you’re doing a big shawl.
Babs: Mmmhmm.
Karen: And you want that edge to be kind of, um, very regular. Even if it’s got the points, you know, you can just put the wire through the points, and then uh, all those points will be coming out at the same distance from, from the edging. Um, whereas when you’re doing an individual pin per point…
Babs: Yeah.
Karen: …sometimes one point will be really long, and one point will be kinda short, and you know, they’ll not be really consistent.
Babs: Yeah.
Karen: So the blocking wires make it a lot easier to be consistent that way.
Babs: Excellent. So I was gonna say, I’ve never used blocking wires. I’ve looked at them, longingly sometimes, (both giggle) but I’ve never actually…I’m creating a very long list of things to buy and test, and review. (laughs)
Karen: Well, I got, the one I got, I actually got um, one of those, it’s a twenty-five foot wire, and then I cut it down into a couple of eight-foot lengths and I think there’s a five-foot length, and you know, um, to make it more manageable to use. And I figured, chances are I’m not gonna get a shawl that’s gonna have an edge that’s longer than eight feet. (laughs)
Babs: Ah, you never know!
Karen: You never know! I do, I like big shawls. I feel like, um, you know, if it’s not a portable blanket, it’s not really a shawl, it’s a scarf. (laughs)
Babs: Yeah, I’m old fashioned. I feel that way. Unless you can really wrap yourself up in it properly…
Karen: There ya go. Yeah, I agree.
Babs: You know, I think, oh, it’s gonna be really big! (disappointed tone) Oh, it’s not that big. It’s nice! It’s lovely to go under a jacket, it’s perfect to go under a jacket, but it’s not gonna keep me warm in winter when you’re at home.
Karen: Yeah.
Babs: But that’s just my opinion of a shawl.
Karen: So we’ve talked, we’ve talked a lot about lace, and so, lace, when you pin it out, you’re going to stretch it. And so your project is gonna get considerably larger when you, when you block it. Especially if there’s a lot of lace, or if it’s really open, intricate lace. Um, if it’s smaller, you know, if it’s just got small lace sections in it, it’s not gonna be as dramatic of a size change.
Babs: I was gonna say, so when the designer has a, a ‘block lightly’ instruction, or a ‘block harshly’ instruction, that’s when they’re saying, you’ll make this like, really big, for a ‘ harsh block’ instruction. Whereas a light, a ‘light blocking’ instruction is just neaten up the, neaten up the edges. So that everything looks good. As against, you know, we’re gonna make this baby grow. That, that’s a ‘harsh’ instruction.
Karen: Right.
Babs: The growth ones. ‘Block harshly,’ I’ve seen, or ‘block firmly.’
Karen: Mmmhmm. So some articles, like, occasionally you’ll do a hat or something, and you may just need to get it wet and lay it out flat. Um…
Babs: Mmmhmm.
Karen: …because you’re, like I said, you’re really just trying to get those stitches to even up. To get things straightened out, and you know, the smaller stitches and the larger stitches to kinda get evened. Um, so that’s one of those ‘block lightly’ instructions. You don’t wanna stretch it and warp it and, you know, get it to be a hat big enough for an elephant. (laughs) That’s not the goal.
Babs: Definitely not!
Karen: But a lot of times, like you said, (laughs) yeah, that’s really not the goal. Um, a lot of times the, the uh, designer will say, ‘block lightly,’ and that means just lay it out flat, or maybe, maybe pin the edges, but don’t really stretch it when you’re pinning it out.
Babs: Yeah.
Karen: Rather than when you’re doing lace, you’re gonna do a lot of stretching.
Babs: Yeah, I have a hat um, the um, the secret, ooh, what did I call it? I think you tested it for me, it’s the, the hat that’s knit sideways, rather than top down or bottom up.
Karen: Oh, with the x’s and o’s? Yeah, the Secret Love Beanie, or something like that.
Babs: That’s it. Secret Love Beanie. Um, which is yet to be released, because that, that’s an autumn release, but um, it, it definitely needs light touch when blocking. If at all.
Karen: Very, very light.
Babs: If at all, because with the construction, it’ll just suddenly go, whoomp, and it really will fit an elephant. Um, so you just need to be very gentle when you block that one, whereas, as you said, a lace um, shawl, you want to make as open and large as possible, so you can really see those beautiful lace stitches being defined.
Karen: Mmmhmm.
Babs: So yeah. (laughs) It’s important that you take the right touch. And you don’t just automatically push it for the biggest thing that you can possibly find. And when they give you specific sizes, so that you need to make sure that the sleeve at the joining portion is six inches, then you block it to be six inches. So you measure out, and you pin it at six inches, and then you block it. As against, you just stretch it out to look a close approximation of the correct shape. You’re not creating a shape when you’re blocking a garment, you’re creating the finished size pieces, so that they will all stitch together properly, so that the seams will work and align.
Karen: Mmmhmm.
Babs: Um, and if you make a mistake, then that’s really hard to recover from. So when you block a garment, if you’ve got five pieces that need to be sewn together, if you’ve got a, a collar piece, a front, a back, and two arms. And you, if you overstretch the collar, and everything else is, is perfect, then you’re gonna have, you won’t be able to fit that collar, that neck piece, to the rest of, of the garment. And likewise, if you have one arm that you’ve made really long, and one arm that you’ve made really wide, um, it’s gonna look really weird.
Karen: Mmmhmm.
Babs: So you need to pay close attention when you’re blocking a garment in a different way, than when you’re blocking um, a single-piece item. So again, it’s not just follow whether it’s a hard block…
Karen: Those edges where the seams go together.
Babs: Yeah. They need to match. They need to be the same size. When you’ve, when you’ve blocked them.
Karen: Although I, I’m not a fan of seaming. So for the most part, I’m gonna try to, to choose a pattern that doesn’t (laughing) require a lot of seaming.
Babs: Yeah.
Karen: And that’s just me. That’s just me. Some people don’t, don’t mind doing that. But I do not like to have to put pieces together.
Babs: Oh don’t, don’t shoot me for this, but what I used to do was I would make um, anything that had a seam, I’d make it slightly larger or wider, I’d make it in the next size up basically, and then I would serge the seams. (dramatic gasp)
Karen: (mimics dramatic gasp, both laugh) Yep. I have a serger too. I haven’t ever serged a knitted piece together though.
Babs: Oh no. Serging knitted items together is amazing. And you get the most beautiful seams. Because I used to upcycle a lot of old jumpers and sweaters. I’d go to a charity shop and get a load of really gorgeous wool things, and I’d, I’d make pixie coats and dresses and skirts and hats and all sorts. Um, and a serger is perfect for that, and you get the most beautiful seams, and you can hide them or you can make them external, and you know, you can do all sorts of gorgeous things with color. But, if you’re hand-knitting something, then I’d prefer to just make it a seamless thing, than mess about with seams, because it’s one of those blind spots; I can’t seam neatly. I really can’t. I just can’t.
Karen: I’m not any good at it either. I think that’s why I hate it so much, ‘cause it doesn’t look nice.
Babs: It looks so lumpy and horrible, which is why I would rather make it a size bigger and then serge, serge them together rather than…which is horrendous, and I’m sure people who are listening to this across the world will be…thinking terrible things about me. (laughs wryly) (Karen laughs) I hand knit something beautiful, and then (in a mock vicious voice) cut the edges off and sew it on a machine. So yeah, I’d rather, I’d rather just knit it as a, as a seamless item.
Karen: That was actually one of the things that I first started altering, when I was making that Noah’s Ark set? Almost all of those animals are knit flat and seamed.
Babs: Mmmhmm.
Karen: And uh, that was the first time I started altering patterns, was to knit them in the round. (laughs) So that I didn’t have to seam them together.
Babs: Well, the other thing is, I do like a crochet seam. So I can, I can seam things together, with a variety of different crochet effects, I just can’t sew them with a needle. Which considering that I can sew with a needle, is mental. I just can’t sew with a needle on a jumper. I, I don’t know why.
Karen: On knitwear.
Babs: On knitwear, I can’t. I, I don’t know why.
Karen: I had the same problem. I was really excited when I finally really grasped how to do a good Kitchener seam, though.
Babs: Yes. Kitchener. I do like a Kitchener seam. People look at me askance, it’s like, “Really? Are you mad?” But I, I think they look beautiful!
Karen: Like, everybody hates that! (laughs)
Babs: It’s like, “You fool!” and it’s like, no, I can do that one. That one I can do! I can do it plain, I can do it knit and purl, I can do it either way, it’s like, “Yeah! I can, I can Kitchener, I love it!” (laughs)
Karen: Yeah. Yep, yep. Um, one of the things we were talking about earlier, when we were discussing whether to block lightly or, or block harshly, I’ve released a couple of illusion knit patterns.
Babs: Yep.
Karen: And those are, for illusion knit it is extra important that you block, but you do need to block lightly. Um, you really need to block, you can’t skip it, because you want all of those rows, all of the stripes to be lined up neatly. And that’s not gonna happen until you block your project.
Babs: Yeah.
Karen: But you don’t want to do a lot of stretching, you want to make sure that everything’s, the lines are straight across, um, and the rows are straight up and down, um, so that your image is gonna show up properly. You don’t wanna distort the image by, by stretching it too much.
Babs: Mmmhmm.
Karen: So that’s definitely a, a ‘block lightly’ kind of project, but it’s not a ‘skip the blocking because you don’t want to, to stretch it out.’
Babs: And, and the other thing, which leads on to what we were talking about a couple of weeks ago in the testing um, podcast, is when you’re test knitting for someone else, the designer will want you to block, because then the finished piece will not look lumpy-bumpy; your finished piece will look as it’s intended to look. Um, so…
Karen: Yeah. Yeah.
Babs: …if you are a test knitter, please expect that you will have to block something, because that is just part of the process.
Karen: Yeah. It’s not something you need to skip.
Babs: No. (both laugh) Absolutely not. And apart from anything else…
Karen: Because like, you know, we talked about um, maybe using pictures of, from your test knitters, you know, asking your test knitters, hey, can I share this on social media while we’re working on it, or as we release the pattern, or whatever, um, but those pictures, you want those pictures to look nice. And when somebody goes to the project page, or, to the pattern page, and they see the projects that are linked to that pattern, and they see that some of them are test knits, um, they’re gonna want that to look like the sample that the designer knitted up.
Babs: Yeah.
Karen: And so if you, if you look at the pictures, you can tell, you know, you can really tell, the ones that didn’t get blocked.
Babs: Absolutely.
Karen: Um, ‘cause they just don’t look as nice. Yeah.
Babs: No.
Karen: It looks, it looks like, it just looks shoddy. Um, whereas when you, when you block it out, then it looks nice and professional.
Babs: Yeah. No, it’s true. Again, if you’ve never blocked, you won’t understand the difference between a before and after blocking item. Um, I strongly advise you to, to try it. If you’ve never tried it before, give it a go, and see the magic happen for yourself. And then take a decision about whether you block or not. Don’t just say, “I’ve never blocked, I don’t need to, therefore I won’t even try it.” Just give it a try, and see what you think after you’ve tried it. For one piece. For one scarf. For one shawl. It’s not gonna hurt you to try to block. You can use pins that…
Karen: Now, how ‘bout socks?
Babs: (pause) Socks I don’t block. Because when you…
Karen: (laughing) I was just gonna say, I don’t block my socks, either!
Babs: You block them by putting them on your feet! I mean…
Karen: Exactly! I totally agree! Now I know um, some people, some people have those really fancy blocking forms, and there’s some really pretty, the wooden ones with the, the cutouts and everything, some really pretty ones. Um, but yeah, I agree, you just, you block it by putting it on your foot. (giggles)
Babs: I, I…
Karen: And you know you’re gonna wash it, constantly, so…
Babs: Yeah, it’s gonna be washed a lot. Well, hopefully it will be washed a lot. (both laugh) I, I have sock blockers, but they are for foot photographs. They are not because I need to block a sock to wear it.
Karen: Yes.
Babs: They’re because I design socks, and I want to sell socks, and I want them to look nice in the photographs for the pattern. And I don’t always want to be putting them on my feet, and photographing my feet all the time, because it’s really, really difficult to photograph your own feet. Um…
Karen: It is!
Babs: It’s remarkably difficult, in fact! Even if you set a camera up and it’s on timer, it’s ridiculously difficult. So having some sort of sock form, or a sock blocker is, is much more helpful. Um, but, if you are knitting for yourself, and you don’t want to have beautiful photographs going out to the world because you don’t need to, then just don’t worry about it. Um, whack ‘em on your feet, and use them, and enjoy them, and be happy with them, rather than having to block them each time you block them, that’s just, that’s just crazy talk!
Karen: If you, when you wash a wool project, or a project that is mostly wool, um, every time you wash it, it’s going to kind shrink back down, especially the lace, is gonna shrink back down, and you’ll need to block it out again, in order to get that to open back up again. Um, but if you steam block a, an acrylic piece, it’s pretty, those pieces are pretty locked in place, with the heat. And so after that point, even when you wash it again, for the most part those acrylic pieces are not going to have to be re-blocked.
 Babs: Yeah.
Karen: And again, you know, if you’ve got mixed content, you’ll just have to kind of experiment with it, um, but for the most part those acrylic pieces are not going to have to be blocked every time you wash them. But a wool piece probably is.
Babs: And there are people who say, “Well why would I block? I don’t want to have to do this each and every time I wash my wool sweater.” But it’s no different to buying a wool item. If you buy a wool item, the care instructions will say, “Wash gently. Hand wash. Wash gently. And then lay flat to dry.”
Karen: “Lay flat to dry.” Mmmhmm.
Babs: They’re not gonna say, “Stick it into a tumble dryer and turn it into tiny felted piece.” They’re not gonna say, “Hang it on a washing line and have it stretch out of shape.” Because, you know, that’s what gravity does if you hang it on a washing line. A wet jumper will just stretch down and have pointy bits wherever the, wherever you’ve put your pins. (both laugh)
Karen: And then you’ll have nice little pointy bits on your shoulders!
Babs: They could be on your shoulders, they could be along your bottom hem, I mean, you know, it could be an effect you’re going for. But you’re, that’s when you’re blocking without thinking about blocking. You and gravity have blocked the jumper, and now you hate it. So you know, that’s no different to a hand crafted, hand knitted sweater, than if you’ve bought a wool sweater.
Karen: Yeah.
Babs: Um, you still have to treat them carefully. So when I hear people say, “Well, I don’t block because I don’t want to have to go through that palava each and every time I wash it.” Well, you do whether you’ve hand knit it or whether you’ve bought it, if it’s a wool item, if it’s natural fiber, then you’re gonna have to go through that process, because you can’t melt it into shape.
Karen: Yeah.
Babs: Um, it’s just part and parcel of, of caring for a um, a woolen or a natural fiber. You know, you’d wanna take care of it.
Karen: And that, that “Lay flat to dry” really is a, a very mild form of blocking. I mean, you’re laying it out, and getting, getting the sleeves arranged in the, in the pattern that they’re supposed to be arranged in, and, you know…
Babs: Absolutely.
Karen: …making sure it’s not stretched one direction and not the other, or something like that. Um, so that’s, that’s “gently blocking.” Laying flat to dry is gently blocking.
Babs: Absolutely. So I think people do that without even realizing that they’re doing it.
Karen: Yeah. Yeah. So there, that’s part of our definition of blocking. (both laugh)
Babs: Your day-to-day laundry is part of blocking.
Karen: There ya go.
Links mentioned in the episode

Note: these may be affiliate links, some are not.  Either way there is no cost to you for clicking.

Karen’s favorite steamer : PurSteam 220 ml capacity

Knitting ‘T’ pins

Knit Picks Blocking Frame Tutorial

Lacis Blocking Wire (Karen cut hers into two five-foot lengths, a seven-foot, and an eight-foot)

Please leave your feedback and comments so more yarn enthusiasts will be able to find the podcast.


Bye for now,

Babs    &  Karen 


Intro and outro music by Agenda 23 provided under creative commons sharealike license



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