Wednesday, April 20, 2011

B is for blocking

As the daughter of an extremely talented knitter, I have been blessed with instant access to all kinds of knitting help and advice.

Like most motherly advice, a lot of it goes in one ear and out the other. Things like - "You should really learn to read a pattern before you start modifying it" and "Are you sure you don't want me to tink back for you so you can fix that glaring mistake?"

Lots of it, I should have listened to - such as "Stockinette stitch + thin yarn+ big needles = stretchy mess." (My first sweater - still in the closet - I'm going to felt it and make Peno a cat blanket) or "Alpaca has no memory, it's just going to keep growing" (Dave's sweater with the amazing growing neck-hole).

Others bits I have actually heeded (mostly after the results of the above sunk in). One of those bits is blocking. And the wisdom of this advice is no where more apparent that with lace:The right side has been blocked - the left side has not. Blocking can do so many things - even out stitches, emphasize stitch definition, and, as above, bring out the true beauty of a lace pattern.

Even blocking non-lace is a good idea. It makes edges lie flat for sewing, and just helps everything sit just so.

About the only thing I don't block is socks - they can block on my feet as I wear them.

Oh, another bit of motherly advice I have a tendency to ignore:
"Don't leave WIPs where the cats can get them.""You mean you didn't make it just for me???? But I am an 'Aristocat' after all!!!"


Minding My Own Stitches said...

It must be hard for Moms to have to watch their daughters learn by experience instead of following their advice.

Tania said...

Oh... look at Peno! She looks so happy! What a pretty girl.

Phyl said...

She LOVES that shawl, and I think it was so nice of you to knit it for her!

Lost City Denise said...

Every cat needs a lace shawl, didn't your mother tell you that?
Gorgeous shawl!

kathy b said...

So kitty. so typical. Love the motherly advice.........

Delusional Knitter said...

Gotta love Peno! I was amazed when I blocked my Ishbel, I knew about blocking, but to see it in front of my eyes, after knitting a distorted mess of yarn, to see a shawl emerge was amazing!!

Alisha said...

kitty needs her own shawl!

she thinks you need to drop everything and make her one!