A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.

Test for Patience

I love the look–the beauty–of stitches, the way yarn marries the knitted fabric.

 However, it is advisable to block the pieces.  The extra effort of blocking a jumper does pay off.  My time and work is worth it.   The finished garment will morph from handmade into holy cow, you made this?!

By blocking a knitwear, the stitches are allowed to bloom and become uniform.  Furthermore, I get to control the outcome by manipulating the fabric into the shape I choose (or in this case per pattern diagram specification,) guaranteeing a beautiful end result.   What once was lumpy and decidedly looked homemade will now be a beautifully even-stitched sweater that makes me proud to have produced my own hand knit.

So don’t knock it ‘til you block it!  In lace garment, it often takes more than one blocking.  This lacy body and hood are blocked separately, each twice, to arrive to my expectation.  It’s a shop sample and demands professional, high standard.  (As shown below, I tucked the garter-borders inside the hood for a smooth finish.)

I have heard knitters complained about their finished sweaters were too big.  Care for my advice?   Good.  Here they are:  1) When soaking is complete, remove the garment with care–do not let any part dangle–and gently squeeze water out.  Squeeze only, no wring.  2)  Lay the garment flat on two thick towels, then roll the towel in a tight roll.  Step on the towel to squeeze out and absorb as much water as possible.  3) Carefully shape, manipulate the stretchy wool, smooth and smoosh until you have the length/width you desire, and pin the sweater to pattern diagram and measurement.  4) In crunch time, safely speed up the drying by using an hairdryer.

Given good yarn, good workmanship, and good care, a knitted jumper will outlive its knitter, providing warmth and pleasure to several generations of family and friends. What is your favorite family treasure?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)


Comments on: "Test for Patience" (7)

  1. Sista ~ I have been out of the blogs for over a week, and see you’ve written a novel in my absense ! I”m off to play the FarmersMarket with John now, then some errands, but I will enjoy my afternoon tea with you later. AND I REALLY NEEDED TO READ THIS POST (as you know, I am born swatch&gauge challenged and nothing comes out as I want it…lol) xxxxJen
    ps. Oh… I am testknitting and test-inventing… and new ideas around my original idea are just bursting out of me. Still , you, nor anybody, gets to see a lick until I have it all ready to go, I’ve decided. 🙂 🙂 So sit tight superwoman ! xxx

    • Kid you not…I was just about to send you a Hello!!!!!!!! Have a blast at the market. By the time you get back, I will pm you with some news this afternoon, Sista 😀

      • Well now, I have been alone in the house with Emma my True Companion, and well, life is getting seriously surreal (DH is visiting his son’s family (he gets to spend time with wee grand-daughter too) in N.Carolina) for a whole week. SO I am jsut waititng for the rythm of daily interruptions to be out of my life for this one week, so I can see what brilliance surfaces. Working on my new design project… I keep changing everything around. But I am making progress. SOmetimes one can not see step number two until making the first step. Seeing the whole process ahead of me, at my rank beginner stage, is not an option. I’ts overwhelming to have to keep going into the dark closet and groping for ideas . I’ll come around .

      • I love it when my hubby is out of town. It’s like a mini-vacation for me…no specific schedule to keep, time to check in, wash my dishes as often as I’d like, cook whenever I feel like eating or skip it totally. Most of all, I can just leave my craft spread out on my bed from morning to night LOL Hope you enjoy every bit of your “Free” time and with Emma, my sista 😀

  2. […] After second blocking and fabric manipulation, I love the result.  PHEW!  Between you and I, it did give me a good scare…I hate the thought of ripping out the border and knit it over again.  For blocking tips, read my previous post here. […]

  3. Oh, thinking again about garment shaping. Intentional shaping is not as easy I have noticed, with certain fibers. Plant fibers specifically, need extra attention maybe to a tighter gauge? Gauge I am discovering ~ but only by mistakes ~ is paramount to the shape success of teh fabric. Gauge is the ultimate training biscuit for the fabric to behave :). Too loose, too tight… rebelious fabric. BAD sweater !!!

  4. Or let me qualify …. too tight or loose gauge, might then need to incorporate a different style of blocking or shaping of knit. It all plays into each other. I’m learning… I’m learning. Bowing down to the great mystery which is HOW they all work together. 🙂

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