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!)