Block Party Revisited

After a few unexpected changes to our planned February meeting, Alexis swooped in to rescue the program for the night with her Block Party talk from December 2016. It turns out many of you hadn’t heard the talk already, so it was a perfect fit to share some new information with the group.

I’m not going to rewrite the lovely work Alexis already did in 2016 to recap her original talk, so click here to go straight to that blog post. There you will find comprehensive information about blocking, why you should do it (it makes your knitting look better!), and a handy set of blocking instructions to match to your blocking needs. No longer will you be left in the dark to figure out the best way to finish your piece when the pattern only tells you to “block”.

During the talk this time around, we had a full crowd in attendance, and some great tips and ideas were shared from the group. Here are some of my favourite “pro tips” from your fellow Yarn Club members:

  • Using a bed or couch or towel to block? That’s cool, but the moisture from your knitted item is going to soak into the surface it’s sitting on, which then causes the whole process to take even longer to dry. Solution: block on top of a garbage bag on the soft surface. Water can’t soak into it, so it only needs to evaporate out of the knitted item.
  • Skip the knitting-specific blocking boards and the price that goes along with them – buy a thin piece of upholstery foam and some 1″ grid/checkerboard fabric. Cover the foam with the fabric and you’ve got yourself a surface you can pin directly onto, with handy and easy to count squares for measuring.
  • Superwash on the label is not necessarily a green light to throw that knitted item in the washer and dryer. Treat your swatch the same way you’ll treat your finished item to be sure you’re OK with the results. Superwash wool might develop a bloom or fuzzy haze after coming out of the dryer (all those wee little fibres get loosened up in the dryer and sprout out). If you’re happier to have the easy washing care of the item and don’t care about the less-than-pristine look of the item over time, this might be a fine solution for you.
  • And I’ll add in my own tip that I forgot to mention at the meeting. If you’re wet blocking, rather than using towels to soak the excess water out of the item, get a dedicated salad spinner for your knitted items. I bought one that I use only for my knits, it lives in my laundry room, and it’s great for getting extra water out if I don’t have a towel handy.

Happy knitting,


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