before i show the scarf i was working on prior to the holidays, i want to share what it looked like pre-blocking (blocking is wetting, shaping, and allowing a knit item to dry in order to hold its shape. i’ve written about how i block here and here.).
you can sometimes get away with not blocking, depending on the project and type of yarn you use. but lace weight baby alpaca on 2 mm needles? nope, blocking makes all the difference. unless you’re ok wearing a crumpled up scarf like this :)
to block, i placed it in a bowl of warm water with a mild detergent. washing the garment with soap isn’t necessary, you could just soak it in water, or even spritz it with water from a spray bottle. but i had been knitting this scarf over time, and because it was a gift, i wanted it to be clean.
i let it soak for about 30 minutes. time flies when you’re daydreaming about what pretty pyrex you might acquire next…
i sloshed it around gently (agitating wool too much can lead to felting) and rinsed it. i used my salad spinner to get rid of the excess water. again, wringing it is not recommended.
i laid it out on my ironing board, pinned parts of it down to hold its shape, and waited impatiently for about a day and half until it was completely dry.
that’s the most action my ironing board has seen in a long time.
i know it may sound like a lot of steps, but completely worth it.
the pattern really stands out after blocking. here is a pattern repeat before…
alright, that’s not completely fair. the before photo is akin to the “before”s on those weight loss sites (you know, where the poor person has no make up, is under harsh lighting and is told to think self-depracating thoughts and just “let it all hang out!”).
but you get the gist. i love the after…
and how the light passes through it.
and for all my complaining about lace weight knitting and how the project seemed to creep along so slowly? well… i think it has grown on me.
i have another lace weight project on the needles right now.