Monday, March 17, 2008

To Block, or Not to Block?! Is there any question?

Here is my finished Hemlock Ring Blanket. I washed and blocked it 2 nights ago. I use the term "blocked" lightly. I am not a huge fan of blocking. Oh, I recognize the value; especially with lace. And I appreciate how it makes your stitches "snap to attention" and behave a little better. I like the way it flattens out the edges, making seaming things together much easier. I heartily suggest blocking to my customers and students. It's just that, quite honestly, it's not my favorite thing to do. I don't even own an official blocking board or t-pins (I can hear the moans and screams now).

So when I say that I blocked my lovely Hemlock Ring Blanket, I mean that after washing it I layed it out on the kitchen counter/bar, smoothed it out with my hands, and stretched it all around (with the help of my wonderful assistant, Brad), and then let it dry. That little bit of effort changed the original wavy, bumpy lump of wool into a very nice thing.

I confess this to you, not so that you think that I'm a horrible knitter; but so that you won't be afraid of blocking. It doesn't necessarily have to be a huge, intimidating production. It has value, it's often the "right" thing to do. But just remember...YOU are the boss of your knitting. Don't let any stitch, technique, fellow knitter, etc, scare you. You are in charge and you are a good knitter; even if you choose not to block.

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