Friday, June 27, 2014

How to Wet Block your Knitting

How to Wet Block your Knitting

Simple blocking of knitting evens your work.

Blocking your knitting may sound scary or foreign but the fact is it can make your project sing!  It will make the stitches even out and open lace wok and cables nicely.

"Even the professionals block"

There are ways to steam knitting that can kill synthetic yarns but wet blocking is perfect for all types of yarn, is cheap and simple.

The following I had previously blogged on another post for my mitered picot lovey.  You can find the original patterns for the layette set at this link (click here) but I wanted to give blocking its own blog.  Thanks for reading.  Be sure to subscribe and comment below.  Thanks! -Kristen

Blocking instructions:
I suggest a wet block approach.  This is safe for all types of yarn.
If you have a machine washable fiber you can run it through the wash on gentle then follow pinning instructions below.  If a natural fiber or delicate stitches like lace, wash by hand with a recommended mild detergent then follow pinning instructions below.

Washing Instructions:
I prefer washing by hand in my plastic basin with a product called Soak. This detergent is formulated to not need rinsing. Mix with one tsp of detergent to 1 gallon of water.  Use spring or filtered tap. Mix up with your hand in a clean sink or basin. Place knitting in and let soak in for 15 minutes. Gently squeeze the water out or place in a dry white towel and roll.  Knitting will be damp.

(I originally bought my blocking set with tub and "Soak" on Craftsy. click here but I'm not affiliated with them, I just love the product.)

Pinning Instructions:
Blocking Board(s) or clean kids play-mats
T-pins that are rust-resistant.  These are reusable.

Lay knitting on blocking board and pin the corners evenly with 1 pin in each corner.  On one side start pinning behind each picot to have a nice straight line. Adjust corner pins as necessary.  Repeat for adjacent side and work your way to the corner opposite your first starting pin.  Try to match the sizing pinned from the first side. Now skip the adjacent side and go to the side opposite of the 2nd side you pinned.  After pinning behind each picot  Adjust the criers as needed and complete the last side.

Leave knitting until it is dry.  Be sure to place in a well ventilated area with good air circulation.

Happy Knitting!

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

5 Things About Knitting You May Not Have Known

5 Things About Knitting You May Not Have Known

Guest blog By Kath

Knitting, once associated with only older people used to making their own clothes and embarrassing jumpers made by well-meaning Grandmas, is on the up.  Crafts are increasingly popular amongst the young, and sewing and knitting your own clothes in a struggling economy is now not only sensible but also seen as a great way of making your clothes unique to you.

Are you thinking about taking up knitting and are curious to know more?  Here are 5 things about knitting you may not have known.

• The number of celebrities that have taken up knitting.  There are some celebrities that you might associate with knitting but there is a wide range of glamorous women that look to work their needles.  This includes Uma Therman, Debra Messing, Scarlet Johansson, Sarah Jessica Parker and supermodel Kate Moss.

• How old knitting is.  The earliest examples of knitting have been found in Egypt and include a wide range of items, including indigo blue and white cotton stockings, which have been dated between the 11th and 14th centuries CE.

• How important the kind of yarn you use is to the finished product.  Patterns will often come measured in stitches as opposed to being measured by size. This means that the kind of knitting yarns you use could mean the difference between it being fit for purpose or not.  Make sure that you choose the weight that they suggest to avoid problems in the future.  There are around 6 standard weights; super fine, fine, light, medium, bulky and super bulky.

• How important the needle you use is.  This is for the same reason as the kind of yarn you use is important.  Bigger needles do bigger stitches.  This doesn't mean you need a load of needles, you can just buy them as you need them, or there are a lot of starter kits out there that give you a range of needles in the most commonly used sizes.

• Knitting is for more than just clothes.  There are even some people allergic to wool, so if you enjoy knitting this doesn't mean that you have to get used to the idea of wearing wool if you don't want to or sending knitted clothes to anyone you know.  There are crafts you can do; household items, decorations etc.  These are also good for novices and those that only know a limited number of stitches.  They are also good for those looking to learn new stitches.

If you'd like to know more about knitting there are loads of websites and books dedicated to this up and coming craft, so you can make the most of and develop your skills to become a proficient knitter.

If you you'd like to try knitting check out this beginner video series!

(Editor notes by Kristen Mangus.  Welcome Kath to our GoodKnit Kisses blog! Kath comes to us from the UK.  By the way a jumper mean "sweater" in America if that bit confused anyone. We hope you enjoyed her and check our her regular blog site by clicking her name.)

What are your thoughts on Knitting?  Tell us your knitting experiences!  
Comment below, share and subscribe.  Much knitty love to you!

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