Monday, August 20, 2012

The Case for Blocking

I'm about half way done with my second Kalajoki sock, and I though this would be a good time to show the difference between my first sock, which I've washed already, and the one in progress.  I think the photo below really demonstrates how much blocking can "fix" tension issues:


The first sock looked almost as bad before I washed it, although the second one is worse because I'm using yarn that had been knit and then frogged.  The finished sock has been through the washer and dryer once.

Most of the time, when I show knits in progress on this blog, they've been steam blocked before I photograph them.  I do this partly because I think knits photograph better when blocked, but also because it helps me see how the finished fabric will look.  So don't get the idea that I knit with perfect tension all the time!

10 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to see this photo! I have frogged yarn, which I then reused, desperately concerned about whether the curly yarn would relax into the stitches once blocked (it did with the merino blend yarn I was using). It's SO useful to see how a terrific and experienced knitter like you can knit a thing that looks all wonky until the miracle of blocking sorts it out. Of course, I suppose there's only so much blocking can do - and your tension is excellent to begin with - but this may give someone who's new to knitting the ability to relax a bit.

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    1. You're right - there's only so much blocking can do. Honestly, if I were making a sweater or dress with frogged yarn, I would go to the trouble of making it into hanks and soaking it, then letting it dry to get the kinks out. Especially on a heavier yarn than fingering weight.

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  2. That pattern in particular seems to bring out the bad tension in everyone, when I attempted my first pair, the tension was really strange as well. But you sure put that sock in it's place!

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    1. Interesting! We'll see how my second pair goes, with brand new yarn.

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  3. Oh man, I really needed to see this today. My tension has felt pretty wonky the last few days, and I've been worried about how Jef's sweater will come out. (Ocean of stockinette + getting used to Continental = OMGWTFLOL)

    Looking forward to seeing the finished socks!

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    1. Fingers crossed! I'm sure it will be fine!

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  4. Blocking is a miracle! I sometimes wish I could block my whole life, LOL!

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  5. I love blocking before and after pics! It's a miracllllle! :) I am presently blocking some gloves. No pinning though. They are just lying flat. Hope it gets the same result as your awesome picture! :)

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  6. I know some knitters who never block their FOs and I have no clue how that works!

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