Knit Meter

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Difference Blocking Makes

I am going to show two projects before and after blocking so that you can see the difference blocking makes to a garment. One is a finished item and the other is a work in progress.

The main reasons to block are:- to open out the stitches (in a lace pattern); to set the stitches (you hear people say the stitches will even out after blocking); to prepare the edges for seaming or picking up stitches. There are a number of reasons why knitters (crocheters) do not block:- like the item as is; do not have time; do not have space; don’t know how; and the big one – worried you won’t like the end result.

When people hear the word blocking in relation to their knitwear many think of Shetland shawls that are a scrunched up mess on the needles but after an extreme block end up as a huge lightweight shawl. Scroll down to the last two pictures in this post and you will see an example of scrunched up and post blocking, also the pictures in this post. And these aren’t the two projects I was planning to show you.

Before I show you those, let’s talk about when and why I block and when I don’t. (And I can see some more projects jumping in here.) When don’t I block? When I like the project just as it is. There are certain types of projects that I don’t block – hats and socks. Usually they are fine the way they come off the needles and as they stretch a little in wear any pattern will show up then. Also a project that is all or mostly garter stitch I prefer its just off the needles smooshiness. A good example of a shawl that needed blocking but I needed to be careful with as it was mostly garter stitch is this one - there was a lace panel that I didn’t want to close up and I wanted the puckering resolved but I did not want to lose the texture of the garter stitch plus I was worried about colours running.

But back to the projects I mentioned at the beginning. Let’s start with the finished item. I have a few single skeins of fingering yarn that I really like but have no idea what to make with them as I am not keen on making more one skein shawls. I have been trying to come up with ideas to use them together without much luck until I had a brainwave. Fingering weight held double is DK weight and one skein of fingering weight held double is roughly equal to one skein of DK weight and I had a pattern which used three different colours. This is a good example of pre and post blocking as well as a feature I don’t like about crescent shape shawls. The pattern is Odyssey Shawl by Joji Locatelli which she has provided at no charge.

Here is a picture of mine as it is ready for bind off.

Two things you will notice, at this point it is an upside down triangle and although, it is mainly garter stitch, there is a small lace pattern. I worked the picot bind off as stated in the pattern and all the points would need to be pinned out. I did not take a photo of it pinned out for blocking, but basically, what I did was to pin the top edge out straight and spray it with a water bottle, pinned out the picot bind offs and sprayed those and then sprayed the lace sections. I wanted these to stand out in the shawl and not be bunched up in the section of reverse stocking stitch.

This is the finished project. And it shows the hump that most of these style/shape of shawls end up with. I knew this would happen but next time I am going to really think about the start of a shawl before diving in.

The yarn I used from top down, is Sweet Georgia CashLuxe Fine, Stunning String Studio Luxury Fingering, and Blarney Yarn Twist. The first two were gifts and both contain cashmere. The last yarn does not but I did not have any more yarn containing cashmere in my stash and this colour goes well.

The other project I wanted to show pre and post blocking is a work in progress. It is a lace patterned cardigan made in a worsted weight yarn. I swatched in pattern and blocked the swatch but I still wanted to measure it correctly while in progress. I threaded a lifeline and took it off the needles and blocked it. After measuring, it went back on the needles and I continued knitting. This really is a good visual of before and after as it is the same garment.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

The Closest You'll Get To a Dog In This House

At the beginning of the year when I was making baby clothes for my nephew's baby, I thought it was about time I made something for my granddaughter. I knew what I wanted to make but didn't have any yarn so I ordered some Sublime Yarns Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK. It is lovely and soft and I enjoyed knitting with it. The black yarn is a fingering weight left over from an old project that I held double. The pattern is from a book published in the UK in 1989!

Although she really liked it, I shouldn't have prevaricated in finishing it as it has been too warm for her to wear it. Hopefully this winter.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Spiderman Climbs Aboard

I'm almost caught up with showing all my finished projects. In July I caught up with all my finished sewing projects, and as for knitting, two items are gifts and can't be shown yet so I really only have two projects to show. But they can wait as I want to keep up with my sewing projects.

At the end of May, my son turned up with this Spiderman fabric.

and requested I make a bag for his son, preferably a rucksack style bag. Ugg, I hate such requests. Is it the right kind of fabric, did you buy enough, do I have a pattern, am I in the mood for making what you want? The pattern part was easy; a while ago I had downloaded a pattern for a backpack. When I had some free time I checked how much fabric was required and what else was needed. The pattern said 5/8 yard each of main and lining fabric. I had a yard of the main fabric which I could have used for both main and lining but Spiderman would have been sideways inside the bag. As I needed to buy some sort of cord for the straps, I decided I'd buy fabric for the lining as well.

I was pleased to find some different Spiderman fabric at Jo-Ann as I have not seen any there before.

I am not going to link to the pattern I used as it was not well written but I can adapt it if I make another. Luckily, little boys don't care about that and are just happy that you have made something for them.

Friday, August 9, 2019

I Ran A 5k

With getting behind with writing about my finished projects, I forgot what is probably the most important one – running an official 5K!

I had been running on a treadmill at a gym and completed the Coach-to-5k program when some out of town friends said they were going to run the half-marathon in the San Diego RocknRoll Marathon and did we want to take part. My husband suggested I sign up for the 5K. And I suggested it to my knitting buddy, who had just started the Coach-to-5k, and that was it - we were committed and we had a year to train/plan. As I had already completed the Coach-to-5k, I found another program, None to Run, just to change things up. My friend found a running group.

I completed the None to Run program just before a vacation and it was really hard to get back into running. I was on again/off again at the beginning of the year. But I had this big race coming up. Husband had a sensible suggestion – don’t worry about running for the times the programs say, run for distance even if you are doing the walk/run intervals. So that is what I did so I knew I could complete the distance in the time allotted.

The day of the race arrived – a very early start. I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect but I knew I could do it. We started off running together but about half way through my friend wanted a walk break. I kept going because I was determined to run the whole thing. And I did! Looking back I could have run faster as I wasn’t exhausted when I crossed the finish line but I will know that for next time. (And I have signed up for next year.)

The sense of achievement is amazing and has definitely spurred me on to keep going.

(And the friends that originally started the whole thing were a no-show.