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Blocking: The quick and dirty way

Still on the road, still relying on my knitting: better living through crafting. After I finished the back and both fronts, I got the blocking underway while I worked on the sleeves.

Blocking is an awesome magic trick when you’re working with wool: wool is coily and crinkly, and knitted lace is like a bunchy jellyfish, but block it and suddenly you’ve got a smooth, open lace fabric. All it takes is water and time. If you’re at home, a soak in warm water, maybe with a little wool wash, is good, and then you can pin it out flat and let it dry to perfection. If you’re going to be away from home a bit longer, you work with what you got. In my case, a towel, a coathanger and a sink.

De-sproinged!

I seamed the shoulders before I started, so I could dry it on the coathanger for a day or two. Then it was a simple process of swooshing it around in a sink of warm water, squeezing out the water (not wringing: that stretches and hurts the wool), then wrapping up in my towel and stomping on it to force out any extra water. Then I hung it on the coathanger and left it for a day or two while I knitted the sleeves. This is the same process I used to wash my socks.

Still life with socks.

The weight of the damp wool was enough to pull it flat as it dried. This isn’t as effective as pinning it out to dry, but it was enough to relax the lace and open up the edge stitches so I could pick them up for the collar.

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