Rogue Blocking
Blocking‘s one of those things you don’t really get when you start out knitting. I’d read references to it in patterns and books, but it always seemed like a weird idea to iron my knitting. I just knew it was something you were supposed to do. I tried it on my first Gryffindor scarf, mostly because I’d seamed the thing and I wanted it to lie flat without twisting. Of course, I’d also knitted it out of crappy acrylic yarn and I didn’t realize that applying heat would be a bad idea. I didn’t melt it, but I definitely took a lot of the body out of the yarn. It went really drapey and limp. (My sister liked it though, so no harm done.) Eventually I learned that only animal fibres should be heat-blocked, and that for the fake stuff you have to just wet it and let it dry. So from then on, I blocked sporadically when it seemed like the pieces needed it. Blocking is also great for straightening up pieces before sewing them together, but since I knit most of my garments in the round, I haven’t had this problem.

Rogue SleevesBut now there’s Rogue… and she’s been sitting in a bag for nearly a month while I got up the courage to seam. So tonight, I blocked. What a difference a steam makes! Look at these two sleeves. One flat and smooth and beautiful; one lumpy and curled and homely. (I have to just say, I am completely in love with the Naturally Harmony. This is the nicest wool I’ve ever knit with, and blocking just makes it even softer and nicer. I must knit more with it.) For the curious, I pinned out each sleeve in turn on my ironing board and then overlaid it with a damp tea towel. Then I used my iron to press down and steam the piece before letting it sit to dry. (I really am going to have to have the Snook help me make a blocking board soon.) And then I was so entranced by the lovely flat pieces that I just sat right down and started seaming! The Snook and I watched Laputa: Castle in the Sky while I patiently seamed the arms. I usually hate doing this; my seams always end up too rigid and bulky. But because I’d had the forethought to do a chain selvedge, it was easy as pie. Now all I have to do is set them in! Maybe I’ll get to wear this beauty before winter’s over…

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