A Love Knit Up

Thursday, July 14, 2005

So I finished up my TKGA projects yesterday: I blocked the swatches and wrote up the answers and prepared everything for shipping. The hardest part was figuing out how to block the swatches, since they are acrylic. Many places say that acrylic does not need to be blocked; the ones that do say that it should only be blocked with cool water, as it could melt. However, one place I found suggested blocking acrylic with a steam iron: holding the iron slightly above the knitting and using just the steam to heat up the piece.

Now, I don't have a steam iron, and I wasn't going to buy one just to block some swatches (I dislike knitting with acrylic anyway, so I wouldn't have the need much of the time). Instead, I heated a pot of water (covered with a lid with a few holes in it). I held the swatches in the steam above the water until they were warm and slightly damp (getting my hands cooked a little, too; it would have been easier if I had tongs) and then quickly pinned them out into shape. This worked pretty well: the swatches unculed nicely, an dI was able to shape the ones that I wanted to reshape. It's best if the surface for the blocking is right next to the pot, so that the swatches don't cool down significantly before they are laid out flat. One of the benefits of this method was that the blocking went very quickly: the pieces dried in less than half an hour.

On a completely different note, I started a new project yesterday: the twisty scarf from Scarf Style, out of a "celery" skein of Cascade yarn (I had to make the needles size 7 instead of 6, as in the pattern, but it is turning out well). We'll see how that goes. One of the benefits of the pattern is that it ends up looking very complex and pretty, but the knitting is just a repetition of 4 rows, which makes it very easy to remember. Another benefit is that it is a simple pattern to read (from the piece): if you forget where you are in the pattern it is easy to start up again simply by looking at what you have already done.


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