april showers

Today’s rain led me to thinking about when wool gets wet, why it often should, and some of the best ways to do it. After all, my cats know that bathtime is important to keep looking good!

As the season changes and we begin to set aside the heavy wool sweaters and socks for lighter-weight wear, it’s important to properly care for those items before we pack them away until next winter. The talented and wise Kate Atherley recently blogged about the importance of giving woolies a bath before they’re put away for the year. I like both Eucalan and Soak pretty equally, these are no rinse items so it makes life a bit easier.

When we finish knitting or crocheting an item, it is also important to give it a quick bath and then set it out and shape it to how we want it to dry. This evens up stitches for stockinette and causes lace to become magical and ethereal.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, talked about the importance of blocking and how to do it a few weeks ago.

Pretty much the only thing I don’t block are socks if they’re for me and mostly because they tend to go directly on my feet. Everything else gets blocked. I have also been known to repurpose items throughout the house if something is oddly shaped, such as a tight fitting cowl.

blocking-a blocking-b blocking-c blocking-d

Designer Holly Chayes includes an article about blocking and how different blocking techniques influence the result in her new shawl collection Shawls to Play With.

If you want to learn even more about the magic of blocking, ask for a class at your LYS or take one of these two online courses:
Kate Atherley‘s Craftsy class, Blocking Handknits
Patty Lyons is teaching a live webinar this coming Tuesday April 8, 2014 at 1pm EST on Blocking Techniques in Knitting. If you can’t attend the live, register and you can download it later. She gave me a promo code to offer to you for 15% off the price of the webinar (I believe this is good only through April 8th, so register now!) use PATTYLYONS15.

And yes, you should also block your Gauge Swatches!


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