Steps to Blocking

The frock camisole is done! It is currently drying on my blocking board, where I am hoping it will block out a little longer.

If you are not a knitter, (and even if you are) you may be wondering what blocking is. It is the final step in finishing a knitting project. Well, most knit projects, blocking only really works with natural fibers (those from plants (linen, bamboo, cotton, hemp) and those from animals (wool, silk), man made stuff doesn’t really block out.

Anyways, blocking is the process of shaping the finished piece into the desired shape. This looks different depending on the fiber used. For example, you can take a wool sweater, dunk it in water and tug and pull to your heart’s content and really control the finished product (this will work with a purchased wool sweater too), but cotton is more delicate when wet, so the process is different. At any rate the usual blocking process involves wetting the knitting (dunking, spraying, steaming), pulling and pushing, and pinning it into the desired shape and letting it dry.

However, here are my steps for blocking the frock camisole.

  1. Wash the tank in Woolite. Rinse out the tank and lay on a towel.
  2. Roll up the towel and toss into the washing machine, turn it to the spin cycle (this spins out the extra water without damaging the fabric).
  3. While the piece is spinning, get out the blocking board, remove the build up of cat hair from the board.
  4. Remove tank from washer and start shaping it onto board.
  5. Curse when you realize that the blocking pins are not in the bag with the blocking board. Proceed to search the house and find the pins on the dining room table.
  6. Pin down the front yolk of the tank, and decide the let the rest of the front hang and dry, since it is supposed to be drapey and you are hoping that gravity will do the stretching for you.
  7. Start to pin down the straps, curse again when you realize the you twisted one of the straps when you attached get. Get the scissors.
  8. Curse more aggressively when you realize that instead of removing the stitches attaching the strap, you really cut the first row of knitting.
  9. Run around like crazy to find a needle and thread to stop the unraveling.
  10. Finishing pinning the straps, pin the back yolk.
  11. Let the piece dry while at work, plan on fixing the strap snafu later.
  12. Sigh and reflect upon your own stupidity.

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