A little peek, my pets, at a not quite finished sweater. Well, let me be clearer – the knitting part is all finished, but in my books the last step of knitting is blocking.
I’ve taught all sorts of knitting classes and blogged all sorts of knitted things here, and I’m always amazed at the number of knitters who don’t often block, or think blocking is optional, or think that blocking means stretching, or block with steam only, or block… well, to be frank, any way that I don’t. In my not inconsiderable experience, blocking is to knitting as ironing is to quilting – the step that makes your work so much tidier, and shows off your skills to their maximum. I’ve heard lots of knitters say that they don’t block small things, or things that are all in one piece or things that “don’t need it” or things that “don’t need fixing” (here, I suppose the misconception is that blocking fixes knitting problems, which it usually – and sadly – does not) and I put forth here that everything needs it. All knitted things – with the rarest of possible exceptions, need one form of blocking or the other, and I think (and if you’d just kick that soapbox over here where I can climb up on it) I think that if you don’t believe in blocking, or don’t think it matters, that you might not have all the information, or might not be doing it right.
I’m going to start showing you as much about how I block (and why) as I do how I knit (and why) in the fond hopes that someday, I’ll won’t ever hear another knitter say “I never block, it doesn’t make a difference.” That wee sweater is off for a blocking. I’ll show you how I did it tomorrow.