Tuesday, March 10, 2009

To block or not to block?

Tonight's Black Sheep Knitting Guild meeting was another super educational evening. We had a great turnout with many guests and several who joined the guild. I think we must have nearly 80 members now.

Our program for the evening, if you haven't guessed, was on blocking your knitted projects. Our guest speaker was the co-owner of Ewe-nique Knits, Marilyn Grazioli, located right here in Royal Oak. She gave her opinions of when to block (nearly always), how to block (steam, damp cloth, immersion), and how to use the yarn bands to determine the best way to block. She began her program by showing examples of different types of fiber and how best to block each:

She explained the value of using blocking wires, both straight and pliable, rust proof T-Pins, and a blocking board. She also said they were having a sale on the blocking wire kits. How many did she have at the shop, I asked. 6 was her answer. Based on the guild turnout and interest, those puppies will be long gone before I get my bonus check on Thursday.......

Next she demonstrated how to insert the blocking wires (that I, sadly, will probably not be getting this week).

Marilyn carefully wove the blocking wire through the edge of her finished sample. She then asked one of our members, Joellen, to try her hand at blocking a block she had made for a blanket. Joellen was pretty unhappy with the way the block was laying so she was more than willing to take Marilyn up on her offer. Here's Joellen's block as she began to weave the blocking wires into the edges.

All four sides are 'wired'.

Now that the wires are in it's time to use the T-Pins prior to applying 'hovering' steam, as Marilyn puts it.

And lastly, apply the steam to finish the blocking.

Now, darn if I didn't forget to take a picture of the finished block, but I can tell you it looked beautiful and Joellen was very pleased with the outcome. I believe she is one of the guild members heading over for her blocking kit tomorrow!

So now I know I 'need' a blocking kit, blocking board, and quite possibly a steam machine. Like I didn't already have enough knitting equipment around the house. But then again, it would be my patriotic duty to help the economy!


sharonlhagen said...

I'm trying again, so here I go. I liked the meeting last night and liked your pictures. Wonder if I can get one of the six blocking kits by calling as soon as they open. After all, I go there every week. Of course, I have nothing to block at this moment.

Tanya said...

I was wondering about the picture snapping. . .and think I'll be one who doesn't get blocking wires this week either. Marilyn said she'd order them, though.

It's pretty amazing, the difference between the flexible (which I have)and the rigid,(which I want). Egads, is there no end to the knitting supplies?