Welcome to Part 3 of our 1-Skein Zigzag Cowl KAL. Part 2 is here if you're just finding the KAL. I am incredibly sorry for the delay in this post but I had my trade show last weekend and it felt like the work was coming from every angle! It was poor planning on my part and I promise I won't let that kind of thing happen again in a knit along. Anywhoooo... let me explain the mysterious world of blocking!
Here's my happy little cowl fresh off the needles. It's pretty but it seems a little crinkly.
Oh, yeah! Way too crinkly to wear! I don't want to put that over my head. This is where blocking comes in to play. I know knitters that are terrified of blocking but let me assure you that it is not that bad and it is actually a necessary part of knitting!
We know that our finished knitted cowl should look something like this:
See how it has a gentle drape? That's from blocking! And, I didn't do anything crazy either, no pins in this house!
For Ewe So Sporty merino wool yarn and any other natural fiber yarns such as cotton, wool, alpaca and so on, you can basically wet your finished garment and let it dry. This relaxes the stitches and makes them settle in to place.
In the case of Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted and Ewe So Sporty yarns they can actually be thrown right in the washer but I don't always do that because sometimes I just have one or two items and a bowl in the kitchen uses a lot less water than a whole wash load!
Ok, so let's block!
What you need:
- A big kitchen bowl.
- Soak wash or other gentle leave-in wool wash.
- Warm water.
- Two towels.
- A flat surface.
Place your cowl in the bowl, add a squeeze of Soak and fill the bowl up with water. Let your cowl get wet. Leave it in there for about 15-30 minutes until it's good and saturated.
Lay out a towel and place your cowl on it. Make sure it's straight-ish so there's not any weird folds.
Roll the towel up on itself. Make a big log roll and SQUEEZE and PRESS as you roll the cowl up inside. We're trying to get as much water out of the cowl as we can as gently as we can.
Ok, now unroll your towel. Get a the fresh, dry towel and lay it out on a flat surface. Gently move your cowl to the new towel and smooth out any wrinkles. Lay it flat and straight.
Now comes the most important part of blocking...patience. DON'T TOUCH IT. I mean it. Do not touch the cowl. Do not fiddle with it, don't stretch it, leave it alone. Let it dry until it is bone dry inside and out. Letting the cowl dry completely allows the fibers to lock in to their new positions. They have a new, knitted memory and they will be happy in their new home if you give them enough time to adjust to their surroundings. I promise!
After proper blocking your cowl will look lovely, graceful and relaxed just like you when you're wearing it!
Thank you for knitting along with me. I hope you were able to pick up a trick or two or at least had fun trying a new pattern. If you used our new Ewe So Sporty yarn I really hope you enjoyed it! Please send me pictures (heather at eweewe dot com) of your cowls or post them on Ravelry.