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alrighty now
for the first time in days the Window Are OPEN!

There’s even a small fresh rainy breeze coming in and I am basking in its flow.

Not much knitting got done the last couple days, and operative word here is DONE because maybe re-knittiing a pocket 3 times until you get it right could be plain wrong…

I raise my iced tea (actually mostly lemon juice with a shot of Equal) to all of us out there who are flappin’ WIPs in Mother Nature’s face – baby, let’s hope that hot flash is over…

Last night it started to rain here – huge mountain sized thunderclouds full of such loud exploding noise that it was no suprise when the walls and walls of rain came crashing down. I was still wearing the City Grease that lands on me from working outside and before I took a shower, I sink-washed some clothes (I was too chicken to use the washer – this was a Violent storm). The coolness of the water on my over-heated arms and hands was indescribably simply delicious.

And I blocked my knitting and all was well again.

Vickie writes: “I am so confused about blocking. I get the process but my question is more for the after care. Does a garment have to be “re-blocked” after each washing? Or is it just the initial time that matters?”

orange – Mondo Cable; lime – Paulina from Berroco – thong sandals – Keene

My answer – It Depends.

After-Blocking implies After-Cleaning. And just like you have some clothes you are perfectly happy to wear straight out of the dryer, there are other garments that you will want to take one step further to maximize their appearance and fit.

Above you see a couple of favorite shells of mine, blocking after I hand-washed them. But Bonne, you might say, aren’t they just drying? And I would answer – nay m’lady – if you look closely the garments are symmetrical and pressed flat into the proportions that they originally had. I wish I would’ve taken a picture of them right out of the towel (rolled up in to remove excess water) – you would’ve seen a messy pile of wet fabric. Both of these are cotton – and garments knit from cotton tend to distort and bend in unwearable ways during the cleaning process.

If I didn’t lay them out in the original dimensions per their respective pattern schematics, they would not look the way they were intended to. A few minutes patting and pulling and they’re back with a pretty fit and finish and ready to go.

And because I like how well this makes the garments look, I use this approach on most other fiber types I knit with that can be wet-washed. Blended fibers might get a trip in the dryer for awhile before they are formed into place; wool garments dry flat, then I might touch them up with a steam iron. Even fully washable/dryable garments get a little bit of tender loving flat-time – really makes stuff last longer and look runway ready!

12 responses to “KIPKIPKIPKIPKIP”

  1. sweetfigs says:

    lovin’ the rain fresh garments

  2. Chris says:

    I’m glad to hear that the heat might be breaking there! Your tanks are looking lovely as the block dry. :)

  3. Cathy says:

    Hope the rain and breeze hit NYC soon! Me, my knitting, and my cat are all wilting!

  4. Delica says:

    You’re so lucky to have cool air! Don’t you love Keen? I just bought the sandal/sneaker – comfortable!

  5. Marji says:

    I am only 6 hours south, in St Louis, but it is still HOT here. No buckets of rain. Thank you for the hopek as I’m headed that way tomorrow.

  6. Gina says:

    It often seems a bit of a pain, given my lack of space in the apartment to re-block after wearing/washing, but the result is so worth the effort. Thank you for confirming that.

  7. Laura(keet) says:

    I’m in Chi, too, and yes that WAS a wild and woolly storm. I wanted to open the windows during it, but there were too many things near the windows that would prefer to be dry (i.e. electrical outlets, cats).

    That Paulina tank is gorgeous! I’m going to have to look up that pattern…
    (trots over to…trots back)

    And WOW it’s a free pattern! Now the only question remaining is if it’s prounounced like the Chicago street (paul-eye-nah) or the name (paul-ee-nah)! Or at least, how do you say it?

  8. Toby Wollin says:

    The storm has now hit here in Upstate New York. Thunder, lightening, and rain, rain, rain. And my hands have stopped sweating. Woohoo!! I used to think that blocking was a waste of time, but I have to admit that many times, it makes the difference between putting on a new garment, looking at myself and saying, “It’s a keeper” or it ending up back in a plastic bag in the back of the closet.

  9. Sarah says:

    Here here sister. It’s going to be a high of 80 tomorrow, that’s practically like fall!

  10. erin says:

    I have always wondered about this question too. And not finding the answer in any of my books, I made do by patting my wet sweaters into the desired shape when I dry them on the drying rack. So I’m glad that I now have it on good authority that I’m doing it right :)

  11. Your blocking advice came just in time! I just finished Cece in Cotton Fleece, and she’s going to get lots of wear… now I know how to keep her looking her best! Thanks! Pictures on my blog if you wanna take a peek…

  12. Heidi says:

    It wouldn’t be a blocking shot without some toes.

    I’ll be in Chicago for labor day weekend with baby…maybe we can get together! :)

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