Hello Knitters! KnitDocDonna here for Day 3 and the Finale of the Balmoral Scarf Knit Along. Today we are going to block and the weave in our ends. Kudos to each of you! You have now mastered 3 new techniques (Faux Cables, Selvedge Cord Edging, the Berry Pattern Stitch) that you can add to your knitters repetoire and we are just about to add a 4th technique, Wet Blocking!
Blocking: Why Block a Knitted Project?
First and foremost, blocking matters. In my mind, not blocking is the same as not frosting the birthday cake (and who lets you get away with that?). Sure, you've made some effort but haven't gone all in. So, let's go all in and block! You won't be sorry.
Benefits of Blocking - It allows you to:
- Set the final shape of the garment
- Adjust the dimensions (longer, wider or both)
- Even out the majority of imperfections
- Give the fiber the opportunity to bloom and stitches to plump
- Open up lace motifs
Types of Blocking
- Wet Blocking - full water immersion, shape, lay flat to dry
- Modified Wet Blocking - spritzing until very damp, shape, lay flat to dry
- Steam - light blocking on either a hanger or dress form
For Balmoral we are going to choose the Wet Block method.
How to Wet Block
- Place your Balmoral in the bowl, add a drop or two of a good no-rinse wool wash (I like SOAK) and add COOL water. Note: Temperature matters in blocking! Hot, but even lukewarm water can felt your fiber, especially if you swish or agitate your project too much. Steer clear and stay COOL.
- Swish and press down once or twice gently to release any air.
- Allow Balmoral to soak in the bath for 15 minutes, no more.
- Drain the water.
- Lay your scarf out carefully on the long side of the towel. If you have an exceptionally long piece (and we do), you can fold your project in half for this step).
- Fold the towel over in thirds.
- Now roll up, pressing as you roll to absorb as much water as possible. This part of the process is very much like rolling a jelly roll!
- Unroll the towel and lay the scarf flat on either fresh towels (2) or a blocking board.
The Shaping Process
This part of the blocking process is where we get to control the dimensions of our finished garment and it's actually fun.
How to Shape and Block Your Project
- Center the scarf on the half way point of the long side of the towel or blocking boards. Place your hands palm down side by side on the center of the scarf and slide your hands towards the ends extending the length.
- Measure the end cable panels to make sure they are the same length at each end and pin.
- Use your hands to gently expand the width. The motion is very similar to pressing out dough!
- Measure the width at several locations and when satisfied with a uniform width, insert pins evenly along the edges and leave to dry.
We'll wait about 24 hours and when Balmoral is totally dry for our final step.
Weaving in the Yarn Ends
Here's our final task, thread a finishing needle and weave those yarn ends.
Balmoral is now ready to wear and be admired!
If you like the shawl pins I've been showing throughout the knit along, you can get them here.
Thank you so much for joining me on this knitting journey and I hope that you learned a trick or two along the way!
How Do I Follow Along
All of the posts will be on the here on the NobleKnits Blog. Add a bookmark! Join the KAL group on Ravelry. Be sure to follow nobleknits on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. Use the hashtag #BalmoralKAL to follow the knit along or post pictures of your progress.