Thursday, 15 March 2012

The Magic of Blocking

Knitwits Yarns

At last, at last the Rialto Lace little cardigan is finished:

Prior to blocking it closely resembled an exotic dishcloth and I was concerned the sleeves would never look right:

I was a little bit cross as the pattern gave no details about the sewing up other than, "sew up the seams" which I thought - given the time taken and detail of this pattern - deserved a little more information. I ended up sewing up the top seams (there are seams along the top and bottom of the sleeves) 4 times. Firstly using back stitch, secondly using back stitch and matching the vertical lace rows (until I got to the end and realised there were more rows on one side than the other so they were never going to match), thirdly using back stitch again and fourthly, and finally, using mattress stitch after I'd used this method for the underarm sleeves and realised it worked very well (having previously thought it wouldn't work at all).

I will confess that I don't often block my garments after knitting (I know I should but I don't) but for lace it's imperative and there were no blocking instructions either. In fact the pattern doesn't mention blocking at all, it just says to sew up the sleeves and then sew on the (11) buttons. I put towels on my drying rack on the Aga and then pinned it out:

The result is magical. From this:

to this:

and from this:

to this:

You can see really well in this photo were the bottom part of the garment is knitted sideways and then the top is picked up and knitted up to the neck.

And then, of course, there were the 11 buttons:

and these mother-of-pearl go beautifully.

I have to say that I'm really delighted with this garment. I love the shape and the lace detail and I love the way it fits on me (although you wouldn't be able to wear it unbuttoned). It is an awful lot of knitting but I hope you'll agree it's definitely worth it.

It is currently on display in the shop window and will be for the next 2 weeks and, thereafter, it will be here in the shop so you can come and see and feel it - unless I'm wearing it, of course!

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