Blocking: Sweaters

You understand how to block something simple (a scarf, a coaster, or maybe even a blanket).  Now, it’s time to do something more complicated.  Something with sleeves.

Let’s block a sweater!  (In this case, a baby sweater, but the same process works for a grown-up sweater, too.)

We’ll start by soaking the sweater in a bowl of warm water for 10-20 minutes.  Make sure it’s nice and soaked through.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen, just like last time, roll it up in a nice clean towel and squeeze out most of the moisture.  Put out your foam tiles and cover them up with a new clean, dry towel.

Lay out your sweater as best you can  to roughly the right proportions.  When you’re working with a grown-up sized sweater, it can be kind of tricky.  Don’t worry if you don’t get it right away-we’ll rejigger everything in a minute.  Just eyeball it.

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Now, it’s time to measure the sweater and make sure it ends up the size you want it.  Begin with the chest measurement.  Now, since this is a baby sweater, I want the chest to be 9 inches across.

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Close enough.

Now that the chest measurement is about right, I’ll stretch out the body to the right length,  double-checking that the chest measurement doesn’t get stretched out of shape.

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(Did you notice how I’m not using pins for this sweater?  That’s on purpose.  I try not to use pins on sweaters, because they can create little points and weird bumps on a garment like this.  And, in the case of this particular sweater, I’m not far off from my desired size, so I can just stretch the sweater a little bit and count on the friction between the yarn and the towel to keep it in shape.  If I was trying to use blocking to fix something, I would use pins.  For example, if I needed to add more than an inch to the body length, I would stretch the wet sweater out with pins.)

The body is all arranged correctly, so now let’s do the same thing with the sleeves.

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These sleeves should be about 6 inches long. With the sleeves, it’s really important to make sure both sleeves match one another- no one likes lop-sided sleeves.

Once your sweater has the right measurements, stop fussing with it!  Just leave it!  (And make sure any kids/dogs/cats/gremlins you have running around your house don’t mess with it, either.)

Something small, like this baby sweater, won’t take long to dry, but big, adult sweaters can take a while (especially if you live somewhere humid).  So, to speed the process along, try pointing a fan at it for a day or two.

Once the sweater is completely finished, put it on and do a twirl in front of the mirror, admiring your awesome work!

 

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