Blocking Equipment

Blocking is the process of using steam or water to smooth out and gently uncurl and flatten your knitted pieces so that you can easily join them together. Blocking equipment makes the difference between a tiresome, awkward task and an easy, streamlined one. The basic blocking equipment includes the following:

Iii Steam iron: You probably already have a steam iron. The more steam the better.

ii Blocking board: A blocking board is not your ironing board. It's a flat surface made from a material that you can stick a pin into. It should be large enough to hold at least one pinned-out sweater piece. Ideally, it should be marked with a 1-inch grid so that you can pin out your knitted piece to its proper dimensions without using your tape measure. If you have enough space, you can leave the blocking board up all the time for checking your project's measurements as you go along. Ready-made blocking boards or kits for making them are a vailable from sources listed in Appendix B. In a pinch, you can use your bed, but a real blocking board is better.

i Blocking wires: Blocking wires are long, slightly flexible stainless steel wires in various lengths. Threaded through the edges of your knitted piece, blocking wires allow you to pin the piece into shape so that the edges don't become scalloped at the pin sites. They're a wonderful invention and well worth the investment.

i T-pins: Large T-shaped straight pins help you pin out the edges of your project pieces. T-pins are easy to get a grip on, and because they don't have any plastic parts (like straight pins with colorful plastic heads), they won't melt under your iron while you're steaming your knitted piece.

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