Finishing

Sew in all ends of yarn, by weaving up the edges of the pieces. Block pieces to measurements.

Blocking is the process of pinning out the garment pieces to their finished measurements and then setting the fabric shape by steam or wet pressing. Fair isle and intarsia designs can look crumpled when they come off the needle and improve immensely with careful pressing. Lace is stretched out to reveal its full glory and heavy cabled fabrics lie flatter. Always refer to the washing and pressing instructions on the ball band to help you decide which method to use. Blocking is done on a soft surface that you can stick pins into and that won't spoil if it gets damp. Ironing boards are ideal for small pieces, but large garment pieces need more room to lie flat.You can make a blocking board from a folded blanket covered with a towel or sheet.

Using rust proof pins, pin the knitted pieces out. wrong side up, on the blocking board, using the measurements given on the size diagrams. Pin out the width and length first and then the other measurements. Place a pin every I in (2.5cm) or so to hold the edges straight. Do not pin out the ribs. If you press these they will loose their elasticity.

Wet pressing Wet a clean cloth and wring out the excess water until it is just damp. Place it over the pinned out piece (avoiding the ribs) and leave to dry away from direct heat. When the cloth is completely dry, remove it. Make sure the knitted pieces are also dry before you take out the pins and remove them from the board.

Steam pressing Lay a clean cloth over the pinned out piece to protect it. Set the steam iron on an appropriate heat setting for the yarn. Hold the iron close to the surface of the knitting without touching it. Do not press the iron on to the knitted fabric or steam the ribs. Let the steam penetrate the fabric. Remove the cloth and allow the fabric to dry before unpinning. Some yarns will not stand the high temperature needed for steaming so always check the ball band first. Synthetic yarns should never be steamed.

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