Friday, August 18, 2006

Experienced knitters please help!

This is the asymetrical cardigan from Knitting Nature. The color is darker not that grey although it's sage green. I still have the collar and the button bands to knit and sew on. What I would like to know is, do I steam it or do I soak and block it? As you can see it's rolling in and I would like to get it as flat as possible without destroying the pattern. Second question: How do I sew it together? With what stitch? It's been about 20 years since my last pullover and at that time I didn't especially care how it looked as long as it was holding together. But this time I care! It should fit real good and look nice. So please, if you could spare me your two cents?

Thanks everyone for your advise! I appreciate it very much. I'm still not quite sure how I will go about it. Finishing is scarry!


Larry said...

On the rare occasions that I block my knitting I just pin the item out to the dimensions I want and then put slightly damp tea towels over it. When the towels are dry I remove them and let the piece continue to dry, if it's still wet. I tried wet blocking once and it was a minor disaster. The fabric was just too heavy from all the water to handle it well.

Whenever possible I use mattress stitch to sew things up. That works really well for straight seams. On the curved bits, like the underarms, I would graft them from the top of the side seam to wherever the curve ends and then resume the mattress stitch.

The sweater is lovely.

knitchic said...

First piece of advice, if you have a swatch, try the blocking and seaming on the swatch first.

Next, a question - how do you plan on washing the sweater? Unless you plan on dry cleaning it, try a soak in room temperature water for blocking (after all, you'll soak the sweater when you wash it). My usual method is to soak the sweater, then roll it in a towel to get much of the water out and finally pin it to the final measurements to dry. If you don't stretch the stitch pattern, it'll keep it's texture. Pinning down the edges during drying seems to help counteract the rolling.

As for seaming, I'm not familiar with the stitch pattern, so I don't have a specific recommendation. If I'm not sure, I try a seam in a contrasting yarn for a couple inches and see how I like it. Using a contrasting yarn makes it easier to take the seam out - which is essential to the trial and error process! When you find the method you like, use matching yarn as usual.

Good luck!

Beverly said...

Hi Monika,

I'm a wet blocker. I soak in wool wash for about 20 minutes, then spin in the machine or roll in a towel to remove the excess moisture and pin to size. I prefer mattress stitching the seams. This works really well if you have edge stitches. I sometimes use the backstitch if it looks better.

Anonyknits said...

I like the full blocking better than the steaming, unless I'm in a hurry and don't want to wait for the knitting to dry.

I agree about using mattress stitch.

But I really don't think your curling is that bad: The worst of it will melt away once you get the collar, button bands, and seams done.

Martina said...

I usually wet and block too but I usually block after assembling. Mattress stitch for joining is what I prefer as well. I have heard or read that you should not steam block synthetics as it takes all the body out of the yarn.

Anonymous said...

hi monika,
mary from mary's yarns in unionville pointed me in the direction of your blog.
i am totally impressed!!!
so much beautiful knitting.
i didn't realize that you were such an amazing knitter!did you knit when we still had contact?

mattress stitch every time!!!
i'd love to hear from you!
how is David? where?

Anonymous said...

I agree with knitchic all the way. Her advise about playing with the swatch is a good one. The wet block makes sense as does the mattress stitch.

Good luck. It is beautiful so far.

Christy J said...

Your sweater is beautiful and you got lots of good advice. Wet block and mattress stitch. Like Martina, I usually do it after sewing up.

As for your recent question to me, I haven't done any more on my Scales Skin Socks, but most of the members comments indicate that the leg pattern is quite stretchy and some have found it big. I'm going to recheck in another inch or so in case I need to frog and use one size smaller needle.

Anonymous said...

hi monika,
i have been reading all your blogs over he last few days.
your comment on the Harlot's:"secret life of a knitter"
interested me as i completely identify with your was a lovely read!
it is great to read about other knitter's, their projects etc.
yes, we are mad, creative,obsessed and very caring sharers. i have never yet met a knitter who was not willing to drop everything to help another knitter, or instruct a novice. and just look at all the beautiful objects we make!!!
now you need to read the harlot's 3rd book:"Knitting Rules". what a nice pun.
more later, i am working, among other things, on a pair of "jaywalkers".
take care,