Friday, January 7, 2011

Blocking & Washing

After finishing up the pair of slipper socks:

I needed to block them. Blocking is essentially washing the item for the first time. Blocking also shapes the product, and future washing is a time to re-shape the item.

First step, fill the sink with hot water and dish soap, then emerge the item, soak for at least 15 minutes:

Next step, gently squeeze the item, be careful not to agitate too much or it will felt:

Then, fill the sink with plain water, and emerge the item again, soak for a few minutes, repeat until the water stays clear:

Lay on an old absorbent towel:

Roll up the item inside the towel:

Squeeze the item in the towel to really get the water out:

Lay the item on a new dry towel to finish drying. It's very important to shape the item so that when it dries, it's the right shape. At this point you can pull it bigger or squish it to make it tighter, this is the time to shape the item exactly how you want it:

(note: in this picture I show the slipper sock can be wore straight or with the top rolled down, it would be important to let it dry how you intend to wear it so that it shapes the right way. I dried these straight since that's the more common way to wear them).

It does take a couple days to finish drying. Once dry, it's important to store it flat. While you wouldn't hang up knit slipper socks anyway, it might be tempting to hang up a knit sweater which would be a bad idea because it would stretch out too easy. These hand knit products do take a bit more tender care, but they were also made special to begin with.


Ertman-Trowbridge Family said...

Wow! I don't know if illness has sparked some amazing creative vibes in you or if you are just truly that amazing, but I love everything you have done lately. I really need a pair of those slipper socks!

Also, you have my warm wishes for a quick return to health. Do you need anything? Remember, I live close. I can bring something to you or just come for a visit. Let me know!

Oak Haven Alpacas said...

aww thanks so much. The benefit of having a nurse for a spouse is that I do get spoiled when sick. I think I'm finally on the mend, feeling back to normal now.

We should get together and have a knitting/fiber afternoon together!


Ertman-Trowbridge Family said...

That sounds wonderful! I could totally go for a knitting/fiber afternoon. I got a drop spindle for Christmas. I am reading up on it, but have been too timid to actually try using it yet. I am so silly!

Glad you are feeling better.

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