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|Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2007|
For the past 2 months or so, I've been working steadily (read: slowly) on my next blanket creation. After browsing the store for a pattern that suited me, I settled on the Lily Chin sampler afghan from Family Circle Easy Afghans, the same book I used for my superyak blanket (which, of course, is keeping wiley warm as i write ... am I the only person in the world that that lets their dog cuddle up with a blanket worth hundreds of dollars?).
Either way, I ended up choosing Ms. Chin's sampler afghan for a few reasons. One, I wanted something that i could work on in between my other projects. Two, the sampler is composed of 6 different patterns (8 squares each) so if I get tired of knitting one of the more complicated patterns, I can take a break and start knitting a simpler one. Or if I find that one of the simpler patterns has become a no-brainer, I can whip out a few of those in a row. The third reason I elected to knit the sampler is that I figured I could just knit a square here and there - and then all of the sudden, poof!, I'd have a blanket finished. Whether that really happens remains to be seen :)
You're probably asking yourself, "So what does this have to do with blocking?." Well not much, I guess, except that I wanted to explain where the afghan pictures came from... and then I just couldn't stop writing. In all seriousness, I think the sampler afghan is a perfect example of a situation in which blocking can be advantageous. Because the squares are all different, it's inevitable that they will turn out slightly different sizes. With blocking, you can normalize the shapes and sizes. In my project, I noticed that the cabled square consistently came out a little bit smaller than the others. But after following the steps below, I stretched it to match the rest of the squares!
Viola! As you can see from the picture above, swatches knit out of natural/animal fibers absorb the water and then 'stick' to the shape that you've created - just look at the difference between the unblocked square on the left - and the blocked square on the right. It's truly amazing to me... I'll never not block again!
Posted by Jimmy (Laura) of Jimmy Beans Wool
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