Monday, January 30, 2012

Blocking Tips & Tricks

I've gotten a few questions on how to get your dishcloth looking its best, so I put together a little to-do list to ensure the best possible looking cloth.

  • Use a small knitting needle.  I know cotton is heavy and can be hard on your hands when using a small needle, but it really does produce the best stitch definition.  It also makes a denser, more absorbent fabric.  I recommend a US#3 needle in all my patterns.  You may go down to US#2 if you wish, but I wouldn't recommend anything smaller (that would really hurt your hands!).

  • Try to keep your tension as even as possible while switching from knit stitches to purl stitches.  Most holes appear when switching from a knit stitch to a purl stitch, so make sure your yarn is pulled tightly to the front of your work before making that first purl stitch.

  • When you've finished your dishcloth and have weaved in the loose ends, soak the cloth in a warm bath.  I add a drop or two of baby shampoo to the water -- it gives it a softer touch.  Soak your cloth until it is completely saturated.  You will see air bubbles as the cotton soaks.  Once the air bubbles are gone (about 10-15 minutes), stretch your dishcloth out under the water.  This gives you a chance to even out your stitches.

  • Gently squeeze out your dishcloth and lay flat.  You can then stretch the cloth out again, but be careful not to stretch it so much that the picture become distorted.  Gentle fingers!  =)  Then, press down on the stockinette stitches.  Be careful not to push down on the purl stitches.  This is what helps the image to "pop".  For small areas (say 1 or 2 stockinette stitches), you can use a crochet hook to push them down.  I usually let my dishcloth sit for a couple hours, then press down on the stockinette stitches again.
I hope this helps!  If you have any tips or advice, leave a comment!  I'd love to hear if anyone has a different strategy.  =)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the share! I've been looking for ways to straighten out my "popped" out designs. Definately going to have to try the smaller needle size too!