Monday, April 13, 2009

Blocking a knitted sampler pillow

Today I thought I would tackle blocking for the first time.

In knitting class we were given 2 different techniques from 2 different instructors.
One involved blocking each individual piece with steam and then sewing up the seams. It also involved inserting some cool wires to keep the edges straight but they weren't cheap.

The second method seemed easier so I went with it.
I sewed all my pillow pieces into 2 panels: a back and front. Then I wet the panels in a sink and gently squeezed out the water by placing them between a dry towel. Next I spread them out on a dry towel and pinned them to their proper size (16 " for my pillow) and let them dry.
(Not a great photo .... the sun is hiding).

I'm happy with the results except for one unexpected side effect.
I used Ultra Berroco which is 50% alpaca /50% wool.
When the yarn was wet it stunk! Not sure if it is the alpaca or something they added to it but it was not pleasant.
I sure hope it disappears when it is dry.

Edit: On Ravelry I asked why I was having this problem and I got some useful and funny stories. Apparently this is perfectly normal. Most people suggested that I add
a touch of Eucalan to the water before wetting the wool.


angelune@TCA said...

doesn't most yarn smell when it's wet? I work with Alpaca all the time and never noticed any particular smells.

sukigirl said...

I really haven't had that much experience with wet yarn. I did get my fingerless gloves wet (Manos del Uruguay)and it had no smell.
I would describe the smell as an ammonia-like smell. My family all said variations of, 'What smells so bad" when they walked near it.

coltpixy said...

You make this sound so easy. Since I don't knit yet I will take your word for it.
Wondering if washing it will remove the odor.

sukigirl said...

Thanks CP, and I like the work 'yet'!

I asked on one of the Ravelry forums for advice about this and I've added that info to the original post.

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