I hope this week’s posts have inspired to cast on your own Spring Contours Cowl with the light and lovely Fibra Natura Donnina Merino yarn! I’m so happy to be able to share this simple and sophisticated pattern with you and help you adapt it to a lighter, springier cowl.
Yesterday I shared instructions for a stretchy cast-on and bind off to prepare you for today – Blocking Day!
I’m so surprised how many knitters know very little about blocking. Some have NEVER blocked! What?! It’s one of the things I just assume every knitter knows, because blocking a project brings it to life.
For most of my knitting, it’s an essential part of the process. I wanted to share with you how I blocked my Spring Contours Cowl. I hope you can see how it went from nice to extraordinary through the process of blocking. The cables opened up, the borders settled flat and stretched out really showing off the twisted rib pattern.
Get ready to block.
To properly block your knitting you need:
Knit Blockers or T-pins
a clean plastic tub
Soak or similar wool detergent
a clean, dry bath towel
I put together two of my blocking mats to make an area large enough to stretch out my cowl. Then I filled my plastic tub with cold water adding just a single drop of Soak to it. Soak is designed to open the fibers for stretching without me needing to have the added step of rinsing it out.
I placed my cowl in the water, and let it get damp. It doesn’t need to be utterly saturated, but all the stitches should be wet. When you bring the wet cowl out of the water, resist the urge to wring it out. Twisting it too much will damage the fibers, and stretch the fabric in ways you don’t want. Gently squeeze out the excess water into your tub. Place your cowl flat onto the towel, and roll it up. Again, press it don’t twist it to take out more of the water.
Place your cowl out onto your blocking mats, and gently stretch it to its desired measurements. Be careful not to stretch it out too hard. You’ll find that Donnina yarn grows generously when dampened, so there’s very little pulling needed to get it to the shape you want. I found the cables bloomed beautifully with the lightest stretching.
Using your Knitter’s Pride Knit Blockers pin the cowl in place. Then you can leave your cowl to dry.
If you’re like me, and you have cats that love to snuggle up on damp sheep wool (WHY!?!) you can place a dry towel over it. It takes longer to dry that way, but at least it doesn’t come out with cat hair attached to it. It may take the cowl a day or two to dry. Be patient. Wait for it to dry completely then you can remove the knit blockers. It’s almost done. After blocking is the time I like to sew in my ends.
Et voila, thanks to Fibra Natura Donnina yarn, you have a runway-ready Spring Contours Cowl to wear and show off to the world…whenever that’s possible again. On that note, tomorrow I’ll be talking about the exploding phenomenon of online video chat knitting groups. As knitters, we may be at a distance, but we’re never really apart. Join me to learn how you can get in on these new groups.