Alright I am JAZZED about this sweater that I just finished! Since I am NOT challenging myself to knit a sweater a month this year, it took me about 2.5 months to finish this one up but to give myself credit, I DID knit a bunch of mini projects in between knitting this one. But now I can't believe I put it off for so long because it is so easy and it is absolutely stunning! To me the colours look like a river! Check out the photos below with a special section on blocking!
|The pattern- Ecuador from Ravelry.|
|Short rows and lace- knit as almost a full circle.|
|Lace details- very simple and easy style|
|The back- short rows give the appearance of darts|
|The "back" is just a rectangle!|
|Colour options for Shepherd sock!|
So I am absolutely in love with this sweater and I'm sure you can see why. I knit this sweater out of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock and used 2 and 1/3 skeins so I have a good amount leftover. This sweater would be fantastic out of any sock weight yarn in variegated, semi tonal or solid colours. The details of this sweater are so simple that even a highly variegated colour won't take away from that, it just adds to it.
Now... let's talk blocking. I have so many people ask me about blocking like it is a secret club they want to get in to. They lean over, put their hand against their mouth and whisper "Now, do you HAVE to block your sweaters? Like you don't do that right?" WRONG! I ALWAYS block my sweaters! Why? Because, as Lily and I like to say, blocking fixes all problems! Blocking has so many positive attributes- it evens out your stitches giving a nice smooth uniform look, it adds drape to your fabric which is crucial in a sweater like this, it can add extra length and it softens your work up like you wouldn't believe! So here's how it's done...
Step 1: Using a no rinse wool wash, such as Eucalan, soak your garment in lukewarm water for 20-30 minutes.
Step 2: Gently lift your garment out of the water *DO NOT PULL IT OUT* this will cause your piece to stretch. Gently squeeze out the piece over your sink or bathtub *DO NOT EVER RING IT OUT!*
Step 3: Lay your piece flat on a towel, then roll it up in to a log
|Start rolling the towel up|
|Should finish as a log form|
Step 4: Kneel on the log to squish out even more excess water- doing this helps your piece to dry faster and it won't be as weighed down by water when moving it from place to place.
|Kneeling to squeeze out excess water|
Step 5: Transfer your piece to a flat surface covered by a towel or a blocking board. Lay it flat to the dimensions your pattern specifies and pin it in to place and leave it to dry overnight- sometimes it can take two full days for your piece to dry. If you hate the way it turns out, you can repeat block just try not to really stretch your piece unless the pattern calls for it.
|Lay it flat and pin to specified dimensions|
|Fork pins are great for blocking!|
And there you have it folks! That's blocking! Try it after you finish your next project! Even scarves, hats, mitts, socks... anything can benefit from doing this! There are many different ways to block- this method is the soaking method, one of the most commonly used. There is also steam blocking which we will cover another time. But whatever you do, DO NOT EVER IRON YOUR KNITS!! EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is just bad news all around and it never ever works out EVER!