Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shout Out to the (Knitting) Experts: Blocking Insanity Eeeek. Need Reassurance.

OMG - after having just finished a fairly excellent sweater with Debbie Bliss Rialto DK (a fairly excellent merino/microfiber blend wool), I wet blocked it and it grew 680 times?!?!?!?!? Honestly, my extra small sweater is a freaking tunic. The small, delineated stitches have gone big and ugly.

I've lain the sweater flat and tried to mini it up to its previous size (as if).

Please tell me this thing is going to dry back to its original proportions. I didn't treat it roughly. It's not like the yarn came with instructions contraindicating washing.

I'm kind of freaking out.


  1. I looked at a few sites for descriptions of this yarn. Given that it says it can be machine washed, I can't see that you've done anything wrong in blocking. I did see someone suggest that a swatch be blocked to test gauge, but you know, it's merino, and with enough twist that I'd expect it to work back to somewhere near where you started. I've had that same panic and done the mini-ing up with garments that were not 100% wool -- I'm crossing my fingers for you that the solid merino content will give you the memory you're hoping for. I'll be watching you with bated breath . . .

  2. Over the years, I have learned that every yarn has its own personality once you block it. Therefore I have learned to knit a swatch and block said swatch before knitting my garment, so that I can better predict what the final garment will be like.

    In your particular case, I would try the following. First, I would wet block the garment and pin it to the desired measurements hoping that when it dries it will be in the desired shape. If that doesn't work, I would put my wet sweater in the dryer for a short period of time. The wet wet wool will felt in the warm dryer. This will cause the sweater to shrink. Putting your wet wool sweater in the dryer is scary because if you leave it in the dryer for too long you will be left with a tiny stiff sweater. So check your sweater every one to two minutes if you go the dryer route. Good luck.

  3. How frustrating! I really hope you're able to fix the sweater.

  4. I'm late here, but I would have offered the same advice as the above commenters. I have put sweaters in the dryer for short times and it often works wonderfully, but you have to watch the time. If you have a dryer where you can set the temperature that is great. Also some wool/microfiber blends do really well with just a high-speed spin out in the washing machine, if you have a machine where you can set your spin speed. I wouldn't try that with an airy wool as the spin alone can felt it, but that blend should work fine.

    But by now you have probably already blocked it and know what happened. I hope it turned out ok.