Congratulations! You’ve officially finished creating your first piece, a beautiful scarf! (part 1 and part 2). Before you give it to your loved one, don’t forget to block it! Blocking is a really important part of the knitting process. It sets your work exactly the way you want it. If there are little bumps in the edges, or the sides aren’t perfectly straight, blocking holds them where you want them, and keeps them there for good.
To block your new work, you’ll need a blocking mat, or foam of some kind – I use a part of a foam mat that we had in our playroom growing up. You’ll also need pins to hold your work to the mat – I use sewing pins, but you can purchase t-pins, which are actually made to block work. Finally, you’ll be soaking your work in a wash – you can purchase wool wash, or I use gentle baby shampoo, either will work fine. Find a bucket or bin large enough to fully submerge your work in the wash, or you can fill up a sink. When that’s done, you’ll need two beach towels to dry your work. Let’s get started!
How to block your knitting:
- Fill up your bucket/sink with warm water
- Put shampoo/wool wash in warm water and mix well
- Put your work in the water (don’t dunk it or swish it around, but make sure it’s covered)
- Let sit for five minutes
- Begin to drain the bin and fill it with cooler water. Continue doing so until it is soaking in only cold water without any suds.
- Lay out your work on one of the towels and roll that over itself like a cinnamon roll, squeezing as you roll
- If you think it’s still drenched after a good squeeze, repeat that last step again.
- Pin your work to the mat (with the towel still between the work and the mat) to be the perfect size (don’t stretch it, set it just right!)
- Let your work dry there for as long as it takes (certain materials & works take much longer than others!)
I hope after this blog, it’s clear how to finish up all your works! Don’t forget how important the blocking process is to knitting. It will hold all your projects in the perfect place! Remember to let them dry fully before removing them.
I’ve spent a great deal of time in my prayer lately focusing on the story of Zaccheus. Zaccheus was a chief tax collector, aka a big bully. He would steal extra money from people, often keeping some for his own reward. But when he hears that Jesus is in town, and being shorter than most others, climbed to the top of a tree to see Him. When Christ noticed him up in the tree, He invites him down, and asks to have dinner in his home. A lot of people were upset that Christ wanted to eat dinner with a sinner, but Christ knew Zaccheus’s heart, and He chose him and wanted to spend time with him, despite it all.
Christ looks to me in the same way. There are other people, much more worthy of His attention, but He sees me. He looks up in that desperate little tree of mine, and He chooses me. He invites me down, embraces me, and tells me He is coming to my house for dinner. He looks past my sin, shame, and guilt, and chooses me. That is the kind of love He invites us to, in every moment of our lives.
Knowing this truth should overwhelm me, and it should make me a whole new person. I want to reflect this in my life in every move I make, and to reflect this kind of selfless love to everyone I meet, especially those who don’t seem particularly worthy of love. I want to be Christ to them, and allow His love to shine through me and touch them.
“When He reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received Him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” -Luke 19:5-10
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