Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wet Iron Blocking 100% Cotton Tutorial

From time to time the question comes up in knitting groups about blocking your knits. There are different types of blocking to pick from. For 100% cotton dishcloths this is the method I prefer. It's fast, it's easy, and works quite well.

Why block dishcloths? Well, two reasons really. First, I like to block them before taking pictures when posting the patterns. and secondly, when giving them as a gift it makes them more presentable.


Step one: get out the clean dishcloths and towels you wish to have blocked. Make sure they're knit from ONLY 100% cotton-no acrylic! (If you have any dirty marks or oils in or on the fabric, they will be set once the iron/heat hits them).


Step two: lay a white towel on your ironing board. The thicker the towel, the better. I choose to use white to avoid dye color transfer onto the dishcloth.


Step three: using the spray setting from your iron, lightly spray the RIGHT side of your dishcloth. Don't soak it-that would create a much longer dry time needed.


Make sure you get the edges and the corners of the RIGHT side of the dishcloth moist.


Step four: flip the dishcloth over, so the RIGHT side is facing DOWN onto the towel.


Step five: gently iron the back of the dishcloth with the steam setting OFF. (You don't need to add any more moisture to the dishcloth.)


Step six: change positions of the iron and directions you are ironing. This will help to even out the back of the cloth. Slightly adjust the corners and sides as you are ironing to make the sides and corners straight and even. You're looking for great lines. The back should look rather flat. You are in essence pushing the front of the stitches down into the loops of the towel.


Step seven: let the cloth sit for a few moments to cool down.


Step eight: flip the dishcloth over, RIGHT side UP, and let it sit until it's completely dry on a flat surface. You can also use a cookie rack as well. It helps the air to circulate from underneath as well.


Step nine: pair up your dishcloth with a towel and wrap it up as a gift!

This technique works well with cross stitch blocking as well. Because you are ironing your cloth face down, the stitches will 'pop' out into the loops of the towel. Thus, when you flip it right side up, the stitches will be 'raised' so you can see the texture/picture you have knit.

6 comments:

Kelly said...

Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for this.
I've knit a cloth in white, with a snowboarder pictured on it. I didn't realize that it was so hard to see the picture until I tried to show it to someone. I had trouble deciding which were the upper and lower edges!
And I'm pretty sure that my eyesight is better the intended recipient of this cloth. (She won't see her 99th birthday again.)

Janey
janeyknitting AT yahoo DOT ca
(change caps to symbols and lose the spaces)

Cathy said...

You're most welcome!

happy knitting!
cathy

Anonymous said...

HI IM KNITTING A WEDDING DISHCLOTH FOR MY NIECES WEDDING NEXT WEEK IT HAS THE DATE ON IT NAMES AND A HEART ETC COULD YOU PLEASE EMAIL ME IF YOU CAN USE YOUR BLOCKING ON THIS TYPE OF DISHCLOTH ISNTEAD OF SPRAYING WITH WATER AND PUSHING DOWN ALL THE KNITED STITCHES ETC AS THIS WAY IS HARDER PLEASE EMAIL ME TO

VLW said...

Ahh! Thanks for this--I just finished knitting a bunch of these and wasn't sure if blocking was de rigueur for dishcloths or not.

Jenifer Blood said...

Oh, thanks! I have a gift to block and left it too late to do a total wet block!