February 22 2013 – thisisknit
Our impromptu Color Affection Knit-Along
has been going on for a while now, and there's fantastic finished objects popping up all over the place. As with every knitted or crocheted item, they all look even prettier if they're blocked.
And so we were faced with a bit of a dilemma. Blocking wires work beautifully for straight lines, as we showed you in this post
. Scalloped points can be enhanced by pinning them out singly as we did here
. But if you want to block a curve without scalloping, then you need an awful lot of pins, each very close to each other and each taking up time.
Convinced that there was a better way and that we probably already had materials to hand, we thought laterally. And we came up with this:
That's an ordinary Knitpro cable
threaded through the edge of a Color Affection.
The original shawl was worked on 4.00mm needles, but to minimise stretching of the edge, we used a 3.00mm tip to weave the cable through the edge. We worked through every stitch of the last row before the cast off, but every second or third stitch would probably work just as well.
When the cable had been worked all the way along the curve, we took the needle tip off and replaced it with a cable cap. One of these at each end makes a handy anchor point for the pinning later on. Now the knitted item is ready for a good soaking with the cable in place (it's easier to do things in this order than to thread the cable through a damp piece of work).
Pinning out the item is then very easy indeed - you're pinning the cable, not the edge of the knitting itself, so there's no risk of pulled stitches, and since the cable holds the curve, you need a much smaller number of pins. Fewer pins also means much less time!
Color Affection is quite a long shawl, and the longest cable we stock is 150cm. That's not a problem, though, because one cable can be connected to another to make a single very long one with cable connectors (there's three in a pack so you've got scope for quite some distance).
We can't wait to try this technique on other curves - any circular or semi-circular shawl will be a candidate, as well as the tops of set-in sleeves, or the swooping short-rowed curve of Carol Feller's Ravi
. We're sure you can think of other applications - do let us know in the comments.
In the picture at the top of this post, you'll see what we're convinced is the Littlest Color Affection. It's a scaled down version to fit a very stylish two year old. It's the dotiest thing ever, and you can admire it whenever you drop in to the shop.