Needle Art Fantasy

Just a place for my opinions and my hobbys:-)

About the Author
Ellen (elleng4044)I am a homemaker, mother, grandmother who loves to knit and to read! This blog is about the knitting hobby:-) My husband and I have been married 48 years, have 2 grown children and 4 grandchildren. My husband has served in the U.S.Army, was State Chaplain in the Indiana National Guard, and is a Preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are "full-timers" living in our 35 foot, Class A Motorhome. Nice being "at home" all the time!!!! Enjoy your visit to my blog:-) 


New Slideshow added today

Added a new slideshow on the left....I like to do clothes as well as socks so thought
I would show SOME of my clothes:-)
Thanks for looking.

Have to share this video!

Exercises for too much knitting or crochet here....gotta find a couple of balls to use :-)

Just Added a Free Fonts link

Just added a free fonts link; click here
For those who do sigs this could be fun for you:-)


Free Jig Saw Puzzle

Steaming Hot Coffee
Have fun


Gotta Share this

Tropical Vacation Cloth is free, click here


Written by YarnLove on Ravelry

posted over 4 years ago (Tuesday, August 3 2010)

One of the main reasons I recommend blocking your swatch for Brilliance is because due to the fiber (merino) and construction (single ply) of Malabrigo worsted, that yarn stretches like crazy. Way more than similar weight multi-ply yarns. I think many knitters would be a bit upset to realize that their sweater grew by a substantial margin post washing as opposed to the “just of the needles” size. The pattern is also constructed with 4 inches of negative ease for the same reason - when the Malabrigo stretches, then you don’t have to worry about your neckline stretching 2” longer than desired, etc.

So if I were you, here’s what I’d do. I would measure your swatch before it goes into the water. Write it down. Soak your swatch the way you would wash your sweater. For me this is a 30 minute soak in wool wash in my sink. Press the water out, and roll it up in a towel. Next, gently spread it out on a flat surface. I personally have a padded gridded board which is supposed to be used for heirloom sewing/ironing (It’s an old Sew EZ blocking board. 18 X 24” I think. I’ve had it for ages, & it’s amazing for blocking.) that I use for blocking. Anything with straight lines will help you spread your swatch out relatively straight. You could also use a ruler edge.

When you’re laying out the wet swatch, don’t pull it into shape, simply flatten it gently with your fingers until it’s square and straight. Pulling/stretching will cause your swatch to grow and flatten out the ribbing. In this case, you’re checking for the amount of growth due to the yarn, rather than trying to achieve a certain stockinette gauge. You want to retain a bit of bumpiness, because that’s where the elasticity of the ribbing comes from.

Once your swatch is dry (I use a fan because I’m generally impatient) measure it carefully and check that the fabric is of a quality you like. It’s dense enough not to be see through, not stretched so thinly that it’s inelastic, etc. Now you can compare your pre-block to post-block measurements and calculate exactly how much bigger or smaller your final sweater is going to be compared to your “just of the needles” size. (See, blocking is worth it’s weight in PITA factor right there. Imagine knowing nearly exactly what your end result is going to be before you knit the entire sweater!)

This information will also tell you if you should knit the size that your originally chose or if you should go one up/down because you know your sweater is going to grow/shrink once washed.

Ok, so now for helpful, hypothetical examples. I have knit a gauge swatch. It’s pretty much 4 X 4” off my needles. I dunk, roll, and press out onto a towel to straighten the edges, not really changing the size the swatch wants to be now that it’s wet. I have about 5 cups of really yummy caffeinated coffee, and 2 scrumptious chocolate bars while I wait for it to dry. (Hey, since this is hypothetical, I don’t gain any weight, either.) Then I grab my ruler and measure the blocked swatch carefully. It’s no longer 4”, but 5.25”.

Wow. Who knew? I get out my calculator to find out the percentage of difference (Because I don’t want a saggy neckline or baggy boobed sweater. Neither do you!) To find the percentage of difference:

Original Measurement/100 = 1% or 4/100= .04 
Blocked Measurement/1% = percentage of difference or 5.25 / .04 = 131% (my new measurement is 131% of my old or 
31% larger)

Let’s look at the pattern sizing. You need to know how big your bust is at it’s largest point. If you don’t know, grab a tape measure, and run it around your bust points (nipples) even with your bra strap & use that measurement. I have 36” of chest. I look at the pattern. Crap. There’s no 36. I’ve got to choose between 34” or 38”. To make this decision I am going to note a few things:

1.) The pattern states explicitly, that what I knit will be 4” smaller than the listed size. (4” of negative ease!) 
2.) I can add up to 2” of bust shaping to any listed size.

This means that off my needles of I knit the 34” size, it will actually measure 30” but I can add bust shaping up to 32” pre-blocking. Following the same logic, a size 36” will actually be 32” and up to 34” pre-blocking. We’re not stopping here.

We know that these measurements will grow by approximately 31% once this baby hits the water, so we multiply the above measurements by 31% (original measurement x 1.31 = post block measurement)

34” size: 30” & 32” * 1.31 = 39” - 41” 
36” size: 32” & 34 * 1.31 = 41” - 44.5”

Well lookey there. If I knit either of those sizes, they’re going to be huge! So I go one size down on the pattern because as we stated, we do not want drooping necklines or baggy boobs.

30” size: 26” & 28 * 1.31 = 34” - 36.5”

Wah lah! I now know I should knit the 30” size with the full 2” of darts and the sweater post-blocking should fit perfectly.

Just so you know, having a swatch grow by 30% is extremely unlikely. Most swatches don’t grow like that (unless your knitting with Malabrigo….which grew like 27% on me, hence the weirdo sizing on this sweater). But the main point this example highlights is if you knit the most likely size without blocking your swatch (I would have chosen 36” size, because hey, that’s what size my chest is!) then I really would have ended up with a sweater 5-8” too big in the bust. Then I would have cried…because no amount of coffee or chocolate can fix that.

This swatch magic can be applied to any pattern, any time. I highly recommend patterns that list or hint whether it’s constructed with positive ease (the sweater turns out bigger than the measurements listed) or negative ease (the sweater turns out smaller than the measurements listed) because those patterns give you tons of info on what to expect of the final garment.




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Gotta love this joke!!!!

The teacher gave her fifth grade class an assignment: Get their parents to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it.

---The next day, the kids came back and, one by one, began to tell their stories.

There were all the regular types of stuff: Spilled milk and pennies saved. But then the teacher realized, that only Janie was left.

"Janie, do you have a story to share?"

"Yes ma'am. My daddy told me a story about my Mommy. She was a Marine pilot in Desert Storm, and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory, and all she had was a flask of whiskey, a pistol, and a survival knife.

She drank the whiskey on the way down so the bottle wouldn't break, and then she parachuted right into the middle of 20 Iraqi troops........

She shot 15 of them with the pistol, until she ran out of bullets, killed four more with the knife, till the blade broke, and then she killed the last Iraqi with her bare hands."

''Good Heavens, 'said the horrified teacher. What did your Daddy tell you was the moral to this horrible story'?"

...."Don't Screw with Mommy when she's been drinking."

....I love these touching stories !!!


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