November 13, 2003

Finishing parties, steam-blocking and stinky fabric.

Why, it's a seaming party!
[Throws confetti all around.]

Take out a red marker and circle this day on your calendar, friends. Believe it or not, I have decided NOT to procrastinate over seaming my niece's tank, and went off and started it! It's record-breaking; I usually wait weeks to start finishing. Let's all have a kir royale to celebrate.

But that's not all. While I was in the finishing mood, I decided to just go ahead and complete the back piece of Elfin. I kid you not. I'm on roll, I tell you. And as if that weren't enough, I even blocked it. Ever blocked Rowan's Felted Tweed using steam? The smell is enough to curl your toes. Wear noseplugs. But what a fabric! Felted Tweed doesn't curl, and this is something I noticed when I blocked the swatch. So I did away with the ribbing at the hem in order to avoid having the jacket cling at the hip area, but I was still able to do a tubular cast-on without having to worry about the cast-on edge curling.

Totally tubular. Like, totally.

Oh, how I love the invisible edge that the tubular cast-on creates! I use it every time I knit up a non-bumpy yarn of fine gauge. And it looks so neat and clean on Felted Tweed, it's worth having the room smell like a barn while steam-blocking the fabric.

P.S. When steam-blocking, set the iron to low-heat, and cover the fabric with a damp cloth. I always use lightweight cloth diapers (brand-new, never used...come on!) that are slightly damp to cover pieces I block using steam. That way, the steam will still get through but the knitting will be protected. And even with the cloth, Felted Tweed will still smell like a barn. But, like I said, what a fabric!

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16 comments to this entry:

Ohh, the pink is soooo pretty. I want one!

And yes, I remember the felted tweed eau de parfum scent well. blech.

I need to try a tubular cast on!

That bubblegum tank is looking great. (is that its real name or just what I think of it as?)

I have my felted tweed here waiting to become bucket o chic number 2, I'll order the noseplugs right now!

Wow - what a flurry of activity! And how good it all looks! I think I might try the tubular cast looks really neat. I hope the felted tweed is less stinky out of the steam - you can't wear a posh jacket while smelling like you've been rolling around in wet hay!

Whoa ~ look at you go, girl! You are flying! LOL... felted tweed smells like a barn??? I can't wait to see what you mean [I got some comin to me *soon.*]! Would that be the smell of the haystacks or alfalfa or something *else???* ;)

woo hoo! now i can't wait to get started on my winter scarf using blue rowan felted tweed! good to know that it doesn't create a curly fabric.

It's fabulous! Being a giant fan of pink - I love the shade of the tank. Also I really like the difference in texture between the front and back. Lucky niece.

Pretty back of Elfin!

Why did you opt for steam blocking instead of cold/wet blocking? For something wooly, I just tend to pin it down and get out my spray bottle and let it air dry (I have a spare bedroom with ceiling fan, which makes for rapid drying). Just curious since I am always trying to understand why and when it is a good idea to do something.

Good to know that the Felted Tweed is odiferous. I found that the Jaeger Natural Fleece was a little bit sheepy when wet as well.

The back for elfin looks wonderful! It makes me want to hurry up and finish mine :)

Your neice is going to be in heaven with her new pink tank.

There's something comforting about the stench, though, isn't there? I washed my Noro cardie in the washer, and it's blocking in my room right now - that Japanese sheep smell drifting out every now and again. Might curl others' nostrils, but somehow I like it. Good stink. :)

I remember the time I steam-pressed a cardigan I made from Noro Kureyon. Not only did it smell like a barn, but I kept finding tiny pieces of hay in the sweater. I tried using scented water in my iron (lavender) and it seemed to lessen the stench. And no, I don't smell like a cow every time I wear it.

Fantastic tank seaming.Superb Elfin back.
You're sickening,in the nicest possible way. :0)

I aim to please, Emma :-D

Andrea, Felted Tweed doesn't curl as much as other fabrics do, but you will need to block it. Also, I suggest that you do a garter selvedge (knit the first and last stitches on all rows) if the scarf is in stockinette stitch because if you don't, the edges will still curl slightly.

Theresa, I actually prefer wet-blocking most of the time, or a both. (Steam-blocking followed by wet-blocking.) In general, I wet-block cottons, steam-block wools and do both to yarns with high-content acrylic. I never steam-block novelty or nylon yarns. It make exceptions in some cases. For example, if a sweater has a lot of ribbing and I don't want the ribbing to use elasticity, I never steam-block, no matter what the yarn composition is.

Carol, I actually found pieces of dried hay twice while knitting the back! I kid you not. Hence my "barn" reference...wonder if Felted Tweed was spun in a barn? (I'm kidding here, people, no need to reply. I'm not kidding about finding the hay, though.)

mmmmm, tweed. it's so pretty.

can't wait to see the finished tank! I'm proud of you for starting the seaming right away! I could learn a lesson from you, I could.

Wow! Your stuff is looking so fabu!!!
Good for you - starting your finishing! That is my least favorite part of the knitting process.
The "pretty in pink" tank is just stunning! Your neice is going to looove it - all her friends will want one too!
Where do you find the time to get it all in??

Oh boy, Becky's seeming and we get kir royales! The tank is so cute. Clever pattern with the two different stitch patterns on front and back. And using a tubular cast on for stockinette is such a cool idea. Thanks for the tip!

Re steam blocking, which I do all the time: I like to think that all that warm steam fluffs up the fibers a little, kind of a sweater sauna. You know, a facial for your fibers.

And as for barn scents, I just had our wool carpets cleaned yesterday, and if you want to feel like a bunch of wet sheep are following you through the house, come see me. Blech! Vleh! Egh! Damp Felted Tweed would be a perfumey relief from this mess. I want my dirty carpets back!


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