Guston! (and the importance of blocking)

 

The name Guston reminds me of the big, muscly character from Beauty and the Beast! 

I am making this jumper for Andy as a wee thank you for trailing around Edinburgh to yarn shops! The pattern I am using is from a Canadian knitter and you can find it here http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/guston. Again the wool isnt my favourite but Andy wanted a machine washable jumper – I am using Patons wool bled DK. It is pretty easy to knit with though. 

I was very patient starting this project – I actually made a swatch to check my guage. (Thats a lie really, I had the wool left over from my dads hat and I thought it was the same but his wool was aran. Not to worry). After I made my swatch (which was half on one side, half on the other as I was clearly watching too much TV that night) I didnt block it. I didnt really understand the importance of blocking. 

I started the jumper almost two weeks ago and it is knitting up pretty fast. A week in I had finished the body (up to the dividing line before the pattern starts). I was gettiing a little bored going around and around and around! After this stage I put in a “lifeline” just in case I made  a mistake and would have to rip a few rows out. I hate ripping out rows as I can never be sure whether I have all the stitches back on and round the right way. I am so glad  I took the extra few minutes to put in a lifeline, which is just a scrap piece of yarn, as I had to rip it out 3 or 4 times before I was happy with it!

The other evening I made my first button hole! I found this pretty exciting as I was so sceptical beforehand. I used the k2, yarn over method. My button fits through too which is fantastic! So easily pleased!

I am now working my way up to the armholes where I will divide the jumper into fronts and backs. I am really pleased with it so far. The only problem is that it seems to be really big (Andy tried it on when I put in my lifeline). I am hoping it will shrink a little when I block it…

And so to blocking…

The pattern states that the garment should be blocked as seperate pieces before stitching together. I didnt understand what the difference would be if I stitched then blocked. Apparently blocking helps to loosen off the knitting, making it easier to see stitches. It also helps prevent the end from curling up. Also, if the pieces arent quite the same size one can be blocked larger so they fit. Im no where near that stage yet, so Ill put that dilemma off until nearer the time but from the advice I have had I think I will be blocking first, then sewing!

Cx

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