I know I don’t need to preach to you about the miracle of blocking; you are the prophet of the blocking board who converted me in the first place.
But I recently had a blocking experience that was right up there with the loaves and the fishes in terms of taking a sweater from Give This to Someone Smaller to My New Best Sweater.
First: Confession Time
Remember all that stuff I said about how I had to go down from a size 3 needle to a size 2 needle to get gauge for my Bottom Line Pullover? Well, that part was true.
But then that thing happened where you go down one further needle size for the ribbing, and then you just keep knitting the rest of the sweater with that needle.
I was not knitting most of this sweater on size 2 needles. I was knitting it on size 1 needles. My gauge on my swatch and my gauge on the sweater are completely different.
My failure to notice this is pathetic. Remember when you picked it up in Edinburgh and knit on it for 5 minutes and said something like, wow, this is tight?
You were right. It was tight. I basically made a sock for my body.
In my defense, size 2 needles and size 1 needles are both very, very small needles.
Anyway. Tra la, I thought. I usually overshoot and knit a size that’s too big, so this one will turn out just right. That’s the spirit!
How It Turned Out
Here’s my headless body wearing the sweater before blocking. It doesn’t not fit. Some people would like this fit.
I don’t like this fit. A person can’t exhale with this fit. I like to exhale, and slouch, and I want room to do both of those things inside the sweater, without it showing on the outside of the sweater.
So I said a little prayer to the gods of wet blocking. I took measurements before and after so that I’d know exactly what happened or didn’t happen.
Behold the Power of Blocking
Before blocking, the sleeve was 13 inches from underarm to cuff.
After blocking: 15 inches.
Before blocking, the circumference of the body was 40 inches and change.
After blocking, it was nearly 44 inches.
Before blocking, the length from back of neck to hem was 20 inches.
After blocking, it was 22 1/2 inches.
And here is how it looks on me now. I even have a head in this photo.
And here I am, trying to demonstrate the amount of ease to a skeptical friend:
Blocking is the best thing ever.