We’ve come to the end of the knitalong! Thanks to Stitchcraft Marketing and Knitter’s Pride for the awesome prizes, and to all the knitters who joined in on Ravelry! Scroll down to the bottom for a BONUS ROUND PRIZE!
Today I’ve got another photo tutorial for you – on blocking your finished Just Enough Ruffles or Just Enough Ruffles Light!
I know blocking can sound intimidating, particularly for newer knitters, but it’s really not hard – and it makes SUCH a huge difference in the quality of your finished piece! It really is like magic, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. For many projects, a simple soak and lay flat to dry is all you need. The soak allows the fibers to relax and bloom, and you can shape the damp piece so it dries the way you want.
First, weave in your ends. I like this article from Knitty! For scarves and reversible items, you’ll want to follow the stitches as closely as possible so they’re nice and neat. I clip the ends at this point, but depending on the project you might want to leave them a little longer to trim after it’s dry.
Gather up your blocking stuff – a bowl (or sink), some Eucalan or other wool wash, blocking mats (or a towel) and some pins, if needed.
Tepid water is usually recommended, but sometimes I break rank and use warm water. As long as it’s not like, scalding hot, you’ll be ok! Add some wool wash and get the knitting in there. Wool resists absorbing water, so you’ll need to hold it under until it gets wet and sinks. Leave it for at least 10 minutes or so to relax.
Carefully dump out the water and gather up the piece as best you can in your hands. Press it to release the majority of the water, but don’t twist or wring it. Then to get even more water out, lay it out on a towel (it can be haphazard, but should be in a single layer), roll it up and walk on it! No shoes, please.
Once you’ve gotten most of the water out, lay your piece on some blocking mats (these are from Knitter’s Pride) or a towel.
Knitter’s Pride sent me some of their Knit Blockers to try out, and they are awesome. Each large handle has 8 pins in it so you don’t have to go stabbing yourself repeatedly while pinning (or is that just me…) plus they’re great for getting straight lines.
But do be careful, as they’re quite sharp! I used several Knit Blockers along the top edge to help it lay flat. If you wanted to stretch the edge to make it longer, the pins would be great to help hold it in place as it dries. For this project, I didn’t need to stretch it out as it relaxed quite nicely in the soak.
Next, onto the important part – the ruffle! Start at one end – see how it’s all messy and all over the place? We can fix that!
First I like to spread out the fabric a little at a time, so I can see the length and smooth out the bottom edge there.
Then use your fingers to shape the ruffle into even-ish folds, like crimping pie crust!
It certainly doesn’t need to be perfect – the ruffle will change and move when you wear it anyway, but we’re just trying to encourage it to lie straight at the bottom edge. On the left side of the photo is the un-shaped ruffle, with the shaped ruffle on the right!
I actually find this very satisfying work. The trickiest part is sitting on the floor to do it!
Not bad, eh? Once you’ve got your piece all laid out the way you like, leave it to dry. If it’s very humid or you need it to dry fast, try aiming a fan on it or using a dehumidifier in the room!
Here’s my finished JERL! Doesn’t that ruffle look awesome now?
Pattern: Just Enough Ruffles Light, available on Ravelry
Yarn: Mountain Colors Perspectives Twizzle, Reds/Pinks
Needles: US 4 / 3.5mm circular
Time for one last BONUS giveaway! I have a set of Knitter’s Pride Nova Cubics Platina Deluxe interchangeable needle set to send to a lucky winner!
Comment on this post with a link to your Ravelry KPChauKAL project page or IG post to enter!
Closes a midnight Sunday August 23, 2015, and I’ll post the winner on Monday.
Thanks again to everyone who participated for making my first KAL foray a success!
Love the colors you used. My Hibiscus Wrap is still a WIP but I hope I am eligible for the bonus round! http://www.ravelry.com/projects/sydnie7/hibiscus-shawl
Fun KAL, looking forward to the next! Hoping to win!!!
Thanks for a great KAL!
Ravelry ID: floooberry
Here’s the project page link:
The knitalong was fun! Your tutorial posts are very nice too! Thanks for the chance to win prizes just by knitting great patterns.
Thanks for a fun KAL! And thanks for a bonus chance to win. :)
This was my first KAL and was very fun. Here is my Terauley project! http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Aerdrie/terauley
I love your JERL! It looks great. I usually just wash my knits and lay them flat on a towel, but I think I should follow your process for my JER to be perfect, so I need to buy some block mats next week, hehehehe
I love the gradient on the JERL
I also finished JERL http://www.ravelry.com/projects/nitarose/just-enough-ruffles-light
Hi Laura, I’m really liking the simple yet effective shawl. Still a wip but I am going to get some more knitting done in it soon.
This was my first KAL as well, and I really enjoyed the pattern! It’s nice to have so much advice and encouragement offered – I needed a little.. This pattern included two new-for-me techniques – I had never done wrap and turns, nor had I done the double increase for the ruffles. Thank you, Laura, for a fun project!!
I don’t seem to be able to figure out how to link to my page – tried, but no link!!
Trying the Instagram link!
I believe the link Susan is trying to leave is:
Gifted my KAL, great pattern and the timing was perfect!
Love the colors!! Ruffles have alsways scared me, but now I may need to try them!!
This pattern was so well written and the resulting scarf is lovely, feminine and ruffly without being gaudy. Thanks, Laura, for hosting the KAL and delivering such a great pattern.
I loved knitting my Just enough ruffles! I joined at the last moment but it was great! here’s the link to my project: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Asteride/just-enough-ruffles
Gorgeous colors! I actually have a question, though: most of the instructions I’ve ever seen for blocking talk about wool yarn. I’m mildly allergic to wool and so prefer not to use 100% wool yarns. So I was wondering if the procedure would be different for a different material, such as a wool blend, or maybe cotton? The yarn I’m working with for my project (http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Nerima/bestellen-shawl) I’m not sure what it is because I inherited it from my grandmother, but the way it behaves I would hazard a guess that it’s some kind of cotton-wool blend.
I’ve always wondered how to block a ruffled item. Now I know! I think I’ll have to check out those Knit Blockers … or send the link to my husband for a stocking stuffer idea this Christmas!
Here is the link to my JER light http://www.ravelry.com/projects/katiecom1994/just-enough-ruffles-light
Thanks for the tutorial :-) I’m actually planning on making your Just Enough Ruffles Scarf in the near future, just as soon as I get the yarn and finish my Christmas knitting ;-) This tutorial will come in super handy once I do.
I had a lot of fun with the knit along; here’s the link to my project page: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/ksbmrt/cuppa-tea-cowl
I really like the end result and have already gotten compliments on it ;-) Thanks again :-)
I didn’t participate in the KAL, but did want to say that the blocking worked wonders for this (and most other) project!
One more try!!
Ok – how does everyone but me know how to do this??? LOL
This kal was fun and a great way to use up some yarn. The JERL wasn’t my style (and I’m so slow I probably wouldn’t have finished it) but maybe I’ll make it as a gift in the future. Thanks for the blocking tutorial!
This post is amazing. I WANT that shawl in THAT yarn … just GORGEOUS. Thanks, Laura, for the “bonus round”! It got me motivated to finish off my Turbulence. REALLY like this pattern. http://www.ravelry.com/projects/amchart/turbulence-cowl
My Hallum did not fare so well! I am only on the 3rd set of short rows. Those LARGE stitch counts are killer. I seem to be such a slow poke knitter lately.