The other day I was googling needles or yarn or something or other and I happened upon an interesting website, Knitter's Review. I was immediately sucked into their yarn reviews and confronted with the rules of yarn engagement of "real" knitters. Specifically, I was reminded that "real" knitters make swatches and wash them and then block them so that they know they are knitting something the "right" way.
When I first took up knitting I was constantly in conflict. Part of me screamed swatches! we don't need no stinkin' swatches! while another part belittled my lazy knitting ways, wishing I had the patience to prepare knitting projects like a "real" knitter.
The rebellious knitter won out and I made a few poorly shaped sweaters. But along the way I also made a couple of nice ones, too, so there wasn't that much incentive to mend my errant ways until recently.
What's brought about this change is being able to see what "real" knitters do via the web. I'm a seeing is believing kinda gal. When I would read "swatch and block", well that's easy to ignore. When I see pictures of bloggers swatching and blocking their work, well I'm all 'lemme get in on it.' Well, the swatching that is. I've never been moved to wash and block until I read the yarn reviews over at Knitter's Review. She had me convinced I was missing out on something, that I wasn't getting the true measure of my yarn.
So over the past few days I made extra swatches and then last night I washed my yarn with ivory soap, as it's all I had on hand, and blocked them with sewing pins. My end results:
Do you see what I see? Well it seems that ironing your swatches kind works just as well as washing and blocking them. At least with these two yarns. Not the best lesson for a lazy knitter to learn, is it? :-)