As you lovingly knit up your luscious skeins of silk yarn, are you wondering how to block your project? We bring you excellent tips on blocking silk yarn projects from expert knitter Sanhita Kar.
As a prolific user of the lovely silk yarn from Silkindian, a question that I get asked most frequently is how to block silk. Knitters, especially first time users of silk yarn, always want to know if I block my projects at all and how I do it. I have knit and crocheted many, many glorious scarves and shawls with these gorgeous yarns and thought I could share with you all my experience with blocking silk yarn projects.
Silk, as we know, is one of the strongest natural fibres but loses up to 20% of its strength when wet. Its elasticity is moderate to poor. It can be weakened if exposed to too much sunlight.
From these facts you get the following rules to follow while working with silk:
- You have to handle wet silk with lots of respect and care
- While blocking, you cannot stretch it as much as you’d love to lest it breaks
- If stretched the yarn might get weakened or the fibre might get damaged
- You should not dry the silk projects in direct sunlight
So for blocking, instead of dipping the entire project into water, spread it on the blocking surface and spray it lightly with water. Before you do that, weave the blocking wire through the straight edge/edges, so that once wet, the silk need not be handled extensively. Also, ensure that the blocking wire is woven through the gaps between stitches and does not pierce the yarn.
Now gently smoothen and spread the project out, gently tugging here and there, stretching it a little bit if necessary and pinning it down in place with blocking pins.
Take care that the pins do not pierce the yarn (although fine pins may not really cause too much damage). If needed, spray a little more water in dry patches.
Once it is spread out and pinned in the desired shape and size, let it dry on its own. You can switch on the fan if necessary.
Once it dries completely, take out the pins and the blocking wires carefully and you are done – your project is ready to be used with a smile on your face.
Photos: Courtesy Sanhita Kar