Thursday, March 12, 2015

Reader Mail! Questions about Blocking and Casting On and Yarn Subs

I've been getting a few comments lately, with questions in them.

Although the commenters are leaving their name, they aren't leaving any contact info.

I'll be honest, I'm not actually sure how/where to respond to them. Is the commenter expecting to find the reply in the thread on that particular post? Or should I write a new post? Any thoughts? Is there a standard protocol for this?

What I'm going to do is write the replies here, and then link to this blog post from the comment threads on the various posts. And just hope that my correspondents find them.

In my recent post on Blocking SusanJD asks about blocking swatches.
About blocking swatches for checking gauge. how do you block a swatch to get an accurate measurement of gauge?
Block the swatch the way you intend to wash the garment... if it's a machine washable yarn, machine wash it. If it's a hand-wash only yarn, handwash it and then roll in a towel to squeeze most of the moisture out. If it's going to be a big piece, like a long scarf or a one-piece seamless garment, hang the swatch to dry.

An anonymous knitter asks about yarn substitutions for Mission Falls Cotton, in the post about my "Colour Your Own Story" baby blanket.
Would love to make this blanket! Mission Falls is no longer in business, how much of each color of worsted weight yarn will I need?
Mission Falls Cotton had 85yds/78m per ball. I used one ball each of 7 colours.

And on my post about the Long Tail Cast On, Olivia asks a very good question
Great post! I'm a beginner knitter, and I love how quick and easy long tail casting on is. However, I find that after I cast on and begin the first row, I always have what I call a "yarn bridge" in between the two needles: basically a stretch of yarn that looks like a very loose stitch got caught in between the needles. Any idea on why this happens/ how to prevent it from happening? Thanks!
I assume that you're talking about when working in the round... ? If not, let me know and I'll provide more info.

It's actually pretty hard to get a really tight join when working in the round... Do the best you can, pulling the first couple of stitches of the first round as tight as you can. But then as you work around and around, you'll work over that spot many times, and it will tighten itself up. And when it's time to weave in the ends, use the tail to tidy up any residual looseness.


susanjd said...

thank you. You responded exactly where and how I expected you to. If I need/want a private reply, I will email you.
so no pinning of the swatch then? or only if lace?

Kate said...

Aha! Glad I figured it out! I would hate that someone not see my replies.

Only pin if you're going to pin the garment/piece every time you wash it... So yes, only for lace that will be pinned and stretched for wearing.