When we wear or use something for the first time we say in Spanish that it’s listo para estrenar. The verb estrenar is the verb “to premiere” and, interestingly enough, it’s also used for films when they are shown for the first time in movie theaters. My blue star motif sweater is ready for its premiere, but today it’s a bit too warm for wearing a wool sweater. Tomorrow it’s supposed to be cold so I think I’ll wear it to knitting club. That’s usually the nicest place to estrenar something you made yourself, isn’t it?
I finished the knitting on this sweater on February 28, but it was most definitely not ready to estrenar. Have a look at some before and after photos and, if you’re new to knitting and / or crochet, learn a thing or two about blocking.
Blocking can be as simple as washing the finished project and allowing it to dry flat. As a matter of fact, for most things we knit and crochet, that’s the usual procedure if the yarn is 100% wool. People sometimes like to block “aggressively” which means they pin the garment down with blocking pins to make sure it dries at the desired dimensions with absolutely no unwanted textures. As you can see from my before-and-after photos you can achieve quite a bit from simply washing the garment and letting it dry flat. If you look at the “after” photo, to the right, you can see some crinkly texture below and above the star motif. That is the result of decreasing because on a seamless yoke sweater knit in the round the upper body is decreased aggressively about three or four times. This, of course, is noticeable on a color pattern. If I were a fussy blocker, I might have pinned the living daylights out of those areas. I did not bother because after I wear the sweater those stitches will settle themselves down automatically and remember where and how they need to be shaped. That’s the magic of pure wool, especially an untreated wool like this one, which is Cascade 220. It still has quite a lot of its natural properties. This is unlike a superwash wool, which has been treated with chemicals to remove them. As a matter of fact, I don’t typically get aggressive with blocking on any of my wool projects like sweaters, socks, and hats. I just wash them and let them dry flat. I do get fussy with lace if it seems unruly, but even wool lace, if spread out nicely, doesn’t need much in the way of pinning if the yarn isn’t too cobweb-like.
I of course took a picture of the whole sweater!
If you follow my blog enough you know that I made this same exact sweater in different colors a while back. I downloaded the pattern from Leisure Arts. It isn’t expensive so, if you’d like to knit up one of these, check out the pattern. It’s vintage, with a model sporting a 1970s mustache and all! It’s actually hard for me to believe that this is a “vintage” sweater. I think it’s quite modern to wear in the 21st century. Perhaps it would be better to call it a timeless pattern?