Yesterday, I spent some time with my designated dish tub, water, and Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo. What are on earth was I up to? Getting ready to block some garments. I have a dish tub that I use solely for soaking/hand washing my knitting projects. Once I add the cool water, I throw in a few drops of J&J baby shampoo and swish the water around to produce some bubbles.
If I have a wool or wool blend project, I simple dunk it in the water with very minimal movement. I then change out the water and give the wool project a final rinse in the tub...again with very minimal movement. I gently push my project to one side of the tub and dump the rinse water out of the tub. Still holding my project against the side of the tub, I continue to apply a bit more pressure to get most of the water out of my knitted project. I then lay my wool project out on a flat thick bath towel and stretch out the project flat, but not too much stretching. I take another thick bath towel and lay it over my wool project that's already laying on the first towel. I start at one end of the towels and gently start to roll, keeping my wool project sandwiched between the two towels. At this point, I let rolled towels sit for a few minutes. Note: I've been known to step on the rolled towels to put a little pressure and get the towels to pull the excess water from the wool project.
I lay out my KnitPicks blocking mats. I actually used two sets as I was blocking three garments. I place thick bath towels over the mats. I unroll the wet towels and gently place my wool garment on my towel covered blocking mats. I rearrange my project to the size I need, flatten edges, etc. Sometimes, I will pin my project in place or just leave it flat to dry.
For my non-wool projects, I don't have to be as gentle when hand washing and I tend to do a bit more squeezing to get most of the water out of my non-wool projects. I still do the towel rolling method and will still lay my projects out flat on my blocking mat.
I will be back to post of a picture of my projects on my block mats.