Assembling baby sweater--to block or not to block

Hello again. I hope you have all had a wonderful holiday and I would like to say how grateful I have been for your support in the past years. I look forward to being here more often in 2013.

In working on the baby sweater (Babies who lunch) in the Little Sublime Handknit book, I find directions that tell me to block the pieces of the sweater before assembling the sweater and joining the seams. I have never done this before and am looking for your insights as to how to go about doing this. I do have a good blocking board and pins, but I use that for drying our store bought sweaters when they are washed. I don’t really know how to block with steam to get the item to lay flat without loosing it’s body/spring. Any ideas at all will be welcome as always. Thank you,

It may not be necessary to block before sewing the pieces together, it can make it easier to seam if the edges are curling. But it depends on the fiber too - acrylic won’t ‘block’ by pinning and wetting, you’d need to steam them and be careful that they don’t get too hot or the shape changes. You can also just put them together then wash and dry afterward. For acrylic or cotton that’s in the washer and dryer, for other fibers wash by hand and lay flat to dry - you don’t have to pin it into shape.

Hi SuzeeQ: thanks for the info. It is 75% merino wool 25% silk, and 5% cashmere.I already have the pieces pinned onto the board, what do you think are best next steps? The pattern says to block before assembling–I have never done that.:muah:

Dampen the pieces first, roll in a towel to get out the excess liquid, then just lay them out on the board. Pat into shape, don’t stretch them out, and you only need to pin any edges that curl, you don’t have to do it all over.

Sounds like lovely soft yarn especially great for a baby sweater.
I like to pin out the pieces and spritz with water from a spray bottle. Pat the pieces gently to help the water penetrate and leave til completely dry.
Post a picture if you’d like. We’d love to see the finished sweater.