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How to Become an "Expert Knitter"   *Buy this book on CD for offline reading!

table of contents Ľ chapter 15 (of 29)

15: Ironing

Once you have finished all the knitting, you may want to iron (or press, I call it ironing) the pieces of the garment. Unless the instructions stipulate that the pieces mustnít be ironed, itís better to iron before you do the joining. Sleeves, for instance, are best ironed before they are joined. Unless they are very wide or you have a tiny iron or a sleeveboard, itís hard to avoid creases when you iron finished sleeves.

I have owned many different irons and after dealing with thousands of garments, I have found that metal is the best iron surface when working with yarn. All the wonderful variations available may be terrific for fabrics, but can be a problem when used on knitting. Depending on the composition of the yarn, you could have a disaster if the fibres melt and stick onto the bottom of the iron. From experience, I have found that only metal can be cleaned effectively if this happens.

First of all, you must never iron a garment until you are sure that the yarn will not be affected. Some yarns have a symbol on the ball band that indicates that the yarn cannot be ironed. You should believe the warning, but often that warning is there because instructions would be complicated, and the yarn company doesnít want to take responsibility for careless knitters.

Here again are the basic ironing symbols:

 Do not iron
 Cool iron
 Medium iron
 Hot iron

Many fibres flatten, shrink, stretch or set into a hard lump if ironed. Sometimes a cool iron may not damage your precious work, but yarn companies avoid the risk rather than expect that all knitters will follow instructions properly. That is why there is a warning on the ball band [pic 1,2,3,4].

1: This yarn looked so robust that the ironing warning was a surprise.

2: 100% nylon. Enough said!

3: One touch of an iron, and the metallic looking polyester would melt!

4: This yarn could end up flat if ironed, so believe the warning. Looking at the composition, itís best not to try.

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