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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 (cont.)

If you suspect that a light cool ironing would be possible, use your tension square as a test (you did knit a tension square, didnít you?). Measure the square, and after ironing it, make sure that it is the same size. If the knitting looks flat and smooth, it means that the fibres have not been able to withstand the heat. If the square is unaffected, go ahead and iron all the pieces, but remember to make sure that the iron is set at the same heat that you used when you carried out the test. You are doing this at your own risk, so be very careful. Donít expect to go back to the yarn shop to whine if you ruin all your hard work.

Make sure that you check the temperature setting before you put the iron on the knitting. It is too easy to forget that you had the iron turned to the hottest setting for something you ironed yesterday, and then ruin something that requires a very cool iron.

Always iron lightly and preferably use a low heat. You can go over the same area until it is as flat as you wish, but donít use a hot iron to force the knitting into shape. Iron on the wrong side as much as possible, and as an added insurance, use a damp cloth placed over the work. I must say I rarely do this because I canít properly see what I am achieving, but using a damp cloth will protect the knitting. If possible, iron seams on the wrong side, and then iron very lightly on the right side if necessary. Avoid stretching the seam, just smooth it.

Ribbed bands can be wrecked if ironed roughly. They lose their elasticity, which is one of the reasons for using a rib stitch in the first place.

If you are trying to coax a piece of knitting into a shape and itís putting up a fight, or if the yarn wonít flatten enough for your liking, or if you want to press an edge so that it will sit really flat, use an old tailorís trick. Iron on the wrong side with steam, and then place something really heavy on the area that you are trying to flatten, and leave the weight there until the heat is gone. It should then be set as you want it.

Use an iron carefully. It can be a deadly weapon!

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