Could someone tell me what it means to "block with vigor". After many years of knitting I've never run into this term. Also, can you block acrylic yarn? There seems to be pros and cons on whether or not you can. Thanks.
"Block with vigor" - to me,the expression conjured up a picture of two women stretching a garment between them, grunting with the effort... No, I have never heard that expression either - which pattern used it?
As for the blocking of acrylics, you are right, there are varying opinions on that matter. I can only give you mine: Most acrylic yarns are 'killed' if you block them as you would wool. A hot steam block will make acrylic yarns go limp, flat and flaccid in the hand. On the other hand, wetting the knitted acrylic product and pinning/stretching it while it dries seems to have some merit. Of course some acrylic yarns are advertised as having 'memory' - probably nothing you can do with them will change their original knitted shape. I knitted some two-color mittens using a good acrylic yarn and was bothered by some unevenness in the finished product. I ended up actually ironing the mittens, with the iron on low heat and using a dry pressing cloth over the mittens. Excellent results!
Experiment with a small swatch.
Thanks for your reply. My friend sent me a pattern for a shawl she made and said she had "blocked with vigor". I thought this was something new. I'm trying to knit Caryl's kerchief and am going crazy. What with the yarn overs, ssk's and k2tog I've had to frog back to the beginning so many times. Life line time for me. That was a new term for me. I thought blocking with vigor was something else that was used now.
I will experiment with a swatch.
I've never heard the term either, but I'm guessing it means either curling edges or getting the right shape required lots of blocking. Sounds very British! :)