Blocking and Pressing Stocking Stitches
My sister taught me how to knit for christmas (thank you!), and serious practice was needed before using an expensive yarn. This proto is 80% acrylic and 20% wool, knit in a stocking stitch with a german slip stitch selvedge edge. After a dozen swatches, I went whole hog and knit up the entire skein. Good thing too- none of the small swatches had curled at the edges, but the scarf was a hot mess.
The basic nature of this stitch is to curl, and there are a million online answers for how to solve the problem. A common solution is to add a rib or a non curling stitch to the edges (not really the look i'm going for). There are a few methods for "blocking a knit" that come up repeatedly on the internets. The results are as follows...
This seemed easy enough. Just pin the knitting to a folded towel and spritz with water until saturated. Let it sit until dry and unpin.
Didn't really work so much. It loosened the curl a bit, but not significantly enough to make a difference.
Again, seemed pretty easy. Soak the piece for a half hour, then very gently squeeze out the excess water (no aggressive squeezing or wringing). Pin to the towel and let sit until dry.
The soaking seems to even out the tension in a way that the spritzing did not. Curling is not phased.
Last resort. Primarily concerned with felting the piece, I used the lowest setting on the iron, and the highest steam. Using a pressing cloth on the back side, try to keep the iron on the edges only, pressing as lightly as possible.
Well, the curling is gone, so mission accomplished. But it does look super flat now. Almost as if the yarn has lost its cosy personality.
Don't use a stocking stitch for the actual piece. The real yarn is thicker than this proto, and pressing it defeats the purpose. Garter stitch all the way.
In the end, even the pressed technique curled after a wear. The last resort was to crochet a slip stitch edge around the whole piece. This was the least "crocheted" looking edge- instructions are here, and you can see how it turned out on this scarf here.