Hello all, just an adendum.
The teal-coloured sweater from recycled wool, the one that was super-short? Well i've blocked it long and despite it's breast-shrinking abilities it is quite satisfactory.
that's not to say i think it will make the weekly rotation... but it is nice and warm and a good colour.. we'll see.
will post a pic as soon as i have a good hair day (don't hold your breath).
This was the wool anyway, and i still have about 550 metres left over... let's face it, that's a lot of socks.
The colour is a little less grey and a little more green but this is fairly approximate. Just imagine it prettier (you can tell i dyed it myself, i'm all hung up that people will think the colour is ugly..).
Did i mention that last wednesday when i went on the hunt for abused yarns (read: ugly sweaters) i ran into this lovely lady i used to volunteer with at a charity store. we were having a merry old gossip about the price of yarn (she was shocked when i correctly identified her cardigan as Cleckheaton Country Natural 8ply) etc etc and she mentions a few things she's knitted have 'dropped'.
'But did you block it?' says i.
'What's blocking?' says she.
So, with the new knowledge that a 65 year old knitter doesnt know what blocking is i feel i should explain.
How to block knitwear
After hand washing your knitted wool or cotton garment (this works for shopbought woollens as well) either spin dry in your washing machine or roll up in a towel and remove excess moisture.
Spread said knitwear flat on to a large dry towel in a warm shady place (inside is good, out of sunlight).
Moosh that baby into a shape you want . For example, your sweater is too short? Pin the shoulders the way you like them (use rust-proof pins) and tug the bottom til it looks about right and then pin in place. You can make uneven sleeves the same length, necklines less plunging (or more if you prefer) and even make it tighter by pushing in the sides and pulling down a little. Pin it the way you like and voila! a spanking new looking sweater! (or whatever). This also works for making the stitches look neater and lie flat... warm water makes the wool relax ('aaaaahhhhh') after all your bullying and knitting and it just wants to lay low after washing.