Tuesday, June 5, 2018

How (& Why) to Block The Canyon Steps Cowl with Allure Fiber Wash

Meet our newest exclusive project kit, the Canyon Steps Cowl! This fun-to-knit pattern designed by Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter features a series of triangular motifs which grow larger as you knit. Shown here in the Brynhildr (undyed) color of Gobi fingering, this cowl would also look fabulous in any of our hand-dyed semisolid and variegated colors from the Valkyrie color series.

Canyon Steps uses just 1 skein of Gobi, a luxurious blend of baby camel and mulberry silk from Bijou Basin Ranch. It begins with a wide rib edging followed by 3 sections using charted and written instructions, and finishes with a wide rib edging with a stretchy bind off. It's a great project for knitters of all skill levels - if you can knit and purl, you can make this cowl!

Like many projects, this design benefits from a good wet blocking; we recommend using Allure Fiber Wash to bring out the best in this specialty fiber blend, and you'll receive a FREE bottle of Allure in the fragrance of your choosing when you purchase the yarn and pattern together in this convenient kit. You'll also get free shipping and 3 custom, hand-made stitch markers from Purrfectly Catchy Designs!

Why do we specify a fiber wash for finishing your project? It's quite simple: luxury fibers such as camel, silk, cashmere, qiviut and yak have no naturally-occurring lanolin or wax on them before harvesting, yet many fiber washes contain lanolin, waxes or other animal oils which are left behind on your garment or yarn after washing. Allure was specially designed by our resident chemist and co-owner of Bijou Basin Ranch, Eileen Koop, to create a true no-rinse, no residue wash that is also biodegradable, pH neutral and free of bleach, phosphates, synthetic fragrance and dyes.

To put it simply, Allure is a natural, rinse-free wash that will let the original softness of these luxury fibers shine!

Once your Canyon Steps Cowl is off the needles, it might looks something like this:

Here's how to use Allure to put the perfect finishing touch on your project:

Supplies for blocking the Canyon Steps Cowl using Allure Fiber Wash.
  1. Gather Supplies: in addition to Allure, you will need a small basin or sink, a few fluffy towels, and some t-pins or Knit Blockers (a handy tool for creating straight edges quickly). A tape measure and foam mats are also handy, though not required. 
  2. Fill your basin or sink with tepid water and add 1-2 capfuls of Allure per gallon. 
  3. Gently add your cowl to the water, pressing it into the water slowly to make sure that it is totally submerged. Be careful not to agitate it. 
    Washing the Canyon Steps Cowl in Allure Fiber Wash.
  4. Allow to soak for 10-15 minutes. 
  5. Gently remove your cowl and gently squeeze to remove excess water, being careful not to wring or twist.
  6. Place cowl on a dry towel and roll up, applying gentle pressure to remove excess water. 
  7. Remove from towel and place on either foam blocking mats or another dry towel, and begin to shape your cowl to the dimensions specified in the pattern. 
    Using T-pins to create a flat, straight edge on the Canyon Steps Cowl.
  8. Use t-pins (shown above) or Knit Blockers (shown below) to create a straight edge at the top and bottom of the cowl; allow to air dry away from sunlight.
    This time-saving tool quickly creates a straight edge via the plastic combs with sharp pins.
And that's it! Once your cowl is dry, you can enjoy wearing it for years to come using these easy care steps. We hope you'll share your project with us on Instagram using the #bijoubasinranch hashtag. Happy knitting!

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