Quite a few knitters seem to be about to finish their Carbeths (yes, it is a quick knit!) , and I wanted to say a quick work about blocking this sweater.

This garment requires wet blocking (soak for 20-30 minutes, press dry between towels) and should be blocked flat, as shown in the diagram above. Place the sweater on a blocking board or mat and carefully smooth out to the shape shown above, paying particular attention to the lines of shaping and the sleeve angles. Now check the dimensions of your sweater in the pattern’s sizing table and refer to these measurements when pinning out to dry, using tape measure and blocking pins. Many knitters tend to work more tightly over small circumferences – if this is you, check the sizing table carefully and pay particular attention to the dimensions of the sleeves.

The neckline on this sweater is important. I don’t usually suggest stretching or overblocking rib, but it is important to do so in this instance. Fold the rib in two, and block the doubled-over rib so that it sits wide and straight. I used several pins to do this when blocking my samples, but Mel had the genius idea of using a plate when blocking hers.

The aim here is to create a straight, neat, boat-ish neck rather than an unruly funnel.

Leave your sweater blocking until it is completely dry. . . .
. . . Then have fun wearing your Carbeth!

35 thoughts on “blocking Carbeth

  1. I’m on my second Carbeth! I love this pattern so much. This is first “real” sweater that I’ve knit. The first Carbeth I knit with doubled sport weight, so it is slightly lighter than what the pattern suggests. This one I am using doubled dk raw silk. Is blocking the same for silk? Also, the decrease stitches are much more raised with the silk and the gap to the right of the left decreases is more pronounced. I noticed this gap in my wool sweater as well, but I never see it in the beautiful posts of other knitters. Is it just me? Will blocking help make this gap less noticeable? Thanks!


  2. On the other side of he world the weather has been so hot it has taken some time to finish this sweater but, as usual with Kate’s patterns, it has knitted up a treat. Thanks Kate.


  3. Il est vraiment très beau mais je ne vois pas bien combien il faut de mailles pour les manches et comment on doit faire les augmentations.
    Les photos sont magnifiques et donnent envie de visiter votre pays


  4. Soaking my Carbeth, getting ready for blocking! All would be perfect if I would be wearing it in Scotland! Hope to re-visit Glasgow in 2019.


  5. Thanks for the blocking tips. About to start a Carbeth for my daughter and it’s only the second jumper I’ve done. One question… do you need to follow the blocking steps every time you wash it?


  6. Hello Kate,
    I love this Sweater and I will knit them, but here I have a question about your wonderful skirt. I am very good in sewing – so I think I can make it for myself, but this would help me: on the foto I can see,there are in back front two darts and zip. But in front? Is it wrapped? Do you have sewing it? Can you tell me something about the fantastic tartan and where I can buy this fabric? Here in germany it is very difficult to get original tartan fabric and online it is offen the same because of the variety of colours.

    I like all your designs, books and your commitment for your landscape and knitting heritage. In June I will be on tour with the shetland wool adventure and I am already looking forward about it. Thank you very much
    greetings from germany


    1. In Kate’s first post about the Carbeth, on December 27, she mentions that the skirt comes from Cabbages and Roses. I won’t post a link because it is so much fun to see everything they have there.

      You can get a very good image of the skirt, to see that there is some draping detail to it. Unfortunately, it looks as if the only fabric they sell is printed linen (which is very beautiful,) but not the wool.


  7. I am knitting this now. I am wondering what the back length is from the bottom ribbing to the neck rib. Is it the sum of the body length to underarm and the yoke depth (ie in the 1st size 7.5”+7.5”=15”)?
    Thanks for your help.



  8. Thanks for sharing this! I cast on last night – I’m taking some chances on whether I’ll have enough wool to make it (using 500 yards of lovely Briar Rose I’ve been holding onto for years), but I figure it’s worth a shot…


  9. Can we please get the details of the glorious skirt you’re wearing? The whole ensemble is to die for including the jumper. I’ve added the Carbeth to my project queue after seeing this post. You look stunning!


  10. Kate, does leaving the wool soaking in Eucalan for longer periods-over 2 hours helps, hurts or makes no difference to the wool yarn? Thank you!


    1. I’m obviously not Kate, but perhaps I can help you? I would not leave your wool-based project to soak for extended periods as soaking longer will work to weaken the fiber and may cause dye colours that are less stable to bleed. This could lead to difficulties in trying to block it out right, or breakage (though less likely in a worsted spun yarn over a woolen spun yarn), and might result in any colourwork you’ve done bleeding into its neighbours (but depends on the fastness of the dyes used, and how well they were rinsed before selling). It’s very specific to the yarn itself how it will react, but I wouldn’t personally let yarn soak for extended periods of time as there’s really no need. There’s very little you need to soak longer than say 30 minutes.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. As one who once forgot a soaking sweater for over 24 hours: it won’t shrink, but it might full up, rendering the whole thing uncomfortable and unwearable. The soak need not be any longer than it takes to thoroughly wet the fiber.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you! Blocking is sometimes my weakest talent – and yet it makes (or breaks) a beautiful finished garment. I love the use of a plate! I’ll certainly give it a try.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Good grief people are already finishing theirs – I am taking so long deciding on the colour haven’t yet got further than that! However, this pattern is just perfect for me in every respect, thank you so much.
    I was brought up being told you should never ever soak wool, so blocking this way has always scared me..thank you for the tips!

    Liked by 1 person

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