Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Dilemma for all of us with actual weather

At first glance of this post's title, it seems I'm picking on certain geographic areas.  I'm not really.  I fully acknowledge that there are some areas of the world where the weather doesn't make a huge change between seasons in temperature.  Other areas make great changes from high noon to midnight.  This is a  gentle nudge in my daughter's in law way as well as The Knitmore Girls, Gigi, Jasmin and Genevieve.  All these lovely ladies come from southern or south central CA  where the weather is a balmy 55 - 60 in the winter and 90 or so in the summer with cooling breezes from the Pacific Ocean or so I understand.

This is for the areas where there are definite cold and definite warm to hot times of the year.  Where I live, the temperatures fluctuate from lows in the winter at more or less 25*F to highs in recent years during summer at 100*F more or less.  I know there are areas where the hot temps routinely go into the 130*F range.  Death Valley in California comes to mind.  I know there are areas where the cold temps routinely go down to -80*F.  Central Alaska comes to mind in this instance as well as Siberia and some of the central Asian countries in the mountains among others.

Now for the dilemma I have.  I knit for myself mainly with wool for winter.  I do cottons and linen for myself for summer knits.  As we all know, when storing your knit or your crocheted items, they need to be clean.  Otherwise we run the risk of our fluttery "friends" coming to call and having a munch or worse some furry little beasties.  When we pull out our clothes in the autumn, we may find instead of winter woolies, Swiss cheese.  If you knit and crochet with synthetic fibers have no fears, the moths won't eat them, but you still need to make sure you store clean things.  The mice won't be as discerning.

Now the big question is to block or not to block.  When I sent in my swatches to be assessed for the Craft Yarn Council's Correspondence Certified Instructor's Program, I blocked all of my swatches.  Most were perfect but a few needed a bit of oomph to get to the correct finished size.  Those that needed a little help shrank back to the original size in shipping.  I'm not sure if it was the temperature changes or the jostling or what.  Either way, do I want to do blocking now or when I pull them out of storage?

What do you do???  Do you block before storing or not?  I'm leaning to not unless I can be persuaded otherwise.  So let me know your reasons either way.