Blocking: From Good to Great
Blocking takes knitting projects from good to great.
I've talked a lot about lace shawl knitting lately, and blocking is essential to bring out the beauty of lace patterns.
|Weaving the string through the edges of the shawl|
Marcy Smith, editor of Interweave Crochet, wrote a useful tutorial about how to block a shawl using string instead of blocking wires. Here's how you do it.
Blocking Without Wires
If you don't have blocking wires, you've come to the right place.
I also don't have blocking wires. But I did have a rumply lace shawl that needed blocking.
I found my solution at the Yarn Harlot, a.k.a. Stephanie Pearl McPhee. Stephanie developed a method of blocking without wires, which involves using string.
I added two boys and an exercise mat to the mix and here's how it shakes out:
Start by weaving a string through the edges of the shawl. This is a great shawl for this method, because all of its sides are straight; you don't have to do any fancy point-pinning (though you can do that too with this method). Leave a good amount of string at the ends — the shawl will grow when it's wet.
Then you proceed with the wet part of the blocking:
1. Soak for about 20 minutes (I used lukewarm water and a bit of Eucalan, a no-rinse soap).
|3. Ask a boy to step on it to squeeze out the water.
(Do not ask the dog to help. Clearly, she's not in the mood.)
My finished shawl is shown at left. It's the Moss Fern Wrap by Kimberly McAlindin, from Interweave Crochet Fall 2009. It's beautifully blocked and ready to wear!
—Marcy Smith, editor, Interweave Crochet
I have blocking wires, but I love options! For more about blocking, and knitting fabulous lace shawls, check out our new video, The Structure of Shawls with Andrea Tong!