Blocking is a fundamental step in knitting. It's the last part of a long process, the long-awaited moment before having a finished, uniform knit with perfect dimensions. It will then be ready to wear.
For most knits, BLOCKING IS PRETTY STANDARD AND SIMPLE except in the case of lace. Many knitters get discouraged by this last crucial step, but it's only when you block it that the pattern will reveal itself in all its beauty.
If you are blocking a lace shawl for the first time, do not be afraid of it, blocking is much easier than it looks. Here are the steps:
1st step – The bath
Fill a large bowl with lukewarm water. Add EUCALAN (do you know that it is possible to mix Eucalan flavors? For some time, I have been using a mixture of 1/4 Jasmine, 1/4 Eucalyptus, 3/4 Lavender.). Let your knitting soak for at least 30 minutes.
2nd step – El burrito
Wrap your knit as if it were a burrito, in one or two clean towels (depending on the size of the knit and the amount of water) and squeeze gently to remove excess water. Be careful not to damage the fiber, which is more fragile when wet, under the action of the weight of the water.
3rd step – Acupuncture
With "T" PINS (TYPE T-PINS) and on a mat of FOAM BLOCKING , stretch the still damp shawl by pinning it as you go according to the shape specified on the pattern (triangle, crescent moon, square, etc.), respecting the main lines and the structure of the pattern. You have to stretch the yarn quite aggressively to really bring out the lace pattern. Be careful once again not to damage the fiber during this operation, because you risk breaking your yarn. Use the photos of the shawl as a reference to place the pattern correctly.
Let dry completely for 1-2 days and remove all pins.
Step 4 – Pose like Gisele Bündchen
Take some pictures and put them on RAVELRY . That's it: you can wear your shawl with pride!
Some tips: For several years, I pinned my shawls to my bed using regular sewing pins. I can't say it doesn't work, because I was able to get decent blocking results but they were never amazing, for several reasons:
- 1. Sewing pins are too fragile to withstand the tension created by the wool during the blocking process. It damages them and it's difficult to obtain uniform and stable aggressive blocking throughout the process.
- 2. The mattress absorbs moisture from the knit like a sponge and prevents it from drying out completely. It seems dry and ready to wear but it's still a bit damp (REMEMBER THE GREAT CAPACITY OF WOOL TO ABSORB WATER) .
- 3. On my mattress, I did not have the space necessary to block large shawls. With foam mattresses, it is possible to adjust the surface as needed like a puzzle.
After some research, I realized that it is possible to block on our mattress, on a yoga mat, on the carpet or on a large piece of cardboard. On the other hand, to achieve more satisfactory results, blocking mats and steel T-shaped pins are the most suitable tools to carry out your project.
Good knitting, and above all, good blocking!