BLOCKING LACE SHAWLS
Wild West Lace Shawl blocked with wires along top edge. Remember to trim yarn ends after blocking.
Blocking is the step that reveals the beauty of lace; so once the shawl is off the needles, don't procrastinate.
How much the lace is stretched during blocking is a personal choice. Some shawls can be made quite a bit largergarter stitch lace can grow by a thirdand some will not stretch much. (I find that woven yarns stretch much less than plied yarns.) Regardless of how tightly it is blocked, the shawl usually will relax a bit after it is unpinned.
I prefer to wet block unless the unblocked shawl already is the desired size. Then it simply can be steam blocked: Lay flat, smooth into shape, pin out edging, and steam, leaving it in place until thoroughly dry.
For wet blocking, these supplies are helpful
· Small basin for water
· Soap appropriate for fiber
· Terry cloth towel
· Blocking wires
· Rustproof pins
· Tape measure
Also necessary is a flat surface where the shawl can be pinned and left to dry. If you don't have a carpeted area, you can create a blocking surface with insulation board. I like to use a sheet with a gingham or plaid pattern for a grid to cover the blocking area. (Thrift shops are a good source for the sheet.)
Blocking a Triangle
After weaving in yarn ends, wait to trim them after blocking. Then follow these steps
- Soak in water (with soap, if desired) for 20 minutes or longer to saturate fiber.
- Rinse in water the same temperature, and wrap in a towel to blot out as much water as possible.
- If using blocking wires, run along top edge of triangle. Since wires are about 36" (91.5cm) long, usually two will be required, so overlap them at the center.
- Smooth into shape on a flat surface.
- Pin center top of triangle. Smooth out one side, pin corner point, and measure; pin other corner the same distance; then pin bottom point the same distance.
- Pin across top edge.
- Pull out and pin each edging scallop.
- Leave in place until thoroughly dry.
- Trim yarn ends.
Blocking Other Shapes
Use the same basic supplies and process to block squares, circles, or half-circles. For squares, start by pinning the corners equal distances apart. For circles, pin the center; then pin out half, quarter, and eighth segments an equal distance. Smooth stitches between segments into a circular shape and pin. For half circles, begin pinning the same as for a triangle; then pin out quarter segments. Smooth stitches between segments into a semi-circular shape, and pin.
To print a PDF for this Tip, click here.
www.evelynclarkdesigns.com ©2007All Rights Reserved