Monday, November 5, 2007

Shareef Don't Like It....

...Block the casbah!

Block the casbah!

Ok. There have been a few comments lately regarding blocking lace. Here's how I do it. I'm sure there are many ways of blocking and I'm pretty sure that blocking techniques differ depending on the fibre that you're blocking. Here is my Swallowtail Shawl, which I knit with about a half a ball of Zephyr laceweight yarn in wool and silk.

First, I gather my tools. I use a plain old towel that has been washed a few times so it's not too linty and the color is set. I like to use pins like these. I know that some other people use blocking wires but I've never use those. Stick with what you know. Lastly, grab that used Kleenex and head off to a sink.

I like to soak my tissue in warm water for a few minutes, anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes depending on how patient I'm feeling and how long my kid decides to nap. Gently, squeeze out the excess water. Don't wring it. This is going to be lace, after all.

Lay out your knitting and give it a look. It probably looks better already. Try to arrange the knitting in the desired shape and start to pin your knitting to the towel. You may choose to measure out your piece and make sure that the finished size approximates the finished size from your original pattern. I don't measure. I make the lace look pretty to my eye and then start pinning.

Sometimes you have to pin out special details individually. My Swallowtail Shawl has little peaks along the edge that require a little special attention. Take your time because your efforts here will pay off.

Go eat chocolate and drink wine in another room. You don't want to spill anything on your lace and you will need something to distract you because now you have to wait until your lace is dry. I like to leave my lace for a couple of days, if possible.

Carefully, remove all the pins and toss your shawl around your shoulders. Admire yourself in a mirror. You've worked hard, now enjoy the fruits of your needles.


T. said...

It fits your little monkey perfectly!!

Lauren said...

She looks so stylish in her new lace shawl! Thanks for the blocking tutorial - it's much appreciated!

catknip said...

Thanks J. That was perfect for us uninitiated. Your model is superb!

Suzanne said...

The model looks lovely in lace.

I really have to move that one up in my list of lace shawls.

andi said...

You always have the cutest models.