Thursday, September 01, 2011

How I blocked my Colfax Shawl.

I have a weird confession. I love to block shawls. There is just something magical that happens to lace after it's been blocked properly. Blocking a shawl evens everything out and makes it light and drapey. It does take a bit of time, so I always try to do it after Melody goes to bed at night. I look forward to the quiet time when I can sit on the floor with my damp shawl and pins and contemplate on how I will shape the shawl.

I start off by giving my shawl a good soak with some wool wash. 30 minutes minimum. After that, I use a large towel and roll up the shawl to get all the excess water out. For most shawls I use pins. Specifically, these pins. I use these pins for sewing and quilting, but they have worked great for blocking my hand knits, too. Pins allow some flexibility on how you can shape the shawl. Did you know you can create points on the edging of a shawl by how you pin it when you block it? I often take some creative license when I block the edge.
How I blocked my Colfax Shawl.
For my Colfax Shawl, I decided to use my blocking wires. This shawl does not have any complicated lace that requires pinning out. So, I threaded my wires through the crochet loops on each side of the shawl. In some instances, I had to overlap wires because 1 wire was not long enough. I pinned the top edge. Then I pulled the wires as much as the knitted fabric allowed and pinned down the wires. I like to block the heck out of my shawls. Those wires are under a lot of tension. Once it dried, the shawl was incredibly light and airy. Success!

What did I pin the shawl on? I put a huge towel I got from Ikea over a piece of floor carpet that I also got from Ikea. If it's during the day, I might pin it on my comforter on my bed and direct a fan towards it. Some times, I even use the square foam alphabet blocks on Melody's bedroom floor. Shawls dry pretty fast and with the help of a floor fan, it dries even faster. Another tip, do not unpin your shawl until dries completely. You don't want to waste all the time and effort you put into pinning out the shape of your shawl.
How I blocked my Colfax Shawl.

The winner of Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi Book Giveaway is Tomobeans! Congrats! Please email me at oiyi.yau(at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address. I will forward your address to Potter Craft so they can send you the book.

11 comments:

Sayschnicklefritz said...

Girl, you ain't lying! I've been the beneficiary of your offers to block, and it's awesome. While I always (wet) block, I always hate it. Ugh. I'm just not precise enough. BTW, I spy the Lotta Jansdottir fabric/pin cushion in the background. Cute!

Oiyi said...

Wow, good eye, Rebecca! I love my Lotta Jansdotter pin cushion.

grandmastatus said...

I know what you mean- blocking shawls IS magic.
lovely work <3

CelticCastOn said...

I need to invest in some wires and I wish I didn't have knits ahead of this in my queue right now because I NEED one!

Yarny Days said...

What can I say. I dont know how to block a shawl to save my life. Thanks for all the tips. I would love some hands-on practice with you at some point.

Edie Schmidt said...

I need to get the wires. (I keep putting it off) What you have done just looks great!!!!

Hannah said...

If only I could find such joy in blocking, too... I tend to avoid it, and many projects stay unfinished for far too long because of that habit. It's never as bad as imagined once I get started, but still not my favorite part of a project!

Sharon said...

Thanks for the information. How do you get water out of the shawl after its soak and its dripping? It seems if you twist or pull it to get water out you will distort the shape...

Meganne Fabrega said...

Great tips! Especially since I am working on a shawl for Rhinebeck. Thanks!

Lina said...

I block the exact same way you do AND I love love love the magic of blocking too. I don't understand people who leave their shawls unblocked for days and sometimes weeks! The blocking is done ASAP at my house. :)

Lina
photoknitdog.com

craftivore said...

Beautiful blocking job! When I first started knitting I just couldn't understand the point of blocking and now do I ever.