Tips on Blocking

lace blockingIf you are a lace knitter, blocking wires, mats and t-pins are a must. The finished garment will look nice unblocked, but AMAZING when it is blocked!

Blocking stretches out the knitted item. This evens out and better defines the lace motifs. A blocked item will also be 1.5 – 2 times bigger!

Lace blocking wire kits include two types of wires. The more rigid wires are used along straight edges, whilst the flexible wires are for curves.

Prior to blocking, I weave in any ends (I don’t trim the thread until it is dry at the end) and soak my garment in warm water with Soak Wash for about 15 minutes. There is no need to rinse. Simply squeeze out the item in a towel to remove excess water.

My approach is to use wires along one edge and pin this edge in place with many pins. The I pull the remaining edges of the garment away from the pinned and wired edge and pin them in place. Next, I view the item from above to determine where I need to loosen or stretch the item more, to balance out the shape and lace design (a tape measure helps here). I may pin and re-pin the edge many times before I am satisfied. It is a painstaking process and takes time. On a hot day your garment may dry before you have finished, I keep a water spray bottle on hand to keep it damp.

You will need hundreds of pins for a lace shawl! It is amazing how many pins some designs need!

Tool list-
– Soak or other wool wask
– Towel
– blocking mats (kids play mats work well)
– blocking wires (I use Knitpro)
– t-pins (KnitPro 50 packs – they are stronger than sewing pins

– tape measure

You also need time and lots of patience! Goodluck!

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