Since alot of KALers are finishing up on their Marrowstone Shawls, I thought it might be helpful to have some tips on blocking. Naturally, there is more than one way to accomplish a goal and blocking is no different. This is what I have learned along the way and works for me.
1. Don’t rush blocking. It takes time. You’ve invested time into knitting a beautiful fabric so finish it with care. Blocking wires, t-pins (lots), and a good surface are important tools. I have a blocking board which is very helpful with dimensions and shapes but it isn’t necessary.
2. Soak your piece for 20 minutes or so. I use a wash like Soak or Eucalen (shampoo in a pinch, but don’t forget to rinse) Give the water time to work in to the fabric and help the fibers settle. Your finished fabric will thank you.
3. Figure out what the proper dimensions of your finished piece are. Is there a straight edge? Is there a corner? Is there a center? Coax your handknit into shape, either larger or smaller.
4. Find the starting point or center of the piece and work from there if it is to be symetrical. Take Marrowstone for instance. Off the needles, it doesn’t have the intended shape. The top long is meant to be straight so start there. I use blocking wires and lots of pins. Once the top and center are secure, I work from there and pin away. Dont be afraid to stretch the lace portions out. I pinned mine in a scallop fashion but points will do to. No right or wrong way.
5. Once you are done with your shaping, recheck and repin portions if necessary.
6. Fugheddaboutit. Walk away. Leave it alone. Let it dry completely. Yes, this is hard for me because I want instant gratification. But the shape will hold if you let it dry completely.
Then enjoy your beautiful handknit!
The details of this Marrowstone Shawl can all be found here.