Wednesday, November 3, 2010

THE WONDERFUL MAGIC OF BLOCKING



I love knitting lace! I love finishing a lace project, but the best part is blocking it! Blocking transforms a lumpy, crumply, uneven scarf or shawl into an object of shimmering breathtaking beauty!




I just finished the Swirl Shawl by Lijuan Jing. I used Jojoland Melody Superwash in purply-red-blues. It's pretty unblocked, but kind of lumpy looking and stiff.




Here it is pinned on the blocking board. (It didn't quite fit, so I had to do the ends separately). There are many blocking techniques, but my favorite for lace wool yarn is to dampen a large piece of light cotton fabric, cover the lace, and gently steam iron.


The results are definitely worth it!!



You don't have to buy a blocking board!! You can pin your work on a bed or clean carpet, so long as you can keep out the dogs, cats, and children. A blocking board is nice to have in a crowded house like mine because you can stand it on edge, out of harm's way, overnight. If you would like to have your own inexpensive blocking board, here is how I made mine:


HOW TO MAKE A CHEAP BLOCKING BOARD

Materials:
4 x 8 foot sheet of one inch thick styrofoam home insulation from Home Depot (<$10)
Yardstick and marker
Sharp bread knife or small saw
Old worn out bed sheet or other fabric for padding
5 x 5’ piece of plaid flannel (fabric store)
Duct tape, glue, and/or staple gun

With the yardstick and marker, draw a line on the insulation board that divides it into two 4 x 4 foot pieces. Using a sharp bread knife or small saw, cut the home insulation board in half (you may have to do this in the parking lot of the building supply store so that it fits in your car!). Tape the two pieces together with duct tape, completely sealing the raw edges so that they don’t crumble. Cover one side of the insulation board with the bed sheet (doubled), and top with the flannel. Secure the fabric edges on the back side with glue, staples, or more duct tape. You can store this ungainly but very practical blocking board behind the headboard of a bed, under the bed, or behind a door.


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2 comments:

  1. This is so beautiful!!! Well done!

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  2. I just bought this pattern and love the color you chose. Which number Melody superwash is it?

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