Thursday, December 18, 2008

The magic of blocking

The last time we left our heroine, she was approaching blocking a finished shawl that, she thought, was probably going to be a complete failure.

Au contraire! Behold the magic of blocking. I'd never blocked lace before, or something so large. Most of my previous blocking efforts were pretty tentative--I'd adjust a few things here or there, maybe use a few pins, but nothing like this. This required my futon, a clean sheet, and approximately 432984029 pins. (True to form, I didn't use the proper quilter's T-pins, just regular old dressmaker's pins. They worked fine when placed at the right angle.)

Since this was my first time blocking lace or a shawl, I relied heavily on Eunny Jang's tutorial. Of course, once again true to form, I substituted some elements. I once again relied on my handy mixing bowl for soaking the shawl, and for a longer straightedge I used a broom handle. (Really. Apparently I don't own a yardstick.) For shorter intervals I used my trusty 12" ruler. Since the shawl was worked with fingering-weight wool and the pattern is mostly stockinette, it didn't need to be blocked very severely. As you can see, though, I definitely needed to pin out the points.

And what a difference it made. The points pop. The end looks gawgeous. And now, as Anne Hanson would say, for the money shot.

I am now a committed laceophile. I was frequently frustrated throughout the knitting of this, but going through with the blocking and seeing the results . . . I think I'm hooked. Check back next time for pics of the finished shawl in all its glory.

(I apologize for the poor lighting. My spare room has but one tiny window.)

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