The Story of a Perfectly Finished Shawl

You want to knit a shawl.  One with a simple lace edge catches your eye but causes immediate misgivings.  It’s a bit out of your comfort zone because you’ve never knit or blocked lace.  However, you check the pattern’s stitch abbreviations as you’ve been taught to do and find that you know how to do the stitches required (k2tog, yo, ssk).  You take the plunge!

My Sister Knits, Deception Pass shawl, Fort Collins, lace knitting
The straight edge on the top of this Deception Pass Shawl by Melissa J. Goodale was created either with Knit Blockers or blocking wires. The scalloped edge was created with T-pins.

Fast forward to the finished shawl.  You compare your shawl to the one in the photo on the pattern.  Horrors, they don’t look anything alike!  Quickly you figure out why yours is a lump of knitting that doesn’t lay flat and isn’t pretty.  You’ve finished the knitting of it but you haven’t blocked it.

Now it’s time for the last step and the magic that will make your shawl beautiful!  You’ve done your research and have learned about blocking lace.  You’ve gathered your tools:  blocking wires, pins that won’t rust such as T-pins, Knitter’s Pride Knit Blockers, and a blocking mat of some sort that is large enough for the shawl and will accept pins and doesn’t absorb water.

My Sister Knits, Passe-Partout Shawl, Knit Blockers, northern Colorado, blocking wires, blocking hand knits
This Passe-partout Shawl by maanel has no lace but benefits from blocking wires and Knit Blockers.

You give your shawl a bath, roll it into a towel and do a little dance on it to get as much water out as possible.  Then you unroll it, place it on the blocking surface, take a deep breath and smile to yourself because you are going to do it!  You’re going to block your lace-edged shawl.

My Sister Knits, local yarn shop, lace blocking, Fort Collins Colorado
Helen Stewart’s Surprise Party shawl is getting the full treatment. Zoe, who works at My Sister Knits, put lots of care into pinning out those points and it shows in the finished product!

You find that it’s quite satisfying and rather fun to pat your shawl into shape, pin the corners where you want them and choose which tools to use.  You decide that a nice crisp edge along the long top is needed so that’s where you thread your blocking wires.  You could also have used your Knit Blockers here.

Then comes the transformative part.  You use your T-pins to shape the edge.  When you looked at the ‘projects’ page on Ravelry, you saw that some knitters made sharp points and some made  more of a scalloped edge.  It’s up to you to decide what you want!  As you pin out your edge, the fabric lays flat and the pattern appears.  You fiddle and tweak until it’s just as you want it.  Then you impatiently wait while it dries because you can’t wait to wear it and show it off!

My Sister Knits, northern Colorado, Hitchhiker shawl, blocking lace, blocking wires
Even though there is no lace in this Hitchhiker Shawl by Martina Behm, the points on the edge have been pinned out with T-pins. The straight edge may have been made nice and crisp with blocking wires.

Finally, you proudly wear it amongst friends who ooh and ahh over it and are awed by your knitting ability.  You are no longer fearful of blocking lace and you can’t wait to cast on another one!

My Sister Knits carries all of the lace blocking tools you need and we’ll be happy to show them to you!

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *