Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Blocking Made Easy

I got up early to soak my SWestie shawl yesterday.   It went into my plastic tub with some wool wash and soaked while I walked Lizzie and did cat/dog chores.  After getting the coffee to brew, I started the procedure.  I though I would share how I do it.
First, I unfolded my old, practically antique cutting board out on the bed.  Then I assembled the foam blocking squares. Those are actually foam hopscotch squares I picked up on sale--$7 dollars per set, for 3 sets of 9.  Much more affordable than the ones made for blocking.  I just put them picture side down.
Then I spread out some of my blocking towels.  I bought a bunch of cheapo bar towels, and a few cheap bath towels that I keep in my plastic tub with a large dishpan sized strainer in my wool room so they are all together.
Returning to the water, I dumped the tub into the strainer, shawl and all.  Then I repeated the process, with clear water, still lukewarm.  After a gentle swish, I dumped out the water.  In order to help get the most water out, I then roll my knuckles in a kneading motion to help push out the water, going from one side to another in the strainer.  I flip the knitting over, and knead it again.
Then taking the strainer, I dumped the shawl on the towels, gently unfolding and pulling it out to a single layer.  I cover with another batch of towels and roll like a jelly roll.
Then, I squeeze as much more water out as I can.  Hug it, stomp on it, sit on it.  Heck, a person could even do a headstand on it, as long as it forces the water out of the knitting, and into the towels.
Next, I unroll and put the towels in the dryer.  I carefully form the shawl into shape.  In this case, I got out my blocking wires and put them on on four sides, stopping about 4 inches from the three corners, so the points could be stretched out farther.  All I needed was a pin in each corner.   I patted down the curved ends into shape, and let it sit for the day.  The hardest part then was keeping the cat off of it.
Here is a closeup of the corner in the lower right above.  It shows the lace opened out and you can see the blocking wires.
By the end of the day, it had dried nicely.  It fits like a dream.  Even Gertrude says so.
And, the multicolored yarn is softer, after the bath and stretching.   Now all I need is cooler weather, so I can wear it.  Although I must remember to bring to Knit Nite tonight, for Show and Tell.

1 comment:

Deb said...

Looks stunning! Great work!