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Essentials of Lace + Giveaway

Happy New Year! We're looking forward to an exciting year filled with non-stop crafting, learning and sharing. There is no shortage of new knitting and crochet techniques to try, and we hope our products will help you on your journey this year.

This month, we'd like to share some of our favorite tips and tutorials for knitting and crocheting lace projects. First, you'll need to be comfortable reading (and working from) charts. While it's true that several patterns will include both written and charted instructions, many patterns include only charts due to space constraints or designer preference, so it's a good skill to have under your belt!

Luckily, there are plenty of free tutorials available in the knitting blogosphere: Wisehilda Knits, PicnicKnits, and Wendy Knits all have shared very informative posts on this topic. You can find even more via Google, Youtube and Pinterest, too - isn't it nice to have options?

Having the right tools is another important consideration. Many lace knitters prefer sharp needles and metal tips which allow the stitches to glide freely and quickly. We recommend trying our Karbonz or Nova Cubics needles for your next lace-knitting project, or our color-coded Waves hooks if you're planning to crochet your next lace project. Stitch markers can also help you keep track of pattern repeats or where you need to increase or decrease as you work.

The real magic is in the finishing, however! Blocking your project properly will enable the lace pattern to open up, causing a dramatic transformation for many projects. This is where blocking wires come in handy: they can save you time and effort in blocking your project out to a specific shape. Patterns featuring scallops or points can especially benefit from blocking wires, though you can also use them to easily create a straight edge on just about any project. You'll need T-Pins to get the job done, and in general, blocking is much easier to do if you have a soft surface such as our new lace blocking mats.
There is an excellent article about the ins and outs of blocking here in the Knitty archives, but in our next blog post, we'll show you how to block a lace project step-by-step using Knitter's Pride products.

We'll also be giving away a Lace Blocking Wire Kit to one lucky reader! To be eligible, simply leave a comment on this post telling us your craft-related new year's resolution; be sure to also mention your Ravelry ID or email address so that we may contact you if you win.

The Knitter's Pride Lace Blocking Wire Kit contains several stainless steel wires in various lengths (15 total), 20 rust-resistant T-pins and 1 measuring tape!

We will randomly select a winning comment to announce on our next blog post on Friday, January 24, 2014. Good luck!

66 comments:

  1. My new year's resolution is to use my stash when starting new knitting projects.

    knittingdancer on Ravelry

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  2. My New Year craft resolution is to organize my supplies and finally knit socks!

    JVMu1999 on Ravelry

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  3. I'm planning to knit down my ridiculous yarn stash. This includes many lace shawls!

    KallieKY on Ravelry

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  4. My NYR for knitting is to knit as much as possible! I barely knitted in 2013 (until it came time for Christmas gifts anyways) and I missed it a lot. I'm already on my 4th 2014 project and it's only 1/10! So far so good! Blocking wires would be very helpful for my current project. And more T-pins too!!

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    1. Forgot my Ravelry acct name: DancerIsKnitter

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  5. My New Years resolution was to knit 100 toys for a local cat sanctuary, followed with knitting more from my stash.

    Ravelry I'm Mikaiyawa

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  6. My New Year's resolution is to knit more, buy more yarn and branch out with shawls/lace knitting.
    LynnIL on ravelry

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  7. I want to finish some WIP's this year, including a lace shawl that's been hibernating for years. Sheesh!
    wahoomerryf on Rav

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  8. My resolution is to experiment more with the yarns I dye - and I did some of that yesterday when I was dyeing up the orders I had to ship. I hope to try something new every week!

    My Ravelry ID is Phoenix9320

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  9. My resolution is to use my stash yarn and learn new things

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  10. Oops, my Rav ID is PamonMars

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  11. My resolution is to FINISH SOMETHING ALREADY!
    And my Rav ID is globalite

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  12. My New Years Resolution is to finish items as well as start items ;-) So far I've put together a sampler afghan that was waiting to be assembled for nearly 2 years lol. I've also finished two cowls. But of course, I've started a couple too. So far so good. My Ravelry ID is mskirky0209.

    Thanks!

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  13. I've never knit lace but my goal for 2014 is to knit something for everyone in my family plus 10 hats for Warmth for Warriors!

    My Ravelry ID is yasmine32068

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  14. My crafting New Year's Resolution is to finish all my knitting wips, preferably in January! I have so many new projects I want to start that I need to force myself to finish up the several I already have on the needles.

    And I loved this post! I'm not a new knitter by any means, and I'd heard of using blocking wires before, but the real advantage of them never clicked in my mind before. I've blocked with hundreds of straight pins, but blocking wires and t-pins would make the process so much simpler!

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    1. Oh, and my Ravelry ID is MrsCollinHobbs :-)

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  15. My new years resolution is to finish all my unfinished projects this year.

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    1. My ravelryID is beadasilva

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  16. My new year's resolution is to challenge myself by trying new stitches, especially lace patterns. I want to make a blanket for someone I care about who is going through some physical difficulties and will need all the warmth and caring I can give them.

    cyezak69@gmail.com

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  17. I see a trend emerging here - I too want to finish WIP - I think I'm under 20 at this point. That's good, right? alcbrooks on Ravelry

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  18. This years I planning to make a sawl for my mom . I never give her a georgeus birhtday gift before . des 31, her birthday date.

    ywiatina@ymail.com

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  19. I have resolved to make a beautiful Lace shawl or wrap for my Mom. She lives in Florida, so she doesn't need protection from cold weather! The blocking wire kit would be so great when I/m finished!

    Ravelry ID: akbailey2

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  20. To finally (this is your 36th overdue notice!) get around to that vintage sweater that I've wanted to make for about 6 years now. KittenWhiplash on Rav. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  21. I want to use my time more wisely. I think if I pick up my knitting when I have only enough time to do a row it will all add up and I can actually get something done. I hope!
    on Ravelry I'm jaelzo

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  22. I love making lace, but haven't got the proper blocking equipment, yet. It will be nice to finally able to properly blocked the lace shawl I will make. Riyuuhi on Ravelry. Thanks.

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  23. My NYR is to knit my stash up like crazy so I can get more!!! I need to work on my lace knitting skills as well. Blocking wires would be very helpful in this endeavor. ohanaprincess on rav

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  24. I would like to participate in more KALs, and work on more spinning! Blocking wires would be super helpful since I'm participating in a KAL this month for a shawl!

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  25. My knitting resolution is to finally publish some patterns. I have several first drafts; I just need to see them through to completion! My ravelry name is mightcouldknits.

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  26. My resolution is to use up stash and to learn to knit two socks on one circular needle.
    hardwarequeen on Ravelry.

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  27. My resolution is to get a little more organized and finish my ufo's

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  28. My resolution is to get better at knitting lace & to catch up on my projects. Thanks.

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  29. My NYR is to try learn new knitting techniques. Ravelry ID: indyonerose

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  30. My NY resoloution is to knit 15 min a day, just to unwind from work.... My ravelry ID is thymegardener

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  31. My NYR is to try new to me techniques.
    Ravelry ID - Margostitches

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  32. This year my goal is to knit 1 Million Stitches! Thanks for the giveaway! Rainlover on ravelry.

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  33. Resolution for 2014 is to organize, use up my stash and finish all my unfinished projects (at least until I find my next project).

    ravelry I'd: jodynpal

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  34. My goal this year is to knit some lace projects.
    on Ravelry I'm sfrance or shirleyfrance1@gmail.com

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  35. I tend not to do New Year's resolutions, I always feel like I'm just setting myself up for failure. I do intend to knit from my disturbingly large yarn stash this year, as much as possible.

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    1. Oops, forgot to say I'm SheilaOKeefe on Rav.

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  36. My resolution is to knit some scarves from the gorgeous laceweight stash I've built up over the past year. Having just blocked a scarf that I made for my son's girlfriend using only sewing pins, a steam iron, and my ironing board, I'd LOVE to win this blocking set.
    neddycat@gmail.com




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  37. My goal this year is stash-busting. Our yarn store closed, so I'm not buying any yarn - I'm only using what I have, It'll make my husband happy :)

    Rav ID: vandenknits

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  38. I don't believe in resolutions. I'm LucyRose on Rav, and I adore lace knitting (I'm also done with a Lace Cap shawl) - but I'm too broke to pick up one of those wonderful blocking kits that would make blocking SO much easier.

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  39. My resolution is to knit myself a hat (it seems like lately all I knit is socks).

    ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

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  40. My knitting goal is a net reduction in my stash. While I don't plan on not buying ANY new yarn, I'd like to use up more than I bring in! And this goes for fiber too.

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  41. My knitting resolution is to knit my first pair of socks and my first lace shawl.

    Rav ID: angelaraya

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  42. My knitting resolution is to make this the Year of the Sweater -- I've got three sweater projects lined up, yarns in the stash & patterns printed. Just got 3 more late "holiday" gifts to knit, then it'll be on to the sweaters!
    AnnBan on Ravelry

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  43. My resolution for 2014 is to improve my lace blocking skills. I have tried blocking a couple of lace shawls with varying results. I am sure the use of blocking wires would help me be more consistent-- I haven't tried that yet. Hoping to be chosen to win some. :)
    Peggy Steinbronn
    psteinbronn@mchsi.com
    Ravelry ID = grandmasays

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  44. my knitting resolution for this year is to learn double knit, and steeking. i would also like to design some of my own patterns.

    ravelry id: sokker

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  45. So many resolutions & such a little box in which to type them. :-) One resolution is to challenge myself to become adept at stranded color knitting. Esther at sombrereptiles dot org

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  46. My knitting resolution for 2014 is to keep on learning and enjoying my dreamz to the max. I never used any blocking wires yet so it could be nice to try some.

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  47. One knitting goal for 2014 is to knit more lace. I've never used the proper tools so the lace blocking kit sounds like a wise investment. matwele@comcast.net

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  48. Two of my crafting resolutions are to learn stranded colorwork knitting and to slow down when I block lace so that I do it right. I love blocked lace and I hate doing it!

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  49. I resolved to finish all my Current WIPs by March of this year. I know all the recipients are hoping I manage to complete them as promised! Thanks for the great giveaway - I have been wishing for a set of blocking wires!

    greyowl (ravelry id)

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  50. I have resolved to spend more time knitting this year!
    as3v on Ravelry

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  51. I have committed to doing a men's sweater with a steek, a pattern which I have wanted to knit for near twenty years. I ordered all the yarn and now just have to get started after this project I have going.
    herblady on Ravelry

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  52. New Year's knitting resolution: knit from stash as much as possible, finish a bunch of really old UFOs and knit a cardigan from sport weight/DK weight yarn.

    Ravelry: mommyknits

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  53. Do the seaming and blocking of nearly completed projects, then knit mostly from stash.

    atreidesb on Ravelry

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  54. Knit something new and challenging, like lace.

    Ravelry ID: psychokitty

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  55. make crochet bedspread 2m by 2m :)

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  56. I have to finish my first ever lace shawl!

    tgallop@mts.net
    www.willcookforshoes.ca

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  57. I want to learn how knit and crochet! :) I knit my first project, a dish cloth, by watching a YouTube video and I was quite impressed with it so now I'm really excited for my sister n law to teach me!! :) Thank you.

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  58. I have several "goals" for the new year including cleaning up all 2013 UFOs, designing and publishing 6 new patterns, and learning to use my drop spindle. (asimplehomestd on Rav)

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  59. My goals for 2014 ~ One charity project per month, Using new yarns, Making as many hand made gifts as possible this year!!!

    Ravelry - Purlknotknit

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