Tutorial: Wet Blocking A Lace Shawl

In our previous blog post, we shared tips, tricks and tools to successfully knit a lace project (click here if you missed it). On today's post, we'll share how to finish your project with professional results.

There are a few ways that you can finish your project - using steam, spray blocking or wet blocking. Most knitters and crocheters have a personal preference for one or the other, and today we'll focus on wet blocking a shawl project (though our instructions can be used to wet block just about any finished project). You can view a tutorial for spray blocking a lace project here on our blog archive.

First, assemble the supplies you'll need: a small basin or tub, no-rinse wool wash, a few fluffy towels, tape measure and Knitter's Pride Blocking Mats, T-Pins, Wires and Knit Blockers.

Fill the tub or basin with tepid water and a small amount of your wool wash. Gently add your finished project and immerse in the water for about 10-15 minutes.
Carefully remove your project: this is where a no-rinse product comes in handy, because you don't have to risk felting by washing out the soap. Instead, allow the water to drain out as you take care not to wring it. Lay it flat on a dry, fluffy towel and gently roll up to squeeze out excess water. Repeat, using a fresh towel, if necessary.

Most hand wash instructions say "lay flat to dry," but for a project which requires specific dimensions or features a stitch pattern that looks best once it has been blocked in a certain way, this is the most crucial step: your project will take whatever shape you dry it in, so if you toss it on your blocking mats and leave it be, it will dry - wrinkles and all.
Begin with a straight edge; for some shawls, it might be the top, or in the case of this tutorial, the midline. Secure this straight edge with Knit Blockers, using the tape measure to make sure that your shawl has the dimensions listed in the pattern.
From here, begin to secure the borders of the shawl with wires, T-Pins or Knit Blockers. You have a lot of options here, and what you choose to do will depend on the type of project you have made. In this case, we use Knit Blockers to secure the top edges, then show two options for securing the lace border: on the right, blocking wires are threaded through the points of the border and secured with Knit Blockers every so often, and T-pins are used on the lace border as well. On the left, the lace border has been secured using only T-Pins (each one is circled in yellow so that you can spot them a little easier:

Allow to dry, then enjoy wearing your creation!

Congratulations to patricialonnie, you have won this month's blog giveaway! We will get in touch with you shortly to arrange for the delivery of your Nova Platina Cubics Deluxe interchangeable set.

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