Recently I knit an Echo Flower Shawl with Classic Elite Mountain Top Vail. It was a present to my friend Jenni for her upcoming nuptials next weekend. It’s very hard for me to wait to surprise people, so I had to give it to her a weekend early. I don’t expect that it will be cool enough for her to wear on her wedding day with her dress, but I wanted her to have it anyway.
I don’t have a picture of her modeling it yet, but I will show you how I blocked it. I think lace needs a nice wet blocking.
The shawl is bound off, without ends woven in, and is a lovely, but lumpy mess.
I use lukewarm water and some no-rinse wool wash (Eucalan lavender scented in my case). For the wool wash, a teeny dribble goes a long way.
I let this baby soak for at least a 1/2 an hour or more. You want the fibers to get wet and relax.
Then I delicately lift the wet wool from the bowl.
Gently squeeze out the water. Never twist or wring the item or you may cause some unwanted felting. You can also felt items if you switch from hot to cold or vice versa, so if you do need to rinse your item, make sure you use water the same temperature.
Then I lay out a large bath towel, lay down the gently squeezed shawl, fold it in half lengthwise,and roll it up.
I stand on it and move my feet across it a couple of times to squeeze out as much of the water as I can. If you are wet blocking a sweater, you might need more than one towel.
In this case, I used some blocking wires from Knit Picks. I only used the wires on the long straight edge of the shawl, and I picked up the edge loop along the garter stitch. A little over halfway through I transitioned to a second wire to have enough length to stretch the shawl across it as long as I wanted it to be. In this final picture, you can see my pins. I use straight T-pins. I took this picture, then looked again and straightened the spine of the shawl after I put my camera away. In this shot the center line is leaning a little to the right.
At the top, I first pinned right under the blocking wire, then I started at the bottom center and pulled the pieces out as far as it seemed like the shawl should go (I could have re-read the pattern for schematics, but I was too in the moment). Then I worked outward, trying to make the left and right symmetrical as I went. It probably took about an hour total, but that’s counting the soaking time for the shawl. Positioning and pinning took me about 20-30 minutes.
I really loved making this shawl. It became predictable, but of course it was something I had to have some evening focus time to put on this. I didn’t cart it to work, and I thought about pulling it out last Thursday at knit night, but lace and wine don’t always mix, so I left it alone. I’m very happy with the result, and Jenni was joyful when she received it, so I consider it a great success.
Today is the first day back to school on campus. There is a flurry of movement and energy that wasn’t present mere days ago. It’s overwhelming, but also makes for some great people watching. Since school is in session, it’s also the last day for my sale! Use BACK2SCHOOL to get a 50% discount on Tuxedo, Prufrock, Betwixt, Wending, Ruffaluffagus, The Unexpected Hat, and my newest, Firefly Seeker for till midnight (Central Time) today.
Hope everyone is having a lovely Monday!
Edited to add: Blocking board is from WEBS, the larger size.