Friday, 1 May 2015

Blocks Away!

Knitting or crocheting lace is a wonderful past time.  Working with delicate yarns in a myriad of colours, crafted into sumptuous accessories is so rewarding.  But perhaps the most important part of any lace project is the finishing or blocking. When you have invested so much time in making your lace project, you will definitely want to finish it in the best way possible and this is where blocking comes in.
Blocking is the process of encouraging a project in to the correct shape by using steam or water. Sometimes lace can look like a scrumpled up spider’s web until, with a little water, a few pins and a bit of gentle coercion a beautiful shawl can be finally revealed.
Some projects can be blocked by just the power of a steam iron, such as garment components; however, using specially designed blocking tools (mats, pins and rods) gives a much better result, particularly for lace.  It evens out the stitches and relaxes them into the desired shape.

At KnitPro we offer a full range of blocking tools suited to a wide variety of projects. Our blocking mats come in 9 squares that fit together like a jigsaw to accommodate different shapes.  To fix your project into shape we offer T-pins and blocking rods, as well as our incredibly popular blockers, which have rows of pins, held in a plastic handle for larger projects and perfect straight edges.

Here are our tips for successful blocking.
Start by gently washing your project to allow the stitches and yarn to relax and bloom. 

Do not wring it out but squeeze out the excess moisture before laying it on a towel. 

 Roll up the towel to get most of the water out, leaving your project slightly damp.  Using a towel in this way is a great tip for any hand washed item.

Put your blocking mats together as required and lay out your project.  Now it’s time to gently pull your project in to shape.  With the shawl you can see here we started at the top edge, using the blockers to get a lovely straight edge.

 Then we pinned the bottom of the triangle before working back along each diagonal edge with a mixture of blockers and T-Pins.  

Be sure to measure as you go to make sure the pinning is symmetrical.

If your project has a lace edge that finishes in points, again, pin the top edge then ease out the points and secure each one with a T-pin.
If yours is a circular shawl, pin out the compass points first and then work round the circle measuring as you go.

When you have finished leave your project to dry naturally, which will help to set it into the correct shape.

We are sure you will be very pleased with the results so do send us a picture of your latest, beautifully blocked project.

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