Lion Brand Notebook

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Spring Lace Shawl Knit-Along: Time for Blocking?

May 1st, 2014

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KAL_BADGE_2014-300x180Welcome back everyone! It’s week four, just one more week to go until we wrap up the knit along. Hopefully we’re all starting to get some good length accumulated on our shawls but I’m sure for some it feels like that 90 inches will never come. Don’t worry, one great thing about doing a project with such large needles is that it will move quickly. If you are getting close to 90 inches keep in mind that your shawl will grow a bit when you block it. When measuring, give the shawl a stretch, you may actually be there before you know it!

Which brings me to our final step, blocking. We touched on blocking when talking about making a swatch but there’s a little more to it. There are multiple ways to block and a lot of factors to consider when choosing a method such as drying time, fiber, and maybe most important for this project, size and amount of space you can devote to blocking. In the previous post we talked about wet blocking. This is a great option if you have a large space where your entire shawl can dry for a couple days. If you have a spare bedroom you can put towels down on the mattress, pin it out and let it dry. However I’m sure, like me, many of you just don’t have that kind of space. The rest of us will have to block our shawls in sections and for this I prefer to block with steam. Steam blocking is wonderful because it gives you a lot of control and cuts down the drying time quite a bit. There are some who will say that you shouldn’t block acrylic with steam, but in my experience steam blocking with give acrylic a wonderful drape, you just have to be careful not to overdo it. Here’s the how to: pin out a section of the shawl while it is dry. Take a spray bottle filled with water and spray until nice and damp. With a steamer or steam iron float about an inch above the shawl letting the steam penetrate the fibers. If working with acrylic you might actually be able to see the fibers relax. Take care to not leave the steam in one place to long and not to touch the steamer down onto the yarn. When done just let dry then move on to the next section.

I’ve got a little more to go before I block mine this week but check back in next week for the finished product and to see some styling options. Here’s a picture of my progress so far.

springkal_week4_2014

About Grace: Grace DiLorenzo has been knitting for the last 10 years. What started as a hobby quickly grew into a passion. Her favorite things to make are garments and lace. As a teacher at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City she has been able to share her love of yarn crafting teaching beginning through advanced knitting and yarn dyeing classes. She has lead the first four in studio knit alongs and is excited to do it again! grace_200px

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  • Marie Cox

    Wow! 4th week already! Hard to believe. Thank you for this steam blocking method. I’m going to try that when I get to that point. I definitely don’t have the room to wet and then spread it out to block. I am well behind the gang, but rolling along. I have a problem now. I have been trying to count my stitches after every other row as I seem to either lose one, or, in today’s case, I suddenly had 34 stitches! Ugh. In order to find out where I went wrong, I had to take out three rows! In my haste, I stupidly forgot to note which row I was on, and now I don’t know. I’ve tried to count up the rows several times but I can’t seem to figure it out. I’m only about 20-ish rows done, so there’s not too many to count. Is there an easy way to count the rows from the bottom? Next time I will certainly either place a lifeline or mark my first row in some way.

    • Grace DiLorenzo

      This looks great so far! It can be hard to find your place in a pattern by counting the rows. Instead I like to look at the last lace row that was done. Count how many stitches there are before the first yarn over, then find the line of the pattern that it corresponds to. It’s hard to tell from the picture but it looks like your next row might be row 1.

      • Marie Cox

        I thought so too, so I forged ahead and within a couple rows I discovered that it should have been row 4! oops! lol. So I went back yet again and NOW I’m back on track. Now I’m using a row counter. ;)

    • Susan Bell

      Hi Marie! I’ve done what Grace suggests a few times now because I knit in the car and often lose my place. Sometimes, it’s easy to match the row with the pattern, but other times it takes some perseverance, lol.

  • Kit

    Virginia662 – You are violating the rules for this website and should be removed. You are spamming and advertising and that is not only inappropriate, it is disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourself. Didn’t your mother teach you better manners than that?

    • http://lionbrand.com/ Danielle Holke

      Hi Kit, the comment has been removed.

      • Kit

        Thank you.

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