Blocking is something that I was always intimidated by until I actually tried it. The first project I ever blocked taught me about gauge and how it matters if gauge is measured blocked or unblocked. Yeah, I ended up with a hat that was too big for my head and being my naive self, I thought that drying could fix that - I think we all know how that turned out. The time I first appreciated blocking was after blocking my first lace shawl. It still amazes me to this day that blocking can take something like this:
And turn it into something like this:
Beautiful! All that lace opens up and just tells a story. Look at how those yarn overs opened up! Without blocking, the lace would just be this kinda crinkled, crumpled up looking piece, which might be nice in its own right, but the true beauty comes from blocking. I also like blocking because I feel like I get a good stretch while I'm doing it. I tend to pin out points on this side and then adjust on the other side and so on & so forth to the point where it's like I'm moving all over the place.Blocking is something that you can't hurry. In this case, the shawl needs time to soak first. Then it needs to be rinsed, rolled in a towel, and finally laid out flat on the blocking surface. How long should you soak a shawl? At least 20 minutes, if not more, and it never hurts to soak it for a good long while. It also needs time to completely dry as this is what will set your shawl or garment. Once it's dry, then it's going to be stuck that way until you block it again. The shawl pictured above is a pattern I hope to release in May and the working title is Silverbells Shawl. It's knit using 2 skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino on a size US 7 (4.5 mm) needle. More details to come as I finalize the pattern this week!