The Beauty of a Blocking Board
I just finished binding off this shawl this morning and, after running it through the hand wash cycle on my front loader, I have stretched and pinned it out to dry on my blocking board. I have had people tell me, "I never block anything" and my response is a sort of internal WOW. Blocking raises the halo effect of wool or any animal fiber, stretches and displays the stitches, evens out the edges and any tension anomalies and can, with lace knitting especially, literally double the size of your knitting.
This shawl was made with 3 skeins of assorted artisan yarns that were not quite matching in fiber content, color, yardage or weight. The stitch pattern favors garter stitch heavily and I wanted to practice the Portuguese style of knitting so I cast on 10 stitches and began, increasing in the center and at the edges and changing the yarn every 6 rows or so utilizing the Russian Spit Join so I wouldn't have to work in ends. I used the third skein to make the lacy ruffled edging and I used up every last inch of all the yarns except the edging yarn where I had about 4 yards left. I counted on my trusty blocking board to even out all differences and as you can see in the close up here the magic worked as I had known it would. The wires and pins can be picked up on line at KnitPicks for around $20 and the blocking board we made ourselves. We used an 8 foot piece of 3 inch thick pink insulation board from Home Depot cut in half and joined together using the tongue and groove at the edge. Duct tape was involved. Then I wrapped the top surface in quilt batting, wrapped it again with some heavy weight linen (use a dark color -- mine is light colored and shows water marks) and sewed it on, folding at the corners like you would with a Christmas package. I can stab the pins straight into it without worry and then take it off the table and lean it against the wall until the knitting has dried. In between blocking parties I use it to pin idea swatches onto, iron big flat pieces of linen on, or block the sunlight when it is blaring into the studio. It is extremely light weight and rigid which makes it very easy to move around.
2/23/2011 06:33:42 am
Aunt Martha, I love your website! You are so talented, and I am so happy to see pictures of your beautiful work!
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