After teaching my latest class at Yarn & Coffee on the Sweet Summer Rays Shawl, my students asked how best to block the finished project. The conversation ultimately led to the decision to host a blocking demonstration at the Yarn Store at Nob Hill this past Saturday.
I want to thank everyone who came out, I was expecting a small group – maybe just the students, even – but we had a great turnout and I’m so glad that so many knitters were able to come and ask their blocking questions!
Here you can see my basic blocking setup – my blocking mats (kids’ playmats), my safety pins, blocking wires (welding wires, really) and my spray bottle filled with water. An un-blocked Sweet Summer Rays lays on top of my blocking one, so you can see how much this shawl can grow with some aggressive blocking!
I love using the wires to block my straight edges, they keep the edges super clean and neat while also allowing me to save time by not using a jillion pins instead. These wires are also flexible enough that they’ll allow for blocking of curved edges too!
When I block things like this shawl, I pin first and spray with the water bottle second, then re-adjust the pins if necessary and play with the shaping until I’m perfectly happy with it. Many knitters will soak the knit first and that’s just fine, it’s only my preference to pin first and water second.
What are your favorite blocking tools?