First up – materials: I bought a cardboard blocking board from JoAnne’s and some 36" x 18"diameter steel dowels from Home Depot. They were each like $2.50… downside being that they were nasty. On my dad’s recommendation I used dishsoap to scrub them b/c it cuts through the grease. Although he also recommend something called Simple Green as being the best way to clean metal so that might be easier.
I did some internet "research" on blocking lace. The best post I found was this one over at Yarn Harlot.
And here’s my version of her blocking techniques:
Step 1: Soak shawl in lukewarm water for a half hour.
Step 2: Being careful not to stretch out any of the lace I folded the shawl-clump into a towel and then stepped on the towel to squeeze out any extra water. I did this like 3 or 4 times until it was damp but not dripping.
Step 3: String the metal rod through the top edge so it will be straight. This required 2 rods which overlapped in the middle. I then pinned next to the rod on each side so that it would stay put on the board while I stretched out the rest of the shawl.
Step 4: Pin the center bottom point – I just stretched it as far as the board would allow and pinned it down.
Step 5: Pin the center points of the slanted sides
Step 6: Pin each point out. Yarn Harlot recommended to pin each center point and then pin the center again and then again, etc. This would be great to keep everything even… however I had the wonderful blocking board to work with so I found it easier to just pin each point one square over and one square up from the last one. So I started from the center back and worked to the top alternating sides repositioning the middle one when I got there.
Step 7: Obsess a little. Yeah… I stared at it for awhile and pulled and tugged etc until it looked perfect. But sadly my lace knitting was not perfect and there are a few mistakes that no amount of blocking will erase… but I still think it’s pretty good for my first ever lace shawl!
Step 8: Go to work the next day and spend all day wondering how Adamas is doing…
Step 9: Repeat step 8
Step 10: Un Pin… WHO-HOO!!!!
Before (ignore my scuzzy sweatpants/t-shirt combo):
Blocking lace is seriously the coolest thing ever.