All At Sea Shawl II: blocked, lacy & ready to wear

 For years I’ve read about people blocking their crochet and knitting. They rhapsodise about how lacy it becomes, because it really opens up the stitches. From the way people write you would think blocking almost transforms things into mystical items.
I have never felt the need to do anything, apart from perhaps a quick steam block.  Recently I felt quite adventurous leaving the Catherine Stitch Dolls’ blanket pinned out on the ironing board to thoroughly dry! But I could see that the thin mystery yarn of the All at Sea Shawl was going to need something a bit more professional to unscunch it into maybe a thing of lacy beauty.

 Foam mats from The Early Learning Centre are, I was told by my crochet blocking guru, a good alternative to overpriced craft blocking boards. On reflection those purpose made with lines and measurements on them might be preferable, but my plain mats did the job well enough. It is actually quite enjoyable pinning and stretching the crochet, I was quite surprised how much I liked it. My knees weren’t so happy, but that’s too bad! Look how much it has opened out the stitches? I’m so pleased. Oops! A huge gust of wind carried it off sideways. I didn’t realise I’d captured the moment on my camera until later. It’s been so windy here that I had to close the bedroom window because of the noise last night. I heard things in the garden being blown over and got up to peer out the window a few times, then decided enough was enough. Time to sleep and I’d right it all in the morning. It is a triangular shawl but this was the only way I could get it to stay in one place, even then it flapped up into my face several times. The severely pruned buddleia looks bare and deadwood-like, but it will come back and the flowers will be covered in butterflies again in the summer.

In summary: proper grown-up professional type blocking really does work, although it gets boring to read posts like this (!) and I did enjoy it. Also, the mystery yarn is wool, or partly at least, because it definitely had that wet sheep smell.

8 thoughts on “All At Sea Shawl II: blocked, lacy & ready to wear

  1. Really pretty and you can’t beat the wet sheep smell! Very windy and showery here today. The bird feeder blew over and broke overnight. Hailing right now. You would need a lovely warm shawl! Have a Happy Easter.

  2. Oooh, what gorgeous colours :) I’m with you on the blocking front – never quite get round to doing it… Although I can see the benefits here.

    I hope the wind hasn’t done any damage where you are – it’s very blustery here in Manchester and I’m about to brave it :/

  3. It looks lovely! I am crocheting the same shawl at the moment but I don’t know much about blocking…never done it before. Am I supposed to wash it or wet it then pin it to dry?
    Any info will be appreciated :)

  4. Wonderful! Looks like the blocking was totally worth it. I always do it for garments, lacy things or berets. Usually well worth the faff and it’s amazing how some projects grow. Good tip on the bargain boards, I haven’t invested yet. X

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