Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Craft Challenge - Project #5: Traveling Shawl

I purchased this beautiful, soft, lofty skein of green last spring at the Sheep & Wool Festival.   Over the summer, I carried it around with me on vacation and crocheted this shawl (pattern is from last summer's Interweave Crochet, not my own).

And then it sat in my pile of projects waiting for that last step - blocking.

Shawl before blocking
Knit and crocheted items are often "blocked" to shape them into their full glory.  After being worked and handled, they are often scrunched down without defined design.  With a little effort, they are magically stretched and softened into a beautiful finished piece.  (Notice the difference in size of the shawl in the "before" and "pinned" photos.)

My steps for blocking are simple:
1 - soak item in cold water - yes, I do cringe a little at this step, dunking my hard work into water!
2 - wring out gently, either fold and twist like you would any cloth or if very delicate, roll in a towel and pat it dry as much as possible.
3 - layout dry towels on blocking space - I use a sewing measuring board, use something you can stick pins in to if you don't have a real blocking board either
4 - stretch out piece into the desired finished shape and pin in regular intervals, be careful not to pull to taut or out of shape with pins
Pinned on my make-shift blocking board
5 - sit back and let it dry, maybe a few hours, maybe overnight depending on the piece
6 - unpin and enjoy!

My shawl - ready to wear

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