Sea of Dreams KAL: Blocking with Blocking Wires
So you have finished your Sea of Dreams Blanket, now what? Well, with lace, it is especially important to wash and block your knitting.
What is blocking anyway? When you block a knit object, you are shaping it out to specific dimensions or until it has the look you want in the finished object. Blocking is worked with a damp object. For lace, blocking is so important because it looks all rumpled and you can’t really see the pattern when you take it off the needle. When you stretch the lace out you can see the beautiful work. The way to do this is wet your work and then stretch and hold it in place until it dries. The result will be an object that looks like you imagined it to in your mind’s eye.
I talked about washing your knitting in this post. Washing your blanket will be no different from with the hat featured in that post. We love Eucalan wool wash, it is a no rinse formula and works beautifully for hand washing any delicate fabric.
This tutorial is using blocking wires. You can buy a set for yourself from Polkadotsheep.com. Our set comes with plenty of wires for multiple projects. The wires are very flexible to bend around curves.
Let’s get started.
First, find a large enough surface to block your project on such a bed or the floor. You will need to be able to pin into this surface. A mat such as a Block n Roll Mat is ideal. You can also just use the bed itself, towels on the floor, or those foam floor puzzle pieces that your kids might have outgrown (that is what I use at the moment).
Second, your object needs to be washed and have all the excess water squeezed out. So it should be damp.
So you have a flat pin-able surface and damp finished object! Get your wire and some pins and follow this few steps to block your Sea of Dreams blanket.
You will need to complete all these steps along the edges. Pull your blanket outward to the size that you wish and so the lace looks open and clear. The yarn-overs should be open but there doesn’t need to be gaps between the knit stitches themselves.
You can also block using pins only. You will need to put them at closer intervals than in these pictures. Use a grid or a straight edge of some sort to make sure you don’t end up with wavy edges (this is one of the advantages of the wires). Work slowly along each edge pulling out your work. You might find you will need to re-adjust some pins after doing others. This is normal.
If you are planning on knitting a lot of lace, a set of blocking wires will make your life much simpler. They are also excellent for giving you nice straight edges to seam together garments knit in pieces.
I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial about blocking using wires, even if you are not participating in the Sea of Dreams KAL. Like most information in knitting, this does not only apply only one project. Washing and blocking really finishes your knit and crochet projects to their fullest potential.
Happy Knitting to all! I am madly knitting on my Sea of Dreams myself.