Monday, April 13, 2015

Blocking 101 - And the Bearfoot and Bordeaux Shawl Free Pattern!

Barefoot and Bordeaux Shawl
Have you heard about Amy's newest design, the Barefoot and Bordeaux Shawl?  Using only one skein of Mountain Colors' Bearfoot yarn, this shawl features a simple-to-knit lace pattern.  It's a light-weight shawl that's still remarkable warm!

Bonus:  We have Bearfoot, and All Mountain Colors yarns, on sale at 20% off for the month of April!

Super Bonus:  The Barefoot and Bordeaux Shawl pattern is FREE with the purchase of Bearfoot yarn during the month of April!

So once you knit the Barefoot and Bordeaux Shawl, how do you block it?

Sure, it's a drag to do one more thing when it feels like you should be done!  But blocking can make the difference between a good looking project and a great looking project, so it's worth it every time.  Blocking removes the bumps and wrinkles and makes a garment look crisp and finished.

While garments have to be reblocked after they are washed, shawls are rarely washed, your blocking efforts will last a good long time!

Start by knowing your yarn.  Wool blocks well, as does any plant or animal fiber.  Don't bother blocking acrylic, or any blend with too much acrylic - it just simply won't work. 

To begin blocking start by soaking the shawl in warm (but not hot!) water.  You can soak it in plain water, or add a bit of Eucalan to add a lovely scent.  Remove the shawl and squeeze (but do not wring) some of the excess water out.  Then wrap it in a towel, and squeeze more water out.  The goal is to remove as much water as possible so that it will dry quicker.

A pretty lace edge only gets prettier with blocking!
Next, it's time to lay out your shawl and block it. I use these foam rubber blocking mats, but you can also lay towels out on a table, or even use a clean, carpeted floor floor - as long as you don't have kids or pets who are going to walk over it.  A bed also works.  Make the bed first, so that the bedspread is good and tight!

Lay out the damp shawl on the surface of your choice and use blocking pins or T-pins to secure your shawl to your workspace.  Be sure to use rust proof pins.  Start pinning in the center and work towards the edges. Smooth it out as you go.  This is your chance to make any adjustments to even out your work. Rounded edges will require more pins, straighter edges need less, but in any case there is no such thing as too many pins!

Let it dry, then unpin and marvel at your work of perfection!

Are you a more visual learner?  Check out Michelle Hunter's instructional video on blocking

Then kick off your shoes to enjoy your Barefoot and Bordeaux Shawl with the new spring grass between your toes and a bottle of Bordeaux!

Happy Knitting! . . . . Amy

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