Knitting ~ Crafting ~ Life ~ With an Eco Twist

I’ve never blocked a shawl like this before

I’ve never blocked a shawl like this before

I’m not a big fan of blocking, as in I don’t particularly like doing it. Fortunately for a lot of my knits you don’t need to, but some, look at you with disapproval if you don’t. I recently finished a ‘Junction Shawl’ by Untangled Knits and it was definitely glaring at me. I resisted at first, even wearing it a couple of times, but eventually, I gave in.

So why don’t I like blocking? Good question and after thinking about it I came to the conclusion that stretching it all out, pinning, worrying about if it would dry before beasties decided to investigate etc was just far too stressful. Besides this shawl was a pretty good size and I didn’t have the room to spread the blocking mats out that far. Hmmm, what about having a go at simply draping it off the washing line with pegs.  I’d never used this method before although I know people who have, not to mention I’ve seen plenty of photos of shawls blocking this way on social media. Sounded like a plan, except I didn’t have a working washing line/dryer. Our existing rotary one snapped off at the base a couple of days ago and we’ve not replaced it yet. Time for a bit of lateral thought and to press gang one of the garden tables into service as a makeshift stand.

Feeling rather pleased with myself I soaked the shawl and then started pegging it up onto the dryer. Next problem – it’s longer than one of the sides of the dryer. No problem I thought I’ll just wrap it around onto the next reasoning that the wibbly bit wouldn’t matter in the long run.

Suitably pegged, and dripping onto what passes as a lawn around here, I headed off to do other things while it dried. Later when I went back to get some photos I felt rather disappointed as the pattern seemed to have disappeared. Of course, I’d hung it up with the back facing outwards, when I stuck my head around the other side the pattern was showing up nicely.

Perhaps at this point, I should tell you that I also wasn’t entirely sure it would block very well regardless of the method used. You see the yarn is Batik Swirl by Stylecraft which is 80% acrylic to 20% wool. I know opinion on the ability to block acrylic varies but I’ve personally never has much success. But…. well…. there is that 20% wool to give hope. I’ve always found that with high percentage acrylic yarns even if they look like they’ve blocked the nice new shape disappears after a few days. How have you found blocking with acrylic? Any hints or tips you could pass on in the comments for me and other readers?

Anyway what I can report, so far, is that after it was unpegging it looks ok blocking wise. However, since I only blocked it yesterday I’m going to reserve judgement. I have already noticed some curling of one of the ends but that could be the pattern as much as anything else. I’m planning on wearing it this weekend so I’ll see about some photos and report back so to speak.

Pattern: The Junction Shawl by Untangled Knits
Yarn: Batik Swirl by Stylecraft in the Blue Ocean Colourway

Take care until next time

– Mara


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