Blocking knitted and crochet shawls is often the most dreaded part of the whole making process – but I have found a great solution I need to share with you!
It’s so exciting casting off a beautiful project, when all that hard work and many stitches finally come together into a beautiful garment – but there’s one last stage to make your project really shine before it’s really finished – blocking.
Why do you need to block your shawls?
Often beginners feel worried about this term, and what it means and how to do it. For a simple shaped shawl, a gentle soak in some warm water, and pinning out on some blocking boards is enough. But for more complicated shapes or shawls with details on the edging, it can take a bit more time and patience. My favourite shawl is a beautiful lace weight Pollikeet, made for me last year with a skein of lace weight Gleam – a merino silk yarn. I wear it all the time, it feels so light to wear yet is the warmest shawl I have so it’s a winter favourite and it got a lot of use this winter.
With a few stains, a small pull and the growing feeling that it just wasn’t as soft as it once was, I knew my shawl needed a bit of TLC. Its got a beautiful picot border, and lace panels which deserve to be opened up and shown off. But my to-do list was long, I couldn’t find enough clear, child-free space indoors for the blocking mats and it wasn’t warm enough to block outside – so I sent my shawl on a little holiday. A spa break for shawls if you like.
Tash at Quirky Handknits came along to one of my business retreats last year with the fantastic idea of starting a blocking service as something to compliment the lovely designs that she publishes. I knew this was perfect for my Pollikeet shawl, so I trusted Tash with it and all I had to do was wait for it to arrive back to me.
Tash not only blocked the shawl, she fixed the pull and the lovely soak she gave it washed all the little stains away too. She showed my photos throughout the process so I could see it taking shape, and then it arrived back in the most beautiful packaging, wrapped in tissue – I felt like I had received a gift.
The most surprising thing to me though was the way the shawl felt when I put it on – it was lighter and warmer than it had been, and so much bigger! All those times I had worn it had gradually squashed the lace sections and opening them up again made such a difference. It looked like new and feels amazing to wear!
I think I am going to treat my favourite shawls to this service every year from now on – although blocking shawls isn’t necessarily difficult, with a more complicated shape like this one having someone else give it a new lease of life is a treat for the shawl, and for me too!
Note: I paid £15 plus postage for this service, and it took around 2 weeks. All views expressed here are my own and based on the experience I had, I was not paid to write this review, I just think it’s a great service which will help lots of people. You can reach Tash at her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/quirkyhandknits