I have a confession to make. I don’t really do the blocking thing. Well, I do, but only when I need to. And by need, I mean, the lace won’t show unless I block it. Oh, I have the tools alright; I’ve got the blocking rods, and the blocking boards, and more T pins than a girl can shake a finished object at. I just think I don’t really have the wherewithal to do it. Or maybe it’s just patience. Whatever.

This time, however, I had no choice. I recently finished my Leggo my Ginkgo scarf and if I wanted the design to even vaguely resemble the ginkgo leaves in a squinty-eyes-tilt-your-head sorta way, I had to bite my lip and block. The pattern said something that I thought was really interesting—they mentioned that it should soak in water for 30 minutes, then squeeze out the excess. Now that’s the first time I’ve seen anything other than “get that finished object wet.” And you know what? It makes sense. With wools full of lanolin, these fibers do everything they can not to soak up the elements. So 30 minutes in the sink it was.

First thing I noticed: I didn’t have enough pins (I now have four times that amount of Tpins, so I’m feeling better about my next blocking adventure).

Second thing noticed: I got MUCH more design definition in the lace border with this method than when I used the blocking wires. It might be that I didn’t do those right—or it might be those wires are better for real, true lace weight projects, and not lacy patterns made from sock or DK weight. Why wouldn’t anybody tell a girl this kind of stuff up front? I mean, it’s like I actually have to have a clue, or something.

Third thing noticed: Blocking really does work wonders. It’s amazing a) the amount of detail it shows, and b) the amount a piece will actually stretch during blocking. I understand that there is a bit of shrink back once you take it off the blocking .. ummm, blocks… but holy cow, there’s a lot of stretch in that that knit piece! I’m finally convinced that blocking is a necessity. This blocking experiment has actually convinced me to reblock the two 198 yards of related hellishness that I did last year. (Okay okay, reblock one, actually block the other. Details, shmetails.)

Now, if only I can get assorted people roaming the house to keep their mitts off a block in progress, then I’m good.


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