Blocking the Marie Shawlette
Jul 22, 2015
The sun was shining brightly today, and seeing as it's the middle of winter and there could be thunder & lightning tomorrow for all I know, I thought I'd finally get around to blocking a couple of my Marie Shawlettes.
Nothing particularly earth-shatteringly interesting about that, but I did come across a few things (read 'made some mistakes') and thought I'd share my discoveries with you!
Firstly, depending on the yarn you use, you may or may not need to block your shawlette. I've been wearing mine for weeks and weeks very happily without any of them being blocked, but I just wanted to define those picot stitches in the lacy border a bit more. I know there are people out there for whom working picot stitches can be a chore (myself included), so if you are going to take the time to actually hook the little suckers they might as well stand out loud on our shawlettes!
So, onto the blocking. Now I am no expert when it comes to blocking. I am impatient at the best of times, so waiting for something to soak, laying it out, and pinning it in place is something of a torturous therapy for me LOL! Today I diligently filled the bucket with some luke warm water and a little soapy stuff (I don't really know if it needs this, but hey I threw it in anyway..), dunked the two shawlettes into the mix and made sure they were well submerged. Then I set about doing some house work to kill the waiting time... After about 45 minutes I was ready to move on to the next stage, so I laid out the blocking mats, grabbed everything sharp and pointy I have at my disposal (note to self - buy some proper blocking pins!) and headed out into the sunshine to let the shaping begin.
First up I laid the green shawlette flat with the straight edge sitting in a perfect line along the top of the mats. Cue lots of patting and shaping to get it to sit just right. Pins went in. But when I came to the centre of the lacy border the lack of curve became an issue and the lacy patterns were bunching. There just wasn't the space for each of the 'flowers' and v-stitch picots to have their own zone. Pins came out. Cue head scratching... What the border needed was some curvature.
More patting and shaping ensued and I realised that I needed to add more blocking mats to my shopping list! I managed to get a decent amount of curve in the space I had available with the green & pink shawlette (see photo above), and the lace border was able to be successfully pinned into shape. It might be important to mention here that while wet your shawlette may want to grow in length to about 10 metres (well at least it felt like that anyway)! To counter this I would bunch the rows back together and pat, pat, pat until the rows resembled the neat, close lines that they should be.
Next in line was the orange & yellow shawlette. Problem was it was wet, there was no space left on the mats (silly me thought I'd be able to get two on there), and I was running dangerously low on pins! I decided to clear the deck of chairs and kids' toys and lay down a couple of towels and just make do with what I had. This time I had a better space to work with so I could achieve a much better curve to the shawlette. I had to raid the first shawlette for more pins half way through so that I could get all those picots pulled tight, and now I am waiting patiently (kind of) for the sun to do it's thing.
I'm also crossing my fingers that Bindy the cat doesn't decide to get in on the action with her dirty paws and kitten-like tendencies of making pin-pulling her chosen game of the day!
If there is a conclusion to all this waffle it would be: don't lay your shawlette straight! Make sure you get a decent amount of curve along that top edge so that the border and those pesky picots can shine.