How To Block an All-Over Lace Pattern
When you knit a project with an all-over lace design, do you stop and call the project complete just as soon as the last stitch is bound off? No matter how simple or complex the lace is, taking the time to block the project can even out the fabric and spotlight the beauty of those intentional holes! We'll show you how to block an all-over lace pattern using Fresa as an example. Fresa is a pattern designed by Christine Marie Chen in Manos del Uruguay Maxima.
Why should you block?After you've selected your favorite Maxima colorway (shown here in Eucalyptus), wound it, knit it, bound off the stitches and woven in the ends, you probably have a project that looks like the one on the right. You can see the eyelet stripe pattern, but the lace is not crisp and the knit fabric is a bit uneven in some places.
- Your finished project
- No-rinse wool wash
- Blocking pins (T-Pins or Knit Blockers)
- Sink or bowl
- Flat surface that can be left alone, like a table or floor
Before you block, take a bath!There are several different methods to block your project. Blocking involves a bit of manipulation of the wool and that is successfully done when the wool is wet. Some knitters prefer to lay damp cloths on their project, others may lightly steam the work first. For the Fresa cowl, we choose to give it a good soak in the sink.
- Begin by filling the sink with warm (tepid, not hot) water and a few drops of a no-rinse wool wash.
- Place the cowl in the water, gently pushing down with your hands to submerge it and really get the water to soak into the fibers.
- Allow the cowl time to sit and rest in the water. After 15 minutes or so, gently squeeze the water out. Do not wring the fabric; you could end up felting it!