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queen bee

4414 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2012 :  6:48:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit Clara's Homepage Send Clara a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Maybe it's just spring fever, but I've got blocking on the brain.

I thought this would be a good time to revisit the lace-blocking tutorial, update the HandWorks Dressing Wires review, and show you a new set of extraordinarily flexible, portable wires from a company called Inspinknity.

It's all here. Enjoy!

Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher

Chatty Knitter

309 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2012 :  05:30:48 AM  Show Profile Send emmyc a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Until recently I would have described my self as a reluctant steam and iron blocker. I purchased my first set of blocking wires and a bottle of Eucalan to block Ann Budd's Bellefleur shawl. My guest bedroom queen mattress became my blocking mat.

I am still stunned how the nice piece I knit was transformed into something finished and lovely. Now I've got the bug. I blocked a lacey sweater that had never been worn, and then Jared Flood's Guernsey Wrap.

Just magic! goodbye iron!

winchester ma
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Gabber Extraordinaire

583 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2012 :  06:42:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit NutmegOwl's Homepage Send NutmegOwl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A very helpful review, as always, with constructive commentary on which we rely.

To your point about the increasingly popular crescent-shaped shawls and blocking: I use the wires where they work, but dispense with them entirely for these items and replace them instead with crochet cotton. I use it exactly as one would use the wires, but I run it through the FO prior to its bath. This gives me an inelastic edge once pinned out and lets me shape the more rounded garments to my liking, again without the death-of-a-thousand-pins. (See example here.)

Nutmeg Owl
Quaecumque sunt vera
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Permanent Resident

2424 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2012 :  07:06:07 AM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the tip, NutmegOwl. I'm just beginning to gravitate towards this type of project and have only used the wires once or twice. Love your idea for lacy edges.

So much to learn, so little time.
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New Pal

11 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2012 :  2:50:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit's Homepage Send a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am a HUGE believer in wet blocking. I do vary from your method in one key way, however...I thread my blocking wires through the lace while it's still dry. It's so much faster while the fibers are dry and they are stronger dry as well. My technique is described (with photos!) on my blog at -- it really saves my back!

twinsetjan at
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Permanent Resident

4159 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2012 :  08:08:59 AM  Show Profile Send Solaris a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I tend to use both wires and pins at the same time. Wires are good for a general job, but are very cumbersome to weave through every (or almost every) stitch along the edge. So I use the pins for details.

Lets be kind to one another.
My blog:
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New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2012 :  11:41:11 AM  Show Profile Send bluesbee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've had the same experience with the "flexibility" of the Inspinknity blocking wires; I have a set of the Premium wires (Deluxe size). The length is great for bigger projects, and I've been known to use 2 or 3 of them together to add some extra strength--but even then they're still very flexible.
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New Pal

5 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2012 :  09:36:33 AM  Show Profile Send Jesusan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finally got to read this tutorial, and really appreciate the clarity of the instructions. I got a set of blocking wires for Christmas 2010 and have just finished a shawl that I would like to use them on. I've got a lot more confidence now for trying to use the blocking wires.

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