How to Block Very Large Things

How to Block Very Large Things

I'm a big believer in blocking. More than that, I'm a big believer in wet blocking. But you might notice this gets really awkward when you are dealing with a very large project. A big wet stretchy wooly thing; how do you deal with it? If you're lucky, you've got some dry weather and you can lay it out on a sheet on the lawn.

But what if you're lace blocking? With lace blocking, you have to stretch and secure the knitted item so it can dry while it's held taut by pins or wires.

When I made a blanket out of the Fledge pattern, I was lucky enough to have some good weather. But I needed to soak and stretch it, and also needed to pin out each point of the lace border. But pinning each point wouldn't even be possible. The yarn is too heavy for the pins I have, and I wouldn't have enough pins.

So here's what I came up with: an improvised stretching "frame" using some nails and some nylon cord.

Using a blunt yarn needle, I threaded nylon cord through each point of the lace border. Then, I put a sheet down on the deck to protect the blanket, and arranged it loosely. I eyeballed how far I wanted to stretch the blanket, and nailed 4 nails in (directly into the deck, don't do this if A) you have a really nice deck or B) your significant other cares about this kind of thing). Then I tied the cord to the 4 nails, slowly and evenly stretching out the blanket. Once it was taut, I added a few nails to hold the cord into a squarish shape, and I made sure the cord was high on the nails to lift the blanket off the ground. This allowed the air to circulate, and stops the  dampness of the blanket to damage the deck's surface (yes, the deck I hammered nails into, but I was worried a wet thing would make a big blotch).

It worked like a charm, didn't cost very much, didn't require any fancy skills, and the blanket dried quickly.

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