The busy knitter’s cheat’s guide to blocking lace shawls

June 28, 2014 at 9:50 am 2 comments


Warning, this is the quick and dirty approach to blocking! It’s not fancy or thorough, and it may not work for all shawls. But it’s great for straightening out the top of a crescent and opening up lace patterns.

And being this quick can make the difference between doing it now, straight after you’ve finished the shawl, and sticking it in the cupboard with the rest of the ‘I’ll get to that later’ pile, where it may languish for months.

shawl blocking

Soaking prior to blocking. I always seem to end up using the saucepan. No idea why.


  • Soak shawl in warm water.
  • Take soaking container outside to clothesline.
  • Gather together every peg you own.
  • Peg soaking wet shawl onto clothesline, starting on either side of the middle, but not the middle itself because you want to minimise that bump where the first few rows sit. This also helps to create that nice upside down rainbow curve to the rows.
  • As you peg, stretch the top out as far as it will go.
  • Now use every peg you can lay hands on to add weight to the bottom edge of the shawl. Start at the middle and work up your way up towards the edges, stretching the hem downwards as you go.
  • Now grab your container and using the remaining water, slowly pour it over your shawl, adding extra weight to help stretch the fabric out.

And then wait until it dries. That’s it.


Sopping wet after pouring on half a saucepanful of water. Note that I haven’t pegged the top centre. After pegging out the bottom I removed the two pegs closest to the middle too, to help straighten out the top edge even further. The pegs taper off towards the edge because I ran out. I even scrounged the grubby ones that had fallen into the flowerbed.


If you want to be more brutal or block really vigorously, when it is nearly dry you can bring it inside and pin it out as per usual. Hopefully this job will be easier than normal as half the work has been done for you by the water and pegs.


I’m airing my dirty laundry here – see those wrinkles extending down from the top edge? That’s because I knit the border stitches too tight. As a result this one is a shorter, deeper shape than the other Interplay.


Entry filed under: Spinning and Knitting. Tags: , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sybilqiu  |  June 28, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    This is quite clever! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • 2. littlehouseonthehill  |  June 28, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Great! I hope you find it useful!


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