Rachel of inspinknity.com recently offered two sets of her premium blocking wires to the Berroco Design office, and we’ve been finding lots of great uses for them. Each set contains eighteen wires in different lengths: 36”, 24”, and 12”, along with a set of T pins.
For an in-depth wet blocking tutorial for lace using blocking wires, check out Cirilia’s post from 2009, and there are also some great general tips in her follow-up post from later that year. While they’re especially handy for blocking lace, blocking wires can be helpful in a lot of other situations too. Since swatches are what we knit most frequently here in the office, we’ve been using the shortest length wires in the pack (12”) to help make steaming them a breeze. I took a few minutes to document the process here:
Here’s your typical swatch, pinned in place before getting a steam. The swatch sucks in a little bit through the middle, making a not-quite-square shape. Nothing horribly wrong with that, but if you happen to have blocking wires around, you can get a swatch with straight edges every time!
Here’s the blocking wire set, and on the right I have two unruly swatches needing a good steam.
I thread one 12” wire through the edge of each side of my swatch.
Then I anchor the wires using the T pins, keeping the corners nice and square.
Then the swatch gets a nice puff of steam. Because of some shaping worked within the swatch, the bottom half is narrower than the top, and the flexible blocking wires easily adapt to this shape.
After letting it dry while still pinned down, I remove the pins and wires and am left with a beautifully even swatch.
Thanks to Rachel from Inspinknity.com for introducing us to her great product!