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Blocking Wires

Blocked

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.

I repeated the process with the second swatch, a lovely lace sample from Etesian in NGV10. This perfect rectangle will make counting stitches and setting the gauge measurements much easier.

Thanks to Rachel from Inspinknity.com for introducing us to her great product!

Amanda

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Carolyn #

    Looks great! I have been thinking about investing in a steamer. I currently wet block everything. Is there a steamer that you can recommend? Thank you.

    February 28, 2012
    • amandakeep #

      We use a steamer Norah picked up at a sale a few years ago – it’s from a brand called SteamFast. We’ve been very happy with it!

      February 28, 2012
      • Carolyn #

        Thank you for the info!

        February 29, 2012
  2. Tammy #

    Where can I find instructions on whether or not to block Berroco Lago? If so, how do I block it?

    April 10, 2012
    • amandakeep #

      Lago’s care instructions are on the yarn label. It’s machine washable, then lay flat to dry. If you’re blocking it without washing it, which is fine, you can wet-block it by soaking it for a few minutes first, then laying it flat to dry.

      April 10, 2012
      • Tammy #

        Thanks for the update. There was a difference of opinion among my knitting cohorts.

        April 17, 2012

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