How to block lace shawls: the washing line method explained

In this post, we'll show you how to block using the 'Washing line method'. This is a really simple way of blocking triangular shawls that have a peaked edging.

How to block lace shawls washing line method

If you’re new to blocking lace, you might also like our sister post, in which we show you how the flat blocking method of blocking lace with wires.

You will need

  • Washing line
  • Clothes pegs

Peg the long straight edge of your shawl to the washing line. Use plenty of pegs, so that the straight edge is as straight as possible (unless it is meant to be scalloped; in which case, only peg the points). Check that you have stretched the shawl evenly along that edge – measure from the edge to the centre, and compare it with the other side. Then add a peg to each point on the V-shaped edges of the shawl, to provide weight to stretch out the lace patterning.

How do I block a lace shawl

The benefit of this approach is that it’s quick and easy to do, and great if you would struggle to keep pets or children away from your knitting when blocking indoors. If you have a fine day, your shawl will dry quickly, too. The downside is that the pegs may not stretch out the lace pattern enough for your liking, and it is more tricky to ensure that the shape has been pinned symmetrically.

Jen Arnall-Culliford is a technical knitting editor and knitwear designer with an encyclopaedic knowledge of knitting techniques.

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