You have seen this picture before, it’s the back of my lacey vest/cardi being blocked.
I did this all with pins, and it took a LOT of them. I think I must have used at least 50 just on this one piece. The hardest part though, was making sure I placed the pins perfectly evenly along each edge, so that no part of the lace pattern was stretched further than any other part of the lace pattern. If I remember correctly, this took me about an hour to do (and redo, and redo again).
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You can see then, why I was dreading blocking the front of the same cardi. With the front, there are 2 pieces, both with necklines to get perfectly straight as well. I wasn’t even sure I would have enough pins. Then, for Christmas, my mom gave me a set of Knit Picks Lace Blocking Wires from my wishlist (thanks Mom!). I didn’t know how easy they would be to work with, nor how well they would work, but I was pleasantly surprised.
To start with, the bottom of both pieces are on the same wire, and the top of both pieces are on another wire. This made it easy to line them both up with each other, so I know both pieces are blocked to exactly the same length. Each piece also has a wire down the front band, one for the straight part of the armhole, and another for the straight part of the neckline. All told, it’s 8 wires for the 2 pieces.
Each wire only needed 3 pins to hold in place! The best part though, is that the stitches could move along the wires, since they weren’t pinned down every couple of rows. This meant I didn’t have to worry about exact placement of every motif, instead I was able to move them around a bit and straighten them out once I was done pinning everything down. I actually noticed some rough areas after taking this picture and was able to straighten them out a bit more.
I did have to pin the curvy bits along the sides, the bottoms of the armholes, and the bottoms of the necklines, but even so I think I only used about 40 pins for both pieces combined. I will say it still took me an hour to get this blocked out, but that was because I was getting used to the wires. Also I bent one wire because I wasn’t paying attention, and had to spend some time bending it back. All in all though, I’m so happy with the results and I think these blocking wires might just be my new favorite thing!