Blocking lace (knitted or crocheted) is an essential part of finishing. It opens up the stitches, and makes the lace "bloom". It is also esssential for achieving the size called for in the pattern.
If you look at the photos of the azalea pink shawl from yesterday, you will see that it is much more narrow than it is now, after blocking.
It is a also a very tedious, labor intensive process when done the "old fashioned" way. It involves dozens of pins and a very sore back.
Here's the Oasis Wrap stole blocked the "conventional" way:
(Yes, I know it isn't straight...sigh)
The curved end
Fortunately, there are now "blocking wires" which you slip through the edges of the piece then pin here and there to anchor them. MUCH quicker, and they result in a much more uniform finished piece. The problem? A set of these puppies will set you back $30, and that's at a reasonable store!
The solution? Weed Whacker line!
A 200 foot spool cost me $3 at Walmart. It's rust proof, comes in various thicknesses, and you can cut it to any length you need! The line is started at one long end, continues out and across the short end, down the last long end, and out and across the 2nd short end. The remainder of the line is left on the reel. When it's dry, just wind it up and it's ready for the next time! Here's a pic of the whole stole with the "wire" in place:
And here's the end - pins are still in place here to ensure a uniform curve to the ends:
Thanks to my husband, Dan, for the photos and for threading the line through for me!