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Wondering how to block my knitted triangle shawls. They have been blocked using pins and a bed (due to lack of space) but they just drew back up. Maybe my yarn wasn’t wool, I believe it had some synthetic yarn but can’t remember. But one is pretty, and natural, dyed cotton.
I really have had no luck in this process
 

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I use pins on a foam mat (or sometimes blocking wires), so I don't see any issue with how you are blocking. Wool blocks well. I've blocked cotton for doilies, but cotton items often stretch some with use, so I would not expect it to hold a strongly blocked shape like in some shawl patterns. Acrylic also doesn't block well in my experience. I would guess that your yarn content may have too much non-wool content if it is not holding it's shape after blocking. Someone may give you better info...all the shawls I have made were at least 75% wool, and have held their blocked shapes well. Hope you can enjoy your shawls, even if they did draw back.
 

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Pictures of the pieces you're asking about might be helpful. I don't use all cotton yarn intending to block it so can't really offer suggestions. If the wool blend can go in the dryer that might be your best option for it.

You say they were blocked using pins. Did you wet them first or steam after blocking? If you starched the cotton lightly it might hold its shape better. Just a thought, I've never tried it.
 

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I pin out just as you say you do but then steam with a garment steamer. Cotton will still relapse. Acrylic or wool both block well this way.
There have been numerous discussions of 'killing' acrylic which can be beneficial in a shawl of scarf but not in a hat or sweater that need some elasticity.
 

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I asked my mother once how she blocked the items she made (she passed away at age 93). She said she never blocked anything. She made clothing, shawls, blankets, etc. for all of us and our children. I still have an afghan in use on my bed, a shawl I wear, and many baby sweaters I am passing on to my new granddaughter. They are still beautiful and not out of shape at all.
 

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Wondering how to block my knitted triangle shawls. They have been blocked using pins and a bed (due to lack of space) but they just drew back up. Maybe my yarn wasn’t wool, I believe it had some synthetic yarn but can’t remember. But one is pretty, and natural, dyed cotton.
I really have had no luck in this process
Steam blocking will help if the fiber content has some or all synthetic content.
Wet blocking works best if you make sure the fibers are completely saturated. While some people suggest misting the surface with a spray bottle, I find just wetting the surface of the fiber is not enough to hold the blocked shape.
If all synthetic fiber or some cottons, machine washing takes care of blocking.

To block or not to block that is the question. I don't block everything I knit, it depends on the stitch textures, the fiber content, or if the project is not for me. Lace always looks better after blocking as it opens up and evens out the YO holes. Seams lay flatter after blocking. Tab start shawls lose the weird hump after blocking. Blocking will straighten uneven edges on shawls, scarves and blankets. I'm currently looking at a sampler afghan hanging on the back of my rocking chair and thinking I really should block it. Some of the texture patterns draw in a bit more than others, blocking would even out the edges and make it look "professionally" knit rather than "homemade". If I ever plan to give it away it will definitely need to be blocked, but until then it will remain unblocked since I avoid blocking when possible.
 

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Wondering how to block my knitted triangle shawls. They have been blocked using pins and a bed (due to lack of space) but they just drew back up. Maybe my yarn wasn’t wool, I believe it had some synthetic yarn but can’t remember. But one is pretty, and natural, dyed cotton.
I really have had no luck in this process
I have used both wet blocking and steam blocking for synthetic blends. Sometimes it takes both.
 

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I make a lot of lacy shawls, always with wool I soak them, wrap in towels to remove excess water and pin them on blocking mats. Some require wires and others pins, sometimes both. Blocking really opens them up to show their lacy beauty. Without blocking they are just a wrinkled undefined mess. I've never had one lose it's shape after blocking. I don't block hats or socks, but I do usually block sweaters. To me, not blocking is like making a quilt without using an iron. The difference between looking handmade and homemade.
 

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I have a floor garment steamer, and I use it to block finished knits. It works very well. You need to use it very sparingly for acrylics and synthetics, and it's fabulous for wool.

For a lot of things, I hit the garment with steam and pat it into shape. Sometimes, I have to pin things to size.

But it works well, and seems to be permanent, although it might not be on cotton.
 

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During the past two years or so I have only really made shawls and when completed to give them a finish, so to speak, I sandwich the shawl a section at a time between two clean hand towels on my ironing board (one on the ironing board and the other on top of the section of shawl - like a sandwich) and then press down with my steam iron. Once one section is completed I remove the top hand towel, wait for the heat to subside and for that first section to dry off a bit and then move the shawl along to the next section, place the hand towel back on top and repeat this process until the entire shawl has been steam pressed. I have made a few shawls that have included a feather and fan stitch so it opens them up and also gets rid of any curled edges. At the end of the day my thinking is it is only a shawl and not the end of the world if knitters didn't block - unless lace of course as mentioned above.
 
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