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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm afraid to "make a mistake". I'm done with my daughter's wedding wrap.....merino/silk/NOT superwash...and have always pinned out shawls on the blocking boards and it's been great. But will I regret not using blocking wires for this special shawl? is there a huge difference in pinning the shawl out vs using wires? I'm going to block it then assess whether it needs to be longer/larger!!!

The yarn is fingering weight, needs to be aggressively blocked (it's an Estonian style w/nupps and I want this to end!); it's natural/unbleached/handwash.

What say you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ellie61knit said:
i have just recently bought wires and the last two shawls I have made I used them. It made a huge difference, so much so that I reblocked some other shawls. Still, I managed to do a good enough job without them for a long time.
ok!...that's exactly what I wanted to know! All the shawls that I've made and blocked with pins are still holding their edges, but I wondered if there were a marked difference with blocking wires vs. pinning out the edge. Or pins and bamboo skewers (if smooth lol) like the other kp'er said to keep that edge straight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
susanmjackson said:
I have only used pins, but it takes a lot of time and effort for a straight edge. Most of my shawls have a picot or wavy edge, so it is a whole lot easier to block them with pins.
hmmm forgot about the time element. yeah, most of mine have a picot edge, too! but then we have to pull out all those picots lol....it'll be better than trying to track down wires at this time, so I'm going to go for it! thank you for responding :)
 

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Personally, I favor using blocking wires along with good quality T-pins fot aggressive blocking. I am still using some straight wires I bought from Knit Picks. My wish , though, is to purchase the fine wire, flexible wires made by a company in Israel. I have seen them on-line, name escapes me just now.
 

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I think you will be better able to "open" up the pattern with blocking wires. I use both techniques, but if I want to stretch something, then the wires allow you to apply equal pull on all sides. Often if I have a uneven edge, I'll still use wires just inside the edge, basically blockt the body of the shawl and then go back and pin the points or picots and then remove the wires. That way you are distributing the "pull" across all your stitches not just the ones closest to the edges. Good luck. Also, you might look for stainless steel wire outside of a knitting shop. Just make sure that it is stainless steel so it won't rust and then you can cut it to whatever length you want and you have control over the weight/thickness of the wire. Typically, blocking wires are at 18 gauge, I believe. Incidentally, industrial wire is a lot less expensive. I bought a length of PVC pipe at the hardware store and 2 caps and store my wires in that when they aren't being used.
 

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Blocking wires are best when you have "lines" in a shawl that you want to be straight or curved.....they allow for quiet a bit of flexibility. They also help to make things more even. For aggressive blocking they are an irreplaceable tool as they allow you to really stretch out the stitches so that the details will show. With all the work you put in you would want the intricacies of the shawl to show. I use blocking wires exclusively for any lacework. They are most definitely worth the investment.
 

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RavinRed said:
Blocking wires are best when you have "lines" in a shawl that you want to be straight or curved.....they allow for quiet a bit of flexibility. They also help to make things more even. For aggressive blocking they are an irreplaceable tool as they allow you to really stretch out the stitches so that the details will show. With all the work you put in you would want the intricacies of the shawl to show. I use blocking wires exclusively for any lacework. They are most definitely worth the investment.
My experience too. Beautiful shawls!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Belle1 said:
I think you will be better able to "open" up the pattern with blocking wires. I use both techniques, but if I want to stretch something, then the wires allow you to apply equal pull on all sides. Often if I have a uneven edge, I'll still use wires just inside the edge, basically blockt the body of the shawl and then go back and pin the points or picots and then remove the wires. That way you are distributing the "pull" across all your stitches not just the ones closest to the edges. Good luck. Also, you might look for stainless steel wire outside of a knitting shop. Just make sure that it is stainless steel so it won't rust and then you can cut it to whatever length you want and you have control over the weight/thickness of the wire. Typically, blocking wires are at 18 gauge, I believe. Incidentally, industrial wire is a lot less expensive. I bought a length of PVC pipe at the hardware store and 2 caps and store my wires in that when they aren't being used.
Belle1!! wonderful information in there! thank you....hmmmm wonder if my local hardware has 18 gauge stainless. I remember years ago someone talking about that being used to block shawls.

You all are right...I remember that straight lines not being super straight and I was not able to stretch completely with the little pins...T-pins would probably pull out, too, with the tension.

Thank you everyone! <3 I learned a lot here. I've knit a lot of shawls,...lace...but their edges were always picot-y or curvy and it wasn't necessary that they be super straight (although they were :) ) The info about stretching out the centermost stitches is the push to get some blocking wires...now!
 
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