Summer School – Blocking – Anticlastic

I’m taking a bit of time off this month, but I wanted to make sure you had something to do while I’m napping (or, more likely, sweeping out the garage, getting drywall dust  out of my cabinets, or planning next year’s projects…but napping sounds better).

On Mondays, I’ll introduce a topic or skill and provide a bunch of links and resources to help you learn more. Later in the week, I’ll show off a few favorite patterns so you can do some homework.  The featured patterns will be on sale for one day each, so come back each weekday to see if there’s something that catches your eye!

So cowls, especially lacy cowls are one of the most satisfying things to block.  You have all the lace blocking magic (ALL lace looks better after blocking), plus the deep and abiding satisfaction of rigging up the perfect blocking apparatus.  Anticlastic is a great way to give it a shot.

So the trick to blocking cowls is to hold them under tension (to open up the lace) and to keep them opened up (so you don’t get side creases).  If you just wanted to hold tension, you could pin it out flat and folded in half.  But that would give you side creases.  If you just wanted it held open, you could toss it over a roll of paper towels, run a string through the center of the roll, and tie it to your shower rod (that’s how I used to do it).  But that doesn’t put the even tension that shows off lace best.

So instead, you go a little made engineer.  Thread blocking wires through the top and bottom.  That holds the fabric stretched.  Then run something under the top blocking wires (I use long needles or dowel rods or the twisty rod off a set of mini blinds) to make an x, and set the x on a roll of paper towels (or whatever else will hold the thing up off the ground.

I’ve got pictures of just how that works over on this post and on this one.  You will absolutely feel like you’re channeling the spirit of a Victorian lampshade, but that’s ok.  It works perfectly every time (and when you put pictures of it on instagram, everyone will tell you you’re a genius).  Plus you get to walk around in the closest thing society allows to a security blanket.  So it’s totally a win.

Anticlastic is 25% off just for today with the code SUMMER SCHOOL (technically, it’s 12:01 am to 11:59 pm eastern time on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 if you want to get very particular).  Come back tomorrow for more stuff I’m overly fervent about blocking the right way!

Oh, and if you want a free cowl, you can snag Consilience if you get on the mailing list (details over on the rav page)!