But look at the difference!
I started crocheting with Amigurumi patterns, so the transition to turning rows, foundation chains, and blocking was a bit of a painful one. When I finally read about blocking, I assumed you needed the blocking mats. I didn’t realize that blocking can be as simple as washing the piece according to the care instructions on the yarn label and laying it flat to dry. For at least 6 months to a year, I left all of my pieces unblocked. I eventually washed my first blanket and laid it out, hoping to improve the way the edges looked. Unfortunately, blocking won’t save structural issues, and that blanket had plenty. For a long time after I viewed blocking pieces as a waste of time.
Now that I’ve pinned more structurally sound pieces, I would always recommend pinning with lace pieces, but washing and laying out flat will suffice for most finished projects. I almost never pin anything larger than a baby blanket.
For this piece, the issues with the top line resulted from using worsted weight yarn instead of a fingering weight yarn without changing the hook size. A gauge wasn’t specified and I liked everything about the piece while I was working it up, except for that top edge. I even slip stitched over the edge to try and even it out.
The only reason I went through the trouble of pinning this piece was for pictures of it laid out flat and my own personal satisfaction. The stitch evenness came mostly from washing and I doubt anyone else is going to lay it out as straight as possible to look at it.
The only places I used pins were the top (in an attempt to make a straight line) and the tips (to try and get that line of spaces down the middle in a straight line). Had the side edges not been scalloped, I probably would have pinned all of the edges. Just goes to show how hyper-focused I can get on one small imperfect part of a overall lovely piece.
You can buy the set of grided blocking mats I use here. 9 blocks were just big enough for this shawl and baby blankets I’ve done in the past. The yarn used for this shawl was Caron Cakes in Faerie Cakes.
Next week’s post will be about the only piece larger than a baby blanket that I’ve ever pinned – Rings of Change.