View Full Version : Lace Blocking Wires?

05-08-2008, 03:01 PM
O.K. :woohoo: I am seeing the finish line on my first piece of lace work (Adamas Shawl (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/adamas-shawl)). As I am looking towards blocking it I have read a lot about using Lace blocking wires to do so. What is the general opinion about these? Is there a cheaper way to get the same effect? Or the best place to purchase the wires? I do see myself doing more lace, if that helps sway opinions.

I already know I am going to follow these (http://flowergirlknits.wordpress.com/2008/01/27/the-not-marthas-blocking-board/)directions to make a blocking board.

05-08-2008, 04:43 PM
I think that if you're new at blocking, the wires are good.

I am not a good blocker. I tried using pins an the string...just does not work for me. The blocking wires are much better for me. I bought KP's set and am very happy. They come in a tube that's perfect for storage.

05-08-2008, 05:11 PM
Just so you know, most blocking boards are too small to fit an entire lace shawl or other large piece on it. I do my blocking with pins on my bed :)

05-08-2008, 07:38 PM
I know that this is probably a real big no no, but I use my steamiron to block and relax the yarn on a lace shawl.Crossed Fingers

05-08-2008, 08:51 PM
Thanks everyone. Looks like I will be ordering from knitpicks ( oh darn!)

Rachel-- Thanks for the tip on the boards. I could tell that most of the bought ones would not, so I am going to buy a piece of foam board and cover it to use (the board is 6 ft x 10ft so I can cut it down)

05-08-2008, 09:28 PM
I just finished that same shawl this week and blocked it on my bed with pins. It worked out well. It's my first shawl and my first large lace project and I'm very happy with the way it blocked. I used Knitpicks Shadow.

05-09-2008, 08:22 AM
If you haven't already bought the wires from KP's, you could try wire hangers. Just use a wire snips to cut off the "hanger" part and unbend them. It's not perfect, but it will give you an idea of how wires work. (And if it works out for you, you could save lots of $$!!)

05-10-2008, 06:37 PM
If you haven't already bought the wires from KP's, you could try wire hangers. Just use a wire snips to cut off the "hanger" part and unbend them. It's not perfect, but it will give you an idea of how wires work. (And if it works out for you, you could save lots of $$!!)

DO you think they will be long enough? I like the idea of saving money. It gripes me to spend $30 on wires. That money is much better spent on yarn or new needles.

05-10-2008, 06:44 PM
I don't think using hangers will have the flexibility that you may want and need.

05-10-2008, 11:27 PM
I would also check at a hardware store. Wire is wire...as long as it's stainless, any wire thin enough to be flexible, but strong enough and long enough should work.

05-11-2008, 09:51 AM
I've only ever used wire hangers to block a lace scarf. I did have to do it in sections so it was long enough, but it worked. I love the idea of checking out a hardware store.

05-11-2008, 01:10 PM
My DH made me some blocking wires out of brass welding rod he got at a hardware store. It worked real well and will not rust.

05-11-2008, 09:07 PM
I started life as a jeweler and metalsmith and we used to go to the welding supply house and get stainless welding rod to make pin stems for brooches. It won't rust either and is super springy. You could cut it easily with a wire cutter. MarigoldinWA's suggestion of brass rod would work too but the cost of brass right now is high. The steel would be cheaper. Make sure it's stainless though, or it would rust!

05-12-2008, 03:11 PM
For those of you who said you block on your bed, do you put something underneath to keep your bed from getting wet? I'm sorry if I'm being dense, but I can't picture it.

05-13-2008, 09:37 AM
I've put a couple of beach towels down on the hallway rug... worked fine.

I think that I might have also put a sheet down on top of the towel? For smaller items-- I just use the ironing board... (perfect for scarves that need a blocking touch)

05-13-2008, 09:15 PM
I used my bed to block a lace weight shawl. I wrapped it in a towel first and stepped on it. Rewrapped it in a dry section of the towel and stepped on it again. It was just damp when I laid it on the top sheet. I then pinned it and within a couple of hours it was dry. I also have a window just a couple of feet from the bed and I opened it to allow a breeze across the shawl. The bed didn't get wet.

05-14-2008, 01:25 AM
I usually put towels down, but that's mostly because my sheets usually have patterns and I like to have a plain background when I take pics of it pinned. haha Lots of people just use the sheet and it's totally fine, I've done that too. Normally though, I block fingering weight or lace weight things, so they seem only slightly damp once I've rolled them in a towel and they dry within several hours.

I have blocked one thing in worsted weight, it was pieces of a large hooded cardigan sweater. I bought some foam pieces at Walmart in the craft section that are used to make seat cushions. I pin the small pieces to that or put two or more of the foam cushions next to each other to make a larger surface for larger pieces. It works great!