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Old 07-29-2007, 07:26 PM   #1
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Can you block...
....synthetic yarn? I'm knitting a very straight forward lace pattern with a very light but "furry" synthetic yarn. Now I'm worried that the lacy element will be lost in all that fuzz?
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Old 07-29-2007, 08:21 PM   #2
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I've never tried, but I don't think you can. It doesn't hurt anything, it just doesn't do any good.
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Old 07-29-2007, 10:16 PM   #3
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Well poop...stoopid synthetics.
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:27 PM   #4
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It can be painstaking but you can always give eyelash yarns etc a quick haircut and clip them back a bit But, no, blocking won't achieve anything as losnana suggests.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:48 AM   #5
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At the very least you can knit a swatch and wash and block that. (there are tips all over google for blocking acrylics, tho they still say, lace is better done in natural fibres) and see if the end result is what you are looking for.

Chances are, the 'fur' will muddle up the lace design tho.
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Old 07-30-2007, 07:17 AM   #6
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Are you liking the way your pattern is turning out in the yarn you are using? If not, and you haven't had too much time invested in it, maybe you should consider using that yarn for a different pattern and finding a different yarn for your lace.

As for the "furriness" of the yarn and lace, many people make lace scarves and the like out of mohair -- pretty darn furry stuff if you ask me, and even tho you could block a mohair piece, it would still be furry and probably obscure the lace pattern to a certain extent. The blocking would open up the pattern a bit and make the stitches and the piece more even but it would still be furry. So even if you could block the piece, you have to like the effect of the furry yarn on the lace pattern, blocked or not.

Another thing you might want to try is working your lace on a larger needle to open it up a bit. That may help you see your lace pattern better.

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Old 07-30-2007, 09:14 AM   #7
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As a general rule, you cannot block synthetics, only natural fibers. You can block it, but after you wash and dry it, it'll just go back to the way it was before, but washing synthetics is sort of like blocking, it causes the stitches to bloom and open up. It's never like a true lace blocking, and lace requires stretching so you can actually see it. If the yarn you're using is like a light halo, then it won't really obscure the design, but if it's like a fun fur () than lace will look like any other knitting would in that yarn. But remember - lace should always be knit in a yarn that can be blocked (and I mean blocked, lace needs stretching to open up the pattern), and not in a fuzzy yarn, so you can actually see the pattern.
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:17 AM   #8
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You can block acrylics by "killing" them...which I've done on a lace scarf before, and also a shrug. Basically pin the piece out and steam it or iron it (with a towel over it) and it will flatten it out and mostly stay that way. It totally kills the yarn though, but on the particular pieces I've done...I liked the effect and it vastly improved the "drape" of my pound'o'Caron for example.

I would definitely test this method out on a small swatch first though, cuz like I kills the yarn and there's no going back if you don't like the result (which is a definite possibility!)

Good luck

*Also--don't set the iron too hot, it will melt the yarn*

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Old 07-30-2007, 10:46 AM   #9
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Wow, thanks for all the suggestions and advice! This why I love this site.
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